NT and Autism Spectrum Disorder

NT stands for neurotypical or neurologically typical, a term broadly used to describe those not on the Autism Spectrum. Lately the term has been restricted by the scientific community to be those whose neurology is typical, as in not struggling with any developmental disabilities such as Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, or Developmental Coordination Disorder.

Thus a better term for the original definition of NT would be allistic, or nypical which describe someone who is not autistic.

Neurotypical and ASD

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How Can You Spot a Neurotypical?

The abbreviation NT sounds a lot like ET and bestows a rather exotic or mysterious feel. But this could not be farther from the truth. NTs make up over 99% of the population and are pretty much everywhere.

In your typical day, they are pretty much the only people you will run into. But here are a few signs that can help you single out this not-so-elusive animal:

  • They love small talk. A lot. While in truth small talk offers very little by way of usefulness or functionality, neurotypicals consider it rude to pass up the opportunity to indulge in it. Many would consider it rude to delve straight into the heart of a matter without passing through this hallowed door of chit-chat.
  • They love touching. They love this almost as much as they love chit-chat. NTs touch everybody: friends, acquaintances, business partners,  even casual strangers. They love physical contact. Crave it, more like-especially in greetings and sending offs. If your dentist feels the need to always send you off with a pat on the back, then, yup, you are dealing with an NT.
  • They don’t always say when they mean. With neurotypicals expect ambiguity in their speech. This is one of the things which those on the autistic spectrum find most frustrating. For example, if an NT asks you “How do I look?” just before that big date she has planned that evening, the last thing she expects is your honest opinion, so an answer of “I don’t like the colour and the hem seems jaded” is not likely to go down well-even if it’s true! The rules of speech for NTs are complex.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Going by the popular definition of NT, those who are on the autism spectrum or struggle with autism spectrum disorder are considered non-neurotypical or non-NT.

Autism Spectrum Disorder describes a range of developmental disorders, which exhibit a range or spectrum of symptoms or developmental disability.

How Can You Spot Someone Suffering With ASD?

Like in any spectrum, the degrees to which individuals are affected vary. 1 in every 68 children are said to be on the autistic spectrum. While that is not a very high percentage of the human population, the symptoms for those struggling with ASD are recognisable and generally include the following:

  • Social problems that include difficulties in communication and interaction with those around them.
  • Strict adherence and preference for routines. A small change in the day-to-day routine could completely throw them off.
  • They exhibit symptoms that usually hurt their chances of functioning well at school, work or society in general.
  • They exhibit an aversion to small talk and a general horror of physical contact.
  • A general lack of emotional connection with those around them, and this sometimes includes even family.



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