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Monday, March 15, 2021

Celebrating Neurodiversity

To have a learning difference has been one of the biggest challenges and exceptional opportunities in my life.  It has made me who I am; for example, creativity, out of the box thinking, seeing different perspectives, gaining unique insights, excellent problem-solving skills, drive and energy, thinking in pictures and being permanently curious. 

I am now proud to say I am neurodivergent, but actually, everyone is.  We are all unique people who have our own ways of thinking and learning that often doesn’t match the standard curriculum.  We need to celebrate this diversity.  Every team needs neurodiversity to come up with those unique solutions that we need to solve today’s challenges.  When everything dear to me was falling apart during the lockdown, I asked myself the questions, “What can I do” rather than mourning what I can’t do. 

I took the opportunity to follow topics that interest me:

  • I joined courses at The New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing College and Future Learn
  • I taught at the Luton and Dunstable Recovery College
  • I created dozens of short videos on YouTube about thriving with neurodiversity
  • I ran on-line community projects
  •  I have Improved my drawing skills.  It seems you can ask YouTube about any new skill you want, and it will have several suggestions. 

2020 has certainly been different and pushed me into areas I never considered. I am continually grateful for missing COVID-19 and have now had my first jab.

March 15th-21st is Neurodiversity Celebration Week; please celebrate with people you know, their strengths and exceptional skills. It is time we acknowledge the unique contributions they all make.


Author: Olive Hickmott

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New Leaf College are looking for students to write about their personal experiences with their own wellbeing and/or the college, to share it on the college's blog. If you're interested in blogging for us please send an email to newleaf.wellbeingcollege@hpft.nhs.uk.

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