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Neurodiversity in Teens: Our Differences Make Us Who We Are

Neurodiversity

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The term “neurodiverse” seems to be used everywhere today; social media, tv shows, movies, and more! While there is no single definition of this term, it typically is used to describe the differences in the ways people’s brains work. According to the Child Mind Institute, the term “neurodiversity” was created to help fight the stigma and promote the inclusion of those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). 

What Does It Mean To Be Neurodiverse?

Being neurodiverse means having a brain that functions differently than what is typically expected, often associated with conditions like autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, dyslexia, and others. It’s a concept that promotes understanding and acceptance of these differences as natural variations in the human brain, rather than as defects or disorders.

This term is being used more today with the goal of breaking the stigma about neurological differences. Still, however, those who fall under this category may still face challenges such as feeling accepted by others and being included in their friend groups, families, and in society. 

4 Ways to Support Your Neurodiverse Teen

As a parent or loved one of someone who considers themselves to be neurodiverse, there are many things you can do to support them and celebrate their differences! By implementing these practices we recommend, you can help your teen embrace and celebrate being neurodiverse so they can feel proud of who they are!

1. Emphasize Their Strengths

Chances are that your teen feels different from others as they navigate the world around them. Every person has their own unique differences that make them who they are! By highlighting their strengths and talents, it allows them to do the same!

2. Connect with Other Neurodivergent Individuals and Communities

While you might find it challenging to truly understand what your teen or loved one is experiencing as a neurodivergent person, it could be helpful to talk with others who share the same identity. Spend time in communities that celebrate and support neurodiversity. 

3. Create a Positive Environment 

In a world where differences aren’t always celebrated and accepted, your home should always feel welcoming, loving, and judgment-free. Making your home a safe and accepting space can allow your loved one to truly embrace who they are and promote connection and honest conversations between the two of you!

4. Educate Yourself on Your Teen’s Diagnosis

If your teen has been diagnosed with a learning disorder, neurological disorder, or mental health illness, we suggest doing as much research and educating yourself to the fullest. It’s important to feel prepared for the different ways it could affect them. While you might not truly understand how they feel, educating yourself about their diagnosis can help them feel more understood and less alone. 

At A Brighter Day Charity, we offer both short-term and long-term treatment available to you at no charge. Text “BRIGHTER” to 741-741 for free, 24/7, crisis support from trained counselors. If you are looking for consistent support, send us an email at support@abrighterday.info to be connected to three months of complementary therapy through BetterHelp.

References:

https://childmind.org/article/what-is-neurodiversity/

https://drroseann.com/11-ways-children-and-teens-can-embrace-their-neurodiversity/

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