Understanding Neurodiversity: Examples and Adaptations

Neurodiversity is a term used to describe the various ways of thinking, learning, processing and behaving. It is estimated that about half of people with neurodiverse conditions, such as ADHD, autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and Tourette syndrome, demonstrate exceptional abilities in other areas. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the basic meaning of the term paradigm as a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model. The Autism Rights Movement (ARM) is a social movement within the neurodiversity movement that encourages autistic people, their caregivers and society to adopt a position of neurodiversity, accepting autism as a variation in functioning and not as a mental disorder that must be healed.

Awareness is key because of the increase in information about autism; for example, the diagnosis has increased ninefold in the last 20 years. For people who are neurodivergent in the examples above, adaptations can be made to help them succeed. For example, employers can make adjustments to the hiring process to ensure that neurodiverse candidates are given an equal opportunity. Additionally, headphones can be used to help those with sensory processing issues focus on tasks.

It is important to recognize that neurodiversity is not something that needs to be cured or fixed. Instead, it should be embraced and celebrated for its unique contributions to society. By understanding neurodiversity and making appropriate adaptations, we can create an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.

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