Neurodiversity is an umbrella term for a range of neurological differences that aims to reframe them as natural variations rather than disorders.
Neurodiversity is a term used to describe neurological differences in the human brain. It sees the diverse spectrum of neurological difference as a range of natural variations in the human brain rather than as a deficit in individuals. It is an umbrella term that includes both conditions that are life-long and those that can develop throughout life, including acquired illness or brain injury, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyscalculia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, intellectual disability, mental health, and Tourette syndrome. Neurodiversity deliberately rejects the medical model of diversity that frames human differences as disorders that need to be cured in favour of a more social model of diversity as a natural occurrence.
Neurodiversity is extremely common and all teachers are likely to work with a number of neurodiverse children in the course of their careers. The strengths-based approach of neurodiversity has the potential to increase awareness and understanding about neurological difference while also reducing social stigma.
An increasing number of studies emphasise the importance of taking an additive or strengths-based approach to neurodiversity, rather than characterising the challenges associated with forms of neurodiversity as problems to be fixed.
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