2019 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 51-65
Knowledge and recognition of the significance and strength of various cognitive-behavioural phenotypes, including phenotypes associated with mental and developmental disorders, are increasing but remain limited. With a focus on biological, psychological, and economic concepts such as biodiversity, neurodiversity, and comparative advantage, this paper argues that individuals and society benefit when individuals with different cognitive-behavioural profiles coexist within a society. This paper also discusses the strength of various cognitive-behavioural phenotypes, focusing especially on the autism spectrum. The advantages and strength of diverse cognitive-behavioural phenotypes are emphasised; however, highlighting these positive aspects does not mean neglecting individuals’ need for support: humans are multifaceted and individuals who share a diagnosis are varied as well. Future research must increasingly focus on how we all can take advantage of our strengths through sharing perspectives, including the perspectives of individuals facing disabilities.