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ABC News: Psychologist explains what "neurodivergent" student need in the classroom

Nov 16, 2023,ABC News: How classrooms are changing to support neurodivergent students


A group of psychologists is fighting to make schools more inclusive for students with learning disabilities.

The Department of Education reports 7.3 million students with learning disabilities were enrolled in U.S. schools in the 2021-2022 school year.

These advocates say small classroom changes can make a big difference for those students. … The American Academy of Pediatrics says neurodiversity diagnoses are on the rise with two of the most common being ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. And those are also considered learning disabilities.

Psychologist Cynthia Martin, Senior Director and psychologist at the Child Mind Institute Autism Center: Neurodivergent students who have autism or ADHD, they can have difficulty navigating the social environment of the classroom. …

Although they’re very bright and they have the ability to complete grade level and in many cases above grade level academic work, the actual organizing of themselves and completing task from start to finish, keeping their attention on the task, motivating themselves to start the task, and knowing how to do the task in the way that the teacher is teaching it verses the way they would like to do it or the way they understand it, can be more challenging…

…It can be more difficult for them to adapt their behavior to meet the demand within the classroom. They can be more prone to having outbursts or challenges in the classroom that can be seen as being more of a behavioral challenge. …

…Young kids who are neurodivergent due to autism or ADHD may be less likely to go along to get along. They need to be explicitly taught what are the expectations in this environment.

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