Neurodiversity relates to the differences (diversity) in how people’s brains function in relation to aspects such as attention, sensory processing, social interaction, learning and memory. When a person’s brain functions in a way that is different to the ‘average’ brain, this can be described as neurodivergent. Conditions such as autism spectrum conditions (ASC), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia and dyspraxia are referred to as neurodiversity.
Ongoing trauma during early childhood shapes the developing brain and can lead to similar differences in the way the brain functions and responds to sensory input. This can be described as ‘acquired neurodiversity’.
For some people who are neurodiverse, everyday environments, social communication and activities can be experienced as ‘too much’ and overwhelming, triggering the same type of stress responses that occur in people exposed to traumatic events. Kelly Mahler has more information about this on her website.
In addition to this, research has shown that people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions are more likely to be exposed to traumatic events and much more likely to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder than the general population. Find more information about the findings of this research study here.
I have experience of working with clients who have neurodiversity and offer a personalised service based on your individual needs and goals. Sensory assessment and approaches can be a very helpful part of intervention if you have neurodiversity, whether resulting from traumatic experiences or related to a condition such as autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.