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Whose mind is it anyway? Empowering young neurodivergent people to better understand themselves and their needs by Amy McGuiness and Kirsten Jack (Uncommon)

Talk

1h 5mins

How can we create equitable reflective spaces for young neurodivergent people to share? In this talk we’ll share the journey Uncommon has been on to create empowering spaces for young neurodivergent people to learn, share their experiences, better understand themselves and foster a sense of belonging.

Date and time:

Tuesday 14 November - 14:00-15:05 GMT, 9:00-10:05 EST, 6:00-7:05 PST

Intended audience: 

Registration opens: 9 October

Register
Date and time:

Tuesday 14 November - 14:00-15:05 GMT, 9:00-10:05 EST, 6:00-7:05 PST

Register

Many neurodivergent young people have grown up feeling like they don’t belong. They have often experienced peer victimisation, and are used to their perceived deficits being critiqued by significant adults including family members and teachers. This experience of ‘otherness’ contributes to young Autistic and ADHDers both being at increased risk of social isolation and mental ill-health such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders and suicidal ideation and attempts.

The majority of mental health support currently offered to young neurodivergent people is designed by and for neurotypical people and doesn’t take into account the significant physical and mental barriers ND people experience in daily life.

Uncommon was founded by a ND team of designers, researchers and creatives on a mission to support young ND people to thrive by understanding their unique strengths and challenges and building connection through community.

Kirsten and Amy will share how Uncommon worked with young people and their families to identify the biggest areas of need and adapted the service along the way. Working in learning loops to understand the unique needs of young ND people experiencing overwhelm and burnout and their families to create low demand participatory spaces. Designing activities where young people can interact and connect In a way that suits them from observing through to communicating through anonymous polls.

Left - Kirsten Jack smiling against a white wall. Right - Amy McGuinness outside in nature with a wooly hat.

Entrepreneur

Left

Entrepreneur

Right

Service designer

Left

Entrepreneur

Middle

Service designer

Right

Hostile Documentary

1h 38m | 2022

Many neurodivergent young people have grown up feeling like they don’t belong. They have often experienced peer victimisation, and are used to their perceived deficits being critiqued by significant adults including family members and teachers. This experience of ‘otherness’ contributes to young Autistic and ADHDers both being at increased risk of social isolation and mental ill-health such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, eating disorders and suicidal ideation and attempts.

The majority of mental health support currently offered to young neurodivergent people is designed by and for neurotypical people and doesn’t take into account the significant physical and mental barriers ND people experience in daily life.

Uncommon was founded by a ND team of designers, researchers and creatives on a mission to support young ND people to thrive by understanding their unique strengths and challenges and building connection through community.

Kirsten and Amy will share how Uncommon worked with young people and their families to identify the biggest areas of need and adapted the service along the way. Working in learning loops to understand the unique needs of young ND people experiencing overwhelm and burnout and their families to create low demand participatory spaces. Designing activities where young people can interact and connect In a way that suits them from observing through to communicating through anonymous polls.

Kirsten Jack (she/her)

Kirsten is an experienced impact-led venture builder and strategist, with 20 years experience consulting to donors and corporates on digital innovation and inclusive economic development in over 20 countries.

A proudly neurodiverse entrepreneur with a passion for social impact, Kirsten is the co-founder of Uncommon where she's working with an amazing team to build new mental health services for neurodiverse young people. To learn more visit www.uncommonminds.co.uk.

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Amy McGuiness (she/her)

Amy is a service designer working with Uncommon. Also an ADHDer she explores the intersections between health, wellbeing, community and belonging. Amy has been working with Uncommon to put families’ voices at the heart of the Uncommon Experience and measure outcomes for young people and their families.

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