Gary Grange portrait

Written by Gary Grange

Consultant and neurodiversity advocate with a passion for supporting young people who are neurodiverse and working with NGO’s and businesses to create positive social impact.

On the 24th June the Neurodiversity charity the ADHD Foundation launch the Umbrella Project which for the first time ever will feature a new dance track called We Will Rise, by songwriter, rapper and neurodiversity advocate J Grange (ft London Community Gospel Choir)

This project aims to help raise awareness of the 1:5 people who are neurodiverse and to celebrate equality in society, especially for those who are neurodiverse, many experiencing inequality and struggling in the education system.

What is neurodiversity? 

Neurodiversity refers to the different ways the brain can work and interpret information. It highlights that people naturally think about things differently. We have different interests and motivations, and are naturally better at some things and poorer at others.

Most people are neurotypical, meaning that the brain functions and processes information in the way society expects.

However, it is estimated that around 1 in 5 people (around 20% of people in the UK) are neurodivergent, meaning that the brain functions, learns and processes information differently. Neurodivergence includes Attention Deficit Disorders, Autism, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.

J’s educational experience

J experienced an horrendous time in education. As a young person with ADHD, which was not diagnosed until weeks before he sat his exams, he was constantly excluded from school and eventually sent to a Pupil Referral Unit. This impacted on his mental wellbeing and he suffered severe anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts.

Sadly, teachers and schools just did not know how to support J. With around 1:5 young people thought to be neurodiverse the education system needs to change. It needs to embrace the “difference” neurodiverse young people bring and to have a strength-based approach to learning. 

The current statistics are both shocking and show that 39% of children with ADHD have had fixed term exclusions from school and that children with ADHD have more than 100 times greater risk of being permanently excluded from school than other children.

Compare this to the fact that around 35% of businesses owners are neurodiverse and you can very quickly see that with the right support neurodiverse young people can be successful.

Schools, academy’s, colleges and universities are slowly beginning to change but they need help. 

J’s track is about his journey but also a message of hope and a call to end inequalities and divisions. To watch the music video from the 24th June and to support the need for the education to be more inclusive for neurodiverse young people please click here 

If you are a school, academy, college or university for more information about neurodiversity visit the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity online, or follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram    

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