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LinkedIn Live Support neurodiversity

Ten take-aways from this session:

  1. We are all neurodiverse
  2. Some of us are neurodivergent
  3. With practice we can improve performance
  4. Your environment feeds into your brain function
  5. Nutrition has an impact on your brain development
  6. Have an equitable approach
  7. Have inclusive processes
  8. Don’t be biased when you look at a CV
  9. Think about your interview processes
  10. Let’s all learn more about each other

***The following transcript has been automatically generated and is presented here unchecked***


LinkedIn Live Support neurodiversity

Thu, 8/18 3:19PM • 1:01:19


people, thinking, neuro, understand, interview, bit, workplace, talent, children, adhd, divergent, organization, skills, amanda, questions, training, talking, linkedin, parents, school


Nadine Powrie


Nadine Powrie  00:02

A very good afternoon to everybody who is going to be watching us this afternoon. I’m Nadine Powrie, Executive and leadership coach and I’m a workplace mediator.



Hi, I’m Amanda Kirby. I’m co solutions and professor in neurodiversity.



I’m Jonny Lang. I’m leadership facilitator. And I support schools ranging from causing crisis through to outstanding schools.



Hi, everybody. I’m John Danes. I’m an educator consultant to a bit of inspection, a bit of school improvement and some other bits and pieces. So nice to be here. And I just wanted to say, We’d like we’d like to know that you’re listening and watching. So there’s a comment function. So please feel free we’d really like it when you say, Hi, this is interesting, or could you answer this or whatever. And it’s lovely to get together. lovely to have you here with us, Amanda.



Thank you very much.


Nadine Powrie  00:56

I think Amanda, I think you’re the first professor that we have on LinkedIn live, actually. So a very warm welcome to you. And thank you, Jenny, for arranging, inviting Amanda, because I know that you’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes. And sometimes people don’t realize that actually to organize the LinkedIn live. There is about an hour’s prep in order to get the guest on board and everything. So thank you very much, Jenny for organizing my pleasure. Okay, so today we’re going to be looking at how we can support neurodiversity in the workplace as parents and as educator. And I guess, the I could I could carry on talking, but you know, time is precious. And Amanda, I want you to talk as much as possible and share with us. So I guess I’m going to go straight down and ask you the first question, which is, what is neurodiversity?



Okay, so neurodiversity is how we think act move and process information. And neurodiversity actually, is about all of us. The term the framing was frame starting to be framed by Judy singer in late 1990s, who was a sociologist from Australia, really thinking about biodiversity? And if we’ve got specialization of animals and insects and plants for specific reasons, why wouldn’t we have been neurodiverse? Why would we not have different way our way our brains are wired and connected? When we’ve got billions of cells? We sometimes try to categorize people into boxes, all these connections, so we’re all neurodiverse, but some of it, you’re a divergent. Okay. So that’s, that’s an important thing to start with. Okay. We’re all neurodiverse.


Nadine Powrie  02:39

Well, I’m interested in dia in neuro divergence, actually, do you want to say something about it? Because you’ve mentioned it on your website. And you also referred to being different from the average person do you want to explain?



I can. So if everybody understands a bell curve, so what a bell looks like, and most of society is shaped, that we work with the middle of the bell curve, the average person, the trouble is, I’ve never met an average person yet. So most of the way we work is that most of us can speak and act and see and hear and move in a certain way. And education in the workplace is framed around that. If you’re neuro divergent. You might be for instance, a Cal Kulik can’t do maths at all, to be highly able to do maths and could be an actuary. So we can be neuro divergent from having challenges, but also having strengths, okay, from the both ends. So we could be somebody who can’t write to somebody’s a calligrapher, you could be somebody who can’t kick a ball to somebody as a premier footballer. So neuro divergence is about the variability in the way we think, act move and process information. And some of us can be neuro divergent. In some areas, I might be really great communicator, but I can’t play music, or you know, or I can’t hear, right, or I can be handwrite. But I can’t spell so we can be newer diversions in some areas and in rate, and we can have those spiky profiles of strengths and challenges. And it’s the variability in that that dips between our peaks and troughs that can sometimes cause us trouble. If we’re average, that average person, will they sort of float through society because society setup for you? Yeah, we’ve got



I like that very much. Because that that takes that takes all of that and puts it in a positive in a positive light. And when you were describing that what went through my mind was, to what extent is that pre preordained as in as in nature, and to what extent is it is it nurture I mean, it’s a it’s a impossible debate as in how do you resolve it, but yeah, god,



okay, so If we look at so neuro divergence is often associated with petition particular conditions that often people know more about like ADHD and dyslexia and dyspraxia. Yeah. So these are developmental conditions which you are born with. So yeah, but actually lots of us acquire a brainstem sadly, our brings change through our lives. And we can develop conditions like Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, we can get hearing impairment or visual impairment. So during our lifetime, we can become neuro divergent in an area because we acquire it we become hearing impaired or not, I’ve got my glasses, until I was 40 could see everything without glasses, and suddenly, I needed glasses. So we can diverge from what is thinking, moving acting because of acquiring somebody who’s got traumatic brain injury, actually acquire difficulty with communicating or thinking or moving or acting,



can you can you not acquire talent in the same way, though, not as easily, not not as easily,



not as easily. So those are more hardwired, you can you can improve things. So we know with practice, we can improve performance. But if I start off with, if you’re going to be a concert pianist, of course, if I practice and regularly, be quite good, but I’m not going to be good in menuing, I’m not going to be somebody who is, you know, at the top of the tree, the peaks, so even if I got great footballing skills, and I’m really motivated, I’m unlikely ever to become a premier football and not that I probably want to be. But but that’s that’s the point is skill and talent and ops, sometimes you need a combination of the two.



