If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so we are a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each human gift will find a fitting place.
(Margaret Mead, 1935).
Neuro-diversity - is a concept where neurological differences are to be recognized and respected just as any other human variation yet I believe many organisations still have a long way to go in terms of creating a more 'accessible' neuro-diverse workplace culture. Many of those who 'think differently', more particularly those who are 'labeled' with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Asperges and Dyscalculia are still struggling within the workplace and prejudice & misconceptions still abound.
These given 'labels' simply mean these individuals have 'different ways of thinking' and these labels should certainly not become or be considered as barriers to learning or career progression. Regrettably many individuals with these learning differences have received little appropriate support whilst in education, which could be said to be partly due to our lack of any real understanding of neuro-diversity until fairly recent times.
(These Learning Differences are also referred to as 'Specific Learning Difficulties' and these are classified as 'protected characteristics' under the Equality Act 2010).
In light of this lack of understanding in education in the past and in many workplaces in the present, it is most likely that many of these individuals are not currently able to work to their true potential, which could account for quite a considerable unseen cost for business.
These individuals generally have different processing styles and when they have effective coping strategies in place they often display some amazing strengths .... which remain for many, mostly untapped !! A vanguard of enlightened organisations are already realizing that some of their most innovative staff are those who historically have been perceived as 'under performers'.
A more positive, 'accessible' neuro-diverse workplace culture ....the pathway to more successful business?