Neurodivergence describes those whose neurology and behaviour traits differ from 'the norm' (assuming that 'normal' even exists!)
Not all neurodivergent people have a diagnosed or diagnosable 'condition'.
It's also important to remember that many neurodivergent people will be reluctant to seek or disclose a diagnosis due to fear of stigma and discrimination...
Human neurology is infinitely complex and diagnoses may seem arbitrary, over simplified, or risky
Yet people continuously seek diagnoses
This is because for most neurodivergent people who seek a diagnosis, it is not a choice, but an absolute necessity
A diagnosis can guide individuals towards
- relevant advice
- peer support
- life changing therapy
- life changing medication
- understanding from those around them
- work place adjustments
As you can see, a diagnosis is not the end of the journey, but the start.
So What's The Point???
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A DIAGNOSIS IS NOT A LABEL
IT'S A TOOL...
Learn about diagnosable conditions below, but remember the above!
Other needs are overlooked
Depending on if, when and under what circumstances an individual is diagnosed, other areas of difference may be overlooked; for example, a person may be diagnosed as Dyslexic, but may also struggle with aspects of Executive Functioning. Their diagnosis of Dyslexia, when viewed by others as a 'catchall', may prevent further exploration of and support for their Executive Functioning difficulties.
Capabilities are assumed
A diagnosis can lead people to make incorrect assumptions about their own capabilities, or about the capabilities of another; for example, contrary to popular belief, not every Autistic person struggles with every aspect of social cognition! A diagnosis of Autism, when viewed through a stereotyping lens, may lead to incorrect and limiting assumptions being made about an individual's capabilities.
Individuality is lost
Every individual's differences or difficulties will have a unique neurological cause that may be lost under or within a diagnostic label, again preventing further explanation and support; for example, a person may be diagnosed as Dyspraxic, but their specific difficulties may arise from deviations anywhere in the proprioceptive loop. A diagnosis of Dyspraxia, when viewed by others as an assumptive label, may prevent further exploration and clarification that could otherwise inform more effective treatment and support.
Have you made assumptions about a person due to their diagnostic label?
When Diagnoses are Misused
We prefer to view individuals as having a multitude of neurocognitive characteristics unique to them - a sort of 'neurocognitive profile'. We see this as a step beyond diagnoses.
We appreciate that diagnoses are designed to help, but when doors are closed and assumptions are made because of a label, they can have the opposite effect...
Strengths and stretches...
Differences in neurocognition can present as strengths (talents) or stretches (difficulties or deficits). Whether neurotypical or neurodivergent, every individual will possess strengths and experience stretches to varying degrees.
Each individual will feel differently depending on how they experience their differences. This is why some people may view their neurodiversity as good, some bad, and others a double edged sword.
Neurocognitive differences not only influence internal thoughts, feelings and emotions, but behaviours too. Therefore, the way in which a person’s behaviour is perceived by others, and the way in which they are treated, will again determine how they feel about their differences. For example, if they are ridiculed for being different, it’s likely that they will feel dejected, incapable, and ashamed of their divergence. If they are included and their differences celebrated, they are more likely to feel a sense of belonging, pride, and to explore their strengths - contributing more positively (albeit in their own way) in social settings.
Click on the slides below to explore the potential strengths and stretches of neurocognition - remember, every neurodivergent person will possess a unique combination.
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The Social Model of Disability
... and our standpoint
The social model of disability views disability as a product of an environment that is not accommodating (that may be physical and/or social)
The model suggests that by making minor changes, it is possible to minimize or even eradicate disabilities
We've experienced and witnessed the positive outcomes of adopting this approach to neurodiversity
We've also observed that in creating environments that are neuroinclusive, everyone benefits - not only those labelled as neurodivergent
"a rising tide lifts all boats"
Our services are tailored towards promoting acceptance and understanding of difference, thereby empowering social integration and full participation for everyone
So, if you're thinking of enquiring, bare this in mind;
❌ We don't provide solutions for 'bad behaviour'
✔️ We do provide advice and guidance for everyone to follow