Neurodiversity and Neurotypes
Just as humanity is racially, ethnically and culturally diverse, humanity is also diverse in terms of styles of neurocognitive functioning, or neurotypes. Neurodiversity is a term used to refer to this variation in styles of neurocognitive functioning. A neurodiverse group is one that includes people with varying neurotypes. As with other forms of diversity, neurodiversity is an asset that can spark creative potential. SOAR is proud to have a neurodiverse team!
Neurotypical, Neurodivergent and Neurominority
Individuals whose functioning is neurotypical have a style of neurocognitive functioning that conforms to the majority and falls within the dominant societal standards of “normal”. Neurotypical people have historically enjoyed considerable privilege.
Individuals whose functioning is neurodivergent have a style of neurocognitive functioning that diverges significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal”. Neurodivergent people have historically faced barriers to privileges enjoyed by their neurotypical peers.
A neurominority is a population of neurodivergent people who all share a similar form of neurodiverence. Some examples of neurominority groups include those identified as having ADHD or Tourette syndrome, or those identified as Autistic or dyslexic.
The neurodiversity movement is a social justice movement that seeks civil rights, equality, respect and full societal inclusion for all members of neurominority groups. SOAR’s mission and values conform to the ideals of the neurodiversity movement,.
The acronym SOAR indicates that our mandate extends to both autism and related conditions. The meaning of related conditions is twofold. Related conditions, as used here, refers to both (a) other (non-autistic) forms of neurodivergence as well as (b) co-occurring mental health conditions.
Research shows that members of other neurominorities, (e.g. those identified as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), face similar issues to those faced by the Autistic community, in that they may also experience detrimental consequences associated with the over use of psychiatric medications. SOAR’s mandate extends to these issues as well!
In addition, mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, which frequently co-occur with autism and other neurodivergent conditions, may themselves be subjected to overmedication. We work to address overmedication of neurodivergent people in relation to both primary diagnoses as well as co-occuring mental health issues.
Learn more: For research and expert opinion on the overuse of psychiatric medications in relation to autism, other neurodivergent conditions, and co-occuring mental health conditions, please see our Recommended Reading page.