Who hijacked the neurodiversity definition and why?

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rdos
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24 Feb 2021, 5:28 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Well, no, your "Aspie quiz" is popular because people want to get a preliminary indication of whether they are "Aspies." The precise meaning of "neurodiverse" has very little if any bearing on the reasons why your quiz is popular, IMO.


So, what term do you think I should use?

1. I cannot use neurodivergent since then I would need to give everybody that answers a single "autistic" item positively that judgement. I couldn't present scores either, since neurodivergent is a yes/no issue.

2. I cannot use Aspie since then some people will believe I refer to Asperger's syndrome, which I certainly don't

3. I cannot use broader autism phenotype since many other "labels" are included too.

I could use "Neanderthal" though. :wink:

Mona Pereth wrote:
Only because your use of the term "neurodiversity" is ambiguous. You use "neurodiversity" to refer both to general human neurological diversity and to one specific constellation of traits. That's a problem right there. Academic terminology isn't supposed to be ambiguous.


Not at all. The two are basically identical. The two factors of Aspie Quiz covers 2/3 of human diversity. It's pretty hard to come up with something that has absolutely no relation to it, although "lack of imagination" comes close. :wink:

In fact, did you ever wonder why both the MTBI and Big Five have the introvert-extrovert dimension? Turns out that introvert is rather strongly correlated to neurodiversity, and so as long as you include this dimension, you could add about anything else and still get a reasonable "personality test". Still, when you run it with Aspie Quiz items, everything will fall apart.

Actually, Aspie Quiz typically have a cronbach alpha of .97, and with low intercorrelation between items. Something that no other test I know of can replicate. Generally, a high cronbach alpha typically means you have high intercorrelations between items.

Mona Pereth wrote:
You completely misunderstand what it means to use the term "neurodiversity" or "neurodivegent" in a sociological context. The point is certainly NOT to deny that autism is biological in origin. The point of the terms "neurodiversity" or "neurodivergent," in a sociological context, is to analyze how neurodivergent people are treated by society as a whole. Such analysis has nothing to do with any claim that autism is caused by bad parenting.


It can easily revert back to full "refrigerator mother" state.

It can start by accepting some traits and not others. For instance, being asexual and LGBT is acceptable today, but this is not much of an advantage given that at least asexual is mostly a coping mechanism. Stimming is not acceptable, and many studies & treatments are geared towards removing stims. Stims are important and not a coping mechanism.

I would prefer a more balanced view where autism is viewed as both a inherited difference and problems in the current cultural context. It must also be viewed & analysed as a spectrum, and not based on isolated "neurodivergent" traits.



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24 Feb 2021, 6:08 pm

'When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.'



Mona Pereth
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24 Feb 2021, 6:12 pm

rdos wrote:
So, what term do you think I should use?

1. I cannot use neurodivergent since then I would need to give everybody that answers a single "autistic" item positively that judgement. I couldn't present scores either, since neurodivergent is a yes/no issue.

Hmmm. Where did you get that idea?

Nick Walker defines "neurodivergent" as follows: "Neurodivergent, sometimes abbreviated as ND, means having a brain that functions in ways that diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of 'normal.'" Note the word "significantly." So, no, answering "yes" to just one autistic item would not, in and of itself, be sufficient to make someone "neurodivergent." Exactly where to draw the line is something that could be debated.

rdos wrote:
2. I cannot use Aspie since then some people will believe I refer to Asperger's syndrome, which I certainly don't

3. I cannot use broader autism phenotype since many other "labels" are included too.

How about "RDOS autism phenotype"?

That's a term you would be free to define any way you like, as long as it has some relationship to autism.

rdos wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
Only because your use of the term "neurodiversity" is ambiguous. You use "neurodiversity" to refer both to general human neurological diversity and to one specific constellation of traits. That's a problem right there. Academic terminology isn't supposed to be ambiguous.


Not at all. The two are basically identical. The two factors of Aspie Quiz covers 2/3 of human diversity.

2/3 is not equal to 100%. So they are, most certainly, not identical.

Moreover, even if there were two factors that covered 100% of all possible human psychological traits, it still would not make sense to label one of these two factors "neurodiversity."


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 24 Feb 2021, 10:15 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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24 Feb 2021, 7:49 pm

rdos wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
You completely misunderstand what it means to use the term "neurodiversity" or "neurodivegent" in a sociological context. The point is certainly NOT to deny that autism is biological in origin. The point of the terms "neurodiversity" or "neurodivergent," in a sociological context, is to analyze how neurodivergent people are treated by society as a whole. Such analysis has nothing to do with any claim that autism is caused by bad parenting.


It can easily revert back to full "refrigerator mother" state.

It can start by accepting some traits and not others. For instance, being asexual and LGBT is acceptable today, but this is not much of an advantage given that at least asexual is mostly a coping mechanism. Stimming is not acceptable, and many studies & treatments are geared towards removing stims. Stims are important and not a coping mechanism.

I would prefer a more balanced view where autism is viewed as both a inherited difference and problems in the current cultural context.

The sociological perspective on "neurodiversity" already entails such a balance between neurology/biology and the cultural context.

The sociological perspective on "neurodiversity" does not concern itself with the question of whether, and what degree, autism is caused by "inherited" factors vs. to what degree it is caused by other genetic factors such as mutations, or perhaps other biological factors such as hormones in the womb. The point of the term "neurodiversity" is to acknowledge that there are indeed physical, biological, neurological differences between people (regardless of the source of those neurological differences), and that these differences are socially significant.

rdos wrote:
It must also be viewed & analysed as a spectrum, and not based on isolated "neurodivergent" traits.

As I mentioned earlier, I think you misunderstand the term "neurodivergent."


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 24 Feb 2021, 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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24 Feb 2021, 8:41 pm

rdos wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
Agreed that there isn't currently a definitive standard. But I predict that Nick Walker's word usage will, almost certainly, eventually, prevail over yours, at least in the academic world, simply because his usage is semantically coherent whereas yours is not, and most academics like their jargon to be semantically coherent. I would expect the vast majority of academics (including and especially editors of academic journals) who happen to read Nick Walker's article to say "Aha! This makes total sense!" and then adjust their terminology accordingly, if they previously were using the word "neurodiverse" in ways that he objected to.


It's possible, but I don't see how accepting this would lead anywhere.

The most important thing with the broader autism phenotype and neurodiversity (whichever you prefer)

It seems to me that "broader autism phenotype" is a much, much better term than "neurodiversity" for what you have in mind, i.e. a single specific set of traits. If "broader autism phenotype" doesn't quite fit, then "autism phenotype" with some other prefix. I'll call it "RDOS autism phenotype" for now. There might be a better prefix.

rdos wrote:
is that all these traits are linked, which has profound implications for most psychological research, not just autism research. It means that if you are checking two traits that have a link to neurodiversity, they will be expected to be correlated even if they have absolutely no causative link. I suspect that much of the replication crisis in psychology relates to this. Somebody does research if trait x is related to trait y, and uses some biased population. Then somebody else does the same thing with another population with another bias, and gets another result. Actually, it's close to impossible to recruit a population that has no neurodiversity bias. You can easily link about any neurodiverse trait to any other neurodiverse trait if you use a large enough population. Many things that there are a lot of research on, like depression or anxiety have huge correlations to neurodiversity, and so these can be linked to about any neurodiverse trait without the trait being a cause of depression or anxiety. There are a long row of studies like this that have published false results.

Not only that, but some traits have different links if you use a neurodiverse or neurotypical population. Take the trait "asexual" for instance. It was defined to be "lack of sexual attraction", and this is correct if you use a mostly neurotypical population. However, if you use a neurodiverse, completely new associations with disliking dating and sexual intercourse appears. If you use a mixed population, you will get some mixed results that doesn't say much if anything. It actually appears that asexual is a coping mechanism in the neurodiverse population.

In fact, we cannot hope to understand why many autistics identify as asexual if we view asexual as an independent concept like we are supposed to with neurodivergent terminology. It will simply lead nowhere.

The question of whether asexuality differs between NT's and RDOS-autistic people is a material hypothesis, to be proven or disproven. It is not the sort of thing that can be declared to be true by definition; it is not a tautology.

