As mentioned in a recent blog post written by staff member Emma Nadin, having a neurological condition can help you to stand out and bring new ideas to the table:
“It has been recognised by some that people with a neurodivergent profile can be seen to have a competitive advantage. The ability to think outside the box when dealing with difficult or challenging situations has been one reason why large blue-sky companies are renowned for employing staff with a neurodivergent profile.”
Below we briefly cover some of the most common neurological conditions. You can also watch videos from neurodivergent staff and students talking about their experiences here.
ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)
ADHD is a disorder that can impact your emotional response, focus, and impulsiveness. Most people will be diagnosed in childhood, however, some can find out in their teens or even later on in their adult life. Although people with the condition may find it harder to concentrate, be organised and manage their emotions, they also possess many strengths. This includes having lots of energy, being creative, and persistent.
Despite affecting roughly 1% of the population, every person will experience their condition differently. It’s a lifelong condition that is sometimes associated with sensory issues or mental health conditions. For example, individuals with autism may be over- or under-sensitive to sound, light or touch. Some may find it harder to communicate with others or feel anxious about unfamiliar situations and changes to their routine. However, autistic people can be incredibly intelligent, reliable, and offer a new way of thinking – a quality many workplaces value in an employee.
A condition that makes reading more difficult, Dyslexia is very common. Although it is a lifelong condition, individuals can improve their skills over time. Specifically, dyslexic individuals will have issues with spelling, writing, recognising common words and sounding out written words. Assistive technology tools such as audiobooks can prove beneficial when studying or working. Furthermore, people are who dyslexic have been found to be more creative and have strong social skills.
Otherwise known as Development Coordination Disorder, dyspraxia is a motor skills condition that can affect an individual’s movement, balance, and coordination, and sometimes cognitive skills too. It varies from person to person; one individual may struggle to write (an example of fine motor skills), whilst another may have difficulty riding a bike (a gross motor skill).
Many successful people have neurological conditions: iconic figures such as John Lennon and Albert Einstein were dyslexic, Simone Biles has ADHD, Cara Delevingne has openly talked about her experience with dyspraxia, and Satoshi Tajiri – who is autistic – has achieved impressive accomplishments.
The support available for students
If you have any of the conditions listed above or specific learning differences or disabilities which may affect your ability to study, you can contact the Disability Support Team for help and guidance.
The emphasis of the support they provide is working with students to develop practical support and strategies to enable them to deal with the obstacles they may encounter during their academic journey.