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The Importance of Not Putting Neurodivergent Students in Isolation

In today's education system, it is vital to create an inclusive environment that caters to the diverse needs of all students. This includes neurodivergent students, who possess unique cognitive abilities and thinking styles. Sadly, it is still common for schools to isolate neurodivergent students, failing to recognise the potential benefits of nurturing their innate capabilities. In this blog post, we will explore why schools should refrain from putting neurodivergent students in isolation, as their brains are designed to roam, explore, and create.

Neurodiversity refers to the natural variation in human brain function and cognitive processing. Neurodivergent students, such as those with ADHD, autism, Tourette’s or dyslexia, possess different neural wiring, which enables them to perceive and process information in unique ways. By isolating these students, schools are missing out on the opportunity to harness their distinct perspectives, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

Neurodivergent students often have minds that roam and explore, constantly seeking new knowledge and experiences. Their curiosity and ability to think outside the box can lead to innovative solutions and novel ideas. Placing them in isolation restricts their ability to engage with their surroundings, hindering their natural inclination to explore and discover. Instead, their innate sense of curiosity should be nurtured through inclusive and interactive learning environments.

Neurodivergent students often possess remarkable creativity and innovation. Their atypical thought patterns and unconventional approaches to problem-solving can result in groundbreaking ideas and unique perspectives. By isolating these students, schools not only stifle their creative potential but also miss out on the opportunity for cross-pollination of ideas within the classroom. Encouraging collaboration and providing outlets for creative expression can unlock the full potential of neurodivergent students.

Isolating neurodivergent students sets them up for failure rather than success. By recognising and accommodating their specific needs, schools can create a supportive and inclusive environment where these students can thrive. Providing individualised support, such as assistive technologies, learning aids, and tailored teaching strategies, can help neurodivergent students excel academically and socially. Fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance within the school community further contributes to their overall well-being and success.

We should also be mindful of using isolation as a form of punishment. Neurodivergent brains are designed to be fast paced, curious, desire regular interaction and seek dopamine. Therefore, we set them up for further failure as in many cases it’s near on impossible for these neurodivergent brains to sit still, in silence with no interaction or ways or seeking dopamine. Alternatives, if “punishment” is indeed appropriate, should be suitable for the individuals needs.

Schools play a crucial role in shaping the educational experiences of neurodivergent students. By refraining from isolating these students and instead embracing their unique cognitive abilities, schools can create an inclusive environment that fosters their natural inclination to roam, explore, and create. By recognising and nurturing their innate talents, we can unlock the full potential of neurodivergent students, empowering them to thrive academically and contribute meaningfully to society. Let us strive to create educational environments that celebrate neurodiversity and provide equal opportunities for all students to succeed.

Sarah Sharp

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