Yeah, yeah. Okay. That’s fascinating. Thank you. Yeah, yeah.



And epigenetic, so your environment feeds into your how your brain functions and just writing something in the moment about nutrition and, and neuro diversity. And we know that people who have poor diet, it really can have an impact. If you don’t have multivitamins and minerals, and omega three fatty acids, that’s gonna have an impact on how you think and how you act and how you move. Your your, your environment hasn’t plays into this as well,



and how you develop and how you bring?



Absolutely, absolutely. So we know from studies like the Avon longitudinal study in Bristol, where we follow people for a long time, from poor for birth, during birth, after and for the next 20 years, your nutrition has an impact on your reading, spelling, attention, your brain development.



Wow, this is powerful stuff.



Wonderful, just listening to what you’re saying. Because there are so many. I mean, I mean, it’s what it’s well known, my daughter is is neurodivergent, she has a number of different diagnoses. And her life, it’s a big, big challenge. And it’s interesting to hear what you’re saying about the bell curve. And I know that she is, she’s quite disabled as the wrong word. She’s quite she finds life very challenging because of the difference the different way she is. And for instance, you know, if she walks into a room, she doesn’t look any different from anybody else. But as soon as this we start to interact, you can see that she’s struggling. And one of the roles that we have as parents is to ensure that our children are happy and have good self esteem. And to be honest, that’s about all that matters, happy, healthy, and feel okay about themselves. And it’s been quite a long journey to ensure that she feels that she is okay. When so many parts of society are telling us she’s not. And I just wondered, what you’re saying is that we’re all neurodivergent some have more issues than others. And my question is around really? How do we support the people who know they’re different? And don’t necessarily want to be different? Or try to integrate them? Or do we celebrate their differences? Or do we do a bit of both? of both? Yeah, I think the first



thing is, is them and us is no good. So we’re all us. We’re all so you know, so I think that’s the bit we’ve got to change the narrative we really do. And I like diversity framing because it says, Okay, tell me about you. The other bit is this isn’t about them. And us this is a dialogue, not a monologue, which society has do so if we move away, I’m a medical doctor. But and so I was brought up on do we need a diagnosis and sometimes we do and sometimes it’s really helpful. social model of practice means actually, it’s our responsibility as society to make sure that everybody’s included. So that means the means when we communicate need to be accessible for everybody. So if I give you a piece of paper and you can’t read That’s my responsibility to enabled I provide you information in a way that’s accessible in the workplace. That’s the same. So sometimes we have an application system in the workplace, which means you have to have digital skills to create an application for the job itself may not need digital skills, get to the job itself, because you need digital form. Well, that’s crazy. So we are losing talent in school and in society, unless we enable and we, as a society, we have an inclusive, equitable, not equal, equitable approach. And that’s really important. So it’s not about them and us it’s why wouldn’t we? Why would we close the door to 20%? of the population?



Yes, yeah. Because historically, we always have done and yeah. Yeah, it is laziness. And it’s also it’s like a lack of awareness as well, I think. And I think, perhaps my question is around how do we, how do we as as educationalists ensure that we do have an equitable, classroom or environment, because the national curriculum or GCSEs, expect you to learn certain facts. I won’t say anything about the skills or other things, but that’s the way the education system is, and it doesn’t do a lot of our population any favors. And I suppose it’s about for me, it’s about how do we flip the narrative so that we embrace rather than, so it’s not about differentiation so much is just that’s the way it is. It’s different for everybody. So how do we embrace that?



So I think flipping the narrative, first of all says, in the 21st century, we need to be training children in school in 21st century skills, and actually training children in 17th century skills. When I hear about some skills schools, we who are not providing children with a pen unless they’ve got a pen certificate on Twitter recently about this, because I think it is terrible. So that’s telling somebody who’s doing having effort, you can’t have a pin certificate unless you can write neatly. Now if I’ve got dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder, they’re gonna get it my son’s got DCD, and his handwriting is untidy. I’m a doctor, my handwriting is appalling. I would never get a pen certificate now. It’s an effort, no effort, I should be rewarded for effort, I should be rewarded for resilience and trying hard. So we actually have to change what are we? What are we valuing in children in our schools, I’ve got a grandchild who’s got some neurodivergent traits. But he is fantastic at maths, he’s really good at Minecraft. He really he’s skilled at these things. Let’s celebrate those because he’s likely to be a computer programmer, or an architect or an engineer. But if he’s actually his handwriting is awful, who cares? So we have to value the things that we want to see in society, which are 21st century skills, and then see ways of measuring it not trying to cookie cup kids that have to still have to be constrained for recording information. You know, we don’t chip bits on the wall, like hieroglyphics we’ve moved on from that we can move on in the way that we measure, but we tend to measure in a cookie cutter because we can mark it easily.



Yeah. Yeah. Can I take you back to something you said a little while ago, just to want to think just worth exploring a little bit, but also selfishly, because I want to understand it better myself. You talked about a social model of practice. And so the reason I’m asking about this is because we’ve just you’ve just been describing the in school the need, you’re not allowed to get a pen until you’ve until you but school schools have a more than a moral obligation to do what’s right by everybody who comes through. But so is there a legal obligation? I don’t know if it goes that far. But yeah, it does. Yeah. Okay. So how far how does that how does that work? Do you just unpack the social model?



