Neurodivergence is an umbrella term for people who have a unique way of thinking and perceiving the world. This may include mental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, sensory processing issues, and more.
Taking a neurodivergent test online is one way to determine if your brain functions differently than others. However, it is important to remember that these tests do not give an official diagnosis and are not a substitute for a professional opinion.
What is neurodivergence?
Neurodivergence is a term used to describe the differences in how some people’s brains work or develop. It’s a broad term that doesn’t have an official medical diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the book that is used by most mental health professionals to diagnose and treat mental illnesses.
Often, neurodivergence has been associated with mental illness or disability, but it is not always. It’s also not inherently “wrong” or “better” than other types of brain functioning, according to Mandell.
This is because all human brains have unique strengths and weaknesses. For example, some people have learning disabilities that make it hard for them to process information, while others have autism spectrum disorders that can cause a wide range of social and communication challenges.
But these differences aren’t inherently bad or wrong, as long as people understand them and appreciate their uniqueness. The neurodiversity movement is about recognizing and celebrating all types of human diversity, and it’s important to recognize that not everyone with a disability or mental illness has the same experiences or needs.
In addition, it’s important to remember that every person has unique abilities and talents that they can bring to the table, regardless of what they have. This is why it’s so important to embrace neurodivergence and its values in our society.
The most effective way to do this is by educating ourselves about the different conditions and disorders that are part of the neurodiversity movement. For example, many people with ADHD or autism spectrum disorder find that understanding how their condition affects them can help them to see themselves and their condition in a new light.
You can do this by attending conferences and events that focus on neurodiversity, reading books or articles about the topic, finding mental health professionals who are trained in neurodivergence-informed therapy, or even seeking out accommodations at school or work.
Another great place to start is by becoming a member of an advocacy group or support group. These groups provide a safe environment for people to share their thoughts and ideas with others in a similar situation.
What are the symptoms of neurodivergence?
The symptoms of neurodivergence vary from person to person, but they can include social or communication preferences, ways of learning or perceiving the world, or a combination of these factors. Understanding neurodivergence can help you understand your own mental health and find the right mental healthcare.
A person with autism, for example, may have trouble following a routine and need to have structure in their life. This could mean that they have to wake up at a specific time or brush their teeth in a certain way, for instance.
They may also have problems with interacting with other people and making friends. These traits can cause them to feel isolated and rejected in their community.
Another common sign of neurodivergence is that they often have difficulty with planning, organizing or making decisions. This is because their brain doesn’t work the same way as most other people.
These difficulties can impact their daily lives and lead to a variety of other issues such as depression, anxiety or substance use. These conditions can also be associated with neurodivergence, so it’s important to talk with a doctor or mental health professional if you’re concerned about the symptoms of your loved one.
Some people with neurodivergence also have physical disabilities that may make it difficult for them to move in a normal way. This can lead to a variety of symptoms such as joint pain or difficulty walking in particular directions, for instance.
Those with autism, for example, may have trouble using their hands to complete tasks, which can result in a variety of other symptoms such as fine motor skills problems, or poor balance and coordination. These can affect their ability to work, play sports or perform other everyday activities.
Children with autism can also have a lot of trouble following a routine, which can lead to problems in school or at home. This is because their brains don’t work the same way as most other kids.
Fortunately, there are many accommodations available to people with different types of neurodivergence. These are usually legally required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Accommodations can range from allowing them to wear headphones while in the classroom to ensuring that they’re able to communicate via text rather than in person.
What are the signs of neurodivergence in children?
A child with neurodivergence may have a brain that processes information differently than other children. They can have autism, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), dyslexia or other conditions.
A neurotypical brain interprets the world according to society’s expectations, which is why many children feel better about themselves when they have been diagnosed as neurotypical. But it is important to remember that not all people have a neurotypical brain, and that everyone thinks and learns in different ways.
If you notice any of these signs, talk to your primary care provider or a psychologist who can recommend the next steps. They can also help you get a neuropsychological evaluation, which will look at your child’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
Your child’s school should be willing to work with them on creating a psychologically safe learning environment, which will eliminate any barriers for them to learn. This kind of classroom environment will give them the freedom to ask questions, be flexible when necessary and feel confident about their learning abilities.
Another way schools can support neurodivergent children is by identifying which students need extra help. This can be done through a formal testing process that is led by a professional, such as a specialist teacher or a behavioural support worker.
Some neurodivergent kids have a lot of trouble connecting with others or reading social cues. They can also have a hard time understanding their body language and facial expressions.
They might have a hard time forming friendships with other children and they might not always respond well to loud noises or lights. They might also be more sensitive to stress and anxiety.
These symptoms are normal for many children, but if they last longer than expected or seem out of the ordinary for your child, you might want to consider the possibility that they are neurodivergent. This is especially true if your child is experiencing difficulties in school, or they are having a harder time socialising with other children than their peers.
The concept of neurodivergence has become more popular in recent years, in part because of the increasing number of people with developmental disorders, such as autism, ADHD and dyslexia. But it is important to note that the definitions of these conditions are constantly changing, so you need to take your child’s symptoms seriously and seek out professionals who understand them all.
What are the signs of neurodivergence in adults?
Neurodivergence is a term used to describe people with different types of brain differences. These differences can cause people to have a variety of strengths and challenges.
Some of these differences include medical disorders, learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Others can be caused by genetics, chromosomal imbalances or developmental disorders.
The signs of neurodivergence in adults can be very similar to those of children. It’s important to remember that everyone is unique and that there is no one way to understand how a person thinks or feels.
If you think you may be neurodivergent, it is a good idea to talk to a specialist or healthcare provider about your options for treatment and support. They can help you find ways to manage your condition, including therapy programs.
In addition to their physical, sensory and cognitive challenges, some people with neurodivergence have social difficulties. These difficulties often occur in adulthood and can lead to loneliness and isolation.
Other signs of neurodivergence in adults include difficulty focusing, lack of patience and attention span, poor concentration, and trouble paying attention to detail. These problems can be particularly common among those with ADHD, autism and OCD.
Some people with neurodivergence can also have sleep issues because of their sensory needs. They may need to be in a quiet place or have an evening routine before going to bed.
Many people with neurodivergence can also struggle with anxiety. They may be anxious about their abilities, their safety or how others will respond to them.
These feelings can be very frustrating and affect their quality of life. It’s a good idea to talk to a professional if you think you might have a neurodivergent condition and need assistance with your anxiety.
As with many things, it’s not uncommon to get a diagnosis later in life and to realize you’ve had these traits for a long time. This can be a positive thing, as it can provide you with more insight into why you function the way you do and how to work with those differences.
Fortunately, there are many resources available to people with neurodivergence and their families. These resources can help you manage your condition and ensure you have a successful and happy life.