What Is Neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity is the concept that neurological differences like autism are normal and naturally occurring variations in human beings. This is in sharp contrast to the view that autism is a pathology and of course this not a widely accepted philosophy.
Autism is considered to be a developmental and lifelong condition and is seen as an integral part of a person, not a disease to be combated and cured. This is why some people are embracing the concept of neurodiversity and not approaching the autism itself as the problem, rather that people with differences need help to learn how to live in a world that is less than tolerant of difference.
If we adopt the neurodiversity model, we can see that so many advances in science, creative arts and technology have only been possible because people who are ‘neurologically different’ have been able to create. These people often create and invent on the edges and fringes of society, until the their genius brain children eventually go ‘mainstream’.
How Many People Does It Take To Solve A Problem?
68…. 67 neurologically similar ones to identify it and one neurologically different one to solve it. (The most recent statistics say that 1 in 68 of us has autism). However, because so many people with autism never get a job where they get a chance to shine, so many problems remain unsolved, or badly approached.
What Is Neurodiversity?
In the neurodiversity model, people with autism are seen as different, but not defective and the autism is something to be lived with and accepted rather than ‘overcome’. Indeed, using this model, many aspects of autism can be seen as highly desirable and valuable.
However, we have a long way to go before our society, that is not brilliant at accepting or celebrating difference anyway, gets on board with the neurodiversity model. Even if allowances are made for people who are on the spectrum, ‘neurotypical’ people have to decide who they are going to make allowances for… there is a long road ahead!
There is no question that neurodiverse people have been the great innovators. There is also no doubt that many of these people have been and continue to be misunderstood. Not only this, they are not given the help or opportunities to create and innovate and reach their potential. But if we can start by accepting that neurodiversity is a good thing, we will have made quite a few giant steps forward.
If your organisation is planning on increasing your neurodiversity and need some help training the neurotypical, we offer a great range of autism training!