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What is Neurodiversity ?

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Neurodiversity describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one “right” way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits.

Neurodiversity in it’s most straight forward interpretation means there is an infinite variety of how the human brain works.

The term was first used by Judy Singer, an autistic individual, in 1988 and the concept of neurodiversity has increased and it now used to described groups of individuals who’s brains and behaviours do not follow the neurotypical pattern.The world is predominately neurotypical, which means the majority of the human population think and act in similar ways to one another.

Neurodiverse individuals are those who think and act differently. The key to understanding neurodiversity is to think of difference rather than disability. Whilst it is true that trying to fit into a predominantly neurotypical world can be a challenge and can lead many neurodiverse people to thinking they are defective or impaired; by understanding their differences and the impact of their environment, neurodiverse individuals can be happy and succeed.

How I* like to understand and explain neurodiversity?

People find themselves in hundreds of different situations, and there are hundreds of different ways we can view and respond to a situation. Sometimes our skills match the situation and we excel; sometimes our skillset is contrary to the situation and we can feel overwhelmed. In order for a society to thrive, it is important to have a variety of people with a variety of skills; in 1998 Harvey Blume wrote that “Neurodiversity may be every bit as crucial for the human race as biodiversity is for life in general” (Harvey Blume, 1998)

“It takes a village”

Imagine our cave dwelling ancestors and think of the different skills that would be needed in order to progress their culture and knowledge. The more diverse their skills and knowledge, the greater potential for development. For example…

Neurotypical individuals might focus on creating social relationships and social structures so the group could coordinate as a team when hunting.

An Autistic individual might see how the hunter’s chances of success could be improved by better weapons and create sharper knife.

An individual with ADHD, would be the hunter first in the front of the tribe testing out the new weapon.

(*Dr Spicer-White self identifies as neurodiverse, has worked within the field of neurodiversity for nearly 20 years and classes neurodiversity as her own intense interest

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Welcome to FSW Psychology, based in the heart of Snowdonia, offering the highest standard of neurodiversity assessments, across North Wales, the North West and beyond. We diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); and all our assessments are undertaken by skilled and experienced multi-disciplinary professionals and adhere to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance.