Unveiling the Smudged Lines: Neurodiversity and the Psychologist's Personal Journey 2

Unveiling the Smudged Lines: Neurodiversity and the Psychologist’s Personal Journey


Unveiling the Smudged Lines: Neurodiversity and the Psychologist’s Personal Journey

“There’s no line in nature that isn’t smudged”, Dr Lorna Wing once remarked. This idea has profound implications for understanding neurodiversity, the concept that embraces a spectrum of cognitive styles, each unique, rather than promoting a binary divide of normal and abnormal. On the 19th of May, I had the privilege of addressing the Autism Minds conference in Venue Cymru, Llandudno, diving deep into these implications and exploring the vistas of learning, sharing, and supporting within the realm of neurodiversity.

As a Clinical Psychologist, my professional journey has taken me on the path of assessing others’ neurodivergence, an exploration that serendipitously led me to a realization of my own neurodivergence. I spoke about this personal journey, drawing on my own preferences for routine, the idiosyncrasies of my sensory experiences, and my propensity for camouflaging.

My anecdotal narrative featured excerpts from my school reports, which revealed the telltale signs that my concentration and focus were different from the norm. This personal narrative has not only helped me uncover my own neurodivergence but has also offered me a unique perspective and an invaluable understanding of the neurodiverse experience.

Within the confines of my talk, I drew on the groundbreaking work and insights from current leaders in the field of neurodiversity, such as Professor Amanda Kirby, Professor Duncan Astle, and Professor Sven Bolte. Their pioneering research embodies the essence of the Neurodiversity Affirmative movement, advocating for a shift in focus from singular diagnostic taxonomies to a broader understanding of an individual’s strengths and needs relative to their world.

Through my experience as a Clinical Psychologist, I’ve observed that individuals seeking assessments typically have three main objectives: self-discovery, being understood by those in their lives, and determining what reasonable adaptations could enhance their success and ability to thrive.

By conducting assessments, drawing conclusions, and producing reports using the Neurodivergent Affirmative framework, we as assessors are better equipped to help individuals reach these goals. This approach not only recognizes the unique cognitive styles of each individual but also acknowledges their unique experiences and needs.

This is the passion that fuels us at FSWPsychology. We strive to maintain the Neurodivergent Affirmative approach at the core of our operations, ensuring it remains firmly embedded in our minds and hearts. If you are interested in understanding more about our approach towards embracing neurodiversity, our dedicated team is always here to help.

On a closing note, as someone who specializes in areas such as Autism, ADHD, Autism, and ADHD in women and girls, and the Neurodiversity Affirmation movement, I am always available for speaking events. The opportunity to share my personal and professional experiences and contribute to our collective understanding of neurodiversity is an experience I cherish.

Dr Freya Spicer-White is available for speaking events. Her areas of focus are Autism, ADHD, Autism, and ADHD in women and girls, and the Neurodiversity Affirmation movement.