Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2024: Challenging Stereotypes

Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2024: Challenging Stereotypes

This week Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are celebrating Neurodiversity Celebration Week by highlighting the ways that neurodivergent employees are supported in the workplace. Throughout the week, we will be providing information on neurodiversity across our social media channels.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week a global celebration of neurodiverse individuals that aims to raise awareness of, and challenge stereotypes about, a range of neurodevelopment and learning disabilities. The celebrations are supported by Lexxic, the leading neurodiversity experts in the UK, who support organisations to become neurodivergent inclusive workplaces. It is their mission to ‘inspire a world that understands and values the talent of neurodivergent minds.’

The campaign was set up in 2018 by Siena Castellon, a neurodivergent individual who advocates for changing the negative perceptions about learning differences. She also set up her own website which provides information to children with neurodivergences – Quantum Leap Mentoring.

Siena Castellon, the Founder of the Neurodiversity Celebration Campaign, said:

“I founded Neurodiversity Celebration Week in 2018 because I wanted to change the way learning differences are perceived. As a teenager who is autistic and has ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia, my experience has been that people often focus on the challenges of neurological diversity.

“I wanted to change the narrative and create a balanced view which focuses equally on our talents and strengths.

“I created this website when I was 13 because I want to mentor and support bright children with learning differences. I know how challenging it is to have a learning difference.”

The theme for Neurodiversity Celebration Week this year is Challenging Stereotypes. This means actively working to raise awareness about neurodiversity and how different neurodivergences can present themselves, as well as debunking the myths associated with neurodivergent individuals.

Around 1 in 7 people (more than 15% of people in the UK) are neurodivergent

Neurodiversity relates to differences in the function of people’s brains from what is considered neurotypical. This means that neurodiverse individuals can process information differently.

Neurodiversity can come in many forms, including (but not limited to):


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)



Tourette’s Syndrome


Councillor Maureen Webber, Equality Champion and Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “It is so important that as an organisation we work towards creating an accepting work environment for our neurodivergent colleagues.

“As the Council’s Equality Champion, I want to emphasise the commitment of the Council to becoming a diverse and inclusive workplace for our staff, customers, and stakeholders.

“We must celebrate the differences of our staff members, embrace what makes them unique, and look towards new ways of working that nurtures the abilities and talents of neurodiverse people. The first step is raising awareness.

“By raising awareness amongst our employees, we will be able to better recognise and support those with specific needs, making our workplace a supportive and inclusive environment where neurodivergent individuals can thrive.”

The Council are committed to promoting the value of diversity and inclusion through education and awareness to achieve an inclusive culture, where both staff and residents are valued for who they are. Currently, the Council are a registered Level 2 Disability Confident Employer as part of the UK government scheme. As part of this, the Council offers an interview to all disabled applicants (this includes disclosed disabilities that are defined under the Equality Act 2010) who meet the minimum criteria for a job role.

The Council is also supporting neurodiversity by rolling out Autism Aware training to all Council staff. A number of Council service areas have already received their certification including Senior Leadership Team, Human Resources, the Digital Improvement Office and Public Health and Protection. This training continues to be rolled out to all staff. The Council’s Cabinet was also awarded its certification in February 2023, becoming the first Cabinet in Wales to achieve this.

Louise Davies, SLT Champion for Neurodiversity and Director for Public Health, Protection, and Community Services, said: “As the SLT Champion for Neurodiversity it is important to me that we foster an inclusive and supportive environment for neurodiverse staff.

“My role involves advocating for neurodivergent individuals, promoting awareness, and ensuring that our policies and practices are inclusive for neurodivergent individuals.

“The Council are currently working towards increasing the amount of staff training on neurodiversity within the workplace and implementing new policies which make working more accessible for our neurodiverse employees.”

The Council’s Youth Engagement and Participation Service (YEPS) also set up their Neurodiversity Youth Forum in September 2023. The Forum consists of twelve amazing and unique young people aged 12-24 years who are up for the challenge of promoting positive change.

Through project work and events, the forum aims to:

Empower ND young people to celebrate their neurodivergence

Support Forum members to explore their own understanding of how ND impacts on their life and identify the support they need

Challenge the stereotypes and prejudice surrounding ND to the wider community

Educate young people about neurodiversity

Promote awareness of neurodiversity across multiple platforms

The forum will be officially launched during the Neurodiversity Celebration Week with an exciting project supporting young people’s sensory needs. Forum members have designed and produced sensory boxes and filled them with a wide variety of fidget toys which can be used by all the young people attending any of our youth clubs across RCT. Fidget toys are a fantastic tool which can be used to reduce anxiety and stress and increase focus.

Forum members will accompany staff to youth clubs to deliver the boxes, explain the resources and promote the importance of recognising your own individual sensory needs.

Members of the Neurodiversity Youth Forum, said:

“It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re accepted here.”

“It’s fun and happy, this is the best place.”

To find out more about Neurodiversity Celebration week, please visit: https://www.neurodiversityweek.com/


The UK government Disability Confident Scheme aims to create a movement of change by encouraging employers and organisations to approach disability differently and to act in improving how to recruit, retain, and develop disabled employees. Furthermore, the scheme supports employers to make the most of the talents that disabled people can bring to the workplace. Disability Confident organisations play a leading role in changing attitudes for the better, changing behaviour and cultures in their own organisations and reaping the benefits of inclusive recruitment practices.

To find out more, please visit their website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/disability-confident-campaign

Lexxic work with organisations to empower neurodiverse individuals to have access to a supportive and inclusive working environment. Lexxic also provide workplace services by partnering with organisations to help them to create a positive workplace culture for neurodiverse individuals. They help to empower individuals and teams by providing training, assistive technology, assessments, and e-learning solutions.

To find out more, please visit their website: https://lexxic.com/

Autism Wales is a Welsh government initiative that was set up to provide people with information about autism, signpost individuals and organisations to services and training opportunities, and provide resources about autism across Wales.

They estimate that autism affects up to 1 in 100 people and that through the provision of knowledge and awareness, they can help to deliver their vision to ensure that Wales is an autism friendly nation.

To find out more, please visit their website: https://autismwales.org/en/

*Please note this press release and social media campaign was created by neurodiverse employees*

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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