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Making the most of differences

‘Our differences are what make us unique and it’s ok to embrace them’ is the continued message from UTC Reading’s SEN department, on this, the final day of Mental Health Awareness Week.

The team constantly strive to support its students in a compassionate and flexible way, helping them to thrive in education unhindered by unfair disadvantage. 

And SEN staff are keen to point out to those students that while living with neurodivergent conditions can bring difficulties, it’s ok to be different and they’re not alone.

Back in March, the team celebrated Neurodiversity Week, with a series of wonderful umbrella and rainbow decorations carrying important messages about neurodiversity. They also distributed wristbands for students and staff to write what was different about them on. The week culminated in a Neurodiversity Panel Event, with six speakers with neurodivergent conditions, who spoke about their experiences in education and work, and how they have learnt to make the most out of what makes them different.

Georgina Craven - our SENCo, explained why our differences should be celebrated.

“Having a SEN diagnosis (or suspected SEN) can sometimes be very daunting,” she said. “Some students can sometimes feel ‘different’ or ‘left out’ or just feel that they can’t be ‘normal’. But it’s ok to be different and it is something to be celebrated. Our differences are what make us unique and it’s ok to embrace them.

“Having a ‘label’ can be seen as quite a negative thing, especially among teenagers. We want to say to everyone that you don’t need to have a label; you are you, no matter what difficulties you have.”

  • If you would like to talk about any difficulties you are experiencing, please remember you can speak to any member of the SEN or pastoral care team in confidence.
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