Neurodiversity: Your Brain and its Melody!

Jun 21, 2023

By Dr Wes Turner – Clinical Psychologist / Clinic Director

Welcome to a fascinating journey through the symphony of your brain! Think of your mind as an orchestra, with each section representing different brain functions working together under the guidance of conscious attention. In this post, we’ll explore the beauty of orchestral harmony, the challenges of disharmony, and the empowering concept of neurodiversity.

Orchestral Harmony

Just like a conductor assigns a piece of music to each section of an orchestra, your brain’s lobes and executive functions have specific roles. When all sections follow their parts and synchronize with conscious attention, magic happens. The result is an awe-inspiring symphony played in perfect harmony of cadence, pitch, and intensity. These moments of progress and fulfillment are rewarded by dopamine, reinforcing the processes that lead to meaningful experiences.

Disharmony in the Orchestra

Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. Imagine instruments playing out of tune or at the wrong volume—similarly, our brain’s disharmony can manifest as challenges in arousal regulation and sensory processing. Distractions and tangentiality may arise when our thoughts become guided by sequences that don’t align with the task at hand. The wrong musicians chosen by the conductor represent difficulties in organization and planning. Getting stuck in repetitive patterns hampers our ability to shift and adapt. Refusing to update our “sheet music” despite feedback reflects challenges in social cognition, while not listening to others mirrors alexithymia. Distracted or overly passionate musicians symbolize challenges with impulsivity and inattention.

Camouflaging and Masking

Have you ever wondered why some conductors obsessively seek to emulate others? Individuals may modify their natural social behaviours or conceal their characteristics to fit into a neurotypical world. Sadly though, camouflaging and masking can demand significant cognitive resources, leading to reduced stamina, intellectual acuity, and executive functioning capacity.

Embracing Neurodiversity: Your Brain’s Melody

Now, let’s shift our focus to neurodiversity – the incredible range of brain melodies that exist. Your brain is like a band of musical instruments, playing in a unique way. Sometimes, an instrument may be out of tune, affecting emotion control and sensory experiences. Others may struggle with timing, attention, organization, or planning, leading to distractions and challenges. Some instruments find it hard to understand and connect with others, causing social difficulties. Getting stuck playing the same notes over and over inhibits flexibility. Impulsivity and hyperactivity can disrupt the harmonious flow. And for some, recognizing and understanding emotions may require support from caregivers and friends.

If you identify as neurodiverse – whether you’re Autistic, have ADHD, a Learning Disorder, or something similar – embrace your brain’s unique melody. Your mind creates beautiful, creative tunes that can amaze others.

While there may be times when the band struggles to play together, remember that it’s okay to seek help when things go wrong. We all need support in different aspects of our lives. Let’s join forces and learn how to help each other play our instruments, creating a symphony where every melody finds its place. Together, we can sound great and celebrate the power of neurodiversity!

If you would like to talk more about about how we can learn to embrace ourselves and each other, please reach out to

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