The social and the medical model and the tension between the two? Yeah, please. Okay, so we have the Equality Act 2010. We’ve got the Human Rights Act, there is a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments, even though we and it’s more than 10 years old, seems to be taking a long time to put it down. There is a legal obligation, but if I talk about the tension between social and medical models, so at the moment quite often you have before you get something resources or support, you have to have it to get it. So you have to be bad in an area. Okay. Right. You’re sufficiently bad at an area to get a diagnosis of dyslexia or autism. or ADHD. Now, there is a social, there’s a, there’s a challenge here because there’s lots of evidence to show in schools, that children who come from lower session socio economic groups are more likely. And there’s evidence for this, I’m not making it up, that are more likely to get a label of social and emotional mental health, mental health ncmh Yes, M H, okay. They’re more likely to get a diagnosis of sem H and less likely to get a diagnosis of neurodiversity, who get a diagnosis of neurodiversity are children in middle class, vocal literate families, because actually, I did a readability and I’m a nerd. So I went on one local authority site and the readability statistics, if you want to try and get an educational health care plan, the parents need a reading age of year 12. and above. If you don’t have it, which locks,






you’ve got attention, you only get it that unit, get it if you’re bad enough, but you can’t know that you’re bad enough if you know the system. If you don’t know the system, you can’t get it. And you can’t begin, right. So that’s one. So the other thing is if we say social models, say actually, if we get upfront upstream, and we support children and identify, and I’ve used a framing, which is learners of concern. So we know there’s lots of evidence to show some children have a higher rate of neuro divergence. And that might be children or parents. I have a really neurodivergent family, we’ve got everything and everyone, everyone in our family on both sides of our family. So my children were going to be there’s no doubt about but if you if you’ve got upstream, you start saying okay, learners, a concern family, parental concern, teacher concern premature babies looked after children, there’s a whole list that we know, certain children have a higher risk, if there’s a concern that should flag a screening, so to understand their profile, their spiky profile, and put in, regardless of the label, functional, practical guidance, we could zillions of pounds. Because the moment it’s you either have it or you don’t. And we know the NYX children in excluded school, going alternative provision often have higher rates of things like language difficulties, right? Or ADHD, unmet needs.



Yep, so it’s a bit so there’s a blanket approach of like, there’s a lack of blanket, non thoughtful, and I’ll go back to what I used it before lazy approach to trying to remedy some of these things. Whereas if we can be intelligent, sharper focus, we can help people better and save resources.



Absolutely. Absolutely. Because if you’ve done it upstream, you know, we’re in a state, which I often use the example why does one has a parent wait three years to see an occupational therapist to learn how to tie shoelaces, right? That it’s not, it’s not a secret, it’s not dangerous to tell somebody. So you know, or using katri, or help with sleep. But these are things that we can all we can all share this information, we don’t have to hide it or feel professionally protective about it. If we shared that, then people could get that information. Some children wouldn’t need specialist care. So then you’d have a filtering a triage system, when we’ve got the resources that are precious, being used by the people who’ve got the most complex difficulties, and working with parents, parents are cheapest resource, they’re the most motivated to help their kids. And they pray. Gosh, if anything else, we’re going to look for free a lot race in the next few years, aren’t we?


Nadine Powrie  18:56

We talked about schools and education. What about supporting neurodiversity? In the workplace?



Okay, so really important. The first thing is, again, that framing that we’re all neurodiverse. So and and why would we want to as businesses, exclude 20% of talent? Also that you’ve got 20% of people are your customers potentially as well? Why would you want to split off your customer base, any marketing plan that would be pretty awful to have a marketing plan like that. So we sometimes by having neuro, I use the term neuro inclusive processes, we can open the door to talent. And that means the way that we advertise the way we have our job descriptions that the words don’t put people off. So some people go I’m not applying for that job because I don’t have all of those skills. So very literally, a lot of people will go oh, God, some of it and I blank the rest, right? So but some people say Well, I haven’t got all of them. I can’t apply. Oh, I’m a disability confident leader in our organ in our companies, a disability confident leader and we were the first in Wales. So promote disability, which is a government program to really show and encourage people to be neuro inclusive and to be accessible. So is your website accessible? does it translate? does it speak? When you’re thinking about your interview processes? Do you ask people to do something they don’t need for their job? So are you asking them to do a presentation where then don’t need to do a presentation ever in their job? But in the interview, you’ve got to do it and you’re scoring. Nicholas, it’s crazy. So So can we think differently? Do we? Are we biased? When we look at CVS, I wrote something a couple of weeks ago, CVS were written by Leonardo da Vinci was the first person that will be okay. Why are we still doing a CV exams at the same way, we have a system that fits certain people, and we can score it, but cludes a whole group of people. So we can do a lot in the workplace to really bring talent in.


Nadine Powrie  21:10

But you’re mentioning a lot about in a way, it’s prevention, isn’t it? What you’re what you’re talking about, but there are a lot of organizations who will not have done that at the very beginning, and who now our most discriminating, you know, let’s say the word. And when you are talking about the Equality Act 2010, which I know very well, with the making reasonable adjustment, which we will use in our headshake. Many times, it seems to me that that’s been quite reactive, really, once you’ve got a problem. And I get that you say, we’ve got to tackle the problem at the very beginning when we are recruiting, but what about those organizations who they know they’ve got a problem, okay. But they’ve got the people who are very neurodiverse. And what can they do, to start to start reviewing their practice and build you know, something a lot more, as you say, critical.



So lots of things they can do. Not surprisingly, the things thing is an awareness raising in their organization. Second is listening to the people within the organization and hearing what their experiences are hearing about, well, The Good, the Bad, and the audience as well, what’s worked, what’s not supporting and developing champions that then that can influence practice. So listening to the people within your organization can really make a difference. awareness raising within your organization of your line managers, I’ve just been doing some training this morning with an organization exactly that. So people understand that if somebody does share and say I have ADHD, that somebody goes, Oh, yes, I know, somebody had that, or they were, and they so they don’t have stereotypes and myths about how people are and what so awareness raising and understanding, developing new champions within the workplace where somebody can go, employee resource groups that so people can have a forum to discuss things and share, especially also, if your parents have neurodivergent children and you are in work, actually, having conversation with other people about their experiences can be really rewarding and supportive as well. We’ve developed a when you work in education quite a lot. So we’ve developed a neurodiversity aware Award, which is a bit like I always sort of make it’s sort of describe it like a Senko. So we’re training people in organizations to be like that Senko in large organizations, to be able to signpost people, they understand about workplace assessment, about access to work about supporting people about neurodiversity, about how things overlap, so they’ve got an understanding about the organizations that are out there. So um, we with the ADHD Foundation, we’re just launching a neurodiversity a West standard for organizations. So by going through some training, elearning training, they can then show other people that they’ve got those standards, but they’ve got to do it. It’s not just a tick box exercise, they have to go through the training and show that they’re enacting it. So I think there’s now beginning to be a lot of things that that businesses and organizations of all sizes can do small and large. Thank you.



That’s a complete change, isn’t it over the sort of 10 past 1020 years. We have got quite a lot of comments. And I’ve been so involved in listening to you that I’ve actually haven’t said anything about the comments. So if I could just quickly there’s a couple coming in. There’s somebody from Germany, somebody from Portugal, just saying Hello, Nick sheriff is in with a few comments about diagnoses and skills and content focus and Jeremy Williams, who I think we had on last week, is in about very interesting schools promote 21st century schools whilst they biased towards those who are extroverted. group work. I don’t know.



I don’t know creativity isn’t. But I’ve seen lots I’ve seen autistic creative people who are not extroverts, they might be ambivert. And they might be introverts. So Jeremy needs



to come back in and say what he means there. I,



when I read that, I thought Jeremy’s point was more to the, you know, when he talked about about recruitment, and, and, and, and a bit a big sort of, sort of non inclusive approach a big long list of things we need, and people will go, the thoughtful person will go, can’t do that I won’t apply. Those who are overconfident are going to go Oh, are black that? Well, of course, the negative consequence of that is you end up people interviewing people who are overconfident. And they may not be that they may then do damage within your organization. Whenever Jeremy’s comment, that’s what I thought he was getting out. But but there’s a hidden danger isn’t there there if you don’t design those things carefully, carefully enough. And if you don’t pay attention to the sorts of things you were saying on Monday, you risk attracting not only a very narrow band of people who aren’t going to be helpful.



And also, I think there’s a number of things. One is recruitment costs a lot. So, you know, a bad hire is a bad thing. We’ve all been there, you know. So it’s costly. It’s time and money. It’s cost, and it’s wounding when you get it wrong, right? Yeah. The thing is, if we always interview in the same way, and we apply, use the same formula, we have cooked, we have cookie cutters, it’s great. We have people around us just like us. Well, actually, if you want to have novel solutions, and you want to have different ways of thinking, having a mix of people who are new, truly neurodiverse absolutely useful. For us. It’s useful. I’ve got a great team of people I work with, and we’re all quite different in the way we think and act. And some people come up with something and I go, you know, what, in a million years, I wouldn’t have thought about that. So that’s, you know, that’s encouraging, isn’t it to do that?



It’s exactly why isn’t it really is encouraging. Can I just take you back to your you’re talking about an accreditation thing? It’s up to the do it do it all?



Yeah, just solution. So we’ll open college network level for accredited course we’re running it. We’ve run it either in house organizations unbranded two or three times a year as well.



Unnamed businesses education.



Yeah, any settings in this setting. Just explain about



your DO IT solutions, because I follow you on LinkedIn. And you come up with these infographics which I just devour, because to me, you you make the very complex, very accessible. So could you just tell us a bit about that? It’s a company is it that you write



in the solution? So as I said at the beginning, I’m an oddball. So that was one of the things I should have said. So I’m a I’m a I’m a medic, I’m a doctor and worked in neurodevelopment neurodiversity for 2530 years, I had run an interdisciplinary clinic of health and educational professionals seeing children search. Now during about 10. For 10 1215 years ago, I really thought we needed to think about how do we screen and assess in a person centered way child centered way? And how can we do that. So started developing computer based screening tools which generate information and a profile of that spiky profile of the child or young people in the context of where they are. So that might be children in school students in college or university apprentices and apprenticeship into employment in prisons, but a different context. Okay, so developed a computer based screening tool. So do it Solutions provides a computer based screening tools, which are person centered, contextual, and provides the person in the organization, practical information, and if it’s the parent, the child and the school friends, we provide training. So I’m really keen to raise awareness and to get more information out because you won’t make change. And as people around you understand why change needs to take place. So we deliver training from one day, one hour, half day, full day training online real time elearning in different ways are all around your diversity and well being. And we also provide consultancy, to school stage education to employers, lots of different people in lots of different settings. And the stuff I put out is part of the way that I train because I think if you these are sometimes complex concepts and using visualization of what does that mean to somebody makes it easier for me to explain and if I can visualize it and see if I can explain it these it helps me so it’s, it’s a selfish act to do the visual things, because it’s easier for me And as a parent of neurodivergent, kids and grandchildren, I feel I have a duty to share information as widely as possible. Because I’ve seen for my family, even though I’m pretty mouthy that, you know, sometimes it’s not an easy journey, it’s not an easy isn’t an easy journey, to go through education and get employment. And if I find that difficult, and I’m a doctor, and I understand the system, then how hard it is for other people. So I feel a duty to do that. So that’s why I give away that information.



Wonderful, absolutely wonderful. I mean, we did my, my daughter did the profile. And then I went through it with her, she disagreed with a few things. But actually, I thought it was incredibly accurate. And she got a very distinctive profile, which showed very clearly to her where her strengths were, as well as the areas where she struggled. And then I kind of did it in my head for myself. My slide was very similar to hers. But it was it was really reassuring. And had she still been in school, I think that would have been a really useful tool to have that discussion with the teacher and saying, Well, look, you can see here these are were X or Y struggles, what can you do within your classroom to enable it to be more inclusive to them? So I just just Hats off to your resources are absolutely wonderful,



thank you. In schools, we have things like study skills, and well being tools because people are not simple. None of us are simple. So understanding yourself overall, in the context of your life is really important as well. So it’s there isn’t like here it is done, because things will change over time as well.



Absolutely. I’m just coping massive coping mechanisms as well. And I think that I find that she masks hugely. And I, you know, I mean, we’re quite close, I think I know a pretty well. And yet when we go for various assessments, and so PIP assessment, we went for a pip assessment, and the guy was asking the questions, and I was actually quite surprised at the difficulty that she had in answering them. Although there was a funny time when he asked her, you know, if you take seven from 100, what do you get? And she said, Oh, we can’t do that. And got into an argument, because she was saying, Actually, you can’t take seven from 100. And then afterwards, she said, Oh, I’m really sorry, did I get that wrong? We said, No, you got it dead, right? Because that illustrated very well, the struggle that she was having. But I think that they, I think we need to look, look out for that mask game, because I think that a lot of a lot of people mask it and try and pretend there’s somebody who they’re not. And again, that’s about self esteem isn’t it is about having the confidence to be who you are, and not try to not try too hard to fit in. And yet everybody really wants to fit in, there’s a kind of struggle there isn’t there?



There is well, we know that lots of females are only getting diagnosed with ADHD and autism, actually, in adult life, I was just talking to somebody a few hours ago who just been diagnosed in their late 40s with ADHD. So you know, and what we know from the research is that females often bright females often can camouflage or mask very well. But it comes with a cost. It’s a bit like all of us, you know, when we can’t be bothered to go out. And the days when we used to go out, you know, those days to remember those. There was a you sometimes go, oh, I can’t be bothered to go out and you go come on, we have to go we need to go and see the and you put on a face, right, they say put on face. And what we know is that it can be quite exhausting to do that you have to put on a face every day, every time you go into work, and have to a model that everything around you to fit in. That’s exhausting. And that’s where actually we can’t be ourselves unless you feel safe in a place to do so. And that’s where in the workplace, it’s really important around awareness. Because otherwise people misconstrue how you’re behaving, you’re coming across as direct or rude or bothered. Or whole variety of things. You might misconstrue somebody’s behavior, just because you don’t want to go to the pub doesn’t mean you’re not sociable. It just might be you don’t like going to the pub, you know, you might be happy to go for a coffee, but you don’t want to go to the pub. Yeah. You know, we’ve seen those misconstrue people’s behaviors. Yeah,



we don’t know where they’re coming from assumptions about assumptions. And about and that’s a very dangerous thing to do. But very easy thing to do. Yeah, yeah, you’re gone. No, no, gone the date, please.


Nadine Powrie  34:30

No, I think that you’re making a very good point about understanding who we are, first of all, you know, in terms of neurodiversity ourselves, right? But it’s also making sure that we have the, you know, as soon as we look at other people, and you’ve done a post on LinkedIn on that, where you talked about what lens are we using to look at other people because you talk about in effect perception, isn’t it? Yeah, we see people because of who we are, to some extent and how we are and how we think and how we communicate. And I think that’s quite dangerous actually, to think like that, because it’s not fair. It’s not equitable. And so how can we, you know, I mean, I am desperate to see people in a way in a more equitable way, you know, and I hope I don’t miss anything. But how can I? Or how can we improve? In our perception of getting it? Right? Yeah.



I do some very uncomfortable exercises for people to get to understand. I’m not trying to do afternoon. But the first thing is, is imagining what would start by imagining, and that’s okay, imagine what it’s like to be in a world where you can’t hear, imagine that. So imagine, when you’re going out and you can’t hear somebody’s conversation, and you can’t join in? How would that feel? Imagine that you’re trying to go to a train station, and you’re trying to catch a train and you can’t read anything. Imagine what that’s like. So by starting to imagine some of these things, imagine what it’s like, if you are being bombarded with with incredible noise going at you again and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again. And again, and again. And again. Imagine what you feel like, right? So I think it’s starting to, I was doing some training this morning with a group of 20 people, and just getting people to realize we’re all different. So I asked there, what do you do when you focus? How do you focus? Do you like it to be quiet? Would you like to have music? And guess what? People make different things? And they like, things are different times and somebody was going I like silence and he goes I hate silence. So now we’ve got divergence. Okay. See, right. Somebody says I like classical news and others had never classical music, you know. So it’s a bit. So it’s recognizing what we do isn’t what other people do. And having those conversations allows us to open up and say, Actually, yeah, I know. That’s right. I don’t like that. You know, I really love the warm, I don’t like the cold. Somebody says I love the cold. I don’t like the warm. And it’s actually seeing what we have in common, as well as what differences we have. And recognizing that and facts, I think is really important. One in three people in prison are neurodivergent most of them do not have a diagnosis, right? Many developmental language disorder a receptive language problem, which means it’s harder to decode information. Now, Nadine, you speak fluent French, and My French isn’t bad. Okay. It’s not great, but it’s not bad. I could have a conversation with you probably. But if you started speaking, if I started speaking to you on Welsh, that might be problematic. Okay. So understanding what does it feel like? Somewhere where I can’t read? If I go to China? I don’t speak any Chinese dialect? What would it be like? Not understanding the culture not reading the labels? Not understanding what the food is, when I’m being presented with it in a in a restaurant? How would that make you feel? And I think that starts to allow us to understand a little bit. We take things for granted.



