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Is Your Child Exhibiting Developmental Or Behavioral Setbacks?
If you’re the parent of a child who experiences learning differences, developmental delays, or challenges in socialization, behavior and/or communication, you may have wondered if there is something going on beneath the surface of your child’s issues. Children, adolescents, and teens can struggle with such prevalent mental health challenges as anxiety and depression. But there are other conditions that present cognitive and behavioral symptoms that can also be managed with therapy. You may have wondered if your child has any of the following conditions, or perhaps your family has already received a diagnosis. In any case, therapy can help your child manage behaviors, develop achievable goals, and offer you—the parent or caregiver—guidance on how best to support your neurodivergent child.
Types Of Neurodivergent Conditions And Their Symptoms
If you’re the parent of a child who experiences learning differences, developmental delays, or challenges in socialization, behavior and/or communication, you may have wondered if there is something going on beneath the surface of your child’s issues.
Children, adolescents, and teens can struggle with such prevalent mental health challenges as anxiety and depression. But there are other conditions that present cognitive and behavioral symptoms that can also be managed with therapy.
You may have wondered if your child has any of the following conditions, or perhaps your family has already received a diagnosis. In any case, therapy can help your child manage behaviors, develop achievable goals, and offer you—the parent or caregiver—guidance on how best to support your neurodivergent child.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Delayed speech or communication
- Need for routine and being upset by changes in schedule
- Avoiding eye contact
- Intense emotional reaction to environment
- Focused on a very specific interest or object
- Repetitive behaviors
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Limited attention span
- Forgetfulness, memory issues
- Difficulty with organization
- An inability to sit still
- Difficulty with impulse control
Other Neurodivergent Conditions And Their Symptoms
Dyslexia – difficulty reading and other language-processing skills
Dyscalculia – difficulty understanding numbers and math facts
Dysgraphia – difficulty with handwriting and other fine motor skills
Non-verbal disability – difficulty interpreting social cues and/or poor coordination skills
Life can be more challenging with any one of these disabilities, and they often co-occur with one another or other mental health conditions. Your child may be struggling to keep up at home, at work, or with daily responsibilities.
But therapy offers you and your family a chance to understand the needs of your neurodivergent child. Together, you will learn the skills needed to restore growth and harmony in your home.
The Difference Between “Neurotypical” And “Neurodivergent”
When it comes to cognitive disabilities, the world is split into two categories: neurotypical and neurodivergent.
- Neurotypical refers to the “average” population against which we create standards and metrics for psychological development. Though this population can struggle with mental health challenges—such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress—there is no diagnosis of a cognitive or learning disability.
- Neurodivergent, on the other hand, refers to a variation in cognitive functioning. These individuals are often on the autism spectrum or have ADHD, a learning disability (such as dyslexia), or other developmental setbacks.
Unfortunately, our surroundings are created according to neurotypical standards, causing neurodivergent individuals to often feel like a round peg being forced into a square hole.
Daily tasks and interactions that seem simple, straightforward, or nonthreatening to a neurotypical individual can be extremely challenging to someone who is neurodivergent. Someone with ASD for example, may find making eye contact very stressful.
ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities Are Common
One in six families has a child diagnosed with having special needs or a cognitive disability. And for these individuals, going to school or work, developing social skills, and living independently often presents certain complications.
In addition, neurodivergent individuals usually require behavioral, medical, or therapeutic intervention (including counseling) and may need assistance in performing daily tasks.
Beyond the aforementioned neurodivergent diagnoses, there are other common diagnoses that necessitate additional support and accommodations. These can include:
- Dyspraxia – difficulty with coordination and movement
- Apraxia – difficulty performing purposeful actions
- Sensory processing disorders – feeling overly stimulated by everyday occurrences
Over time, our culture has come to value stillness and focus over movement—which goes against practically every intuition of our nomadic ancestors, who were constantly on the move for survival.
These ancestors’ children learned through play and informal instruction, but education became more formalized and pedagogic (instructional) over time. A neurotypical education veered toward focus, while the neurodivergent population continued learning by seeking novelty.
Eventually, the classroom environment became a place where the neurotypical student could thrive. However, a student with ADHD, for instance, would not be as encouraged to build on their strengths of activity, innovation, and enthusiasm.
