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UCD Masterclass Series Nov 2022

Neurodiversity Masterclass Series November 2022 - YouTube

(00:00) are joining I'm very pleased to welcome you all here this evening and to hear our guest speaker uh Dr Justin Carrero and uh I'll introduce Justin now and he's back but I'm very pleased to say that we're joined as well this evening by Miss Nicola Coss from ADHD Ireland who is here in Ken's place this evening so it's lovely to have a new person join us uh Nicholas so you're very welcome thank you very much I was looking forward to it brilliant and and then of course we have uh Bess from the College

(00:46) of health and agricultural Sciences I bet his last revoice this evening well an I.T issue so let's see hopefully we'll hear from her a little later but without further Ado just to introduce uh Justin so uh Justin is an independent Management Consultant specializing in workplace inclusion for neurodivergent people he completed a master of business administration at the University of Queensland in Australia and is currently a PhD candidate with Monash University also in Australia focusing on how to facilitate an inclusive workplace for

(01:28) neuro Divergent and neurodiverse individuals when accounting for the intersectional differences which can be evidence such as gender so Justin is somebody that we would have linked up with over the summer and I I know uh you're well traveled Justin originally from the states and hopefully coming to Europe as well so uh our last speaker as well was looking at the issue of Recruitment and also inclusive HR practices so we're really interested to continue with this team hearing from yourself so as I say

(02:09) I'll hand over to you and I might mute myself and I might even turn off my camera and I look forward to your talk sure well thank you very much and thank you everyone for being here it is an absolute pleasure and honor to be here uh as Tim mentioned we had a chance to connect earlier this year and when they had shared more information about the master class I said this sounds absolutely incredible so thank you very much I'm going to go ahead and share my screen and give me just one second here so I think we tested this earlier so it

(02:43) should be coming through okay but if there's any issues or anything please feel free to let me know but first and foremost again thank you all for being here so to kind of give you a little bit of an idea as to what's going to take place today I'm first going to provide a little bit of an introduction around just to who I am uh then I'm going to provide a little bit more of an overview of thinking about neurodiversity in terms of a model in terms of how does this compare to a more influential

(03:09) perspective such as the medical model and what is different and unique about this uh from here I'm then going to dive a little bit more into the importance of of discussing intersectionality with a particular focus on gender now as Tim kind of started to share my PhD does focus on neurodiversity inclusion with a particular focus on intersectionality and I think this section is going to be really interesting for many individuals and understanding how just by isolating a topic as simple as gender can really

(03:41) start to lose A Whole New Perspective in understanding from here I'm then going to kind of dive a little bit more into the role of inclusion now inclusion is something that I've kind of taken much more of an interest in because as Tim mentioned last the previous speaker had focused on hiring and integration and this was a topic I focused on early on in my career from a research perspective as well however I then transitioned to inclusion because what I found about that is that it was an area that was

(04:10) able to touch on every aspect of an organization irrespective if it's a for-profit organization or perhaps an educational Institution uh now from here I'm just going to include some practical ideas that kind of like how you can create an inclusive workplace now these are going to be a little bit more high level that was intentional to make it more transferable because some of them can change based on the industry and the geographical location however I will be including my contact information at the end of the

(04:43) presentation in the event you work in the HR space or perhaps you're wanting to participate in some of the ongoing research that's taking place uh so I'll share more information on that later and then of course it will conclude with a q a so just to go ahead and dive in so as mentioned excuse me so as mentioned my name is Justin now something that I don't typically share publicly in terms of when I say publicly I mean in areas such as LinkedIn and things of that nature but I feel it's really important

(05:15) to share in a context such as this is that I'm actually ADHD now it's something I share pretty openly in presentations such as this because when it comes to topics that are sensitive such as discussing neurological conditions or the context of intersectionality oftentimes these have come from individuals or Scholars who may not have offered a lived experience from that perspective and so this is something I wanted to be transparent about pretty early on in saying this is how I've started to fit into all of this

(05:48) now as mentioned early on by Tim my background is more management consulting so when it comes to research I do adopt a little bit more of a practitioner lens to say well from aside from the theoretical contributions we can make that would contribute to the classroom environments what are some things that we can take to the workplace today and something that's a little bit more practical and sightful and as Tim mentioned as well I'm originally from Chicago I'm currently based in Australia however I do occasionally visit Mel

(06:21) um different parts of Europe for engagements and lectures so there is a secondary trip that's happening uh early next year that I'm going to be sharing more later on as well so it kind of just Dive Right In so when thinking about the medical model which is by far the most influential and prominent model that exists when it comes to discussing any sort of neurological condition or disability for that matter so through this lens it inherently seeks to identify a perceived hardship now through this perspective disabilities

(06:56) are inherently depicted or viewed as a biological abnormality now as influential and as prominent this model has been historically speaking there are some limitations to it in particular when we have a model that focus focuses predominantly on a perceived deficit it then overlooks the counteractive natural capability that could be associated with that particular condition so in thinking about that this is inherently how the social model of disability emerged it directly challenged the medical model on the basis that the disability itself does

(07:35) not fall on the individual in itself rather it actually falls on society and the environments in which an individual lives so to give you a practical example think about the neighborhood in which you live or the city in which you work think about how easy or difficult if let's say you had an individual in a wheelchair how many places could they access homes buildings uh retail stores for many of us we live in cities that were built several several years ago that haven't really changed too much and so when we really think about how many

