Understanding Neurodivergence: Is ADHD Neurodivergent or Neurotypical?

Neurodiversity is an approach to education and capacity that acknowledges the fact that various neurological conditions are the result of normal variations in the human genome. ADHD, autism, dyspraxia, and dyslexia are all considered neurodiverse conditions. Being neurodivergent means having a brain that works differently from the average or “neurotypical” person. For those who are neurodivergent, adaptations may be necessary in the hiring process and in the use of headphones.

It is also common for neurodevelopmental conditions to be misdiagnosed as mental illness due to lack of awareness. Experts believe that several successful historical figures were neurodivergent based on evidence from their lives. If you suspect that you or someone you care for is neurodivergent, the first step is to talk to your healthcare provider. People who understand that being neurodivergent does not mean they are sick or flawed are more likely to be happier and aim higher in their careers.

If you identify as neurodivergent or fall into one of the categories included in neurodiversity and would like support or more information, contact Disability Services. If you or a loved one has autism, find a local support group, therapist, or other mental health professional who can help you discuss some of the strengths of being neurodivergent. People with neurodivergent characteristics may need to spend a lot of time adapting to their work environment. The term “neurodivergent” is used to describe a variety of conditions related to cognitive abilities, although more often people with these conditions prefer “neurodiversity”.

There are several online spaces where groups of neurodivergent people meet, exchange information, discuss their experiences and difficulties, and offer advice and resources to each other. Regardless of whether it is identified as neurodivergent or not, it is important for people to know that those who are neurodivergent may have different preferences, especially when it comes to communication. Some other conditions such as schizophrenia, OCD, antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, dissociative disorder, and bipolar disorder can also be classified as forms of neurodivergence. People who are identified as neurodivergent usually have one or more of the conditions or disorders listed below: ADHD + bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, Tourette syndrome (TS), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), executive functioning disorder (EFD), nonverbal learning disability (NVLD), sensory processing disorder (SPD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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