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    Why We Need To Include Neurodiversity In The Diversity Conversation

    I was recently at a workshop about the importance of diversity in the workplace. While I value and appreciate how far we’ve come in many areas of diversity, and the conversation on the work that’s still needed, there was a glaring absence in this discussion – neurodiversity. When I brought it up, a panelist admitted she hadn’t thought about this important group of current and potential employees. I’m sure she wasn’t the only one.

    This is why we need to include neurodiversity in the diversity conversation. Approximately 15 to 20% of the world’s population exhibits some form of neurodivergence. This includes individuals with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, mental health conditions, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, Tourette syndrome and more.

    Untapped skills
    As a mom and sister of two autistic individuals, I know learnpatientadvocacy.com/blog/2021/6/9/its-time-to-embrace-t... they could bring to a potential employer – as well as the intense barriers they face.

    My brother is in his mid-40s and has never had a paying job. He’s bright, friendly, detail oriented, loves repetition, rules and processes. He would get joy out of filling shelves, greeting customers at a large store, or packaging orders in warehouse.

    Yet he remains unemployed as he doesn’t present well in an interview (avoids eye contact, tends to focus on his interests and asks way more questions than he answers). A traditional interview would in no way bring out his best. But give him a job with clear instructions and a solid routine, and he’ll show up excited every day.

    The stats prove autistic adults are an untapped labour force. A 2017 study by the Public Health Agency of Canada found that only 33% of autistic adults are employed vs 79% of adults without a disability.

    Diversity = safe spaces
    Now what about the individuals with anxiety, ADHD, mental health conditions or dyslexia where their neurodiversity is less apparent? Due to biases, many do not disclosure their diversity in the interview process or even when they’ve been working at a job for a number of years.

    When was the last time you heard of neurodiversity in the diversity training given by human resources? We have gender neutral and wheelchair accessible bathrooms, celebrate Pride Day, embrace a variety of cultures and religions, yet leave neurodiversity out of the diversity conversation.

    So, how do we change this?

    It starts by looking at how workplaces first started conversations about LGBTQ2+, race, religion, gender, ethnicity and other diversities. This can include biases training, rethinking the interview process and learning from organizations who’ve already walked this path. It means hiring neurodiverse employees and giving them the supports and accommodations needed to be successful vs token hires.

    It’s about including neurodiversity in the diversity conversation at elementary, high school and post-secondary education institutions – at both the student and staff levels. It involves having honest conversations about how diverse your organization truly is and what needs to be done to ensure there’s a safe and supportive space for everyone.

    Finally, it’s about erasing the stigma and realizing a diverse and inclusive workplace isn’t just politically correct, but will actually strengthen the organization and create positive outcomes.

    New path forward
    learnpatientadvocacy.com/books/how-to-make-patient-and-famil... I spend a lot of time talking about the gifts my brother, son and other amazing individuals bring to table. I’ve also seen movement to fully embrace these gifts hit artificial roadblocks in the education system and in workplaces.

    Here’s my hope. I want everyone to be valued and their unique strengths and gifts recognized. I want neurodiversity to have the same space, recognition and importance in the diversity conversation as we given to other marginalized groups.

    I don’t want to attend a workshop on diversity and have people say they hadn’t thought about neurodiversity. Rather, I want them to share the incredible work being done by individuals who are autistic, have ADHD, dyslexia or mental health conditions. I want them to recognize and celebrate how a diverse workplace benefits everyone and improves the bottom line.

    And most importantly, I want my son to be one of the 79% of Canadians who are employed, vs being held back due to old biases, false assumptions and outdated beliefs.

    It’s time to include neurodiversity in the diversity conversation. Without this shift, the diversity conversation runs the risk of being a token conversation.



    I suffer with Polyfragmented DID, Dyslexia, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression and tics, my family doesn't exept me for anything I am either being a part of the LGBTQ+ or having diagnosis's for everything that I suffer with I have bad suicidal thoughts and self harm my eating disorder is starting to get ahead of me and i no longer know what to do with my life #ADHD #DissociativeIdentityDisorder #EatingDisorders #Anxiety #deepression #Dyslexia #tics


    Dyslexia and Workplace

    I was diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia at the age of 20. It was when I started my first job back in August 2022 in a law office that I realized how my dyslexia would get in the way of my work. This week I was fired from my job, and one of the reasons I was fired was because I couldn't spell. Their reasoning was that I didn't have the skills necessary to be a receptionist, which required spelling. Listening to my supervisor's reasoning for firing me made me doubt my abilities and made me feel self-conscious about my diagnosis. This news overall has made me feel like a failure and worthless because I can't control my ADHD and Dyslexia. #youarenotalone If you are an employer, please treat your employees with kindness instead of judgment because you don't know what they might be going through. #ADHD #Dyslexia


    I’m new here!

