Neurodiversity Resources

What Is Neurodiversity?

In the late 1990s, Judy Singer, a sociologist who is on the autism spectrum herself, came up with a word to describe conditions like ADHD, autism, and dyslexia: neurodiversity. Singer created this term in order to shift the common understanding of these conditions away from the usual litany of deficits, disorders, and impairments towards an understanding that these brains simply work differently than others.

Today, the term neurodiversity is broadly defined as an approach to learning and disability that suggests diverse neurological conditions appear as a result of normal variations in the human genome. Neurodiversity advocates promoting support systems (such as inclusion-focused services, accommodations, communication and assistive technologies, occupational training, and independent living support) that allow those who are neurodivergent to live their lives as they are, rather than being coerced or forced to adopt uncritically accepted ideas of normality, or to conform to a clinical ideal.

 

Why is Neurodiversity Important?

The aim of neurodiversity is a movement towards more equal treatment and acceptance of individuals who are neurodivergent, and that neurodivergent people are seen as normal variations of the human condition. This concept can have a powerful impact on a neurodivergent individual.

The idea that people are naturally diverse learners is important especially for kids who may otherwise be stuck with the thought that something is “wrong” with them. By acknowledging neurodiversity, kids can be better equipped to develop confidence, resilience, and self esteem.

 

How can you Support your Neurodivergent Student or Child? 

There are several resources available to help support neurodivergent children.

Take a look at our What is Dyslexia? page for information and resources on supporting children with dyslexia.

Check out our What is Autism? page for information and resources on supporting children with autism.