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What is neurodivergence?

Neurodivergence is the differentiating in human cognition, social awareness, behaviors, and functions. Examples include Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, OCD, and many others. It is important to note that mental health and psychological disorders, such as depression or borderline personality disorder, are not considered neurodivergent disorders. Neurodivergence is a substantial difference in brain functionality and is something that one is often born with, while psychological disorders are often developmental. All neurodivergent disorders are spectrums, and no neurodivergent experience is exactly like another.

NOTE: Not all symptoms are listed, these are just common examples. All experiences with these disorders are different and not everyone experiences every symptom listed.

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) is a disability that affects one's development and social awareness. Symptoms often include avoiding eye contact, being unable to recognize social ques or facial expressions, repetition of words or phrases(called echolalia), and enjoying specific patterns or prefers something in a very specific way. 

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) is a learning disability that affects one's attention span, energy management, and impulse control. Symptoms often include short attention span, lack of impulse control and acting without thinking, hyperactivity, forgetfulness, focus intensely on one specific topic or task, being unable to resist temptation, has trouble taking turns, and has difficulty in getting along with others. 

What is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a disorder that affects one's behavior and thoughts, often causing unwanted thoughts, fears, and obsessions. This often leads to repetitive and obsessive behaviors(known as compulsions), such as needing to organize objects in a specific way, hyperfixating on minor details, repeatedly washing one's hands or checking if the door is locked in short periods of time, or needing things to be balanced which get in the way of daily life and activities. OCD is very commonly associated with ASD, however, they are not exclusive or dependent on each other.

What is Dyslexia/Dysgraphia/Dyscalculia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that affects one's ability to read. It is a result in the brain's functionality of identifying speech sounds and how they relate to letters and the differences of areas of the brain that process language. Symptoms of dyslexia are processing words slowly, difficulty in seeing/hearing the differences in words, problems remembering sequences, difficulty spelling, mispronouncing names or words, and inability to sound out the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word. 

Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia are similar in symptoms and affects, but rather for writing(Dysgraphia) and math(Dyscalculia).

What is DID/OSDD?

Dissociative Identity Disorder(DID), formerly referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder, is a disorder that causes a persons identity to fragment/split into separate identities. These separate identities, commonly referred to as Alters have their own names, likes & dislikes, and can even be based on a outside thing (this is called a source). Alters can be based on real people, fictional characters, or even animals. Switches between Alters may cause memory loss in the individual.

Other Specified Dissociative Disorder(OSDD) has similar affects and symptoms, but one experiences little to no memory loss between switching Alters.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome, specifically Chromosome 21. This causes changes the way the body and brain of an individual develop, with common characteristics being a flat face, small ears, a short neck, small appendages, poor muscle tone or loose joints, and a short neck. 

What are tic disorders?

Tic disorders, such as Tourette's, cause muscle spasms, twitches, and vocal repetitions that are involuntary. These spasms are commonly referred to as "tics". A common example of a motor tic is repeated blinking of the eyes, and a common example of a vocal tic is repeated grunting. Many cases of tics are temporary, however, cases of Tourette's are permanent. Tics are also subject to change, as new tics may be introduced later in a person's life, and they may overcome a tic that they experienced in childhood.

Autism Self Advocacy Network (ASAN): https://autisticadvocacy.org/

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(CHADD): https://chadd.org

International OCD Foundation: https://iocdf.org/advocate-program/

International Dyslexia Association: https://dyslexiaida.org/advocating-for-a-child-with-dyslexia-within-the-public-education-system/

Actually DID: https://actuallydid.carrd.co/#about

National Down Syndrome Society: https://ndss.org

Tourette Association of America: https://nationalhealthcouncil.org/member/tourette-association-of-america/#:~:text=Tourette%20Association%20of%20America%20(formerly,Tourette%20Syndrome%20and%20Tic%20Disorders.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20354432

https://www.washington.edu/doit/what-do-“neurodiverse”-and-“neurodivergent”-mean#:~:text=A%20“neurodivergent”%20person%20refers%20to,not%20typical%20of%20most%20individuals.


https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/facts.html#

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9792-dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dyslexia/symptoms-causes/syc-20353552#:~:text=Dyslexia%20is%20a%20learning%20disorder,the%20brain%20that%20process%20language.

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/downsyndrome.html

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317950

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