Care for People: Awareness and acceptance of neurodivergent individuals

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The concept of neurodiversity celebrates the diverse ways in which our brains function, acknowledging that there’s no one-size-fits-all definition. While some may hesitate to rigidly classify neurodiversity, it’s crucial to recognize its fluid nature as a “moving target,” evolving with our understanding and societal context. Embracing this perspective  as epistemically useful fosters empathy and redefines societal norms, ultimately contributing to the creation of a more compassionate world.In “21 Lessons for the 21st Century,” Yuval Noah Harari underscores the invaluable contributions of neurodivergent individuals to our collective intelligence and problem-solving abilities. Their unique perspectives and cognitive skills fuel innovation, driving progress in navigating the complexities of our modern world.

 

Echoing these sentiments, “Laudato Si” by Pope Francis emphasizes the interconnectedness of all life and the importance of caring for individuals who may be neurodivergent. By embracing neurodiversity and recognizing the inherent dignity and value of every individual, regardless of neurological differences, we can create a more inclusive and compassionate society, aligned with the principles of sustainability and holistic well-being. Let’s advocate for awareness and acceptance of neurodivergent individuals, harnessing their strengths to build a better future for People and Planet.

 

Agatha Christie, the renowned British writer, is an inspirational example of how one can overcome  challenges through personalized learning. Despite facing difficulties with formal education due to dyscalculia and other learning differences, Christie discovered her passion for storytelling and literature. Through personalized learning approaches, such as reading extensively and expressing her creativity through writing, she honed her skills and became one of the most successful authors of all time. Her story underscores the importance of recognizing individual strengths and providing tailored support to unlock the full potential of neurodivergent individuals.

 

The objective of the proposed approach to neurodiversity in Kenya’s Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) is to promote inclusiveness and cater to a wide range of learning styles and abilities. This requires the incorporation of neurodivergent learner support strategies, including accessible resources, personalised learning plans, and differentiated instruction. The CBC places significant emphasis on comprehensive development, encompassing the acquisition of vital skills, values, and dispositions in addition to scholastic success. By acknowledging and incorporating neurodiversity into the curriculum, Kenya aims to establish an academic setting that values and caters to the distinct abilities and difficulties of each student, thereby advancing educational excellence and fairness. While this initiative promotes excellence and equity and hopefully inspires many more Agathas, it is incumbent upon us to contribute our requisite expertise in order to ensure the curriculum’s effectiveness.

Article written by: Stella Musyoka

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