Welcome to UNVAELD where unlocking the full potential of your workforce becomes your competitive advantage.

Navigating neurodiversity with BIMA.


Follow the author on LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandraunvaeld/

Introduction:

UNVAELD recently had the pleasure of attending a super enlightening neurodiversity event hosted by BIMA (British Interactive Media Association). They gathered some amazing panellists, such as Gem Fountain, Vimbai Mukori, Sam Page, and Tai Rosemin, to dive deep into the fascinating world of neurodivergence.

You can stay tuned for a blog written by Vimbai Mukori, who is an Occupational Therapist, Neurodiversity Trainer, Speaker and Diagnostician, this Friday all about neurodiversity!

Until then, let’s take a ride through the highlights of BIMA’s event!

 

The Wide World of Neurodiversity:

Alright, before we dive in, let’s chat about what neurodiversity really means. It’s like this big umbrella term that covers a bunch of different diagnoses and trust me, every single person’s experience with it is as unique as a fingerprint. But the fabulous panel shed some light on some common signs often linked with neurodivergence:

  1. Eye Contact Avoidance: Ever felt awkward maintaining eye contact? Well, it’s not just you. For some neurodivergent individuals, it’s a bit of a challenge, often due to sensory sensitivities or social anxiety.
  2. Organised Chaos: Some neurodivergent individuals might struggle with keeping things neat and tidy, whilst others become hyper-organised, often to a more extreme degree.
  3. Act Now, Think Later: Impulsivity is a common trait among neurodivergent individuals, especially for those dealing with ADHD. Sometimes, people can act first and think about the consequences later.
  4. Memory Lane: Working memory can be a bit finicky for some. Remembering and juggling information in the short term might need a little extra effort.
  5. Overthinking: Ever get caught in a whirlwind of thoughts? It happens, especially to our neurodivergent friends. Overthinking, especially among women, can be a real thing.
  6. Foot-in-Mouth Moments: Saying stuff without thinking it through? We’ve all been there, but some neurodivergent individuals may do it more often, not fully realising the impact of their words.
  7. Self-Critique: Self-doubt and self-criticism are like unwanted houseguests that sometimes stay too long, affecting self-esteem and mental well-being.
  8. Hyper-Focus: Hyper-focus can be a superpower, but it can also be a tad tricky. It’s when you get totally absorbed in a task you love, but switching gears? That’s the hard part.
  9. Lost in Directions: Following directions can sometimes feel like deciphering a secret code. Neurodivergent individuals might struggle with multi-step instructions, especially if they involve lefts, rights and complex spatial stuff.
  10. Sensory Adventures: Sensory sensitivities are a whole journey in themselves. Some people are hypersensitive, while others might actively seek out sensory experiences for comfort or stimulation.

This list is not exhaustive and each person’s diagnosis will be unique to them.

 

Supporting Neurodiversity at Work:

Okay, so attending this event was amazing, but the real work starts when we take what we’ve learned and put it into action.

Here are some practical tips straight from the experts to make your workplace more neurodiverse-friendly:

  1. Strengths and Support: Encourage new employees to share their strengths and areas where they might need a little support.
  2. Zen Zones: Ever thought about creating a “Zen Zone” in your office? It can be a game-changer for folks who need a quiet, distraction-free space to work their magic.
  3. Emotional Backup: Going through the diagnosis process can provoke a rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes people feel like they’ve wasted a lot of years not understanding themselves. HR teams, give some extra support during this journey.
  4. Clear Talk: When hiring, be super clear about compensation, hours, team dynamics, growth opportunities and tech stuff. Clarity = Less confusion and more happy faces.
  5. Super Strengths: Some neurodivergent individuals can bring special strengths to the table. Like, someone with ADHD might be the master of turning chaos into order. Someone with autism might ace pattern recognition in data like nobody else can. Discover what your employee’s strengths are and have them to do more of what they’re great at!
  6. Bias Check: When you’re looking at job requirements, ask yourself if certain criteria are really necessary. Don’t miss out on awesome candidates just because of biases that don’t fit the job. For example, does a role that involves staring at a screen all day really need good eye-contact at interview stage?
  7. Informal Interviews: Make those interviews less uptight and use them as a chance to explain how your company supports neurodiversity. Break the stigma like a boss!

 

Conclusion: 

So, here’s the deal. Neurodiversity isn’t just a checkbox on your HR form. It’s a celebration of unique talents, perspectives and experiences. By following these expert-recommended steps, employers can make their workplaces more diverse, inclusive and all-around awesome!

Huge shoutout to BIMA for making it all happen and bringing us one step closer to an inclusive world!

Be updated

Register for our mailing list.
Gain early access to our free professional hub and community now.

Be updated

Curious about what we offer?

UNVAELD Professional Help

We do not provide professional help to individuals in urgent crisis. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 999 immediately. For support with suicidal thoughts, consider contacting the Samaritans UK, a trusted organisation specialising in confidential assistance during emotional distress. Your safety is paramount and there are professionals available to provide the urgent help required in such critical situations.
We do not provide professional help to individuals in urgent crisis. If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 999 immediately. For support with suicidal thoughts, consider contacting the Samaritans UK, a trusted organisation specialising in confidential assistance during emotional distress. Your safety is paramount and there are professionals available to provide the urgent help required in such critical situations.