Celebrating Neurodiversity: Resources Available in the Library

As part of the University of Aberdeen’s support for Neurodiversity Celebration Week (March 21-27), the Student Experience Team have put together a vibrant social media campaign, focusing on studying with various conditions, and exploring the meaning and implications of being neurodivergent across interconnected blog posts and social media sites, linked together by the Student Channel.

The Library would like to highlight materials from our collection that contain a wealth of resources and research on neurodiversity and its impact. Covering how the human brain can develop and interpret information and stimuli in myriad different ways; and how individuals can interact with the world in several ways, neurodiversity can be seen as an umbrella term for multiple conditions:

  • Autism
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • ADHD

You may already be aware of the challenges that these conditions can pose, and unfortunately, the misconceptions that society has regarding them. Due to this, people can try to hide or ‘mask’ these conditions. However, they can also be a source of several strengths for individuals and collectively produce new and innovative products, services and research.

Neurodiversity

There are several perspectives on how different sectors of society work with neurodiversity and neurodiverse groups. In education, the following authors seek to empower and equip students and staff:

Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to help Students with Special Needs succeed in School and Life by Thomas Armstrong: This book takes an in-depth look at all aspects of neurodiversity, examining the conditions and highlighting the unique strengths that individuals can have, particularly spotlighting notable people who have achieved lasting recognition.

The Adolescent and Adult Neuro-diversity Handbook: Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Related Conditions by S Hendrickx: Aimed at young people and adults who may not have been formally diagnosed, but wish to know more about the range of conditions, their implications and get some advice regarding coping strategies.

ADHD

Approximately1-5% of the global population have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD.) (Source: Neurodiversity Week). They are likely to be highly logical, energetic and focused.

Smart but stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD by Thomas E Brown: This book starts with the difficulties people with ADHD can have focusing, and how that can effect their academic, employment and social lives. It examines and explores a range of individual stories, and explores how treatment, support and medication can help.

The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication and today’s push for performance by Peter Hinshaw: Emphasising the attitude and approaches to treating and managing ADHD in the USA, this book argues for less medical intervention in the form of pills, and more social support from families, doctors, teachers, employers and businesses. It makes a strong case that this will help reduce the costs and controversy surrounding the high diagnosis rate across the country.

Accidental Intolerance: how we stigmatize ADHD and how we can stop by Susan Hawthorne : Similarly to Hinshaw, Hawthorne probes the issues surrounding our treatment of people with ADHD, looking at whether or not they have the same opportunities as their peers; or if they are struggling in a society that is inadvertently discriminating against them with an outdated view of ADHD and how it can affect people.

Dyslexia

10% of the population are dyslexic, meaning that they are creative, dynamic problem solvers & storytellers. (Source: Neurodiversity Week.)

Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities: A Path to Pride and Success by Margo Verzog-Izzo: This inspiring work takes self-advocacy, mentoring and pride as it’s themes, and is aimed at educators and teachers who want their neurodiverse students to achieve their dreams and thrive. The author blends practical advice and insight with case studies of students who have been successful, and showcases how others can follow her lead.

Inclusive Education: Making Sense of Everyday Practice by Vicky Plows: A comprehensive look at the thirty-year campaign to build a strong, democratic education system that dismantles economic, cultural and physical barriers to learning, it examines a host of problems and issues that arise, including diversity.

Making Dyslexia Work for You by Vicki Goodwin: In a more user-focused approach, this book encourages the reader to put together their own ‘support package’: ideas, strategies and coping mechanisms that work for them in managing dyslexia.

More Information and Support

The University of Aberdeen is committed to providing a welcoming, secure and inclusive environment to all students, staff and visitors. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Team offer a plethora of information, training resources and links to support, student organisations and both staff and student networks across diversity and equality issues. More information and contact details for EDI are available from the University website .

Lucy Drysdale

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