You want all your students to flourish, but sometimes a few really struggle, and you can’t put your finger on what’s happening beneath the surface. Is it simply a lack of maturity, or is there more to it?
Perhaps you have a student who is smart, but doesn’t pick up on social cues – even with coaching. Or one with an unusually strong (maybe even overbearing) sense of justice. Or perhaps a student with heightened reactions to sights or sounds.
When you see any of these situations, it may relate to “brain wiring.” True neurodiversity that affects the whole child; not just his ability to grasp the curriculum.
I know because from ages 5 to 8, we had no idea our oldest child had a type of neurodiversity that tends to come with lots of “book smarts,” but little to no “social smarts.”
He endured years of bullying and exclusion before we requested a full evaluation. In the meantime, the rejection was happening everywhere.
At school, it was almost always during less-structured times of the day, such as lunch, recess and transitions. Because he’s an extrovert (and persistent), adults didn’t know classmates were constantly snubbing him.
And that’s just a few of the ways this type of neurodiversity “shows up.” I describe 17 other characteristics in the cheat sheet below.
If you teach for any length of time, you’ll encounter these students, so I hope you’ll subscribe to grab the cheat sheet above, as well as these cute bookmarks. 🙂
After that, I’ll send you occasional insights, and let you know when I post new stories about:
- executive-function skills
- social competencies
- tips for applying differentiated instruction (without going crazy!)
- and more
All the best,