The Integrative Approach to Neurodivergence
An integrative approach for neurodivergence aims to use a combination of treatment approaches to treat ADHD and other neurodivergent conditions. It’s based on a holistic understanding of the individual, accounting for physical, emotional, mental, social, environmental, and lifestyle factors.
Taking a holistic approach to care and treatment is essential to address the multifaceted nature of neurodivdersity and ensures that effective supports and strategies are implemented to optimise wellbeing.
An integrative treatment protocol can include behavioural therapy to develop coping strategies, coaching to improve executive functioning skills and, medication and/or supplement supports, combined with nutritional and dietary guidance, physical activity, mindfulness practices and other complementary therapies to manage symptoms. Together these holistic methods can improve symptoms of ADHD and neurodivergence and overall health.
Each treatment plan is highly individualised, acknowledging the unique characteristics of neurodivergence, and seeking to optimise overall health and wellbeing, rather than simply managing symptoms.
Psychology & Neurodivergence
Psychology plays a pivotal role in treating ADHD and neurodivergence, providing evidence-based therapies that target behavioural and cognitive challenges. A primary approach is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), designed to help individuals understand their thought patterns, manage emotions, and improve behaviour.
In the context of ADHD, psychologists often use behavioural therapy to guide patients in organising tasks, managing time, and developing problem-solving skills. They also provide strategies to cope with impulsivity and hyperactivity, and techniques to improve attention and focus.
For those with neurodivergent conditions like autism, psychologists provide therapies focusing on communication skills, emotional regulation, and social cues understanding. Psychology thus provides valuable tools to empower individuals with ADHD and neurodivergence, aiding their journey towards improved mental health and better life quality.
Collaborating with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors, occupational therapists, and nutritionists, our integrative psychologists, Simon DuBois and Nicola Uechtritz can create an individualised treatment plan that combines therapy, medication management, lifestyle adjustments, and supportive interventions to help the patient thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.
Occupational Therapy & Neurodivergence
Occupational therapists (OTs) play a critical role in treating ADHD and other forms of neurodivergence. They utilise a holistic approach, focusing on the impact of the condition on daily activities and independence. Through an individualised intervention plan, OTs work to enhance self-regulation, executive functioning skills, and sensory processing capabilities.
OT treatment may involve strategies like creating routines, using visual aids for tasks, or developing methods to handle sensory overload. OTs also offer social skills training to improve interaction and communication. Moreover, occupational therapists work collaboratively with the individual, their family, and other healthcare providers to provide a comprehensive care plan. They advocate for modifications in the home, school, or workplace to support the individual’s unique needs, fostering self-esteem, and autonomy.
Our OT, Hayley Bowers, collaborates with the team of practitioners at The Health Lodge, to create and implement a holistic treatment plan to support and enhance daily life skills and overall well-being for patients.
Clinical Nutrition & Neurodivergence
Clinical nutritionists play a pivotal role in the management of ADHD and other forms of neurodivergence by utilising a food-as-medicine approach. They investigate potential dietary triggers or deficiencies that might be exacerbating symptoms, such as artificial additives, food allergens, or lack of essential nutrients. They also consider the impact of environmental toxins and pathogens on exacerbating symptoms such as gut dysbiosis, gastrointestinal pathogens, and heavy metal toxicity, through the use of functional testing.
Additionally, clinical nutritionists may advocate for a balanced diet comprising lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to stabilise blood sugar levels, as fluctuations can aggravate ADHD symptoms. They may recommend specific nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and L-theanine, which have been associated with improved cognitive function. Maintaining good gut health is another focus, given emerging research highlighting the gut-brain connection.
By working closely with a clinical nutritionist, individuals with ADHD and neurodivergence can receive personalised dietary guidance to support their overall well-being and symptom management.
Osteopathy & Neurodivergence
Structural support from an osteopath may offer a complementary approach to treating ADHD and neurodivergence by addressing physical imbalances and enhancing nervous system function.
