We provide Cavendish space of peer respite and collaborative niche construction where our learners can find relief from an intense world designed against us.
Caves, Campfires, and Watering Holes
Caves, campfires, and watering holes are necessary to designing for neurological pluralism and providing psychological safety. They’re necessary to positive niche construction.
Dandelions, Tulips, and Orchids
Sensory hyperreactivity can greatly impact quality of life and has been found to correlate with clinically elevated levels of anxiety in both autisticAutistic ways of being are human neurological variants that can not be understood without the social model of disability.If you are wondering whether you are Autistic, spend time amongst Autistic people, online and offline. If… More children and adults.
Positive niche construction is a strengths-based approach to educating students with disabilities.
Cognitive Diversity Exists for a Reason
Human cognitive diversity exists for a reason; our differencesOur 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 are the genius – and the conscience – of our species.
Social Buffering and Collaborative Morality
Collaborative morality“It was diversity between people which led to human success and it is particularly important as it gives you different specialised roles.“We are arguing that it is the rise of… More opens up opportunities to be respected and appreciated through the emergenceEmergence is the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of relatively simple interactions.Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds Emergent strategy is a way that all of… More of distinct abilities, virtues or spheres of elevated influence and respect even when these are associated with deficits.
Interdependence and Collaboration
Magic happens when you combine collaboration and neurodiversityNeurodiversity is the diversity of human minds, the infinite variation in neurocognitive functioning within our species.NEURODIVERSITY: SOME BASIC TERMS & DEFINITIONS Neurodiversity is a biological fact. It’s not a perspective, an approach, a… More.
⛺️🔥 Caves, Campfires, and Watering Holes
Since readingThere are three types of reading: eye reading, ear reading, and finger reading.The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan: A Blueprint for Renewing Your Child’s Confidence and Love of Learning Most schools and… More NeuroTribes, we think of psychologically & sensory safe spaces suited to zone work as “Cavendish bubblesCavendish Space: psychologically & sensory safe spaces suited to zone work, intermittent collaboration, and collaborative niche construction. Since reading NeuroTribes, we think of psychologically & sensory safe spaces suited to… More” and “Cavendish space”, after Henry Cavendish, the wizard of Clapham Common and discoverer of hydrogen. The privilegesTo not have conversations because they make you uncomfortable is the definition of privilege. Your comfort is not at the center of this discussion.Brené Brown Power can be understood as… More of nobility afforded room for his differences, allowing him the space and opportunity to become “one of the first true scientists in the modern sense.”Classroom UX: Designing for Pluralism
We provide caves, campfires, and watering holes so that dandelions, tulips, and orchids alike can find respite. Online and offline, we provide individual spaces as well as communityWhat I have always been hoping to accomplish is the creation of community.Community is magic. Community is power. Community is resistance.Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-First-Person-Stories-Twenty-First-ebook/dp/B082ZQBL98/ https://www.amazon.com/Disability-Visibility-Adapted-Young-Adults-ebook/dp/B08VFT4R9T/… More spaces so that learners can progressively socialize according to their interaction capacity. Caves, campfires, and watering holes are necessary to designing for neurological pluralism and providing psychological safety. They’re necessary to positive niche construction.
