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Information, Advice and sources of support for young people in Suffolk

I have additional needs

Throughout this site we use this yellow colour to highlight information for people with additional needs (SEND).

If you have additional needs or want to know more about being neurodivergent you have come to the right place.

Neurodiversity Awareness

“Great minds don’t always think alike”

What do people mean when they say Neurodiversity or Neurological differences?

Our brains are all wired differently. We think, move, process information and communicate in different ways. Many people use the term neurodiversity, neurological differences to describe a persons alternative thinking style such as:

  • Dyslexia
  • DCD (Dyspraxia)
  • Dyscalculia
  • Autism
  • ADHD
  • Tourette’s & Tic disorders

Regardless of labels, neurodiversity is about recognising that we all think differently and this is not a bad thing.
Children and young people who are Neurodivergent may need extra support from us in school and in other settings, so we should be aware of this and be kind to them.

What support do neurodivergent young people in Suffolk want?

The Source asked young members of their SEND Network what would help them feel more supported in school from their teachers and friends.
Students helped us create the poster below which their feedback for schools and settings in Suffolk to use to support Neurodivergent young people.

What helps me in school?

This is the support that our young people told us they want more of in school:

  • Doodling – Helps to control emotions, cope, calming.
  • Listening to music before a lesson.
  • Headphones.
  • Books.
  • Sports.
  • Being able to rap.
  • Hobbies and interests.
  • Talking to close family.

What’s important to us in school, is there anything that could be done differently?

  • Teachers – To understand us.
  • Things that help in lesson – Doodle paper, Blue tac.
  • Support managing emotions/anger – Noises, unwanted sounds can be triggering to us.
  • Give us “time out” if we need it.

What is Autism like for a young person?

The video below is good at explaining what it might be like for a young person with Autism.

If you have an autistic friend, see the poster below for how you can help them…

What is ADHD like for a young person?

What is Masking?

Masking is the act of hiding or concealing neurodivergent traits in schools and workplaces, commonly done by autistic people, for the below reasons:

  • To avoid prejudice, stigma, bullying and discrimination.
  • To meet social expectations and avoid social rejection.
  • To hide discomfort in environments that are not autism-friendly (a lack of acceptance or accommodation of autistic characteristics.
  • To cope at school and avoid negative attention or punishment (for example for moving around or stimming)
How young people feel about masking their behaviour.
  • “So you don’t show people that you have something wrong with you”.
  • “You can hide your emotions”,
  • “No one knows what inside my head!”
  • “Mum usually gets the side effects for how I feel”.
  • “Masking is annoying, the affects can cause me to have a meltdown, it’s tiring”.
  • “Sometimes it’s difficult to know what behaviours to mask and when? Especially with different teachers”.

Suffolk Youth Parliament talks about hidden disabilities

Listen to Kelsey, a member of the Youth Parliament in Suffolk talks about hidden disabilities and shares her experiences.

Choose a section you would like to visit, using the buttons below.

Assume that I Can – help challenge negative assumptions

Please share the below video to your school, college, family and friends as it really hits hard the point that if people had more positive assumptions about young people with Down syndrome (or any other additional need), then there will be more opportunities for us at school, at work, in relationships, and in other activities. DISCLAIMER – Please be aware this video includes a swear word.

Assume that I can so maybe I will YouTube video

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Page updated on June 20th, 2024 at 12:32pm