What Is Neurodiversity: Everything You Need to Know

What Is Neurodiversity: Everything You Need to Know

Throughout history, people have existed without being what society in each generation considered “normal.” However, today’s generation includes a world that thrives on inclusivity for everyone, so the term neurodiversity is spoken now more than ever.

So, what is neurodiversity, and how does it manifest itself in society? The guide below will tell you the essential details about neurodiversity and its importance.

Table of Contents

Basics of Neurodiversity

If you ask yourself, “What is neurodiversity,” you are not alone. The term comes from Judy Singer, a sociologist with autism who coined the term in 1998. She coined the phrase to distinguish between people with typical and atypical thought processes, behaviours, and development. However, neurodiversity does not mean one group is greater or lesser than another.

The two groups under the neurodiversity umbrella are neurotypical and neurodivergent.

Neurotypical People

Neurodivergent People

Types of Neurodivergence

Neurodivergence is a broad term because it encompasses many neurological and behavioural conditions, such as chronic mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. It also includes synesthesia, Down syndrome, and Tourette’s. Below are three of the most common neurodivergent conditions.




The Neurodiversity Movement

The neurodiversity movement started in the 1990s to help increase the acceptance and inclusion of people with neurological differences. It centers around the idea that every brain is different and deserves to be celebrated, not shamed.

This movement also has political roots by aligning itself with disability rights. The hope is to remove all stigmas surrounding neurodivergent people and bring awareness to the social and medical maltreatment that they experience.

The autism community is the primary neurodivergent group within the association. However, the neurodiversity movement aims to include the vast scope of neurological experiences, including migraines, hallucinations, mania, etc. The understanding is that no two people will experience the same condition the same way because each brain is unique.

Misconceptions About Neurodiversity

Though the neurodiversity movement considers neurodivergent people as worthy of a good life as neurotypical individuals, it doesn’t ignore that some neurological conditions are disabilities. Some people misunderstand the movement by ignoring the disability aspect many people face while solely concentrating on neurological differences.

It’s important to remember that neurodivergent people should receive the tools they need to succeed in life. However, that doesn’t mean people should shame or look down upon individuals who cannot live independently. Other truths about neurodiversity include:

  • Some neurological variations such as autism and learning disabilities are disabilities and not flaws.
  • Having a disability does not mean a person can’t live a full, meaningful life.
  • Neurodivergence is part of the human experience and is no different than people having different hair colours or personalities.


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Now that you know the answer to “what is neurodiversity,” you can help your neurotypical and neurodivergent employees live healthy lives with group benefits. As a leading insurance broker in Canada, Group Enroll representatives can help you select the best group insurance products to include in your benefits package.

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