How Does Bridges Learning System Align With the Neurodiversity Paradigm?

by Katrina Martin on September 14, 2021

The neurodiversity paradigm is an alternative to the deficit medical model used to understand and diagnose disabilities like autism. Through a neurodiversity lens, neurological differences are just that: differences.

Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and being neurotypical (among many other neurotypes) are all viewed as normal, natural, and varying components of human diversity.

However, the term neurodiversity is at risk of being hijacked by those who continue to use a deficit-based medical model of disability to describe and “treat” those who think differently.

At Bridges Learning System, we do things differently.

For us, neurodiversity isn’t just a buzzword. It’s the paradigm that informs everything we do.

Neurodiversity is at the core of our…

Teaching strategies and methods

We use a strength-based approach to education that respects individual student’s autonomy and preferences. As a company, we are firmly against all forms of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) used either explicitly or subtly though rewards for “appropriate behavior.”

Social communication expectations

We hold all forms of communication as equally valid, including AAC, non-traditional speaking, gestures, vocal speech, writing, and any other forms of engagement that works for that individual.

Educational goals

We DON’T teach neurotypical social skills in our curricula. Instead, we develop self-advocacy skills and foster pride in neurodiversity. We support neurodivergent children in creating bridges of understanding within themselves, each other, and the world around them.

Content focus

We support students in their ability to connect to others and their environment. We don’t believe that this is achieved through rote teaching of isolated skills, but rather through engaging interactive workshops with peers.

Hiring practices

Nothing about us without us. We agree! Our team is comprised of Neurodivergent, Autistic, and Neurotypical folks working together. The voices of Autistic and Neurodivergent communities shape everything from our curriculum development to how things are designed on the screen.  

Collaboration and partnerships

We’re picky about who we collaborator and partner with. We are currently endorsed by Neurodiversity Training International and NeuroClastic. We have also partnered with Completely Inclusive to create neurodiversity training for educators of neurodivergent youth. We partner and collaborate with these groups because they share our values and mission.

So…how does Bridges Learning System align with the neurodiversity paradigm?

In every possible way.

Take the first step and align yourself with the neurodiversity paradigm with our on-demand webinar and start teaching neurodiversity-affirming outcomes to your students with our SEA Bridge curriculum.


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