Every1Games is a neurodiverse community. We off Neurodiverse Skills Development programs appropriate for everyone. Our focus on Autism comes from the founder Sarah Anne Drew’s personal years of experience working with autistic youth. To help our allies, friends, clients, and the public understand the language we use we decided to share these excerpts, selected definitions and quotes from one of our favourite resources, Neurocospmopilanism ; Nick Walkers Notes on Neurodiversity Autism and Cognitive Liberty.
“Neurodiversity is the diversity of human brains and minds – the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species.” – Nick Walker
The word neurodiversity itself is still relatively new, dating back only to the late 1990s.
Neurodiversity is a biological fact. It’s not a perspective, an approach, a belief, a political position, or a paradigm. That’s the neurodiversity paradigm (see link below), not neurodiversity itself.
Neurodiversity is not a political or social activist movement. That’s the Neurodiversity Movement (see link below), not neurodiversity itself.
Neurodiversity is not a trait that any individual possesses. Diversity is a trait possessed by a group, not an individual. When an individual diverges from the dominant societal standards of “normal” neurocognitive functioning, they don’t “have neurodiversity,” they’re neurodivergent (see below).
A group of people is neurodiverse if one or more members of the group differ substantially from other members, in terms of their neurocognitive functioning.
Or, to phrase it another way, a neurodiverse group is a group in which multiple neurocognitive styles are represented.
Neurodivergent, sometimes abbreviated as ND, means having a brain that functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal.”
The terms neurodivergent and neurodivergence were coined by Kassiane Sibley, a multiply neurodivergent neurodiversity activist.
Neurotypical, often abbreviated as NT, means having a style of neurocognitive functioning that falls within the dominant societal standards of “normal.”
Neurotypical can be used as either an adjective (“He’s neurotypical”) or a noun (“He’s a neurotypical”).
Neurotypical is the opposite of neurodivergent, not the opposite of autistic. Autism is only one of many forms of neurodivergence, so there are many, many people who are neither neurotypical nor autistic. Using neurotypical to mean non-autistic is like using “white” to mean “not black.”
Here are some links to a few other favourites!
- Neurodiversity in the Classroom: This is a slide show by Thomas Armstrong who presents a strength based assessment. It is for special education teachers, mostly.
- Carly’s Cafe: This is an interactive digital media project produced by a non-verbal autistic girl to help people understand what it is like to be autistic.
The Reason I Jump (Recommend starting at Q8 and Q9 Mystery of Missing Words and Q14): Written by a 14 year old non-verbal autistic boy in Japan. Though this link is not a full copy of the book, this link does provide some insight.
Ask An Autistic and other youtube channels and facebook pages by autistic people are the best resources to learn about Neurodiversity.