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Neuro Diversity

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Each person has a brain that is unique to them; no two brains are quite alike. For over a million people in the UK, these differences mean they are diagnosed with different, neurodivergent ways of thinking and behaving:

  • Autism

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Dyslexia

  • Dyspraxia 

  • Dyscalculia 

  • Dysgraphia

  • Disorders such as Tourette’s syndrome 

These conditions often exist on a spectrum and can vary in their effects on different people.

Why is this important?

Being fully aware of neuro diverse people can offer greater opportunities for individuals but can also offer employers to employ people with unique skills. People with neuro diverse skills can offer additional views and insights to a team and can often help employers fill niche vacancies with their abilities.

How will this benefit the employees?

Recognition that an individual’s skills and abilities are valuable. Being part of a team that is fully inclusive can help with people’s health and wellbeing. Opportunities for individuals to be employed and improve their social status.

How will this benefit employers?

Being aware of neuro diversity and accessing support for recruitment and retention can widen the talent pool available to an organisation. 

Neurodivergent employees often bring unique skills and talents to their work. For example, depending on the individual, they might be particularly good at:

  • Problem-solving

  • Creativity

  • Processing information quickly

  • Innovation

  • Data analysis

  • Consistency

  • Seeing things from a different perspective

  • Thinking outside of the box 

  • Attention to detail

  • Spotting patterns and trends.

  • Taking risks 

People with neuro diverse skills/needs can offer a unique addition to a team often filling vacancies or undertaking roles which employers have had challenges filling.

"Recognition that an individual’s skills and abilities are valuable. Being part of a team that is fully inclusive can help with people’s health and wellbeing."

Where to start

Research and begin to understand the different neuro diverse conditions, there are multiple sources of information and organisations that can help.

Effective actions

Understand – What neuro diversity means and how it could add value to your workplace.

Educate – speak to teams and help them understand potential needs and support for people with neuro diverse needs

Promote – positive messages about disability and neuro diversity in the workplace

Collaborate – work with others who can help you to make changes

How to achieve changes

Review your recruitment processes to ensure they are appropriate for people with neuro diverse needs. Job adverts need to be clear and unambiguous, specifying what is essential but also which is ‘nice to have.’ 

Remember that some people will find the whole recruitment and interview process too daunting. 

Consider recruiting through DWP, training providers or support agencies. 

A workplace interview where the applicant can try the job, supported by a mentor or buddy can help the individual and the employer to consider how this may work.

Review your workplace environment, light and noise can have an adverse reaction for some people.

Useful Links

Autism and Neurodiversity Toolkit | DWP

Employers - Genius Within

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What is neurodiversity? - Harvard Health

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