The term “neurodivergent” was coined back in 1998, but it didn’t become colloquialized until recent years. You may have heard people online refer to themselves as “neuro-spicy,” which means that their brains do not operate in the traditional manner.
Being neurodivergent is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, there are many ways to use this to your advantage! Let’s take a closer look at what it means to be neurodivergent and how you can utilize your creative frame of mind.
Definition of Neurodivergent
Neurodivergence refers to people whose brains work a little differently than ‘typical’ brains. This is not to say that neurodivergent individuals are ‘abnormal’ or anything of the sort. It simply means that their brains function in a different way.
Picture a map of a busy town. The highways provide the fastest and most popular way to get around, but they are not the only paths to reach a destination. The scenic routes represent neurodivergent people, while the highways represent neurotypicals.
Examples of neurodivergent conditions include:
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Learning Disabilities, Such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia
- Sensory Processing Disorders
- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Down Syndrome
- Tourette Syndrome
- Bipolar Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Many people associate neurodivergence exclusively with autism, but it covers a much broader range of experiences. If you have a better understanding of how your brain works and what your unique needs are, you can find personalized coping strategies to improve your quality of life.
Signs and Symptoms of Neurodivergence
The term “neurodivergent” is not a medical diagnosis. Almost any alternate way of thinking could be considered neurodivergent in the right context. Neurodivergence impacts different people in different ways, so your experience may not match someone else’s in your life.
If you find yourself confused by social cues or frequently thinking outside the box, you may be neurodivergent. Try not to get caught up in the label and instead find ways to work with your thought patterns, not against them.
How to Treat and Cope with Neurodivergence
There is no cure for neurodivergence because, quite frankly, it doesn’t need to be cured! Having a unique mind is a wonderful gift when you learn how to harness it.
We highly recommend psychological or neuropsychological testing to evaluate what’s going on beneath the surface. If you need accommodations in school, work, and other settings, you could benefit from having a definitive diagnosis. At CNLD Testing & Therapy, we identify each person’s strengths and struggle points to help them find personalized coping mechanisms. Something as simple as extra test time or a distraction-free work environment could make a world of difference/
Contact (734) 994-9466 to schedule a psychological evaluation or learn more about support for neurodivergence. We offer mental healthcare, executive functions coaching, educational advocacy, and other judgment-free solutions that are tailored to your needs.