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Celebrating Neurodiversity

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is the idea that some people’s brains are ‘wired’ differently and that these differences are simply variations of the human brain and conditions such as Autism and ADHD are not ‘abnormal’.

 

The Neurodiversity Movement

The neurodiversity movement began in the late 1990’s. It contrasts the medical model of mental health, which views conditions such as Autism and ADHD ‘dysfunctional disorders’ and ‘disabilities’.

It stresses the importance of enabling people with neurologically different minds to be accepted for themselves, by discovering and celebrating their strengths and for society to value their differences.

The concept that people are naturally neurologically diverse can help to reduce stigma and the idea that something is ‘wrong’, and can help to build confidence, self- esteem and resilience.

ADHD: ‘It’s My Superpower’

The neurodiversity movement views the ADHD brain as ‘always questioning’, and curiosity drives discovery.

You could even say that having ADHD is like having a ‘superpower’, like this young person explains in the video below.

The Future

Our ambitions for the future were outlined in a keynote at the North Lincolnshire PIP Forum’s SEND Conference in November 2019, and are summarised below:

  • Further investment from the Clinical Commissioning Group in both health and the local authority has led to the creation of the North Lincolnshire Neurodiversity Team who are working on a new neurodiversity pathway.
  • We aim to improve the child/young person and family’s experience pre, during and post diagnosis, and hope to officially launch the pathway in September 2020.
  • Short-term plans: reducing waiting times, ensuring appropriate support/systems are in place for families on the waiting list, training into schools and Children’s Centres in relation to ASD and ADHD.
  • Longer-term plans: revisiting the child/young person and family’s experience of the assessment process, beginning a dialogue in relation to diagnosis, support and improving outcomes in the local area, further training and support to schools in relation to supporting and working positively with children who are neurodiverse, identification of neurodiversity workers or champions in all Children’s Centres, greater identification of females who are neurodiverse, introduction of peer mentors and people with first-hand experience to support young people and families.

There is also a national schools Neurodiversity Celebration Week that runs annually, with the next taking place between 15th – 21st March 2021.

Links to Further Information

Human Neurodiversity Should Be Celebrated, Not Treated as a Disorder:

 

North Lincs PIP Forum

Neurodiversity Celebration Week

Dr Ned Hallowell: Your ADHD brain is a ferrari

Neurodiversity: the new ‘normal’