What is Neurodiversity?

This week is Neurodiversity awareness week. But what is neurodiversity?

Just like fingerprints, no two brains are alike.  But, for the majority of people their brains are similar enough that there are largely no differences in how they function. They have a difference in skills, preferences and styles, but mostly their brains mean they perceive the world in the same way. But, for others, their brains are more fundamentally different. They have differences in areas such as:

  • Social understanding
  • Sensory processing
  • Communication
  • Information processing

These differences are a result of neurological differences such as:

  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Dyscalculia
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Dysgraphia

This natural variation in our brain is called Neurodiversity. Those of us with no neurological conditions are neurotypical and those with, are neurodivergent.

Neurodivergent people think differently. Their unique perspectives and experiences mean they can often excel at creativity and innovation, have highly specialised skill sets and an ability to hyper focus. There are a number of famous people who are neurodivergent, such as Steve Jobs and Michael Phelps to name a few.

When embraced, this can be a huge advantage to our school and society. However, the differences neurodivergent people experience can make life challenging. In order to thrive at school, they often need some simple accommodations e.g. a sensory calm environment to recharge in or a secure routine with a clear start and end.  At Hatherop we have a number of strategies in place to offer support to all our children. Some examples are:

  • Visual timetables
  • Fiddle toys
  • Now and next display boards
  • Resistance bands on chairs
  • Wobble cushions

These strategies and tools ensure all children in each class are able to fully access their learning and feel comfortable and confident to complete each task given to them.

For more information: www.neurodiversityweek.com

A short You Tube video which explains Neurodiversity can be watched by clicking on the image below.