In the workplace, people have different levels of knowledge and skills. Each member shares a valuable contribution to the success of a business or organization. Because each person is unique, the level of understanding and cognitive processing differs. Hence, neurodiversity plays a crucial role in a smooth-running workplace.
Neurodiversity awareness is crucial among organizations. About 1 in 7 people has a neurodiverse condition, so what does this statistical data mean to employers and colleagues? In this article, you’ll learn more about neurodiversity and the reasons to increase your awareness and concern about this topic.
Neurodiversity pertains to the various ways in which a person’s brain processes details. This term is used to describe people with different thinking conditions like the following:
This learning disorder involves difficulty in reading. People with dyslexia have a challenging time identifying speech sounds. They also have learning problems with how they decode words and letters.
Dyslexia is a type of reading disability affecting the brain area that processes language. People with this learning condition usually have normal vision and intelligence. Sometimes, a person with dyslexia isn’t diagnosed until adulthood. Some of the signs of dyslexia in adults include mispronouncing names and difficulty memorizing.
This developmental coordination disorder (DCD) affects coordination and movement. Dyspraxia doesn’t affect intelligence but can affect coordination skills like tasks requiring balance, learning to drive a vehicle, and playing sports.
The symptoms of dyspraxia in adults include abnormal posture, poor hand-eye coordination, difficulty writing, planning and organization problems, and fatigue. They also have movement and balance issues as well as trouble learning skills.
Dyscalculia refers to a learning disability, specifically in math concepts. People with dyscalculia usually struggle with concepts such as smaller versus bigger. They have difficulty resolving basic math problems and abstract math. Dyscalculia is thought to run in families and has something to do with brain development.
Autism pertains to a developmental disorder in which the individual has difficulty in communication and social interaction with repetitive or restrictive patterns of thoughts and behaviors.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
This neurodevelopmental disorder is commonly diagnosed in childhood that usually lasts into adulthood. People with ADHD have difficulty staying focused and their behavior is hard to control.
Why You Should Care About Neurodiversity
People should care about neurodiversity in the workplace because the law protects individuals who have a learning disability. They have equal rights like people who don’t have disabilities. Hence, they have the right to get employed and be part of society.
Here are the important reasons to care about neurodiversity in the workplace:
- Provide Proper Screening And Diagnostic Assessment
When you’re neurodiversity-aware, you can think of various ways to assess people in your organization who demonstrate the tendencies of having conditions. Because of this, you can provide proper assessment and cater to their specific needs.
- Ensure That Workplaces Are Assessed Properly
Any workplace should anticipate having employees who belong to neurodiversity. Hence, recommended adjustments like assistive technology should be available to cater to these employees.
- Provide Appropriate Training And Coaching
Companies should be ready to provide appropriate training and coaching to their employees who are exhibiting signs of neurodiversity. Employers and the management should be open to training and coaching employees with neurodiversity tendencies while collaborating with managers, supervisors, coaches, and HR professionals. In this way, businesses and organizations can create tailor-fit, practical solutions to enhance their skills.
- Create Programs
Neurodiversity awareness in the workplace can help the management create targeted programs to help employees with learning conditions. In this way, people who have learning disabilities can become valuable assets to the company, minimizing any liabilities. Sometimes, people who have this condition can be in denial for many years, needing a push from their employers to get proper assessment and treatment.
- Rule Out Problems
Neurodiversity can strengthen or break a team. It’s important to have increased neurodiversity awareness in the workplace to rule out the root causes of personal conflicts and work issues. Because learning difficulties may not be diagnosed early, the only time the condition can be ruled out is when something happens.
Further investigation and clinical assessment are important in managing neurodiversity in the workplace with the help of mental health professionals.
Neurodiversity in the workplace should be perceived as a normal part of day-to-day encounters. People who have dyslexia, autism, and other special needs can also be productive and considered assets to a company. Hence, employers and colleagues of people who belong to neurodiversity should have an open mind and treat them like anybody else.