Every person’s brain is different, just like their fingerprint. And, since every brain is unique, it’s only fitting to accept that not all brains will respond exactly the same way to the same stimuli, event, or activity. The term neurodiversity embraces the unique ways individuals function and views differences among people along a spectrum instead of comparing to a single threshold of what is considered normal. Through this neurodivergency philosophy, society accepts that there is a wide range of normal behavior, cognition, and emotional response, not a single “normal” or “typical” way we all should be.
“Neurodiversity is a concept that regards individuals with differences in brain function and behavioral traits as part of normal variation in the human population.”
Just like fingerprints that are all unique, making it impossible to label any fingerprint normal or typical, every brain is unique. Why is it then that we have always expected these unique brains to function in exactly the same way? When you look at it that way, it does seem kind of silly.
The term neurodiversity was coined in the 1990s by Australian sociologist, Judy Singer, to fight stigma and promote acceptance of people with autism. But it also includes other conditions that involve neurological differences, such as ADHD, learning disorders, and processing problems, such as Irlen Syndrome. Once consider atypical function is now considered simply a variation in the way brains work.
To be neurodiverse is to be different, not wrong. A brain that works differently isn’t a brain that needs to be fixed or cured. With neurodiversity, these brain differences are celebrated and viewed as strengths.
Irlen Syndrome, also known as scotopic sensitivity syndrome, is a perceptual disorder characterized by difficulty processing visual information. People with Irlen Syndrome often experience discomfort, eyestrain, headaches, and other physical symptoms when reading or working with printed materials.
Irlen Syndrome is considered a neurodivergent condition. It is a variation in neurological function, in this case, how the brain interprets and processes visual stimuli and light, that can result in differences in cognition, perception, and behavior. Instead of viewing Irlen Syndrome as a disorder that needs to be fixed, the neurodiversity perspective encourages accommodations and support to help people with Irlen Syndrome thrive in academic and work environments. This includes the use of customized colored lenses, contacts, and plastic transparencies.
Overall, the neurodiversity movement seeks to promote a more inclusive and accepting society that recognizes and values all forms of neurological diversity, including Irlen Syndrome.
To learn more about Irlen Syndrome visit www.irlen.com