‘My clients were often facing an uphill battle’

Rebecca Wones, Head of Psychological Assessment for psychology consultancy Lexxic, has pre-recorded three neurodiversity-related webinars for the British Psychological Society. They are available to watch until early February – Ella Rhodes asked her about them.

What do your webinars cover?

We have three webinars available, all looking at Neurodiversity in relation to a specific topic or concept. We have focused on Neurodiversity and gender, looking at areas of disparity and current research around diagnosis and presentation.

Our second workshop looks at Neurodiversity in recruitment, selection and assessment. This focuses on some of the barriers and neurodivergent individual may experience and how employers can best support an employee journey from application through to onboarding and retention and promotion.

The final workshop focuses on Neurodiversity and Covid-19. Still seemingly a relevant topic, it looks at how best to support neurodivergent individuals when working from home or when working life has changed due to the pandemic. The strategies in this workshop would be useful for all.

How did you first become interested in this area?

My background as an Occupational Psychologist is within the civil service, although I have worked alongside Lexxic for many years. I first became interested in Neurodiversity when in these roles and I realised that my clients were often facing an uphill battle and had been since their education. I wanted to support them in the workplace, ensure they were accessing the right support and that employers understood the strengths and capabilities of those who are neurodivergent.

What still needs to change in this area?

That neurodivergence is not just one label, or really, any label! Historically there has been a deficit approach when working in this area, for clients as well: focusing only on what the person cannot do or what they struggle with. At Lexxic we are working to change this and our team are passionate about ensuring clients, employers and the workplace in general understands the strengths of being neurodiverse. 

Could you tell us something that might surprise someone not familiar with this area of work?

There are probably more neurodiverse individuals in your circle of colleagues, friends, and family than you realise. The statistics tell us that one in seven individuals is neurodiverse so when people say, ‘I don’t know anyone who is dyslexic, or has ADHD’, I am sure they do, they just don’t realise as neurodivergent individuals will often mask or hide their diagnosis from others.

What do you hope people will take away from the webinars?

Ideas, inspiration and knowledge of what they can do to support and celebrate their neurodiverse workforce. That support is often little or no cost to the employer, is not disruptive to others and often can support those without a neurodivergence as well.

The three webinars are available to purchase until Thursday 3 February: click the links above.

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