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Here are six things we think every educator must know about neurodivergentNeurodivergent, sometimes abbreviated as ND, means having a mind that functions in ways which diverge significantly from the dominant societal standards of “normal.”NEURODIVERSITY: SOME BASIC TERMS & DEFINITIONS Neurodivergent is quite... More people. By understanding these, we make “all means all” more meaningful.
- Spiky ProfilesThere is consensus regarding some neurodevelopmental conditions being classed as neurominorities, with a ‘spiky profile’ of executive functions difficulties juxtaposed against neurocognitive strengths as a defining characteristic. Neurominorities, Spiky Profiles,... More
- MonotropismMonotropism is a theory of autism developed by autistic people, initially by Dinah Murray and Wenn Lawson.Monotropic minds tend to have their attention pulled more strongly towards a smaller number of interests at... More
- Double Empathy ProblemThe ‘double empathy problem’ refers to the mutual incomprehension that occurs between people of different dispositional outlooks and personal conceptual understandings when attempts are made to communicate meaning.From finding a... More
- Rejection Sensitive DysphoriaRejection sensitive dysphoria (RSD) is extreme emotional sensitivity and pain triggered by the perception that a person has been rejected or criticized by important people in their life. It may also... More
- Exposure AnxietyExposure anxiety (EA) is a condition identified by Donna Williams in which the child or adult feels acutely self-conscious; it leads to a persistent and overwhelming fear of interaction.Exposure anxiety... More
- Situational Mutism I am situationally mute. For anyone that isn’t aware of what that is, it simply means that in certain situations, places or around certain people I don’t want to and... More
There is consensus regarding some neurodevelopmental conditions being classed as neurominoritiesThere is consensus regarding some neurodevelopmental conditions being classed as neurominorities, with a 'spiky profile' of executive functions difficulties juxtaposed against neurocognitive strengths as a defining characteristic.Neurodiversity at work: a... More, with a ‘spiky profileThere is consensus regarding some neurodevelopmental conditions being classed as neurominorities, with a ‘spiky profile’ of executive functions difficulties juxtaposed against neurocognitive strengths as a defining characteristic. Neurominorities, Spiky Profiles,... More’ of executive functions difficulties juxtaposed against neurocognitive strengths as a defining characteristic.Neurominorities, Spiky Profiles, and the Biopsychosocial Model at Work
We have spiky profiles. That deeply affects how we live and learn. Learn about spiky profiles, learning terroir, niche constructionPositive Niche Construction--practice of differentiating instruction for the neurodiverse brainNeurodiversity in the Classroom Positive niche construction is a strengths-based approach to educating students with disabilities. Reimagining Inclusion with Positive Niche... More, and neurological pluralismANI launched its online list, ANI-L, in 1994. Like a specialized ecological niche, ANI-L had acted as an incubator for Autistic culture, accelerating its evolution. In 1996, a computer programmer... More with the help of our friends at Randimals in the bricolageIn the arts, bricolage (French for "DIY" or "do-it-yourself projects") is the construction or creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be available, or... More essay, “What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.“
An education that is designed to the edges and takes into account the jagged learning profile of all students can help unlock the potential in every child.From Hostility to Community – Teachers Going Gradeless
Monotropism & the Double Empathy Problem
Monotropism is a theory of autism developed by autistic people, initially by Dinah Murray and Wenn Lawson.Welcome – Monotropism
MonotropicMonotropism is a theory of autism developed by autistic people, initially by Dinah Murray and Wenn Lawson.Monotropic minds tend to have their attention pulled more strongly towards a smaller number of interests at... More minds tend to have their attention pulled more strongly towards a smaller number of interests at any given time, leaving fewer resources for other processes. We argue that this can explain nearly all of the features commonly associated with autism, directly or indirectly. However, you do not need to accept it as a general theory of autism in order for it to be a useful description of common autistic experiences and how to work with them.
The ‘double empathy problem’: Ten years on – Damian Milton, Emine Gurbuz, Betriz Lopez, 2022
Monotropism and the Double Empathy Problem are two of the biggest and most important things to happen to autism research. These two videos, totaling 9 minutes, are well worth an educator’s time.
If an autistic person is pulled out of monotropic flowEntering flow states - or attention tunnels - is a necessary coping strategy for many of us.Fergus Murray People need to feel appreciated and safe, to give themselves to an... More too quickly, it causes our sensory systems to disregulate.
This in turn triggers us into emotional dysregulation, and we quickly find ourselves in a state ranging from uncomfortable, to grumpy, to angry, or even triggered into a meltdownMeltdowns are alarm systems to protect our brains.Without meltdowns, we autistics would have nothing to protect our neurology from the very real damage that it can accumulate.I don’t melt down... More or a shutdown.