(08:11) areas of a place we live that is actually not that ex that was never designed for the accessibility of everyone it starts to elucidate this different type of picture that perhaps there's other things we could be doing to create a more inclusive place and that was inherently what drove the social model now in saying that a limitation to this is pretty similar to the example that I just gave is that the social model of disability inherently just centered on physical conditions it did not account for neurological such as autism or ADHD

(08:46) so introduced to neurodiversity model it is inherently positioned between the medical and the social model and adopts more of a socio-political approach now through this lens it inherently argues that a standard model of brain development does not exist and when we really think about this medically speaking when we start to look at what is considered normal versus abnormal behavior it operates under this assumption that we have some kind of Baseline of how you are supposed to neurologically develop however medically

(09:20) speaking we do not have a standard measurement of how a brain is supposed to exist so that was inherently a big a key element of this Foundation that along with the idea that the natural variation that takes place within a human being is a natural evolutionary occurrence now it inherently argues that it's a form of biodiversity that should be politically recognized in a manner as similar to race or gender hence neurodiversity now in thinking about this this is I want to introduce a concept that was uh an image that was first

(09:57) designed by a very wonderful colleague of mine named Dr luza Ireland now this right here is what's referred to as a typical cognitive profile you will see how there's different key performance areas that we often can measure such as an individual's attention to detail memory and problem solving and you'll notice on the outer ring it has a little bit of a lighter blue color and Then followed by green and then more about pink in the middle this is meant to represent an above average capability

(10:25) with the blue followed by the pink representing a below average capability now you'll notice that within the middle and the green there are certain areas where it's a little bit kind of gravitating more towards the blue and then other areas where it's gravitating a little bit more towards the pink now this is not to be representative of every individual who does not have a neurological condition but rather than to illustrate that there's natural strengths and natural variations that can exist in someone's key capabilities

(10:54) this is more representative of about 80 percent of the population also referred to as the neurotypical population comparatively however for a neurodistinct or neurodiverse neurodivergent profile you tend to see a little bit more of a spike and stronger variation where you're going to see above average capabilities in areas such as problem solving or attention to detail but perhaps a below average capability in areas such as social interaction or memory Recall now what's unique about this is that oftentimes we have

(11:29) historically treated this as a form of a disability by saying you're inherently Limited in one area so therefore you have a disability when in reality we were overlooking Kia strengths as well that somebody May naturally have so with this type of profile it's typically observed in about 20 percent of the population and it is worth mentioning that this is not to be taken as representative representative of every single neurodivergent individual this is just an illustrate a type of profile that can emerge now in saying that

(12:02) thinking about the importance of intersectionality now so in saying this professionally and socially speaking autism is has often been referenced as a collective single identity such as the autistic population the autistic Community now in saying this we inherently make it we inherently make an assumption along the way that autism can be generally categorized when we talk about it and say well this is indicative of everyone however autism is not the only identity that individuals have very similarly to kind of what I shared early on with

(12:41) disclosing that I have ADHD that's not the only identity I have so we also have other identities gender race or ethnicity uh our country of birth which kind of accounts for that cultural influence our sexual orientation so in saying this the focus of this presentation however is going to Center on gender which is distinctly different from biological sex and that biological sex centers more around the anatomical features that are that based on the anatomical features that are assigned at Birth versus gender is more of the

(13:14) behavioral cultural and social characteristics associated with one's biological sex so to give you a practical example of what I mean with that growing up many of us received some type of social messaging about how we were supposed to dress how we were supposed to act the types of Interest we should have the types of Interest we should avoid based on our assigned sex for example growing up I was often told that certain colors were more masculine and something that was more Associated appropriate for boys versus for girls it

(13:46) was supposed to be different types of colors those are the types of social messaging that I'm referencing that we received as adolescents that had an influence in understanding how we were supposed to project our perceived gender now in saying this I'm going to introduce the medical classification of autism for just a moment so autism is this condition that is characterized as this neurodevelopmental condition that's observationally distinguished by behavioral differences with see several areas but three of the most commonly

(14:19) referenced are differences with social interaction verbal communication as well as repetitive behaviors or restricted interests now here's what's so important about intersectionality in this context is that when we think about these behaviors right these behaviors right here which are again the Hallmark characteristics around autism we inherently assume that this is representative of anyone who has autism well there's something I want you to pay attention to in this definition you'll notice that I I italicize the word

(14:50) observationally because you'll notice with these with these characteristics all of these Center on what the role of the physical body is doing none of them actually Center on anything that's happening neurologically even though we categorize the kind of the condition as neurodevelopmental this is a bit problematic when we start accounting for something like gender and the reason why is this is that autistic males are actually much more likely than females to externalize their behavior females however are much more likely to

(15:24) internalize it that becomes a from a diagnostic perspective that becomes a little bit problematic because if we're relying on if we're relying our diagnosis on an observational detection that's going to make it much harder for females to be to be diagnosed accurately if they are if because it requires them to externalize a behavior however what we're finding is that they are much more likely to internalize it and additionally what's been found so far is that males are much more likely to display repetitive and

(15:57) restricted behaviors now additionally what's interesting is that autistic females are less likely to display non-verbal communication differences as a result of what's referred to as the social reward pathway developing differently now I'm willing to bet many of us in the here today have probably never heard of the of what's referred to as the social reward pathway so I put together I I pulled in an image to kind of be able to show you it live actually so what you're looking at is an MRI brain scan of a

