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Autism, ADHD and Neurodevelopment

Where to get support if you are concerned about your child's neurodevelopment.

Neuro (nerves) developmental (how the nerve pathways carrying messages to and from the brain are created) involve the brain’s influence on how your body functions. Everyone’s brain works in different ways but Neurodevelopmental challenges and or/difficulties, such as Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), mean that the way you see, hear or feel the world is different to others. Some experiences may include social, communication, concentration and memory difficulties.

What is a neurodevelopmental disorder or condition?

Find below a brief explanation of the different definitions for common terms related to neurodevelopmental disorders:
Neurodiversity describes the different thinking styles that affect how people communicate with the world around them. It is an umbrella term which can be used to describe a range of neurological differences. Neurodiversity is a characteristic of the whole population, not a specific individual.
A neurodivergent individual is someone whose brain functions in selective areas such as learning, attention, emotions, impulses, sensory processing, and social behaviours, falls outside what is perceived as normal. For each individual, these differences can provide strengths, challenges, both, or neither. They do not necessarily have a neurodevelopmental disorder.
Neurodevelopmental disorder or neurodevelopmental condition
NDD is a term used for individuals whose brain functioning in selective areas such as learning, attention, emotions, impulses, sensory processing, and social behaviours, are at an extreme for their age, which significantly impacts their ability to perform tasks and activities in their daily lives.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
ASD and ADHD are both diagnoses within the broader category of neurodevelopmental disorders. For a diagnosis of either ASD and/or ADHD, it requires the child or young person to have pervasive difficulties in multiple areas which impacts their daily lives. If your child or young person has needs within one or two or these areas, it may be that an ASD and/or ADHD assessment is not appropriate. Similarly, many difficulties associated with ASD and/or ADHD, can be due to other causes.

Top Tips to support neurodivergent students

Our SEND Young Persons Network have produced a poster with some top tips to support neurodivergent students. Download the original poster as a pdf here

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Top tips for supporting neurodivergent students poster