Affirming Neurodiversity

Brains are beautiful, no matter how they’re wired.

Somehow, though, the tree of what’s normal and good got pruned down to a factory stump from which no unique branches were allowed to just be. The truth is that your branch, your partner’s branch, your teen’s branch – they’re all exactly as they’re meant to be and are welcome, in their entirety.

Neurodiversity

“A portmanteau first coined by activist Judy Singer and columnist Harvey Blume, which can be broken down into its components of ‘neuro,’ referring to the nervous system, and ‘diversity,’ which refers to the variety and differences of things. Hence, neurodiversity speaks to the variation in neurological functioning in humans.”
David Meer, LPC

Neurodivergence typically reveals itself in childhood, but can emerge at any time!

Neurodivergent kid aloneChildren who play in the imagination or the outdoors, who delight in organizing their toys or exploring microscopic details, who are happiest with their friends or curled up with a nice book – they’re all exactly as they’re meant to be. Then, as skills are taught and adherence to expectations is demanded, those who are Neurodivergent might mask their natural tendencies or experience tremendous distress when being pushed to conform. Whether in school, with family, or in any other environment, those who don’t fit into the neurotypical mold are made to accommodate those who do. This can lead to distress, isolation, self-blame, self-doubt, and a breakdown in trust and attachment with family and caregivers.

Similar self-doubt arises for Neurodivergent adults – in work, in relationships, and beyond.

Neurodivergent adults often carry the weight of invalidating childhood experiences and a lack of supportive resources for the rest of their lives. This can look like isolating and shame when struggling, tentativeness or push/pull within relationships, difficulty with self-advocacy in school and work settings, and dissatisfaction in various areas of life. Add all of this to the very real burden of actually having to troubleshoot and accommodate their own neurodivergence in a world catering to the neurotypical and it can feel insurmountable. However, it’s not!

If you make sense of or interact with the environment around you differently… you do not need to be fixed or trained to hide!

We’ll put our heads together to find strategies to let your innate ways of experiencing the world and connection with others shine through. Your mind and body are communicating everything we need. These clues about preferences, struggles, strengths, and ways of being can help us…

bored Neurodivergent lady funny

  • Find ways to cope when the environment you’re in is distressing or overstimulating.

  • Accommodate difficulties more easily when the tasks you’re assigned are hard to complete the traditional way.

  • Unpack and neutralize the impact of trauma from growing up with adults who might not have understood how to help, or how to make you feel safe, worthwhile, and unbroken.

  • Explore your connection styles and attachment patterns to have more rewarding relationships and a more satisfying life.

  • Discover communities and find other people who truly “get” you and embrace you as you are.

  • Tap into ways that your neurodivergence can be an asset – and put those strengths to use!

happy neurodivergent young adultIf you are Autistic, have ADHD, experience Learning Disabilities or Giftedness, or are a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)…

it might feel like finding a therapist who can meet you where you are is an impossible mission. It’s not. The right therapist will make space for you, just as you are, and won’t try to fix something that shouldn’t ever be treated like it’s broken.

As a Neurodivergent therapist myself, I LOVE helping others find self-acceptance and the tools and strategies to navigate life in ways that feel sustainable and effective – and you get to decide what that means to you. If you would like to work together, I’d be very happy to hear from you!