In March 2022 Neurodiversity Celebration Week was celebrated worldwide – this initiative challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences. It aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported by providing schools, universities, and organisations with the opportunity to recognise the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent, while creating more inclusive and equitable cultures that celebrate differences and empower every individual. So it really is time – let’s celebrate different minds!
Back in February this year, Dylan Alcott, now Australian of the Year in 2022, spoke on the Q+A panel about the importance of neurodiversity. Dylan has made it his mission to support all those with disabilities including raising the profile of the hidden disabilities that people have. Go Dylan!
I too work with both neurotypical and neurodiverse students and the more I get to know my neurodiverse students and their differences and often quirkiness it’s something I grow to endear about them. It is so important to continue to keep all of these types of conversations going. I also strongly believe it really is time we changed the narrative to increase acceptance and understanding. Awareness is just not enough – it’s time for real change!
There are many different disabilities as Dylan mentioned and can include those like:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Tourette Syndrome.
Many of my students, and others in society, have one or more of the above as well as other disorders like Anxiety or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Many also struggle with their Executive Functions. They are not here to be ‘fixed’ and often just need to learn tools and strategies to assist or have supports in place. For the rest of us it is important to remember that these people too are humans and rather than pick at, bully or shun them, let’s instead celebrate their differences!
Many of my students struggle at school to fit in and whilst many schools have supports in place we need to be doing more to support them. We need to all make changes and challenge & stop the prejudices that exist. I will continue to advocate for my students and support them to aim for the stars in life. They too should have equal opportunities to contribute to society. If you get the opportunity I encourage you to take the time to not only learn more but get to know these people in our communities. They all have something to offer in their own unique way!
If you are interested, you can start by checking out some amazing resources here and please encourage your school, university or workplace to get involved and let’s celebrate different minds today and everyday!
For more information on how I can support students and to learn more about the 1:1 work I do please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org