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  • “The range of differences in individual brain function and behavioral traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population.”            

 -Oxford Dictionary


  • “The idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways; there is no one ‘right’ way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits. The word neurodiversity refers to the diversity of all people.”

-Harvard Health

Neurotypical (NT)


  • “A descriptor that refers to someone who has the brain functions, behaviors, and processing considered standard or typical.”

-Ariane Resnick, CNC


Neurodivergent (ND)

  • “Differing in mental or neurological function from what is considered typical”

-Oxford Dictionary

  • “Someone whose brain processes information in a way that is not typical of most individuals.”

-University of Washington resource paper

Contact information:

Jennifer Milner


Linda Bluestein, MD



Kristin Koskinen, RDN


Kathleen McGuire Gaines


Dr. Bluestein's references:

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Casanova EL, Baeza-Velasco C, Buchanan CB, Casanova MF. The Relationship between Autism and Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes/Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. J Pers Med. 2020 Dec 1;10(4):260. doi: 10.3390/jpm10040260. PMID: 33271870; PMCID: PMC7711487.


Shetreat-Klein M, Shinnar S, Rapin I. Abnormalities of joint mobility and gait in children with autism spectrum disorders. Brain Dev. 2014;36(2):91– 6. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1016/j. brain dev. 2012. 02. 005.


Eccles JA, Beacher FD, Gray MA, et al. Brain structure and joint hypermobility: relevance to the expression of psychiatric symptoms. Br J Psychiatry. 2012;200(6):508–9. https:// doi. org/ 10. 1192/ bjp. bp. 111. 092460.


Cederlöf M, Larsson H, Lichtenstein P, Almqvist C, Serlachius E, Ludvigsson JF. Nationwide population-based cohort study of psychiatric disorders in individuals with Ehlers–Danlos syndrome or hypermobility syndrome and their siblings. BMC Psychiatry. (2016) 16:207. doi: 10.1186/s12888-016- 0922-6


Sinibaldi L, Ursini G, Castori M. Psychopathological manifestations of joint hypermobility and joint hypermobility syndrome/Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type: the link between connective tissue and psychological distress revised. Amer J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. (2015) 169:97– 106. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.31430


Dogan SK, Taner Y, Evcik D. Benign joint hypermobility syndrome in patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders: dikkat eksikligi/ hiperaktivite bozuklugu olan hastalarda Benign eklem hipermobilite sendromu. Turk J Rheumatol. 2011;26(3):187–92. https:// doi. org/ 10. 5606/ tjr. 2011. 029

Shiari R, Saeidifard F, Zahed G. Evaluation of the prevalence of joint laxity in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Ann Paediatr Rheumatol. 2013;7:8.

Kindgren E, Perez AQ, Knez R. Prevalence of ADHD and autism spectrum disorder in children with hypermobility spectrum disorders or hypermo- bile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: a retrospective study. Neuropsychiat Dis Treat. 2021;17:379–88. https:// doi. org/ 10. 2147/ NDT. S2904 94

Glans M, Bejerot S, Humble MB (2017) Generalised joint hypermobility and neurodevelopmental traits in non-clinical adult population. BJPsych Open 3:236–242


Hollertz O (2003) Connective tissue significance for mental illness. Sven Psykiatr 3:22–23


Hollertz O (2012) Searching for a biological marker common for both ADHD and EDS. Lakartidningen 109:41–42


Castori M, Dordoni C, Valiante M et al (2014) Nosology and inheritance pattern(s) of joint hypermobility syndrome and Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, hypermobility type: a study of intrafamilial and interfamilial variability in 23 Italian pedigrees. Am J Med Genet A 164A:3010–3020


Baeza-Velasco C, Sinibaldi L, Castori M. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, joint hypermobility-related disorders and pain: expanding body- mind connections to the developmental age. ADHD Attent Defic Hyperact Disord. (2018) 10:163–75. doi: 10.1007/s12402-018-0252-2


Csecs JLL, Iodice V, Rae CL, Brooke A, Simmons R, Quadt L, Savage GK, Dowell NG, Prowse F, Themelis K, Mathias CJ, Critchley HD, Eccles JA. Joint Hypermobility Links Neurodivergence to Dysautonomia and Pain. Front Psychiatry. 2022 Feb 2;12:786916. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.786916. PMID: 35185636; PMCID: PMC8847158.


