Paradigm ‘flipping’ to reinvigorate translational science: Outlining a neurodevelopmental science framework from a ‘neurodiversity’ perspective
Edmund J. S. Sonuga-Barke
For the most part the science of neuro-developmental conditions, such as autism and ADHD, is conducted within a framework defined by a paradigm that assumes that these expressions of neuro-developmental variation are disorders resulting from brain dysfunction. the translational goal being to identify, then target, the source of such dysfunction to reduce disorder and resolve impairment. By shifting this perspective to one that defines such conditions as divergence in thought and action underpinned by brain atypicality, the neurodiversity paradigm offers a fresh scientific vision shaped by a new translational imperative. It shifts the focus of enquiry to understanding the way environments shape experience to either stifle or promote the well-being and development of neurodivergent people. It also encourages the fullest possible participation of neurodivergent people in the scientific process. Together these two elements provide a platform for a new translational science of neurodevelopment.
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Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke is the Editor in Chief for JCPP, a full profile can be found here.