⛺️🔥 Cavendish Space: Caves, Campfires, and Watering Holes for Dandelions, Tulips, and Orchids

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Man sitting in the mouth of a cave with open sky and mountain showing beyond the cave
Home » 🌳 Space 🚀 » ⛺️🔥 Cavendish Space: Caves, Campfires, and Watering Holes for Dandelions, Tulips, and Orchids

Cavendish Space: psychologically & sensory safe spaces suited to zone work, intermittent collaboration, and collaborative niche construction.

We provide Cavendish space of peer respite and collaborative niche construction where our learners can find relief from an intense world designed against us.

niche construction may be every bit as important for survival as natural selection 

Reimagining Inclusion with Positive Niche Construction
photo of man sitting on a cave

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.

woman with purple flower on ear

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 autistic children and adults.

Niche Construction

Positive niche construction is a strengths-based approach to educating students with disabilities.

persons hands with rainbow colors

Cognitive Diversity Exists for a Reason

Human cognitive diversity exists for a reason; our differences are the genius – and the conscience – of our species.

Social Buffering and Collaborative Morality

Collaborative morality opens up opportunities to be respected and appreciated through the emergence 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 neurodiversity.

⛺️🔥 Caves, Campfires, and Watering Holes

Since reading NeuroTribes, we think of psychologically & sensory safe spaces suited to zone work as “Cavendish bubbles” and “Cavendish space”, after Henry Cavendish, the wizard of Clapham Common and discoverer of hydrogen. The privileges 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.”

Let’s build psychologically safe homes of opportunity without the requirement of nobility or privilege. Replace the trappings of the compliance classroom with student-created context, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and BYOC (Bring/Build Your Own Comfort). Let’s hit thrift stores, buy lumber, apply some hacker ethos, and turn the compliance classroom into something psychologically safe and comfortable to a team of young minds engaged in passion-based learning. Inform spaces with neurodiversity and the social model of disability so that they welcome and include all minds and bodies. Provide quiet spaces for high memory state zone work where students can escape sensory overwhelm, slip into flow states, and enjoy a maker’s schedule. Provide social spaces for collaboration and camaraderie. Create cave, campfire, and watering hole zones. Develop neurological curb cuts. Fill our classrooms with choice and comfort, instructional tolerance, continuous connectivity, and assistive technology. In other words, make space for Cavendish. Make spaces for both collaboration and deep work.

 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 community 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.

bonfire

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 alone 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
Man sitting in the mouth of a cave with open sky and mountain showing beyond the cave
elephant-herd-of-elephants-african-bush-elephant-africa-59989.jpeg

The watering hole is an informal space where peers can share information and discoveries, acting as both learner and teacher simultaneously. This shared space can serve as an incubator for ideas and can promote a sense of shared culture. It is an informal area, where students can share in collaborative learning experiences.

“Some autistic people’s needs will conflict with each other. For example, some autistic people may need the TV playing 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 stims), 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

🌷 Dandelions, Tulips, and Orchids

pink and white 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 adults

Autistic sensory experiences, in our own words
woman with purple flower on ear

🏗 Niche Construction

a girl in a pink dress sitting on a wheelchair holding a magic wand

…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 selection 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 web, 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.” 

Reimagining Inclusion with Positive Niche Construction
spider web
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
a beaver in the wild
Photo by Scott Younkin on Pexels.com

Seven components of positive niche construction in the classroom:

  • Assessment of students’ strengths
  • The use of assistive technology and Universal Design for Learning
  • 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

Niche Construction
  • Organisms are not passive.
  • The environment is a product of organisms.
  • Interactions are reciprocal.
  • Ecology, development, & evolution are interdependent.

🌈 Cognitive Diversity Exists for a Reason

persons hands with rainbow colors

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 Style (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
adhd text

It doesn’t take long to figure out when observing the natural world that biodiversity creates pathways for organisms to not just survive, but also to thrive within ecosystems.

