Neurodivergently: New word for neurodivergent people


in a neurodivergent manner, or in a manner that may be unique due to an individual’s neurodivergence.

On 20 September 2015, I coined a term which I would like to explain properly so that anyone who identifies as neurodivergent can use it as they choose to.

Before deciding that I had definitely coined a new term, I checked in with both Nick Walker, who has compiled a list of terms and definitions related to neurodiversity, as well as with Neurodivergent K, who coined the terms neurodivergent and neurodivergence. After getting their approval, I would like to present you with this newly coined term.

This came about during a discussion to name something, which I hope will be really awesome. Naming things is really quite difficult at times because I tend to get stuck on an individual word. In this case, I think that worked well because I was really looking for a way to describe doing things in the way that neurodivergent people do them.

So, how would you use this word in a sentence? A few examples (with some explanatory notes):

  • I am neurodivergently planning to do this thing. I’ve written before about how planning to do something might be done differently to many people. Instead of saying I’m planning to do a thing, I can say “I’m neurodivergently planning to do the thing” because that adds a subtlety to the process that people may relate to.
  • I walk neurodivergently. On the surface, that might sound like a strange sentence. Given that my unique gait has been commented on several times over the course of my life, I feel that I can say that. I can acknowledge that the way I walk is due to my gross motor planning abilities which is largely influenced by my neurodivergence.
  • I love living neurodivergently. I don’t think that needs an additional explanation, do you?

At this point, it is exceptionally important to note that saying that you’re doing something neurodivergently does not, under any circumstances, imply superiority. It is purely a way to say that you’re doing something differently because your neurology differs from the majority. Your different way is no more or less than someone else’s way; it’s just different.

So, there you go: an explanation of the term together with a few examples. This is one tiny, probably insignificant, way for me to give back to the neurodiversity movement and the people involved in it. They have given so much to my life that I feel that this is somewhat inadequate.

I do not own this word. Anyone is free to use this word as needed. All I ask is that you use it correctly, and in the spirit that it was intended to be used.