At St.Paul's we like to celebrate the strengths and talents of people who are autistic and people with learning difficulties. Sadly, these students are often teased or treated differently for their difference. We like to remind everyone of the importance of being kind, tolerant and accepting of everyone, especially classmates. Also, we like to recognise their determination; struggling at school can be very frustrating and discouraging, because SEN children often work really, really hard to compensate for their challenges.
What is Neurodiversity?
Everybody thinks, learns and processes information differently. Everyone has a differently-wired brain and their own unique way of thinking and experiencing the world.
We don't all learn the same way, differences in the way our brains are wired means that you may struggle to do things that others find easy. However, you may also find things easy that other people struggle with.
The different ways of thinking, learning, interacting and perceiving the world have been given the labels: ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Tourette Syndrome.
About 4% of the population have ADHD.
It affects the ability to focus and can cause inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
People with ADHD can be some of the most creative members on a team, bringing energy and new approaches to their projects.
About 2% of the population is autistic.
It affects how a person perceives the world and interacts and socialises with others, making it difficult for them to pick up social cues and interpret them.
Autistic people are very sensitive to lights, noise, touch and smells, which can sometimes cause them distress.
People on the autistic spectrum are highly logical and good at absorbing and remembering facts, attention to detail and recognising patterns.
About 10% of the population are dyslexic.
Dyslexia is a language processing difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling.
It can cause difficulties with processing information quickly, organisation, sequencing, spoken language and motor skills.
Dyslexic people can be very good at creative thinking, problem solving and verbal communication.
About 35% of business owners are dyslexic.
About 6% of the population are dyspraxic.
Dyspraxia affects your physical co-ordination.
Dyspraxic individuals are seen as extremely clumsy because they often trip, accidentally bump into people and things, and drop things.
Dyspraxia can affect your fine motor skill, such as your handwriting, ability to tie your shoes and doing up buttons.
It can also affect your gross motor skills such as being able to catch and kick a ball, run and ride a bicycle.
It can also affect the ability to organise yourself.
Dyspraxic people are creative, determined and really goo at developing their own strategies to overcome difficulties.
About 1% of the population have Tourette Syndrome.
Tourette Syndrome causes sudden, uncontrolled repetitive muscle movements and sounds called 'tics'.
Stressful situations can make the tics more frequent, longer and more severe.
People with TS are faster at assembling sounds into words and are often high-achieving, creative and empathetic.