This demonstrates that when an individual’s talents and strengths are both understood and maximized, they can be more successful and better adjusted to their environments.
For this reason, a neurodivergent assessment, diagnosis and strengths-based treatment plan are essential in helping children and adults alike to receive the support they need.
Neurodiversity therapy focuses on your or your child’s unique strengths, values, and goals to help build on successes and develop skills.
At Eddins Counseling Group, we view neurodivergent evaluation and treatment as an opportunity to find practical solutions to the difficulties presented within a neurotypical world. In creating and working toward these goals, you can gain confidence in yourself and in your child’s future.
At Eddins Counseling, we see children, adolescents, teens, and adults for therapy. Beginning with an initial intake, your clinician at Eddins Counseling will ask you various questions to understand the presenting obstacles in you or your child’s life.
Based on your child’s needs and diagnosis, your clinician will develop a treatment plan. We find that checking in with parents and/or caregivers on a consistent basis can be helpful to reinforce skills learned at home.
We may also recommend referrals and collaboration with occupational therapists, speech therapists, or other professionals in the school setting.
If no formal diagnosis was made prior, we may recommend a complete diagnostic assessment. If you suspect autism, ADHD, or a learning or developmental disability, a proper diagnosis can help your child get the support they need in academic and social settings.
For example, if your child has been labeled a “slow learner” proper diagnosis may show that your child has a learning disability–a difference in how their brain operates.
And if a diagnosis of ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, or learning or developmental disability has already been established, we will center the intake session around your goals for counseling.
Whether your child is struggling with ADHD, ASD, a learning disability or other neurodivergent condition, therapy will be spent identifying and building on inherent strengths so that your child can feel comfortable and capable.
In addition, we will work with you and your child to:
- Establish effective communication strategies
- Develop coping skills and tools for distress tolerance
- Improve emotion regulation
- Building healthy relationships and social skills
- Learn how to modify environments to reduce triggers and be successful with goals.
We also offer coaching to parents and caretakers of children with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities and sensory processing disorder that can help you to:
- Manage daily stress at home
- Alter counterproductive habits and communication patterns
- Identify achievable long-term goals
- Get the family on the same page in regard to a treatment plan
All of us are born with unique qualities and talents, and at Eddins Counseling Group, we seek to uplift all of our clients with a sense of empathy and empowerment. Neurodiversity therapy can help you or your child learn how to make your environment more accommodating to your needs—not the other way around.
Absolutely. If you are unsure about your or your child’s symptoms or behaviors, we can conduct an assessment that can confirm a neurodivergent diagnosis.
On the other hand, if your or your child’s symptoms are associated with depression, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or other psychological/behavioral issues, we can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment through therapy.
We acknowledge that there has been a history of stigma attached to neurodivergence and that the world can be cruel to individuals who are labeled as different. However, we believe that a proper diagnosis and counseling for neurodivergent individuals can ultimately open doors and create opportunities.
By knowing how your or your child’s brain functions, you can have a better understanding of the supports, accommodations, and services needed to be successful. And our therapists are trained, empathetic, and nonjudgmental clinicians who are committed to providing accurate and individualized treatment so that you can get the most out of life.
Living with a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, learning disability, or other neurodivergent diagnosis can create feelings of grief and uncertainty, but it is possible to live a full life that harnesses your innate gifts and strengths.
In therapy, you can learn specific skills that build upon your unique strengths and successes. Our therapists can help you set treatment goals and create plans for the future so that you can look ahead with a sense of optimism and empowerment.
You Can Learn How To Make Your Child’s Strengths Shine
If you’re searching for guidance and treatment for your child’s symptoms related to ADHD, autism, or a learning or developmental disability, Eddins Counseling offers neurodiversity counseling and coaching for parents and caregivers.
To learn more about how we can help or to schedule an appointment with one of our neurodivergent therapists, please contact us.
Get Help From a Specialist in Autism (Neurodiversity)
What Clients Are Saying
Great Conversation Starter
Sessions are going very well with my therapist. I like her ability to create a comfortable and open environment. She is a great conversation starter, and it’s easy to express ourselves about anything. She is very welcoming and a great listener.