The campfire is a space where people gather to learn from an expert. In the days of yore, wise elders passed down insights through storytelling, and in doing so replicated culture for the next generation.Australia’s Campfires, Caves, and Watering Holes
The cave is a private space where an individual can think, reflect, and transform learning from external knowledge to internal belief.Australia’s Campfires, Caves, and Watering Holes
The cave is a private space, where students can find that much needed aloneAloneness is a characteristic that many creatives embrace and yearn for. Being alone is anything but lonely. Reading, writing, and creating art all demand a personal space where one can… More time useful for reflection on their learning or just to recharge. (a necessary space for those students with Aspergers).Campfires, Caves and Watering holes | Libraries, Youth and the Digital Age
“Some autistic people’s needs will conflict with each other. For example, some autistic people may need the TV playingThere is nothing more human than play. Humans were designed to learn in play. In fact, nearly all mammals evolved this way.Play’s Power At our learning space, we provide learners fresh… More to calm down, as it can help to focus on specific sounds. But for others this may cause more stress depending on their mental state. Additionally, some autistic people may need to stim to feel relaxed and comfortable, or it may be involuntary when they are stressed, but noises they make (e.g. verbal stimsSelf-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation, is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or words, or the repetitive movement of objects Stimming – Wikipedia Autistic adults highlighted the importance of stimming as… More), could really stress another autistic person out. I think the key here is space.”“It’s Not Rocket Science”: Considering and meeting the sensory needs of autistic children and young people – NDTi
Our cave, campfire, and watering hole moods map to the red, yellow, and green of interaction badges (aka color communication badges). The three-level and three-speed communication flow used at distributed companies reflects the progressive sociality of cave, campfire, and watering hole contexts and red, yellow, green interaction moods. All of these facilitate intermittent collaboration.
The Extended Mind – Annie Murphy Paul
We use Cavendish Space to pursue special interestsI don’t know who invented the phrase “special interest.” Probably some researcher. Autistic people don’t really love the term because the term “special” has become tied so closely with terms… More and assist attention tunnelsEntering 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 so that learners can slip into flow states.
Flow states are the pinnacle of intrinsic motivationIntrinsic motivation: where somebody wants to do something for themselves, for the sake of doing it and doing it well.Craft, Flow and Cognitive Styles Self-determination Theory distinguishes between two different… More, where somebody wants to do something for themselves, for the sake of doing it and doing it well.Craft, Flow and Cognitive Styles
When focused like this an Autistic person can enter a ‘flow state‘ which can bring great joy and satisfaction to the person experiencing it.Monotropism
Down the rabbit holeGo down the rabbit hole (embrace serendipity)You have to embrace the accidental.The 5-Step Research Method I Used For Tim Ferriss, Robert Greene, and Tucker Max | by Ryan Holiday |… More: If it exists, you can reasonably assume there will be an autistic person to whom that thing is the subject of intense obsession and time spent.
The reality is that if it exists, you can reasonably assume there will be an autistic person to whom that thing is the subject of intense obsession and time spent, from blankets to drain covers (both of these are special interests of people in my acquaintance) and pretty much anything in between. When engaging in a special interest, autistic people are typically calmer, more relaxed, happier and more focused than they would otherwise be – for many, it is a form of release or even self-medication: a well-timed foray into a special interest can stave off 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 and be a generally extremely positive force in an autistic person’s life.Learning From Autistic Teachers (pp. 30-31)
Learning From Autistic Teachers (pp. 30-31)
Many people with autism are stressed individuals who find the world a confusing place (Vermeulen, 2013). So how does someone with autism achieve a sense of flow? McDonnell & Milton (2014) have argued that many repetitive activities may achieve a flow state. One obvious area where flow can be achieved is when engaging in special interests. Special interests allow people to become absorbed in an area that gives them specialist knowledge and a sense of achievement. In addition, certain repetitive tasks can help people achieve a flow like state of mind. These tasks can become absorbing and are an important part of people’s lives. The next time you see an individual with autism engaging in a repetitive task (like stacking Lego or playing a computer game), remember that these are not in themselves negative activities, they may well be reducing stress.
If you want to improve your supports to people with autism from a stress perspective, a useful tool is to identify flow states for that person and try to develop a flow plan. Remember, the next time you see a person repeating seemingly meaningless behaviours, do not assume that this is always unpleasant for them – it might be a flow state, and beneficial for reducing stress.What is ‘flow’?
