Here is a list of common questions in relation to terms and language used throughout the site.

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is the idea that neurological differences like autism and ADHD are the result of normal, natural variation in the human genome. This represents a new and fundamentally different way of looking at conditions that were traditionally pathologized. This viewpoint is increasingly supported by science that science suggests conditions like autism have a stable prevalence in human society as far back as we can measure. Autism, ADHD, and other conditions emerge through a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental interaction; they are not the result of disease or injury.

What do you mean by special ability?

In the spirit of neurodiversity, we use “special ability” instead of “disability” or “special needs” as a way to highlight the “difference” aspect of neuro-atypical brain expression. However, we acknowledge that children and individuals identified as disabled, including those diagnosed with autism, often require accommodations, training, and support to reach their full potential in society.

Are you active in communities outside of the Greater Boston area?

We are currently exploring partnerships with parent advocacy organizations in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, and New York, however, we were established to be a resource for the international community. If you or your organization would like to explore a partnership with the Institute, let us know.

Have a question for us not listed above? Let us know.