Cavanna AE, Servo S, Monaco F, Robertson MM. The behavioral spectrum of Gilles de la Tourette syndrome. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci. (2009) 21:13–23. doi: 10.1176/jnp.2009.21.1.13


Rapanelli M, Frick LR, Pittenger C. The role of interneurons in autism and Tourette Syndrome. Trends Neurosci. (2017) 40:397–407. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2017.05.004


Israelashvili M, Yael D, Vinner E, Belelovsky K, Bar-Gad I. Common neuronal mechanisms underlying tics and hyperactivity. Cortex. (2020) 127:231– 47. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2020.02.010

Rae CL, Larsson DEO, Garfinkel SN, Critchley HD. Dimensions of interoception predict premonitory urges and tic severity in Tourette syndrome. Psychiatry Res. (2019) 271:469– 75. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2018.12.036


Hawksley J, Cavanna AE, Nagai Y. The role of the autonomic nervous system in Tourette Syndrome. Front Neurosci.

(2015) 9:117. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00117


Huisman-Van Dijk HM, Schoot R, Rijkeboer MM, Mathews CA, Cath DC. The relationship between tics, OC, ADHD and autism symptoms: a cross-disorder symptom analysis in Gilles de la Tourette syndrome patients and family-members. Psychiatry Res. (2016) 237:138–46. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2016.01.051


Davis NO, Kollins SH. Treatment for co-occurring attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder. Neurotherapeutics. (2012) 9:518–30. doi: 10.1007/s13311-012-0126-9


Celletti C, Mari G, Ghibellini G, Celli M, Castori M, Camerota F (2015) Phenotypic variability in developmental coordination disorder: clustering of generalized joint hypermobility with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, atypical swallowing and narrative difficulties. Am J Med Genet Part C 169C:117–122


Jelsma LD, Geuze RH, Klerks MH, Niemeijer AS, Smits-Engelsman BC (2013) The relationship between joint mobiliity and motor performance in children with and without the diagnosis of devel- opmental coordination disorder. BMC Pediatr 13:35


Morrison SC, Ferrari J, Smillie S (2013) Assessment of gait character- istics and orthotic management in children with developmental coordination disorder: preliminary findings to inform multidis- ciplinary care. Res Dev Disabil 34:3197–3201


Kirby A, Davies R (2007) Developmental coordination disorder and joint hypermobility syndrome—overlapping disorders? Implica- tions for research and clinical practice. Child Care Health Dev 33:513–519

Kirby A, Bryan A, Davies R (2005) Hypermobility syndrome and developmental co-ordination disorder: similarities and features. Int J Ther Rehabil 12:431–437


Adib N, Davies K, Grahame R, Woo P, Murray P (2005) Joint hypermobility syndrome in childhood. A not so bening multisystem disorer? Rheumatology 44:744–750


Hunter A, Morgan AW, Bird HA (1998) A survey of Ehlers–Danlos syndrome: hearing, voice, speech and swallowing difficulties. Is there an underlying relationship? Br J Rheumatol 37:803–804


Piedimonte C, Penge R, Morlino S, Sperduti I, Terzani A, Giannini MT, Colombi M, Grammatico P, Cardona F, Castori M. Exploring relationships between joint hypermobility and neurodevelopment in children (4-13 years) with hereditary connective tissue disorders and developmental coordination disorder. Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2018;177:546-556.  [PubMed]  [DOI]  [Cited in This Article: 2]  [Cited by in Crossref: 12]  [Cited by in F6Publishing: 12]  [Article Influence: 2.4]  [Reference Citation Analysis (0)]


Sharp HEC, Critchley HD, Eccles JA. Connecting brain and body: Transdiagnostic relevance of connective tissue variants to neuropsychiatric symptom expression. World J Psychiatry. 2021 Oct 19;11(10):805-820. doi: 10.5498/wjp.v11.i10.805. PMID: 34733643; PMCID: PMC8546774.

