Professor Amanda Kirby, CEO of Do-IT Solutions., Campaigner for Neurodiversity, Medic, Knowledge Translator, researcher
Neurodiversity is the way we think, move, act, communicate and process information.
We are all different. Some people have challenges and strengths associated with conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyslexia, Autism, Dyscalculia, Developmental Coordination Disorder/Dyspraxia, Developmental Language Disorder.
There is not one person or one condition that defines our differences ( or our similarities). We are too often defined by what we can’t do and not by what we can.
"Everyone will have their own spiky profile with their unique pattern of strengths and challenges. No-one is ever good at everything."
The reality is that some people will gain a diagnosis of Dyslexia, for example, and others diagnosed as having Autism or ADHD. However, who gains a diagnosis often can be a bit of a lottery. It can depend on whether difficulties are identified as a child by a teacher who spots some signs of Dyslexia or Dyspraxia (also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder) or by a parent who knows something about one of these conditions.
It often requires tenacity on the part of the parent or individual and also depends on local waiting lists and service availability. For many people it can be a lengthy and at times costly process in terms of stress. Some people are paying for assessments as an alternative at a high cost.
For most people the starting position is to understand their challenges and gain some practical strategies to help as soon as possible. By understanding their unique spiky profile you have a starting point to help to support them to be their best.
A person-centred approach means that strategies are tailored to EACH PERSON. It also importantly means harnessing strengths, to build confidence, self-esteem and become resilient.