Sooo...what is neurodivergence?
Neurodivergence can include conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other neurological or mental health conditions. Counselling can help those who identify as neurodivergent to learn how to manage their conditions and develop strategies to cope with the challenges they face.
What do these terms mean?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects how a person communicates, interacts with others, and sees the world. People with ASD may have difficulty understanding social cues, making friends, or expressing their feelings. They may also have specific interests or routines that they are very focused on and find it challenging to handle changes in their daily routine.
Autism is a spectrum disorder, which means that it can vary widely from person to person.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects how a person pays attention and controls their impulses and activity levels. People with ADHD may have difficulty focusing on tasks, staying organized, and following instructions. They may also exhibit hyperactive or impulsive behaviors, such as being constantly on the move, interrupting others, or acting without thinking.
ADHD is commonly diagnosed in childhood, but it can persist into adulthood. It can make it challenging for individuals to succeed in school, work, and relationships. However, it's important to note that ADHD doesn't mean a person is lazy or unintelligent. In fact, many individuals with ADHD have unique strengths and talents, such as creativity and problem-solving skills.
Dyslexia is a learning disorder that primarily affects reading and language skills. People with dyslexia may have difficulty with recognizing and understanding written words, spelling, and reading fluency. It is important to note that dyslexia is not related to intelligence or lack of effort.
Individuals with dyslexia may struggle to decode words, confuse similar-looking letters or numbers, and have trouble following written instructions. They might also experience challenges with writing, organizing their thoughts, and remembering information. Dyslexia can vary in severity, with some individuals experiencing mild difficulties and others facing more significant challenges.
Dyscalculia is a learning disorder that primarily affects a person's ability to understand and work with numbers. Individuals with dyscalculia may struggle with basic arithmetic operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They may also have difficulty understanding number concepts, recognizing patterns, and grasping mathematical concepts.
People with dyscalculia may find it challenging to remember and recall math facts, have difficulty telling time, struggle with counting and sequencing, and face difficulties with tasks that involve numbers or measurements.
Dyspraxia, also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), is a condition that affects a person's coordination and movement skills. Individuals with dyspraxia may have difficulty planning, executing, and coordinating physical movements, making tasks like tying shoelaces, catching a ball, or riding a bike challenging for them.
People with dyspraxia may struggle with fine motor skills, such as handwriting, using utensils, or buttoning clothes. They may also have difficulties with gross motor skills, such as balance, jumping, or participating in sports activities. Additionally, individuals with dyspraxia may find it challenging to organize and plan tasks, follow instructions, or engage in activities requiring multiple steps.
Dyspraxia is not related to intelligence, but it can impact daily functioning and academic performance.
Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics. Tics are sudden, repetitive, and uncontrollable actions or sounds that a person with Tourette Syndrome experiences.
Tics can manifest in various ways. Motor tics involve sudden, repetitive movements like blinking, facial grimacing, or shoulder shrugging. Vocal tics involve making sounds, such as throat clearing, sniffing, or saying words or phrases out of context. Tics can range from mild to severe and may change over time.
Individuals with Tourette Syndrome often have other associated conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). They may also experience difficulties with impulse control or exhibit behavioral challenges.
While Tourette Syndrome is a lifelong condition, symptoms may improve or change over time.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD):
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition characterized by recurring, intrusive thoughts or fears (obsessions) and the urge to perform repetitive behaviors or rituals (compulsions) in response to those thoughts. It's important to note that everyone may experience occasional unwanted thoughts or engage in repetitive behaviors, but in OCD, these thoughts and behaviors become excessive, time-consuming, and interfere with daily life.
People with OCD often have persistent and distressing thoughts or worries that are difficult to control. These obsessions can revolve around themes such as cleanliness, symmetry, or safety. In an attempt to alleviate the anxiety caused by these obsessions, individuals with OCD engage in compulsions. These compulsions can be actions like excessive handwashing, checking, counting, or mental rituals like repeating specific thoughts or phrases.
OCD can significantly disrupt daily activities, relationships, and overall quality of life. It's important to remember that individuals with OCD are aware that their obsessions and compulsions may not make logical sense, but they feel compelled to engage in them to reduce anxiety or prevent harm.