What Are Neurodivergent Love Languages?

Neurodivergent love languages illustration. An infographic describing Neurodivergent love languages.
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Are you looking for better ways to connect with your neurodivergent child? Communication can be one of the more challenging aspects of parenting a neurodivergent child. But it doesn’t have to be! Understanding neurodivergent love languages can help you have more meaningful connections – something we all deserve! Below we’ll explore neurodivergent love languages and how they differ from neurotypical love languages.

What Are Neurotypical Love Languages?

Neurotypical love languages are five different ways to express and receive love. Created by Dr. Gary Chapman, they’re words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Words of affirmation are verbalizing appreciation and expressing love with words. Quality time is giving your undivided attention, like having deep conversations or doing activities together. 

Ever thought about how neurodivergent love languages could play out in real-life scenarios? Here’s a quick peek. Imagine a sweet surprise – a gift, maybe a bouquet or a handmade card – from your loved one. These gifts are tangible tokens of love, showing how much someone cares for you. Conversely, rolling up your sleeves to ease another person’s life is an act of service. Now, remember those warm hugs, gentle hand-holding, or pecks on the cheek? Yep, you’ve got it – that’s the physical touch language of love.

@goallyapps Remember this as Valentines Day approaches 💙 (… even our whole team can’t forget it after filming this in the middle of the office 😉) #neurodivergent #valentinesday #autismawareness #lovelanguagetiktok ♬ muerto gang – qubelly🗽

Knowing your individual love languages, as well as those of people you cherish, is critical. This knowledge empowers you to express your feelings effectively and guides you on how others can best show their love for you. So, parents, remember to decipher and use these Neurodivergent love languages. It’s a fantastic way to strengthen the bond with your child. It makes the expression of love more efficient and tailors it to what feels most genuine and impactful for each person. Let’s keep the conversation on love languages going!

Why Are Neurotypical and Neurodivergent Love Languages Different?

Some neurodivergent people have different ways of processing and experiencing emotions. For example, some neurodivergent people have difficulty recognizing and expressing feelings. This affects how they understand and communicate their own love languages. It also makes it difficult for neurotypical people to understand the love languages of people who are neurodivergent.

People who are neurodivergent can have different needs and preferences when it comes to sensory input. For example, a neurodivergent person may be sensitive to physical touch. Like in the new Netflix show ‘Wednesday’, the main character doesn’t enjoy being touched. So her mother acknowledges her boundaries and keeps a respectful distance to avoid making her daughter uncomfortable. 

Read More: Using Positive Affirmations for Kids

Quiz: Do You Have Symptoms of a Neurodivergent Condition?

Please Note: This information is not meant to diagnose or treat and should not take the place of personal consultation, as needed, with a qualified healthcare provider and/or BCBA.

1 / 10

Do you find it challenging to manage your time?

2 / 10

Do other people’s emotions confuse you?

3 / 10

Is it hard for you to make new friends?

4 / 10

Is it challenging to organize your thoughts?

5 / 10

Do you have trouble comprehending what people say?

6 / 10

Do you find yourself hyper-fixating or obsessing over things?

7 / 10

Do you experience frequent mood swings?

8 / 10

Is your sleep schedule relatively consistent?

9 / 10

Do you struggle to manage multiple tasks at once?

10 / 10

Is it easy for you to accomplish your daily tasks?

Please fill in the information below to see your results.


Neurodivergent Love Languages

Info Dumping

Info dumping is a way for neurodivergent people to express their love and affection. It’s when a person shares a lot of information, facts, ideas, and feelings all at once. This love language allows someone to share everything they know on a subject. It can be anything from sharing their experiences to details about a specific topic. They can also discuss theories that are meaningful to them. Info dumping allows neurodivergent people to make deep connections with those around them by expressing their knowledge.

Penguin Pebbling

You know how penguins gather tiny pebbles to present to their mates as a sign of love? We’ve got a similar concept in neurodivergent love languages called “penguin pebbling.” This sweet gesture involves collecting small items or trinkets to gift to their loved ones. It’s a unique, heartfelt way for neurodivergent individuals to say, “I care.”

Understanding and valuing this act of love is key. It’s a natural communication, an earnest attempt to express love. Like other neurodivergent love languages, penguin pebbling can be an amazing bonding tool. It nurtures solid, meaningful relationships that truly matter. So, parents, keep an eye out for those little treasures – they’re tokens of love, pieces of a language spoken from the heart.

Neurodivergent love languages. A kid plays with a toy elephant near many small pebbles.
Read More: How To Host a Party for Neurodiverse Kids

Parallel Play

Parallel play is where kids play alongside each other. However, they don’t have to interact or constantly communicate with each other. A neurodivergent person may feel more comfortable and secure in a relationship when they have their own space and independence. All while still feeling the presence of their loved one. Parallel activities, where one person reads while the other does a crossword, can provide a sense of connection without the pressure of communication. 

Deep Pressure

Deep pressure is a type of sensory input and is a common neurodivergent love language. It’s the sensation of firm, even pressure applied to the body. Like a hug, weighted blanket, or deep-pressure massage. For some neurodivergent people, deep pressure provides comfort and security. It can even help neurodivergent people regulate their sensory system. For example, a person can hug their loved one or a parent could give their child a weighted blanket when they watch a movie. 

Support Swapping

Support swapping is both providing and receiving support within a relationship. It involves helping each other through difficult times, sharing resources, or providing emotional validation. For neurodivergent individuals, this form of support can be vital for building and maintaining healthy relationships. Support swapping can come in many forms, like providing a safe space for open conversations, holding hands, going to doctor’s appointments together, or participating in other activities.

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Remember that just because someone is neurodivergent doesn’t mean that they don’t have neurotypical love languages either, and vice-versa. Being able to speak different love languages is essential in any relationship. Learning someone’s unique needs, wants, and expectations make it much easier to offer support to create a meaningful bond. Neurodivergent people can express affection and appreciation differently, so it’s essential to take the time to understand what works best for them. Knowing this will help you create more fulfilling relationships rooted in mutual understanding and respect.

FAQs About Neurodivergent Love Languages

What are neurodivergent love languages?
Neurodivergent love languages are how individuals with diverse neurological development express and receive love through gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
How can understanding neurodivergent love languages help my child?
By knowing your child's neurodivergent love languages, you can enhance communication, strengthen your relationship, and support their emotional well-being.
What are some examples of neurodivergent love languages?
Some examples include giving tangible gifts, performing helpful acts of service, and expressing affection through physical touch.
How can I discover my child's neurodivergent love language?
You can identify your child's love language by observing how they express affection and respond to certain actions.
How can I utilize my understanding of my child's neurodivergent love language?
This knowledge can be used to express love meaningfully to your child and guide them in expressing love towards others.

This post was originally published on 01/13/2023. It was updated on 11/17/2023.

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