The Concept of Neurodiversity! Why it is Dividing the Autism Community?

Think of the idea of neurodiversity as saying, ‘Hey, we have a universe composed of different people who should naturally act differently, by virtue of their different genetic and neurological makeup. And while autistics are another sort of people who make up the universe, people should learn to embrace this neurobehavioural diversity as it takes all sorts to make a world.’ That is essentially the idea.

The term ‘neurodiversity’ was first used by Judy Singer, an Australian social scientist and later, this term became popular with the autistic community. Although the neurodiversity campaign acknowledges that certain symptoms of autism could cause suffering for autistic children and teens and it doesn’t go against parents seeking out ways to intervene for their kids, yet this idea maintains that autism is not a disorder or illness, in the first place, of which we mustn’t be too engrossed with either seeking a cure for it or trying to get rid of it.

The concept of neurodiversity, at first, was thought to be a campaign directed at driving for equality, acceptance and fair treatment for people with autism. But in recent years, many autistic persons have reacted differently to it in a way that shows a disturbing disagreement. While some of them embrace this idea totally, others do so partly and another pack hasn’t even seen enough reason to accept the neurodiversity movement.

The Concept of Neurodiversity! Why it is Dividing the Autism Community?


The majority of those who welcomed the idea of neurodiversity were autistics who had a fairer lot, perhaps little or no speech and learning impediments. To these people, every brain is unique, including the autistic one which forms a part of the entire brains in the world.

Hence, they consider the world blessed with such a massive varying array of brains of which none should be tagged the ‘normal’ type, per se, as each of them is just different in its own way. They asserted that the problems associated with autism stem from the viewpoint from which society sees the autistic.Also, if placed in an autism-friendly environment, the autistic would be accepted with their uniqueness and the tendency to view these supposed strengths as disabilities would be reduced significantly.

However, some aspects of the concept of neurodiversity have been strongly opposed by many other people in the autistic community. The majority of people in this category are parents with autistic children and some autistic persons who suffer a lot of difficulties in their day-to-day endeavors.

They are of the opinion that any unbiased theory on autism should also mirror the challenges faced by several troubled autistics on a daily basis, such as the learning difficulties associated with autism, for those who also have a diagnosis of disabilities like dyspraxia, dyslexia, and others.

They maintain that incorporating into this concept, the medical model, which puts into consideration such daily troubles such as the gastrointestinal discomfort some autistics have to put up with daily, would make a lot more sense.

Hence, they frantically advocate for the pursuit of advancement in research into the cure for the impairments they suffer, whereas the neurodiversity model sees this as a threat to the existence of autism in society.

From the foregone arguments, one can deduce that the idea of neurodiversity has apparently torn the autistic community between two edges of convictions. While the neurodiversity movement suggests that autism has no business with being regarded as a disorder which has got its own symptoms and a load of suffering, a fraction of the population of people with autism have declared their aversion to certain aspects of this concept, arguing that the problems associated with autism impairs certain abilities and skill, oftentimes inflicting its sufferers with pain and unnecessary frustrations.

But, while it is evident that both arguments aren’t in alignment with each other, it should also be noted that they bear a striking similarity in that each one holds advocacy for a specific group among the autistic family. Thus, rather than try to shut one side up and liberate the other, experts think that finding a mutually beneficial ground in each argument and thence integrating these seemingly disjointed opinions would work a  greater good for the entire community than just embracing a particular model.

Leave a Comment

Like it? Share it!
Hide Buttons