Kristin Koskinen's references:

Arcelus J, Witcomb GL, Mitchell A. Prevalence of eating disorders amongst dancers: a systemic review and meta-analysis. Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2014;22(2):92-101. doi:10.1002/erv.2271

Kindgren E, Quiñones Perez A, Knez R. Prevalence of ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders or Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome: A Retrospective Study. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2021;17:379-388. Published 2021 Feb 10. doi:10.2147/NDT.S290494

Chang YS, Owen JP, Desai SS, et al. Autism and sensory processing disorders: shared white matter disruption in sensory pathways but divergent connectivity in social-emotional pathways. PLoS One. 2014;9(7):e103038. Published 2014 Jul 30. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103038

Gazzaley, A., & D'Esposito, M. (2007). Unifying prefrontal cortex function: Executive control, neural networks, and top-down modulation. In B. L. Miller & J. L. Cummings (Eds.), The human frontal lobes: Functions and disorders (pp. 187–206). The Guilford Press

Sha'ari N, Manaf ZA, Ahmad M, Rahman FN. Nutritional status and feeding problems in pediatric attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Pediatr Int. 2017;59(4):408-415. doi:10.1111/ped.13196

Ausderau KK, St John B, Kwaterski KN, Nieuwenhuis B, Bradley E. Parents' Strategies to Support Mealtime Participation of Their Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Am J Occup Ther. 2019;73(1):7301205070p1-7301205070p10. doi:10.5014/ajot.2019.024612

Ledford, J. R., & Gast, D. L. (2006). Feeding Problems in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 21(3), 153–166.

Pinto S, Correia-de-Sá T, Sampaio-Maia B, Vasconcelos C, Moreira P, Ferreira-Gomes J. Eating Patterns and Dietary Interventions in ADHD: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2022;14(20):4332. Published 2022 Oct 16. doi:10.3390/nu14204332

Allan JL, McMinn D, Daly M. A Bidirectional Relationship between Executive Function and Health Behavior: Evidence, Implications, and Future Directions. Front Neurosci. 2016;10:386. Published 2016 Aug 23. doi:10.3389/fnins.2016.00386

Frederike Hermi Petzschner et al. (2022) Interoception. Scholarpedia, 17(5):55569


Garfinkel PE, Moldofsky H, Garner DM. The stability of perceptual disturbances in anorexia nervosa. Psychol Med. 1979 Nov;9(4):703-8. doi: 10.1017/s0033291700034012. PMID: 515269.


Nimbley E, Golds L, Sharpe H, Gillespie-Smith K, Duffy F. Sensory processing and eating behaviours in autism: A systematic review. Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2022;30(5):538-559. doi:10.1002/erv.2920

Courseault J, Kingry C, Morrison V, et al. Folate-dependent hypermobility syndrome: A proposed mechanism and diagnosis [published correction appears in Heliyon. 2023 May 16;9(5):e16356]. Heliyon. 2023;9(4):e15387. Published 2023 Apr 9. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e15387

Altun, H., Kurutaş, E., Şahin, N., Güngör, O., & Fındıklı, E. (2018). The Levels of Vitamin D, Vitamin D Receptor, Homocysteine and Complex B Vitamin in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience, 16(4), 383-390.

Skalny AV, Mazaletskaya AL, Ajsuvakova OP, et al. Serum zinc, copper, zinc-to-copper ratio, and other essential elements and minerals in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2020;58:126445. doi:10.1016/j.jtemb.2019.126445

Granero R, Pardo-Garrido A, Carpio-Toro IL, Ramírez-Coronel AA, Martínez-Suárez PC, Reivan-Ortiz GG. The Role of Iron and Zinc in the Treatment of ADHD among Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials. Nutrients. 2021;13(11):4059. Published 2021 Nov 13. doi:10.3390/nu13114059

Russo AJ. Increased Copper in Individuals with Autism Normalizes Post Zinc Therapy More Efficiently in Individuals with Concurrent GI Disease. Nutr Metab Insights. 2011;4:49-54. Published 2011 Sep 29. doi:10.4137/NMI.S6827

Russo AJ. Decreased zinc and increased copper in individuals with anxiety. Nutr Metab Insights. 2011;4:1-5. Published 2011 Feb 7. doi:10.4137/NMI.S6349

Nisticò, V., Faggioli, R., Bertelli, S., Priori, A., Gambini, O., & Demartini, B. (2022). Eating disturbances in eating disorders and in high-functioning autism spectrum disorders: a preliminary study. "Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity", 27(4), 1555-1561.

Huang EP. Metal ions and synaptic transmission: think zinc. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997;94(25):13386-13387. doi:10.1073/pnas.94.25.13386

Shay NF, Mangian HF. Neurobiology of zinc-influenced eating behavior. J Nutr. 2000;130(5S Suppl):1493S-9S. doi:10.1093/jn/130.5.1493S

Lepping, P., & Huber, M. (2012). Role of Zinc in the Pathogenesis of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. CNS Drugs, 24(9), 721-728.