That’s a really clear way of I can I can I’m just visualizing exactly what you’re saying in terms of how you see people who don’t who can’t read the social cues, and don’t really, you know, don’t understand the world that they live in. And that that’s quite distressing, really, because so many things that as you say you take for granted to other people as a foreign language, like when, when three people are discussing something, when do you come in? Yes, there we go. When you come in. Are you coming in about the point that we said 10 minutes ago, because we’re waiting 10 minutes come in. And we have quite a lot of familiar arguments around this sort of thing. Can I just pick up on a couple of the comments because they actually relate to what the Dean was saying. Jeremy’s saying any practical hiring interview techniques to be more inclusive, we know diversity, and then Boucher is saying, Are there any recommended techniques or interviewing models to use when including these kinds of profiles? So they’re linked questions there?



Okay. So the first thing is, if you can, is to have a neurodivergent group of people, so you’ve got a variability on your hiring boards and interview boards, so you’re thinking about it. But even before that, is virtual hiring is increasing. So because of COVID-19. So there’s been more of virtual hiring, telling people what’s going to happen beforehand is a great idea, right? Nothing worse than not quite knowing what’s going to happen. So providing information about the interview beforehand, being upfront, why not give some tips to people, so you’re reducing their anxiety levels. So it could be that we’re using WebEx or we’re using Skype or we Using tell them the system they using to make sure that they can download the appropriate software, allow them have a time to log in beforehand. What do you want to have, you’re hiring people, if people to feel as least anxious as possible, I was somebody the other day. And they started to go into a virtual interview. And what happened there software needed to update in the middle of this, the whole thing closed down, they were in such a flap that they tipped over the water, they had an accent on to their laptop, terrible, right? This was terrible. They were able to do the job. But we haven’t set up the Milio, right for the interview to get that feel as relaxed as possible. So if you will get an interview, try to provide some some information, what’s going to happen? Who’s going to be there? How long is it going to happen? If they go if you’re going to ask them to do something, tell them exactly what it is. So under Access to Work in the UK, you can get help and support if your division in that point in time. And in the point in time at the interview. You might need somebody right people don’t know this. So okay, so again, information, why not people seem to be appalled at this, why not provide the questions beforehand? It’s not a memory game, unless it is a memory game, and that’s your job. But if it’s not a memory game, why wouldn’t you provide the questions beforehand, so somebody can reflect, prepare, and engage more? It doesn’t have to be mystical interviews,



you know, certainly some of the questions, some of the questions about telling everybody the questions, you could provide some of them, couldn’t you? You



could or you could provide the questions an hour before. So somebody’s got a little bit of time. But again, it What are you interviewing for? If you’re interviewing for somebody who can respond quickly to questions, because maybe they’re going to be working in a call center, and they’ve got to be able to respond. But even they would be having training, and they would have a manual, right? So if the job doesn’t require you to respond quickly, and you have, maybe you’re being applying for a job as a researcher, right, that is about thinking, processing the information integrator or journalist, right? Why would you ask somebody to instantly respond? You might be seeing that they can’t do that. But they could really do a great job of trying to think about what you’re interviewing for, and marry the skills to the job you’re getting them to do.



Yeah, brilliant. Again, Jeremy has just come back. We just come back. And he says, Thank you. That’s exactly what we’re looking for. First we’ve ever had so on that one, so nicely done a man.



Well, if you go, I do a LinkedIn newsletter, most weeks, and last week was all about virtual hiring and with tips about that. So if you want a newsletter, there’s lots of tips for both the hire the interviewer, but also for what you can send out to people coming, give them information beforehand,



that’d be really helpful. Could we could we put a link in the QA? We haven’t? Yeah, brilliant. Thank you. Nadine was going to say


Nadine Powrie  43:07

so I was going to say that actually, Amanda, next week, Jenny, and Jen and I, we are spending our week interviewing people



remotely. It’s been, my cogs have been


Nadine Powrie  43:21

flying. And, and and actually, it’s not creating anxiety, but it’s exactly what you’ve said, like, I’ve had this image of a software update or something, you know, I told the candidates everything possible. Because let’s you know, let’s be honest here. We’ve never done that the way we’re going to be doing it next week. So I mean, it’s just thinking about everything. And you don’t know what you don’t know. So we are going to go to your LinkedIn post that you posted last week. And we’re going to make sure that it’s in the comments so that people can read and refer to what you’ve written, actually, because that’s going to be very helpful. General, do you want to pick up on a few comments?



Yeah. Next, come back in talking about this is going to become increasing issue as tech changes. And we already see it with the millennial employer issues we’re going to be we’re all going to be divergent. I think we all are divergent, in some sense. So this will ultimately benefit us all. And I think that’s it’s linked in a way to something that you were saying, Amanda about being if you are neurodivergent, you can get help. But how there’s there’s not a scale of it necessarily is that you go past a certain scale. Well, can I just bring in Bushra just because I’m doing the comments and I got to get them in. Fisher says I would ask some of the questions such as purely technical questions that are linked to processes or ways of doing things need preparation. They also agree and sharing in advance of how and when and who will interview the individual. Thank you. So your your answer has your Yeah, thank you.



