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Neuro-diversity review

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Tom Loughlin

on 13 September 2013

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Transcript of Neuro-diversity review

The Adolescent and Adult
Neuro-Diversity Handbook

Term first used by Blume (1998)
Infinite complexity in ways of processing information (sorting, storing and accessing) and making sense of the world (responding to stimuli)
No one way can be considered superior: brain difference is crucial to the human race
"the one consistent thing...is their inconsistency...support needs to be tailor-made and individual"

Most conditions have no conclusive 'cause'
Variations in neural pathways means there is a broad spectrum of behaviour for each case
Difference & disability are a social construct
Conditions rarely exist in isolation - 'smudged lines'
Need to ask 'what else?'
Diagnosis re-defines personal identity - 'grieving period'
"Person has not changed...just a different instruction manual"
Most well known, least understood
No intrinsic meaning: umbrella term
Greek term - 'dys' (difficulty with) 'lexia' (words/language)
"spectrum of difficulties complex, wide-ranging, subtle and eludes easy definition"
Core character
Difficulty receiving, holding, storing and retrieving info, especially speech/writing
Hidden disability, may result in low self-esteem
Asymmetry of brain may affect visual-audio input/output, language processing and motor skills (each will have strengths/weaknesses)
High probability of co-morbidity
Behavioural symptoms of underlying processing differences
Emphasise positive aspects; holistic thought, visualization, seeing connections: the "gift of dyslexia" (Davis)
Chunk tasks, use visual overviews, explore 'why' as well as 'what'
"no single approach will ever work for all people with dyslexia"
Origin in Greek 'aut' (meaning self)
Complex condition encompassing different ways of personally/socially relating
Core character
Triad of issues: imagination, communication, social interaction (and environmental sensitivity)
Experienced differently by every individual
Positive reinforcement, recognize limited boundaries, direct instruction, maintain preferred routines
Unclear - combination of environmental and biological/neurological factors
Core character
Disinhibition - reaction without thought
Restless energy - difficulty with consistency
Spontaneous, impatient, multi-tasker but disorganised
Problems with daily life, could lead to self-medication
Help organization e.g. awareness of deadlines
Encourage rest
Be wary of getting too attached as this can be exhausting
Accept their condition as part of them
'Dys' (impaired) 'praxia (doing)
Often associated with ASD
Affects co-ordination, balance, processing and motor skills
Support similar to dyslexia strategy and techniques
Every condition refers to a multiplicity of symptoms and behaviours
There is no one way to support an individual with a neuro-diverse condition
The key thing is getting to know the student, identifying their specific needs and finding support strategies that work for them
"The path to simplicity is the most complex of all..."
Support the individual not the condition
Encourage movement from static diagnoses to personal feelings and needs e.g. From 'I have ADHD' to 'I struggle with distraction and impulsivity'
Over-reaction to stimuli - impediment to everyday life
Psychological initially emphasised, but underlying genetic/biological factors too
Core character
Umbrella term encompassing OCD, phobias, GAD, SAD
Can appear or disappear throughout lifetime
Affects 2-5% of population, panic disorder affects 0.7%
Can control life of individual, defining what is safe
Often associated with drug problems, used as coping strategy
Take concerns seriously and try to get to know the individual world view of the student
Talk about what the student wants to do if they become anxious e.g. do they want help/ quiet
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