Profile of punk rock woman with a large rainbow mohawk


Neuro-anarchy is the removal of oneself, either consciously or unconsciously, from the neuronormative standards that exist within one’s own neuroculture. Using the Autistic community as an example, our culture has its own set of rules and normative values, as does any cultural group; neuro-anarchy is a radical decentering of normativity. If we consider that our sense of Self is built upon the values and opinions or our prevailing culture, neuro-anarchy invites us to step outside of those values and carve our own space within which to form an identity. Munday (2022) discusses neuro-anarchy in the context of Autistic shielding.

Neuroqueer: Neuro-anarchy and the Chaotic Self – Emergent Divergence

Neuro-anarchy is an act of protest, it is how one neuroqueers in spaces that should belong to us but instead remain external in our relationship to who we are. Neuro-anarchy arises from a level of cognitive dissonance that presents when a person finds themselves an outsider in a group that they should fit into. 

Neuroqueer: Neuro-anarchy and the Chaotic Self – Emergent Divergence

Neuro-anarchy as a concept is important. In any community built upon identity, identity politics come into play. Humans have this bizarre tendency to look for leadership, and when they find it, they will often defend it, even if it is overtly harmful. Neuro-anarchy, however, invites us to consider the nature of that leadership and whether the hierarchy of our own communities serves the greater good.

Neuro-anarchy and the rise of the Autistic Rhizome – DGH Neurodivergent Consultancy

Neuro-anarchy, then, is a more focused shield which allows us to shed the hierarchy and normativity of counterculture itself. It comes from being on the outskirts of counterculture, which is not an uncommon feeling for us Neurodivergent folk. Neuro-anarchy in relation to autism, is the feeling of being on the outskirts of the Autistic idea(l) of being Autistic – the typical atypicality, either from an academic, societal or Autistic community viewpoint.

There are several aspects to neuro-anarchy and several ways it can be engaged with consciously and unconsciously, it is a big part of Autistic shielding, especially the conscious choice to engage in counterculture and culture which sits on the outskirts of counterculture itself.

Counterculture: Autistic shielding and neuro-anarchy – Autistic and Living the Dream

Further reading,