Who hijacked the neurodiversity definition and why?

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rdos
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22 Feb 2021, 2:59 am

I'm getting increasingly irritated by people that misunderstand what neurodiversity was originally meant to be, and that have hijacked the terms so that neurodiversity today seems to be anything that differs from the NT norm, rather than the traits related to the broader autistic phenotype and related "disorders" like ADHD and Dyslexia.

When I read the Wikipedia article on neurodiversity it doesn't even mention neurodivergent and it seems to depict the true history of the term rather than the hijacked version.

I've also seen quite a few "scientific" articles on neurodiversity that are based on the hijacked version. There certainly are some that deal with it usingh the original definition too, but those seem to be older.

The main issue is that the new neurodivergent terminology will put autistic traits in the sociological realm again, something that will affect autistic people in a negative way. For sure, the medical view is not any better. The original intent of neurodiversity (and the term Aspie too) was to describe autistic traits as human diversity, and not a "culture" or "disorder".

If people here have more information about how this switch of neurodiversity happened, who is behind it and why, I'd be interested. I'm planning to write an article about it and link it to Aspie Quiz just to make sure that people understand that Aspie Quiz neurodiversity basis is not sociological, nor medical, rather was done using the original intent of the term. Perhaps this would be possible to publish too.



traven
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22 Feb 2021, 4:10 am

what's your definition?
i would agree with the first alinea, but it's not where it is,
second, on any current item wikipedia is superconfusing by any means necessairy,

also "social" doesn't seem to mean the same no more, it's more about hierarchy competition then alruiism; maybe i was always wrong,
everything is in 'social' these days, the positioning,
if you're not into positioning that's a lack of social - behavior

& we're supposed to be alike the low-median iq control group (), how to conform to that?

rdos wrote:
I'm getting increasingly irritated by people that misunderstand what neurodiversity was originally meant to be, and that have hijacked the terms so that neurodiversity today seems to be anything that differs from the NT norm, rather than the traits related to the broader autistic phenotype and related "disorders" like ADHD and Dyslexia.

When I read the Wikipedia article on neurodiversity it doesn't even mention neurodivergent and it seems to depict the true history of the term rather than the hijacked version.

I've also seen quite a few "scientific" articles on neurodiversity that are based on the hijacked version. There certainly are some that deal with it usingh the original definition too, but those seem to be older.

The main issue is that the new neurodivergent terminology will put autistic traits in the sociological realm again, something that will affect autistic people in a negative way. For sure, the medical view is not any better. The original intent of neurodiversity (and the term Aspie too) was to describe autistic traits as human diversity, and not a "culture" or "disorder".

If people here have more information about how this switch of neurodiversity happened, who is behind it and why, I'd be interested. I'm planning to write an article about it and link it to Aspie Quiz just to make sure that people understand that Aspie Quiz neurodiversity basis is not sociological, nor medical, rather was done using the original intent of the term. Perhaps this would be possible to publish too.


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carlos55
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22 Feb 2021, 7:51 am

rdos wrote:
I'm getting increasingly irritated by people that misunderstand what neurodiversity was originally meant to be, and that have hijacked the terms so that neurodiversity today seems to be anything that differs from the NT norm, rather than the traits related to the broader autistic phenotype and related "disorders" like ADHD and Dyslexia.

When I read the Wikipedia article on neurodiversity it doesn't even mention neurodivergent and it seems to depict the true history of the term rather than the hijacked version.

I've also seen quite a few "scientific" articles on neurodiversity that are based on the hijacked version. There certainly are some that deal with it usingh the original definition too, but those seem to be older.

The main issue is that the new neurodivergent terminology will put autistic traits in the sociological realm again, something that will affect autistic people in a negative way. For sure, the medical view is not any better. The original intent of neurodiversity (and the term Aspie too) was to describe autistic traits as human diversity, and not a "culture" or "disorder".

