Neurodiversity, Neurodiverse and Neurodivergent are terms that have been embraced by the disability community. Initially it was used as a term to encompass Autism. To represent a natural variance in how the human brain works. A representation of neurological diversity.
We introduce you to the “Spectrum of Neurodiversity” and some of the terms embraced by the term. It was in the late 1990’s that Australian sociologist, Judy Singer wrote about neurodiversity. Singer is autistic and rejected the claim that autism was a disability.
Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a lifelong, developmental condition, which typically appears before the age of three and affects how a person interacts with and makes sense of the world around them.
ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is a neurological condition with symptoms of inattentiveness, distractibility and poor working memory. It refers to a type of ADHD, which does not include the Hyperactivity symptom.
ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurodevelopmental disorder featuring inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity and impulsivity, which can affect a number of brain functions, as well as learning and social interactions.
Anxiety can be positive if a person is in a challenging situation, but if it intensifies, is prolonged and begins to affect their everyday life, it could indicate that they have an anxiety disorder.
Depression, one of the most common mental health conditions, varies in its severity. Sufferers can experience sadness, irritation, lack of interest, lethargy, and negative thoughts, to such an extreme extent that it impacts their daily life, sometimes in a debilitating way.
Dyscalculia is a specific learning disorder featuring difficulties with mathematics including: the concept of numbers, number facts and procedures, and especially mental math.
Dysgraphia is a specific learning disorder featuring difficulties with language, (regardless of reading ability), including the ability to; produce meaningful, structured writing; express ideas clearly; and spell accurately.
Dyslexia is an unexpected, ongoing difficulty with recognising and decoding words, particularly relating to reading and spelling. Dyslexia is not related to IQ; sufferers purely have a language learning difference.
Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder occurs when a fetus’ brain is damaged due to alcohol exposure in utero. Effects may not be seen at birth but are lifelong and can include changes to facial features, as well as problems with regard to physical activities, learning, language, memory, behaviours, and mental health.
Intellectual disability is a lifelong impairment of below average intellectual functioning which affects someone’s ability to learn, communicate, remember, work and play. It can be caused by a range of factors and cases range from mild to profound. People with an IQ of below 70 are classified as having an intellectual disability.
Mental health refers to the whole spectrum of our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing, from its worst to best. Our mental health refers to how we handle normal stresses of life, relate to others and make choices.
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is when an individual feels compelled to undertake excessive, time consuming, ritualistic behaviours in order to neutralise distressing thoughts, to the point that it affects their daily lives. OCD is treatable but most sufferers are ashamed of their behaviour, despite being aware of it, so are reluctant to seek help.
Tourette syndrome is a lifelong, neurological condition diagnosed when a person has involuntary tics and repetitive vocalisations for 12 months or longer. Tics are rarely harmful and may include eye blinking, head jerking, yelling and throat clearing.