Tag Archives: adhd

Dyslexia Is Not An Illness Or An Injury

Dyslexia is not an illness or an injury – it is not something that you can ‘get better’ from, but is a learning difference which means you need to approach some things differently. Nor does dyslexia mean that you are ‘less intelligent’ than someone else – but using the same judgments for those with and those without dyslexia creates an unfair playing field.


Perhaps to use physical terms (even though your brain is, in effect, just another organ) you wouldn’t ask someone with poor eyesight to just try to look harder or someone who was wheelchair-bound that they just weren’t trying hard enough.


Instead, just like wearing glasses, people with dyslexia may need some assistance with some tasks. Again, like those glasses you may use to help you see, so there is technology available to help those with learning differences like dyslexia to get along in a world that isn’t always designed to suit.


The law requires that workplaces make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help those with dyslexia to do their job and the range of support available to students has never been better, yet there still remains a great level of misunderstanding about things like dyslexia.


If these types of difference are not recognised and acted upon then we will continue to see a society where those with dyslexia, autism, ADHD and other similar neurodiversities will be marginalised or simply treated as being ‘stupid.’


In fact, tests have shown this to be far from the case, and some employers are going out of their way to court neurodivergent employees in order to make the most of any differences in thought pattern and levels of creativity.


So, rather than seeing those with dyslexia as having something ‘wrong’ with them, like a broken leg that can be set and fixed, we need to recognise that dyslexia is merely a difference – just like your hair or eye colour, except that it is a difference with how your brain is wired. Not better, not worse, just different – with its own benefits and drawbacks.


Dyslexia is not something that we need to ‘cure,’ it is something that we need to accommodate in a world that all-too-often is just not designed with dyslexics in mind. Only when we do this can we unlock potential and fully appreciate the great benefits that neurodiversity can bring.

Lifting The Lid On Hidden Disabilities

As people, it seems that many of us are guilty of ignoring what we can’t see. This can be seen in how so many are happy to ignore the plight of the poverty-stricken, refugees, homeless, and others in similar situations. So long as it doesn’t impact on our daily lives, it seems that many people are happy to carry on as if these things don’t exist.


However, it is not just societal ills that people turn a blind eye to – but also things such as mental health issues and hidden disabilities such as dyslexia. While we wouldn’t berate someone in a wheelchair for not being able to climb a flight of stairs, it is all too easy to ignore the less-obvious disabilities and issues that others may face.


A large part of this is because conditions such as dyslexia are not immediately obvious, often went unrecognised, and were frequently misrepresented as someone not trying, or being ‘stupid.’ Of course, things have steadily improved over the years, but our ability to recognise and appreciate the effects of hidden disabilities still leaves a lot to be desired.


Fortunately, with anti-discrimination laws in place, it is becoming harder for employers and others in positions of power to discriminate against those with conditions like dyslexia, dyspraxia, and ADHD. In fact, employers are now required to take reasonable steps to accommodate and support those with these types of conditions.


It is not just in the workplace that there have been advances in supporting those with such conditions, but there is also a great deal that can be done to help students to thrive and reach their true potential despite of their dyslexia, ADHD, or other hidden disability.


Assistive technology has helped immensely, and is something that we at Vocendi take seriously, but it is not just a question of throwing technology at the problem. It is also about attitudes. As employers, teachers and tutors become more aware of hidden disabilities and how to support those with them, so we are all able to better see the potential of those who have them. Far from being judged by a condition, we can now look to the strengths rather than dwell on the difficulties.


Out of sight, out of mind may still be a real attitude problem in our society, but hidden disabilities needn’t and shouldn’t be brushed under the carpet or passed off as something else. It is all about education, knowledge and understanding – not for those with the condition as much as for those without.


Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!

Understanding ADHD

There is a degree of uncertainty about ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – including exactly what it is, how you may come to have ADHD, and how best to deal with it.  Symptoms of ADHD include having difficulty in staying focused, problems with controlling your behaviour, and hyperactivity.


You have probably heard of ADHD, but did you know that it is actually made up of three main sub-types?


These are, predominantly inattentive type, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, and combined inattention and hyperactive impulsive type.


Predominately inattentive means that those with the condition are less likely to misbehave or have problems getting along with others, but it can mean difficulty in paying attention. This type is easilt overlooked or confused for simply not paying attention.


However, most people show the combined version of ADHD, but this can be managed in school, work, and in life in general with the right support. However, ADHD is no measure of your intelligence and does not mean that you are likely to have a learning difficulty, however the difficulty in focusing can have a knock-on effect in things like education.


ADHD is not something that you grow out of as you get older, although the symptoms can lessen over time.


In fact, scientists have uncovered evidence that ADHD may be a genetic condition, although the impact can be lessened through support and environmental factors, such as a good quality home life and positive personal development.


ADHD has nothing to do with diet or parenting, but is instead down to how your brain may develop, making it a neurodiverse condition.


The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Chapter 50 Section 1 Sub-section 1 states, “Subject to the provisions of Schedule 1, a person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” This means that, in some cases, ADHD can be determined to be a ‘disability’ under the law.


Methods for dealing with ADHD include exercise as well as having structure and organisation to help lessen anxiety. Recognising and managing the condition is the first step in dealing with ADHD, but there lies the problem – especially for children who may be seen as just being ‘naughty.’


