Should I use a Neurodiversity Affirming approach when I don’t know if a child is neurodivergent?


by Adina Levy

Here’s a question I was asked recently:

Should I use a Neurodiversity Affirming approach when I don’t know if a child is neurodivergent?

👍 Yes!

You don’t need a formal diagnosis to be neurodivergent. Self diagnosis and self-identification is absolutely valid.

So is ‘neuro-questioning’ – not being quite sure of the child’s neurotype yet.

And in many cases, especially if you’re working with younger kids, you might come across children who are on a journey towards formal diagnosis, or they might not ever go on that journey, and that’s okay.

But you might think that child is probably neurodivergent. Cool! Proceed in a Neurodiversity Affirming manner. and here’s why…

My belief is that a Neurodiversity Affirming approach is a human affirming approach.

So when we’re supporting our children, clients and students, no matter what neurotype they have, it is so relevant to simply see people for the individual that they are.

Recognising their skills, their strengths, their preferences, their challenges.

So, maybe you get it wrong and you treat somebody in a Neurodiversity Affirming way and they’re not neurodivergent… there’s no harm done. You’re still meeting that child where they are.

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