Here are 6 Myths about Neurodivergent children. There are far too many to mention but we’ve put our top 6 together here for you.
1. Neurodivergent children need to be taught social skills. This is simply not true and current research supports this. Neurodivergent children have their own very effective ways of communicating but unfortunately are often misunderstood.
2. Neurodivergent children need to be taught how to interact with their peers. Also false! Neurodivergent kids are often othered and excluded by their peers and adults. This in itself shows that the issues do not lie solely with Neurodivergent children. You cannot make friends if nobody wants to be your friend or if other people do not understand you. Interacting, communicating and building relationships are all two-ways tasks and so everyone has a part to play in making these tasks a success.
3. Neurodivergent children lack empathy. There is no evidence whatsoever to support this. In many cases the opposite is true with Neurodivergent children experiencing hyper-empathy. There may be subtle differences in the ways Neurodivergent children express their empathy and this needs to be understood.
4. Neurodivergent kids are not as competent as their peers.This idea needs to be deleted from society. In order to meet Neurodivergent children with understanding then we must presume competence. This means that we presume Neurodivergent children are just as competent as their peers. This means that we allow for differences in communication styles, adapt our communication but mainly speak to Neurodivergent in the same way we do to their peers. We never make assumptions like “they wouldn’t understand”.
5. Neurodivergent children have difficulty learning. Everyone can learn but they need to be taught in ways which are compatible with their Neurotype. In fact many Neurodivergent kids are excellent autodidactic learners. This means that they can teach themselves when given the opportunity to follow their interests.
6. Neurodivergent children need to be taught how to behave. Neurodivergent children know how to behave but often they experience such high levels of anxiety, stress and/ or trauma that people who are not informed about such things misinterpret their behaviour.