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Neurodiversity

"No one gets me."

Individuals with intellectual or other developmental disabilities often have a difficult time feeling like they can fit in or connect with those around them.  This can greatly affect self-confidence and self-esteem, leading to feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness.  For some individuals on the autism spectrum, having difficulties in understanding certain social queues can be quite challenging particularly from the teenage years and young adulthood-on.  Additionally, the tendency towards all or nothing thinking can pose a barrier to the flexibility needed in all areas of life.  This can impact other social-developmental stages such as making friends, dating, or finding a job.  It's tough to navigate the world when it feels like no one else really understands what you're experiencing or why.


"I feel like such a failure."

So often when teens and young adults with intellectual or other developmental disabilities are really trying to learn to manage their emotions, they will sometimes slip and feel unable to utilize their coping skills in moments of high stress.  This can result in feelings of shame and embarrassment, leading the individual to feel that they just cannot get it right.  It's important to remember to focus on progress, not perfection!  This is one of the keys to reducing those really uncomfortable feelings that can lead to increased levels of depression and anxiety, and sometimes thoughts of self-harm.