Me and my brain
I am going to write and re-write this page. This is a very brief initial version of it so that it isn't left empty. I won't do back story here because I am putting that over on the "Raising myself" page. However, until early in 2019 I was incorrectly diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Bipolar Disorder. I had been diagnosed with many things over the years.
Right now, I am newly, and I believe correctly for the first time, diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and self-identify as having a neurotype known as Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), which is currently categorised as a condition within the Autism Spectrum. I have had a strong positive pre-screening assessment for this, but do not currently intend to take diagnosis further due to cost.
I am neurodivergent and I want you to understand it
Now whilst I identify strongly with these two neurological differences and do not doubt the diagnoses, I hate calling them diagnoses, conditions, disorders, deficits or any of those truly negative terms. My brain works differently. Sometimes it is better than most people's brains and sometimes it means I struggle with some pretty "normal" stuff.
I also strongly dislike the names for ADHD and PDA because I do not believe they are accurate, helpful or descriptive. This is not to mention that all the "conditions" that are neurodivergences overlap in so many ways that it often feels like much of a muchness as to what your "diagnoses" are. For this reason, I have described below a brief list of my strengths and support needs. I hope these will be useful. In time I hope to build an information bank in the website to help people understand each of these a bit more.
Neurodivergent: Novelty-Autonomy neurotype
Extreme avoidance of:
Threat or punishment
All extrinsic reward inc. praise
Restrictions, rules and hierarchy
Extreme avoidance of:
Rigid ritualistic behaviour in some areas Can manage unexpected change in most areas of life, unless activities are inherently anxiety inducing. Pace and rhythm of life is either at full speed, or stopped.
Other forms of regulation
Digestive difficulties in times of anxiety. Problematic heart rate and blood pressure. Overactive immune system and autoimmune responses. Problematic energy regulation.
Emotional hyper-arousal. Rejection sensitivity. Heightened threat response. Meltdown - crying. Shutdown most regular occurrence. Autistic burnout very common.
Seeks continous tactile stimulation, background music, body focussed repetitive behaviours. Avoids multiple sound input at once, specific tactile experieces, specific artificial lighting.
Attention regulation - hyper focus, distraction Social communication and behaviour Executive function Working memory deficit Lack of time perception High level categorisation
Strong positive traits
Tomlin is awesome at:
Understanding human behaviour
Holding space for others
Imagination and internal role play
Strong sense of justice
Out of the box thinking
Tomlin needs support with:
Ensuring tactile sensory stimulation is available
Avoidance of some tactile experiences
General sensory overwhelm
Extreme executive dysfunction
Extreme sensitivity to rejection and criticism
Creating a high autonomy environment
A varied and explorative role
Freedom to make decisions
Time and safe space to hide and rest and opt out