What Neurodiversity is.
Neurodiversity is defined simply by it’s two parts.
“Neuro” is a prefix that is applied to the functioning of the brain in all respects. A neuro-surgeon performs operations on the brain. A neuro-scientist does research on the brain. The nervous system is a part of the brain’s functioning – and this is why the dictionary definition of “Neuro” is given as (per dictionary.com); a combining form meaning “nerve,” “nerves,” “nervous system,” used in the formation of compound words. Such as the two terms I gave above.
“Diversity” is a variation of “Diverse” which basically means means different.
The dictionary definition of “Diversity” is given as (per dictionary.com); the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness; variety; multiformity; a point of difference. This is applied to a multitude of differences in the human race, whether it be based on human features or belief structures. Racial diversity. Cultural diversity. And many others.
In combination, the term is fairly new – to the point that it’s not noted on dictionary.com. It first started being used in 1998 per Harvey Blume and Judy Singer – and put simply, it describes the diverse manner in which the brain works. No two human brains work exactly the same. Everyone is neurodiverse in their own little way. There is in effect no such thing as neurotypical – even though legal parlance provides for such a term to exist in order to equalise an unequal world where all forms of diversity are not always accepted or tolerated.
What Neurodiversity is not.
Neurodiversity is NOT the name of a civil rights movement. Anyone who uses the term to describe such a movement is trying to undermine both the activists who push for acceptance of brain difference, and the understanding of conditions and cultures that think and react differently. Activists who use the term use it to explain what they are supporting, and it does not form a core belief structure as such. The core belief is in acceptance of the existence of neurodiversity and adjustment to it in order to provide true equality in society.
No self respecting human being would deny another person the right to be different. Everyone already is in their own way. Another word needs to be coined to describe those who believe in neurodiversity and what it really is. At present I use the term Autism Activist for those on the Autistic Spectrum. I for one am yet to come up with one word for what the movement represents. Hopefully one day someone will.