Neurodiversity is an umbrella term that describes a different way of thinking and processing the world. It can also be the result of conditions like autism spectrum disorder, ADHD or dyslexia.
If you feel like your brain is functioning differently than others, you may want to take a neurodivergent test. These online quizzes don’t give you an official diagnosis but can help you understand yourself better.
What is neurodivergence?
Neurodivergence is a broad term used to describe people who have differences in their brain functions. These differences can include Autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other conditions that affect learning and thinking abilities.
These differences may have been present from birth, or they can be acquired, like through a brain-altering experience. They can be difficult to recognize or diagnose, but they don’t have to define you as a person.
Some people who are neurodivergent don’t know they’re neurodivergent, but having a diagnosis can help them understand why they do the things that they do. This can help them work more effectively with their condition and find success in their lives.
Many neurodivergent people are often misunderstood by others, so it’s important to be sensitive to their needs. This includes making sure that they have the resources they need at work and ensuring that their personal needs are met.
It’s also important to communicate in ways that make sense to them and to be able to listen to them when they have questions or concerns. For example, someone who is neurodivergent may prefer written communication over face-to-face meetings.
They may need extra time and resources to do tasks or to communicate with people. This is why hiring processes that are geared towards accommodating neurodivergent employees can be helpful.
There are also tools and software available to help them communicate more effectively. These can include text-to-speech and talk & type dictation. They can also change the format of their digital documents to meet their specific needs.
As a result, teams with neurodivergent professionals are 30% more productive than those without them, according to Deloitte. That can have a positive impact on team morale and increase employee retention.
Moreover, neurodivergent people can bring unique perspectives to the table that can benefit teams and organizations. That’s why more business leaders are starting to recognise the value of neurodiversity.
For example, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has said that the world needs a neurodiverse workforce to solve some of its big problems. He has highlighted the benefits of his dyslexia diagnosis and is a firm believer in the role of neurodiversity in his own success.
What are the symptoms of neurodivergence?
Neurodivergence is a term that describes people who have different brain strengths and challenges than others. The term was created by Australian sociologist Judy Singer in 1998 to recognize that every person’s brain develops differently. This difference can be a result of medical conditions, learning disabilities or other factors.
It can also be a result of the way that a person’s brain functions. This can affect how they think, how they communicate and how they experience the world.
The symptoms of neurodivergence can be subtle, so it’s important to recognize them early on and treat them properly. These symptoms include fatigue, a lack of motivation, heightened anxiety and irritability. They can also lead to burnout, which is a condition that requires professional treatment and support.
If you’re feeling tired all the time, it could be a sign that your neurodivergence is starting to negatively impact your sleep. This can cause you to be unable to fall asleep and/or have sleep apnea, which can make it more difficult for you to wake up.
Other signs of neurodivergence are a tendency to think differently than other people and a sensory sensitivity. Sensory issues can include a heightened awareness of light, temperature, crowds of people or noise that other people don’t notice.
In addition, people with neurodivergence may find it easier to daydream than other people do. This isn’t because they’re lazier, but because their brains are more creative and stimulated by things that happen outside of their normal environment.
When it comes to communication, many neurodivergent people prefer written communications over face-to-face or phone conversations. This is because they can’t always communicate effectively using their eyes or hands.
While many neurodivergent people can be stubborn and resistant, they may also be willing to change their minds and try new things. This can be a good thing, but it’s important to remember that these individuals often don’t want to change their routine or schedule.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are particularly susceptible to this and can have a hard time adjusting to a new environment. They are also prone to obsessive thoughts, making it more difficult for them to be calm and patient.
How do I know if I’m neurodivergent?
If you think that your brain is different from others’, it may be helpful to learn more about what neurodivergence is and how you can recognize its signs. It can help you to understand yourself better and develop coping mechanisms for your unique cognitive processes.
In some ways, having an atypical brain can be a positive thing. That means that you might be able to process things faster or better than someone without your specific type of brain. It might even help you to remember more details, solve mathematic equations in your head or imagine 3D objects easily.
Nevertheless, there are times when these differences can make life challenging. For instance, if you have a difficult time making eye contact with people or forming conversations, it may be hard for you to interact in social situations. It could also mean that you feel overwhelmed by the stress of everyday life.
Many people who are neurodivergent have a variety of mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression. They might also have conditions like schizophrenia, OCD, anti-social personality disorder, borderline personality disorder or dissociative disorder.
The symptoms of these illnesses can be similar to those of neurodivergence, so it’s easy for a doctor to lump them together. That’s why it can be helpful to keep a journal and document your experiences, so you can show your medical provider how your brain works differently than other people’s.
If you want to know if you are neurodivergent, it’s a good idea to try taking a test that assesses your neurodivergence. You can find online quizzes that measure your autistic traits and behaviors.
You can also use a social anxiety test or a self-report test that measures your stress levels. These tests will not give you a diagnosis, but they can help you learn more about your own personal stress level and identify areas where you might need some extra support.
Another way to know if you are neurodivergent is by looking at your family history. If you have a close relative with autism or ADHD, it’s likely that you are also neurodivergent.
How do I get a neurodivergent diagnosis?
People who think they are neurodivergent should always seek an official diagnosis from a mental health professional with the right qualifications to provide one. This can be a lengthy process, but it’s well worth it. It can help you understand your mental health better and give you access to a wider range of treatments that can help you manage your symptoms more effectively.
The first step in obtaining an official neurodivergent diagnosis is to do some research. There are plenty of online resources that can help you understand your condition and its symptoms. It’s also helpful to note down any parallels you have with neurodivergent symptoms so that you can refer back to them when discussing your situation with a mental health professional.
Once you’ve decided that a formal diagnosis is the best route for you, it’s a good idea to seek a referral from your GP or other health professional. This will ensure that you have the right specialist to offer you the best care and support.
If you’re thinking that you might have a neurodivergent condition, it can be useful to start by taking a self-diagnosis quiz to find out whether you may be eligible for a formal diagnosis. These tests aren’t 100% accurate, but they can be a great starting point.
It’s a good idea to use the Internet and social media to search for other people who have similar symptoms as you do. This can give you a good sense of how other people experience their condition and what kind of support they receive.
Another option is to ask your family doctor to refer you to a mental health professional that specialises in a neurodivergent disorder, such as a psychologist. This can help you find a specialist that understands your condition and your needs, as well as the different approaches to treatment available.
You can also ask your GP to provide you with a referral to an autism specialist or a psychiatrist, as these professionals are often more familiar with the neurodivergent spectrum and can refer you to other specialists that can assist with specific issues.