RGS Celebrates Neurodiversity

RGS Celebrates Neurodiversity

In a highlight of our Neurodiversity Celebration Week, Alex Partridge, Founder of UNILAD, LADBible and the chart topping ADHD Chatter Podcast, captivated RGS Senior School students in an extended assembly.

Alex shared his journey to being diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. He gave insights into his early experiences of anxiety at school and dealing with over-stimulation, as well as his helpful revelation that ‘masking’ to hide who he really was affected his self-esteem and consumed his energy.

"A day spent trying to not be yourself is a day wasted, just be yourself!" 

Despite many years wondering why he was different and trying not to focus on the negative stereotypes attached to neurodivergence, Alex has since found comfort in the validation of his diagnosis. Learning to refocus on his vast number of individual strengths, from resilience to spotting patterns which others miss, spring boarded his creative career including recently launching the chart-topping podcast ‘ADHD Chatter’. 

"The moment I stopped trying to fit in, was the exact moment I started to thrive." 

Alex went onto explain how he now manages his personal organisation to maximise productivity, giving real-life hacks which he may have previously felt ashamed to reveal. He also encouraged journaling to improve self-awareness. 

Watch some clips of the assembly below:

 

A panel of three RGS Sixth Formers joined Alex on stage after his talk for an audience Q&A, which welcomed a range of excellent questions from students eager to know more. This was followed by a parent discussion, and a focus group with RGS’s committee of Neurodiversity Champions. These involved rich conversations about the value of different thinkers, and how diverse ways of seeing the world is something to be celebrated and treasured in our school. 

Mr Stanford remarked:  

"Each person's brain, and way of interacting with the world, is completely unique to them. We are all somewhere along a tremendous spectrum of neurodiversity, and our school community is richer for this.  Today and tomorrow’s world will absolutely benefit from new ways of seeing big problems, so let’s embrace different thinking".

Alex’s visit was absolute enlightening and sparked many positive conversations around school about the importance in diversity of thought in our community.  It also gave us an opportunity to discuss how skills, such as remaining calm in a crisis can actually give students, with similar experiences to Alex, a competitive edge.

Our guest speaker today is someone who has certainly found his Superpower to be his ADHD, though this power has not been without its challenges, its inevitable trips and stumbles, which have made up his journey.  

To find out more about how our Learning Support department aims to provide a program of support and guidance which compliments the high quality teaching available to all RGS students, enhancing students' academic and personal development, click here.

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