17 Mar Shining a light on neurodiverse talents
Celebrating our differences is always important and this month Neurodiversity Celebration Week shines a spotlight on this.
Created to change the narrative around neurodiversity, the celebration week (21-27 March) aims to look at the strengths and talents that conditions such as ADHD, autism, dyspraxia and dyslexia bring, rather than the challenges.
Young people, in particular, can suffer from bullying or face challenges in schools, workplaces and social situations when they are neurodiverse.
And so much of this is down to misconceptions and a lack of support to help them thrive and feel confident. Neurodiversity Celebration Week aims to changes this.
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”
Helping neurodiverse talents shine
By understanding how to support neurodiverse young people, schools and other organisations can help them to reach their full potential. There are so many excellent role models for neurodiverse youngsters, who may be feeling lost and alienated. These include Greta Thunberg and Billie Eilish.
For some people it may feel like they are alone in struggling but this is certainly not the case. Figures show that 4% of the population have ADHD and 2% have autism, while 6% have dyspraxia. As much as 10% of the population is dyslexic, yet 35% of entrepreneurs have the condition – showing in itself what can be achieved.
Let’s help neurodiverse young people to see that the logical strengths of autism are a superpower and that the creativity associated with dyslexia makes them a powerful problem solver, or that ADHD fuels passion and energy to get things done.
“A great mind is just a great mind, try not to worry too much about what package it’s in.”
Lead a confident life
Supporting young people in discovering their strengths will allow them to be confident in life.
Being different is a good thing and learning how to channel the strengths and talents of our neurodiverse young people will help to make their worlds – and ours – a better place.
“People with ADHD often have a special feel for life, a way of seeing right into the heart of matters, while others have to reason their way methodically.”
Dr. Edward M. Hallowell
International Day of Happiness, 20 March
Being happy is a key indicator of good mental health and wellbeing. This year’s International Day of Happiness is focusing on the impact of covid with the message to ‘build back happier’. The day acknowledges that people struggle to cope in times of uncertainty, offering tips on improving self-esteem and taking steps to make yourself happier, including seeking support, eating healthily and getting adequate sleep and exercise.
Anyone struggling with their self-esteem may want to consider stimulating their vagus nerve, which could play a role in elevating mood and reducing anxiety. This huge nerve travels around the body supporting various functions and its efficiency can be supported by you. To give your vagus nerve – and self-esteem – a bit of a boost try a blast under a cold shower, 10 minutes of meditation, having a good laugh and reflexology. You might be surprised by the results.
Self-care is integral to happiness and feeling good, so use the International Day of Happiness to switch up your routine.
Choose the life you want to lead
Discovering your strengths and the fuel that motivates you to be more, and achieve more, will ultimately lead you on the path to happiness.
Instead of trying to fit into someone else’s ideal of how to think or act, find happiness within yourself then you can support your inner confidence, which will ultimately enable you to get where you want to be.
Always be true to yourself, your confidence will shine outwards. Never compromise on the life you lead by pretending to be someone or something that you are not. Life is full of character and colour – embrace being a part of that.
We would love to hear how you have embraced your neurodiversity to achieve something special to you, or to overcome adversity. Share your story, or support others at:
Be the person you were meant to be and shine bright, not the person someone else thinks you should be.