(16:28) neurotypical Adolescent and the the wide red area that you're kind of seeing at the top that kind of splits off that is the social reward pathway so what happens is that when we engage in some kind of social interaction and let's say it could be with a friend colleague family member anyone if you're enjoying that conversation if you are finding some kind of perceived value in it perhaps you're catching up with a friend perhaps you're networking at an event if you understand the value of that

(16:59) conversation and you're having some kind of enjoyment out of it your social reward pathway becomes activated now comparatively in a neurodivergent to adolescence what's been found is that it's actually become a little bit more restricted and so what's taking place is that it's not always the TR the messages of why the value should be why the what the value in the conversation is is not necessarily being is not necessarily being received so there's one thing to this however is that what was with this development with

(17:31) neurodivergent adolescents we are not seeing that across the board for both males and females in fact what we are seeing for autistic females is that they are developing much more like the neurotypical Adolescent in that their social reward pathway is not being affected at all now this is not the case for every autistic female it's just what we've started to observe and it's been a sizeable segment of the population now in thinking of returning back to the diagnostic Focus however considering that repetitive and

(18:03) restricted behaviors as well as differences with social interaction and communication are Hallmark characteristics of the diagnostic process and if these are not being displayed as likely by females this raises questions around the validity and accuracy of the diagnostic process itself and so what's then been found is that autistic females are much less likely to receive an accurate diagnosis compared to males even when their symptoms are just as severe now what's interesting however and this is also recognized by the in the DSM

(18:38) which excuse me is that unless an intellectual impairment is present an observational diagnosis is much less likely to take place so now in thinking about this this has pretty profound implications in the context of research and the reason why is because diagnostic criteria and research sampling are interactive in effect and so what I mean is is in many instances it's quite common for met for research to pull data from Medical Offices in particular what medical offices will often do is just anonymize any sort of uniquely identifiable

(19:16) information so the individual's name or something like in the United States where we have a Social Security number that's unique to each person individually that becomes anonymized but the general demographic data such as age gender diagnostic rate that becomes shareable so earlier this year I did an analysis to see well knowing that what we do about the diagnostic differences and how autism can be experienced differently when we start accounting for gender how has this translated over into research because the male to female ratio of

(19:50) autism is currently estimated be to be between three to one and two to one however in research it has actually emerged as low as five to one however I have also come across instances of a nine to one male to female ratio and in a recent study I actually have a meta-analysis I found a 15 to 1 male to female ratio however in another analysis I came across what was found is that over 60 percent of the studies that were analyzed in a particular meta-analysis had a hundred percent male sample so this then raises questions when we

(20:28) start thinking about this idea of inclusive hiring and creating more Equitable opportunities for the neurodiversity population is that when for if we start to examine the information that we are pulling the research from and we're observing a male bias in terms of representation this does have a direct influence and when we start thinking about how to create inclusive classrooms inclusive workplaces so as mentioned it this starts to suggest that autism itself isn't particularly a male dominant condition

(21:01) but that our understanding of autism carries a male bias so this so when we start to examine purely the role of intersectionality through gender it really starts to Showcase a deeper understanding that we need to really establish a much more in-depth perspective around autism when accounting for these New Perspectives of the lived experience through gender now something to keep in mind is that approximately 24 to 30 percent of the autistic population identifies as gender diverse this is astronomically higher than the

(21:39) general population which it currently sits at about 1.3 percent who identify as gender diverse so this really creates significant challenges for institutions when we start asking the question of how to best support neurodiverse adults so for example when thinking about some of the workplace practices that have been introduced in recent years it raises the question of when we start talking about what is considered best practice to employing autistic adults we have to ask the question is it actually best for everyone

(22:12) so thinking about the research that I just shared with the differences that have been observed with male to females and how they display autism and how it's experienced in a study that I conducted earlier this year I actually examined whether workplace inclusion is experienced similarly between males and females based on some of the current best practices that exist around hiring and integrating and managing autistic individuals and what was found is that autistic males found the practices to be much more fair and

(22:48) inclusive whereas autistic females did not at all so this was really interesting because what it started to Showcase was this point that when we asked this idea when we start introducing what we consider to be best practice we really have to start asking new questions to say is this actually best practice for everyone so in thinking about this we're going to transition more into now thinking about inclusion and thinking about how they can be utilized as a solution to kind of help alleviate some of the inequities

(23:18) and differences that exist in the workplace experience now inclusion is a term that many of us have often heard in conjunction with diversity where it's often projected as diversity and inclusion and even though we use these terms together they are actually very different so for example in organizations diversity is actually a metric of what your organization is comprised of so for example many of you might have seen something kind of like a some sort of and Company's annual report where they may talk about the type of

(23:55) demographic representation that exists in their workplace and you'll notice that it's often kind of presented as they have a certain percentage of gendered than a certain percentage of race certain percentage of disability or sexual orientation now you'll notice though that they always presented from a measure of what that what percentage that accounts for in their workplace what you'll never typically see though is an organization explaining well how do we get these different groups to work

