Neurodiversity around the World
Today, there are 193 recognized countries in the world. And according to a recent review published in the journal Science, about 10 percent of people worldwide live with specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and autism. Meanwhile, Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires countries around the world ensure that students with disabilities receive free, inclusive, and appropriate education up to college. How that plays out in real life, however, is spotty at best. Diagnosis, services and supports differ. Legal guardrails ensuring inclusive education are hit or miss. There isn’t even global consensus what constitutes learning disabilities. Worse, in countries riddled with misconceptions and cultural shame about learning disabilities it isn’t unusual for students to be physically punished or reprimanded over their learning struggles. In short, there is a world of difference regarding how neurodivergence is viewed and embraced around the globe. On this episode, we meet a father and daughter in the Netherlands who both have dyslexia and have discovered that succeeding at life isn’t tilting at windmills. Next, our international panel of experts will explore the global response to learning disabilities. Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” Nik Govier, a public relations powerbroker from across the pond who considers her dyslexia a gift that allows her to bring something different, and valuable, to the party.