Many neurodivergent parents are understandably concerned that their children may be neurotypical. The following list is not intended to be a substitute for a medical diagnosis. Getting a sense of neurotypical behavior patterns may, however, be a helpful first step toward getting your child the help they need.
If your child is neurotypical, they may engage in many, most, or (in extreme cases) all of the following behaviors:
Neurotypical children can be perfectly intelligent – certainly smart enough to be able to distinguish fact from fiction at least some of the time. However, neurotypical children have an unfortunate tendency to be dishonest. According to recent studies, over half of all neurotypical children between the ages of 7 and 13 will deliberately tell an untruth. Many of them will do so while gazing calmly and directly into the eyes of the person they’re speaking to – another troublingly common neurotypical behavior.
2. Lowered sensory sensitivity
Neurotypical children may seem blithely oblivious to sounds, textures, patterns, and/or temperatures. If this is the case for your child, try not to be visibly upset by what admittedly seems like a clear lack of perceptual intelligence. The important thing is to love your child for who they are, not what you wish they were.
3. Inability to follow simple rules
This is a pattern of behavior that tends to persist into adulthood, even when the rules in question are clearly beneficial. Most neurotypicals, for instance, see nothing wrong with violating speed limits, whizzing past stop signs, and texting while driving, even though these behaviors have been proven time and time again to be potentially harmful both to those engaged in them and those in the immediate vicinity.
4. Troubling enthusiasm for touching
“Neurotypicals will often grasp, clutch, and paw others in an effort to express affection,” one expert explained. “It can be unnerving, but parents should bear in mind that these children aren’t being maliciously intrusive. They simply have different ideas of personal boundaries and acceptable behavior.”
5. Failure to notice or understand social cues from non-human animals.
“My child takes so much pride in being able to recognize her friends’ faces quickly and easily,” one parent reported. “And that’s great. But she got bitten by the cat the other day because she kept petting it in a way that was clearly uncomfortable for the poor creature. No matter how much the cat flattened her ears, opened her eyes wide, and just showed no enthusiasm at all for the situation – well, there was my little neurotypical kid, just going on with what she wanted to do. The saddest part was how confused she looked when Fluffy finally gave up trying to explain and ran away.”
6. General inability to remember strings of information
Many neurotypicals are unable to retain even basic data such as phone numbers and license plates. Be patient. Remember – they aren’t being deliberately obtuse.
7. General inability to take pleasure in quiet, solitary activities
Sadly, this can persist and even worsen in adulthood.
8. General disinterest in dates
Neurotypicals of all ages are often breathtakingly ignorant of even the most basic historical knowledge.
9. General lack of intellectual interests
Neurotypical people are overwhelmingly more inclined to socialize than to spend time at libraries or museums.
10. General and often dangerous inclination to stand around in rooms with strangers, imbibing brain-damaging chemicals and listening to music played at unhealthily high volumes
If your child is neurotyical, they may grow up to expect you to partake in such behavior.
11. Startlingly spontaneous behavior
“Brace yourself!” one expert (and parent of two neurotypical children) cautions. “This randomness can be hard to take, but patience and consistency can help bring it down to an acceptable level. The ability these children have to take pleasure in abrupt, arbitrary changes of course might even be seen as a gift under certain circumstances!”
12. General tendency to under-plan
“Neurotypicals of all ages often want to just ‘wing it,'” the abovementioned expert confirmed, smiling and shaking her head. “Scripts? Schedules? What are those?”
13. Poor classification skills
Neurotypicals have a regrettable tendency to categorize people who are even slightly different from themselves as flawed rather than merely dissimilar.
Remember: having a neurotypical child is not a tragedy. It is, however, something that should be diagnosed as early as possible.