"One specific aspect of human diversity is neurodiversity, or the diversity of ways in which humans think, learn and relate to others" (Source: National Autistic Society). Recognising that various neurological conditions are due to healthy human genome changes within education and employment is important (Source: Exceptional Individuals). The rainbow infinity image symbolises neurodiversity. The colours within the symbol represent the variation across the Autism spectrum, as well as the wider movement that is happening to raise awareness of neurodiversity.
"A neurodivergent person is defined as one whose neurological development and state are atypical, usually viewed as abnormal or extreme" (Source: Disabled World). People who might describe themselves as neurodivergent have Autism Spectrum Condition, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyspraxia, and Dyslexia, to name a few. If you describe yourself as neurodiverse, work can be challenging but there are various organisations offering support.
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There are lots of support resources available to you if you have a diagnosis of ASC:
- National Autistic Society provides advice and resources about mental health. Check out their youtube channel; information about the diagnosis process; and community forum.
- NHS-recommended support services, Autism charities, and local support groups
- Autistica has information about signs of Autism, co-occurring conditions alongside Autism, and a podcast about the latest research
- Resources, CBT worksheets and apps if you are feeling anxious
- London Autism Group Charity has a range of services they provide to neurodiverse people, their families and carers and organisations.
- What is Autism? is an interactive online resource about ASC and how people with ASC can experience different things; developed by someone with ASC.
- NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Autism Diagnostic Service has compiled information about autism assessments. It is targeted for people who think their child might have ASC, but it also has useful information about what to expect during an autism assessment.
- Join the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network for supportive resources, webinars, downloadable guides.
- The Girl with the Curly Hair is a social enterprise that has upcoming events, e-learning, and materials that helps people on the autistic spectrum.
- E-Learning for Healthcare has an Autism Awareness training programme that is free for NHS health and care organisations. The ~3 hour training includes information about the challenges that people with ASC can experience and ways to make services more accessible for people with ASC.
For those with a diagnosis of ADHD, take a look at the self-help resources below:
- Mind mental health resources for adults and young people with ADHD, including treatment and supportive organisations.
- NHS self-help tips for living with ADHD
- Adult ADHD support group based in Central London. For groups based elsewhere, visit UK Adult ADHD Network.
- Young Minds has information about ADHD, what to do if you think you might have ADHD, and options to help you.
- The Mental Health Foundation has information about symptoms of ADHD in adulthood, how to get a diagnosis, and ways to look after yourself.
- FutureLearn has a free online training course: Understanding ADHD - current research and practice
- AADD-UK is a supportive website for and by adults with ADHD.
- ADHD and You has information about living with ADHD, workplace tips, and support materials.
People with learning difficulties, such as dyspraxia and dyslexia, are more likely to experience anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
- Information about what dyspraxia is and how it can affect people can be found via the Foundation for people with Learning Disabilities.
- The Dyspraxia Foundation is currently operating an email-based helpline. Access this via their website.
- For information about anxiety, the Dyspraxia Foundation has tips in how to manage what you may be feeling at the moment.
- Join this forum for adults with dyspraxia.
- Movement Matters has a list of contact details for useful organisations.
- The British Dyslexia Association has information about anxiety, how you can support a child with a learning difficulty, and a list of helpful organisations. They also have a free, confidential helpline that offers impartial information and signposting. Call them on 0333 405 4567 (Tuesdays & Wednesdays 10am-1pm; Thursdays 1-3pm).
- GroOops offers counselling to support people with the emotional repercussions that can come with having dyslexia.
Other useful information
- Read a blog created by Hannah, a NHS nurse with Autism, or follow her on twitter.
- The Life Scientific with Professor Francesca Happé on autism (BBC Radio 4 podcast)
- Talking Autism: Parenting Your Unique Child (podcast)
- 1800 Second on Autism (BBC Sounds podcast)
- Read Oliver Sacks' Anthropologist on Mars that has seven paradoxical stories of patients adapting to neurological conditions.