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  • Writer's pictureAmy Duffy-Barnes

Motivation for Neurodivergent Individuals using INCUP: Overcoming Task Initiation Challenges



Neurodivergent individuals, such as those with autism or ADHD, often face challenges when it comes to motivation and task initiation. They may struggle with focusing on tasks that don't align with their interests, or find it difficult to start tasks that seem overwhelming or uninteresting. However, a powerful tool that can help neurodivergent individuals overcome these challenges is INCUP - a framework that focuses on interest, novelty, challenge, urgency, and passion. Interest Interest is the first element of INCUP and refers to finding a task that aligns with the individual's passions and personal interests. Neurodivergent individuals tend to have intense passions and interests that can motivate them to engage in specific activities. For example, an individual with autism who loves animals may be more motivated to complete a task that involves caring for animals. By tapping into their interests, neurodivergent individuals are more likely to feel an emotional charge that motivates them to engage in the task. Novelty The second element of INCUP is novelty. Neurodivergent individuals often crave new and stimulating experiences that provide a sense of excitement and engagement. A new task or experience can provide the novelty that they need to overcome any initial resistance or lack of motivation. For example, a dyslexic individual who is struggling with reading may find it more motivating to use a new reading app that presents the material in a novel and engaging way. Challenge The third element of INCUP is challenge. Neurodivergent individuals often thrive on challenges that push them to think in new and creative ways. By setting achievable but challenging goals, neurodivergent individuals can develop a sense of achievement and pride in their accomplishments. For example, an autistic or ADHD individual may find it more motivating to complete a task that is challenging and requires problem-solving skills. Urgency The fourth element of INCUP is urgency. Neurodivergent individuals may struggle with procrastination and difficulty initiating tasks without a sense of urgency. By creating a sense of urgency or deadline, such as setting a timer or scheduling specific times to work on a task, neurodivergent individuals can feel a sense of pressure to complete the task. This can provide the emotional charge needed to overcome any initial resistance or lack of motivation. Passion The final element of INCUP is passion. Neurodivergent individuals often have intense passions and interests that provide a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives. By tapping into their passions and aligning tasks with their personal values and beliefs, neurodivergent individuals can feel a deeper emotional connection to the task. This can provide the emotional charge needed to overcome any initial resistance or lack of motivation.

In conclusion, the INCUP framework is a powerful tool for motivating neurodivergent individuals by providing the emotional charge needed to task initiate. By focusing on interest, novelty, challenge, urgency, and passion, neurodivergent individuals can overcome any initial resistance or lack of motivation and engage in tasks that align with their personal interests, values, and passions. So choose your path in life with care, and find a way to live in this world that accommodates your neurodivergency. Find a life that revolves around your passions and your interests. A neurodivergent life should be lived differently than a neurotypical life. Always work with and not against your biology.


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