Neither does "neurodivergent terminology" have any bearing, one way or the other, on the truth of falsity of your hypothesis.

But, regardless of whether your hypothesis is true or false, using the term "neurodiversity" to mean "RDOS autism phenotype" is just confusing.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 24 Feb 2021, 9:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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24 Feb 2021, 9:21 pm

rdos wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
The words "neurodiverse" and "neurodiversity" were invented as shorthands for "neurologically diverse" and "neurological diversity," respectively. Hence any semantically coherent definition of "neurodiverse" or "neurodiversity" must be consistent with the meanings of "diverse" and "diversity," respectively.


Actually, I don't think it was that way. The terms were first mostly associated with the autism spectrum, and later broadened to include co morbid conditions. Thus, the de facto meaning was not just any difference. This is an after construction, and not the original intent.

Here is what Judy Singer, who coined the term "neurodiversity," has to say about it:

Quote:
“For me, the key significance of the Autism Spectrum lies in its call for and anticipation of a politics of neurological diversity, or ‘neurodiversity.’ The neurologically different represent a new addition to the familiar political categories of class/gender/race and will augment the insights of the social model of disability. The rise of neurodiversity takes postmodern fragmentation one step further. Just as the postmodern era sees every once too solid belief melt into air, even our most taken-for granted assumptions: that we all more or less see, feel, touch, hear, smell, and sort information, in more or less the same way, (unless visibly disabled) – are being dissolved.”

Notice how she defines "neurodiversity" as "neurological diversity." And she speaks of non-NT people as being "the neurologically different."

rdos wrote:
Also, I don't think you should analyse those words based on their potential parts. Rather, neurodiverse and neurodiversity are complete words that shouldn't to be analysed in this way. Many combined words actually make little sense when broken down like this, and so the case for neurodiversity is not unique.

We have seen that Judy Singer did indeed define the word "neurodiversity" in terms of its parts.

What you say about combined words having a meaning different from what their parts would imply is true for informal, colloquial language, and also true in poetry. But academic terminology is another matter. Most academics prefer their terminology to be semantically coherent.

rdos wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
To avoid further confusion in the future, I would suggest that you use a different term to refer to the specific set of non-NT traits you've identified via your factor analysis. Maybe "broad autism phenotype" (BAP)? Or maybe just "autism phenotype"? Or perhaps some other, totally new term?


That wouldn't make any sense. My definition agrees with what most people believe is reasonable to include in neurodiversity. It includes the conditions that are typically thought to be part of the neurodiversity spectrum.

Actually, I initially used the term Aspie, but after long (and tiresome) discussions about what Aspie really was, with some people claiming it was just another name for Asperger's syndrome, which is a medical label, I decided to switch to neurodiverse as I thought that term could not be misused in such a way.

About the only other available alternative would be Neanderthal, but I think using that term would be more problematic than to continue to fight over the meaning of neurodiverse.

The "Neanderthal" hypothesis is another material hypothesis, not something you can assert to be true by definition.


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24 Feb 2021, 10:00 pm

rdos wrote:
The hijacking is described here: https://neurocosmopolitanism.com/neurod ... finitions/

Apparently, it's a piece written by a Dr Nick Walker. What he describes there about the usage of the terms is not only incompatible with what Singer and other early neurodiversity advocates claimed,

I see no incompatibility whatsoever, not even the slightest tiniest incompatibility, between what Nick Walker wrote and what Judy Singer wrote. Can you point to a contrary quote from Judy Singer?

rdos wrote:
it's more like an attempt to hjack the whole concept. The most problematic in this text is the idea that neurodiversity cannot be applied to individuals and that neurodivergent should be used to compare individual's behavior to typical NT behavior.

In every quote I've ever seen from Judy Singer, her word usage is consistent with what Nick Walker recommends (except that Judy Singer says "neurologically different" instead of "neurodivergent").

rdos wrote:
It also appears like things should be evaluated on a trait-by-trait basis rather than on a spectrum level.

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

rdos wrote:
He also think that we should include epilepsy and other injuries and genetical syndromes into the concept.

He thinks that people can be neurotypical, but not neurodiverse. Actually, he basically has misunderstood (possibly on purpose) the word "diversity", which doesn't refer to just any neurological diversity, rather the type associated with autism and comorbid conditions.

You're the only one I've ever seen use term "diversity" to refer only to autism and related conditions.


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25 Feb 2021, 3:32 am

Fenn wrote:
'When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.'


There is a lot to that. Interest groups, in this case, disability groups that don't have their disabled members' best interest in mind, are trying to redefine terms used for a decade or two to mean new things so they can continue in their old tracks.

One might note that the piece from Nick Walker came up a year or so after I had published Aspie Quiz using the term neurodiverse as it was typically used at the time. Previous to that, he didn't seem to have taken much interest in neurodiversity.



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25 Feb 2021, 4:40 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
In every quote I've ever seen from Judy Singer, her word usage is consistent with what Nick Walker recommends (except that Judy Singer says "neurologically different" instead of "neurodivergent").


Neurologically different is a whole lot better than neurodivergent.

I think this page does describe the true history of the concepts, something that Nick Walker fails to do:
https://www.disabled-world.com/disabili ... diversity/

Nicks definition of neurodivergent:
Quote:
When an individual diverges from the dominant societal standards of “normal” neurocognitive functioning, they don’t “have neurodiversity,” they’re neurodivergent (see below).


As I already concluded, he defines neurodivergent as diverging from the societal standards of normal, something that is completely wrong in the neurodiversity view of things. Note that "being neurologically different" which Singer used, is certainly not the same thing as "diverging from normal"! Not all stuff that is part of Neanderthal Neurodiversity (NND, I'll use that term from now on here to refer to "my" definition) has any manifestations at all in normal society (stims and mind-to-mind communication are good examples), and some NND traits actually do not even have a normal (introvert/extrovert is a great example of that).

Another issue is that I think I'm not alone in claiming that extreme NNT stuff like psychopathy, sociopathy, narcissism, and sexual predators which clearly are conditions diverging from normal, should not be associated with neurodivergent or neurodiversity, simply because it has nothing to do with it and it will give people the wrong associations.

So, even if it appears to be a good idea to include all diversity, in practice, such concepts become meaningless. You must be able to define what you are talking about in clear language, and I certainly will not be part of advocating for the greatness of psychopathy or narcissism.

More cites from the article:
Quote:
Neurodivergent is quite a broad term. Neurodivergence (the state of being neurodivergent) can be largely or entirely genetic and innate, or it can be largely or entirely produced by brain-altering experience, or some combination of the two (autism and dyslexia are examples of innate forms of neurodivergence, while alterations in brain functioning caused by such things as trauma, long-term meditation practice, or heavy usage of psychedelic drugs are examples of forms of neurodivergence produced through experience).


I don't think Singer had this in mind at all. The idea that drug abuse and trauma would be neurodiversity is completely alien to me at least. It simply makes no sense to include this.

Actually, I think if this group wants some labels, they should pick new ones that are not associated with neurodiversity.



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25 Feb 2021, 3:57 pm

Also note how he tries to transform neurodiversity to "having neurodiversity" (using person first language), instead of complaining about how bad it is to call somebody neurodiverse. "Having neurodiversity" is analogous to "having autism" while being neurodiverse is analogous to being autistic. This clearly shows were he comes from, and it is not from the neurodiversity community.

I've changed my mind about which labels to use. I will use eND (Eurasian neurodiversity that evolved the last one million years in Eurasian in Neanderthal & Denisovan) and aNT (The African-descent neurotypical people that migrated out of Africa). These labels will include any trait that evolved exclusively in Eurasia or Africa respectively during the last one million years.



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25 Feb 2021, 11:57 pm

rdos wrote:
Interest groups, in this case, disability groups that don't have their disabled members' best interest in mind, are trying to redefine terms used for a decade or two to mean new things so they can continue in their old tracks.

Could you give some specific example of what you mean by "disability groups that don't have their disabled members' best interest in mind"?

And how, specifically, does the terminology question (calling an individual person "neurodiverse" vs. calling an individual person "neurodivergent") pertain to the above issue?

