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Neurodiversity Assessment

Neurodiversity is a concept that recognizes and celebrates the natural variation in neurological traits, cognitive abilities, and behavioral patterns among individuals. It emphasizes the idea that neurological differences, such as those found in people with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other conditions, are normal variations of the human brain rather than disorders or deficits.

 

​​These variations, however, can create challenges for a child academically, socially, and for their mental well-being. The benefits of providing early and tailored support can not be overstated as it empowers them to build a strong foundation of skills that will nurture their future growth.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

ASD is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects communication, behavior, and social interaction. Autism is called a "spectrum" disorder because the severity and characteristics of the condition can vary widely among individuals.

Some common characteristics of individuals with ASD include:

  • Communication: People with ASD may have challenges in understanding and using verbal and non-verbal communication. They might have trouble with language development, social gestures, and maintaining eye contact.

  • Social interaction: Individuals with ASD often struggle with understanding social cues, forming friendships, and engaging in typical social interactions. They may have difficulty understanding emotions and responding appropriately to social situations.

  • Repetitive behaviors and restricted interests: Many individuals with ASD exhibit repetitive movements or behaviors, such as hand-flapping, rocking, or lining up objects. They may also develop intense interests in specific topics and have difficulty shifting their focus from these interests to other activities.

Early Identification

Children can be diagnosed as at-risk for ASD as early as 18 months of age. Research has overwhelmingly shown that the provision of behavioral therapies to young children will provide significant improvements in their skills. These supports help parents to understand the best ways to teach them new skills, manage problem behaviours, ease transitions, and obtain other resources to support your family.

Autism in Girls

The diagnostic criteria for ASD may not fully capture the different presentation of autism in girls as they tend to show different patterns of behaviour. Girls with autism often develop coping strategies to mask their difficulties by imitating social behaviour. At Acorn Psychology we are able to recognize this social camouflage and can accurately assess these nuances.

Understanding Autism

It's essential to remember that each person with ASD is unique, and their experiences and abilities can vary widely. Embracing neurodiversity and promoting understanding and support for individuals with autism is crucial for creating an inclusive society.

Child Activity

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that primarily affects children but can persist into adolescence and adulthood. ADHD is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning or development. ADHD can affect various executive functions, which are a set of cognitive processes that help individuals regulate their behavior, plan and organize tasks, and achieve goals effectively.

Many of the symptoms for ADHD overlap with those of other conditions such as anxiety, learning disorders, depression, and autism spectrum disorder. We employ the latest research based diagnostic tools and criteria to provide a comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan which will identify your child’s needs and tailor support strategies for them.

Although this disorder can potentially also be addressed by other medical professionals, Acorn Psychology is able to provide your family with an understanding of ADHD, or any potentially co-occurring disorders, including those listed above. With this insight and treatment plan, you will be best able to help your child overcome these challenges in reaching their full potential.

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Giftedness

A diagnosis of giftedness is important to your child’s development because it will provide the family and educators with an understanding of that child’s capabilities and provide them with the support they need to take full advantage of these abilities.

Gifted students may experience unique social and emotional challenges such as feelings of isolation, anxiousness, or being misunderstood. Some gifted children may even have learning disabilities or other difficulties.

 

Assessing for giftedness will highlight your child’s abilities and potential obstacles. We will provide your family and your child’s educators with a specialized plan to empower your child to reach their full potential.

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