“Alexa, what is neurodiversity?” She answers me, “Neurodiversity is the range of differences in individual brain function and behavioral traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population (used especially in the context of autistic spectrum disorders).”
When I read last week’s press release from Worcester Polytecnic Institute, “WPI Researchers Urge High-Tech Firms to Leverage Talents of Neurodiverse Workers,” I realized we have come a long way. My perception was confirmed when I read additional data on this topic. The following statistics were cited in a recent article from Understood.org about the public’s attitude regarding children with LD (learning disabilities).
When my son was struggling in school 20 years ago, the term “neurodiversity” didn’t exist. I wish it did! It may have paved the rocky road we had in K-12 , college (and continue to have in adulthood), with a little grease, so when we hit the bumps associated with a significant learning disability we could have slid over them instead of tripping and falling.
Here is the Press Release about the WPI research on the value of neurodiversity in the workplace that gives me hope for the many young adults out there struggling to be valued, as well as gainfully employed, and financially independent.
The research focuses on 5 arguments to encourage high-tech companies to invest in a neurodiverse workforce:
Did you know that one of the National Library of Medicine’s partner organizations is the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) https://www.nichd.nih.gov ?
NICHD was founded in 1962, with a mission to investigate human development throughout the entire life process, with a focus on understanding disabilities and important events that occur during pregnancy.
Since then, research conducted and funded by NICHD has helped save lives, improve wellbeing, and reduce societal costs associated with illness and disability.
On the NICHD website you can find research as well as information about many health topics related to their mission.
Eleanor Loiacono, researcher and professor in the WPI Foisie Business School says that she hopes her research will help companies that are struggling with making their staff more neurodiverse.
“Including those who are neurodiverse in the high-tech workforce can contribute not only to a company’s bottom line and society’s call for greater diversity and inclusion, it can help promote greater mental health within a society that is facing one of the greatest mental health crises it has ever seen.”