(24:25) together that ladies and gentlemen is the focus of inclusion where inherently we're moving away from this concept of what the organization is and more of a question of well how do we optimize the different and unique talents of a really diverse Workforce so through this the perspective of the employee then takes on a greater importance by measuring their perceived belonging and belongingness as well as feeling valued as their true authentic self so inclusion is you kind of really comprised of these two key elements

(25:01) referred to as uniqueness and belonging so uniqueness is more of this idea that you feel like you're allowed to express your true authentic identity and that when you go into the workplace or when you go into a classroom you can just be your true self now belongingness is more of this idea of kind of having an emotional security that we feel that we are socially accepted for Who We Are so in thinking about that something to keep in mind when it comes to thinking about an inclusive workplace is that it's inherently a process it is

(25:41) not a goal or an outcome it's something that we psychologically experience so it's some so thinking so bearing that in mind we have to distinguish this differently from diversity because inclusion again is this feeling of social acceptance whereas diversity is what we measure so it's something to also keep in mind when it comes to inclusion is that we have to start acknowledging the diversity and communication and information processing that can take place so thinking about the concept of neurodiversity and this is a graph graph

(26:15) graphic design that was designed by a wonderful colleague that I mentioned earlier Dr luza Ireland so she had to put this illustration together to kind of showcase the diversity and communication styles that can take place within the neurodiversity community but these are also valid information information processing Styles in particular we often associate smiling nodding and eye contact is a very common form of social engagement however and historically we've also kind of perceived the opposite to be rude for

(26:48) example such as not smiling or not having eye contact however what's been found is that these are actually very valid forms of social engagement and participation especially with information processing where we may display individuals who may be fidgeting with their hands or many of us in Social engagements or in lectures May sit back with our arms folded but we're still engaged in what the person is saying our body language may just tell a little bit of a different story or for some individuals they may pace and move

(27:18) around uh I'm very much part of that category if I'm ever doing a lecture in person I am absolutely pacing back and forth but again that's just a characteristic of my individual ADHD um now there may be instances where somebody may have difficulty finding words or may not necessarily be a natural verbal speaker that's absolutely okay because we've also found to be a valid form of information processing through speaking or writing or using visuals in fact just a couple months ago I was in Belgium for a conference and I

(27:54) heard a wonderful presentation uh from a startup business out of the United States and for just a second I'll tell you this brief story is that this individual she what prompted her to start her business which was centered around facilitating a hiring process that was more inclusive for autistic individuals she has a brother who's autistic himself and is non-verbal in fact for the first approximately 15 years of his life he had never spoken verbally at any stage so they just assumed he was non-verbal for for he was

(28:26) just going to be non-verbal for the rest of his life what was interesting is that one day he sat down and started writing and started communicating electronically and what they noticed is that he then started writing poetry which took Everyone by surprise but what was so fascinating ladies and gentlemen is that the Poetry he was writing was based around his personal lived experience of growing up in a world where he understood everyone around him but then he was remarking on his experience of how he was then treated or

(28:59) viewed as a result for not responding back in the same degree of what they were expecting and so it was this very deep reflective poetry that he was writing that nobody really saw coming but he simply did it through writing so most people didn't really notice because they were so focused on the idea that he should be verbally speaking so the point is ladies and gentlemen is that there's a diversity in how we communicate with each other that can change based on age gender cultural influence or the presence of a

(29:30) neurological condition and it's not to say that one is inappropriate it's just to say that it may be different and that is perfectly okay lastly you then have the time in the light up in light of Zoom we have the idea of whether or not a camera should be on or off I know when my mom was teaching that was a big area of focus during the during the lockdowns was students had to have their camera on but it's totally okay to have the camera off as well because it's not necessary it may not necessarily be an inclusive

(29:58) experience for everyone so it's so important ladies and gentlemen to acknowledge the diversity and communication as well as information processing additionally one thing that I often encourage organizations to do is Adopt A strengths based approach and this is something that I also do in the classroom and this is really essential because it's off it starts with recognizing that a natural difference inability does not equate to having a disability and that's many of us and like I shared earlier with the spiky profile and the

(30:31) cognitive profile many of us have a natural area of strength and a natural area of weakness that doesn't necessarily mean you have a deficit it just means you have a natural strength and a natural weakness just like everybody else uh now additionally this is really an effective approach in the workplace as well as the classroom and the reason why is that it really Fosters a high degree of motivation uh self-efficacy with an individual believing in themselves as well as engagement now for any of the one for anyone here who teaches uh this

(31:04) is something that I very much apply in the classroom typically what I will actually do through assessments or exams or anything like that when it comes to providing feedback I aim for a two to one ratio in terms of strengths while highlighting areas of opportunity I will highlight two areas they did naturally well this may be related to how they express an idea this may be related to how they explained an idea or perhaps their arguments around something or I would I really aim to find two areas they naturally did well with but then I will

(31:39) then highlight an area that is an area for improvement and the reason why ladies and judgment especially in the context of the edge of the classroom is that many of us grew up being told consistently of what we did not do right when we Mark exams when we Mark assessments rarely do we say yes you did all of this right but you had this one area wrong it's usually well here are the things you missed and as a result here's the score you received so many of us we don't realize it but many of us grew up in an environment where we're

(32:11) just constantly told what we're not doing right when you start telling individuals what they naturally did well it's going to have an enormous influence on their self-efficacy and their overall engagement in the workplace as well as the classroom now these types of ideas I tend to keep a little bit more high level again because I recognize there's a diverse group in the audience so if any of you are interested in wanting to dive deeper more to kind of how you can create a more inclusive workplace or classroom

