Intersectionality and Neurodiversity Around the World

Neurodiversity is an evolving inclusive paradigm of the diversity of human minds.

This paradigm recasts the experiences of neurodivergent people—those whose cognitive styles (e.g., Takiwātanga/Autism, ADHD, Plurality, Dyslexia, Stuttering) differ from presumed common or neurotypical forms of cognition—as neurodivergences rather than as disorders. Neurodivergent communities in the Global North have been developing this paradigm since the late 1990s to achieve justice-seeking goals such as resisting ableism (i.e., implicit and explicit forms of discrimination against disabled people). However, neurodivergent people around the world, especially in the Global South, still encounter systemic dehumanization in science, healthcare, education, and society because dominating theories and narratives continue to pathologize neurodivergence. Hence, my project aims to explore emancipatory philosophical and practical approaches for understanding neurodiversity with globally-informed neurodivergent networks as we advocate for our human rights as neurodivergent and disabled people.

Together, we will attempt to answer this question: How can emancipatory narratives heal us from public and scientific artefacts that stifle neurodiversity such as eugenics, psychiatric classifications, and behaviourism?

Project team

  • Marie Adrienne Robles Manalili, MSc, RSLP (siya/she/they)
  • Neurodivergent grassroots and research communities globally

Results to date

The results of this intersectional transdisciplinary research initiative will be published by the Autistic Collaboration Trust, and inform the professional education services we provide to the healthcare sector, the education sector, governments, and private sector organisations.


From Puzzle to Progress: How Engaging With Neurodiversity Can Improve Cognitive Science
MAR Manalili, A Pearson, J Sulik, L Creechan, M Elsherif, I Murkumbi, …
Cognitive Science 47 (2), e13255
Neurodiversity, Networks, and Narratives: Exploring Intimacy and Expressive Freedom in the Time of Covid‐19
K Betts, L Creechan, R Cawkwell, I Finn‐Kelcey, CJ Griffin, A Hagopian, …
Social Inclusion 11 (1)
Anti‐ableist language is fully compatible with high‐quality autism research: Response to Singer et al. (2023)
HM Natri, O Abubakare, K Asasumasu, A Basargekar, F Beaud, M Botha, …
Autism Research 16 (4), 673-676
Developmental Language Disorder is Psycholinguistic Injustice: Tagalog Knowledge From a Philippine Context
MAR Manalili
Ableist Ideologies Stifle Neurodiversity and Hinder Inclusive Education
MAR Manalili
Ought: The Journal of Autistic Culture 3 (1), 22-36
The Evidential Value and Pitfalls of Extant Language Development Research Methods
MAR Manalili
Towards causal explanations of language mechanisms behind emotion development
MAR Manalili
Curated via Google Scholar

Work in progress

The Neurodiversity Discussion Group

Relevant domains and disciplines

Dis/ability Critical Race Studies (DisCrit)
Critical Neurodiversity Studies
Science and Technology Studies
Critical Medical/Health Humanities
Social Anthropology
Cognitive Sciences
Philosophy of Science
Speech/Language Therapy

Participating organisations

  1. Community
  2. Narratives of Neurodiversity Network
  3. Neurodivergent Infinity Network of Educators
  4. Neurodivergent Humanities Network
  5. AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People