You’re welcome. I think it’s about being upfront about what’s going to happen when it’s going to happen. What’s going to happen afterwards. So there’s nothing more nerve wracking, not hearing from somebody. And if you know that, either be told you’re not going to be told, unless you have the job, or you are going to be, you’re going to be told in 10 days time, that being being transparent about the process, and really thinking about the other thing is asking people if they want to support or they need adjustments, do they need closed captioning? Do they need? Have they got challenges asking people upfront about? Are there any adjustments we want, you need to have put in place in order for you to be able to show your talents appropriately? And that is a feeling that’s enabling? Isn’t it? Really? Yeah, absolutely.



So I’m just writing down.



We are jotting things down. And



that’s why it’s quiet, because we’re all right.


Nadine Powrie  46:01

We’re learning it’s a training. It’s totally amazing, actually. I mean, it’s, but it’s making you think that, you know, we technology is moving forward. And we’ve got new software all the times, and we’ve been using an online recruitment process. And, and having worked with it for the first time, you know, you have a demo, and you think, oh, yeah, that looks great. Right? And then you put it in practice. And then you see the flaws, you know, and while you’ve been speaking, I’m thinking, did he do this, and did it do that. And then I would want to go back, and perhaps reflect and perhaps a man tweak.



Whether it’s accessible, that’s the one thing which is if you’re thinking about a site or an application form, if the job doesn’t require somebody to read, and they could use in their everyday life, text to speech, speech to text software, and you’re presenting information in a flat form, that isn’t able to be read online, they can’t use a technology, then are you again, precluding people. So really thinking about your forms of communication, and thinking about, I think thinking about your own communication preferences, but also other people’s. And I think this environment, one thing around COVID-19, and flexible working and online working, we’ve got to now re think about how we all communicate, whether my preference is to communicate depends on the task, of course. But it might be that I prefer to communicate in an asynchronous form, I need time to process information. So if I know that, and you know that you’ll know that I’m better being asked stuff, I can have time, I can use my grammar checker. And I can give you some really good response. But don’t ask me on the spot, because that’ll make me go wobbly. Right. So understanding each other’s communication preferences will help us to be worked better as teams.



And that one thing there just to get back, just to pick up from education point of view that one thing that you’ve just mentioned, is crucial for people who are educating to realize that you need to give some options for your students, for your learners, to allow those who need time to process and work things out and to get the quality of their thoughts into a way that they can present it. And if you don’t, then you’re just simply not providing them with an opportunity to do what you think. So I think that last point was hit a big nail smack.



The size of the nail is enormous, because actually what you’re talking about it is it isn’t about interventions, and differentiation, even it’s about everybody having the appropriate. I mean, it sounds very basic and strange coming to this realization. But I’ve I’ve you know, I mean, I’ve done a lot of special needs in schools as John who’s the head of a special school, and it’s always been about the people who are different, not about everybody. Yeah, I think that that’s, I think that this this past, sort of 50 minutes or so has absolutely been a lightbulb moment for me in the recognition that we’re all we’re all we’re all neuro diverse, and we’re all different. Yeah. And what what impact does that have on on me as a head or me as an employer? Just



so I can look okay, for



more discussions. We’re getting lots of chat and it’s, it’s nice to bring them in. There’s a LinkedIn user. I don’t know if that’s Natalie, because Natalie quite often comes in just as LinkedIn user, how would you categorize people who suffer from OCD, as it seems increasing issue and it affects the behavior and interactions with others, even if they mask or avoid triggers? They will have adapted their behavior to avoid these.



So again, we can talk about OCD, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, a number of sensory processing a whole variety of different conditions. I think first of all, I would go back to the first principles. One is, where are the challenges? What are the triggers? And is it stopping you? I use a framework, the World Health Organization, International Classification of disability and health, big framing, but the key part of that is about activity and participation. So whatever the condition is, what is it stopping me do the things that I want to do need to do in society in education and employment? So if that is OCD, that is, I want to know, what is limiting you? What’s stopping you do what you need to do? What are the environmental factors that are coming into play as well? What are your personal factors that come into play? So again, we’re taking what’s called a biopsychosocial approach to understand you. And that is, I’m a doctor, I take a history I want to understand, if you suffer from obsessional compulsive disorder, what makes him better and what makes things worse. And if we can understand that, and again, it’s my understanding of you. So in the same way jetties in school, is actually it’s about understanding the behaviors, we see whether that’s anxiety or OCD, or it’s dyspraxia, or as autism is what makes things better, and what things makes things worse. So how do I make things better? And how do I make things worse, because I will have an influence on you. And if I speak Russian to you, and you speak English, or Welsh, and Italian, it’s my job as a professional to ensure that you can and I can understand you. So actually, as a health as an educational professional, our role is to understand why behavior, there isn’t a diagnosis for behavior. It is a diet, it’s understanding why people behave in different ways, whether they’re avoiding things or obsessively doing things, or getting angry because of things. You know, my grandson said to me, I had my hand up the other day all the time, and nobody was taking any notice. And he got fed up. Right. So then he created a situation to get noticed when it’s not something to say that may not have been appropriate or might be appropriate, but it’s understanding why in the workplace, that’s an education.



Thank you. LinkedIn user was Geraldine by the way and Rakesh conduct overall interviews in two aspects willingness and potential covered with situation based questions giving me confidence somebody someone capable to perform r&r.



Okay, so situational judgment tests are sometimes problematic, okay. So if I’ve never been in that situation, and I’m more perhaps I’m I’m gonna put a label, I’m autistic, I’m gonna have a problem and thinking about what I would do in a situation I’ve never been in. So be careful. If you’re recruiting and using situational judgment tests. For some people, you might want to look at willingness and skills, and get examples of where they work to aligning those skills in situations, which would might be similar in the job they’re going to do. Most people have boarding an induction, where you’re going to get people to understand or to look at skills gaps, but be very careful. You’re not precluding people who can’t imagine what a situation is going to be like, because they’ve never been in it.



