Community Learn recently set up, through the Welsh Union Learning Fund project, its first training session aimed at individuals who work in the education sector. The session attracted 21 registrations and one learner, Maria Drummond, shares her experience of the event.
I was recently fortunate enough to have been able to sign up for a training session, Adapting for Neurodiversity: Inclusive Classrooms, via Lisa Francis, Learning Organiser for Community.
Anyone working in education will attest to the fact that the ways of doing things are always evolving, and there are always new discoveries regarding how learners process information as well as updates on the way things are done. Factor in the diversity of each individual learner and the challenge also becomes how to best cater to these individual needs.
I found the training session extremely helpful and informative, as I was encouraged to revisit my own classroom practices and how I have interacted with learners who are neurodiverse.
So many changes have occurred in the way neurodiversity is viewed over the years and there are more and more ways of helping these learners thrive in an inclusive setting.
During the training, it was great to see that outdated ways of handling neurodiverse learners were now being replaced. Through these new approaches, they are viewed as capable individuals with the ability to thrive alongside their peers.
The trainer herself had autism and was, therefore, able to give us a clear picture of what people with autism experience and how they react to different stimuli – which tends to be different from somebody who is in the majority, which she referred to as ‘neurotypical’.
After explaining and defining terminologies, she began to give a variety of suggestions for accommodating neurodiverse learners, which I found to be very helpful. These were just tweaks that weren’t daunting to implement at all.
Minor changes, like giving extra reminders during routine transitions, giving a little bit of extra time to process information, or even ensuring that uncomfortable sensory triggers are avoided, would mean that that the neurodiverse learners would be catered to better, thus helping them enhance their learning outcomes.
Having been equipped with an improved understanding of how neurodiverse learners process information and how to make changes to help them succeed, I felt more confident in being able to approach these situations in the classroom in the future.
I’m very grateful to Community Learn, Lisa and her colleagues for setting this all up and for giving access to individuals who are keen to update their knowledge.
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