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Post by:

Nicole David

Created on:

November 4, 2021

How to become a Neurodivergent Advocate

A neurodivergent advocate is someone who celebrates neuro-cognitive diversity while in pursuit of equality, respect, and full societal inclusion for Neurodivergent people. Neurodiversity advocates recognize and celebrate the strengths and contributions of neurodiverse individuals to all of society!

We’ve crafted up some actions you can take to champion neurodiversity:

ACTIVE LISTENING:

One way to include neurodivergent people into everyday activities is by remaining patient and engaging in active listening. It is common for neurodivergent people to struggle with expressing thoughts and opinions, which is why this method is a great way to acknowledge and show compassion.

SMALL CHUNKS:

Neurodiverse individuals may take longer to process information or have non-conventional ways of thinking. It is helpful when Information is presented in small chunks to support them and reduce cognitive overload. By adapting to a neurodivergent thinking style, individuals can retain more information and maximize their abilities.

ACKNOWLEDGE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES:

Neurodivergent folks may thrive at creative pursuits or excel in recognizing patterns and details. They may come up with innovative ideas to tackle current issues or efficient strategies to overcome difficulties. When neurodivergent people are empowered with their strengths and supported for their individuality, they can thrive academically, in the workplace, and beyond.

How do I make spaces accessible to all neurodivergent people?

We’ve listed these top 3 strategies:

1. Accommodate sensory sensitivities. Neurodivergent folks may be sensitive to environmental conditions such as loud sounds. As an advocate, you could help by providing sensory accommodations. For example, noise-cancelling headphones can reduce loud noises and interruptions, helping neurodiverse individuals work more effectively.

Options include:
- Changed Seating
- Alternative Lighting
- Blue Light Filters
- Anti-Glare Filters for computer screens
- Soundproof Panels
- White Noise Machines
- Cubicle Doors and Shades
- Air Cleaners & Purifiers for multiple chemical sensitivity

2. Use education programs and learning tools. These tools allow all students/employees with different needs and requirements to feel more supported, which increases productivity and morale. For example, learning buddies can assist new students with challenging tasks, stress management, and adopting strategies for success.

Options include:
- Students and Employee Assistance Programs
- Inclusive onboarding
- Counselors
- Executive coaching
- Task flow charts
- Job coaches
- Support persons
- Supervisory Feedback

3. Just ask! Neurodivergent folks often struggle with asking for assistance and may feel stigmatized, so try to provide a safe place for them to reach out!

You can use the following phrase to invite people to events:
“Our events are inclusive and accessible to all, including those with disabilities. If you need accommodations or have accessibility questions, please contact (name, email, phone)."

Options include:
- Providing RSVP forms with checklists containing possible accommodations.
- Organizing individual feedback meetings to reduce anxiety associated with discussing special needs and accommodations.
- Offering alternative methods of communication such as writing or sign language to those with disabilities.
- Offering modified break schedules, flexible work hours, or remote work arrangements for employees who require greater flexibility to perform optimally.

The team at Social Cipher stands with the neurodiversity movement and seeks to uplift and empower neurodivergent individuals. Our game series, Ava promotes self-advocacy as she works her way through social challenges, self-doubt, and finds her community. Through our game series and companion application platform, we aim to empower neurodivergent youth and professionals to grow, play, and learn towards social emotional success and self advocacy.

Frame of reference
https://www.socialciphergame.com/post/importance-of-social-emotional-learning
https://www.neurodiversityhub.org/