We embrace Neurodiverse (ND) affirming practices at HDST. We are committed to continuous development and learning so that our systems and practices continue to evolve and improve.

Celebrating diversity in all its forms (gender, cultural, neurobiological, skill and ability)  is a core value at Hills District Speech Therapy and always has been.  We are passionate about not just accepting, but celebrating diversity and understand the value of a diverse society and workplace. Therefore we are excited by the discussions and curiosity that the ND affirming movement is creating and are empowered to adapt our systems and practices to better support neurodiverse clients.

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity refers to the variation between each individual in their neurocognition, or more simply, how they think, behave, and communicate. This variation can manifest in an array of commonly known diagnoses including:

At HDST we have embraced a positive shift towards the neurodiversity paradigm and away from ableist perspectives. This has extended across all areas of practice including our specialist clinics.

Social Emotional Stages of Development from the DIRFloortime Model

What neurodiverse affirming approaches do we use?

At Hills District Speech Therapy we know that developing a strong connection with each child and family is the one thing that will create the greatest gains. We ensure that our interventions focus on the principles of developmental, individual difference, following the client’s lead and interests. Through the development of these strong relationships and trust, we foster functional and meaningful communication. We also look critically with an ND affirming lens at all the approaches and programs we currently use and will modify them as required to ensure they are ND affirming. Your child’s therapist may use strategies and methods from one or more of the following approaches and or programs:

What we offer at HDST when supporting our ND clients and Families

Our therapists receive ongoing training and support in working with neurodiverse clients. Part of delivering a well rounded, individualised service for each of our clients and their families, our team also…

Generate strengths-based reports

Use ND affirming language in verbal and written communication

Understand and appreciate the client’s sensory profile

Apply and recommend environmental modifications

Use our platforms to educate the wider community