Neurodiversity: How to Facilitate Learner Progress through Evidence-Based Support

This article originally appeared on June 23, 2020 by Chris Quickfall.


My introduction to neurodiversity was when I was diagnosed with dyslexia at university. The term “neurodiversity” is used to describe the cognitive diversity of the human brain. It acknowledges the fact that we all think differently. The human brain is really complicated, it is the most complex structure in the known universe. There are about one quadrillion synapses in the brain. This structure of synaptic connections is so specific to each person that no human who has existed, or will ever exist, will have that same structure.


With something so complicated, it’s natural to ask how it’s possible to map and understand the human brain. Neuropsychologists have been studying the mind and creating scales to measure our cognitive processing for decades. There are specific domains in the brain that are important for learning and thinking. A “domain” is simply a type of process/es we use to function in our day-to-day life. For example, this could be how quickly we can read and take notes (Visual Information Processing Speed) or our ability to problem solve and think critically (Verbal Reasoning).


A simple personal understanding of these domains and our performance within them tells us something fundamental about how we learn. This knowledge makes a massive difference to how we perceive our own abilities, as well as our capacity to learn, i