You know everyone's different, right? Well, that applies to the way we see and interact with the world around us too. Lou, Special Needs & Neurodiversity Advice Manager at Grace Consulting says,
'Neurodiversity refers to how our brains work, process information, and interact with the world around us. It's a way to describe different thinking styles such as autism and ADHD, as well as different ways of learning like dyslexia.’
A quick history search reveals that Judy Singer, a sociologist with autism, coined the term "neurodiversity" in the late 1990s, not so very long ago. The term acknowledges that certain developmental disorders are simply variations in the brain and should be regarded as such.
Individuals with these variations in the brain are often referred to as neurodiverse or neurodivergent, while those without such traits are referred to as neurotypical. As you know, neurotypical people are all different. The same applies to the neurodiverse. Diversity is vital for us to thrive. A good reason for us to embrace our differences.
The benefits of ‘diversity’ in ‘neurodiversity’
At Grace Consulting, we are reminded daily that everyone is different. Despite society’s desire to give us all a label and box us in a neat and orderly fashion, we do not conform.
Appreciating diversity is incredibly important. When it comes to evolution, having a population of individuals with different strengths and perspectives helps us to adapt and thrive. This is because we have access to a range of minds with a variety of approaches to solving problems.
The concept of diversity is common across many scientific fields. It measures the range of specific features within a population. Diversity is the degree of variation, often classified as high, medium, or low. Biodiversity is a good example. A rainforest would have high biodiversity, while a desert would have low biodiversity. The Earth has an endless supply of human diversity.
According to Singer, Neurodiversity can be viewed as a part of biodiversity. It is widely understood that ecosystems with greater biodiversity tend to be more stable, adaptable, and sustainable. This is because ecosystems are interconnected in complex ways that impact all life, including humans.
Regarding evolution, we are delighted to be witnessing the sparks of a new dawn, with progressive employers increasingly identifying the value of diversity within teams, specifically combining the skills of the neurodiverse and neurotypical, challenging thinking, pushing boundaries and helping maximise success.
Progress can be made
This is not said lightly. At Grace, we are well aware of the enormous challenges faced by many neurodiverse individuals and their families. We recognise that some endure relentless pressure and anxiety. We repeat, everyone and every situation is different.
However, when we focus on the positives, we can appreciate the unique strengths and perspectives that can come with neurodiversity. With the right support in place, goals can be set and progress can be made.
Despite challenges, many neurodiverse individuals possess unique strengths. For instance:
Individuals with ADHD may perhaps struggle with managing their time effectively, however they may also benefit from innovative thinking and entrepreneurial drive.
People with dyslexia often have fantastic visual skills. In fact, they can perceive certain things better than people without the condition. This can be really helpful in careers like engineering or computer graphics, where being able to notice details is essential.
Access to the right support and information at the right time can help neurodiverse individuals hone their strengths and use them to their advantage.
Let’s celebrate and appreciate diversity
Neurodiversity encompasses a variety of differences in the human brain. Accepting and supporting neurodiversity means creating a space where everyone can be appreciated and celebrated for who they are. This benefits not only individuals but also makes the world a better place for all of us. Here’s to the celebration and appreciation of diversity.
Grace Consulting are the UK’s founding providers of expert independent advice on elderly care advice, special needs advice and neurodiversity advice.
Independence and client wellbeing are at the heart of everything we do. We listen, reassure and advise you on how to move forwards and find the best possible solutions for your unique life challenges.