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What is the movement of the Neurodiversity?

What is the movement of the Neurodiversity?

June 6, 2023

We are living in an era in which social movements want to make visible those concepts that have been stigmatized with negative connotations. The medical dictionary and scientific etymology, especially the psychological one (autism, ADHD, dyslexia) has been responsible for labeling groups that often suffer discrimination from others.

What we know as the neurodiversity movement It encompasses all people diagnosed with mental disorders or neurological disorders that are treated in a discriminatory way by society and claim their rights. Let's see what it consists of.

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The neurodiversity

The neurodiversity movement was initiated by the autistic community to refer to the diversity of human characteristics that are neurologically affected. The intention is to substitute one vocabulary for another, using terminology without stigmas as opposed to concepts such as illness, pathology or mental deficiency. At first, it is an idea that has taken a lot of strength within the scientific and social sector, but there are critics who are increasingly critical of the application of these measures.

The concept of neurodiversity is used to emphasize the nature of neurological and / or biological problems. That is, it is intended normalize in some way the differences that exist between people who have mental disorders and those who do not live in the first person. For example, being dyslexic is normal in the sense that it is a condition that should not affect the personal or professional development of individuals, nor serve as an excuse to receive discriminatory treatment. It is simply a different condition, neither better nor worse. They are natural variations of the human brain, nothing more.

The birth of this movement is attributed to the excessive medicalization that this community suffers and that, according to his denunciations, only serves to increase the prejudices and differences with the rest of human beings. They are served in special schools, in special classes, they are joined with people from the same situation, avoiding contact with others. They are led to specific jobs, usually of unskilled labor, a fact that hinders the development of their interests and talents.

In addition, the movement of the neurodiversity highlights the fact of the constant terminological damage that is assigned to the autistic and others, this approach being only negative, as something that must be solved or that may harm the whole of society. The renowned doctor specializing in autism, Simon Baron-Cohen, or Dr. Thomas Anderson, specialist in neurosciences, have been especially critical of the classic vocabulary of "disorders", and have already replaced terms like diversity disorder, or difference by disability.

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Arguments in favor of the concept

The first thing that comes to mind when we say or read the word autistic is that it is a person with whom we do not have to meet or, directly, we call it weird or weird. Well, according to experts in the field, neither ADHD nor many other psychological conditions can be considered diseases not being a problem that lies in the functioning of the body as something isolated. In fact, the causes of these phenomena are unknown. For an anomaly to have disease status, it must be curable or initiated by abnormalities in a specific area of ​​the body or DNA.

Among many of the arguments that exist to defend the concept of neurodiversity, the most important is to prevent the person "affected" from feeling belittled, violated or considered a person with fewer rights. Moreover, many autistic people consider the opposite. They ensure to develop cognitive skills superior to that of the average population, they reaffirm that they have a special and healthier way of perceiving everything that surrounds them.

Another of the beneficial elements of the neurodiversity lies in Put the focus on how to strengthen the strengths of people who present this type of difference instead of trying to find the problems that they entail. One of the tools used to carry out this approach is the Universal Design for Learning of the University of North Carolina. However, it should be noted that the neurodiversity movement does not deny the difficulties that affected individuals have.

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Elements against

Without completely contradicting the reasons and arguments in favor of the existence of the neurodiversity, most scientific and medical experts in the neurosciences warn of the need to Do not underestimate the serious problems experienced by people suffering from autism or other related disorders . They also consider autism as a serious disorder, and not as a simple variation of human diversity.

On the other hand, neuroanatomical anomalies have been detected in the brains of those affected by disorders encompassed in the movement of the neurodiversity, although there are no concrete "starting points" of these alterations. Many relatives also warn of the importance of not underestimating or over-normalizing this phenomenon, and point out the serious disadvantages of having a member of the autistic family: in many cases self-harm, lack of communication and attacks of anger in an unexpected way Are frequent.

Human Neurodiversity Should Be Celebrated, Not Treated as a Disorder | Op-Ed | NowThis (June 2023).

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