“Neurodivergent” is an umbrella term that encompasses many conditions. It may be easier to understand the word “neurodivergent” by first understanding what it means to be neurotypical.
A neurotypical individual is someone who functions in and experiences the world in a way deemed “normal” by societal standards.
Remember, neurodivergent is a neutral word, not a negative one. Everyone’s experience of the world is slightly different, and it’s natural to be neurodivergent. The divergence is a spectrum. Some people land quite far away from neurotypical, while others fall only slightly outside the margin.
Conditions that fall under the “neurodivergent” umbrella
Some of the conditions that fall under this umbrella are:
- autism spectrum disorder
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- down syndrome
- Tourette syndrome
Neurodivergent examples and traits
Examples and traits depend on the type of neurodivergence an individual expresses. Often these traits have been present since childhood, but not always.
Some common traits of neurodivergence are:
- difficulty keeping up with the time
- hyper-focusing on one task or struggling to focus at all
- high sensitivity to external stimuli such as sounds and smells
- difficulting in learning settings, such as school or trainings
- abilities to solve advanced problems
- synesthesia or sensory crossing
This brief, time-saving questionnaire is designed for anyone who thinks they may be neurodivergent.
The quiz questions will help you determine whether you experience the world in a way that isn’t neurotypical. A mental health professional can recommend treatment if needed.
This online screening is not a definitive tool. It is not designed to diagnose any of the conditions that fall under the neurodivergent umbrella. Keep in mind that “neurodivergent” itself is not a formal diagnosis, but rather an identification term used widely in society.
This test can be used as a self-screening tool which you could share with a doctor should you choose to see one. Only a trained medical professional, such as a doctor or mental health professional, can officially diagnose any condition under the neurodivergent umbrella.
Neurodivergence is an umbrella term that covers many conditions that cause people to experience the world in a way that isn’t “neurotypical” — although that term is ultimately hard to define as well.
Both “neurotypical” and “neurodivergent” are terms based on societal standards and are not diagnoses.
Neurodivergence is an identity, and someone who has one or more of these conditions or disorders may or may not identify as neurodivergent.
Because neurodivergence is not a formal diagnosis, self-advocacy may be beneficial to those who identify as neurodivergent.
If you’re interested in learning more, you may enjoy the Neurodiversity Hub, a resource for education, employment, and more information about neurodivergence.
Is anxiety considered neurodivergent?
At present, medical experts have varying opinions about whether anxiety on its own constitutes neurodiversity. But anxiety often presents as a comorbidity for many conditions that fall under the neurodiversity umbrella, such as autism spectrum disorder and ADHD.
Some people experience such a high level of anxiety that they don’t feel like the world was made for them. In these cases, many experts would consider this degree of anxiety to indicate neurodivergence. For more information, consider reading “Is Anxiety Neurodivergent?”
What is a neurodivergent test?
A neurodivergent test is a series of questions that attempt to determine whether or not a person’s brain functions in a neurotypical way.
These tests are often self-administered at home, like this one, and only those performed by a medical professional can offer a diagnosis of one of the many conditions that fall under the neurodivergent umbrella.
Otherwise, the function of neurodivergent tests is educational. If someone receives a high score on a neurodivergent test, it may be beneficial for them to consult with a medical professional to find out more.
What are neurodivergent traits?
There are many traits associated with the different conditions and disorders under the neurodivergent umbrella. Some common traits are:
- enhanced sensory perception that can lead to overstimulation
- pattern recognition
- advanced problem solving
- nonlinear thinking
- difficulty working in groups
Can you self-diagnose neurodivergent?
No, you cannot self-diagnose neurodivergence. A mental health professional must diagnose you.
But many people may self-identify as neurodivergent. Self-identifying as neurodivergent may be helpful to the individual in how they navigate the world.
An example of this would be someone who easily becomes overstimulated deciding to wear earplugs when in loud situations or deciding to avoid those situations altogether.
Or if an individual experiences more severe neurodivergent conditions they may seek to receive special accommodations at school or work to improve daily functioning.
If you believe you experience signs of neurodivergence consider speaking with a mental health professional to receive a proper diagnosis.