Osteopaths believe that structural misalignments, such as spinal subluxations or cranial restrictions, can disrupt the flow of vital energy and impede neurological communication. By using manual techniques to correct these structural issues, osteopaths aim to restore proper alignment and optimise nervous system function.
Osteopathic treatment for neurodiversity often focuses on the craniosacral system, which involves the skull, spine, and sacrum. Osteopathic treatment can potentially alleviate strains or tensions in these areas, facilitating optimal cerebrospinal fluid flow. This approach may improve blood flow, enhance oxygenation to the brain, and promote better neurotransmitter signalling, and help reduce symptoms.
While not a standalone treatment for ADHD or neurodivergence, osteopathy can be a valuable part of a multidisciplinary approach, as it can potentially alleviate physical discomfort, enhance body awareness, and support overall well-being, which may indirectly contribute to symptom management.
Moreover, osteopaths can provide techniques for stress management, helping individuals with neurodivergence to better cope with anxiety and tension. The Osteopaths at The Health Lodge work in collaboration to enhance well-being.
Functional Medicine & Neurodivergence
Functional medicine addresses the root cause of diseases by considering the individual’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors. It takes a personalised and integrative approach to treating ADHD and neurodivergence, instead of merely managing symptoms. A functional doctor may prescribe medications, where appropriate, but at the core of treatment they want to address the underling factors.
Functional medicine practitioners begin with thorough testing to identify potential imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, or toxicities that might be impacting brain function. They examine gut health closely and diet and nutrition are also focal points. Based on identified deficiencies or food sensitivities, tailored nutritional plans are developed, potentially incorporating dietary changes, supplementation, or elimination diets.
Lifestyle modifications, such as improving sleep patterns, reducing stress, and increasing physical activity, are also addressed as these factors can significantly impact ADHD and neurodivergent symptoms.
By integrating various modalities, an integrative doctor aims to provide comprehensive care, targeting the physical, emotional, and environmental aspects of ADHD and neurodivergence.
Naturopathy & Neurodivergence
Recognising the unique challenges faced by individuals with neurodiversity in seeking consultations and implementing changes to their diet and lifestyle, Naturopathy offers a valuable approach that understands and appreciates the diverse neurological profiles of individuals with conditions such as ADHD and neurodivergence.
Naturopathy works in close collaboration with integrative doctors, ensuring that it complements traditional treatment methods. Naturopaths begin by conducting a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s dietary habits, lifestyle choices, environmental exposures, and genetic factors.
Using this extensive evaluation, Naturopaths create personalised treatment plans that address the specific needs of each individual. These plans may encompass various strategies such as dietary modifications, tailored exercise regimens, stress management techniques, and appropriate supplementation. When it comes to dietary changes, Naturopathy takes into consideration factors like identifying potential food allergies or sensitivities that could exacerbate symptoms. Additionally, they emphasise the importance of a well-balanced diet, ensuring an adequate intake of essential nutrients crucial for optimal brain function, such as omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.
Learn With Us!
Our Education Portal provides you with the opportunity to learn from our exceptional team of integrative practitioners.
Explore articles, informative videos and resources created by our team to inform, educate and assist you in cultivating health and well-being in your daily life:
Polyvagal Theory in Everyday Life – watch here
The Nervous System: Theory and Therapy – watch here
Anxiety and The Brain Gut Connection – watch here
Occupational Therapy from an Integrative Lens – watch here
Shop With Us!
Byron Remedy Room provides an online Herbal Dispensary and Naturopathic Services where you can purchase a range of healthcare products and address acute naturopathic care.
Byron Remedy room also offers free Naturopathic consultations to assist you with purchasing prescription-only products.
For more information, you can contact Byron Remedy Room on 02 6685 6445
Integrative Treatment and Coordinated Care
At The Health Lodge, we understand that navigating ill-health can be challenging and we are here to support you in your health journey. Our integrative health professionals recognise that through combining modalities we can create more opportunities for healing.
We offer customised coordinated care programs, integrating the best modalities and treatment protocols to address your health needs.
Book a free 15min call back from one of our team to discuss how a coordinated care or day patient program may suit your needs.