Resources for Kids with Disabilities
As many as one in five people around the world are neurodivergent, but many of those cases are undiagnosed. Diagnosed autism, for example, is less common than undiagnosed autism.
If you have neurodivergent kids, or you suspect that they might be, it can be unclear how best to support them. Not all neurodivergent kids need additional help from their parents, but many do.
In this handy guide, you’ll learn how to equip yourself with a better understanding of neurodivergence. We’ll outline what neurodiversity means, and identify the best online learning platforms that you can use to support your child.
What is Neurodivergence?
Neurodivergence is the general term for people whose brains operate differently from the norm. It’s used today to avoid repeating old habits of identifying people as normal or abnormal. Given that 20% of people have it, it’s hardly abnormal.
Neurodiversity exists on a wide spectrum and while no two children are the same, there are common traits that are shared. Being neurodivergent can make a person stronger in certain areas, but experience difficulties with other parts of their life.
The possible strengths a neurodivergent person may possess include the ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances, absorb information quicker and fight harder for social justice. They may also have better imaginations and higher intelligence than neurotypical people.
Neurodivergent kids may have strong intuition skills and be able to make more accurate predictions based on an immense ability to identify patterns. However, they may have difficulty with task and time management and social skills.
Types of neurodiversity include but aren’t limited to, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, dyspraxia, dyscalculia and dyslexia.
How to Spot Neurodiversity in Children
It can be immensely difficult to identify neurodivergence in children because the spectrum of development is already so wide. Much harder than identifying what an adult might be, it can sometimes be impossible to spot ADHD or autism in kids.
However, there are signs that you can keep an eye out for. These signs don’t necessarily confirm neurodiversity, but they indicate that some level of it may be present. Anxiety in children is a potential sign of neurodivergence. Poor mental health may suggest bullying at school resulting from differences. If your child is overly sensitive to sounds, textures or lighting, it could point to neurodiversity.
Online Learning Platforms to Further Your Learning
If you think your child might have ADHD, autism or one of the other forms of neurodiversity, you’ll understandably want to learn more about what it is, how it affects people and the methods you can try to limit the negative consequences.
There is a range of online learning platforms designed to support parents in the pursuit of more knowledge on the topic. They’ll put you in the best position to support your kid.
The Neurodiversity Initiative
The Neurodiversity Initiative was created when its founder saw first-hand the many obstacles that neurodivergent people encounter. The company was founded to help people remove those blocks by providing educational tools.
Although also working closely with businesses, this organization provides training to individuals including parents. The Neurodiversity Initiative’s Awareness and Inclusion program is a great starting place for parents on their learning journey.
It covers sensory processing, communication challenges and strengths. In this course, you’ll find information and practical tips. The class is just $35, making it an affordable option for parents of children with ADHD or autism.
For parents looking to learn more about neurodiversity without attached costs, Neurodiversity Network is a great option to consider. This platform provides lots of information, including terms and definitions, and also includes a playlist of useful videos to further your learning.
Here you’ll also find links to additional resources that can develop your understanding of neurodivergence even further.
University of Colorado
US universities are at the forefront of neurodiversity research, making them reliable sources of information. Professors at the University of Colorado have been studying how autistic children and those with ADHD see the world differently and identifying tools for managing their unique challenges.
Their free Managing ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities and Concussion in School course gets 4.8 stars out of 5 from over 1,000 students - making it one of the most well-liked study programs on the internet.
This class is focused exclusively on school children, meaning that information is tailored to that demographic. This makes it a great tool for parents looking to support their kids.
Therapist Neurodiversity Collective
Therapist Neurodiversity Collective is a unique online learning platform because it provides easy-to-digest PDFs that can be downloaded and read offline.
This website also offers links to useful videos and podcasts. By delving into the literature available here, you’ll ensure that you’re well-read on the topic of neurodivergence and able to support your child.