Neurodiversity

2.1 December 2009

Editorial

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Issue 1 of this Journal was focused on the characteristics and experiences of individuals on the Autism Spectrum. This edition looks at a broader range of neurodiversity.

The term ‘neurodiversity’ was coined by autistic people in the United States. The Wikipedia entry states: Neurodiversity is an idea which asserts that atypical (neurodivergent) neurological development is a normal human difference that is to be recognized and respected as any other human variation (Wikipedia 2009). The original conception of the word may have been led by those with a specific aim of advocacy for autistic people (Harmon 2004), but its use has been broadened to include a range of what are also termed ‘specific learning differences’. Neurodiversity can also be taken to include AD(H)D, which is currently viewed by many professionals as a medical diagnosis (as was dyslexia in the 1960s). The use of the word is in tune with the ideological approach of this Journal, which is to be inclusive and to avoid pathologising and ‘othering’ particular individuals.

In the current edition, all but one of the six articles are written by people who experience neurodiversity themselves. The edition embodies the principle, enshrined in the editorial guidelines, that reflective pieces about personal experiences will be included. We have here several authors who have not only been identified with various types of neurodiversity, but also work as academics and/or disability professionals.

As before, many of the articles contain a combination of key facts about people with different kinds of experiences, information for staff and information of use to students.

The editorial board welcomes responses from readers; we may print some in a future edition. If you would like to see book reviews in the Journal and are willing to write one, please contact us about that as well.

Edited by Dr Nicola Martin & Dr David Pollack.

Harmon A (2004) Neurodiversity forever: the disability movement turns to brains. New York Times, 9 May.

Wikipedia (2009) Neurodiversity. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurodiversity (accessed 30 June 2009)

From the Journal Editor

I am delighted to present the second edition of the Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. In keeping with the ethos of the journal, contributions, this time on the theme of neurodiversity, are presented largely by writers who have an insider perspective. All submissions have a sound theoretical basis and practical relevance to the further and higher education context.  Sincere thanks to the contributors, to Dr. David Pollak for editing this edition so carefully,  to the editorial board for their diligence, to the admin team and proofreaders, and for the generous support of our sponsors Microlink who are responsible for the printing.

In response to reader feedback we are using pastel paper and a more accessible layout.

Nicola Martin

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Articles

Cooper, R. (2009) Evaluation of a ‘Super Reading’ Course with Dyslexic Adults. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 2.1. pp.4-21. Word download.

Robertson, J. (2009) Dyscalculia in post-16 education. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 2.1. pp. 22-31. Word download.

Colley, M. (2009) Dyspraxia & AD(H)D in post 16 education. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 2.1. pp. 32-56. Word download.

Martin, N. (2009) Feeling special – a grown-up’s guide: reflections arising from adult diagnosis of dyspraxia. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 2.1. pp. 57-69. Word download.

Kirby, J. (2009) Paradox and conflicting identities in Disability Service Provision in Higher education: a personal reflection. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 2.1. pp. 70-81. Word download

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