Neurodivergent refers to a group of people whose neurological development and state are atypical. Differences in the human brain are natural and normal and can lead to increased abilities or awareness. The term was coined by Judy Singer in 1998, who considered herself to be on the autism spectrum. Singer advocated for society to view neurodivergent traits as strengths as opposed to weaknesses.
Neurodivergent people and their characteristics often fall onto a spectrum. Some neurodivergent people may struggle to make eye contact or have difficulty communicating. Others may show unexpected responses to sounds and stimuli. However, many neurodivergent individuals exhibit strong skills in areas such as music, arts and science, strong observational skills and increased focus and creativity. Neurodivergent people may have recognized conditions such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome, dyslexia, epilepsy, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or Tourette syndrome.