In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of individuals being diagnosed with autism and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This rise in diagnoses has sparked various discussions and debates. The reasons behind the increase and why this can be viewed as a positive development are many.
One of the key factors contributing to the rise in Autism and ADHD diagnoses is increased awareness and improved diagnostic practices.
Thanks to greater access to information, mental health professionals, educators, and parents now better understand the traits associated with these neurotypes. This heightened awareness has led to more accurate and timely identification, allowing individuals to receive appropriate support and accommodations earlier in life.
In the past, many autistic individuals or those with ADHD may have gone undiagnosed or misdiagnosed due to a limited understanding of these neurotypes, mainly when they do not present in a stereotyped fashion. With the rise of social media and the ability for people to share their experiences through platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, many adults are sharing their experiences of being neurodivergent.
This increased awareness has led to a spread of identification for adults who were otherwise (commonly) being treated for other mental health problems. Understanding enables earlier identification, leading to timely accommodations and support for individuals. The recognition and inclusion of individuals with atypical presentations have been crucial in capturing the diverse nature of autistic people.
Source: Psychology Today