Neurodiversity is a concept and movement that recognizes and respects variations in human brain function and behavior as part of normal diversity. It emphasizes that neurological differences, such as those seen in conditions like autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other developmental or cognitive differences, are natural and should not be considered a medical problem. Here are key aspects of neurodiversity:

  1. Biological Variation: Neurodiversity acknowledges that human brains vary in their structure and function. These variations can result in different ways of thinking, learning, processing information, and behaving.
  2. Value of Diversity: Just as biodiversity strengthens ecosystems, neurodiversity is seen as a strength that enriches human communities. Different neurological conditions bring unique perspectives and abilities that can contribute positively to society.
  3. Social Model of Disability: The neurodiversity movement often aligns with the social model of disability, which posits that disability arises not from individual impairments but from the interaction between individuals and an environment that is not accommodating of their differences.
  4. Advocacy and Inclusion: Neurodiversity advocates for acceptance and inclusion of all individuals, regardless of neurological makeup. This includes challenging stigmatizing attitudes, ensuring equitable access to opportunities, and providing appropriate accommodations and support.
  5. Rejection of Cure-Centric Views: Rather than seeking to “cure” or “fix” neurological differences, the neurodiversity movement promotes understanding and acceptance, arguing that efforts should focus on accommodating and supporting individuals to live fulfilling lives.
  6. Empowerment and Self-Advocacy: Neurodiversity emphasizes the importance of self-advocacy and empowerment for neurodivergent individuals, encouraging them to speak for themselves and shape their own narratives.

Overall, neurodiversity shifts the focus from trying to change neurodivergent individuals to fit into a neurotypical world, to changing societal attitudes and structures to be more inclusive and supportive of neurological differences. As special needs planning attorneys, we often see families with neurodivergent children. We are here for them as they assess their loved one’s needs and help them to find solutions.