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Neurodiversity

Driven by both genetic and environmental factors, an estimated 15-20 percent of the world's population exhibits some form of neurodivergence. This underscores the importance of creating inclusive workplaces and educational institutes that cater to the unique strengths and challenges of neurodivergent individuals to unlock untapped potential and foster a culture of inclusivity for all. As a leader, how can you create a workplace culture that embraces and supports neurodiversity, allowing all team members to thrive and contribute to their fullest potential?

What percentage do you think is Neurodivergent

Neurodiversity! A hot topic of this month, mostly because of World Autism Day. While most of us might already know what Neurodiversity is, we still lack in understanding the behavior of neurodivergent people and our response to it. I know at times it can be hard to oversee neurodivergent people in a mature and supportive way. But there’s always something we can do to improve our deportment towards them. Neurodiversity, the idea that people have a wide range of neurological traits and that those traits should be respected and not pathologized. But do we really care? If yes, then what are we doing towards it. And if no, then why not?

Let’s dig deeper into the topic to understand it better. While it is good to know that the new thing is the growing awareness of this idea in mainstream culture and the way it’s starting to change how we think about our brains and how they work, many people still might be confused about whether it is good or bad. What I believe is that it is about recognizing that human beings are different from one another, and that our differences are not inherently bad. These differences can be both positive and negative, but we should all be able to treat each other with respect regardless of how we’re wired.

According to the statistics around 15% to 20% of the population is considered to be neurodivergent. Approximately 5% to 10% of the global population has dyslexia.

But do you know some really overwhelming facts about them? If not, then here are some-

  • Research shows that conditions such as autism and dyslexia can bestow exceptional skills in pattern recognition, memory, or mathematics.
  • Autism presents higher IQ scores than average.
  • Studies found that neurodiverse teams are 30% more productive than neurotypical ones and made fewer errors.
  • And surprisingly, Neurodiverse people are still more likely to be unemployed than people with any other disability. Unemployment for neurodivergent adults runs at least as high as 30-40% which is three times the rate for people with disability, and eight times the rate for people without disabilities.

Do you deal with neurodivergent people in your workplace? If yes, then awareness of Neurodiversity is incredibly important for you because it helps us understand how we can be more inclusive in our society. It is also important because it helps us understand why some people might have some difficulties with certain kinds of work- and it allows them to seek help when they need it.

We must know their struggles before setting the barriers of judgement, for judgement makes it even more difficult for them to fit in.

Most neurodivergent people struggle with the expectations, rules and regulations placed on them. We can help them simply by acknowledging the diverse ways in which people think they can lead to greater understanding between all members of society.

Here are some simple actions which can make Neurodiverse people’s lives a little easier & better-

  • Being neurodivergent can be stressful, but it doesn’t need to be that way! When dealing with neurodivergent people, it is important to be patient and understanding of the person’s needs. The best way to treat this is by being open minded and accepting their differences. I repeat, being open minded and accepting their differences.
  • The general public will be better equipped to make informed decisions if they know how neurodiversity work and how they can be beneficial or harmful to them.
  • We should all be aware that we must support them and advocate for them when they are treated unfairly by others or by the government itself.
  •  If we educate young people about what it means to be neurotypical and what it means for those who are not, then we can ensure that acceptance will grow over time instead of fading away as more young people come into contact with the concept of neurodivergence for the first time.  
  • The best way to promote awareness of neurodiversity is through education and awareness campaigns.
  • Lastly, be empathetic, keep yourself in other’s shoe and treat people how you want to be treated.

To conclude, I believe the concept of Neurodiversity has been world-changing, by giving us a new perspective on humanity, but it needs to mature to the point where we see that human nature is complex, and nature is beautiful but not benign.

Written by shrutiswaroop@embrace-consulting.com

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