Note to other readers: The above two questions are addressed to rdos and no one else. I don't want to turn this thread into a general discussion of everyone's perspectives on what the disability rights movement has (or has not) done wrong. I'm just trying to clarify rdos's views on this matter insofar as they are relevant to our terminology debate.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 26 Feb 2021, 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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26 Feb 2021, 3:57 am

rdos wrote:
Also note how he tries to transform neurodiversity to "having neurodiversity" (using person first language), instead of complaining about how bad it is to call somebody neurodiverse.

No, the expression "have neurodiversity" occurs only once in Nick Walker's article and is discussed in only one short paragraph, whereas he explains at much greater length why it's incorrect to refer to an individual person as "neurodiverse." On the latter, he says:

Quote:
Many people mistakenly use neurodiverse where the correct word would be neurodivergent.

Of all the terminology errors that people make in writing and speaking about neurodiversity, the incorrect use of neurodiverse to mean neurodivergent is by far the most common.

There is no such thing as a “neurodiverse individual.” The correct term is “neurodivergent individual.”

An individual can diverge, but an individual cannot be diverse. Diversity is a property of groups, not of individuals. That’s intrinsic to the meaning and proper usage of the term diverse. Groups are diverse; individuals diverge.

In addition, neurodiverse does not mean “non-neurotypical.” The opposite of neurotypical is neurodivergent, not neurodiverse.

The opposite of neurodiverse would be neurohomogenous (meaning “composed of people who are all neurocognitively similar to one another”).

Neurodiverse cannot be used to mean “non-neurotypical,” because neurotypical people, like all other human beings, are part of the spectrum of human neurodiversity.

Anyhow, you also wrote:

rdos wrote:
I've changed my mind about which labels to use. I will use eND (Eurasian neurodiversity that evolved the last one million years in Eurasian in Neanderthal & Denisovan) and aNT (The African-descent neurotypical people that migrated out of Africa). These labels will include any trait that evolved exclusively in Eurasia or Africa respectively during the last one million years.

I'm glad to see you considering changing your labels. However....

1) There's still the problem of using "diverse" or "diversity" to refer an individual, or to a single, specific "factor" or set of traits, which just doesn't make sense at all, period, end of story, no matter what compound word it's a part of.

2) Your idea about the "Neanderthal & Denisovan" (hence "Eurasian") origin of autism (and related) genes is just a hypothesis -- which you, not being a geneticist, have no way of being able to prove. I would suggest that you use terminology that simply describes present-day phenomena, rather than referring to an unproven origin hypothesis, except in contexts where your main point is to talk about your origin hypothesis.

I would suggest that, instead of using any label whatsoever containing the word "neurodiverse" or "neurodiversity" to refer to a single, specific "factor" or set of traits, you use some label containing the word "autism," because autism is what the "factor" centers around.


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26 Feb 2021, 4:58 am

It's my opinion that the term "neurodivergent", just like the term "aspie" has been dragged into the dirt (so to speak), and therefore, will be impossible to use for anything serious. Neurodivergent because it implies we should use a trait-by-trait analysis of neurodiversity, and that it can relate to ANYTHING that is divergent. Aspie because it is supposedly just a nick-name for the Asperger's syndrome diagnosis.

Originally, both aspie and neurodiverse actually were used to refer to the broader autism phenotype, but today both of them are impossible to use in that context. I'm sure that if I use or even invent another term, it's only a matter of time before it will be dragged into the dirt too.

In relation to eND and aNT, I don't see a problem. People on the aNT spectrum are a majority everywhere, while people on the eND spectrum are a small minority that carries most of our diversity as a species. It therefore makes sense to call them just that. Divergent is clearly wrong since these are independent spectrums, not some anomaly from the normal human build-up. Just like cats are not a divergence from a normal dog phenotype, rather they are a species/spectrum of traits themselves, and the same applies to eND in relation to aNT.

As for the proof of the idea, I've written two articles that both give some pretty important evidence:

Ekblad, L. (2020, September 24). Hunting adaptations in autism and neurodiversity. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/q7mn8

Pfuhl, G., & Ekblad, L. (2018, July 22). Neurodiversity traits linked to Neanderthal admixture. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/w4nh5

The first one shows how hunting traits still are manifested in today's people, and how these can be linked to archeological evidence. The second one used clustering methods commonly used in genetics to link neurodiversity (eND) to Neanderthal admixture.

So, I don't see it as an unsupported hypothesis only. It actually has lots of evidence to favor it, and so this would be a possible background to use even in scientific papers.

Though I would prefer to use neurodiverse in the intended context, however, if I have to switch terminology, it would be towards Neanderthal introgression, and not new terms that will be dragged into the dirt too.



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26 Feb 2021, 5:25 am

rdos wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
In every quote I've ever seen from Judy Singer, her word usage is consistent with what Nick Walker recommends (except that Judy Singer says "neurologically different" instead of "neurodivergent").


Neurologically different is a whole lot better than neurodivergent.

Why? What do you see as an important difference between "neurologically different" and "neurodivergent"?

rdos wrote:
I think this page does describe the true history of the concepts, something that Nick Walker fails to do:
https://www.disabled-world.com/disabili ... diversity/

The above article says the following, which is entirely consistent with what Nick Walker says:

Quote:
What Is Neurodivergent?

Having an atypical neurological configuration, for example a person who has a developmental disorder and/or a mental illness. The word "Neurodiverse" refers to a group of people where some of the members of that group are neurodivergent.

A neurodivergent person is defined as one whose neurological development and state are atypical, usually viewed as abnormal or extreme. The term was coined in the neurodiversity movement as an opposite for "neurotypical" - previously the term "neurodiverse" was sometimes applied to individuals for this purpose.

Note the word "sometimes." Apparently, not everyone in the neurodiversity movement, even back in what you apparently consider to be the good old days, used the word "neurodiverse" as an opposite to "neurotypical" -- or agreed with that usage -- even before "neurodivergent" was coined.

Nick Walker's article does contain the following additional info about the origin of the term "neurodivergent": "The terms neurodivergent and neurodivergence were coined by Kassiane Asasumasu, a multiply neurodivergent neurodiversity activist."

rdos wrote:
Nicks definition of neurodivergent:
Quote:
When an individual diverges from the dominant societal standards of “normal” neurocognitive functioning, they don’t “have neurodiversity,” they’re neurodivergent (see below).


As I already concluded, he defines neurodivergent as diverging from the societal standards of normal, something that is completely wrong in the neurodiversity view of things. Note that "being neurologically different" which Singer used, is certainly not the same thing as "diverging from normal"! Not all stuff that is part of Neanderthal Neurodiversity (NND, I'll use that term from now on here to refer to "my" definition) has any manifestations at all in normal society (stims and mind-to-mind communication are good examples),

Apart from the question of whether what you call "mind-to-mind communication" even exists at all in the first place, it's incorrect to say that stims have no manifestations at all in normal society. Almost everyone stims. Autistic people just tend to stim more often. (See Never heard of stimming? You probably do it….)


rdos wrote:
and some NND traits actually do not even have a normal (introvert/extrovert is a great example of that).

What do you mean by saying that this trait doesn't have a normal? According to The Majority of People Are Not Introverts or Extroverts in Psychology Today, Oct 06, 2017, most people are ambiverts, approximately in the middle between the extremes of introversion and extroversion.

rdos wrote:
Another issue is that I think I'm not alone in claiming that extreme NNT stuff like psychopathy, sociopathy, narcissism, and sexual predators which clearly are conditions diverging from normal, should not be associated with neurodivergent or neurodiversity, simply because it has nothing to do with it and it will give people the wrong associations.

Personality disorders (such as narcissistic PD and antisocial PD) are not, strictly speaking, neurological conditions, in the first place. Although genetic neurological factors apparently do have a role in the development of personality disorders, the main cause apparently is childhood emotional trauma. (See What causes personality disorders? on the website of the American Psychological Association.) Personality disorders are more like bad mental habits (albeit deeply ingrained habits) than like intrinsic brain wiring. Apparently at least some personality disorders, e.g. borderline PD, can be successfully (to some extent, at least) treated via Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

rdos wrote:
More cites from the article:
Quote:
Neurodivergent is quite a broad term. Neurodivergence (the state of being neurodivergent) can be largely or entirely genetic and innate, or it can be largely or entirely produced by brain-altering experience, or some combination of the two (autism and dyslexia are examples of innate forms of neurodivergence, while alterations in brain functioning caused by such things as trauma, long-term meditation practice, or heavy usage of psychedelic drugs are examples of forms of neurodivergence produced through experience).


I don't think Singer had this in mind at all. The idea that drug abuse and trauma would be neurodiversity is completely alien to me at least. It simply makes no sense to include this.

But Nick Walker goes on to say:

Quote:
Some forms of innate or largely innate neurodivergence, like autism, are intrinsic and pervasive factors in an individual’s psyche, personality, and fundamental way of relating to the world. The neurodiversity paradigm rejects the pathologizing of such forms of neurodivergence, and the Neurodiversity Movement opposes attempts to get rid of them.

Other forms of neurodivergence, like epilepsy or the effects of traumatic brain injuries, could be removed from an individual without erasing fundamental aspects of the individual’s selfhood, and in many cases the individual would be happy to be rid of such forms of neurodivergence. The neurodiversity paradigm does not reject the pathologizing of these forms of neurodivergence, and the Neurodiversity Movement does not object to consensual attempts to cure them (but still most definitely objects to discrimination against people who have them).


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26 Feb 2021, 5:31 am

Nick Walker wrote:
There is no such thing as a “neurodiverse individual.” The correct term is “neurodivergent individual.”

An individual can diverge, but an individual cannot be diverse. Diversity is a property of groups, not of individuals. That’s intrinsic to the meaning and proper usage of the term diverse. Groups are diverse; individuals diverge.


I think this is just a lack of imagination. If a set of traits contributes to diversity, people that have them can be called for diverse (bearers of the diverse traits). Divergence is not the correct word in this context, since it implies some traits are normal and some are not. The eND traits are not non-normal, they are novel, and therefore divergence is the wrong word. If somebody can come up with a better word that actually captures this in the correct way, I'd consider using it instead.

Nick Walker wrote:
In addition, neurodiverse does not mean “non-neurotypical.” The opposite of neurotypical is neurodivergent, not neurodiverse.


No, it's not since these are two independent spectrums. A cat is not the opposite of a dog, which people easily can understand, and so why can't they understand that eND and aNT are not opposites?

Mona Pereth wrote:
I would suggest that, instead of using any label whatsoever containing the word "neurodiverse" or "neurodiversity" to refer to a single, specific "factor" or set of traits, you use some label containing the word "autism," because autism is what the "factor" centers around.


I'm moving away from using anything autism-related in my terminology since it is a term linked to medical diagnosis, just like aspie is. It's also wrong since the first factor contains a lot more than just autism traits and many things that are currently not believed to even be related to autism.



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26 Feb 2021, 6:02 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Why? What do you see as an important difference between "neurologically different" and "neurodivergent"?


Apart from neurodivergent being a word with the wrong associations for me personally, it means we are comparing to normal. Divergence is what we have in phylogenetic trees, and it implies a comparison and a close relationship between something. Neurologically different don't give me the same impression that we must compare to normal, although I would prefer a term that made this distinction even more clear. :wink:

Mona Pereth wrote:
Apart from the question of whether what you call "mind-to-mind communication" even exists at all in the first place, it's incorrect to say that stims have no manifestations at all in normal society. Almost everyone stims. Autistic people just tend to stim more often. (See Never heard of stimming? You probably do it….)


That's only because stims are part of the eND spectrum, and since it is a spectrum, we will find these traits in individuals that are primarily on the aNT spectrum too.

There probably are better examples, but I cannot come up with any right now.

Mona Pereth wrote:
What do you mean by saying that this trait doesn't have a normal? According to The Majority of People Are Not Introverts or Extroverts in Psychology Today, Oct 06, 2017, most people are ambiverts, approximately in the middle between the extremes of introversion and extroversion.


So, both being introvert and extrovert is considered as being neurodivergent? In my terminology, being shy and introverted are both eND traits while being extroverted is an aNT trait. However, since these are spectrum traits too, some people will be in the middle and some at the ends.