PD Playlist: Neurodiversity in the Classroom 

Neurodiversity is the idea that people experience the world in many ways. This term is often used to refer broadly to individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autistic spectrum syndrome (ACS), dyscalculia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Tourette syndrome.  

In recent years, we have seen more students with learning difficulties associated with neurodiversity in our classrooms. While most neurotypical individuals might experience a lecture, assignment, or group interaction similarly, those who are neurodivergent may benefit from other teaching strategies. Thus, we need to become familiar with ways to remove barriers for and meet the needs of diverse learners. Research shows that when we diversify our teaching and learning practices to create higher quality learning experiences for diverse learners, all learners benefit greatly. 

To help anyone interested in learning about Neurodiversity in the Classroom, TCDC has compiled another “PD Playlist.” We’ve arranged the resources from “sound bite” to “radio play” to “extended dance mix” and “full LP.” Some options will take just a few minutes of your time while others will require a longer commitment.   

Visit the TCDC site, to view the entire catalogue of PD Playlists. 

May PD Playlist

Sound Bites <10 minutes  

Classroom accommodations for executive function challenges (article | 00:03:00) 
Teacher and author Amanda Morin curated a thoughtful list of common accommodations educators can use to help students who struggle with executive skills. These are practical actions, applicable to various aspects of your course that will help students with trouble planning, managing time, and organizing to thrive in the classroom. 

Supporting Neurodiversity in The Classroom (article | 00:07:00) 
Instructors have a crucial role to play to ensure neurodiverse students are understood, appreciated, and encouraged to gain confidence in leveraging their unique abilities to succeed in school and in life. This article offers information and tips to help you support neurodiversity in your classroom and beyond.  

Radio Play<20 minutes   

Neurodiversity in higher education: a narrative synthesis (article| 00:18:00)
This compelling narrative synthesis draws together a corpus of international literature on how neurodiverse students experience higher education and how higher education institutions respond to the cluster of neurodiverse conditions. After a systematic review, authors conclude that although support services and technologies are available to meet students’ specific needs, there is an apparent dislocation between the two. Moreover, there is a divide between what is needed and what is available to ensure neurodiverse students’ success.  

Extended Dance Mix <60 minutes 

Tips for Facilitating a Neurodiverse Classroom (webinar | 00:57:30)
Krisstal D. Clayton, co-author of Essentials of Psychology, introduces us to neurodiversity in the classroom and how restructuring your syllabus, assignments, and course materials can enhance everyone’s learning. Tips focus on providing all students with a more accessible learning environment that includes flexibility, clear instructions, and team building

Full LP >1 hour  

Collaborative Learning Approaches that Support Neurodiverse Students (webinar | 01:12:56)
In this Magna Learning presentation, Flower Darby shares strategies to plan group tasks so that our neurodiverse learners can successfully contribute to collaborative learning activities. We learn to identify challenges that lead to perceived “freeloader” behavior in group work and examine support mechanisms that empower socially reluctant students. We also learn to apply UDL principles to design collaborative learning tasks that support success for all students. 

Emerging Practices for Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum in Higher Education (guide | 01:20:00)
Funded by the Autism Speaks Family Services Community Grant, this guide introduces autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the strengths and challenges of college students with ASD. The guide also offers many strategies on how to mitigate environmental challenges and create campus-wide responses to support ASD students. 

Live Concert 

Attend the in-person event TCDC Lunch and Learn: What I Know about Teaching from Raising a Child with Neurodiversity or Disability (in-person) on May 21, 2024, at 12:30pm. For more information and to register, please visit our PD Events Calendar. 

Bonus Track: For your students 

Developing Self-Acceptance of Neurodiversity (article| 00:08:00)
In this Psychology Today article, psychotherapist and author Kaytee Gillis writes from their own experiences being a neurodivergent student. Kaytee also enlightens us on various important aspects of neurodiversity. It is a great read for our students to foster understanding and acceptance, of self and of others.