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  • Writer's pictureSarah Alix

Considerations to a Neurodiversity Approach in Education

Considerations to a Neurodiversity Approach in Education – a taster of some points from my new book

• We could argue that everyone is neurodivergent in their own way as everyone has individual processing differences, as we all have unique fingerprints or shade of eye or hair colouring

• The education model is designed to accommodate the broadest category of differences, that of the neurotypical learner – which accommodates 60-85% of the population

• UK studies show that between 15-20% of the population are neurodivergent

• The education system currently is one of a medical model, there is a right way of functioning and processing (the majority/neurotypical) and anyone that deviates has something wrong with them – an impairment, deficit, disorder

• The medical model aspires towards normalisation, symptom reduction, elimination of conditions, omit unwanted behaviours

• Neurodiversity challenges this model, and that there is a ‘right’ way to function or process

• Slorach (2016) considers that the differences in neurocognitive functioning are a natural human variation, and should be recognised as this

• Difference is not a disability in itself, it is the way in which the social context and interactions are valued by a neurotypical society. Those who are neurodivergent do not conform to the ‘typical’ and can result in being discriminated against or become disadvantaged

By taking a neurodiversity approach to SEND, we are viewing a normal set of differences which should be respected, as all other differences are (gender, race etc) when we work with pupils in school. It is a way of being, who we are.


Ref: Slorach, R. (2016) A very capitalist condition: a history and politics of disability. London, Bookmarks Publications.


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