Neurodiversity has a straightforward meaning that is so often misunderstood. It is a term that acknowledges that every human mind works in a unique way – we are all different – we are diverse neurologically. Neurodiversity includes absolutely everyoneneurotypical and neurodivergent people.

A neurodivergent person, as well as being a unique individual, can be seen as belonging to a group of people with similar neurology. That could be autism, dyslexia, ADHD – any group whose neurology makes us different to that of neurotypical people – the most common. That group of neurodivergent individuals can be seen as a neurodivergence. The word neurodivergencies is simply its plural.

So, stay with me…ALL of those neurodivergencies + ALL neurotypical people = neurodiversity!

I’m going to labour the point here, because this one of those misused words that needs to be understood, to prevent confusion and to ensure that neurodivergent people can find the resources that we need. So, here’s a really silly little example of the difference between the words diverse and divergent:

If you have a really varied taste in music – lots of genres – you taste in music is diverse – it includes many different categories of music.

If, however, you like one specific music genre and no others – German reggae, for instance – your taste diverges from the mainstream. And the fact that you ONLY like German reggae puts you into a minority group of people with that same specific taste. Hence, your musical taste could be considered divergent from the majority.

On the Information page you will find a good article with Judy Singerwith whom the term neurodiversity is associated – I suspect this is where a lot of the confusion stems from. Still a good article though and still a very cool woman.

Finally, here’s a good article from Edinburgh University, explaining that the misuse of the terms neurodiverse and neurodivergent IS ‘more than just grammar’.