neu·​ro·​di·​ver·​si·​ty | \ ˌnu̇r-ō-də-ˈvər-sə-tē How to pronounce neurodiversity (audio) , -dī-, ˌnyu̇r- \

Definition of neurodiversity

1 : individual differences in brain functioning regarded as normal variations within the human population Perhaps our difficulty in accepting and adjusting to these differences points to a limited understanding of the neurodiversity that surrounds us.— Serena Puang
2 : the concept that differences in brain functioning within the human population are normal and that brain functioning that is not neurotypical should not be stigmatized Neurodiversity is the idea that variation in brain function exists across the population. Differences such as autism and ADHD have existed throughout human history and are not due to faulty neural circuitry. Rather than viewing them as such, neurodiversity embraces autism as a different way of thinking and behaving.Psychology Today (online) These autistic adults amplified the neurodiversity movement, and won greater recognition of the differences between autistic and neurotypical people …— Alisa Opar
3 : the inclusion in a group, organization, etc. of people with different types of brain functioning They're committed to neurodiversity, a term used to advocate for the inclusion of people who think and communicate differently—like those with autism or ADHD.— Kara Stiles

First Known Use of neurodiversity

1998, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for neurodiversity

neuro- + diversity, after biodiversity

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The first known use of neurodiversity was in 1998

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Cite this Entry

“Neurodiversity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Oct. 2022.

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