Centre Director Charlotte Waddell gave a Zoom talk to close to 300 parents, practitioners and policy makers on Dec. 2. The talk was titled, “Neurodiversity and mental health: Serving children better.”
The presentation covered the following themes:
- The need to create communities where all children are welcomed and celebrated, and where services are delivered according to needs so that all children can flourish and meet their potential.
- The prevalence of anxiety, ADHD, behaviour disorders and depression, which are higher for children experiencing three particular forms of neurodiversity (autism spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome disorder and intellectual disability).
- The research evidence for effective treatments for these four conditions for children with the three forms of neurodiversity.
- The effective treatments for other common childhood mental disorders that can also be offered, with adaptations when needed
“We need to ensure that timely and effective treatments are offered to all children, particularly if they are neurodiverse, given higher prevalence rates,” Waddell told the group.
The talk ended with celebrating people who are neurodiverse, and the communities that support them over the lifespan.
Waddell then stayed on the Zoom call to respond to questions and comments. She also joined a small breakout group discussion to learn more about parent’s perspectives.