You may have seen people using the word Neurospicy on social media, and if so you may have thought "oh great, the kids came up with a new word and I'm going to spend the next week trying to figure it out" or maybe you realized they are using this term to describe non-neurotypical behaviors or being "socially awkward."
If you are still wondering "what does all of this even mean tho?" you may recognize the terms used by professionals who are specially trained to give diagnoses. This blog is about Neurodivergent issues like ASD, (Autism Spectrum Disorder) ADHD/ADD, (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder/Attention Deficit Disorder), and many other Neurological disorders that make navigating a world built for Neurotypical people unnecessarily more difficult.
There are many barriers that make getting a proper diagnosis difficult and stressful. The proper diagnosis would be given by a specialist who is trained to assess for Neurodivergence such as a Psychiatrist or Psychologist which can be expensive. Other than accessibility stigma can be harmful. Many times children are diagnosed with ADHD due to misbehaving in school and given meds without therapeutic intervention. Furthermore, the child is made to feel like they are a problem, they have a problem, and experience isolation from their peers.
Adults who receive a diagnosis later on in life usually experience this feeling of validation; knowing that all those times they tried to say they needed help or that their brains worked differently they were right... along with this realization also comes grief; knowing there was so much unnecessary struggle if they only had the support they needed in school, relationships, work, and life.
As a therapist and an adult with a non-neurotypical brain, I use the word Neurospicy with my clients because it is a very inclusive term that does not require a diagnosis, validation from their parents, acceptance from their peers, or the support of society to help my clients feel seen and heard. Neurospicy humans have a difficult time relating to other people socially depending on their unique brains; this can cause them to observe the world around them rather than interacting and building relationships. We may struggle to be understood because we process things externally and can alternate from not talking at all or having the urge to talk for 2 hours about something we are currently obsessing over and can no longer fight the urge to tell you all about it.
Many humans who are Neurospicy also struggle with a mental illness such as anxiety just like everyone else in the world but when we become overwhelmed we may be incapable of talking, we may need to move our body or make noises, and sometimes we can be so overwhelmed we may be completely unable to regulate our own emotions for long periods of time.
The best thing you can do for your child or loved one who thinks they might be some flavor of Neurospicy is to learn with them, validate their struggles, and ask questions rather than challenge them. You may also want to follow people on social media who advocate for Neurodivergent support, talk to your child's school about accommodations they offer, and watch shows with your loved one that has positive and accurate representation. If you or your loved one are in need of support and accommodations which require assessment and documentation then find a professional in your area who is not only trained in this area but also takes the time to listen to your needs wether that be medications, therapy, or special programs at work or school that helps you flourish in your role. Other professionals can also help advocate for you as well; a licensed therapist can provide letters for work or school, a principal can help create a team of support, and school counselors can help create safe spaces where a person can self-soothe. Therapists like myself who work with Neurospicy people can help bridge the gap in communication, socialization, and relationships as well as teaching ways to better tolerate stress and how to recover when emotions feel out of control.
Our schools, jobs, and society may not be set up to help those of us struggling with a neurological or processing disorder but that is not our fault and it does not mean we don't have options.