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Calls for overhaul of education system for neurodiverse kids.

For most of her young life Annabelle March struggled at school.

Diagnosed as gifted as a child, a brain wired to learn and process faster, she felt pressure to do well academically.

But when she went to high school and could not complete assignments, or was told she was too loud, her mental health plummeted.

"Through no fault of anyone else, but the world we live in, and the world not designed for my brain,” March said.

“It led me to believe that the world would be better off without me and my brain in it."

Last year, the 18-year-old found out why - she was diagnosed with ADHD. This year she was also diagnosed with autism.

“Now I realise that my brain was not broken, it just worked differently," she said.

March is now a Young Neurodiversity Champion, a campaign of 15 neurodiverse students who want to reshape the education system to help people like them succeed.

According to Justine Munro, from the Neurodiversity in Education Coalition, one in five people are neurodiverse, but many do not have access to help or support in childhood.

“There is a point in a young person’s development where they are either understood and get the support they need and understand how their brain works, and that it is an amazing point of difference,” Munro said.

“Then the other side of that is that at a similar place they know they are different, and they are marked as the dumb kid, or the bad kid, and no one knows how to support them, and they end up in jail.”


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