Atypika "Together, we are weird. Silicon Valley has already appreciated the benefits of neurodivergent employees. How about us?" Interview in Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper – Atypika
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“Together, we are weird. Silicon Valley has already appreciated the benefits of neurodivergent employees. How about us?” Interview in Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper
26.07.2023

Interview with Kasia Modlinska and Michal Tomczak, creators of the study program on neurodiversity at work at SWPS University in Warsaw

(Photo: Kasia Trojak)

Autistic people make up to ten times fewer mistakes. And people with ADHD thrive in unpredictable conditions. How to enable them to successfully find a job and use their superpowers in it?

Interview with Kasia Modlinska and Michal Tomczak, creators of the study program on neurodiversity at work at SWPS University in Warsaw

You have created the first…

KASIA MODLIÑSKA: The first in the world….

…course of study program devoted to neurodiversity.

MICHAŁ TOMCZAK: Yes, the inauguration at SWPS University took place in October 2022.

K.M.: The exact name is “neurodiversity in the workplace – inclusive recruitment and management”

M.T.: These are one-year postgraduate courses.

K.M.: They are about how to create a culture in organizations that is inclusive of neurodivergent people. That is, those who, in our culture, do not fit into commonly accepted standards of normality. Most often, these people receive psychiatric diagnoses such as autism spectrum, ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Tourette syndrome, which mainly emphasize their deficits. The social system is unfavorable to such people – it often excludes them at every stage of functioning.

Even in kindergarten, children are punished for having too much energy, not lounging, not eating enough. Similar mechanisms can be found in elementary school. Systemically, the requirements are very specifically designed for a certain type of individual. Individuals who deviate from this norm have a problem: dyslexics, for example, have to learn to read flawlessly, even though they have abilities in completely different areas, such as spatial imagination, but the development of these abilities is not emphasized by the educational system.

So how will such a person get through kindergarten, elementary school, high school, college….

K.M.: And will survive…

M.T.: Then the next barrier he will face will be job recruitment.

Kasia uses the term “neuroatypical”, you, Michael – “neurodiverse”. Why do you choose different terms?

K.M.: I refer to individuals as neuroatypical, not neurodiverse, because a person cannot be different from oneself. It is the group that can be internally differentiated, neurodiverse.

M.T.: Nevertheless, in public discourse and in science there is talk of “neurodiverse individuals.”

Enjoy reading the entire inteview: https://shorturl.at/nAEPZ

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