Finding the Similarities Within Our Differences as Neurodiverse People


Far too often I see segregation within the neurodiverse population — people not wanting to learn across conditions because society and the medical profession often divides us, and categorizes certain traits to mean one thing and other traits to mean another. Those of us with multiple diagnoses start to not fit in any box, and it gets to a point where it feels slightly overindulgent to get another assessment. What if you fit in all the boxes and none completely?

Welcome to my world!

I feel like I am collecting developmental conditions. Currently diagnosed dyslexic with comorbid dyspraxia and ADHD. I am the mother to three children, two of whom have a diagnosis of autism, and the other one plus myself having social communication difficulties. I can’t help but feel that I don’t fit in any of the boxes. I actually present more pathological demand avoidant than anything, but that condition is not currently recognized in the U.K., so no point going down that route.

My pursuit of understanding myself and my children has emphasized the need to learn across conditions, and highlighted that within these conditions, there are overlaps that could help us to share common ground. I feel the need to share this because I believe that although certain experiences within the developmental conditions mirror each other (for instance, sensory processing difficulty is common across all developmental conditions), the way it is perceived and managed varies.

I feel sharing strategies across developmental conditions will allow for a greater understanding of what may help, and may allow for teachers and practitioners to have a more varied, adaptable approach to supporting people. We need to look more at what makes us similar within our difference, instead of focusing on what makes us different from each other and the neurotypical population. Within this united shared perception, I believe we can move forward in helping the neurotypical population understand difference a little better.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Getty image by NisiriN.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Young woman with hands on eyes sitting stressed in car.

Learning to Drive as Someone on the Autism Spectrum

Driving is a milestone most look forward to with unimaginable glee. Independence is only a key-turn and a license away. I have to admit, I was one of those people. When I turned 15, I bought the Driver’s Manual for my state and studied it inside and out. I remember walking into my local DMV [...]
I'm thankful for this boy

6 Things I'm Thankful for as I Parent My Son With Autism

I have a lot to be thankful for as an autism mom. 1. I have a child who loves hugs. Well, actually, I have two children who love hugs, but my autistic son is a hugger and a kisser. I’m grateful for his affection and his hugs are as strong as my love for him. [...]
Christine Motokane, young Asian-American woman wearing Hawaiian lei.

5 Autism Stereotypes I Would Like to Dismiss

What do you picture when you think of someone who has autism? Do you think of someone with a special talent like Raymond Babbitt from “Rain Man?” Is it the socially awkward computer nerd working at a Silicon Valley tech startup? Or is your idea of autism the individual who has no speaking abilities, rocks [...]
The words "Aspergers 101" on a blackboard in chalk

15 Things You Should Know If You Know Someone With Asperger's

My name is Ali, I am 19 years old and I have Asperger’s syndrome. Here is what I want you to know: 1. Asperger’s syndrome is a form of autism spectrum disorder (ASD.) 2. Like other autism profiles, Asperger’s syndrome is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how people see and understand the world and [...]