(32:38) please feel free to reach out to me directly I'd be more than happy to share some more insights around that now having to say that I said that thank you very very much for your time today I'll be more than happy to take some questions at this time but again if you are interested in kind of participating any sort of research or discussing uh inclusion on a more deeper level that's unique to your organization please feel free to reach out to me but at this time I'll go ahead and hand over back to Tim and kind of dive into

(33:02) some questions for everyone Grace uh so thank you very much uh Justin for a really engaging presentation and uh just to get the ball rolling as well with some comments and questions uh if and and I guess I mean this this is the this is the masterclass series where we explore all things about neurodiversity uh but in in in in even in more general terms for example in nursing my background is is nursing I am a mental health nurse and giving a presentation is a skill which has relevance uh in mental health nursing because sometimes mental health

(33:59) nurses need to give presentations um and if somebody wasn't able to give a presentation you know sometimes I I think I think we can be very harsh on that person you know we can you know for example you mentioned assessment you know sometimes the person therefore won't pass the assessment but by the same token being able to stand up in front of a group of people and deliver information for example about your condition or deliver information about a medicine or deliver information about a treatment may be

(34:37) quite important so I'm just wondering you know when it comes to maybe careers and when it comes to to areas of work um again if if if maybe for example uh communication meetings handovers as we call them in nursing if if that verbal feedback is is an issue for me or that verbal communication do you have any perspective from a workplace inclusion so do you have any view from a workplace inclusion perspective how do we support people yet we also must recognize that those jobs must be done how do we support people but yet ensure that those

(35:21) aspects of the role are carried out and I apologize for the very long-winded question quite all right this is quite all right I I would like to remark on briefly you had mentioned the idea of a presentation and especially in the context of Education this can be a very common form of assessment and form of a communication delivery and I use that as an example just briefly and I'll touch on the context of the workplace in just a moment is that I think there's a learning there that we can take to the workplace as well when

(35:56) we start to ask the question of there's many practices that exist in the workplace as well as the classroom that we have done for a certain that we do a certain way because that's the way we've always done things important to ask the question if that's still the best way because it's easy to kind of get caught up in the idea that when we've done something a certain way for a certain length of time we develop this natural bias and assuming that's the best because and they sometimes I believe

(36:28) they refer to it as longevity bias where the longer we do something a certain way the more likely we're inclined to believe it's the best way to do things but that's not necessarily the case and so thinking about the classroom for a moment one thing that I've really kind of pushed at the University level is not making it a requirement for students to do a verbal presentation because that's an exclusionary practice if an individual has a natural difference or a natural ability with information with

(36:58) social interaction and communication rather give the option to preferring to doing a written assessment versus a speaking assessment to which one caters to their natural strength more because at the end of the day you're still going to be PR you're still required to produce the same degree of quality of analysis it's just the delivery is what changes and so when we start thinking about this in the context of the workplace thinking about the delivery of feedback that's maybe provided to a new employee from a

(37:30) manager or supervisor for example so I think the talk of the focus is really kind of thinking about what is the what is the focus there which is inherently you're wanting to translate feedback to provide a guidance for improvement and growth and development written communication has been a very effective form in this regard when we start thinking about neurodivergent employees and in particular when you think about it writing forces us to be a lot more clear and specific with what we're wanting to translate

(38:09) speaking many of us don't realize that it's it's very context dependent and that a lot of the phrasings we use can carry more than one meaning so when we really think about it say for example as something as simple as how are you doing today are you asking out a politeness or are you asking because you're genuine genuinely interested in how that person is feeling at that point in time there's meanings to phrases that we often forget carry more can be very ambiguous and for a neurodivergent

(38:42) individual that can be a little bit of a difficult process to navigate especially when it comes to receiving feedback um so I think writing really kind of offers a form in in providing feedback to individuals that makes it much more clear and uh interpretable in a 2020 study that we had conducted uh we had conducted a global autism study actually where we started to look at different practices in the workplace uh we looked at accommodations we looked at communications with the direct supervisor and what was very interesting

(39:16) uh there was a couple pieces one is what we found is that both autistic and non-autistic individuals we're making the same requests for accommodations to their supervisor what was interesting is that we often we just then put the bulk of the focus on the autistic group saying well it's it's a a form of disability accommodation but then for the non-autistic group we just saw it as a workplace request but in reality once we tested it we found that both groups were making the same requests for both things and one of

(39:52) the most common requests was directions in writing because writing provides a degree of specificity that doesn't naturally exist when speaking and this also extended into other areas as well with communication with supervisor and we found differences even for how males and females were wanting feedback and so I think another element is also just kind of creating that being able to create a climate where individuals feel like they're allowed to communicate their needs to a workplace supervisor or lecturer or teacher and

(40:30) also kind of taking the point it's something I'll ask students pretty early on is if you have a preferred communication Style please let me know or if you're not sure if you have one that is also valid to know because that means we can try different methods to see which style resonates best with them so it's one of those things where it's a in one regard it's just kind of a it's a idea of being aware of different styles of communication and how we can do it but then maintain creating an engagement

(41:00) in relationship with the participants whether staff or students to be able to find out what is their best way to communicate and most effective way to processing information thank you Justin uh I'll come back in in a little while with another question but sure hand over to Nicola for now if you want you can you can take down your presentation and we'll have a we'll have a look at the delightful uh waste waste code you have on there yeah we have some uh there's a lot of very very positive feedback here Justin

(41:41) thanks very much um a lot of people that are really relating to uh even your question there Timmy um and so thank you very much they're saying uh we have a question there on uh disclosure wow very interesting yeah very yeah I know it's a big open-ended one but this is kind of it's It's tighter um so basically it's uh would you expect this is from Tanya would you expect someone to have received an official diagnosis before often kind of along the lines of what you were talking about would you expect

(42:18) someone to have received an official diagnosis before offering to look for the reasonable adjustments in work um I've recently been told the workplace by my workplace that they won't look in to support someone who is self-diagnosed interesting uh and thank you very much for sharing Tanya that's really appreciated and um disclosure is a very important topic absolutely and it's become one that's what I've seen in the last couple years is that this actually is starting to vary by Institution

(42:53) for a long time it was a customary practice to have a professional diagnosis before accommodations would be provided by an organization this was largely driven through a legal perspective from and or from organizations but it wasn't necessarily the most effective nor was it the most inclusive because as you've probably as you saw earlier in the presentation the diagnosis requiring an individual to have a diagnosis is fine if it assumes that there's an equitable opportunity for everyone to receive a

(43:31) diagnosis or have access to getting a diagnosis and that that accessibility changes significantly by country the process to the process to get a diagnosis the the time that's required to wait to get a diagnosis in Australia is very very different the United States Ireland and so on so forth now in saying that it's really ultimately up to the organization how they choose to do it most organizations I know currently do require a medical diagnosis however there are institutions now that I've come across where they are actually

(44:11) doing one of two things one they're treating self-diagnosis as valid two they are actually there's some institutions I know of where they are actually working with their employees to help them get a diagnosis to give you an example IBM out of the UK I connected with an employee from there who was self-diagnosed for several years but then their employer helped them get a diagnosis actually they helped with I believe they kind of helped I don't know the exact details but I believe there was some assistance in terms of uh

(44:47) sourcing a practitioner and sourcing a professional um so in one regard it's ultimately up to the organization how they choose to do it however there is an influx and increase of organizations who are starting to move away from that now which on a professional level I believe is essential the reason why is because self-diagnosis is valid and in fact in the current study I'm doing probably about 80 percent of the participation part participants actually started as self-diagnosed before becoming professionally diagnosed

(45:23) unfortunately for many the diagnostic process and waiting period was about three to four years so this kind of really starts to illustrate if we're really wanting to think about how if create a workplace that's supportive and inclusive of employees we have to think about the requirements that are being put into place because if we have an individual who may be diabetic are we requiring them to Showcase a medical certification for their needs or perhaps if for example when my mother had cancer her institution never asked her for a

(45:59) medical diagnosis to ensure she actually had cancer we would actually kind of look at that and say that's borderline barbaric but we also kind of see it as a form of we've also kind of view it as acceptable for other conditions so we really have to start asking questions if it's the most when we think about again that's a practice that's been a long-standing tradition but we now have to ask the question who is actually the beneficiary here it's not benefiting the employee it's just benefiting the organization but is

(46:27) it necessary in a most instant in most occasions no because the accommodations that are often requested are very very small usually on average they cost less than 200 it's like either headphones just change of environments uh maybe a certain type of computer screen you know very subtle things so those are but also so long and short end of it it's ultimately up to the organization but I wanted to share some extra context around that that a lot of organizations are doing things differently now and they're having a very very high degree

(46:58) of success with track with those new routes brilliant I'll just let you know there is a fairly big waiting list over here and there are the HSE has rolled out a couple of adult uh clinics all right we are getting there slowly through the public system uh but the private system there's very few adult uh Setters out there and able to uh diagnose this very long waiting list so yeah yeah well hope everyone listens to you and we we get away with actually being able to self-diagnose so just another question uh for you uh

(47:37) Justin this one is from uh Tanya would you expect someone to have been officially diagnosed before looking to support them with reasonable adjustments in the workplace I've recently heard in my workplace that they wouldn't look to support someone if they were self-diagnosed that's just the one I just said oh I do I I knew you know my goodness uh I I was thinking that one sounded very very familiar Paragon chat to keep up with them yeah and so I'm just going to click that's and third grade and okay

(48:17) so another one here from Tia for a female neurodiverse neurodivergent individual seeking a diagnosis is there any suggestion uh that they might receive the incorrect diagnosis and if so are there common diagnoses that arise within the misdiagnosed community or indeed no diagnosis at all wow great question uh and so it's a couple multiple Parts there I'm going to start with the latter where it was asked what are the most common misdiagnoses historically the most common misdiagnosis for females from what we

(48:57) have observed so far and this can change by culture and geographical region however generally the most common one of the most common has been ADHD and that has typically been found to be the most common why it's difficult to say there is a there is a multitude of reasons however ADHD has been by far the most common misdiagnosis and that's taken place with males as well gender diverse individuals we don't have enough data on to be able to say sufficiently what the frequency would be there so it's I wanted to add that because

