The term ‘neurodiversity’ is not a new one; it suggests that there are differences in the human brain due to natural variance in DNA. It is a biological fact. This idea is not the same as the neurodiversity movement. Unlike the term, the movement is related to social justice. Its members advocate for equality, respect, and full societal inclusion for the neurodivergent. The movement was developed to counteract the prevailing notion that neurodiversity is a thing to be fixed rather than celebrated.
In honor of Autism Awareness Month, this neurodiversity movement discussion will be applied to autism. Not all families, adults, and children with autism align themselves with the neurodiversity movement. However, those that do, advocate for acceptance of autism rather than finding a cure. An advocate believes that autism is a societal problem, not an individual problem. A proponent would argue that society should become more tolerant of neurodivergent behaviors rather than forcing a person into socially accepted norms. For instance, they might argue that a person should not be forced to make eye contact if it makes them uncomfortable. Instead, society could understand that there is a range of acceptable behavior.
For more information about both sides of this debate check out the resources and articles below: