What is Neurodiversity?
Neurodiversity is the various ways in which human beings differ from each other in terms of neurocognitive ability. In any given classroom or workplace, there will be people who have different strengths and weakness, outlooks and processing skills, moods and attention spans – all of which make up the rich tapestry of neurodiversity – and, ultimately, society.
Can you give us an example of Neurodiversity?
We can give you many!
Below are some examples of neurodiversity, some of which share features:
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
- ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)
- Tourette Syndrome
What’s the issue?
Education has long catered to the needs of the many, students who fall under the neurotypical umbrella – that is, children who have no marked or noticeable differences between their attainment levels in their neurocognitive abilities and who may be considered developmentally ‘normal’.
Whilst this means that traditional modes of education have, for the large part, been successful in helping children learn to read, write and work with others, it means that children who do not fit the neurotypical mould are often left out of the equation and their strengths and skills are ignored.
This ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach can leave neurodiverse children feeling disheartened and left behind when often, some timely and appropriate accommodations can help them flourish on their own terms.
Changing the status quo of Neurodiversity:
Over the years, the world has developed a greater understanding of neurodiverse conditions and how thinking differently to the general population is in fact a strength, not a disadvantage. Thanks to the campaigning efforts of various charities, neurodiversity experts, schools, neurodiverse individuals and, of course, parents and guardians, there has been an increased acceptance and understanding of neurodiversity here in the UK.
There is still work to be done, though!
What can we celebrate about Neurodiversity?
Here at Ludo Tutors, we believe there is no right way of thinking, and promoting strengths in neurodivergent people is one of our core values.
Neurodiversity can be an advantage when in the right environment and given the proper credence and support.
For example, a person on the Autistic spectrum may find they have strengths in the following:
- Learning to read at a very early age (Hyperlexia)
- Memorising and learning information quickly
- Thinking and learning in a visual way
- Having a capability for alternate problem solving
- Excelling in academic areas such as Science, Engineering and Mathematics
- Having an extraordinarily good memory
- Being precise and detail orientated
- Honesty and reliability
- Being dependable in regards to schedules and routines
- Having an excellent sense of direction
- Being punctual
- Strong adherence to rules
- Ability to concentrate for long periods of time when motivated
- Having a drive for perfection and order
- Logical thinking ability
- Having a rare freshness and sense of wonderment
(From the Altogether Autism website)
A person with Dyslexia may have strengths in one or more of these areas:
- Curiosity – exploring ideas in an innovative way
- Communication – conveying information and explaining things in a clear and concise way
- Reasoning – understanding patterns, processing information and making decisions
- Empathy – understanding and connecting with others
- Imagination – creating new and innovative work
- Visualisation – interacting with space, sense, ideas and concepts
(From the Made by Dyslexia website)
And a person with ADHD may be brilliant at some of the following:
- Hyperfocus – being able to zero in on the task in hand
- Engaging communication
(From Additude website)
Further reading on Neurodiversity
If you fancy some further reading, check out Dr Nancy Doyle! She is the CEO of Genius Within and a proud neurominorty (a person who is neurodiverse). Her organisation works to help neurodiverse individuals discover their talents and then apply them to their work. She has suggested that early diagnosis helps neurodiverse individuals understand their challenges and strengths more clearly.
Here is an article by Dr Nancy Doyle that we found really interesting: https://www.forbes.com/sites/drnancydoyle/2021/03/04/from-deficit-to-superpowers-is-it-ableist-to-focus-on-neurodivergent-strengths/