The word “neurotypical”, whether in the sense of “not autistic” and the more general sense of “not mentally ill”, has an array of problems. Let’s split the word into it’s roots and take them on that way. I’ll be starting from the back, since that’s the one I’ve had complaints with for longer.
“Typical”. I hate it. Absolutely hate it. Sticking it into a longer word is a step up from using “normal”, which is possibly the second-worst six-letter word starting with “n” in the English language, no mean feat. But it’s not really far from “normal”. No social justice movement has ever won by labelling the privileged group “normal”, and using a synonym with different connotations isn’t much better. I’ve seen a few alternatives suggested. “Convergent” is the one I’ve used the most, but that term leaves invisible what the privileged group’s way of thinking converges to. I expect that dragging that societal norm out into the open is going to be essential to our winning our rights, so anything that leaves it invisible is problematic.
Going to the front of the word, the “neuro” part is also problematic. That autistic people can exist in multiple systems with non-autistic headmates means that there is no fundamental difference between how an autistic brain and a non-autistic brain works; brain/mind conflation erases multiple systems. The “say what you mean” principle applies to multiple systems as strongly as it does for trans singlets; non-autistic people merely use their brains differently from autistic people, they do not necessarily have fundamentally different brains.
Replacing this part is also tricky. “Psycho-” works as a prefix better than “neuro-” here, although that has it’s own problems where it feels to me like it emphasizes mental illness more than development path. Which is perfectly fine for the more general use of “neurotypical”, but actually might reveal a third problem with the word. Autistic and not autistic are specific experiences, and a word that differentiates non-autistic but mentally ill and non-autistic not mentally ill people is necessary, or even just differentiating developmental disability from mental illness (both of those . My reluctance to use “psycho-” might also itself be a form of ableism directed at the mentally ill, and a desire to separate myself from them.
Right now I’m at a loss, and just going to say “non-autistic” or “not autistic”. It’s a really imperfect solution, since it describes a privileged group as merely being not in the oppressed group rather than as being a distinct group of their own. “Developmentally abled” works as an alternative, too, although focusing on development path emphasizes autistic children in the same way as the caretaker centerers do.