(49:33) they're not intentionally trying to be excluded here we just there isn't enough data so I haven't said that it is worth mentioning however that that may not necessarily be a misdiagnosis either it may just be one part of the diagnosis it's something to keep in mind and I say that because approximately it's been estimated that about 60 percent of the autistic population also needs to be diagnostic criteria for ADHD foreign which is a substantially High rate when we really start to think about it and

(50:07) something to also keep in mind is that the genetic phenotype overlap between Autism and ADHD is quite high as well so we're starting so in one regard it could be a misdiagnosis and another regard it may just also be a co-occurring condition now for the first part and I believe and Tim please correct me if I'm wrong the first part of the question was how to go about the diagnostic process was that correct oh your speaker's off unmute uh so the first part of Tia's question was uh for female neurodiverse individuals

(50:48) seeking diagnosis those research suggest that they receive incorrect diagnosis uh what are the the common misdiagnosis are indeed no diagnosis at all I think if I remember correctly from there was uh when you first shared the question was uh what to do with like suspected misdiagnosis one thing I'll I can kind of share I'll do two things I'll First share my personal experience is I was actually misdiagnosed when I was an undergrad I was not diagnosed with ADHD until about two and a half years ago and so I was actually misdiagnosed

(51:27) and when I received the diagnosis and I've heard of this happening to other individuals as well think about you know the lived experience we offer is really is really kind of what makes self-diagnosis so valid is that your experience of having a particular condition is years and years and years versus your time spent with a practitioner is ours it's not just it's not to undermine the quality of the analysis by the practitioner but it's to elevate the quality of your own self-understanding of yourself and your lived experience

(52:00) and how that's shaped your understanding of any condition that may be present having said that when I was dying when I was misdiagnosed based on the diagnosis I received I immediately knew that was incorrect because it did not align with my personal experience of my own self and that's what I've actually heard of several individuals saying well I was diagnosed with this but it just didn't feel right if it doesn't feel indicative of you and you if you personally do not feel that is representative of your experience I

(52:32) would highly recommend seeking a second opinion it's not necessarily the most feasible when we really think about the diagnostic process however unfortunately there is a there is a high rate of misdiagnoses that have been that have taken place this really ultimately varies as well by location in terms of thinking about what accessibility you have to different resources including medical practitioners and things of that sort ultimately what I've when it comes to neurological conditions when because our observation because these diagnoses are

(53:06) often made predominantly through observation there's always room for error because it's it's a subjective process at the end of the day what I am kind of sharing the experiences of a couple people I've spoken to what they have also done is kind of connect with the general practitioner who has a very strong natural interest in mental health who tends to approach it a little bit more organically to say to recognize that they may be wrong or that they could be another another explanation to things and so they would often what they

(53:37) did was actually have a general practitioner that they trusted and that they felt comfortable with that they felt understood their experience and went back with that diagnosis to say based on your experience do you feel that this is representative of my history my behavior and everything if in the event they felt they wanted a second opinion and a lot of people started that way and the reason why is that a general practitioner is typically more accessible again they're not as specialist in mental health so I want to

(54:04) be perfectly clear about that but it was just an outlet for many to turn to to say I would like a second opinion to see if you feel this is representative of me if not they then worked with them to Source a new plan to say how can we go about managing this so this is one of those questions that is absolutely worth discussing at the same time it's a little bit limiting in terms of how to respond to it because this is heavily influenced by the geographical region one is in because it kind of also has to think about the

(54:34) accessibility to resources uh the type of medical access an individual can have and what types of options they have as a result um but just kind of sharing a few experiences that I've that I've had with different individuals in the United States Australia and a couple in Europe um many individuals first kind of assess it to their own self and then return to it more of a medical practitioner that they trusted who may not be a specialist in that area but they still wanted that secondary opinion to say do you feel

(55:03) this is representative of me thank you Justin thanks for that there's one more here's some wonderful questions by the way I have to give it to everyone these are just I was very much looking forward to this with everybody as it was but these questions and engagements are just absolutely amazing so thank you everyone for contributing it's really just a pleasure to be here with you we have one last one from Christine um just to keep you going to give you one out of the door um do you have uh uh any specific

(55:36) examples of how workplace inclusion policies might benefit folks of different genders differently she says thank you very much it was really interesting well you know there's an organization I work with out of Chicago and one thing that they're wanting to do is they have a sizable representation of gender diverse individuals in their organization and one thing that they kind of came we've I've it's I've been working with them for a while uh mostly from a research perspective but recently it's

(56:05) been much more of a Consulting perspective and so we wanted to start to understand well saying well how What policies can we Implement that will be beneficial to the gender diversity community so with that a question like that you know thinking about what was kind of shared earlier with best practices we asked the question well is this best for everyone if the answer is no and if the answer is well how do we make it best for everyone it starts with kind of really bringing them to the table so and and so I realize this is a little

(56:35) bit different than the question itself which was asking for a specific policy example and this really kind of depends on the organization itself however what we've and I wanted to kind of use this example first because many organizations are just starting the process to create these policies and think about what is best for everyone one way an organization has started to go about this is facilitating focus groups on a weekly basis with their staff where they just bring anyone to the table who's interested in discussing

(57:06) gender in the workplace and what that experience means to them what that is asserted to elucidate is a new perspective of what they actually deem as most important from a policy perspective and this is really something to think about that's interesting that it's because what's interesting here is that the concept of gender is not ubiquitous across all countries and regions and this is an organization out of Chicago which is very diverse naturally culturally and it's very prideful in its gender diversity

