Neurodiversity Paradigm and Neuroqueer Theory

September 25, 2023
Amisha Sinha

Neurodiversity Paradigm and Neuroqueer Theory

We have often adopted and rejected terms that have been considered unrepresentative of a group of individuals.This has often given them more agency and allowed for accommodations andequitable access to resources within the society. As empowering and liberating as this has historically been for minorities, it has been rather rare and controversial in the field of psychiatry.

Around the turn of the 20th century, autistic individuals decided to take over the pathologization of neurodiversity individuals. The scientific practices until now had only focused on erasing neurodiversity at the expense of the dignity and optimal functioning of neurodiverse people.

As the social model of disability gained popularity, being and practicing Neuroqueer further challenged able-mindedness and its entanglement with conceptions of ableism and heterosexuality, under the perceptions of normatively. De-gendering and de-sexualizing of neurodiverse individuals had become mainstream if they failed to perform mainstream gender and sexuality.

Neurodiversity and neuroqueer thus became spaces where one could break away from rigid notions of sexuality, gender, ethnicity, and disability and embrace fluid identities across these intersections. This included rigid prototypes found in feminist and queer discourses as well as actively rejecting being passive when it came to civil rights and social accommodations.