Re: A few thoughts on language.

I think the term has very many merits. I would be a little concerned about its use as a headline term because:

- outside those working in the field or those who consider themselves as neurodiverse I think the term is almost unknown. It doesn't help to promote the adoption of our work if people do not understand what we are talking about;
- from my limited reading around the topic I believe that there is some controversy around the term as a result of some of the more extreme campaigning under the neurodiversity banner. We wouldn't want our reasonable intentions to be associated with any more extreme "political" views.

Best regards


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On Mon, Jul 13, 2015 at 2:17 pm, Debra Ruh Global <<>> wrote:

I also agree with Jamie and we are using many terms in the U.S. However more and more we seem to be embracing Neurodiversity. I agree with Jamie and other comments - it embraces the person / social model as opposed to medical model. Debra

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On Jul 13, 2015, at 6:52 AM, lisa.seeman <<>> wrote:

Hi Jamie
This is an important issue, that we have been struggling with. The problem is that so many of the alternative terms are used to mean different things in different locations. For example LD means something else entirely in the US and Europe.

Cognitive impairment is being used in a limiting way in the US - see

I love the term neurodiversity. The problem is a lot of people do not know what it means.

All the best

Lisa Seeman

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---- On Mon, 13 Jul 2015 13:28:01 +0300 Jamie Knight<<>> wrote ----
Hello All,

Hope everyone is well. I was wondering if it would be worth discussing how we use language.

I see lots of references to 'cognitive disability'. I'm not sure that's the term we should be using.

I have several impairments due to my autistic traits. I also have a number of abilities due to the same.

However It's the environment that limits my ability to do things and thus my 'disability' is environmental.

To use a physical metaphor. If someone in unable to walk (an impairment) and uses assistive technology (a wheelchair) and the environment is inclusive (lifts, ramps etc) then they are not disabled. The impairment becomes as relevant as their eye colour.

In most of the issue papers I have seen we break down challenges by impairment. So perhaps we could adopt the term cognitive impairment.

Additionally, for some the term is neurodiversity. ND respects someone for being different but also part of normal variation, it rejects the medicalisation of a set of common traits or reactions.

I think It's a subtle but important change in language.

I have impairments for sure. But that does not mean I should be disabled by the them.

What do you think?

Jamie + Lion


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Received on Monday, 13 July 2015 13:53:53 UTC