I’ve been one of those who just say I’ve been recently I applied for something Bruce Lee didn’t get the job when I was because I Well, I obviously was no good. But I was it was exactly that. I hadn’t understood the implications of the situation, I’d be put in there you think come on down, you should be fired up. But I didn’t know. I’m just, I mean, I was useless in the process. But I felt I was I felt a bit let down if I’m honest, as well. So anyway,



it is bias. So they’re biasing and precluding people. And people like civic Civil Service have changed their processes, because they recognize that some of those tests were biasing and precluding people who could do the job.



Yeah. Yeah. And it’s very sad, isn’t it? Because they’re missing out on potential talent. Exactly.


Nadine Powrie  54:25

Can I ask you a question because I want to come back to the Equality Act and making reasonable adjustments. I’m just very interested in that. Have you have you I mean, in your capacity, do you attend tribunal because you are the expert



in certain conditions, not in everything. Like it’s always very careful not to be not to put yourself out as an expert of everything, but only an expert of some things in the areas that I’ve got expertise then yes, but specifically, rather than generally I think the other thing is with the Equality Act, there’s interestingly, because there’s increasing case law relating to neurodiversity, yes, which is, you know, which is then setting a standard and getting employers to think about what they really shouldn’t do. And I think that’s an interesting state and a challenge we’re going to see, we’re going to see some interesting challenges that I can predict that are going to come to the fore, where employees want to have employers to diagnose when actually it’s not the role of the employer to diagnose. And, and, you know, employers need to be careful that they don’t send people for a diagnosis of autism and ADHD, and they don’t put dyslexia or dyspraxia, especially when they all overlap. They’re going to set themselves up for tribunals definitely think this way.


Nadine Powrie  55:47

Okay. Jenny, do you want?



Yeah. Couple more comments. Next back again, is there any work on the ROI? Inclusive sense for business or our society norms? The initial driver for change? Yeah, there is.



So okay, I’m interested in SROI, as well as ROI, so social return on investment, as well as return on investment. If you look at this and work from the US showing that if we have inclusive processes that actually improves productivity, well being retention, millennials want people to think about people. So you’re going to attract talent unless you’re thinking about people properly. So we’re seeing that has an impact on productivity and, and retention and well being SROI 1/3 of people in prison have got neurodiversity and conditions, many of them are met at 4000, approximately people in the UK, for example, are in the prison, of which approximately 30,000 pounds per person per year to keep them there. Now you just do the maths on that isn’t good actually start by harnessing the talent and maintaining well being and employability and identifying people earlier on, we can be saving ourselves one hell of a lot of money, not just in prison, they can be in the workplace, and they can be contributing and being taxpayers. So there is huge reason why upstream identification and support of challenges and talents makes a lot of sense economically.



Amanda, can I sorry, Jenny, did you want to pick up a comment? Yes.



I think the LinkedIn users Geraldine coming back in just saying so understanding why the triggers are for people is key, since you can make sure not to present a response that presents a trigger. And I actually, you know, I was thinking when you were talking about that of actually having that as a dialogue, rather than just kind of doing detective work is having that very upfront and actually saying, you know, why was that a trigger? And what can we do to help and actually bring that to the fore rather than the back is talking a lot about electronic safety and digital citizenship in terms of preserving safety to students. What should all educational institutions do to help protect students from potential dangers inappropriate materials, or any incidents that occur online and how to address them, which is kind of more general.



Okay, so I think enabling parents to understand about security and about laxness a lot of parents don’t know what their children are doing. So getting parents to understand how to keep your children safe. And what to do about that is really important. So I’m really keen to work with parents, as I said, they’re a free resource. And they will help. So that’s the first thing if parents know, then that really makes a difference. And then educating the children as well as educating the things that are good about the internet, brilliant, there’s some amazing things about the internet. But they’re also some things that are actually quite damaging for young people, especially during emerging adulthood where you’re trying to sort of look at yourself and see who you are, and recognize your self esteem. So I think it’s about it’s about that well being health and well being as well as practical skills to show people how to how do young people how to be safe and starting that early, like sex education in a way, we should be starting it a bit earlier.



Article, is that a is that a particular practical concern? Concern for population we’re talking about? Because children anyway,



absolutely. So in? Well, because one is, if you don’t understand the social nuances of somebody online, you could be groomed, you could be picking up social cues and seeing that somebody is being friendly to you when they’re not being friendly, that you could use those cues. You could also and some people who have ADHD are impulsive, and we know that the greater risk of things like addiction, gaming addictions as well. So actually understanding in a neurodivergent population, what the risks are, is going to be important in from vulnerability as well.



So it’s the same it’s the same sorts of things but but heightened, high risk Because of the of the Okay, thank you. Yeah, that’s a bit



on the ability isn’t there? If you can’t pick up the social cues and put it you know what, going back to what you were saying if they’re speaking Chinese and you’re not picking up social cues that, that people, people who struggle with this are very vulnerable and very open, very open to being manipulated. It it’s a huge issue. We’ve, we’ve just come to it at sort of dead on an hour. We could do another hour on.


Nadine Powrie  1:00:31

Yes, yes. And under Do you have a final message?



I suppose. Let’s all learn more about each other.


Nadine Powrie  1:00:41

Hmm. Very much. Amanda, thank you so much for being our guest today. It’s I mean, this hour has just gone. So we’ve got so many questions still to ask you. But you can come back we can do part two at some point.



So much that’s been an absolute privilege listening to you. Thank you very


Nadine Powrie  1:01:07

much indeed. Thank you very much indeed everybody. And we will see you next week. Thank you.



Yeah, look forward to it.


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