Neurodiversity encompasses a wide range of neurological differences. Although considered to be a relatively new term, it is thought to have been coined by autism activist Judy Singer back in the 1990s in a bid to move away from the ’medical’ view of autism and the idea it is something that should be “cured”.
The term “neurodiversity” is used to describe the 1 in 20 people who have any or more than one of the following:
Dyslexia * Dyscalculia * ADHD * Autism * Tourette’s Syndrome * Dyspraxia * Dysgraphia
There is an emerging ‘neurodiverse paradigm’ – that argues that if 1 in 5 human beings are neurodiverse then this must be part of the natural diversity in human evolution. This new thinking about neurodiverse people argues that they are not errors of genetics but part of our growing understanding of the diversity of minds, intelligences, abilities and differences that are part of humanity.
At the 2018 BAA Conference, Andrew Whitehouse, a Special Educational Needs and Disability Consultant and Training Provider from People First Education provided the Bamford Lecture: Strategies and Interventions to enable Autism Friendly Audiology Clinics. This fascinating and hugely practical 30 minute lecture provided an investigation into the diverse neurological needs affecting Autistic people and how meeting those needs can help to make a visit to the audiology clinic less likely to cause anxiety and other difficulties. Four areas were covered: social and emotional needs; communication; lack of flexible thought; and sensory needs, with practical advice for clinics to make a difference to the service they offer.
For Neurodiversity Celebration Week, we make Andrew Whitehouse’s presentation available for all to view: