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EB Celebrates Neurodiversity Week

Elodie Resurreccion, French Curriculum Coordinator & Jeff Miles, English Curriculum Coordinator
Neurodiversity Celebration Week is a worldwide initiative designed to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences.
Neurodiversity Celebration Week aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported by providing schools, universities, and organizations with the opportunity to recognize the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent while creating a more inclusive and equitable culture that celebrates differences and empower every individual.

Who founded Neurodiversity Week and Why?
Sienna Castellon is the founder.  

“I founded Neurodiversity Celebration Week in 2018 because I wanted to change the way learning differences are perceived. As a teenager who is autistic and has ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia, my experience has been that people often focus on the challenges of neurological diversity. I wanted to change the narrative and create a balanced view which focuses equally on our talents and strengths.”

Why do we celebrate Neurodiversity at EB?
Because EB is an international school, it is important to look at education from an international lens. While Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice have been our local priority these past years, we need to remember the founding texts of our inclusive school:
  • 1994: The Salamanca Declaration on Principles, Policies and Practices in Education and Special Needs Education by UNESCO laid the foundations for a strategy of global inclusive education.  The idea that all students must be able to learn together with a pedagogy that takes into account their specific needs. The signatory States engaged in a real policy of inclusion with metrics for results.
  • 2006: UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Explicit commitment by signatory states to uphold the “right to education without discrimination”
  • 2009: The UNESCO Principles for Inclusion in Education Guide. was a real step forward towards inclusive education, even if the definition of this term remains ambiguous because it interweaves political, philosophical and pedagogical dimensions specific to each country. Inclusive education is a process “which aims to take into account and satisfy the diversity of needs of all – children, young people, and adults – through increased participation to learning, cultural life, and community life, and through a reduction in the number of those excluded from education or excluded from within education” (UNESCO, 2009).
In this context, an inclusive school like EB is still in the process of reconfiguring our school organization, which aims to fully include the rights of all children. Therefore, unlike integration policies, which are based on the adaptation of students to the school system, EB, as an inclusive school, calls for the responsibility and adaptability of itself. The journey towards inclusion, equity, diversity and justice is long and requires bravery, which EB’s community, by attending the first Neurodiversity Celebration Week, is dedicated to continue the journey toward a more inclusive school. During the Neurodiversity Celebration Week, EB community recognizes the many strengths and talents that come from thinking and perceiving the world differently. By celebrating the strengths of neurodivergent individuals, at EB, we believe that we can begin the seismic shift of changing the way neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported, empowering them to achieve their potential.

How was Neurodiversity Week 2022 celebrated?
Teachers were encouraged to watch this video and I encourage each of you to watch it too. It is short and yet powerful (3 mins).

Inspirational Video: Be a Mr. Jensen—a must watch!

During Neurodiversity Week, we encouraged teachers to speak about learning differences and what the word “neurodiversity” means. To harmonize between all classes, it was suggested that each day they bring awareness to a specific learning difference in particular as you can see on the schedule:

Monday 3/21ADHD
Tuesday 3/22AUTISM




Wednesday 3/23
DYSLEXIA
DYSFRAXIA



Friday 3/25TOURETTE'S SYNDROME

DYSGRAPHIA

DYSCALCULIA


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