Neurodiversity and Self-knowledge

The forthcoming GOAL “academic and career guidance content” (ACGC) breaks down “Self-knowledge” into three aspects: Personal, Social and Educational. Dr. Thomas Armstrong provided much food for thought for helping students develop their self-knowledge in his presentation during the recent LEECQ conference: “Embracing Diversity, Supporting Equity.”

LCEEQ-articleDr. Armstrong’s defines neurodiversity as: “An idea which asserts that atypical (neurodivergent) neurological development is a normal human difference that is to be recognized and respected as any other human variation” (emphasis added). Understanding neurodiversity might help teachers assist students with their self discovery along the ACGC continuum.

Since diversity was the theme of this year’s conference, Dr. Armstrong discussed five types of diversities: autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities (dyslexia), ADD/ADHD, intellectual disabilities, and emotional and behavioural disorders. He made an interesting point at the beginning of his presentation: “disorders” are culturally defined. A skill in one context is not necessarily a skill in a different context.

By embracing diversity rather than “disorder,”
teachers have more tools to help students.

Neurodiversity6.inddBy embracing diversity rather than “disorder,” teachers have more tools to help students discover which contexts would best suit their particular skill sets. He then talked about the various strengths of students with autism, dyslexia, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, and emotional and behavioural disorders. People with dyslexia, for example, are often 3-D thinkers, and therefore might become great architects.

Dr. Armstrong presented a “neurodiversity strengths checklist” from his book, Neurodiversity in the Classroom (2012), which could help expand the students’ self-knowledge and ultimately help clarify their academic and career path.

To learn more about Dr. Armstrong’s presentation or the recent conference, click here to visit the LCEEQ website.

Submitted by Michilynn Dubeau, Ph.D., Dubeau Conseil and LEARN


LCEEQ Annual Conference 2017

Mark your calendars now for the 2017 LCEEQ annual conference on diversity and technology, scheduled for February 13-14, 2017. Visit the LCEEQ website.

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