What is Neurodiversity?

Dyslexia literally means ‘difficulties with words’; however, modern science has discovered that this is a symptom, not a cause.  Dyslexia comes from difficulties in processing and remembering sounds, and difficulties in putting details in order.  This is often balanced by strengths, for example 3D visual thinking, verbal skills and long term memory.

At Genius Within we can help you to find targeted solutions and strategies for the dyslexic difficulties in a workplace context.  We also help you identify your dyslexic strengths, the ones you have been taking for granted such as:

  • 3D visual thinking
  • Visual memory
  • Great long term memory
  • Novel problem solving ideas
  • Strong communication skills

Many of our clients don’t realise that the problems they are having finding work or achieving their best are due to their dyslexia.  Our research shows that the following issues are most common for our clients:

  • Memory (92%)
  • Organisational Skills (82%)
  • Time management (78%)
  • Stress management (67%)
  • Spelling (67%)
  • Reading (54%)

Memory difficulties can cause people to struggle to concentrate in an open plan office, forget verbal instructions and lose track easily in meetings.  Our clients or their managers typically think these problems are due to lack of motivation or being ‘scatty’ – this causes a lot of conflict!

Playing to your strengths can improve your career plans and work performance very quickly… so that everyone can see your genius within.

You may be able to get funding support through the  Access to Work scheme and if you have funding, you can come straight to us, no matter who is recommended on the referral – it’s your choice!  We are approved suppliers UK wide.

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), which until recently was referred to as dyspraxia, literally means problems with movement.  This is often due to the parts of the brain that process movement and 3D thinking being less active.  DCD is also associated with high verbal abilities.

Strengths can include:

  • Strong verbal comprehension and communication abilties
  • Problem solving
  • Empathy
  • Creativity
  • Tenacity

The brain differences can cause the following difficulties in the workplace:

  • Difficulty using equipment and learning new processes
  • Difficulty managing time and organising resources
  • Difficulty following sequences of instructions
  • Stress!

Our clients benefit from learning more about their strengths through assessments or coaching, rather than taking them for granted.

Together, we will help to weave new ways of working and strategies for communicating that so we ‘de-stress’ situations and help our clients feel more in control.

You may be able to get funding support through the  Access to Work scheme and if you have funding, you can come straight to us, no matter who is recommended on the referral – it’s your choice!  We are approved suppliers UK wide.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (which sometimes comes without the Hyperactivity)  involves the part of the brain that controls impulses, self-regulation and inhibition.

Strengths of ADHD can include:

  • Strong 3D visual skills
  • High levels of alertness and ability to hyper-focus
  • Novel problem solving abilities
  • Passion and enthusiasm

These differences can result in the following work related difficulties:

  • Lack of attention to detail
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Taking on too much and completing too little
  • Difficult relationships and seeming rude to others

Many of our clients find that, with the right support and strategies, they can slow down long enough to capture their ideas and creativity whilst still fitting into the processes of recruitment and job success. Self awareness, dealing with excess energy and channeling productivity all combine to solve the problems and allow people with ADHD to fulfill their potential.

You may be able to get funding support through the  Access to Work scheme and if you have funding, you can come straight to us, no matter who is recommended on the referral – it’s your choice! We are approved suppliers UK wide.

Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) and Asperger’s Syndrome are neurodiverse conditions that affect the way we communicate.  While people with ASC and Asperger’s may seem quite introverted and even ‘blank’, the truth is that there is a busy internal world that isn’t visible.  ASC brains have a lot more going on when processing the senses, which make colours, sounds, smells and feelings seem brighter, louder and stronger than they would do otherwise.  People with ASC are very quick to process all this information and have great skills in being detail conscious and ordered.

Positive ASC strengths can include:

  • Information processing
  • Detail conscious
  • Finding patterns and inconsistencies
  • Creating patterns and order
  • Tenacious and honest

These differences can result in the following difficulties at work:

  • Over focusing on certain aspects of the role and getting stuck in detail.
  • Difficulty following instructions that are open to interpretation.
  • Difficulty communicating verbally, particularly in groups.
  • Over stimulation and the need for quiet, calm space.
  • Managing the stress produced by all of the above!

Our approach in all our work is to build on strengths to solve problems.  An active analytic brain can quickly develop self awareness and learn strategies for overcoming difficulties.  We have worked with and supported many clients to communicate well with potential and actual employers and line managers, through coaching and  co-coaching, allowing them to adjust their work environments so that they can thrive.

You may be able to get funding support through the  Access to Work scheme and if you have funding, you can come straight to us, no matter who is recommended on the referral – it’s your choice!  We are approved suppliers UK wide.

