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Educating a neurodiverse world | Brian Kinghorn | TEDxTeachersCollege

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If we are to create inclusive learning communities as teachers, it would benefit us to better understand  Neurodiversity. Brian Kinghorn, in an empassioned talk, presents a vision for a world that doesn't just tolerate neurodivergent people, but moves towards neuroharmony: a world where neurotypical and neurodivergent people co-exist together by recognizing each others strengths and abilities.  

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Let's first start working towards a world of neuroharmony, by getting the language right. Nick Walker's Neurodiversity: Some Basic Terms & Definitions provides insight and tips on how to correctly use the terms neurodiversity, neurotypical, and neurodivergent.  He also defines the  Neurodiversity Movement and the Neurodiversity Paradigm. It might be worth thinking about the two terms neurodiverse and neurodivergent. Which one might you prefer? 

John Elser Robinson provides a case for neurodiversity in his article "What is Neurodiversity?"

Steve Silberman is one of the leading experts on Neurodiversity. In response to the murder of a young autistic man, he wrote Autism Awareness is Not Enough: Here's how to Change the World in which he asked a number of leading figures in the Neurodiversity Movement to provide 5 ways society needs to change. It's powerful stuff.  

Teaching is challenging. The suggestions from Steve Silberman's blog post and the principles found in this short video on Universal Design can help teachers  find a starting point in their quest to create neurodivergent-friendly classrooms. 

 Are you looking for further reading and viewing on Autism and the concept of neurodiversity? This blog post provides you with many, many entry points: Further reading (and watching on autism). 


In her 2010 TED Talk, The world needs all kinds of minds,  the indomitable Temple Grandin provides educators with a few tips on helping neurodiverse students find their spark. Best of all, she attibuted much of her success to her high school science teacher.  

Taking the ideas of Temple Grandin and the suggestions in Steve Silberman's "Autism Awareness is Not Enough: Here's How to Change the World" what can you, as an educator do to help all students, no matter what their neurodivergence,  find their "spark"? 

Take it upon yourself to be an active advocate for the kinds of classrooms where neuroharmony is the norm, not the exception. 

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