“Down the rabbit hole” is an English-language idiom or trope which refers to getting deep into something, or ending up somewhere strange.Down the rabbit hole – Wikipedia
Learning how to learn on his own proved one of the most important lessons of his life.What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry
🌷 Dandelions, Tulips, and Orchids
In summary, while some people are highly sensitive (i.e. orchids), the majority have a medium sensitivity (i.e. tulips) and a substantial minority are characterised by a particularly low sensitivity (i.e. dandelions).Dandelions, tulips and orchids: evidence for the existence of low-sensitive, medium-sensitive and high-sensitive individuals | Translational Psychiatry
sensory hyperreactivity can greatly impact quality of life and has been found to correlate with clinically elevated levels of anxiety in both autistic children and adultsAutistic sensory experiences, in our own words
🏗 Niche Construction
…positive niche construction is a strengths-based approach to educating students with disabilities.Reimagining Inclusion with Positive Niche Construction
In the field of biology, the term niche construction is used to describe an emerging phenomenon in the understanding of human evolution. Since the days of Darwin, scientists have emphasized the importance of natural selectionShe tells of a radical fringe of scientists who are realizing that natural selection isn’t individual, but mutual—that species only survive if they learn to be in community.Emergent Strategy: Shaping… More in evolution-the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring. In natural selection, the environment represents a static entity to which a species must either adapt or fail to adapt. In niche construction, however, the species acts directly upon the environment to change it, thereby creating more favorable conditions for its survival and the passing on of its genes. Scientists now say that niche construction may be every bit as important for survival as natural selection (Lewontin, 2010; Odling-Smee, Laland, & Feldman, 2003).
We see many examples of niche construction in nature: a beaver building a dam, bees creating a hive, a spider spinning a webIn essence, the open Web, while not free from governmental and commercial pressures, is about as free from such pressures as a major component of modern capitalist society can be…. More, a bird building a nest. All of these creatures are changing their immediate environment in order to ensure their survival. Essentially, they’re creating their own version of a “least restrictive environment.” In this book, I present seven basic components of positive niche construction to help teachers differentiate instruction for students with special needsThe word “special” is used to sugar-coat segregation and societal exclusion – and its continued use in our language, education systems, media etc serves to maintain those increasingly antiquated “special”… More (2012).Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Succeed in School and Life
Seven components of positive niche construction in the classroom:
- Assessment of students’ strengths
- The use of assistive technology and Universal Design for Learning“Sure,” they say, “with enough humiliation we can allow you to do things differently, as long as you understand that we’ll never consider you an equal part of the school.”… More
- Enhanced human resources
- The implementation of strengths-based learning strategies
- Envisioning positive role models
- Activation of affirmative career aspirations
- The engineering of appropriate environmental modifications to support the development of neurodiverse students
Source: Reimagining Inclusion with Positive Niche Construction
- Organisms are not passive.
- The environment is a product of organisms.
- Interactions are reciprocal.
- Ecology, development, & evolution are interdependent.
But the home advantage is not limited to sports. Researchers have identified a more general effect as well: when people occupy spaces that they consider their own, they experience themselves as more confident and capable. They are more efficient and productive. They are more focused and less distractible. And they advance their own interests more forcefully and effectively. A study by psychologists Graham Brown and Markus Baer, for example, found that people who engage in negotiation within the bounds of their own space claim between 60 and 160 percent more value than the “visiting” party.
Benjamin Meagher, an assistant professor of psychology at Kenyon College in Ohio, has advanced an intriguing theory that may explain these outcomes. The way we act, the way we think, and even the way we perceive the world around us differ when we’re in a space that’s familiar to us—one that we have shaped through our own choices and imbued with our own memories of learning and working there in the past. When we’re on our home turf, Meagher has found, our mental and perceptual processes operate more efficiently, with less need for effortful self-control. The mind works better because it doesn’t do all the work on its own; it gets an assist from the structure embedded in its environment, structure that marshals useful information, supports effective habits and routines, and restrains unproductive impulses. In a familiar space over which we feel ownership, he suggests, “our cognition is distributed across the entire setting.” The place itself helps us think.The Extended Mind – Annie Murphy Paul
🌈 Cognitive Diversity Exists for a Reason
Human cognitive diversity exists for a reason; our differences are the genius – and the conscience – of our species.A Thousand Rivers
Neurodiversity may be every bit as crucial for the human race as biodiversity is for life in general.Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity
“Great minds don’t always think alike.” We already understand the value of biodiversity in a rainforest.
