What Do All The Letters Mean?

by | Oct 6, 2021 | Information | 0 comments

Here is a brief explanation of common abbreviations and words used in Neurodivergent spaces that are at times misused.


This is a disability movement that is grounded in the social model of disability. Neurodiversity is a natural variance that exists within human brains. Divergence from the neuro majority often results in disability. This disability can be supported with services, accommodations, and modifications. There are many misconceptions about the Neurodiversity Movement, so I’m including a link to better explain the movement. Behind the Anti-Neurodiversity Articles: An Unholy Alliance of Usual Suspects » NeuroClastic


A term that encapsulates the diversity within which human’s brains are wired and includes both Neurotypical and Neurodivergent. Think of it similar to “our world is diverse”.

ND / Neurodivergent

Refers to people who differ from the typical or majority presentation of brain wiring. Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing disorder, Learning disabilities are generally accepted as being Neurodivergent. Other diagnoses that many see as neurodivergent are generalized anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, dementia, OCD, Tourettes, and many others.

NT / Neurotypical

Neuro Majority

It is a another term for NT.


It is not autistic; you could be Neurodivergent and still be Allistic.

AA / Autistic Adult


Identity first language (or Identity affirming language) vs Person first language. Language use is important to many people. Do not assume someone wants to be referred to in a certain way. Ask and then be respectful to use the language they prefer. This includes pronouns, identities (including Autistic, Deaf, Blind, Disabled, Black, Indigenous, American, Muslim, Christian, etc). Proponents of IFL state people use adjectives to describe themselves in many different ways–For example, I’m an Autistic Occupational Therapist. I do not call myself someone with an Occupational Therapy degree who has an Autism diagnosis. I have many identities that I am proud of, and when we are proud of an identity, we use IFL. Others may prefer different language choices, and we must respect each person. One thing I encourage all professionals to do is to follow disability movements. Often, what we learn in our education is out of date or may not accurately reflect the populations we serve. A huge part of evidence based practice is lived experience. I think we often do not take this into account enough. Identity-First Language | Autistic Self Advocacy Network (autisticadvocacy.org)