How to Support the Mental Health of a Child with Autism, ADHD or Other Neurodiversity

by | Jan 15, 2023 | Neurodiversity | 0 comments

Children who suffer or have been diagnosed with a neurodivergent condition may also suffer from some form of mental health condition too. Many children diagnosed with autism are also diagnosed with anxiety as well, or ADHD and bipolar disorder are also common pairings of mental health conditions and neurodiverse conditions too. Supporting children who suffer from both is not only critical to their development but will also make the children happier and mentally healthier throughout life.

How to Help a Child Suffering from Mental Health Conditions with a Neurodivergent Mind?

There are a number of ways to support children who suffer from both neurodiverse conditions and mental health conditions. Here are some ways you help as a parent, carer or professional.

At Home

When dealing with neurodivergent-related mental health conditions, it can be a sensitive topic to discuss, but children are usually honest or can be spoken to, to get the truth of what’s on their minds. Being open and genuine with a child who is suffering from any mental health condition because of a neurodivergent condition can be the first major stepping stone to understanding what’s going on in their mind.

A great method that will help children who may be upset, or appear to have a mental health condition such as anxiety, or depression can be a series of tasks with a blank sheet of paper. Ask them to write down or draw what is happening, how they are feeling or what they want to say. Do not ask what is wrong straight away as there is a process that they need to go through to understand themselves. Another way of doing this is asking what the child would like to do that day. It could be watching their favourite movie, baking a cake or playing with Lego. If it is something they have chosen to do they may start to open up through the activity.

The questions and activities will help your child learn to open up and communicate. A whiteboard can also be useful as a place where your child can write down or draw what they are feeling or writing down on a daily basis. Releasing emotions can be very beneficial to helping your child.

Support the Mental Health of a Child with Autism, ADHD or Other Neurodiversity

Professional Help

Both mental health conditions and neurodivergent conditions are discussed more in mainstream settings as there is a focus on research and education for both children and adults. Getting professional help can often be both expensive and hard to get, but there are many free and easy-to-access professional help sources such as Samaritans or Papyrus. You can also get support and advice at The Neurodiversity Hub – https://www.neurodiversityhub.org/

Why it’s important to seek help as, or on-behalf of a child with neurodivergent mind

Seeking help, when trying to support a child with a neurodivergent mind is crucial to their development. Whilst they’re still children, childhood can be where life truly starts and development begins, and any hiccups during this time will likely be remembered for a long time and can impact their future.

Being supportive, and prompting open (but private) discussions with your children who suffer from both mental health and neurodivergent conditions can help you understand more about what is going on in your child’s minds, but also help them let go of things that are having an adverse impact on them.

Conclusion on Supporting a Neurodivergent Child through Mental Health Conditions

Supporting your child at all times can lead to happier and healthier children, but a child who struggle from neurodivergent-related mental health conditions will not only appreciate the support but will definitely need it. Being open, honest and prompting discussion about our own thoughts will help them understand that although our thoughts may not be positive, it is ok to feel down from time to time, then speak about it and then find happiness again, just around the corner.

You can also support yourself, using my Journal that I have created for both adults and children with a Neurodivergent Mind. Available now on Amazon!

The Neurodivergent Mind

autism adhd journal for adults
Spanning 12 months, this simple yet effective layout offers you the space to reflect on the 8 prompts, allowing you to process and learn about what happened that day and consider what you might do differently next time.

Write It, Read It, Let It Go

autism adhd journal for children
When your child needs to take a moment away from everything, this journal is their place to write, colour or doodle, giving them the space to work though their day and what happened. Then read it, remember it, accept, and let go..

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  • The nuerodivergent mind
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You can also support yourself, using my Journal that I have created for both adults and children with a Neurodivergent Mind. Available soon on Amazon!

The Definitive Guide on Neurodiversity

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