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Celebrating Neurodiversity

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What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is the concept that there are a variety of ways that people's brains process information, function, and present behaviourally. Rather than thinking there is something wrong or problematic when some people don't operate similarly to others, neurodiversity embraces all differences.  The concept of neurodiversity recognises that both brain function and behavioural traits are simply indicators of how diverse the human population is.

Neurotypical is a descriptor that refers to someone who has the brain functions, behaviours, and processing considered standard or typical.  Neurotypical people may have no idea they are because the subject has likely never come up for them before. These people usually hit all of their developmental and behavioural milestones at the same times and ages that are considered standard for most people.  Once grown, they generally move through life without having to wonder if their brains function in the same way as others do.

Neurodivergence is the term for people whose brains function differently in one or more ways than is considered standard or typical.  There are many different ways that neurodivergence manifests, ranging from very mild ways that most people would never notice to more obvious ways that lead to a person behaving differently than is standard in our society. We'll examine the most common types of neurodivergence and the ways they manifest ahead.

Neurodiversity Profiling Tool

Children and young people who are showing signs of neuro-developmental needs can access a Neurodiversity Profiling tool which can help identify what support they may need.

The neurodiversity (ND) profiling tool is the first step in identifying neurodiversity within children and young people aged 0-19. It was initially piloted with 50 families in Portsmouth from March 2021 to April 2022 and is approved for use across their city.

The tool has been adopted across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to support early identification and early help of children and young people presenting with neurodevelopmental needs.

What is the ND Profiling Tool?

The ND profiling tool is a visual document that assesses nine developmental strands of a child or young person aged 0-19. This includes:

  • Speech and Language
  • Energy Levels
  • Attention and Impulse Control
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Motor Skills
  • Sensory
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Systemizing and Empathizing
  • Cognitive Ability

It provides a holistic view of a child or young person’s needs and suggests types of strategies that can be put in place to help manage those needs in different areas of a life, such as:

  • at home
  • at their early years setting
  • at school or college
  • in the community

The process of completing the profile is carried out with the family, and not for or to the family.

Neurodiversity Hub

The Neurodiversity Hub provides families, young people and practitioners with:

  • access to a range of resources and tools
  • up to date information, and
  • interactive functions which offer support

The Neurodevelopmental (ND) Hub is divided into colour labelled sections:

  • red section tells you about the ND Profiling Tool
  • blue sections cover the nine areas of the Profiling Tool
  • green sections are other areas of need that may come up in your Profiling Tool guided conversation
  • orange sections have been developed to provide further information

This hub is most useful when used in conjunction with the profiling tool. This helps identified needs to be looked at in detail within the website areas. It is recommended to look at this in partnership between parents / carers and someone who knows the child / young person well.  If the child / young person can use the website themselves, it can be an empowering resource for them to learn about their needs and develop strategies to support them. 

To find out more and use the profiling tool and hub: 

Visit the Neurodiversity Hub

You can also read the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Celebrating Neurodiversity Strategy for children and young people.

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