Clayton G, Carrera HA, Martin ER, Morrison D, Bawazir AA. A Biomedical Approach Via Telemedicine in the Treatment of a Child With Sensory Processing Disorder Using Diet and High-dose Biotin Intervention: A Case Report. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2018;17(4):52-58.

Wright C, Shin JH, Rajpurohit A, et al. Altered expression of histamine signaling genes in autism spectrum disorder. Transl Psychiatry. 

2017;7(5):e1126. Published 2017 May 9. doi:10.1038/tp.2017.87

Jennifer Milner's references:

Danesh AA, Howery S, Aazh H, Kaf W, Eshraghi AA. Hyperacusis in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Audiol Res. 2021;11(4):547-556. Published 2021 Oct 14. doi:10.3390/audiolres11040049

Ralli M, Romani M, Zodda A, et al. Hyperacusis in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Preliminary Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(9):3045. Published 2020 Apr 27. doi:10.3390/ijerph17093045

Cavanna AE, Seri S. Misophonia: current perspectives. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2015;11:2117-2123. Published 2015 Aug 18. doi:10.2147/NDT.S81438

Rinaldi LJ, Simner J, Koursarou S, Ward J. Autistic traits, emotion regulation, and sensory sensitivities in children and adults with Misophonia. J Autism Dev Disord. 2023;53(3):1162-1174. doi:10.1007/s10803-022-05623-x

Leekam SR, Nieto C, Libby SJ, Wing L, Gould J. Describing the sensory abnormalities of children and adults with autism. J Autism Dev Disord. 2007;37(5):894-910. doi:10.1007/s10803-006-0218-7

Kern JK, Trivedi MH, Garver CR, et al. The pattern of sensory processing abnormalities in autism. Autism. 2006;10(5):480-494. doi:10.1177/1362361306066564

Miller HL, Licari MK, Bhat A, et al. Motor problems in autism: Co-occurrence or feature? [published online ahead of print, 2023 Jun 18]. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2023;10.1111/dmcn.15674. doi:10.1111/dmcn.15674

Kalsi N, Tambelli R, Aceto P, Lai C. Are Motor Skills and Motor Inhibitions Impaired in Tourette Syndrome? A Review. J Exp Neurosci. 2015;9:57-65. Published 2015 Jul 27. doi:10.4137/JEN.S25095

Pitcher TM, Piek JP, Hay DA. Fine and gross motor ability in males with ADHD. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2003;45(8):525-535. doi:10.1017/s0012162203000975

Alon N, Wheaton MG, Schlachte B, Elbogen R, Lin K, Strandberg J. Parents' long-term experiences in a recreational dance program for their children with autism spectrum disorder. Heliyon. 2023;9(4):e15496. Published 2023 Apr 14. doi:10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e15496

Murray D, Lesser M, Lawson W. Attention, monotropism and the diagnostic criteria for autism. Autism. 2005;9(2):139-156. doi:10.1177/1362361305051398

Philip RC, Whalley HC, Stanfield AC, et al. Deficits in facial, body movement and vocal emotional processing in autism spectrum disorders. Psychol Med. 2010;40(11):1919-1929. doi:10.1017/S0033291709992364

Li J, Wang W, Cheng J, et al. Relationships between sensory integration and the core symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: the mediating effect of executive function [published online ahead of print, 2022 Aug 23]. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2022;10.1007/s00787-022-02069-5. doi:10.1007/s00787-022-02069-5

Blanche EI, Reinoso G, Chang MC, Bodison S. Proprioceptive processing difficulties among children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities. Am J Occup Ther. 2012;66(5):621-624. doi:10.5014/ajot.2012.004234

Rabiee A, Vasaghi-Gharamaleki B, Samadi SA, Amiri-Shavaki Y, Alaghband-Rad J. Working Memory Deficits and its Relationship to Autism Spectrum Disorders. Iran J Med Sci. 2020;45(2):100-109. doi:10.30476/IJMS.2019.45315

Rubenstein CS, Peynircioglu ZF, Chambless DL, Pigott TA. Memory in sub-clinical obsessive-compulsive checkers. Behav Res Ther. 1993;31(8):759-765. doi:10.1016/0005-7967(93)90006-g

Doyle N. Neurodiversity at work: a biopsychosocial model and the impact on working adults. Br Med Bull. 2020;135(1):108-125. doi:10.1093/bmb/ldaa021

Bottema-Beutel K, Kapp SK, Lester JN, Sasson NJ, Hand BN. Avoiding Ableist Language: Suggestions for Autism Researchers. Autism Adulthood. 2021;3(1):18-29. doi:10.1089/aut.2020.0014