To face the challenges of the future, we’ll need the problem-solving abilities of different types of minds working together.The Best Books on New Books on Autism | Five Books Expert Recommendations
ADHD or what I prefer to call Kinetic Cognitive StyleADHD or what I prefer to call Kinetic Cognitive Style (KCS) is another good example. (Nick Walker coined this alternative term.) The name ADHD implies that Kinetics like me have… More (KCS) is another good example. (Nick Walker coined this alternative term.) The name ADHD implies that Kinetics like me have a deficit of attention, which could be the case as seen from a certain perspective. On the other hand, a better, more invariantly consistent perspective is that Kinetics distribute their attention differently. New research seems to point out that KCS was present at least as far back as the days in which humans lived in hunter-gatherer societies. In a sense, being a Kinetic in the days that humans were nomads would have been a great advantage. As hunters they would have noticed any changes in their surroundings more easily, and they would have been more active and ready for the hunt. In modern society it is seen as a disorder, but this again is more of a value judgment than a scientific fact.Bias: From Normalization to Neurodiversity
If neurodivergenceNeurodivergent, 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 is essentially disablement, why do we keep replicating the gene pool? The less extensive, yet persistent, body of work indicating specialist strengths within neurodiversity, supports the hypothesis that the evolutionary purposeSelf-determination Theory (SDT) is… — a model, a macro theory, of human motivation. It’s one of several models of human motivation, but it’s one that has been confirmed over and… More of divergence is ‘specialist thinking skills’ to balance ‘generalist’ thinking skills (as per the ‘spiky profile’). The evolutionary perspective is congruent with the Neurodiversity movement and essential to understanding the occupational talent management perspective that is currently in vogue.
The 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 may well emerge as the definitive expression of neurominority, within which there are symptom clusters that we currently call autism, ADHD, dyslexiaDyslexia is a genetic, brain-based characteristic that results in difficulty connecting the sounds of spoken language to written words. It can result in errors in reading or spelling as well… More and DCD.Neurodiversity at work: a biopsychosocial model and the impact on working adults | British Medical Bulletin | Oxford Academic
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 profile’ of executive functions difficulties juxtaposed against neurocognitive strengths as a defining characteristic.Neurodiversity at work: a biopsychosocial model and the impact on working adults
🤲 Social Buffering and Collaborative Morality
Are there alternative adaptive strategies to human pro-sociality? The role of collaborative morality in the emergence of personality variation and autistic traits
🤝 Interdependence and Collaboration
The combination of neurodiversity and the human capacities for collaboration and cultural transmission that defined the knowledge age enabled humans to thrive for many hundred thousand years in a diverse range of circumstances. Pre-civilised societies clearly appreciated the talents of autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people.The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations
Autism is a crucially, vitally, urgently needed human variation—a powerful corrective and counterbalance to the hierarchicalThe belief in the existence and relevance of social hierarchies must be suspended.The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations The extent to which a community… More, dominance-based mentality currently driving human society and the planet off the rails.
Autistic/neurodiverse thinking and collaborating styles have a critically important role to play as an antidote to the currently dominant neurotypicalThe existence of the word neurotypical makes it possible to have conversations about topics like neurotypical privilege. Neurotypical is a word that allows us to talk about members of the… More social-ranking/dominance approach—a critically important role to play in bringing modern society back into some kind of sustainable balance, functionality, social justice, and sanity.
Autistic people are best understood as the agents of a well functioning cultural immune system within human society.
Autists are essential to the future of homo sapiens.The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations
It is time to celebrate our interdependence! Collaboration allows us to create genuinely safe spaces.The Beauty of Collaboration at Human ScaleThe scope of trusted relationships is constrained by human cognitive limits (according to Robin Dunbar’s research, a human can maintain a maximum of 150 relationships at any point in time)… More: Timeless patterns of human limitations