The neurodiversity movement emerged as an extension of the disability rights movement to include the those individuals with neurological differences. Micki McGee posits that neurodiversity is also a response to the neoliberalism of the past three decades that has (1) shifted responsibility for individuals with neurological and cognitive challenges back to the family, and (2) fostered a crippling speed-up in our workplaces while simultaneously requiring new levels of sociability and flexibility that render more people debilitated or disabled. The article concludes that demands for the rights of neurologically diverse populations may challenge the very framework of liberal personhood.
My thinking in this article was inspired, in part, by the pathbreaking work of Lennard J. Davis in his keynote address, The end of normal: disability, diversity, and neoliberalism, at the CUNY Graduate Center English Student Association Conference, “Cripples, Idiots, Lepers, and Freaks: Extraordinary Bodies / Extraordinary Minds,” Thursday, March 22, 2012. Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York City.