Neurodiversity is closely linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is a concept which, although it looks modern, was already mentioned in 1938 by Hans Asperger in his first public reading about Asperger's syndrome. Developed in Anglo-Saxon countries, the term "neurodiversity" did not appear publicly until 1998, in an article entitled Neurodiversity, written by the American writer Harvey Blume. But what exactly is neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity refers to neurological variability, which is the existence of several different types of neurological functioning in humans. We can compare the notion of neurodiversity to that of biodiversity - which considers the diversity of ecosystems, spaces and genes. Neurodiversity, on the other hand, represents the diversity of human brains and minds.
The concept of neurodiversity then leads to a whole different approach to Autism Spectrum Disorders. These ASDs can be recognized as different mental functioning, not deficient. This is a question that Michelle Dawson, a very active activist and researcher at the University of Montreal, talks about at length.
Despite their difficulties in interacting and communicating, despite their repetitive behaviors, autistic people are not faulty versions of Mr. and Mrs. Everybody. Their mental functioning is not deficient, but different.
The concept of neurodiversity can bring significant elements to the contribution of the evolution of mentalities. Indeed, with these elements, we could move towards accepting this difference and the heterogeneity of its diversity. In addition, this approach could be extremely useful in researching the causes and possible treatments. Medicine and education could then evolve, and offer some innovations to people with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Fingers spread, arms outstretched on either side of a chubby body which she swings back and forth, a small woman with short hair mumbles in front of her window, follows with her hand, filmed in close-up, compulsively runs her fingers over a computer keyboard, waves a necklace in front of the light ... Then a smooth and synthetic voice explains very precisely that everything we have just seen is indeed a full way of thinking and interacting with the environment, then run:
"While I'm at it, please know that I find it particularly interesting that my inability to learn your language is seen as a deficit while your inability to learn my language seems perfectly natural to you, as people like me are described as mysterious and confusing. That, instead of admitting that it is others who are confused ... "