Timeless Learning: How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change Schools

If neurodivergence 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 purpose 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 profile may well emerge as the definitive expression of neurominority, within which there are symptom clusters that we currently call autism, ADHD, dyslexia and DCD.

Neurodiversity at work: a biopsychosocial model and the impact on working adults | British Medical Bulletin | Oxford Academic
green cactuses on yellow wall background

There 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 biopsychosocial model and the impact on working adults

🤲 Social Buffering and 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 collaborative morality that led to the possibility for widening the diversity of the human personality.”

Autism and human evolutionary success

Here we argue that social buffering of vulnerabilities through the emergence of collaborative morality will have opened new niches for adaptive cognitive strategies and widened personality variation. Such strategies include those that that do not depend on astute social perception or abilities to think recursively about others’ thoughts and feelings. We particularly consider how a perceptual style based on logic and detail, bringing certain enhanced technical and social abilities which compensate for deficits in complex social understanding could be advantageous at low levels in certain ecological and cultural contexts. ‘Traits of autism’ may have promoted innovation in archaeological material culture during the late Palaeolithic in the context of the mutual interdependence of different social strategies, which in turn contributed to the rise of innovation and large scale social networks.

Extensive evidence for support for individuals with disabilities in the distant archaeological record (Hublin 2009; Spikins, Rutherford, and Needham 2010; Spikins 2015a; Tilley 2015) argues that selection pressures within human societies were not simply orientated around immediate responses or short-term social value, and that social buffering of vulnerabilities was common.

Whilst we generalise evolutionary pressures as proceeding towards greater cogitation of other’s thoughts and feelings and increasingly complex intuitive models of other minds, the reality is likely to have been more complex. We argue that social buffering of vulnerabilities in increasingly complex human societies may have encouraged a range of different strategies to pro-sociality that go beyond increasingly recursive theory of mind, and lead to a wider range of pro-social human personalities.

Rather than social astuteness, signals of pro-social motivations and behaviours that positively affect the group thus become a major factor in reputation and selective success (Tomasello et al. 2012; Silk and House 2016). Third, the food sharing, collaborative parenting and maintenance of egalitarian dynamics which form the basis of human evolutionary success (Whiten and Erdal 2012) buffer individual shortfalls not only in resources (the basis for economic success) but also in abilities.

We argue that as a transition to collaborative morality(Tomasello and Vaish 2013b) occurred within human groups, new opportunities arose for alternative strategies to sociality, including those which do not depend on complex social understanding and theory of mind.

Are there alternative adaptive strategies to human pro-sociality? The role of collaborative morality in the emergence of personality variation and autistic traits

Collaborative morality opens up opportunities to be respected and appreciated through the emergence of distinct abilities, virtues or spheres of elevated influence and respect even when these are associated with deficits.

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 notion of disability in our society is underscored by a bizarre conception of “independence”.
It is time to celebrate our interdependence!

THE MYTH OF INDEPENDENCE: HOW THE SOCIAL MODEL OF DISABILITY EXPOSES SOCIETY’S DOUBLE STANDARDS » NEUROCLASTIC
man and woman holding each other s hands as a team

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

Magic happens when you combine collaboration and neurodiversity.

Celebration of interdependence | Autistic Collaboration

Autism is a crucially, vitally, urgently needed human variation—a powerful corrective and counterbalance to the hierarchical, 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 neurotypical 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
close up view of needle of a vaccine
Why haven’t we built anything for them yet?
Build a structure that will enable autistic people and their families to live happier, healthier, more engaged, more productive, more creative, successful lives.

NeuroTribes and the Real History of Autism
2016 Neurodiversity High Tech Conference

It is time to celebrate our interdependence! Collaboration allows us to create genuinely safe spaces.

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 for autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people. We should expect society to support us in establishing new forms of creative collaboration, and we should not be forced individually to be “included” in toxic exploitative environments.

The Beauty of Collaboration at Human Scale: Timeless patterns of human limitations

⏭ Continue on Page 5

The story concludes on page 5, “✌️ We Believe”.

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