City library hosts events for neurodiversity week

Invercargill City Library and Archives community connections co-ordinator Saniya Thompson (left) and Learning Differences Aotearoa Trust learning differences adviser Chris Cole hold stars children can decorate for a display at the library during Neurodiversity Celebration Week. Photo: Supplied

THREE organisations are working together to raise awareness and celebrate neurodiversity in the Southland community this week.

Learning Differences Aotearoa Trust, Autism NZ Southland Branch, and Parent to Parent were working with the Invercargill Public Library to hold a range of activities and events for Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

Starting on Monday, activities and events were running until the end of this week.

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term to cover individuals who think and process information in a different way or, put simply, their brain is wired differently.

Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism are types of neurodiversity.

Learning Differences Aotearoa Trust learning differences adviser Chris Cole said, nationally, it was estimated up to 30% of the community were neurodiverse and many were not aware.

“During Neurodiversity Celebration Week we want to increase awareness of what it means to be neurodiverse. Talking with our children about thinking and processing information differently helps to make them feel OK just the way they are.’’

They had sent stars to schools to encourage pupils to get creative and decorate the stars with photos, colour, glitter and positive words about themselves.

The stars were then sent back to the library where they were on display during the week, Mrs Cole said.

Other events at the library included a neurodiversity friendly after-hours library tour, and a movie screening.

Representatives from each organisation had pamphlets available at the library, and were available at different times throughout the week for anyone who wanted to have a chat.