If people here have more information about how this switch of neurodiversity happened, who is behind it and why, I'd be interested. I'm planning to write an article about it and link it to Aspie Quiz just to make sure that people understand that Aspie Quiz neurodiversity basis is not sociological, nor medical, rather was done using the original intent of the term. Perhaps this would be possible to publish too.


Its actually the opposite, my view is Neurodiversity started out as something to encourage fairness and equal opportunity for autistic people.

Very much similar to other disability organizations. I think the founder ms singer came out and said that recently.

Phrases like “human diversity” and “not a disorder” makes no sense in the real world of real suffering and limitations on real people.

Clearly autism is a disorder for many living under full time care in institutions for example and it’s absurd to suggest otherwise.

The term “human diversity” is also meaningless in the face of human suffering.

That argument goes something like some are born disabled so it’s natures or gods will.

We should not be allowing them to reach their full or any potential, because they were born like that and we should not be researching biological ways to help them even if it means they have shortened miserable lives of stress and suffering.

Thankfully society and science rejects such extremism.



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22 Feb 2021, 9:54 am

According to Merriam-Webster...

"neurodiverse (adj): having, relating to, or constituting a type of brain functioning that is not neurotypical."

I see nothing in their definition that specifies ADD, ADHD, or any autism spectrum disorders.

Psychology today says...

"Neurodiversity refers to the idea that neurological differences, such as those seen in autism or ADHD, reflect normal variations in brain development."

PT's definition agrees with MW's definition, since PT's inclusion of the phrase "such as those seen in autism or ADHD" is there only to provide examples of neurodiversity.

No one has "hijacked" the neurodiversity definition, unless it is those people who seem to want the word "neurodiversity" to mean only ADD/ADHD, ASD, or both.


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22 Feb 2021, 12:36 pm

Language is always changing (unless it is a "dead language" like Latin). We don't have to like every change, but we shouldn't expect a definition to be frozen at its original meaning. Personally, I am offended when people try to make a verb out of a noun (example: "I can't adult today. Adulting is hard."). But I recognize that language changes are going to continue happening outside of my ability to control them.


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DIVAIR
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22 Feb 2021, 1:03 pm

Hmmmm? I personally feel that Dyslexia and ADHD, are part of a spectrum disorder, and therefore neurodivergent. I have never met anyone with just that one-single issue; instead, what I see is that they are always co-morbid with things like OCPD, anxiety and depression...

As "Beau of the Fifth Column" always sez, "Anyway, it's just a thought..." 8)

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22 Feb 2021, 1:14 pm

I think of "neurodiverse" as more a blanket term for anyone with inherent neurological differences from the average, so I'm fine with it covering ADHD, dyspraxia etc. It would be a bit redundant if it just meant "autistic." Not sure whether the term fits well with schizophrenia or not- on the one hand, that's not a condition that people are born with, but on the other hand schizophrenia does involve major neurological changes. And I wouldn't use it to include anxiety and depression, which affect people regardless of how ordinary or exotic their brain development has been.


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22 Feb 2021, 1:50 pm

The neurodiversity definition got hacked? Could someone fill me in please?


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rdos
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22 Feb 2021, 3:16 pm

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



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22 Feb 2021, 3:23 pm

Other people with other disorders have also done the same with neurotypical. Now that means many of here are NT depending on what we are talking about. Schizophrenics will call non schizophrenics NT and people with cluster B disorders will call nons NTs as well.


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rdos
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22 Feb 2021, 3:33 pm

League_Girl wrote:
Other people with other disorders have also done the same with neurotypical. Now that means many of here are NT depending on what we are talking about. Schizophrenics will call non schizophrenics NT and people with cluster B disorders will call nons NTs as well.


I don't think that is acceptable. Neurotypical originally meant "non-autistic" and Aspie & neurodiverse meant "autistic". Neurodivergent was not used at all.



