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Neurodiversity in the workplace

Updated: Jan 18

The author Maria Nawrocka of the article:"Neurodiversity in the workplace".

Publication date: 06.12.2023





People’s brains work in totally different ways which can be defined with the word “neurodiversity”. In this article we will go step by step through this topic to understand the meaning of a neurodivergent brain. At the end, we suggest ways of supporting neurodiversity in the workplace. So, let’s kick it off!


Definition of neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is the concept that there is a natural combination in the functioning of the brain and the neurobiological basis of the human mind. Our differences are based on information we gained, our learning patterns, emotional responses, and other neurobiological aspects. It is an integral part of the human neuropsychological spectrum and reminds that everyone is special in their own way.

Thanks to neurodiversity we can provide unique perspectives, talents, and contributions to society. The tenets of neurodiversity aim to promote social and cultural acceptance of differences in brain function and to build a more inclusive and understanding society.


What does it mean to be neurodivergent?

Being aware of neurodiversity helps to notice differences. It’s important to not see them as obstacles but the things which help highlight hidden talents and unique perspectives. Diversity is a natural feature and it shouldn’t be considered as something strange or unacceptable.


Let’s talk about specific types of neurodiversity.

  • ADHD mainly refers to difficulties with concentration, impulsivity and excessive physical activity.

  • Autism can occur through difficulties in establishing and maintaining social interactions. It is shown as well by persistent and unique interests, difficulties in adapting to changes and unusual reactions to sensory stimuli.

  • Sensory Processing Sensitivity can be noticed as heightened senses, deeper response to sensory and emotional stimuli in your environment. Furthermore, sensitivity to social stimuli, other people's emotions and subtle nuances of the environment.

  • Anxiety disorders affect an individual's ability to cope with anxiety and stress.

  • Dyslexia is responsible for difficulties in reading, understanding and processing written language, despite an adequate level of intelligence.

How to create good environment in the workplace for neurodiverse people

 good environment in the workplace for neurodiverse people

As you already know, we can find neurodiversity as a strength but it’s a big struggle for neurodivergent people as well. There are some ways to help them feel comfortable and understood.


Communication

First of all you should remember about providing clear communication. Clear language is crucial to determine the task of a neurodiverse employee. They feel much better when a certain task is specified. To minimize confusion, is it good to set deadlines and use specific work patterns or routines which help to prioritize organizing time and tasks.


Safe environment

Another thing is to create a safe environment. Actually, it doesn’t matter if you are a boss, a colleague or recruiter. Being aware of neurodiversity helps you to reach people and make them feel accepted. It helps you to provide convenient conditions for the whole work team.


Foundation

Last but not least, a strong team is a perfect way to build a solid foundation. How can you do it? Make an effort to connect people in a conscious way. Try to notice similarities and differences at the same time. Be honest but see other people's perspective. Due to this, you can create trust and a friendly ambience.


Can Neurodiversity positively affect work conditions?


safe and supporting environment at work

In fact, small changes can be crucial to provide good conditions for a successful work. Being aware of the differences we all have, helps to maintain a safe and supporting environment at work.





 

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