Empowering the individual: supporting ‘neurodiverse’ learners to engage with academic texts

Fenella Lloyd

Hereford College of Arts, Hereford College of Arts, Folly Lane, Hereford, HR1 1LT; f.gardner@hca.ac.uk

5th May 2017

Abstract

This current piece of action research and resource development was initiated following work with learners with a range of neuro-diverse learning styles and abilities.

The central hypothesis to the work is that neuro-diverse learners present an opportunity to explore and utilise exciting new ways of learning which have relevance for all learners. In particular, learning around self-evaluation, genuine engagement with scholarly activities and alternative problem solving solutions are areas of interest.

Specifically work focusses on the challenges and solutions students have with reading at Higher Education level and is informed by research on the physiological processes of reading explored by John Stein (2010), common aspects shared between ASD and Specific Language Impairment by Williams, Botting and Boucher (2008), the particular challenges of Higher Education for neuro-diverse learners as investigated by Mortimore and Crozier (2007) and aspects of established good practice for teachers working with learners with neuro-diverse profiles: in particular the need to work with a range of kinaesthetic and multi-sensory strategies. The strategy has been adopted as one of UWTSD’s 2016-18 enhancement theme projects.