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22 Feb 2021, 3:38 pm

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
I think of "neurodiverse" as more a blanket term for anyone with inherent neurological differences from the average, so I'm fine with it covering ADHD, dyspraxia etc. It would be a bit redundant if it just meant "autistic."


No problem with that. It was originally intended to included those too. The problem comes when PTSD, epilepsy & non-autism related disabilities are included.

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
Not sure whether the term fits well with schizophrenia or not- on the one hand, that's not a condition that people are born with, but on the other hand schizophrenia does involve major neurological changes. And I wouldn't use it to include anxiety and depression, which affect people regardless of how ordinary or exotic their brain development has been.


Schizotypal is strongly connected to the broader autism phenotype (aka neurodiversity), and so should be included. Schizotypal is on the same spectrum as schizophrenia.



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22 Feb 2021, 3:43 pm

DIVAIR wrote:
Hmmmm? I personally feel that Dyslexia and ADHD, are part of a spectrum disorder, and therefore neurodivergent. I have never met anyone with just that one-single issue; instead, what I see is that they are always co-morbid with things like OCPD, anxiety and depression...


Exactly. That's why the idea we should compare to NT behavior on a trait-by-trait basis is unwarranted and incorrect. It's actually the whole spectrum of traits that is neurodiversity, and neurodiverse is certainly valid on an individual basis. Just like neurotypical is. Neurodivergent actually is a term that should NOT be used as it implies you are evaluationg traits in an NT context rather than in a neurodiverse spectrum context.



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22 Feb 2021, 3:45 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, 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. It also appears like things should be evaluated on a trait-by-trait basis rather than on a spectrum level. 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.

Ah, OK. Thanks for filling me in.


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rdos
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22 Feb 2021, 3:57 pm

carlos55 wrote:
Its actually the opposite, my view is Neurodiversity started out as something to encourage fairness and equal opportunity for autistic people.


Nope, it didn't. I've been in the autistic community almost as long as the neurodiversity concept has been used, and this was not at all the intention. It was not only diagnosed autistics that participated, and the focus was on the higher functioning end aimed at describing ourselves as different rather than disabled. Many that were not diagnosed (myself included) actually couldn't identify with being disabled at all.

carlos55 wrote:
Very much similar to other disability organizations. I think the founder ms singer came out and said that recently.


As I already wrote, many that participated didn't view themselves as disabled, and it actually was an reaction against being regarded as disabled.

carlos55 wrote:
Phrases like “human diversity” and “not a disorder” makes no sense in the real world of real suffering and limitations on real people.

Clearly autism is a disorder for many living under full time care in institutions for example and it’s absurd to suggest otherwise.

The term “human diversity” is also meaningless in the face of human suffering.

That argument goes something like some are born disabled so it’s natures or gods will.

We should not be allowing them to reach their full or any potential, because they were born like that and we should not be researching biological ways to help them even if it means they have shortened miserable lives of stress and suffering.

Thankfully society and science rejects such extremism.


Nobody is denying that some autistics are disabled, but this is not at all inconsistent with a positive (non-disability) view of neurodiversity. Actually, those that are severely disabled actually can benefit even more from being understood based on common autistic traits rather than regarded as disabled NTs.



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22 Feb 2021, 4:26 pm

Looking more at what Nick Walker has published, I note that he mostly has participated in book projects. He doesn't appear to have written scientific articles, rather focuses on the various disabilities and differences.

Here is how he describes autism: https://neurocosmopolitanism.com/what-is-autism/
On the surface, it doesn't look too bad, but note that he doesn't really accept autism as a spectrum, rather claim that "autistic individuals are vastly different from one another". This was disproved by the article about Aspie Quiz in 2013 (published in Sage Open) even before Nick started to take an interest in neurodiversity. He also believes that every autistic individual is disabled in some way, reflecting on the fact that he did not really participate in the early neurodiversity movement, and is ignoring the large amount of non-disabled peopled that are not diagnosed but still have autistic traits.