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Let's turn the tables...

Let’s turn the tables – how to recognise a neurotypical!

We see so much about how to recognise and deal with neurodivergent individuals, that I thought I’d turn the tables to demonstrate how unfair it is. This is a light-hearted look at what to expect from neurotypicals (NT), and how neurodivergent people “should” change their behaviours to fit in.

The constant need for communication with others – respond immediately to any communication, whether this be direct, on social media, or any other format. Ignoring your need for peace and do not allow yourself to take a break from it all.

Unexplained body language rules and expectations for mind reading – stop expecting others to be direct and say what they mean. Learn more about this magical way of communicating and how to assume you know what the other person means or is thinking.

Need for constant stimulation, including with others – get used to the fact you will need to drop your desire for quiet time and will be expected to put up with whatever noise or behaviour your friend wants if you expect to spend time with them.

Restrictions in honest communication, such as “I’m fine” – accept that when someone asks you a question, they probably do not want the truth so you must swallow your answer and give the societally acceptable response.

Lacking the ability to create own identity – it is not encouraged, expected, or accepted that you be your own person. Instead, you must follow the rules set by your group, follow their example, and become just like them in order to fit in and not stand out. You must not be different from others.

Denial of logic when it contradicts rules specified by others – even when you can see very clearly how something could be done better, it is not permitted to be more efficient if it goes against the rules set. Therefore, turn off your willingness to do a better job, or make life easier for others, and just keep doing it the way you were told to.

All of these sound a bit silly when it is written down, and it is just a small handful of examples of where neurodivergent (ND) people don’t quite fit the mould and are expected to do things like “normal” people. ND individuals are often judged as being too different, an inconvenience as they don’t do things like others, being wrong for not following illogical rules, and so much more. A lot of people still have very little understanding of neurodiversity, and believe that we can just decide to do things differently. We can be judged as difficult and told we could do better if we just applied ourselves more. Just as you can’t judge the abilities of a fish by asking it to climb a tree, you can’t judge someone’s abilities by comparing them to others. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and many people only see weaknesses and failure in ND people.

Thankfully this is starting to change and society is becoming a bit more aware and, hopefully, more understanding. Just as you wouldn’t expect someone with a broken leg to be able to run a 100-metre sprint, you can’t expect someone who is ND to do things like someone who is NT.

Neurodivergents are different from neurotypicals, but we are not less. If you know someone who is ND, ask them about their experience. Give them the chance to show you who they are. Please don’t try to correct their differences, and don’t tell them something they struggle with is easy.

Let’s keep building on an accepting, understanding, and inclusive society.


I hope you found this blog interesting! Don’t forget that I provide a non-judgmental safe space to ensure you get the best possible outcome from your sessions.

I offer both online and in-person treatments. My therapy room is based in Alton, Hampshire. I'm on the Hampshire/Surrey Boarder and just 15 minutes from Basingstoke and Farnham. Talk Helps is at the end of a direct line from London, Waterloo - and I would love to welcome you to take a seat...


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