In this 2018 opinion piece from Now This (a progressive media company founded by two Huffington Post executives), psychologist Devon MacEachron argues against the medical model of mental health that classifies neurological differences such as ADHD and autism as dysfunctional, disorders, and disabilities. “Neurodiversity,” she explains, is the concept that neurological differences among people should be recognized and respected. It’s time for a “neurodiversity movement,” she says, playing on the way diversity has been embraced and at the forefront of other social justice tides. She argues, further, that some conditions framed as “disorders” could be reframed as evolutionary advantages.
What is neurodiversity? What conditions are often associated with it, according to the psychologist?
How might neurodiversity be advantageous, according to the video?
Why do you think this video focuses on children rather than adults? How do the images and data support the message that the video is trying to convey?
Do you think the video is persuasive in trying to reframe these conditions in terms of “neurodiversity”? Do you think reframing the way we see or label an identity or an individual is an important strategy? Why? Why not?