Neurodiversity refers to variations in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions. "Neurodiversity" is a portmanteau of "neurological" and "diversity" that was popularized in the late 1990s by Australian sociologist Judy Singer and American journalist Harvey Blume. The term emerged as a challenge to prevailing views that certain neurodevelopmental disorders are inherently pathological and instead adopts the social model of disability, which states that societal barriers are the main contributing factor that disables people.
The subsequent neurodiversity paradigm has been controversial among autism advocates, with opponents saying that its conceptualization of the autism spectrum doesn't reflect the realities of individuals who have high support needs.
According to the 2011 National Symposium on Neurodiversity held at Syracuse University, neurodiversity is:
... a concept where neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. These differences can include those labeled with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome, and others.