    Hi, my name is TinaBina. I'm undiagnosed and 99.99%sure ADHD is my problem. no insurance now.

    #MightyTogether #Anxiety #Depression #ADHD #PTSD #Grief #complexpost-traumaticStressDisorder #Dyslexia


    I’m new here!

    Hi, my name is birdyrose. I'm here because i’m looking for some support and a place where i can relate and be related.

    #MightyTogether #Anxiety #ADHD #crohn'sDisease #Dyslexia

    See full photo

    Medical assistants and optometrist aren't ophthalmologists

    Look at the picture.
    The difference: my spelling mistakes disappeared once I started mirror-writing
    90% of my spelling mistakes go away when I do mirror-writing
    I've mixed up letters as far back as elementary school
    I remember there were a few times when I had to reread novels three times before I fully understood the plot
    The "severity" of dyslexia is a spectrum. Some people mix up letters every once in a while and others struggle with it multiple times a day.
    Someone (who doesn't have a medical degree) told me that you can mix up letters and not have dyslexia. This was the same person who realized I couldn't tell the difference between the word regime and reign.
    The people who wrote the "scientific" paper saying that you can mix up letters and not have dyslexia aren't ophthalmologists.
    One of the biggest flaws in scientific studies (the ones that have later than been debunked) is having a small and biased sample size and mixing up correlation and causation. (A good example is the replication of the "marshmallow test.")
    Dr. Sheryl M Handler and Dr. Walter M Fierson (alongside the American Academy of Pediatrics) have debunked the idea that vision therapy can cure someone from mixing up letters.
    Vision therapy "curing" learning disabilities is essentially a placebo effect that didn't work for me (as I still make spelling mistakes when I don't mirror-write)
    Brain studies are valid and factual, testimonials are a matter of opinion.
    While I don't believe in self diagnosing yourself with cancer or twitching on camera to get TikTok views, there are times when starting a conversation about symptoms should be taken seriously
    #DisabilityPrideMonth #disabilityawareness #mirrorwriting #Dyslexia #dyslexic #dyslexiaawareness


    Too much pain to bare

    Ok so I have had quite a bad thew years my mental health has tuck such a swan dive over the past thew years I have always had depression and anxiety and suffered from self harm as well as being dyslexic,since being about 8 years old when I was 16 I thew my back out and ended up with sciatica hought nothing of it till I got older and it got progressively worse I now have chronic sciatica as well as arthritis starting and I suffer with acute migrains trigger by most things my point is most days its a hard task to force myself out of bed but I do to work work is the one thing in my life I can control if that makes sense I just dread the day I can no longer work, the pain has got so bad lately im finding it hard to deal im trying to find some thing that keeps me going but that is coming hard to find ,and now im waiting to be tested for autism and the stress from just waiting for that is hard to bare some times im scared senseless, im 36 and a reck my life some days feels like it is so out of control I just don't know how to keep going there I said it I hold on to so much and don't say anything I feel this anger boiling up inside and don't know how to release it so I do the only t h ing I know how push it so far down that it has a ripple effect on my life and well being #Dyslexia #Selfharm #Depression #anxiaty #AcuteStressDisorder

    See full photo

    What activity gives you the perfect balance of sensory stimulation?

    When it comes to being neurodivergent, being overstimulated and understimulated are everyday experiences.

    What’s an activity where you feel balanced and comfortable?

    Mighty staffer Brittany told me, "When I’m driving, I get that PERFECT level of stimulation between sights, sounds, smells, and thinking. Even on an easy drive. Same with when I’m drawing. It’s the only time my brain genuinely feels 10000% at peace."

    What about you?

    #Autism #Neurodiversity #CheckInWithMe #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #ADHD #Parenting #Dyslexia #LearningDisabilities