Neurodiversity for research students and their supervisors

New to 2018, these are two, half-day workshops created by Chloe and Annette in conjunction with Professor Nicola Shaughnessy from the Playing A/Part and Imagining Autism projects.

  1. Neurodiversity Matters for Students: Knowledge and practical skills for neurodivergent students engaging in research
  2. Neurodiversity Matters for Supervisors: Knowledge and practical skills for supervisors of neurodivergent students engaging in research


These two, half-day courses are an introduction to neurodiversity in higher education, enhancing understanding of different learning styles and preferences, the challenges neurodivergent students encounter in higher education and pursuing research, and advice on support strategies.

Workshop overview: 

  • Provide you with example experiences you may or may not be aware of
  • Provide possible practical skills students can use to manage difficult experiences
  • Help you realise these difficulties are not inherently due to being neurodivergent (e.g. autistic/ADHD/anxiety/dyslexia etc.), but due to a difference in student needs and the environment around you/them 

(more detailed layout):

Half-day workshop: session 1

  • Task and introductions
  • The problem – stigma/othering of ourselves
  • Pathologising of neuro-/psychological-divergent experience
  • Language of pathology – what is does
    • Muffin task
  • How we/others discuss autism (an example)
  • Problem with the pathology paradigm
  • Alternative ways of conceptualising neurological and psychological “disorder” and “illness”
  • Historical contexts and the social model of disability
  • What is neurodiversity?
    • The banana problem
  • How language shapes attitudes and behaviour
    • Life in labels video
  • How we can talk about ourselves? How do we want others to talk about us/to us?

Half-day workshop: session 2 (note that the example differences and practical strategies are adaptable)

  • Equality Act 2010 in practice
  • Examinations/presenting – accommodations/adjustments example
  • Assessments & the law
  • Differences, difficulties, practical advice
    • What could reasonable adjustments look like?
  • Sensory differences & difficulties
  • Burnout
  • Executive functioning differences
  • Inertia
  • Perfectionism & procrastination
  • Working with others/speaking up in class anxiety/networking
  • Multiple deadlines
  • Lab work
  • Inclusive Learning Plans

Reading lists will be provided as a follow up but preparatory reading can be found online:

You can also download a document Chloe has compiled for neurodivergent PhD students for viva adjustments (much of this guidance can also be applied to review meetings, and general supervisory meetings).

To discuss  delivering any of Chloe and Annette’s workshops or talks please contact us here: 

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: