Plume Academy celebrates neurodiversity with ADHD awareness project

  Posted: 04.11.21 at 16:17 by Charlotte Lillywhite

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Staff and students at the Plume Academy in Maldon have been busy taking part in an exciting project which ran throughout October in support of ADHD Awareness Month.

The school - which has a large Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Department to support its neurodiverse and disabled students - launched the Umbrella Project across its Mill Road and Fambridge Road campuses last month.

The project, which is run by the ADHD Foundation every year, seeks to create an interactive display in various locations across the UK to encourage children to consider their learning differences as a superpower.

Hannah Walls, deputy SENDCo at Plume Academy, led the project at the school this year.

She said: “During October, staff and students all decorated their own personal umbrella, making it as unique and individual as they are.

“These displays of individuality and celebration can now be seen across both our campuses, showing the range of superpowers we have at Plume Academy.

“From headstands and baking to empathy and autism, all of our staff and students are proud to be different - this is what makes us such an incredible community to be a part of.”

Neurodiversity encompasses conditions such as OCD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, autism and more - including ADHD.

Miss Walls said: “ADHD Awareness Month each October seeks to highlight the positives of neurodiversity - meaning that all of our brains function slightly differently, and this is what makes us brilliant and unique.”

She continued: “We have many students with a diagnosis of ADHD, and students with this condition are often expected to be full of energy.

“Whilst it is common to talk about the barriers this can cause in a classroom, it is also important to highlight the strengths of individuals diagnosed with ADHD.

“These individuals are often incredibly creative and expressive, socially intelligent and empathetic.

“Celebrating these strengths - also known as 'superpowers' - is all part of ADHD Awareness Month.

“This is because often society focuses on the barriers faced by neurodiverse students and adults, rather than the wonderful things that come with being unique.”

She added: “Now that ADHD Awareness Month is over, it is important to remember that with every new day comes a new opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate neurodiversity.”

You can find more information on the ADHD Foundation and the Umbrella Project here.

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