You can find out more about ADHD and how to get support right here on Vocendi.com.

How Will ‘Brexit’ Impact Neurodiversity In Britain?

In case you have been hiding under a rock for the last couple of weeks, a referendum was held in the UK about membership of the European Union, with 52% voting to leave the EU and 48% choosing to stay. This means that, unless something changes, Britain is set to cut many of its ties with Europe – but what does this mean for neurodiversity and the laws regarding things like employment and education for those with conditions such as autism, dyslexia, or ADHD?


As it stands, nothing is set to change any time soon. With matters already being delayed by the need to choose a new Prime Minister following the resignation of David Cameron, talks over how Britain will leave the EU have yet to begin. These are expected to take up to two years to complete before an agreement is reached. This means that any support you get under laws like the Care Act or the Welfare Reform Act will stay as they are for the time being.


Indeed, most of the rules made about care and support are not made by the European Union, so many of them should stay as they are even after we leave the E.U. That said, we cannot know what rules or laws may change under future governments


So, while we don’t expect much to change right now, we also don’t know exactly how things will look once Britain leaves the E.U. Quite simply, no nation has ever left the E.U. like this before, so nobody really knows exactly what will happen.


You may have noticed that a lot of economists and other experts have said that there will be a negative impact on finance, which has already been seen in how the pound dropped in the markets compared to other currencies. The knock-on effect of this could be that businesses are forced to cut jobs or move out of the UK as they face losses on imports and exports. Should this occur then there will clearly be an impact on employment for everyone, including neurodiverse groups. There could also be an effect on the freedom of movement and for those looking to come to the UK, or go abroad, to study.


It seems that we are living in the quiet before the storm. It is a time when we really can’t be sure what will happen and how any exit negotiations and agreements will go. As a result, for many, it may more-or-less seem like business as usual, but there is a good chance changes are ahead…

Understanding Access To Work

The 2010 Equality Act means that all employers have to make reasonable adjustments to support employees with disabilities, health or mental health conditions. In this instance, the scope of what might constitute a ‘disability’ is pretty broad and includes anything that may affect your ability to do a job or mean you have to pay extra work-related costs.


This means that conditions such as dyslexia are included, so long as you are over 16 and working, whether that is for someone else or even starting up your own business. If this is the case, then you may be eligible for an access to work grant from the government.


This has caused confusion among some employers, who do not quite understand how this all works or what the money can be used for.


Among the possible things the grant could pay for there are adaptations to existing equipment, new equipment, fares to work if public transport is not an option, a support worker or job coach to assist in the workplace, disability training for colleagues, and even a communicator to help at a job interview.


The reasonable steps that employers take to help disabled employees needn’t be all about money either. It could be as simple as making allowances when it comes to things like hot-desking, or letting a wheelchair user work on the ground floor.


The fact is, employers are under a legal obligation to make things easier in the workplace for those with a ‘disability.’ In some instances, this help can be withheld, for example in a high pressure role where safety is an issue, such as the medical profession, it may be that your disability cannot be adequately supported while still ensuring the safety of patients.


That said, each case is different, so it is important that employers and employees understand how access to work happens. There needs to be honest and open dialogue for this to work, which means understanding what you or your employees are eligible for.


There is more information on Access To Work on the government’s website, and also right here at Vocendi. So, if you are an assessor, employer, or even feel you could be eligible for assistance don’t hesitate to contact us.


What Is Mind-Mapping – & What Can It Do For You?

You may have heard of ‘mind-mapping’ but not really know what it is. A Mind Map is a way of noting down thoughts, ideas, and concepts in a way that it much more visual than traditional written notes. Using graphics to represent ideas, rather than words, mind-mapping engages your brain in more ways than a regular linear text – making it ideal for anything from note-taking, planning, brainstorming, and study, to research, creativity, and problem-solving.


What Is A Mind Map?


The best way to explain what a mind map looks like is to look up a picture online (try an image search for ‘mind map’ – it should bring up plenty of examples). But, generally speaking, a mind map will start with your basic idea or problem in the middle of the page, with different ideas, concepts, or information branching off in various directions.


You can use colour on each sub-section, pictures, and other graphics to help make the mind map more visual, and don’t be afraid to change text size and style as you see fit. You don’t need to be a great artist, it is all about getting the information down in a visual way, so the more visual clues you can include, the better.


The best mind maps are concise, so keep your topics short – a single word or just a picture may do the job and keep your mind map effective.


Your mind map doesn’t have to be done on paper either, as there are a number of mind mapping software programs like MindView and Inspiration.


The Benefits:


The main benefit of mind mapping is that the way the information is presented is structured in way that resembles how your brain actually works. A mind map engages your brain in a number of different ways (cognitive, creative), which means that information is much easier to take in while also sparking your creativity.


While there has been a focus on mind mapping and neurodiversity, mind maps are a great tool for everybody – whether at work, in college, or even for working out plans in your personal life!


In fact, pretty much anything that you want to summarise, consider, brainstorm, or note down can be turned into a mind map – so why not ditch the text and start using mind mapping instead?


Understanding Dyslexia

While a lot of people have heard of dyslexia, it seems that not so many actually know what it is or how it affects those who have the condition. Some people believe that those with dyslexia see things like words differently – that they are unable to read letters as they appear backwards or altered in some other way.

Continue reading Understanding Dyslexia