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For older discussion, see
Archive 1 (2005-2007)
Archive 2 (2008-2012)

New contributor introduction[edit]

Hello all. I'm working from Sonoma State University in California on a Masters thesis which includes information on the neurodiversity movement. Part of my project this semester (Spring 2013) is to create or update a Wiki page on my topic. Since this page already exists, and because the neurodiversity movement is so active, I want to introduce myself before I make any changes. I've done research on the neurodiversity movement, including its history, controversies, the differences between the British and American concepts of neurodiversity, and the organizations which promote a neurodiversity framework. I also have a boatload of academic references for the page. Since this movement is growing and changing, my sense is that this entry needs to change as well. However, I don't want to step on any toes. Would it be preferable for me to create a page of my intended changes elsewhere (and link you to it for discussion), or shall I just enter boldly into this page? Let me know! I'd like to start posting in April, 2013. Thank you! Karla McLaren. KarlaMcLaren (talk) 20:21, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

No, you should be bold and make any changes that you feel will improve the article -- of course you are welcome to discuss anything you have doubts about. The two things to bear in mind are (1) our articles should be neutral, that is, they should present facts and not advocate for points of view; (2) Wikipedia differs from academia in that the preference here is to minimize the number of references, because huge numbers of refs make an article hard to maintain. In practice that means relying whenever possible on review papers rather than the primary research literature -- see WP:MEDRS for more information. In short, feel free to ask questions but also feel free to be bold. Looie496 (talk) 21:44, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Thank you! KarlaMcLaren (talk) 20:14, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

Okay, I was somewhat bold in my first edit, but the formatting on Wiki is so convoluted that I didn't want to make larger changes until I saw what these ones did. Let me know how this flies before I become bolder still. Thanks KarlaMcLaren (talk) 22:26, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

On a quick scan, it looks fine to me. It's way more important to get the information right than the formatting. If you mess up the formatting, any "wikignome" can come along and fix it. We have way more wikignomes around here than people with subject matter knowledge. Regards, Looie496 (talk) 23:43, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Thank you! Wikignomes is a fun term! I'll be adding more data and continuing my edit over the next week or so. KarlaMcLaren (talk) 21:07, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

3 May 2013[edit]

Hello again! After my second edit, I have two questions. First, the warnings on this page, about lack of balance and the need for a rewrite of the lead (which I rewrote) -- who decides when these issues have been dealt with satisfactorily? Second, a formatting question: The first Blume excerpt in para 3 of the History section is in a pull quote format, but his next excerpts aren't. Is this a convention, or an omission? Thank you! KarlaMcLaren (talk) 21:34, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

If you look at the top of the article, you'll see a tab called "History". If you click on it, you get access to the entire editing history of the article -- every edit, who made it, when it was made, and what was changed. It often takes a good bit of work to figure out who was responsible for what, but it's all there.
The "article tags", I find, were added by Sugarcoma (talk · contribs) on October 4, the same date as the message from him/her that you can see higher up on this talk page. I have removed them. There are very few cases, in my opinion, where tags like that have any value, and it's always difficult to know how to handle them. The message here on the talk page really serves the same purpose, and doesn't mess up the article.
Regarding the quotes: an earlier version of this article had three long pull-quotes from Blume. Pull-quotes are useful sometimes because they give maximum emphasis, but there is a general principle that having a large fraction of the text consist of pull-quotes is bad style. In November 2011 the article was extensively edited by SandyGeorgia (talk · contribs), one of our best copy-editors, and among many other edits she changed the style of those quotes. Looie496 (talk) 22:58, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your response and your explanations. I wanted to understand the quoting convention before I added more quotes, and I agree with Sandy Georgia's decision to pull-quote where she did, since that is the first public mention of the term.KarlaMcLaren (talk) 05:08, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

I edited this article years ago, when I was still a relatively novice editor. The article is over-quoted (then and now); the current recommendations for using blockquote can be found at WP:MOSQUOTE, but more of the article should be written in our own words. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:44, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Questions about section header, quotations & controversies[edit]

Hello and thank you all for your support. I've just completed a large edit and added updated information in two sections (History and Controversies). I have three questions:

New section names: Is there a place for a new section along the lines of Neurodiversity Organizations or something like that? I don't mean to be a promoter of specific organizations, but there are places people can go to learn more. I couldn't find a rule for section header names, and I'm not sure if this would be an acceptable addition.

Page references: When quoting sources more than once in a para, do you re-reference after quotes?

