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LINK What You Need to Know About Neurodiversity

One in 59 children are identified with autism spectrum disorders and millions of children have been diagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. — yet psychologist Devon MacEachron, PhD believes that there is too little attention given to enabling people with neurologically different minds.

“Neurological differences like autism or ADHD are considered to be dysfunctional, disorders, and disabilities under the medical model of mental health,” she explained. “When most of us think of diversity, we think of things like race or sexual orientation. But there’s a different kind of diversity you might not know about: neurodiversity.”

Lukian 8 July 11

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It would be lovely if diversity were cherished and welcomed. Too often because of fear it is derided and the 'different' one is bullied and taunted.


Would depression fall under neurodiversity? Would narcolepsy? I don't have autism or ADHD, but I would not say I'm 'neurotypical' when there are far more brains that do not have narcolepsy or even depression than there are brains that do.

Not to trivialize depression but there has been studies that indicate that some type of transitional (temporary) depression is potentially a way for the brain to warp it's thinking to solve a problem. Essentially, some mild to moderate type of depression could be a coping mechanism.
as for an answer to your question about conditions under neurodiversity, the video does not seem to mention depression nor narcolepsy but that does not mean the are excluded.

As i understand it, ADHD and Spectrum disorders and schizoaffective disorders and the like are...more alternative cognitive or neurophysical configurations, whereas depression and anxiety disorders are the result of neurochemical issues (seratonin or dopamine for depression and adrenal response for anxiety, usually) which operate incongruent to or independent of environmental stimuli.

For example, being depressed for two weeks because someone close to you died is congruent. Going into a three day fugue state because you burned your dinner is not. The adrenal response we call anxiety or panic attacks is a valuable tool if, say, you're being chased by a predator. But if your brain is responding to talking to a family member about something that bothers you with a full-scale fight or flight response, not congruent.

Narcolepsy is not something I've spent a lot of time researching or observing, and so I'm not familiar with the biological mechanisms at work.

Another difference I see between ADHD/Spectrum (I secretly think there's a possibility ADHD could be a mild spectrum disorder as there's a lot of overlap of presenting behaviors) and the more generic forms of depression is that in a lot of cases depression is an acquired dysfunction, whereas spectrum disorders are inborn, lifelong configurations that people don't lose, they simply adapt towards better models of functionality. In addition, depression doesn't really present positive adaptations in conjunction with the targeted dysfunction.

Do these things count as neurodiversity? I believe so, but not necessarily in the same way. Neurotypical people are those who exhibit no overt neurological disorders, though I'll admit where the line between neurological disorders and psychological disorders lies and what that distinction actually means scientifically is not something I know.

Apologies, I wasn't very clear. When I mentioned depression, I meant clinical depression, which is different to situational.

That aside, I think I understand what you folks are driving at. And, yeah, the line blurs when you factor in the fact that brain scans of people with things like clinical or even situational depression are different to the scans of those without it, and that non-physical trauma can physically change one's brain.

@memorylikeasieve okay I had to go do a little reading first, which both supported my theory as to which mine is and gave me a...slightly better understanding of the distiction, though it seems a little like comparing anthropology to sociology (the primary difference seems to be scope and scale, at least superficially.)

I would say that for the general definition of the world, yes it counts as neurodiversity. I am not sure that it is a directly comparable set of parameters to ADHD/Spectrum for the purposes, but I'm not saying that with certainty.

My best response is: it depends largely on the level to which the neurological differences exhibited by ADHD or Spectrum brains are the result of the condition and what level is the result of adaptive and defense strategies compared to those of brains with clinical depression. As best as I can tell, depression is an attempt at a trauma repair and defense mechanism, and it's an adaptive strategy to minimize further trauma. Which I suppose does have its advantages if you can keep it managed.

In all of these cases, to some degree medications may be a necessary part of what managing it means. But overmedication as a cultural paradigm to distract the public from the shit the people in control are doing to squeeze resources out of them is reprehensible, ethically and socially.


I think that this is a great time for humanist concepts of value in diversity. I fear it's all talk in a world where competition for resources was never so high (and I don't mean in the jungle). I mean competition for jobs, mates, that type of thing. My guess is that while organisations rise up to combat ignorance, it will just go underground and intensify. I hope I'm wrong.

I don't know what to make of all the TV shows nowadays that have autistic people demonstrating their almost supernatural abilities in the pursuit of criminals, medical cures etc.

By the way, that movie Temple Grantin was great!


I like this approach. Throwing so many meds at this complicated system that we know very little about is sad and often dangerous. All brains are different. Wouldn't it be great if we could lean more toward accepting people's differences and valuing them rather than always trying to make everyone happy and socially accaptable all the time..

MsAl Level 8 July 12, 2018

According to the book “Rethinking Madness”, even schizophrenia should not be considered a disease to be cured with medication. According to the author, those people are dealing with existential questions, and if given social support will eventually find their way in most cases.

