Ineffective pathways and the price of conjecture

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The inclusion of children with special educational needs into mainstream schools needs effort and cooperation by all those involved. Both educators and medical professions need to be skilled in identifying and supporting neurodiversity. This study explores the cross-professional understanding and support of four of the most prevalent neurodiversities: autism spectrum condition, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental coordination disorder and dyslexia, to evaluate the efficiency of the diagnostic pathway and the subsequent support. Questionnaires were distributed throughout a number of training events for medical and educational practitioners asking what a condition was, and how it could be supported. Using a thematic analysis, data from 189 responses were examined and cross-referenced with diagnostic criteria, in addition to identifying the overarching themes of support. Results show a serious gap in awareness and knowledge of neurodiversity in both medical and educational sectors, followed by a cacophony of intervention, breaking the pathway for diagnosis before it begins and ultimately failing children and their families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-379
JournalSupport for Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2021


  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • DCD
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • diagnosis
  • neurodiversity
  • pathway


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