Understanding Neurodivergence: What It Is and How It Can Benefit the Workplace

Neurodivergence is a term used to describe individuals who have an atypical neurological configuration, such as those with developmental disorders or mental illnesses. This can include people who are autistic, dyslexic, dyspraxic, or have other conditions that affect their brain processes. The Neurodiversity Movement is a social justice movement that seeks civil rights, equality, respect and full social inclusion of neurodivergent people. Research suggests that the genes for these developmental disorders are maintained because they have evolutionary advantages.

For example, behaviors such as hyperactivity and impulsivity could have helped our ancestors find food or stay away from danger. And strong non-social skills, like those that some people with autism have, were good for our prehistoric ancestors who lived in nature. However, being neurodivergent should not be considered an inherent deficit, but simply a difference in processing the world around us. Mental health conditions can also be part of neurodivergence because they can change the way a person thinks and behaves.

People who are identified as neurodivergent can benefit from education and programs that help them develop their strengths and use them to their advantage to live a happy and healthy life. The Metropolitan Police is working to adapt its diversity and inclusion strategies to better support neurodivergent employees and people with disabilities. Several large national and international corporations have hiring processes that can be adapted to neurodivergent people. Neurodivergent people often bring innovative ideas, creative solutions, and more to the workplace. When neurodivergent individuals learn that they are different but not sick or flawed, they are more likely to be happier and aim higher in their careers.

This is why it is important for employers to understand neurodivergence and create an inclusive environment for all employees.

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