The implications of using the term Neurodivergent?

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18 Sep 2021, 4:22 pm

I am wary of using the term neurodivergent or neurodiverse. I have seen the term used by people who are not just on the autism spectrum but who also have personality disorders (sociopathy, psychopathy and so on) and it seems like it has tried to incorporate too many different neurological disorders or "differences" which are at odds with people on the autism spectrum. For instance, by incorporating personality disorders into neurodiversity, it would basically be asserting that autistic people and people with personality disorders are broadly very similar which they are not.

Autistic people do not have a pathological desire to manipulate others for their own ends, nor do they have the social ability or lack of conscience to do so. It can be said that we lack empathy but only in the context of being unable to read a social situation. In contrast a sociopathic person would be able to read social situations well and use it to their advantage but they do not feel emotion and if they do it lacks depth or longevity for them to feel any intensity. They are also good at feigning emotions in order to manipulate others whereas it is not possible to fake things as an autistic. Even if it were I imagine we would be exhausted to the point of having to have a break from such farcical nonsense.

It seems very spurious to have such a broad definition and inclusion for neurodivergence as if you put people who are socially and emotionally manipulative under the same category as those who have significant challenges with social, sensory and so on, it is bound to be a recipe for disaster. What do you all think? :|


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18 Sep 2021, 4:33 pm

I use the term "neurodivergent" and my understanding of it is it really only is supposed to encompass things like ASD, ADHD, learning disorders, etc. that are present from birth/early childhood, and have a strong neurological and/or behavioural impact on someone. Some people include schizo-spectrum disorders and OCD because people can have issues with those things from early childhood.

Anyone who says people with other MH issues (like personality disorders, depression, etc.) that are acquired later in life are "neurodivergent" doesn't understand the term. There are people who will assert that you are "gatekeeping" the term by saying those things don't make someone "ND", but that doesn't change the fact that people with other MH issues don't have the same lifelong affects and experiences that neurodiverse people do. I'm also skeptical when people say "everyone's neurodiverse" as to me it has the same exact energy as "everyone's a little autistic/ADHD/dyslexic/etc.", which everyone knows isn't true.

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18 Sep 2021, 9:07 pm

I don't know which category mental health disorders like bipolar belong in. Because anxiety disorders, depression, personality disorders, etc, are fairly common among the general population, it's probably easier to lump them in with neurotypicals, although if their disorder causes them to unintentionally exhibit antisocial behaviour or complete 'madness' (such as being committed to a mental hospital) and are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then I suppose they're not so neurotypical.
Developmental disabilities/disorders such as autism, learning disability, downs syndrome, etc, fall into the neurodiverse category (basically anything that affects social and/or intellectual development and are not environment-related (meaning they are born with their disability)).

Brain diseases like dementia fall into the neurodiverse category but for different reasons. People with dementia often lose their social abilities and some can be more socially inept than some autistics. To a person who isn't that familiar with dementia, they just see it as a loss of memory, but I've worked with dementia patients before and I can tell you that it is much more than that. Some people with dementia are completely locked inside their head and lack self-awareness. Obviously they weren't born like it and were once neurotypicals.

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19 Sep 2021, 1:55 am

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
I use the term "neurodivergent" and my understanding of it is it really only is supposed to encompass things like ASD, ADHD, learning disorders, etc. that are present from birth/early childhood, and have a strong neurological and/or behavioural impact on someone.

Terms that encompasses all the conditions you mentioned above, but do NOT include mental illness (at least not directly), are "developmental disability" and "developmental difference."

The term "neurodivergence" was coined by Kassiane (blog here) and elaborated upon by Nick Walker (relevant essay here).

Recently Kassiane wrote on Twitter:

I coined neurodivergent

Mental illnesses are neurodivergences

And I will FIGHT ABOUT IT and I'm WAY better trained than anyone who wants to throw down with me.

The above-mentioned essay by Nick Walker says:

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.


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).

Thus, neurodivergence is not intrinsically positive or negative, desirable or undesirable – it all depends on what sort of neurodivergence one is talking about.

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19 Sep 2021, 2:33 am

If you "diverge" from a path you can diverge in any direction. You may diverge in the opposite direction from someone else who also diverged. Ergo you would be farther from that other divergent person than you are from the majority who stick to the path. And they from you.

If you wander off of the woods path to the left, and someone else wanders off to the right then you end up even farther away from that second person than either of you are from the main group of hikers who stayed on the well worn path in the main group in the middle between the two of you.

Therefore the term "neurodivergent" does NOT imply that all folks labeled "neurodivergent" are like each other.

If anything it implies the opposite- that folks so labled are all over the place - and can deviate from the norm in opposite ways.


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19 Sep 2021, 12:20 pm

The word "Neurodivergent" or "neurodiverse" are not specific scientific terms, rather generic labels invented in the SJW world.

In the English language "Neuro" means brain and "divergent" different. ... /divergent

So the term can be picked up by any person/s who`s brain permanently doesnt function in a typical way, i.e autistic, adhd, schizophrenia and bi poler disorder since these are incurable where drugs are given to manage the symptoms.

Unfortunatly like it or not, the word can be applied with any permanent brain disorder, inc brain damage, sociopathy, psychopathy. I believe even peadophiles try this on to get sympathy, by saying they cant help their urges as its the way their brains are wired.

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19 Sep 2021, 5:44 pm

Neurodivergence is simply a contrast from neurotypicality. :lol:
With that in mind, the basis of neurotypicality would determine what neurodivergence would be.

:twisted: As long as there is any difference that deviates whatever stat or definition neurotypicality has... :lol: Whether the greater or the diseased...
It's still a deviance -- still a difference.

But does it really matter?
If one's neurodivergence is more of a reaction or a symptom -- manageable to fatal -- than something innate and advantageous?

Putting anything beyond the neutral terms I think, is stupid, knowing the implications. :twisted:

But that's because I don't have any mission or some rhetoric in mind like most people.
Except that neurodivergence can serve me into improvement. It can serve others if they know what they're doing.

So when someone attaches neurotypicality with good and bad... It generally mirrors what neurodivergence would be. :lol:
If neurotypicality is a person's model of improvement... :twisted: They'd predictably see neurodivergence as detriment.

The same can be said with the reverse -- like, say, if someone deems neurotypicality is evil and manipulative, then neurodivergence is good kind of naive contrast. :lol:

That's how or why I think it is stupid to attach neurodiversity with either good or bad. It also mirrors neurotypicality.

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