Beautifully Different – Naomi
A Project Celebrating Differences and Triumphs
Naomi is Beautifully Different
Meet Naomi! Naomi is a beautiful 16 year old young lady who has a dual diagnosis of Autism and Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). While the primary components of ADHD and Autism are different, there is some overlap in symptoms. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. Where as a person with ADHD has differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. Naomi is Beautifully Different!
Officially, Naomi received her diagnosis of Autism at the age of 10. She started seeing a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic when she was 4. After finishing early intervention services and still having difficulty her parents sought answers from a neurologist. Between the age of 4-5 and 5 she was diagnosed with ADHD. They still had concerns with her processing and wondered why she still was having difficulties. She would either get so upset from things that overwhelmed her or she would shut down to the point they thought she was having seizures and was assessed for that. She struggled in school and when she was in larger groups. After slow progress and continued questions they pursued an evaluation with the behavior specialists at Cleveland clinic and confirmed her diagnosis of ADHD as well as Autism.
A Day in Naomi’s Life
As a baby Naomi was very difficult to soothe. She was comfortable with her mom and dad, but was often anxious and easily upset with others. She had disrupted sleep patterns from infancy through her preschool years. Naomi had difficulty with her overall development.
In school, Naomi often finds it hard to concentrate. It take her longer to put together all the steps it takes to complete tasks while filtering out distractions. She has to work extra hard to read people cues and to understand the nuances of life including sarcasm and others facial expressions. She has worked hard to practice having eye contact and learning what we refer to as the soft skills.Naomi often needs extra time to write as this is a difficult task to complete. Her parents are excited she can now take notes on her chrome book and typing is easier!
“It makes me feel different and it is hard to socialize. But I know I have the potential to do it.” -Naomi
Unique. Endearing. Patient.
Naomi is such a sweet and amazing young lady! She has lots of fun interests too! Some of her interests include Dr Who and her favorite actor David Tennant. She even got to hang out with him a bit longer since she was not catching the urgency of his handlers to keep the line of comic con picture seekers moving! Naomi works very hard, and she is a true inspiration to her family, and everyone’s life she touches. Within Naomi is an old soul that sees the world differently. She brings music to her home and a different perspective to her family’s lives.