Refreshing our neurodiversity agenda this Neurodiversity Celebration Week

This week is Neurodiversity Celebration Week. The purpose of this week is to challenge stereotypes and transform how neurodivergent people are perceived and supported.

Here at vvast we are hard at work setting our neurodiversity strategy because we want to be doing as much as we can to support any current or prospective employees that are neurodivergent. We also want our team to be educated on neurodivergence because there is a lot of stigma and knowledge gaps for people in general around this topic and having knowledgeable and aware employees will help us on our journey of nurturing an inclusive working environment. Not only will it help our team internally but will help us optimise how we work with our brands and beyond!  

We already have a Neurodiversity policy in place for our employees and are able to help support our employees with making adjustments for neurodivergence, tailored to the individual because each person has a different experience and what is right for one person, may not be right for another, even if they have the same neurodivergence. We do also encourage people to disclose if they have a neurodivergence during our recruitment process and can make adjustments at the interview stage where needed.

Our new strategy will enable us to do more around the topic of neurodivergence and ensure that the topic of neurodiversity is truly a part of our diversity agenda. We’re looking into specific training at employee and managerial level, buddy systems, having a neurodiversity lead and integrating technology and tools, amongst other ideas. As part of the new strategy, we will be inviting neurodiverse colleagues to contribute and let us know what might and might not work.

In light of Neurodiversity Celebration Week’s purpose being to challenge stereotypes and help change how neurodivergent people are perceived and supported, we wanted to share some myths surrounding neurodivergence that were shared with us via Thrive Mental Health & Neurodiversity:

Neurodivergent people expect special treatment

Not true. But making adaptations for neurodivergent individuals is vital, so they have the same opportunities and chances to succeed as everyone else. Every neurodiversity comes with its own unique set of strengths and challenges. It doesn’t take a huge shift in thinking to work out how we can support these differences.

We are all on the autistic spectrum

Not true. If you look hard enough everyone might have traits that are recognisable as part of an autistic behaviour pattern. In fact, the number of people being diagnosed as autistic is increasing. But this doesn’t mean that everyone is actually autistic. It’s more likely to be a result of a much better understanding of neurodivergence.

People with ADHD can’t focus

Not true. In fact, most people with ADHD are prone to experiencing ‘hyperfocus’ – becoming utterly absorbed in a task and being able to shut out everything else in order to achieve that task. In fact people with ADHD often find it harder to control how to actually apply their focus.

Dyslexia is just poor spelling

Not true. Dyslexia actually involves difficulty with processing and remembering information, which in turn affects their literary skills. Like all neurodiversities, dyslexia can present in many different ways. For example, a poor working memory, expressing thoughts through writing rather than verbally, or being easily distracted.

ADHD isn’t a real medical condition

Not true. Again, there is a wealth of medical research to explode this myth. Research shows that ADHD is hereditary – 1 in 4 people with ADHD have a parent with ADHD. If you have personal experience with ADHD, you know how real it is and how big the impact can be on your everyday life.

For more information on Neurodiversity Celebration Week, you can check out their website here.