Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar


  • Nick ChownEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102298-1
The concept of “neurodiversity” refers to the diversity of neurocognitive and/or sensory functioning differing from that associated with the “neurotypical” population (also known as the “predominant neurotype”). In defining “neurodiversity” one should first consider the meaning of “neurotypical.” Perszyk ( 2013, p. 1) defines “neurotypical” as:

Description of a medically and psychologically healthy individual demonstrating a normative pattern of neurodevelopment. Typically used specifically in contrast with individuals experiencing an atypical developmental course, such as autism

The implication in Perszyk’s definition that a nonnormative pattern of neurodevelopment is a “psychologically unhealthy” one is incorrect as many neurodivergent conditions simply represent the wide variety of differences amongst humanity. For instance, autistic advocates argue persuasively that autism is an example of ordinary human difference. However, the reference to atypical development in the Perszyk...

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References and Reading

  1. Antonetta, S. (2007). A mind apart: Travels in a neurodiverse world. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
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  3. DANDA (Developmental Adult Neuro-Diversity Association). (2011). Neurodiversity. Available at http://www.danda.org.uk. Accessed 7 Feb 2011.
  4. Graby, S. (2015). Neurodiversity: Bridging the gap between the disabled people’s movement and the mental health system survivors’ movement. In H. Spandler, J. Anderson, & B. Sapey (Eds.), Madness, distress and the politics of disablement (pp. 231–244). Bristol: Policy Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BarcelonaSpain