Neurodiversity

     The neurodiversity embraces the natural diversity of human brains and minds. It promotes the acceptance of neurological (brain) difference and that there is not one “normal” brain or mind. "Normal" is culturally constructed, similar to believing there is one “normal” ethnicity or gender.   

     A person is neurodivergent when their brain is wired differently. Brain differences can include those labeled with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Tourette Syndrome, and other kids with learning and thinking differences. 

     Accepting brain differences does not mean ignoring challenges or minimizing the difficulties. For many families it can mean addressing very complex situations. Some children are in great pain and it can be hard to 'celebrate' neurodiversity when we see our children suffer. Our children can have sensitive systems and co occurring conditions that can cause problems and these need to be addressed. For example my daughter at 7 years old had not slept through the night and within 2 week of changing her diet she began sleeping through. Her gut issues caused sleep issues and lack of sleep affected her learning and development. It is not possible or desirable to 'fix' her brain wiring but to address co occurring conditions. She is now a healthier, well rested version of her neurodivergent self. 

     Research shows that a strength based approach has the best outcomes for our children as it can help build confidence, self-esteem, motivation and resilience. Being differently wired in a world designed for a 'normal' or neurotypical brain means our kids need us to help them navigate, to investigate what they need to thrive and to advocate for these needs. But most importantly they need to know we accept and love them for exactly who they are even though parenting them can be complex.