Autism , Neurodiversity and Equality Beyond the ‘ Normal


Though it was first associated with those diagnosed as autistic – particularly those diagnosed with high functioning autism (HFA) – “neurodiversity” is now associated with the struggle for the civil rights of all those diagnosed with neurological or neurodevelopmental disorders (Ward & Meyer, 1999; Nadesan, 2005:203-210). The current scope of the term includes not only lower functioning autistics (LFAs) but also those diagnosed with such neurological or neurodevelopmental disorders as attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, developmental dyspraxia, dyslexia, epilepsy, and Tourette’s syndrome. The neurodiverse, as they call themselves, contest the default pathologizing of differences in brain circuitry that are revealed in behavorial deviances from the standard norm (Harmon, 2004b). Autistic individuals, or the neurodiverse more generally, seek, among other things, better social support mechanisms, greater understanding from those around them or those who treat them, and a recognition that, though they are neurologically, cognitively and behaviorally different, they do not necessarily suffer from being neurodiverse nor do they need to be cured (Sinclair, 1993; Trivedi, 2005).

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Fenton2007AutismN, title={Autism , Neurodiversity and Equality Beyond the ‘ Normal}, author={Andrew Fenton and Tim Krahn}, year={2007} }