Highgrove Education


“Neurodiversity … every bit as crucial for the human race as biodiversity is for life in general”  (Blume, 1998).

This course has been designed to explore our neurodiversity – the neurological differences which are a natural form of human variation influencing the diverse ways in which human brains function, think, learn and relate to others. Extending beyond The Big Three (Autism, Dyslexia and ADHD), this course will cover: the neurodiversity paradigm; the narrow and outdated concept of ‘normality’; what is really meant by ‘the spectrum’; co-morbidities (co-occurring conditions) and myth-busting. We will also focus on the importance of being understood and feeling accepted, the development of emotional awareness and communication skills, mentoring and self-advocacy and the journey towards a neuroinclusive society.

Key Information



Access Course Enrolment:
  • Enrolment in our pre-GCSE or pre-A level access course.
  • Access to our self-study materials and platform, live class lessons, and individual teacher support in Office Hours.
  • Weekly teacher-marked homework.
  • Half termly reports.
  • Support from our SENDCo for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities, including assessment for access arrangement entitlement.
  • Support with English for pupils whose first language is not English.
  • A Highgrove Education Office365 account, including Teams, SharePoint and a school email
TeacherMs Karen Cowan, Director of Neurodiversity & Adapted Learning
Course Length10 weeks
Live LessonsOne 45-minute lesson per week
Entry RequirementsNone

Course Syllabus

Lesson 1What is Neurodiversity
Lesson 2Models Designed to Identify and Support
Lesson 3The 3Ms, Masking and Mental Health
Lesson 4Reframing, Labels and Myth Busting - The Spectrum is Not a Continuum
Lesson 5Universal Design
Lesson 6Identifying emotions and triggers
Lesson 7Neuroinclusion - what it means to you
Lesson 8The Importance of Self-Advocacy
Lesson 9Neurodiversity Celebration Events
Lesson 10Great Steps Forward - societal changes and opportunities

Teacher Profile

Ms Cowan is dedicated to supporting individuals to embrace their individual strengths and acquire strategies to overcome challenges so they can access the wider curriculum, enjoy the process of learning and achieve their potential. She trained as a SpLD (Patoss) Dyslexia Assessor in 2012, with a specialism in dysgraphia and hypermobility. She has a particular interest and expertise in neurodivergent conditions, working memory and processing difficulties. She been a SENco since 2019, taking responsibility for determining and providing appropriate support for students at school. She is an UCLA-trained PEERS Provider and is trained to lead DBT-informed sessions for adolescents and for families.