A really common thought or observation emerges at camp amongst our families around a parent’s growing observation of their own neurodivergence.
Parents share with us….how they became aware of their inherent and deep understanding and ability to relate to their child’s sensory needs.
I hear over and over – parents observing how, when they read the therapists reports, or met with school to discuss their child’s struggles, how their own experiences are highlighted as if under a spotlight.
Parents tell me …they realised they too, were autistic, or adhd, or any combinations of both. And how realising this changed so much for them, and their families.
Personally I find the conversation around neurodivergence is more apparent than ever before, as accessibility around diagnosis and assessment tools has improved, media articles and growing awareness of supports and the NDIS become part of our every day language.
Growing up as a child in the 80s was a vastly different time…..we didn’t know about neurodiversity, we lived massively different lives where, in my personal opinion, sensory reactions and aversions were less apparent because we weren’t exposed to the onslaught of visual and audio graffiti that can impact, our whole lives were a slower pace, with less exposure to the faster demands of life that make it very very obvious that someone who needs more time….will struggle.
As a community we didn’t talk about how to support Autistic needs, because in my experience, we actually supported them in how we lived. I can rant on this all day, but we didn’t burn ourselves out so very brightly in the demands to achieve academic and literacy goals and success, work was different, life was different,. It literally was a slower and more gentle age (with some pretty awesome music and fashion too!)
I digress. My point is, we know neurodivergence is genetically linked, that it flows in our families much like a river in our heritage landscape.
I would love to see parents supported to understand themselves and their own needs, alongside the conversation of understanding their children at the point of diagnosis.
Diagnosis as an adult is challenging, expensive, and fraught with a path that is commonly frustrated as we deal with a lack of neurodivergent diagnosticians who know how to see beneath the mask we’ve held close for so many decades.
Self diagnosis is valid. If you are a parent of neurodivergent children, you are likely yourself to be a wonderful combination of autistic, adhd, or more.
Parents – I’d love to hear your thoughts. What made you pick up the mirror and ask the question?