This reaction is also often classed as challenging behavior when really it is an expression of distress caused by the behavior of those around us.
How you can get things wrong:
An introduction to monotropism – YouTube
- Not preparing for transition
- Too many instructions
- Speaking too quickly
- Not allowing processing time
- Using demanding language
- Using rewards or punishments
- Poor sensory environments
- Poor communication environments
- Making assumptions
- A lack of insightful and informed staff reflection
This is a great time for everyone involved in education to understand #neurodiversity and what it means for the classroom, for learning and for inclusion.
The key to acceptanceAcceptance means training mental health service providers to look at autism and other disabilities as a part of a person's identity, rather than a problem that needs to be fixed. Acceptance... More is understanding.
If you don’t understand someone, you can’t fully accept them: you can’t accept what you don’t get…
All schools are neurodiverse: all have kids with wildly differentOur friends and allies at Randimals have a saying, What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.Randimals We agree. Randimals are made up of two different animals... More experiences of the world, different needs. Teachers need to grasp that.
Neurodivergent young people across Greater Manchester feel that school staff do not understand them and their needs well enough.
“They would push and push for me to get back into class when it was not possible for me. After teachers were given instructions to sit me at the back of class many ignored this and put me at the front thinking they could help me when they should have listened to me and the pastoral team.”anonymous Spectrum Gaming member
“they promised things and I trustedAutists conceptualise the world in terms of trusted relationships with unique people.The beauty of collaboration at human scale The Autistic way of developing trust is based on experienced domain-specific competence.... More them but it never happens (multiple times) they didn’t listen to me or what I have to say or what i would like to do they thought I looked ok on the out side but on the inside I was having a mental breakdown”anonymous Spectrum Gaming member
How to understand the kids or adults you work with?
Don’t assume you know what’s easy or hard for them, or what’s obvious.
Listen to them, and learn from people with similar experiences.
Learn about autism from autistic people. Understand #monotropism.@MxOolong
Learn more on our glossary pages.
Exposure Anxiety, Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, and Situational Mutism
Exposure Anxiety, Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, and Situational Mutism marked the childhoods of many us here at StimpunksStimpunk combines “stimming” + “punk” to evoke open and proud stimming, resistance to neurotypicalization, and the DIY culture of punk, disabled, and neurodivergent communities. Instead of hiding our stims, we... More. The intense sensory and social environment of schools feeds all of these.
Learn about these neurodivergent traits on our glossary pages.
Five More Things: Five Neurodivergent Love Languages
This list of five common neurodivergent love languages is much about recognizing and meeting neurodivergent emotional bidsAn emotional bid is when we do something to signal that we want attention and connectionEmotional bids are central to every kind of relationship – romantic, social and professional.The Most... More in relationships, including professional and educational relationships.
- InfodumpingHaving a special interest is like having a crush or being newly in love. It is consuming and delightful. We love to share our special interests and a common example... More
- Penguin PebblingPenguin PebblingIt's our way of saying, "I thought about you today. I remembered this thing about you. Here's something I want to share with you specifically."Send a little "thinking of... More
- Parallel PlayWe enjoy parallel play and shared activities that don’t require continual conversation. When we talk, it gets deep quickly. We discuss what’s real, our struggles, fears, desires, obsessions. We appreciate... More, Body DoublingBut in the world of ADHD, a body double is someone who sits with a person with ADHD as he tackles tasks that might be difficult to complete alone. Many... More
- Support Swappinghttps://twitter.com/neurowonderful/status/1398175377235726338 Neurodivergent people, working together, can fill the gaps in each other’s spiky profiles. Go team. Members of the Neurodiversity ERG at Automattic help each other out during synchronous, meatspace... More, Sharing Spoonshttps://twitter.com/neurowonderful/status/1398175377235726338 Neurodivergent people, working together, can fill the gaps in each other’s spiky profiles. Go team. Members of the Neurodiversity ERG at Automattic help each other out during synchronous, meatspace... More
- Please Crush My Soul Back Into My Body, Deep Pressure Inputhttps://twitter.com/neurowonderful/status/1398175529212149763 Please Crush My Soul Back Into My Body: deep pressure input good!! Provides proprioceptive input and can soothe body stress responses (always get consent) @neurowonderful A famous example of... More Good
Learn about these love languages, and notice them in your school.
2 thoughts on “Six Things Educators Must Know About Neurodivergent People”
Loved the explanation of an Emotional Bid!