Neurodiversity is a term used to define people whose brain sees and interacts with the world other than a "neurotypical" brain. But, it’s a broad concept. For example today’s world, everyone lands on the neurodivergent spectrum at some point. People who have cognitive or learning disabilities that don’t prevent them from being able to participate in society as equals are all examples of the neurodiverse community. People with autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, or any other form of neurological hardship aren’t “abnormal”—they just are. And everyone deserves to be accepted in society.
What does “neurodiversity” mean?
“Neurodiversity” is a concept used to describe the many different ways in which the brain and nervous system develop, how this development may or may not be affected by environmental factors, and how this may or may not affect a person’s capacity to learn and function. There are many different ways to define neurodiversity, but the most common definition is that it is the variety of brain and nervous system structure and function in the members of a species.
Neurodiversity affects each of us in our unique way and can even be genetic in origin. This variety of brain and nervous system structure and function can be a cause for celebration or concern; it can also be a source of inspiration.
Why is “neurodiversity” important?
One of the most important things we can do for the neurodiverse community is to provide access to high-quality, inclusive education. For decades new educational methods have been flooding school systems all centered around the idea of inclusivity in the classroom. What educators are learning more about each day, is no two students learn the same, through some level of neurodiversity or personal needs. But, every teacher is responsible for teaching each and every student in their classrooms. The more we understand about neurodiverse learners the better education we can provide for all students.
One of the most interesting elements is that neurotypical educational practices do not help neurodiverse students, but neurodiverse-focused education does benefit neurotypical students. So, why are we not focusing on neurodiverse learning strategies? The simple answer here is, it's expensive, or it's hard. The best way for a teacher to truly teach a classroom full of neurodiverse learners is to personalize instruction which takes more time and resources than most teachers have.
How do our books support neurodiverse readers?
Our books support the neurodiverse reader, as well as the need for inclusive education. We utilize specialized fonts that support students with various reading disabilities, guided reading questions to help distracted students, bold keywords to increase reading comprehension, and QR codes for additional video/audio resources to support students who need visual or audio support. We also always include post-reading activities and questions to encourage critical thinking while also making the reading process fun and engaging.