Neurodiversity is a term that has gained widespread recognition in recent years, and for good reason. It refers to the natural variations in brain development and behavioral traits in humans. Furthermore, neurodiversity recognizes that not everyone thinks or processes information the same way.
As awareness of neurodiversity continues to evolve, individuals and healthcare professionals are seeking ways to answer questions about this complex subject. With this in mind, this guide outlines tips on identifying neurodiversity symptoms and explores the benefits of embracing neurodiversity strengths with the goal of living a healthy, satisfying life.
What Makes You Neurodivergent?
So what exactly makes someone “neurodivergent?” It comes down to how their brain processes information and responds to stimuli. Neurodivergent brains function differently from the neurotypical so-called “norm.” If you’re neurodivergent, it means your brain is wired in a unique way, which can result in a variety of traits and characteristics.
There are many different ways someone can be considered neurodivergent. This includes symptoms such as challenges with concentration, compromised motor functions, and barriers in communication – all of which are commonly linked to neurodivergent conditions such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, etc.
What is Involved in a Formal Diagnosis of Neurodivergence?
The first step to obtaining a formal diagnosis of neurodivergence is to contact a qualified healthcare professional, such as your primary care physician or mental health professional. Your healthcare provider should conduct a comprehensive evaluation which should include standardized assessments and tests to estimate where on the neurodivergent spectrum you or your loved one may fall.
What Should Someone Do If They Think They Are Neurodivergent?
If you believe you or a loved one could be neurodivergent, the most important thing to do is realize that you are not alone, and you’re certainly not broken. Help is available, and millions of people who are neurodivergent live productive, joyful, vibrant lives.
Next, you should realize that neurodiversity symptoms can be complex, and it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from a qualified healthcare provider. Begin by scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician or mental health specialist. Explain what symptoms or behaviors are concerning you and share any relevant information about your medical history. Your doctor may recommend you for specialized treatment so you can receive the therapy you deserve.
How to Support Someone With a Neurodivergent Child
Supporting a child with neurodivergence can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that with the right strategies, they can thrive and excel. First and foremost, it’s crucial to approach them with empathy and understanding. This means recognizing their unique strengths and challenges and accepting the child for who they are.
You can also support a neurodivergent child by providing sensory accommodations. Some children may have sensory processing difficulties which make certain sounds, sights, or textures overwhelming.
Another effective way to support a child with a neurodivergent condition, such as autism, is by creating a structured routine. Consistency helps them feel more secure in their environment and reduces anxiety.
What Are the Benefits of Understanding a Neurodiverse Child?
Understanding neurodiversity traits can render a deeper relationship with your child and instill more empathy within you as you approach your child with more compassion. Furthermore, making an effort to comprehend what your child is going through will help you more clearly determine your child’s unique needs.
There are also benefits of neurodiversity for employers, as young people and adults with these special conditions often exhibit highly desirable characteristics. These coveted qualities in some neurodiverse workers include recognizing concepts that might be missed by others and a genuine desire to contribute and be a valuable participant in the workplace.
Is Neurodivergent Behavior Different in Adults vs. Children?
Yes. Signs of neurodivergence in adults can differ from traits in kids. Much of the reason for variables in behavior boils down to disparity in maturity and neurological development between an adult and a child.
In children, neurodivergent behaviors may be more pronounced as they are unable to control or hide their symptoms. On the other hand, adults who are neurodivergent may develop coping mechanisms, masking their symptoms. These individuals may appear more socially adept than children but still have issues that go unnoticed by others.
Are People Born With Neurodiversity?
The cause of neurodiversity is still not 100% fully understood, but there is evidence to suggest that it may be present from birth. Some research has linked genetic mutations and variations to certain conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and dyslexia.
That said, research indicates environmental factors may play a role in the development of neurodivergent traits. For example, exposure to toxins during early childhood or pregnancy may increase the risk of developing certain conditions.
Who to Speak With if You Think Your Child Is Neurodiverse?
To whom you speak about your concerns regarding a neurodiverse child depends largely on your support system. For instance, some parents opt to speak to their spiritual advisor, such as a pastor. You may also want to talk to educators or caregivers about your child’s situation.
Above all else, you should speak to a healthcare professional. A mental health specialist or a neurodiversity therapist can provide the answers you need to navigate the often confusing situations you may encounter while helping your child.
Furthermore, an expert can point out neurodiversity strengths in your child, as well as provide solutions and reassurance that your child can indeed live a fulfilling, brilliant life – regardless of his or her unique circumstances.
Neurodiversity is a natural and valuable aspect of human diversity that encompasses various differences in learning, thinking, and behavior. At Evolve Treatment, we offer comprehensive treatment programs for youths who need a little help living and navigating their neurodiversity symptoms. Our team of experts provides personalized care designed to meet each client’s individual needs while emphasizing their unique strengths. Contact us today so we can provide you and your child the support needed to live a dynamic, empowered life with neurodivergence.