"Innovation Unleashed: The Creative Potential of Neurodiversity"
In the modern, fast-paced world, our systems are mainly tailored to conform to societal norms of perception and thought, giving priority to the satisfaction of requirements that correspond to what is typically referred to as neurotypical behaviour. There is a common misconception that people with neurodivergent characteristics have functional limitations. But for those whose viewpoints don’t fit into this normal mould, navigating the neurotypical world can frequently be a difficult effort, leaving them with a sense of disadvantage as a result of their unique forms of perception and communication.
This blog attempts to challenge these notions and explore the potential advantages of neurodivergent thinking. We will look into how their distinct cognitive processes can actually be useful and work as catalysts for the development of novel solutions and ground-breaking concepts.
The emerging concept of neurodiversity views individuals with variations in brain function and behavioral traits as a regular part of the human population’s natural diversity (Fung, 2021b). In contrast, “neurotypical” describes a neurocognitive functioning style that conforms to the current societal norms of what is considered “normal.”(Walker, 2021). Neurodiversity includes individuals with ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, and other mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and more. This Clinical model of neurodiversity has diminished due to criticism that it tends to portray individuals as weak or disabled rather than recognizing their strengths.
In the book “Neurodiversity Studies: A New Critical Paradigm,” Robert Chapman suggests that neurodiversity is adaptable, like a “moving target.” (Bertilsdotter Rosqvist et al, 2020). It changes based on culture, society, and the countless brain differences among people. Instead of sticking to existing clinical categories like autism, we should be open to reevaluating what we consider significant brain differences. This concept reframes differences in a neutral light, emphasising the potential benefits of neurodivergence.
Can normal people be neurodivergent ?
“Neurodiversity” is a broad and ever-evolving concept that might be difficult to define.
The current paradigm suggests that a definition of neurodivergence that is far broader and more inclusive than clinical criteria. The shift from a “disease” viewpoint to a “wellness” approach in dealing with neurodiversity and developmental disorders requires perceiving neurological variances as strengths rather than weaknesses. It’s about accepting these differences rather than trying to make them right and recognizing there isn’t just one “normal.” Neurodiversity expands the definition of “normal,” recognising that no two people are the same, regardless of whether they are classified as “typical” or “disordered” by traditional standards. In comparison, this approach is better than attempting to fit everyone into a rigid concept of what’s considered “normal.” Embracing diversity and being open to change can significantly improve the lives of neurodiverse individuals.
Neurodiversity and its connection with creativity
Neurodiversity often goes hand in hand with creativity. Neurodiverse individuals have distinctive cognitive characteristics that distinguish them and help explain their astounding inventiveness. Studies suggest that these traits, such as spatial and visual thinking, a broad perspective, dynamic reasoning (Edie & Edie 2011), intense focus (Carnes & Holloway 2009), narrative thinking, strong episodic memory (Edie & Edie 2011), spontaneity, and creative thought (White 2018), as well as strengths in creative intuition (LaFrance 1997), are pivotal in the successful creation of moving images. As seen by the success of neurodivergent filmmaker Mike Forshaw, who is motivated by vivid experiences and intuitive plot development, neurodiversity may be a source of creative strength. The author of ‘Creative Differences,’ a guide for fostering neurodiversity in the creative industries, underlines the significance of accepting diversity and unique abilities as paths to success. The author also emphasizes that success is not exclusive to wealthy individuals or preconceived notions of success.
Strength of Neurodivergent Talent:
Individuals who identify themselves as neurodivergent brings a variety of abilities to their careers. They generate innovation by questioning norms with their fresh ideas. Complete focus and attention to detail guarantee flawless work. They are great at offering original answers to problems and solving them creatively. Assertive sensory awareness encourages creative experiences, as can alternative modes of communication like technology and visual art.
These abilities shine in the industries of design, web development, and digital marketing, producing user-friendly websites and captivating digital content. Their distinctive viewpoints help in the creation of engaging content across platforms, which benefits copywriting. Neurodivergent people are praised for their creativity, narrative, and aesthetic sense in media and entertainment. They assist people in finding their own artistic expression in therapeutic careers like art therapy and teaching.
In conclusion, neurodivergent people have a wide range of artistic abilities that enhance many different vocations and foster creativity. Inclusion and creativity are fostered at work when diversity is welcomed and supported.
Written by Shubhangi Gupta (Intern at TherapHeal)
Reviewed by Angana Mukherjee ( Psychologist)
Picture Credit: HR Daily Advisor