Kyriacou C, Forrester-Jones R, Triantafyllopoulou P. Clothes, Sensory Experiences and Autism: Is Wearing the Right Fabric Important?. J Autism Dev Disord. 2023;53(4):1495-1508. doi:10.1007/s10803-021-05140-3

Stolte M, Trindade-Pons V, Vlaming P, et al. Characterizing Creative Thinking and Creative Achievements in Relation to Symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Front Psychiatry. 2022;13:909202. Published 2022 Jul 1. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2022.909202

Kathleen McGuire Gaines' references:

Alon, N., Wheaton, M. G., Schlachte, B., Elbogen, R., Lin, K., & Strandberg, J. (2023). Parents’ long-term experiences in a recreational dance program for their children with autism spectrum disorder. Heliyon, 9(4).

Arcelus, J., Witcomb, G. L., & Mitchell, A. (2014). Prevalence of Eating Disorders amongst Dancers: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis. European Eating Disorders Review, 22(2), 92–101.

Autistic people and masking. (n.d.). Retrieved September 5, 2023, from

Botha, M., Hanlon, J., & Williams, G. L. (2023). Does Language Matter? Identity-First Versus Person-First Language Use in Autism Research: A Response to Vivanti. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 53(2), 870–878.

Bottema-Beutel, K., Kapp, S. K., Lester, J. N., Sasson, N. J., & Hand, B. N. (2021a). Avoiding Ableist Language: Suggestions for Autism Researchers. Autism in Adulthood, 3(1), 18–29.

Bottema-Beutel, K., Kapp, S. K., Lester, J. N., Sasson, N. J., & Hand, B. N. (2021b). Avoiding Ableist Language: Suggestions for Autism Researchers. Autism in Adulthood: Challenges and Management, 3(1), 18–29.

Cassidy, S., Bradley, P., Robinson, J., Allison, C., McHugh, M., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2014). Suicidal ideation and suicide plans or attempts in adults with Asperger’s syndrome attending a specialist diagnostic clinic: A clinical cohort study. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1(2), 142–147.

Cassidy, S., & Rodgers, J. (2017). Understanding and prevention of suicide in autism. The Lancet Psychiatry, 4(6), e11.

Davis, R., & Crompton, C. J. (2021). What Do New Findings About Social Interaction in Autistic Adults Mean for Neurodevelopmental Research? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 16(3), 649–653.

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Miller, D., Rees, J., & Pearson, A. (2021). “Masking Is Life”: Experiences of Masking in Autistic and Nonautistic Adults. Autism in Adulthood: Challenges and Management, 3(4), 330–338.

Milton, D. (2021, April 28). Understanding autism and stress, from avoidance to flow states [Conference]. Autism Cork Online Conference: Thriving with Autism, Cork, Ireland.

Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage. (2017, May 1). Harvard Business Review.

Nordin-Bates, S. M., Cumming, J., Aways, D., & Sharp, L. (2011). Imagining Yourself Dancing to Perfection? Correlates of Perfectionism Among Ballet and Contemporary Dancers. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 5(1), 58–76.

Nordin-Bates, S. M., Hill, A. P., Cumming, J., Aujla, I. J., & Redding, E. (2014). A Longitudinal Examination of the Relationship Between Perfectionism and Motivational Climate in Dance. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 36(4), 382–391.

Nordin-Bates, S. M., Raedeke, T. D., & Madigan, D. J. (2017). Perfectionism, Burnout, and Motivation in Dance: A Replication and Test of the 2×2 Model of Perfectionism. Journal of Dance Medicine & Science, 21(3), 115–122.

Stubbe, J. H., Tiemens, A., Keizer-Hulsebosch, S. C., Steemers, S., van Winden, D., Buiten, M., Richardson, A., & van Rijn, R. M. (2021). Prevalence of Mental Health Complaints Among Performing Arts Students Is Associated With COVID-19 Preventive Measures. Frontiers in Psychology, 12.

Thomson, P., & Jaque, S. V. (2015). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Psychopathology in Dancers. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 30(3), 157–162.

Thomson, P., & Jaque, S. V. (2019). Attachment and childhood adversity in athletes, actors, dancers, and healthy controls. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 17(4), 334–349.

Wade, D. T., & Halligan, P. W. (2017). The biopsychosocial model of illness: A model whose time has come. Clinical Rehabilitation, 31(8), 995–1004.

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