Neurodivergence refers to brain differences that may create challenges like autism spectrum disorder or ADHD but can also produce strengths like a fantastic memory or analytical skills. These brain differences are not only common but they’re also natural.
There are many quizzes and tests online that will help you understand your neurological functioning better. These test won’t replace an official diagnosis but they can help you validate your symptoms and feelings.
What is neurodivergence?
Neurodivergent is a term used to describe people who have different brain differences from those of the “neurotypical.” These differences may cause challenges like having difficulty reading or coping with changes in routine, but also offer strengths such as being better at memorizing and mentally picturing three-dimensional (3D) objects, being able to solve complex mathematical calculations in their heads, and more.
While there’s no official test to see if you are neurodivergent, it’s worth consulting with a mental health professional, such as the therapists at Thrive Downtown. They can help you understand your unique neurological makeup and guide you towards accepting and embracing it.
Some of the most common types of neurodivergence include autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia and more. Symptoms of these conditions can include difficulty communicating, social anxiety and hypersensitivity to sensory stimuli. Other symptoms can include repetitive behaviours, trouble with transitions and changes in routine, and difficulty managing emotions.
Mood disorders such as high-functioning depression and bipolar disorder are another type of neurodivergence. While these moods aren’t as severe as major depressive or manic episodes, they can still make it hard for those affected to function normally. Other forms of neurodivergence can be harder to spot, such as synesthesia, which causes those with it to experience sensations using other senses — for example, hearing music could mean smelling it or seeing colours.
Although many people with these conditions may feel misunderstood, there’s a growing movement to accept neurodiversity as a normal part of human life. As a result, more and more businesses are starting to hire employees who are neurodivergent, and some have even implemented strategies such as quiet spaces in the workplace for those who need them.
If you have coworkers who are neurodivergent, it’s important to be aware of their needs so that everyone can work together effectively. Listen to them and encourage them to communicate in ways that help them feel comfortable. For instance, some people with neurodivergence may prefer written communication such as instant messaging or texting over phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Provide a wellness programme to improve their wellbeing, and avoid value-based labels that may cause them to feel stigmatized or left out.
How do I know if I’m neurodivergent?
If you believe you or your child may have neurodivergent traits, you can test for it by using online quizzes that assess for possible symptoms. You can also find neurodivergent tests at medical clinics and family physician offices. These quizzes typically include questions that relate to common disorders known to show neurological differences, such as autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, Tourette syndrome, sensory disorders, dyslexia and mental illnesses like anxiety or depression.
If these tests reveal you or your child may have a neurodivergent diagnosis, it is important to consult with a physician for confirmation. This will allow you to understand the underlying cause and create a treatment plan to address it. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a neurological cognitive assessment, which can help determine the type of neurodivergent condition you have and how it affects you.
Some people may feel uncomfortable with a neurodivergent label, but it is important to remember that this is a normal reaction. It is also important to consider how a neurodivergent diagnosis may change your lifestyle and relationships with others. Depending on how you and your family members react to the idea of neurodivergence, you can begin the process of finding the right support system.
Whether you are diagnosed as neurodivergent or not, the most important thing is that everyone is unique and has different strengths and challenges. It is vital to avoid value-based labels, which can be very hurtful. For instance, avoiding the words “high-functioning” and “low-functioning” can prevent you from devaluing a person.
There are many resources available to help you navigate the idea of neurodivergence, including a plethora of online resources and social media groups. There is also a growing awareness of the benefits of hiring neurodiverse employees, which can lead to increased workplace productivity and better work/life balance.
You may also want to seek advice from trusted family and friends who know you well. They may have noticed moments in your life that indicate you are neurodivergent and be able to offer a perspective you may not have considered. They can also be a supportive ear as you navigate the steps towards getting a formal diagnosis.
How do I get a neurodivergent diagnosis?
As neurodivergent is a term that covers such a wide range of characteristics, there’s no one test to determine whether someone is neurodiverse. But there are some common indicators of neurodivergence that may indicate a person’s brain functions differently from a neurotypical one.
These include the person having trouble responding to social cues, preferring writing or instant messaging over phone calls or face-to-face conversations, or being able to see or hear things others can’t. People who are neurodiverse also often have difficulty processing sensory information or finding a way to express themselves verbally or nonverbally. This can be seen in children who struggle to learn to speak or communicate, or who don’t respond to their name when spoken to, or who don’t make any two-word phrases by the age of 2.
Many online quizzes and tests can be used to help identify possible indicators of neurodivergence. However, it’s important to remember that these are not official diagnoses and do not replace a consultation with a mental health professional.
The quizzes and tests on these websites will ask questions based on the most common characteristics of neurodivergent individuals. However, this is just a general overview and may not fully reflect your own experiences and symptoms. Regardless, these tests can be helpful for you to understand yourself better and to see if you might have some of the traits that characterize neurodivergent people.
Being neurodivergent can have its challenges, but it can also bring unique strengths. Whether you’re autistic, have ADHD or dyslexia, or any other neurological condition, it is important to learn how to support yourself and find ways to thrive. It can also be helpful to educate your friends, family and colleagues about your experiences so they can support you more effectively.
Neurodivergent people can feel misunderstood by those who aren’t, so it is vital to be patient and understanding with them. They can have the same emotional, mental and physical needs as anyone else, so be sure to show them the same respect and consideration you would give any other person.
How do I manage my neurodivergence?
Having a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, dyslexia or another neurodivergent condition can have some negative effects, especially in the workplace. But understanding that you are not “normal” can help you accept your differences and make the necessary accommodations to be a productive member of a team.
The term neurodivergence has become more common and is a great alternative to the term “neurotypical.” It can describe someone who thinks, learns and behaves differently from others (referred to as neurotypical). The idea is to look at these differences impartially, as opposed to viewing them as “weaknesses.”
While there is no official test for neurodivergence, it can be diagnosed through medical evaluations and psychological assessments. Some conditions that could be described as neurodivergent include Tourette Syndrome, OCD and Autism Spectrum Disorder. These conditions have a prevalence rate of approximately 1% in the general population.
Many people with neurodivergent conditions have unique strengths that can benefit the workplace. For example, they may have better memory, be able to visualize three-dimensional objects more easily or solve complex mathematical calculations in their heads. In addition, they can often work quickly and efficiently and are often incredibly passionate about their jobs.
However, it is important to note that neurodivergent people also have some challenges, such as social anxiety and sensory sensitivities. It is critical to have a balance of both aspects in order to achieve success.
When working with a person who is neurodivergent, it’s important to treat them with the same respect and consideration you would give any other employee. This includes lowering your shields and engaging with them in a friendly manner. In addition, it is important to communicate in a way that is easy for them to understand.
As more and more people are becoming aware of neurodivergence, it’s important to be a supportive workplace. Adopting a tactful and empathetic attitude can help to increase employee engagement and retention. Furthermore, it will help to build trust between management and employees, which can further enhance the work environment. While it’s not always possible to accommodate every individual with a neurodivergent condition, taking steps to make the office more welcoming and inclusive can go a long way.