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Welcome to Alphabet Soup!

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Est ullamcorper eget nulla facilisi etiam dignissim diam quis. Sapien et ligula ullamcorper malesuada. Urna cursus eget nunc scelerisque viverra mauris in aliquam. Tellus elementum sagittis vitae et leo duis ut diam.

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Tamara and Lily

Sed ac lacus ex. Aenean sagittis nisi arcu, quis aliquam nunc gravida nec. Vestibulum consectetur urna a ligula maximus, sit amet hendrerit risus laoreet. Aliquam convallis turpis eu diam rutrum eleifend. Nam imperdiet augue dolor, vitae convallis justo venenatis non. In condimentum, nisi in efficitur dictum, nunc dui mollis turpis, et commodo purus lorem id eros. Ut dictum eleifend dui, ac tincidunt augue interdum ultricies. Pellentesque imperdiet orci eget dui convallis venenatis a finibus ex. Etiam et tellus eget mauris dictum pharetra non ac est. Quisque vitae lorem imperdiet, scelerisque massa vitae, tristique metus. Fusce ut erat et tortor aliquam egestas eu eget justo. Ut interdum ligula scelerisque diam elementum, a faucibus tortor sollicitudin. Fusce eleifend vitae orci sit amet tincidunt. Maecenas sollicitudin dolor dictum sem blandit lobortis. Ut accumsan, augue non cursus vestibulum, dolor ante viverra ante, non luctus ante enim non quam. Ut sed ligula id tortor fermentum faucibus.

Praesent porta bibendum eleifend. Pellentesque quis augue condimentum, tincidunt sem vel, dapibus orci. Etiam varius, nulla ac dignissim pretium, est sem tempor tellus, in ornare enim neque sed nisl. In lacus elit, aliquet vitae lobortis quis, pretium vel purus. Praesent viverra arcu arcu, id scelerisque tortor luctus vestibulum. Phasellus a sodales ante, eu lacinia nisl. Vestibulum convallis libero augue, ut iaculis enim efficitur vel. Vivamus viverra mauris arcu, quis semper risus fermentum id. Cras ex orci, pulvinar eu metus vitae, placerat euismod eros. Quisque molestie, orci ac ultrices imperdiet, ligula sapien facilisis mauris, eu maximus urna nisl ac leo. Donec dui felis, bibendum non odio at, dignissim dictum nibh.

Pellentesque vel ligula arcu. Proin bibendum rutrum tortor. Duis faucibus hendrerit nisi, non ultricies mauris scelerisque sit amet. In id felis ac ante pretium interdum vel a dui. Donec risus nibh, pretium sit amet eros a, maximus suscipit felis. Duis et nunc molestie, imperdiet nisi ut, ornare lectus. Phasellus sed sapien eu massa maximus convallis.

Posted on: January 23, 2019

Why Alphabet Soup?

Alphabet Soup illustration

Consider this: *ASD, ADHD, LD, SPD, ODD and so on. Looks like Alphabet Soup to me! These are just a few of the acronyms or labels floating around that all have their roots in how our basic operating system, the central nervous system (CNS), operates. People have referred to this using the technology metaphor of having either a PC or a MAC operating system. Nothing wrong or better with either system and they both produce the same results, they just operate differently. There are lots of variations in our human nervous systems. Some have profound effects in how we function in the world and others are so minor that we barely notice them. So what makes us tick?

If we are going to discuss neurological diversity, it makes sense to begin with how the neurological system works in general terms before we try to explore the variations.

In very simple terms, we have a central nervous system that in includes our brain and spinal cord. We also have a network of nerves that originate from the spinal cord that operate as outputs (motor) and inputs (sensory). The sensory nerves pick up information and relay it back to the spinal cord and on to the brain. The brain can also send messages back through another network of nerves that causes action. These are the motor nerves. For example, if you touch a hot stove, the input or sensory nerves relay the message of HOT to our spinal cord in the central nervous system and there is rapid command of MOVE sent to your muscles so that you pull your hand away. In this instance, there isn’t much brain activity because it’s a reflex movement but it’s a good example of the coordinated effort between the sensory system, CNS and motor system.

We are all familiar with our five senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and sound. We also have internal senses called interoception, proprioception and vestibular sense- more on those senses later.

We often presume that everyone experiences the sensory world in the same way but this not actually the case. Some people will experience a sound as exquisitely painful while for another, it is barely discernible or for someone else, it is beautiful music. A clothing tag or the tightness of a waist band might not be something you notice but for another person it may be a physical irritation that distracts them to the point where they can think of nothing else. All this to say there is no single way to experience the sensory signals that surround us all day long. It all depends on how our nervous system is built and how it functions.

This series of posts will explore each of our senses in depth along with variations. Why is this important? If your experience of the sensory world is different from the norm, chances are you have moments where you feel overwhelmed or misunderstood. If you are part of the norm, you may have no idea of how intensely someone else is feeling; which makes it hard to understand what seems like strange and unpredictable behaviour that stems from a need to defend against sensory overwhelm. Let’s get to know each other better! We’re actually way more alike than we are different.

* Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disability, Sensory Processing Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Posted on: January 23, 2019

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Posted on: March 2, 2018