Neurodiversity – The value of being different
Is autism not a disorder? Should we consider it instead as an individual quality, even as a gift? This is what representatives of the neurodiversity movement are demanding.
In many ways, we autistic people are normal and the rest of the people are pretty weird," Greta Thunberg explained in November 2018. Within a year, the now 17-year-old Swede became an icon of the "Fridays for Future" movement. With a sharp tongue and a penetrating gaze, she mobilized millions of mostly young people around the world – and at the same time angered some others. According to critics, Thunberg carries her otherness as an autistic person like a distinction. But in the eyes of many, her "disorder "actually more of a strength.
There has been a new catchphrase for this perspective for several years: neurodiversity. The idea behind this is that autism is not a disease, but just an alternative way of looking at and interacting with the world. The brain of autistic people is neither deficient nor disturbed, just different. "Being different is a superpower under the right circumstances," Thunberg tweeted. But can a medically established disorder be explained as simply being different? And shouldn't people who suffer from it be treated?
The debate raises fundamental questions…