One Size Does NOT Fit All: The Positive Impact of Neurodiversity


Neurodiversity is a relatively new term that first surfaced in the 1990s. What does it mean and how can you build upon your knowledge and understanding of neurodiversity to support your student identified with dyslexia? 

The Meaning of Neurodiversity

Neurodivergence or neurodiversity is simply how people think, experience, and interact with the world around them. Typically, it is a term used to describe persons who have spectrum disorders such as ADHD, or autism, or learning differences like dyslexia, dyspraxia, and dyscalculia. Neurodiversity promotes the idea that neurological differences should not only be recognized, but respected and normalized, in the same manner as it is accepted and normalized for persons who progress in a neurotypical way. Neurological differences should be viewed, not as a negative feature, but as a valuable resource of positive qualities for students and future employees.

Between 10-20% of the population are neurodiverse. In the general population, about 20% are dyslexic and 84% of people identified with dyslexia are above average in reasoning, understanding, evaluating possibilities, and making decisions. People with dyslexia have enhanced abilities in crucial areas for the promotion of human welfare such as discovery, invention, and creativity. Those with dyslexia typically demonstrate strong to exceptional performance in other cognitive abilities instrumental to society growth and development such as creativity and entrepreneurship. The term neurodiversity has, in some cases, provided an identity for some students identified with dyslexia who may have social struggles. It can provide an additional needed explanation, rationale, and a connection to peers.

One size does Not fit all: How to support neurodiversity in the school or workplace

Many people who are neurodiverse have experienced discrimination in their lifetime. Many people identified with dyslexia may have encountered others who think the person with dyslexia is not intelligent or completely unable to read or write. Neurodiversity can be supported in the school and workplace in the following ways:

Accommodations vs. Modifications

Think more in terms of neurodiversity instead of learning difficulties for more inclusive and less stigmatizing for the individual and beneficial for society in general.

  • Create awareness about dyslexia and neurodivergence. This can be accomplished through seminars, lecture series, recommended reading materials, or audiobooks.
  • Create an environment of respect for individual differences. 
  • Provide opportunities to coach, mentor, and support persons who are neurodivergent. Keep an open door policy for those who are neurodiverse and may need academic or social support.
  • Create an inclusive environment where neurodivergent and neurotypical people can not only survive but thrive. Encourage conversations and discussions amongst each other.
  • Highlight the areas that neurodiverse people shine in and allow them to speak to those areas to their peers.


Recognizing neurodiverse individuals as having differences, rather than deficits, is beneficial for supporting their potential. Encouraging teachers, employers, friends, and family members to think in terms of neurodiversity instead of learning difficulties promotes inclusivity, reduces stigma, and benefits both the individual and society.

Aimee Rodenroth

Aimee Rodenroth

Aimee Rodenroth is the Subject Matter Expert on Dyslexia for Amplio. She has 30 years of experience in public education in Texas, 27 of those years were spent in some form of dyslexia education. She received her CALT (Certified Academic Language Therapist) certification in 2006 from LEAD, and later obtained her QI (Qualified Instructor) certification in 2018 from Southern Methodist University. Aimee is trained in multiple dyslexia curricula.

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