The existence of the word neurotypical makes it possible to have conversations about topics like neurotypical privilege. Neurotypical is a word that allows us to talk about members of the dominant neurological group without implicitly reinforcing that group’s privileged position (and our own marginalization) by referring to them as “normal.” The word normal, used to privilege one sort of human over others, is one of the master’s tools, but the word neurotypical is one of our tools—a tool that we can use instead of the master’s tool; a tool that can help us to dismantle the master’s house.

Neuroqueer Heresies: Notes on the Neurodiversity Paradigm, Autistic Empowerment, and Postnormal Possibilities

The movement arguably adopts a spectrum or dimensional concept to neurodiversity, in which people’s neurocognitive differences largely have no natural boundaries. While the extension from this concept to group-based identity politics that distinguish between the neurodivergent and neurotypical may at first seem contradictory, the neurodiversity framework draws from reactions to existing stigma- and mistreatment-inducing medical categories imposed on people that they reclaim by negotiating their meaning into an affirmative construct. People who are not discriminated against on the basis of their perceived or actual neurodivergences arguably benefit from neurotypical privilege, so they do not need corresponding legal protections and access to services.

Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement | SpringerLink

The term neurodiversity originates from the autism rights movement in 1998 from Judy Singer on Martijn Dekker’s mailing list InLv, but as the movement has matured into a more active part of a cross-disability rights coalition, the term has evolved to become more politicized and radical (a change noted by a few contributors, especially Dekker in Chapter 3). Neurodiversity has come to mean “variation in neurocognitive functioning” (p. 3) [1], a broad concept that includes everyone: both neurodivergent people (those with a condition that renders their neurocognitive functioning significantly different from a “normal” range) and neurotypical people (those within that socially acceptable range). The neurodiversity movement advocates for the rights of neurodivergent people, applying a framework or approach that values the full spectra of differences and rights such as inclusion and autonomy.

Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement | SpringerLink

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Published by Ryan Boren

#ActuallyAutistic parent and retired tech worker. Equity literate education, respectfully connected parenting, passion-based learning, indie ed-tech, neurodiversity, social model of disability, design for real life, inclusion, open web, open source. he/they

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