Helen Daniel
Helen Daniel

Member Article

Teddington Neurodivergence Practitioner & Ex Teacher To Share Her ADHD Story to 800 Entrepreneurs During Neurodiversity Celebration Week

An ex-teacher turned entrepreneur is set to tackle their glossophobia next month, as part of her mission to share her inspiring story of how they have quit the formal world of education to provide a new kind of education, as an Autism and Neurodivergence Practitioner Trainer and Mentor, in a bid to open up the conversation about ‘Neurosensory Divergence’ - a term Helen Daniel, 44, from Teddington, has coined - to bring wellbeing support for neurodivergent children more into the mainstream.

Helen, who was bullied from age 7-19 due to her own neurodivergence, but who was not diagnosed until 2021, will be sharing her views and discoveries around how neurodiverse children are being failed by the current education system - both from her academic studies via her Masters, her career insights from being a teacher, and her lived experience of her own neurodivergence, and that of children in her family. She will be asking ‘Is school the future of Education?’

Having last month launched a book, ‘Neurosensory Divergence, Autistic Languages: A Roadmap To An Equitable Future For Autistic Children’, which went bestseller in the Amazon charts, Helen felt that her message needed to be spread even further. Battling her anxiety, she is now preparing to stand up in front of an audience of 800 people to ‘start conversations that matter’, on 21st/22nd March at the fastest growing inclusive personal and business development event,  The Big Festoon, in Bolton.

The Big Festoon takes place during Neurodiversity Celebration Week, a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurodevelopmental disorders and learning disabilities. It aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported by providing organisations with the opportunity to recognise the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent, while creating more inclusive and equitable cultures that celebrate differences and empower every individual.

Helen is excited to bring conversations around how we can best support our neurodivergent children to the stage, as she explores the failings of the education system and stresses the importance of understanding that “ND children are not broken - it is the system they sit within that needs to change”.

She continues: ”Their sensory differences alter the way they access patterns of information. It also alters how they play, learn and interact. This means they need to be supported and taught differently, with consideration paid to sensory accessibility, multi-sensory resources and ND-tailored targets. It is unfair and inequitable to expect them to attain the same targets as children who do not have sensory differences. In the current system, these differences are framed as disorders simply because ND children do not follow expected timelines.This framing is traumatising ND children and families.”

In her talk she also covers how ND children become ND adults who are often traumatised by their adverse childhood experiences through being framed as disordered or broken and shares how we can all play a part in changing our business working practices to support sensory accessibility.

She said: "I want people to feel empowered to see how everyone can be involved in this change”.

The Big Festoon has prioritised creating an inclusive space, in many senses of the word - from creating sensory spaces and breakout areas, to including pronouns on badges, to captioning the talks and trigger warnings when it comes to sensitive topics, to accessible seating, to venue information being supplied to help reduce overwhelm, and a ‘flight squad’  team of volunteers, which includes certified therapists and health and wellness practitioners, there are an abundance of measures that have been put in place to open this event up to people who often feel these experiences are not safe for them.

Having spent the last 6 months training for this moment, Helen will join global motivational speaker and award winning business leader Dani Wallace, who is hosting the 2 day event, at Bolton Stadium, where startups to 7 figure founders from across the globe will be coming together to share knowledge, inspire action and motivate the crowd of entrepreneurs.

On being involved in this event, and being given a prestigious platform through which to share her message, Helen said: “This is a big deal for me. Standing up on stage is one thing, but being a part of an event of this size and gravitas is something else altogether. I am excited to step up and share my message but also slightly terrified at the thought of it. It would be lovely to see some friendly faces in the crowd, I really would love some local support! I made a commitment to myself earlier this year to share my knowledge and story in a way that can have a positive impact on others and I’m excited to have the opportunity to do that.  My business is very purpose fuelled and so speaking within an event about empowerment and community and knowledge sharing to spark ideas, is a great fit. I hope between us all we can inspire and motivate and get people focusing on all things we can do to make a difference in the world”.

Dani added: “I am so excited to see Helen take to the stage, and take up some space with her message. What they have to share is so powerful and needs to be heard by more people!  Public speaking fear (glossophobia) still sees the majority of people shy away from stepping up on stage so Helen is in a very small minority of people being brave enough to make an impact in this way- we need to get behind them with our support!”.

Helen established her business Outside The Box Sensory in October 2023, to help neurodivergent families and individuals trust in their own intuition and to move away from conventional advice, which often does not serve them. She helps them to understand their own neuro and sensory profile so they can work in harmony with it and it is her mission to work towards dismantling stigma and creating equitable practices in schools, workplaces and beyond as she passionately believes that every single one of us is responsible for building a neuro-inclusive society. 

She is in the process of launching courses for people to learn more about neuro-inclusive practices for families, teachers, professionals and businesses, is continuing to educate around neurosensory divergence and neurodivergent languages, and she is actively campaigning for educational reform. She also has a podcast coming soon.


This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Chocolate PR .

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