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Neurodiverse Life Episode #2: Neurodiversity at Work

Welcome to episode two of the Neurodiverse Life podcast from @Cognassist

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In our second episode, Helen Wilson is joined by Theo Smith, author, neurodiversity advocate and podcaster, to talk about his book Neurodiversity at Work

We ask Theo what advice he has for both employers and employees around embracing and supporting neurodiversity. And we look at how the working world is finally waking up to the possibilities of neurodiversity in the workforce and what this means for the future of work.  

Having worked in recruitment for many years, Theo has helped a lot of people through their application process. Combined with his own experiences of dyslexia and ADHD, he shares his insight into how we can welcome and retain neurodiverse talent. 

Here’s to celebrating Neurodiverse Life!  

What can organisations do to support staff? 

Given all the recent headlines about the Great Resignation, how we treat our employees matters more than ever.  

Are we meeting all employees’ needs and doing enough to support neurodiverse talent? 

We all think, learn and work in different ways. The time to embrace flexibility and inclusive work practices is now. 

As Theo says, sometimes we’re only doing enough to keep people’s heads above water, and he speaks about the importance of constantly evaluating our support practices.  

The employer and employee perspective 

We know that employers and employees are sometimes fearful about having the conversation around different needs and neurodiversity.  

Employers don’t want to get it wrong and maybe don’t have sufficient policy in place to feel like they can get it right. Whereas employees don’t want to feel judged by their colleagues or treated differently. 

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But this can prevent a wider conversation and delay much-needed changes.  

Theo has worked with organisations like Capita, LinkedIn, Zalando, Wayfair and DHL to spark these conversations and help organisations take action. He shares some insight into what it takes to drive neurodiversity to the top of the agenda and why it matters. 

Because the more we create an open and supportive working culture, the more confident employees will feel in disclosing their needs as well as employers feeling more confident to meet those needs. 

It’s about thriving, not surviving 

Work is an essential part of our lives.  

There are always times when we wish we didn’t have to work, but there’s that pesky thing called money we all need.  

But work can give us purpose.  

It can be fulfilling and exciting, as much as it can be frustrating and hard going. 

Yet, it is a fine balance. Maintaining our wellbeing and job satisfaction is an ongoing process. Some of us will find this harder than others and support should be there for every employee. When it starts to feel like you’re only surviving, it’s not good enough and something needs to change. So Theo shares some do’s and don’ts on supporting neurodiversity and wellbeing. 

Neurodiverse Life – the podcast 

Welcome to Neurodiverse Life, a three-part podcast series that talks about neurodiversity in the real world. To break down barriers and confront the stigma that many of us face. 

We focus on three main aspects of our lives: education, work and our journey to success. Hearing personal stories, acknowledging positive changes and understanding the ways we can do better as a society. 

Join Helen Wilson, Science Communications Manager at Cognassist, and three wonderful guests to better understand and celebrate the different aspects of Neurodiverse Life. 

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