Did you know that this is Neurodiversity Celebration Week?
It runs from today until March 27th, and is a celebration of neurodiverse people including those with ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and Tourette syndrome.
Neurodiversity Celebration Week is a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences. It aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported by providing schools, universities, and organisations with the opportunity to recognise the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent, while creating more inclusive and equitable cultures that celebrate differences and empower every individual.
Now is the perfect time to enjoy books by Elle McNicoll, a neurodiverse author who writes children’s books starring neurodiverse characters.
A Kind of Spark is such a brilliant book, about an autistic girl, Addie, who learns about the history of witch trials in her Scottish village.
It’s not really about witches at all, though. It is about acceptance and tolerance and understanding. It is about how autistic brains work and how neurodiverse people experience the world differently.
Show Us Who You Are centres around an autistic girl and her friendship with a boy who has ADHD. HIs father runs the mysterious Pomegranate Institute, which creates holograms of people that can be accessed by loved ones after they die.
Here’s the blurb for McNicoll’s newest release, Like A Charm:
Edinburgh is a city filled with magical creatures. No one can see them…except Ramya Knox.
As she is pulled into her family’s world of secrets and spells, Ramya sets out to discover the truth about the Hidden Folk with only three words of warning from her grandfather: Beware the Sirens.
Plunged into an adventure that will change everything, Ramya is about to learn that there is more to her powers than she ever imagined.
Like McNicoll herself, Ramya is dyspraxic.
I really can’t think of a more perfect way to support neurodiversity than to dive into McNicoll’s books. I’ve been using an extract from A Kind of Spark in my teaching, and it is such a joy to witness the neurodiverse young people I work with see themselves represented in fiction.
A wealth of resources about Neurodiversity Celebration Week can be found here.