Work as a Psychologist tends to focus on the problems, the difficulties, the challenges a child is facing. And for neurodiverse children, for those with ADHD, ASD, Learning Difficulties, or a combination, there seems to be more challenges. Life seems like an uphill struggle for them and parents are naturally concerned about their child’s experience and what it means for their future.
The concept of neurodiversity can help in shifting the mindset. Neurodiversity views brain differences as differences, rather than deficits. This viewpoint not only helps to reduce stigma but also helps us as the adults to look beyond the challenges, the deficits, the difficulties, the problems, to the strengths. It is the strengths of these children that are frequently forgotten.
Neurodiverse children are some of the most energetic, passionate, curious, and kind children I have worked with. Yes, it can sometimes feel like a loud whirlwind has entered the room. But when this ball of energy can be focused through using their interests, I am amazed at the creative and out of the box ideas that can occur. It is their strengths that make them excellent engineers, scientists, accountants, chefs, artists, builders, etc.
Every child is unique and neurodiverse children are no exception. It is important to recognise and use their strengths. I wonder what you can learn from your child’s strengths?
Jessica Buster (M Clin Psych, Grad Dip Prof Psych, BA Psych Hons) is passionate about creating a caring and safe space to promote effective working relationships. Jessica applies evidence-based interventions in a client focused and collaborative manner to assist children, young people and their families move towards their goals of growth and wellbeing.
Jessica’s clinical training and experience has equipped her with skills in the assessment and treatment for mental health issues. She has gained experience working in roles across non-profit, hospital and private settings. This has included working as an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Therapist and roles at Guardian Youth Care, Headspace, Westmead Children’s Hospital Psycho-Oncology, and Healthy Minds Happy Kids.
Across all her roles, Jessica has pursued her interest in working with children, adolescents and their families experiencing a range of mental health difficulties including anxiety, emotion regulation difficulties, behavioural difficulties, social difficulties, and disability. She has been able to promote understanding and engagement with these clients by integrating a sense of fun and creativity into treatment.