#160: Understanding Neurodiversity: Building Stronger Relationships in Schools

#160: Understanding Neurodiversity: Building Stronger Relationships in Schools

Neurodiverse brains see the world through a different lens. Are you willing to take a peak?

When you think “Neurodiverse” what comes to mind? Usually it’s labels like autism, dyslexia, dsypraxia, gifted, adhd and more.

As teachers, we know that every child matters and we want to support each and everyone of our students on their learning journey. Building strong relationships is a massive part of that. But, it can be really hard to do that with someone who’s brain is wired differently.  Why? Because they see the world differently.

More and more attention and time is being given to the idea to this concept along with the acknowledgement that we don’t all learn the same way, comes the beginnings of an understanding that all of us have brains that are wired slightly differently.  As we become more aware of this neurodiversity, we need to develop a deeper understanding of how to create a neurodiversity affirming culture at our sites. Building stronger relationships with neurodiverse students and learning new strategies to support them.

But, there is a long way to go…

This week (13-19th March 2023) is Neurodiversity Celebration Week and Edufolios and The Reflective Teacher Podcast with Selena Woodward, is dedicating the next few days to supporting a world “…where neurological differences are recognized and respected as all other human variations.”

One of the first steps towards this is understanding that the neurotypical culture we are used to.. is totally different to the neurodivergent one that 10% of our students (and even colleagues) walk in.

To understand neurodiverse people (students and teachers) we need to start being open to seeing the world differently… through a neurodivergent lens and that’s really hard when we were raised to see the world through a neurotypical culture. It’s confronting! 


Four great tips for recognising your neurotypical lens and choosing to see things differently...

In this, the first episode in our series on neurodiversity, I am joined by Kate Donohue of dynamicparenting.com.au.

Kate has been working in the disability sector for more than 20 years. She has been a DIR therapist, kindergarten and school teacher, service leader, mentor, support worker and public speaker & presenter.
Kate has supported hundreds of neurodivergent people and their families, educators, therapists & employers in the last 20 years.  Her experience means she has so much wisdom to share with us about neurodiverse culture with practical tips to support you as you work with students (and colleagues) at your site.
Grab your pen and take notes because this one is gold for standard 1 (know students and how they learn) and more! 

Don’t forget to share the reflections you write with @Edufolios on any social platform you like!  We can’t wait to read them!

Further Reading and Support

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