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The Medical Model of Disability

or the pathology paradigm

The Neurodiversity Paradigm

Ableism & Medical Model Language

Inspiration Porn Language

Neurodiversity Day 2

Three fundamental principles of the neurodiversity paradigm: 1. Neurodiversity – the diversity among minds – is a natural, healthy, and valuable form of human diversity. 2. There is no “normal” or “right” style of human mind, any more than there is one “normal” or “right” ethnicity, gender, or culture. 3. The social dynamics that manifest in regard to neurodiversity are similar to the social dynamics that manifest in regard to other forms of human diversity (e.g. diversity of race, culture, gender, or sexual orientation). These dynamics include the dynamics of social power relations – the dynamics of social inequality, privilege, and oppression – as well as the dynamics by which diversity, when embraced, acts as a source of creative potential within a group or society. (Walker, 2013, p.3)

The Neurodiversity Paradigm

Medical model/ableist language

Student/person/adult with autism, dyslexia etc. She/he/they have autism, dyslexia etc.Special Needs Challenging BehaviourSuffers from Affected by Deficit Disorder Condition Causes Symptoms of autism, dyspraxia etc. Treatment Interventions Epidemic High-functioning / low-functioning Abnormal Severe form of...

Ableism positively values able-bodiedness and able-mindedness, and makes them compulsory, (Dolmage, 2017, p.7)Ableism is the process that reinforces the assumption that non-disabled and /or neurotypical people are superior or elite forms of human beings. The problem with ableism is that it relies on the assumption of a particular kind of human being and does not recognise the diverse nature of humanity, (Goodley, 2021)Ableism is a type of discrimination which favours neurotypical people and it can present in different forms such as policies, social values, people’s beliefs, attitudes, and actions.


Inspiration Porn Language

Inspiration porn: The term was coined in 2012 by disability rights activist Stella Young, and it refers to the portrayal of disabled people as being inspirational to non-disabled people. Inspiration porn objectifies disabled people, and it is a form of ableism. Examples:Hero Angel Genius Prodigy They succeeded against all odds/ despite their autism/their learning disability.

Neurodiversity advocates encourage inclusive, nonjudgmental language. Therefore, rather than making assumptions, it is best to ask directly about a person's preferred language, and how they want to be addressed. Knowledge about neurodiversity and respectful language is the key for inclusive language.

The medical model of disability frames neurocognitive differences as forms of medical pathology or psychiatric “disorders”. The medical model insists on two fundamental assumptions: 1. There is one “right,” “normal,” or “healthy” way for human brains and human minds to be configured and to function (or one relatively narrow “normal” range into which the configuration and functioning of human brains and minds ought to fall). 2. If your neurological configuration and functioning (and, as a result, your ways of thinking and behaving) diverge substantially from the dominant standard of “normal,” then there is Something Wrong with You. (Walker, 2013, p.3)

The medical model approach or the pathology paradgim