Controversies: I struggled with one subject that is controversial, but I'm not sure how to frame it. The DANDA reference at the bottom of the History section is important because it shows neurodiversity moving outward from the autism community. However, for some reason, UK neurodiversity sites present ND conditions in terms of disability, disorder, debility, difficulty, and problems ( [1] , which is the exact opposite of what Singer, Sinclair, and Blume intended neurodiversity to mean. This misuse of the term is an important controversy, and it separates the UK and US neurodiversity movements decidedly, but I could use some direction on how to frame it within the scope of this piece. Thank you again. KarlaMcLaren (talk) 22:59, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

You shouldn't repeat the article name in section titles, so "Organizations" would be better than "Neurodiversity Organizations". Describing organizations should be fine as long as you do it in a neutral way and as long as you can find reliable sources of information that are independent of the organizations themselves.
Regarding page references, this is always a challenge. On one hand, having citations densely scattered through the article is annoying to the reader -- on the other hand, the reader needs to be able to figure out which reference is the source for the particular thing that the reader is looking at. Basically you should just do what seems best to you, and allow it to be copy-edited later if necessary. Also, be careful about over-using quotes. Ideally they should only be used when it is specifically important that the information comes from a particular person or was worded in a particular way.
Regarding the controversy you mention, the main principle to keep in mind is neutrality. You should feel free to say that a discrepancy exists and to describe the views and actions of both sides, but you shouldn't use the voice of Wikipedia to pick a winner, unless one of the two sides is overwhelmingly dominant in the mainstream of opinion. Looie496 (talk) 16:48, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree. The article have been polluted with the disability view which is contrary to the initial intention. It's even liked to various disability categories. Rdos (talk) 08:51, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
On section names, please see WP:MEDMOS. On the idea of including a list of organizations, please see WP:NOT (Wikipedia is not a directory, not for advocacy, etc). Unless an independent secondary source discusses the connection of advocacy organizations to the concept of neurodiversity, including a list or section here would be original research and a breach of WP:NOT.

On sources, all quotes should always be directly cited right after the quote. Text gets moved around and citations may be lost-- in fact, that seems to have happened in your edits.

Regarding your question on controversies, you seem to be engaging in original research (quite a bit of which has crept into this article over the years). Writing for an encyclopedia is different than writing a university paper, or even a scholarly journal paper: we only publish conclusions of independent secondary sources, and we can't string together unrelated sources to publish our own, original thoughts -- which is what your paragraph above on "controversy" is. By the way, I don't believe a "controversy" section is warranted here (I agree with Wikipedia:Criticism that all content should be worked throughout the article seamlessly, to avoid creating POV or giving undue weight to any one view-- as the article stands now, one view-- published by an independent scholarly source-- has been marginalized by referring to it as a "controversy"). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:54, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Please review WP:MSH, WP:MEDRS, and please also take care with primary sources, WP:SYNTH, WP:OR, weasel words, over-quotation, accurate representation of sources, and to avoid plagiarism and copyvio. I have tagged and cleaned up some of the issues in the article-- there are more. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:37, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

Inclusion of scientific neurodiversity[edit]

The current article has a too big focus on non-scientific definitions of neurodiversity as well as a sociological model. There is a recently published scientific definition of neurodiversity in the peer-reviewed journal Sage Open ( Conclusions abount neurodiversity as well as the scientific definition should be added. Rdos (talk) 08:09, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

In this case, "open source" appears to mean "self-published" (by the author of the concept)-- there is no other reliable mention anywhere. I have just been through this article and found the use of many primary sources, misrepresentation of sources, uncited text, WP:MSH issues, weasel words, and multiple items needing clarification. I have tagged and checked only a small portion of same-- there is much more to be checked (and the article is overquoted). I also found plagiarism, so the entire article should be more carefully checked for accurate representation of WP:MEDRS-compliant sources. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:35, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
It doesn't mean "self-published". Sage Open is peer-reviewed (look it up). Your opinion of a concept you dislike has no importance here. I have no idea why you even frequent this article as you obviously only deal with the disorder view. Your claim about plagiarism is ridiculous as SageOpen has extensive anti-plagiarism detection. It just shows that you don't know what you talk about. Rdos (talk) 13:21, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

So has the disease people scared-off all the neurodiversity advocates here as nobody seems inclined to read the study and add important content? Rdos (talk) 08:34, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

From the conclusion of the paper: "The data from Aspie Quiz contradict the view that neurodiversity is a cultural or social construct, as all the traits are correlated to each other, pointing to an inherited rather than social component." This should be added as another POV. In addition to that, the scientific neurodiversity definition should be added "Neurodiversity was defined as the primary factor output by factor analysis of a data set of human behaviors which contains evenly distributed traits of all sorts that cover all of human diversity. Neurotypical function was defined as the second factor.". The validity of this method could be cited from Results - Factor stability that concludes that these factors were highly stable and independent of what exact neurodiversity issues are used. Support for the idea that personality is related to neurodiversity is presented in table 5 where extraversion and neuroticism is found to be highly correlated to neurodiversity Rdos (talk) 09:59, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Aspie Quiz. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:05, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with the deletion or not of the Aspie Quiz article. Primary sources like this can be used in other articles without being notable enough to motivate their own article. Rdos (talk) 09:20, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Without an independent secondary sources that cites it, it cannot be shown that WP:DUEWEIGHT or even WP:FRINGE is satisfied. Zad68 20:21, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
The paper is not WP:FRINGE in this article since it is about neurodiversity as human variation, the very topic of this article, and this has been found to be a notable subject. There can also be no WP:DUEWEIGHT as nothing from it is cited yet. More likely we have a WP:POV bias here by not citing evidence for neurodiversity being inherited. This is in fact a very common view on autism-related forums, so is not a minority view. Rdos (talk) 07:00, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Zad68; without independent secondary sources that cite and discuss this article, we have no "evidence for neurodiversity being inherited". We have one paper, a primary source, written by you (please see WP:COI); autism-related forums are not reliable sources. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:32, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Vandalism allegation[edit]

