Aotearoa’s education system is failing the one in five neurodiverse students in every class, says the new Neurodiversity in Education Coalition (NIEC).
The coalition, which comprises the NZ Centre for Gifted Education, Dyslexia Foundation of NZ, Autism NZ and ADHD NZ, last week released its own report outlining three key initiatives for immediate implementation.
This included a publicly funded awareness campaign, the promotion of school neurodiversity action plans and the scaling up of proven neurodiversity support programmes.
Fourteen-year-old Riley DearLove said the current education system didn’t work for neurodiverse students like himself.
The Auckland teen, who was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), struggled with the public education system so moved to an online private learning platform two years ago.
“It’s just heartbreaking when I see all these smart, talented students who are treated as if they aren’t capable,” he said.
He said neurodiverse students battled misunderstanding, a lack of acceptance and stigma in school.