Routledge, Taylor and Francis

Transactional Analysis Journal 2024, VOL. 54, NO. 1, 91–106 

Decentering Neuronormativity: A Transactional Analysis Impasse Theory Perspective for Understanding ADHD Masking and Authentically Honoring the Da Vinci Archetype Within 

Cheryl Leong and Romy Graichen


Inspired by the Renaissance artist and polymath Leonardo da Vinci as an ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) archetype celebrated for his creativity, brilliance, endless curiosity, and experimentation, this article brings to awareness links between genetic traits and neurodivergence. It seeks to rethink the ADHD diagnosis and proposes a TA-neurodiversity affirming lens for navigating neuronormativity as well as healing from its oppressive structural and systemic processes. In particular, impasses are explored in the context of how neuronormativity impacts relational material and drives adaptive masking patterns, racketeering, and script formation. The authors present the masking-authenticity triangle framework, which provides an intersectional and standpoint epistemological inquiry into the clinical presentation and developmental trajectory of neurodivergent masking.