As science moves on, we are gaining more and improved ways of understanding the human brain and human behaviour. This information comes from the neurosciences and involves various forms of brain scanning, in addition to the contributions of biologists and chemists who are shedding light on the genetics and biochemistry of the human. Psychologists are at the level of interpreting this growing body of neurological, brain-related data but, nevertheless, are still constrained in their measurements by the tools available to them, which, for the greater part, remain merely pencil and paper measures. This does not mean that we cannot use the growing body of research literature to help us to improve, holistically, our understanding of the thinking processes and behaviour of those we see.
We are beginning to appreciate that the brain develops with many permutations that make for the range and uniqueness of human behaviour. This is now being understood, in terms of ‘neuro-diversity’. As we extend our understanding of the richness and broadness of human behaviour and thinking, so, as a society, we are being required to recognise, tolerate and integrate this diversity. Individuals who may have greater neuro-diversity in their profiles, need no longer see themselves as peripheral to the human population, but rather as part of its rich neurological diversity.
So, what are the consequences of this shift in both knowledge and perspective? We are now more skilled in describing a greater range of differences and how they may occur or manifest. For the reader of this and other reports written about individuals with greater neuro-diversity, the result is that there will appear many similarities and, of course, some differences. This is important to understand because we are beginning to move away from ‘labels’ such as Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder. The more we understand the underlying neurology, so we are seeing that there are many ‘shared’ manifestations or features, commonly referred to as co-occurring; difficulties, with core processing skills such as sequencing, organising and comprehension being prime examples. So, as a reflection of respecting and even celebrating neuro-diversity, rather than giving individuals a number of ‘labels’, which, to the less informed, then get reduced to stereotypic expectations such as ‘you can’t read’, or ‘you won’t sit still’, we are beginning to describe the individual in terms of their unique presentation of strengths and vulnerabilities.
However, in terms of the individual, how their profile manifests, will be unique to them. There will be specific ways in which their neuro-diversity may manifest, and how it shows; memory vulnerabilities may affect comprehension, so may sequencing difficulties which can also affect reading, organisation, decision making and maths and so on. So, whilst there may be overlapping features of diversity, it behoves us to understand how the individual’s unique neuro-diversity manifests and then to modify and bespoke the input we offer to address their needs.
Quite how an organisation delivers to the needs of an individual depend upon the resources available, the timetable/scheduales, demands, as well as the individual in receipt of this input. At LEARNING INSIGHTS, as a result of our extensive skills in assessment and evaluation of learning needs and ability profiles, as well as an in-depth understanding of the demands of the learning and working world, we are well placed to offer guidance and insight to individuals as well as organisations, be they schools, other learning settings or commercial and business sectors.
If you would like to understand more about your own profile or how to support others with neuro-diverse profiles, please CONTACT US at LEARNING INSIGHTS