Neurodiversity Thread


I certainly didn’t see it as a dig :slight_smile: I think I can see what you mean though, a spectrum implies a fixed position and “typical” characteristics based upon your position on that scale…when clearly it should be more fluid than that!

Your daughter sounds amazing


She really is :smiley:


I always think with people who act like that around certain issues is that they don’t want to accept that there is no such thing as “normal”. I can’t quite articulate what I want to say but I feel like there are so many people that drift through life denying any behavioral or mental health conditions because they either don’t want to admit to themselves or family or friends that they or other people aren’t “normal”. They think everyone is just “normal” and thats the way things are and if you admit someone you know isn’t “normal” then maybe they’re not “normal” and it’s easier to ignore that than address it?

This probably makes no sense. But this is how I see my family react to any kind of MH issues. We have a family member who has a chronic physical illness and is clearly to me (and understandably so) depressed but family want to just pretend its not any underlying issue because they don’t to accept that anyone in the family is mentally unwell cause that would not suit them?


Not sure whether I should bother trying to get some CBT or something to deal with my dermatillomania (/excoriation disorder/skin picking addiction). I go completely mad when there’s somehting - a hangnail, a flap of skin (wahey), a spot, a scab - imperfect on my skin; once I’ve found it, I can’t stop touching or picking at it and I’m constantly seeking lumps and bumps that I can pick at. I’m so used to it that the only way it really affects my life is through having rank skin around my fingers/on the bottom of my feet (recently got back into pulling skin off there) and making my fingers bleed pretty much daily. But it is kind of a form of self harm so idk??


@colon_closed_bracket I wish I had the time to respond properly now, though @ttf has already put very eloquently some of what I was going to try and cover, I just wanted to say for now that it seems very much like you have an excellent attitude and are a very understanding parent. Also your daughter sounds awesome :slight_smile:


great thread

I am learning a lot & am very impressed with how those of you who are non-neurotypical have the wherewithal to both cope with your difficulties and discuss clearly and openly & help others

I’ve never viewed myself as anything other than neurotypical (though I suspect that has a lot to do with internal bias) but… @colon_closed_bracket …your description of your daughter’s symptoms runs very close to how I would describe my 4yo and also some of the difficulties & comments from other parents/family …I suspect she is someone for whom we will have to seek diagnosis in the future. The problem (for her mainly) is that she has a close friend and neighbour who is clearly an acute case of …something… and at her nursery school she is therefore seen as relatively problem free/invisible and doesn’t get any of the help she probably needs and constantly ends up in conflicts with this friend - none of which she understands

I’m not sure quite what to do about it, I don’t want to separate her from her friend for a whole host of reasons but their friendship is quite damaging at times and her friend can be extremely cruel to her and others around her. At the same time, her friend’s parents seem to be in a strange place when it comes to recognising their own daughter’s ‘behaviour’ (for want of a better word) and what to do about it. They’ve essentially normalised that there are no ways of setting any boundaries for their daughter but don’t seem to have understood or applied anything beyond trying to get through each day without any major incident.

Any clues? Or advice


I’ll have a think… it’s a tricky situation as you say. Do you have any kind of relationship with the girl’s parents? Also, how does your daughter get on in terms of forming friendships with others?


yeah they’re our next-door neighbours and the mum was the priest who married me & my wife (!)

my daughter is the most sociable, easy to form friendship person I’ve ever met. She’s 4 but can literally go up to any girl from the age of 2 to 12 in a park, on a beach, wherever and be playing like an old friend within minutes

she literally cannot comprehend any way in which this friend interacts with her in moments where play is shut down - but this doesn’t make her back away, it makes her try harder to be friends - including copying really very anti-social behaviours


I do this as well, if I get a bit of loose skin around my finger nails I constantly pick at it until it goes raw. I wish I could stop myself doing it.

I also have issues with spotlights and car headlights where I seem hypersensitive to them. Regards noise, the noise of people typing loudly really grates on me, as well as the noise of people eating (I literally have to leave the room). But the one noise that I can’t stand is a hand dryer. If I hear it outside the work toilets before I enter, I literally walk to another floor to avoid it, and if I’m in a cubicle and someone turns on a hand dryer I often have to cover my ears.

Another thing that annoys me about myself, so having the need to double check everything, multiple times. I’m a keyholder at work, and one night a week have to lock up the office. The amount of times I go back to double check I closed windows is ridiculous and annoying, but I have to do it.

My eldest nephew has been diagnosed with dyspraxia, and is very clever, but has issues with coordination, and he has issues socialising too. My mum thinks I have something similar, which wasn’t a known thing when I was a kid.

I’d love to go to a DiS meet one day, but again I’m socially awkward about doing that.


It’s not a situation we’ve found ourselves in - if anything, it’s our neurotypical 5-year-old who is more likely to copy behaviour from friends. I guess I’d just say that at that age children form friendships, move on etc quite easily so maybe you could encourage arrange playdates for her with some other kids who might help build up her self-esteem / help model what good friendship looks like.

I think the main issue may well be in terms of where the parents are at - it’s a tricky subject to broach with them but at least you have a good existing friendship.

(I’m sorry that this is a bit vague - I really do feel like I’m winging it as a dad for the majority of the time).


Do you need to wear glasses? I have always had issues with dealing with bright lights and contrast and getting retina burn/flash blindness, but I went for a full eye test six months ago for the first time in a decade (oops!) and my new lenses have coatings that really help with this.

I don’t necessarily think that it’s a neurological issue, more an eye one.


no, it’s cool

thanks. I’d probably need to give more details but for (probably obvious reasons) feel a bit reticent to give too many

we’re all winging it


No, perfect eyesight (or so I think).


It could well be either. A lot of the issue of bright lights can come down to how the brain is processing that input, I find my issues are with feeling overwhelmed by the light more than it hurting my eyes, if that makes sense? I don’t know if the is how it is for @ynot, I certainly don’t want to put words in his mouth.


Yeah I know what you mean by overwhelmed by the light, it doesn’t hurt my eyes as such, but I can’t really explain it, I just find it annoying.

Reading this, I’ve just realised just how many of these symptoms I’ve got.


I think that a DiS meat is somewhere you would probably find a group of people to be very understanding of socially awkward people, at least that is the impression that I get* from here. Totally understand that despite that it doesn’t necessarily stop it from being a daunting prospect.

*I know I have set myself up here.


Yeah, I think a more illustrative description might be that it is like the input from your eyes gets amplified by your brain, does that make sense?


Yes, that makes sense.


Oh, I have that, but my glasses now make it much less likely to hurt or to make it dangerous (like, I couldn’t see at all for about 5 seconds after a car used to pass me when I was driving).

It’s probably still worth him going to the opticians if he’s not been in a long time to see if there’s anything that they can do to reduce the impact of it.


I know it does seem like a good bunch of people on here.

But as well as the anxiety, in loud places like pubs I struggle to cut out the background noise making conversations pretty difficult, I generally cope with a maximum of 4 or 5 people in a group. As well as that I tend to repeat myself quite a bit, which got pointed out at a Christmas work meal once, which I was mocked for for ages.