Among other things the journal "Dyslexia" is noted as "unreliable medical source". How could a journal with a focus on one of the components of neurodiversity which is not considered a disorder be unreliable in the context of neurodiversity? I'll just have to remind SandyGeorgia that this is not a medical article (despite falsely being categorized as such), but about the personality-aspect of several psychiatric diagnoses. Rdos (talk) 13:48, 9 August 2013 (UTC)

The word "vandalism" should only be used for edits that are deliberately intended to damage the encyclopedia. You will find that using the word to describe well-intended edits that you disagree with will greatly reduce the chances that other editors will pay attention to what you are saying. Looie496 (talk) 15:18, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
Please review WP:TALK and alter the section heading above. Not only have you used "vandalism" incorrectly, but you have singled out an editor in a section heading. The reliability of those sources is not dependent on whether or not neurodiversity is a medical topic or a disorder or psychiatric or not; it has to do with statements about health. The source tagged is a primary source; it could be tagged with RS or MEDRS equally, but MEDRS does a better job of explaining the use of primary sources when discussing health matters. If you have a secondary review that discusses that primary source, it could be included without being UNDUE; when primary studies are unreviewed by secondary sources, any number of sourcing issues arise. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:02, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
The "Dyslexia" journal is owned by the Brisish Dyslexia Association, which has funding from the Orton Gillingham remedial program providers, and is similar to Orton Gillingham's main marketing arm the International Dyslexia Association which owns the "Annuals of Dyslexia" journal. dolfrog (talk) 16:16, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
What you try to tell me is if somebody has done non-medical treatment programs of Dyslexia, they disqualify as a credible source. I suppose that if somebody invented a drug that would treat Dyslexia nobody would see any problem in including that as a reliable source, right? Rdos (talk) 08:25, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
First you claim that it doesn't matter if neurodiversity is a medical topic or not, and then you claim that it is about health and that that would motivate requiring using medical sources only. That's really illogical. Do you claim that personality types should be referenced from medical sources also, arguing that any variation from typical personality traits (like being introvert, which in fact is a neurodiversity trait) is a health issue? Rdos (talk) 08:17, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

I have corrected the section head per talk page guidelines to remove the inaccurate personalization. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:16, 9 August 2013 (UTC)


There is synthesis, original research, weasel words, and puffery throughout ... I tagged some, removed some that was obvious, and this piece is pure synthesis: I've removed it to talk in case someone can cite it. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:56, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Many conflicts over the neurodiversity approach focus upon the assumptions of people like Jaarsma and Welin (above),[original research?] who believe that neurodiversity activists don’t want any treatment or supports. However, this does not take into account the work of neurodiversity-focused organizations[original research?] such as the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the Autism Women’s Network,[1] The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism,[2] and Autism Network International, all of which advocate for direct support (such as inclusion-focused services, accommodations, communication and assistive technologies, occupational training, and independent living support).[improper synthesis?][3]

Agree this is problematic content and correct to remove until sufficient sourcing can be found/improved. Zad68 20:22, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
I can't make the citations on talk work, but the entire paragraph seems to be constructed as original research by the person who wrote it, stringing together unrelated sources to synthesize a conclusion. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 11:40, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I got the reflist-talks to work by adding required magic parameter "close=1" (why would a parameter like that be optional to specify but required to make it work??). Zad68 14:00, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Synthesis 2[edit]

Additional synthesis, original research, moved here for discussion. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 12:04, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

This[clarification needed] lack of attribution may be due to the possibility[weasel words] that Singer's conceptualization of neurodiversity had already been adopted by an international online community of people on the autism spectrum, to which Singer belonged, and which Blume studied for an article he wrote in 1997.[citation needed][original research?]

Synthesis 3[edit]

Moving another to talk; sources claim weblinks, but there are none, and WP:SYNTH, and questionable WP:RS considering no source or publisher is given. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:42, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

However, the argument could be made[weasel words] that rejection of the broader claim on the basis of "low functioning" autism ignores the experiences of neurodiversity advocates who would be considered "low functioning,"[original research?] some of whom directly address these issues[4][5][6]


  1. ^ "Autism Women's Network". Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Thinking Person's Guide to Autism". Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Position Statements". Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Retrieved April 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ Baggs, Amanda. "Neurodiversity Is Not the opposite of Biomed. Or ABA. Or Anything Else like That." Web log post. Ballastexistenz. N.p., 30 Jan. 2006. Web. 13 Aug. 2013.
  5. ^ Baggs, Amanda. "Neurodiversity… but not quite." Web log post. Ballastexistenz. N.p., 28 Dec. 2005. Web. 13 Aug. 2013.
  6. ^ Sequenzia, Amy. "Amy Sequenzia and Autism Acceptance Month." Web log post. Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. Myers-Rosa Foundation., 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 13 Aug. 2013.