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 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 communities around the world still encounter systemic dehumanization in science 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, researcher at City, University of London and member of the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists
  • Direct collaboration with global neurodivergent and grassroots communities will foster nuanced opportunities to learn how community members self-identify and conceptualise neurodivergence. Given the emancipatory aims of my project, it is clear that understanding a variety of personal and collective perspectives is not only useful but also vital in uncovering genuine grassroots knowledge of neurodiversity as a conceptual tool for understanding humanity.

Results to date

The results of this intersectional transdisciplinary research initiative are being 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.


Curated via Google Scholar:

Epistemology of Monolingual Bias
MAR Manalili
Ableist Ideologies Stifle Neurodiversity and Hinder Inclusive Education
MAR Manalili
Ought: The Journal of Autistic Culture 3 (1), 22-36
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)
Developmental Language Disorder is Psycholinguistic Injustice: Tagalog Knowledge From a Philippine Context
MAR Manalili
The Evidential Value and Pitfalls of Extant Language Development Research Methods
MAR Manalili
Towards causal explanations of language mechanisms behind emotion development
MAR Manalili
Interaction Patterns and Language Teaching Strategies Exhibited by Parents in Two Filipino Parent-Toddler Dyads
H Bayona, I Bondoc, MAR Manalili, J Marzan, P Mascarinas, B Sicat
University of the Philippines Manila

Work in progress

The Neurodiversity Discussion Group at Cognitive Science Society

Relevant domains and disciplines

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

Participating organisations

  1. Community
  2. Narratives of Neurodiversity Network
  3. Autistic Collaboration Trust
  4. Neurodivergent Infinity Network of Educators
  5. Neurodiversity Discussion Group
  6. Neurodivergent Humanities Network
  7. AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People