My neurology

Me and my brain

I am going to write and re-write this page. This is a very brief initial version of it so that it isn't left empty. I won't do back story here because I am putting that over on the "Raising myself" page. However, until early in 2019 I was incorrectly diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. I had been diagnosed with many things over the years.

Right now, I am newly, and I believe correctly for the first time, diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and self-identify as having a neurotype known as Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), which is currently categorised as a condition within the Autism Spectrum. I have had a strong positive pre-screening assessment for this, but do not currently intend to take diagnosis further due to cost.

I am neurodivergent and I want you to understand it

Now whilst I identify strongly with these two neurological differences and do not doubt the diagnoses, I hate calling them diagnoses, conditions, disorders, deficits or any of those truly negative terms. My brain works differently. Sometimes it is better than most people's brains and sometimes it means I struggle with some pretty "normal" stuff.

 

I also strongly dislike the names for ADHD and PDA because I do not believe they are accurate, helpful or descriptive. This is not to mention that all the "conditions" that are neurodivergences overlap in so many ways that it often feels like much of a muchness as to what your "diagnoses" are. For this reason, I have described below a brief list of my strengths and support needs. I hope these will be useful. In time I hope to build an information bank in the website to help people understand each of these a bit more. 

Neurodivergent: Novelty - autonomy neurotype

Psychological regulation

Autonomy

Pervasive drive:
Personal freedom
Self-determination
​Agency
Accessibility
​Equality
Extreme avoidance of:
Imposed demand
​Expectations
Threat or punishment
All extrinsic reward inc. praise
Restrictions, rules and hierarchy

Novelty

Pervasive drive:
New projects
Variety
Spontaniety
Learning
​Exploration
Extreme avoidance of:
Planning
​Routine
Monotony

Predictability

Rigid ritualistic behaviour in some areas Can manage unexpected change in most areas of life, unless activities are inherently anxiety inducing. ​Pace and rhythm of life is either at full speed, or stopped.

Protection

Recognition

Connection

Other forms of regulation

Physical

Digestive difficulties in times of anxiety. Problematic heart rate and blood pressure. Overactive immune system and autoimmune responses. Problematic energy regulation.

Emotional

Emotional hyper-arousal. Rejection sensitivity. Heightened threat response. Meltdown - crying. Shutdown most regular occurrence. Autistic burnout very common.

Sensory

Seeks continous tactile stimulation, background music, body focussed repetitive behaviours. Avoids multiple sound input at once, specific tactile experieces, specific artificial lighting.

Cognitive

Attention regulation - hyper focus, distraction Social communication and behaviour Executive function Working memory deficit Lack of time perception High level categorisation

Strong positive traits

Emily is awesome at:
Leadership
Empathy
​Understanding human behaviour
​Holding space for others
Imagination and internal role play
Strong sense of justice
Problem solving
Determination
​Out of the box thinking

Support needs

Emily needs support with:
​Tactile sensory stimulation
Avoidance of some tactile experiences
General sensory overwhelm
Extreme executive dysfunction
Tendency to major depression
Creating a high autonomy environment
A varied and explorative role
Freedom to make decisions
​Time and safe space to hide and rest
The option to opt out