I wonder how many great creative geniuses have been drugged into oblivion by our medication-crazy society.


Without trying to bring shame to the effort... but I am starting to believe medicine agenda is to find something wrong... to diagnose for the hell of validating the wrong. I had been wrong before, I recognize all the great medicine do on a daily basis on pursuit of health but... overdiagnose happens a lot maybe to create a crisis and to resolve it? Ala trump and north korea???? And since it worked, let's repeat it with Nato. Oh that was mean... I hope no one gets offended... I will stay away from hospitals for a while now.

i get your point.

@Lukian Thank You.


I was diagnosed ADD when I was about 12. I don't have the hyperactivity-centered version. I was on Ritalin for a while until I explained to my dad how miserable and zombie-ish it was. Over time I developed the ability to run persistent multi-channel thought processes at a quantity of 2-4. I can also hyper focus on a single process, but only if it can hold my attention. I got a college degree without medication.

There are limitations and a different set of operating parameters sometimes, and it's easy to view some of them as problematic. Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria is a hellish aspect of ADD, and the daily potential for insomnia and anxiety and depression aren't very fun.

My girlfriend's 13 year old son is VERY ADHD. He's been medicated for years (which I don't really like doing but) he is completely unmanageable without medication, to the point of occasional self-harm during his tantrums. He has some speech issues that seem to largely stem from words coming out in bizarre orders relative to the thought he's trying to express, and he very often seems to exist in a 30-second perceptive bubble. I have a similar bubble, but I've had more time to adjust to the idea that the world outside the bubble requires attention and mnemonic anchors within the bubble in order to maintain awareness of the bubble's position within the flow of real time.

And in my personal experiences with people with ADHD or people on the spectrum, there's often a certain activity or type of thought at which they excel at the cost of a weakness somewhere else. And maybe I'm just being optimistic, or a little romantic, but this says to me that there is at least some possibility that these kinds of 'disorders' could represent prototypical neurological baby steps towards some minor but beneficial evolutionary step towards more specialized brain types, or brains which have better conscious access to a greater amount of cerebral resources.

My father taught and coached high school for about 18 years and then became a Vocational/Technical director who put a lot of time and effort both into his students and then into getting pilot programs for our state and helping determine the guidelines and practical application of the Vocat career track when that whole college track/vocational track model wa's being introduced around the turn of the millenium. I've spent more time than I care to admit listening to the backstage politics and craziness of the education system.

The standardization of education is really good for administrators, politicians, and managing to set 'standards' at a national level. But the current paradigm in education (I say current as though it hasn't been a problem for 20+ years) is not designed with people who are different in mind. Teachers aren't teaching their students, they aren't even teaching their curricula. They're teaching the end of year tests. For one, because this 'standard' makes schools compete with each other academically for what little funding is available, and what determines the numbers used to determine teacher bonuses and school fundings: the standardized tests. We've reduced the entire education process to competitive economics, and the only way to ensure your school will get what it needs is if you teach this one way to get good student scores on the tests. The process does not allow for people with different learning styles or non-standard brains. There is only one avenue of success provided, and the only way to fit the square pegs into the round holes you need is to sand down the edges with medication and incredibly toxic forms of social control.

And some parents don't want to be identified as parents of 'different' children, or are in denial, or fear the social backlash of being personally judged for whatever deficit or abnormality they perceive their children to have because appearances and social standing are more important to them than having a child who can learn to harness their abilities, understand their limitations, and love themselves BECAUSE of who they are, instead of IN SPITE of what they are.

There are a lot of very toxic, selfish, abusive, etc. adults who use their children as status symbols, as outlets for failed personal dreams, this list could go on forever and it gets more disheartening with every scenario. And neurodiverse children, because they are labeled 'disabled' or 'dysfunctional' or whatever politely insulting word neurotypical people use to differentiate themselves, are often victims of these kinds of systemic and toxic paradigms that afford them no real opportunity to thrive because homogenous social systems revile anomalies and outliers and their participants often prefer to simply ignore that which cannot be forced to assimilate or regress towards the mean.

great testimony and great insight. I agree totally that children need time to adapt and find their own tools to follow society. Although I have never been diagnosed with anything in particular, I was an average student in HS but lousy in grammar. I found out by my own stubbornness how to make and establish mental rules to write better. Now I'm above average writer in French and English (fluent in both). This introspective learning technique has brought me to a point where I now know a lot about everything (kinda like Cliff Claven). My curiosity is my curse (in a good way).


I am waiting to the day when instead of medicating kids so they are more like the rest is not the norm. I feel we should be finding different ways to teach them instead of making them fit into this sheep box the majority of society views as acceptable. Everyone and every mind is different. I do not feel our education system is providing the best education for all the diversity out there. But rather the kids are required to first into our education system and if they have problems complying they are medicated or

DeiP Level 5 July 12, 2018

I agree

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