Neurodivergent describes someone whose brain learns, retains, or processes differently from what is considered “typical.”
Every person is unique, but not every person is neurodivergent. In fact, the majority of people are considered “neurotypical.” A neurodivergent individual usually exhibits characteristics that fit one or more learning disabilities/disorders.
The following learning disorders and developmental delays are under the umbrella of neurodivergence:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder/Asperger’s Syndrome
Many adults who are neurodivergent go through most of their lives without realizing they have a learning disability or disorder. Sometimes, a new work or learning environment or recognizing repeated difficulties lead them to wonder if they have a learning disability. When their child receives a diagnosis, they often realize they’ve struggled with the same issues.
Many neurodivergent adults who had to work from home for the first time during the height of COVID-19 experienced significant shifts in their work experiences. Some enjoyed relief from the constant distractions or rigidity of the office. Others struggled to focus and complete tasks. These changes clued many people into their work preferences and even neurodivergence.
Children who are neurodivergent may struggle with a variety of school and home-related tasks. Before a child is diagnosed, they may show “poor behavior” or “poor performance” in school. These can easily be confused with behavioral issues, boredom, or a lack of motivation. Generally, when a child acts out, they are doing so for a reason. They likely do not have the knowledge to explain what they are struggling with, so they check out or act out.
Who should be tested for neurodivergence?
I would argue that anyone could benefit from testing because when I work with individuals, I show them their strengths and weaknesses and help them find ways to hone both. This is especially useful for neurodivergent people. Just imagine if you had gone several years (or even months) trying to write with your right hand when you were left-handed. Insight into how you process, learn, and retain new information is like being able to write with your dominant hand again.
For children, educational testing results may prove a need for an Individual Education Plan (IEP), special education services, qualification for 504s, and more. These are programs that are tailored to meet a child’s specific needs.
What individuals may gain from testing:
-Insight into the child’s strengths and weaknesses
-Guidance for moving forward
-Qualification for school or work accommodations
-Renewed learning confidence
For adults, educational testing results may prove a need for workplace or school accommodations. College accommodations could look like extra time to take tests, recordings of professors’ lectures, and more. Workplace accommodations may look like special equipment, modifications to your physical work environment, and more.
Ready to gain the insight and answers you need to reach your personal potential? Please reach out!
Laurie Adachi’s background as a school psychologist and her positive relationships with local school districts make her especially adept at helping families advocate for their children in and around Santa Clarita, CA. Laurie and her team are passionate about helping the whole person and creating an achievable plan for the future.