In countries like the U.S. and Canada, teen behavioural care is now easily accessible. Discussing professional treatment for behavioural and conduct problems in teens is more approachable these days, which is essential as cases of neurodivergence in teens are increasing.
But what is a neurodivergent teen? Neurodiversity is the idea that it’s acceptable and normal for people to have brains that function differently from one another. Rather than approaching differences in operating through the lens of it being wrong or problematic, neurodiversity embraces all differences. Neurodiversity recognises that both brain function and behavioural traits are simply indicators of human diversity. Searching in Canada for teen behavioural care options? Reach out to Venture Academy today by calling 866.762.2211 or contacting our team online.
What Is the Definition of ‘Neurodivergent’?
Like the umbrella term ‘neurodiversity’, the word ‘neurodivergent’ was also coined by sociologist Judy Singer. While the word was originally used to refer specifically to people struggling with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), the usage has broadened significantly in the past few years. These days, for example, neurodivergence in teens can be characterised by brain processes, learning behaviours, and other behavioural patterns that are different from what is considered typical.
Formerly considered problematic or abnormal, experts have eventually come to understand that neurodivergence can have many benefits. With this shift in perspective, many mental health practitioners no longer treat neurodivergence as an illness, although neurodivergent symptoms may still be treated to make daily life easier for clients.
What Are the Signs of Neurodivergence in Teens?
The ‘neurodivergent’ definition used today is rarely applied to cases of mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder (BD), depressive disorders, or schizophrenia. There are many ways in which a teen’s behaviours, emotional responses, and thought patterns can be neurodivergent, and it’s essential to remember that neurodivergence is a cultural construct. Behaviours that are considered normal in one part of the world may be considered atypical elsewhere or at a different period in history.
For the most part, neurodivergence in teens is often first recognised as the result of a diagnosis. However, neurodiversity often exists before a diagnosis and can exist with or without a diagnosis. It’s possible to become neurodiverse as the result of a physical injury or an emotional trauma, but in most cases, signs of neurodiversity can usually be observed from birth onward.
Being neurodivergent can be challenging to manage because neurodiverse people, by definition, are not “like everyone else.” As a result, neurodiverse teens may have challenges when they try to behave in expected ways, easily adjust to changes, or fit in socially. Some common symptoms of neurodiversity include the following:
- Inflexibility or inability to adapt or change interests
- Learning challenges that may be related to difficulties with focus, reading, calculation, ability to follow spoken language, or problems with executive functioning
- Social communication difficulties
- Speech and language difficulties
- Unusual responses to sensory input
- Unusual physical behaviours such as blurting, yelling, expressing tics, rocking, and shouting at unexpected times
When Should You Consider Teen Behavioural Care?
Now that you understand what neurodivergence is, you may be wondering if your teen struggles with neurodivergence and whether or not they need professional behavioural care. It’s essential to have your teen assessed and diagnosed if you observe unusual or destructive symptoms consistently. Along with a diagnosis, mental health professionals will typically recommend behavioural or other forms of care, especially if your teen is having trouble functioning normally in daily life.
The neurodiverse population includes people with specific diagnoses that are considered developmental disorders as opposed to mental illnesses or intellectual disabilities. These neurodivergent diagnoses include the following:
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and dyscalculia
- Tourette’s syndrome
Ready To Learn More About Venture Academy’s Options for Teen Behavioural Care?
Needing help does not make you a bad parent; getting help when required makes you a great parent. If you’re looking in Canada for teen behavioural care, contact Venture Academy today. Reach out to our team online or call 866.762.2211.