Everyone’s brains work in different ways. Whether it’s how we learn, how we process information, ways of thinking or how we perceive the world, we all have a unique combination of skills and needs.
The term ‘neurodiversity’ recognises the intrinsic diversity in brain function and cognition and has since helped us to better understand those who are neurodivergent.
Whilst most people are neurotypical, anyone can be neurodivergent. Someone being neurodivergent simply means that their brains perceives, understands and processes information differently to those who are neurotypical.
There are a range of neurodivergent conditions and differences, including Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia. It’s estimated that around 15-20% of the world’s population are neurodivergent but it’s important to recognise that not all neurodivergent people, even those with the same condition, will think in the same way, have the same differences or face the same challenges.
Neurodiversity in the Workplace
By building a better understanding of neurodiversity employers can foster an inclusive environment and reap the benefits of having a more diverse workforce.
A recent study surveyed neurodivergent employees and their employers about the strengths of neurodivergent people; over 80% reported hyperfocus, 78% reported generating new ideas, 75% reported innovative thinking and 61% reported detail processing. However, the report also highlighted worryingly low levels of wellbeing for these employees, demonstrating the importance of developing our understanding of neurodiversity and neurodivergence in the workplace and providing reasonable adjustments for neurodivergent employees to ensure that everyone is supported and can reach their full potential.
Building Neuroinclusive Environments
There are a number of simple but effective adjustments which can be made in the workplace to build neuroinclusive environments, from flexible working and creating private spaces, to providing a spell checker or adjusting lighting intensity. There should be a clear process for requesting adjustments and it’s of upmost importance to consult with the individual to understand what they need rather than prescribing solutions.
If you’d like to find out more about the types of neurodivergence, understand what neurodiversity really is and explore how you can create a neuroinclusive environment in your workplace then speak to us, here’s a taste of what we offer:
· Team Development days on neurodiversity
· Neurodiversity sessions for managers
· Webinars to explore specific neurodiversity conditions