Celebrating neurodiverse superpowers

Happy Neurodiversity Celebration Week!

It’s appropriate that, during Neurodiversity Celebration Week, Year 2 Green is learning all about brains and how they work.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week is a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences. It aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported, while creating more inclusive and equitable cultures that celebrate differences and empower every individual.

The class learnt that we all have unique brains that make each of us special and that although some differences bring some challenges they also bring extraordinary gifts.

The class enjoyed colouring the various areas of the brain and assembling their work into brain hats.

Although, as Year 2 student Eden, pointed out “we can’t see inside a real brain,” the brain hats gave the class an interactive opportunity to learn about the various areas of the brain and their function, including how various areas assist with regulation.

“One part of the brain – the amygdala – is like a dog. If you’ve got a big problem it starts barking, but for a small problem it’s much calmer,” said Frankie.

“Sometimes,” said Teddie, “when you get in the learning pit, it can be hard to get out of it”. 

The class’s teacher, Suzanne Latham, explained, “the ‘Learning Pit’ is an analogy by James Nottingham. This analogy creates a clear visual and shared language to help students ‘see’ that learning is hard work and there are strategies and learning dispositions we can employ when learning becomes challenging. Resilience and perseverance.

“The class is being encouraged to adopt a growth mindset and develop their metacognition skills so that they believe that their intelligence and talents can be improved through effort and actions.

“This recognises that setbacks are a necessary part of the learning process and allows students to ‘bounce back’ by increasing motivational efforts’.

“In the lower years of IGS, we also have the program called Grow Your Mind. This assists students to make these connections about how their brain works, with age-appropriate strategies to assist students to thrive and grow.”

The class learnt to recognise the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent and that we all have unique brains that help make each of us special.

While being neurodivergent brings some challenges it also brings important gifts and we need all kinds of brains to make the world a better place!