A neurological condition, Tourette Syndrome is characterised by “tics” – involuntary movements or noises; however not all people have severe movements or swearing, as is often assumed.  Many people have less intrusive tics such as throat clearing, eye blinking or head tipping.

People with Tourette Syndrome have the following strengths:

  • Hyperfocus
  • Verbal communication ability
  • Creativity
  • Empathy

The following difficulties affect people with Tourette Syndrome at work:

  • Hyper-arousal which can affect sleep leading to tiredness
  • Needing somewhere quiet to ‘let out’ suppressed tics
  • 60% of people with TS also have ADHD so distractibility can be an issue

Genius Within can offer support through workplace needs assessment, coaching and awareness training.

You may be able to get funding support through the  Access to Work scheme and if you have funding, you can come straight to us, no matter who is recommended on the referral – it’s your choice! We are approved suppliers UK wide.

Did you know that Tourette Syndrome affects a similar number of people (1%) to Autism (1.5%), but has only approx. 1% of same research as Autism?

After working on the BBC’s Employable Me series, Genius Within’s founder, Nancy, wants to raise awareness and money for research into Tourette Syndrome and is running the London Marathon in 2018. You can find out more and support her endeavours here.

Acquired brain injuries occur after accidents or illnesses and can cause difficulties similar to neurodiversity such as dyslexia or ADHD.  It depends which bit of the brain is affected, and we work with people to remember that not everything has been lost.  Many people following brain injury retain their skills in:

  • Loyalty, commitment and work ethic
  • Long term memory
  • Verbal skills or understanding
  • Visual understanding
  • Practical ability

We regularly see clients who need work focused support with:

  • Memory
  • Organisation
  • Time management
  • Concentration
  • Communication
  • Planning and Prioritising

The brain is a wonderful thing and even when some parts have been damaged, we can create new pathways.  By learning to rely on the areas not affected by the injury, our clients develop strategies to compensate for their new difficulties.  This may take time to bed in but our end goal is always to ensure that we are getting the most we can from the strengths we have.

Our coaching can really help. You may be able to get funding support through the  Access to Work scheme and if you have funding, you can come straight to us, no matter who is recommended on the referral – it’s your choice!  We are approved suppliers UK wide.

Mental Health issues such as Anxiety and Depression can affect confidence, motivation and self-esteem at work. However, mental health difficulties are also associated with:

  • Deep and detailed thinking
  • Creativity
  • Empathy

As a result of an episode, or in response to medication, cognitive skills can suffer, such as:

  • Memory
  • Organisation
  • Time management
  • Prioritising
  • Concentrating

Working with a coach can help you to develop strategies to deal with the fluctuating nature of these conditions.

You may be able to get funding support through the  Access to Work scheme and if you have funding, you can come straight to us, no matter who is recommended on the referral.  – it’s your choice!  We are approved suppliers UK wide.

A positive or workplace needs assessment can also help to identify the reasonable adjustments you may find helpful to manage your condition in work.

There are times in our lives when our health is not as it used to be –  such as a lifelong condition getting worse, or a new condition developing. Support at these times can help relieve the pressure  – whether you are in work, returning to work after a period of absence or looking for work.  It’s important to remember that lots of skills may not be affected, such as:

  • Loyalty, commitment and work ethic
  • Long term memory
  • Verbal skills or understanding
  • Visual understanding
  • Practical ability

The following conditions can also result in a neurodiverse cognitive style:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Stroke
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • ME
  • Cancer treatment

…. and many more.  We can help where the conditions are affecting thinking and work performance.  This is usually most noticeable in the following areas:

Memory / Stress management / Concentrating / Time management

Whether you are in work and managing to work at your best, or have been absent and are planning your return, our coaches have the skills to support you to find new strategies to help develop new ways to work with your health condition. A workplace needs assessment can identify the reasonable adjustments an employer can make to help.

You may be able to get funding support through the  Access to Work scheme and if you have funding, you can come straight to us, no matter who is recommended on the referral – it’s your choice!  We are approved suppliers UK wide.

“Neurodiversity” is an umbrella term which essentially means that there are differences between the abilities in someone’s neurological profile. If someone is neurodiverse then their abilities vary, shown below on the green, ‘spiky’ line.  If someone is ‘neurotypical’ their abilities are around the same for everything, shown below on the red, flatish line.

 

Neurodiversity is most commonly associated with Dyslexia, DCD,  ADHD and Autism Spectrum Condition but includes any condition that affects some, but not all, thinking skills. Read more about neurodiversity in Chapter 2 of this British Psychological Society report, written by our CEO, Nancy Doyle.

Neurodiversity at Work

Please use the tabs above to find out more about individual neurodiverse conditions.

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