07 Jun What is Neurodiversity?
The term neurodiversity describes the natural cognitive differences between individuals, including brain function and behavioral traits. Just like racial, gender, and cultural diversity, variations in neurotypes are natural and valuable forms of human diversity!
Someone who is neurodivergent diverges from the dominant social standards of typical neurocognitive functioning. These differences might include:
Contrary to the term neurodivergent, the term neurotypical refers to an individual whose neurocognitive functioning falls within the societal standards of typical. If your family includes individuals who are neurodivergent and neurotypical, your family would be considered neurodiverse!
What is the Neurodiversity Movement?
The neurodiversity movement is a disability rights movement aimed at providing full inclusion, acceptance and support to neurodivergent people. Moving past “acceptance” is a key feature of the neurodiversity movement. It aims to amplify and celebrate the positive and unique contributions and perspectives that neurodivergent people provide to our society.
Thinking in pictures, noticing small details, and sustaining attention on something they are interested in for long periods of time are just a few of the unique strengths that neurodivergent individuals possess. Neurodivergent people might also have different communication, motor, sensory, or emotional needs. Many neurodivergent advocates would describe the world as “set up for neurotypical brains or individuals”. This can make the regular pressures of school, work, and household tasks difficult for some neurodivergent individuals.
How do we empower neurodivergent children and families?
At Bloom: Child and Family therapy, we aim to empower children and families to develop valuable skills while also celebrating individual differences. The neurodiversity movement advocates for shifts and adaptations in regular expectations to include the strengths and needs of neurodivergent individuals. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life of neurodivergent children and families while also developing skills that can help them thrive in any environment. Our mission is to ensure that children’s voices are heard, valued and respected. For neurodivergent children, we do this by:
-Working on peer interactions without forcing behaviour that may feel uncomfortable (ie. eye contact, the use of social scripts, or elimination of stimming)
-Addressing sensory, communication, and emotional needs that can contribute to meltdowns and tantrums rather than forcing or repressing behaviour
-Including a child’s interests and preferred toys and topics in therapeutic sessions
-Working on communication skills while respecting that every child has different levels of strengths in using their voice
-Responding to challenging behaviour with empathy and compassion
-Fostering connection and communication through play, music and art.