(57:38) but there's others there's other cities where it's not like that so the types of policies that are then implemented in each also change so they've started implementing focus groups to really kind of be able to create more of a open discussion around how the workplace can be more inclusive and what's been happening so far and this is this has only been happening for about a month is that they're finding that there's a lot more trust being developed and that there's actually much more of a focus

(58:05) being centered on managers making more time and supervisors making more time to have one-on-one Communications with their employees to understand their needs better um and part of it is and surprisingly what's been interesting is that there's been a huge Focus actually around more of a policy centered on having supervisors and managers and leaders go through a training to understand gender diversity better in terms of terminology in terms of the kind of what each term means from an identity perspective and

(58:38) so this is something I've seen a couple other organizations start to implement where there the focus actually centers on the leaders rather than the gender diverse employees but the focus is centered on how to understand their gender diverse employees better in terms of how to communicate with them and understand their needs and that's been having a really positive effect so far and again I realize this is a little deviating a little bit from the specific from the request for a specific example of a policy but I would share that

(59:06) because ultimately I think in one regard we're still learning a lot about what we can do that's best for the gender diverse Community we've been able to identify a lot of wonderful things already but the needs of gender diverse individuals from what I've seen so far based on the current research has changed slightly based on geographical region and cultural influence based on their personal experience based on how gender diversity is viewed in that region but what I would actually start with personally is

(59:36) having discussions bringing the creating an environment where the gender diverse and if you have gender diverse employees feel comfortable coming to the table and sharing their experiences because that's going to have a direct influence and how the types of policies you shape and develop and by also bringing them to the table it's going to make them feel though that they're accepted and that they're welcome and that they're playing a significant part in the development of the organization and the types of

(1:00:01) policies and practices that are introduced and one we've when individuals have been invited to the table what we've seen is that it increases their loyalty and commitment to the organization it also increases their overall work engagement and increases their Communications with both their colleagues and their supervisors so basically what I'm kind of getting at is the policy itself was making them part of the conversation about what policies are best for them rather than having us decide for them without their

(1:00:32) participation okay so Justin thank you very much for speaking here this evening I wish we had a little bit more time but I guess we we we better keep uh on track as much as we can um uh hopefully we might get to link with you again and continue yeah some of the conversation because of course you know there is that an intersectionality with with areas such as race as well uh which I think is is really important and uh sometimes there isn't enough representation of of different ethnicities uh as well in the area of of

(1:01:17) neurodiversity um and of course as well I'd love to ask you more about how we manage you know situations of conflict when they arise in in in the workplace and maybe people might have competing rights and responsibilities and so forth but we are out of time uh so perhaps that's a cliffhanger for next time uh but again uh just a few thank yous a big thank you of course I think we had over 50 people at one point on the webinar so so that is good for uh November evening and of course we're also joined by

(1:01:58) Nicola from ADHD Ireland and thank you so much Nicola for joining uh thank you Nicola Bess uh has has again technology uh has has uh left uh speechless but um certainly uh we knew you were there in the background bet and finally of course uh you're South Justin uh uh who who who who I think has given a real uh Stellar uh performance not just in terms of presenting your work but also your delivery which was uh so so engaging uh so uh a big thank you to Mr Justin Carrero uh currently uh studying in Monash University and Management

(1:02:46) Consultant and you mentioned you might be coming to Europe again yes yes yes uh so first and foremost I wanted to say thank you everyone for being here because I realize many are going to be jumping off soon so I wanted to sincerely say thank you to everyone who've attended I really hope you enjoyed it and it was an absolute honor to be here and can't thank Tim and Beth and everyone enough for inviting me and organizing this this has been an absolute wonderful engagement and would love to do this again sometime

(1:03:12) um yes so as shared earlier I was in Europe a couple months ago doing several guest lectures in Belgium Netherlands uh and this is centered on inclusion they centered a little bit more and Diving more into the research itself around gender differences uh there was a little bit more information given as to saying well how do we create inclusion in the classroom and so I shared a lot of experiences there about things that I've been trialing in the classroom and what's worked and what has not worked and the

(1:03:39) response from students and stuff like that um and so after each of the engagements the universities had all asked for a follow-up engagement and so we've actually all been kind of working on facilitating something uh next year actually and kind of being able to partner with several universities and deliver different workshops actually in person around ways we can be more inclusive in the workplace so something that's much more directed towards HR specifically and organizations but then something a little bit more separate and

(1:04:08) kind of more informative around gender as well as education so where you've been kind of organizing those and everything we don't have a specific date yet we're kind of in discussions around those kind of finding something that's suitable for everyone but so that's one thing that we're kind of in the works with and would love to absolutely extend it to Ireland and have the opportunity to meet everyone in person if the opportunity were to permit itself okay so thanks Justin and we'll certainly

(1:04:38) catch up on that we're on a break in December of course uh as much as we'd love to be here uh for the holiday uh period we we won't uh but we will be back uh of course in January uh with Sue Johnston uh who will be giving a talk as well on Matt's anxiety a consequence of neurodivergence so um that sounds very interesting because again um I'm not sure if if the talk is going to rate to relate to this calculia but if it does I think that would be a really really interesting top topic to cover so that's on the 26th of January

(1:05:17) and uh see you then uh thanks everyone thank you everyone bye-bye


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