What is Neurodiversity?

“Neurodiversity” is an umbrella term which covers a lot of conditions. Essentially it means that there are differences in the way the brain is functioning.

For example, dyslexic brains process sounds differently from ‘neuro-typical’ brains. If someone was neuro-different then their abilities would vary. They would have specific strengths and specific weaknesses. This is shown on the graph below as a spiky line.

 

Neurodiversity is more commonly associated with Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Condition.

Where the spikes are tends to tell us what the condition might be, as well as other tests and  background.  For example, people with Dyspraxia (also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder or DCD) tend to have outstanding verbal communication skills, whereas they might not be scoring as highly on 3D skills as someone with ADHD.

Wider neurodiverse thinking styles include Anxiety and Depression.  People with Multiple Sclerosis, Tourette Syndrome and brain injuries can also experience neurodiverse thinking, as long term illnesses can affect abilities such as memory and attention.

Neurodiversity is also referred to as neurodivergence, however we do not use this term as divergence reminds us of ‘deviancy from a norm’, which has historical be associated with exclusion and control.  We prefer diverse as it makes the point about difference without a negative connotation.

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