The ribbon highlights the World Autism Awareness Day that took place on April 2nd

Embracing neurodiversity – learning together

Cinesite is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and that includes embracing neurodiversity.

As April, the month of Autism and Neurodiversity Awareness month comes to a close, Cinesite’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisors take a look at what neurodiversity means and shares some fascinating resources.

This month’s recognition of Autism and Neurodiversity has given us all time to learn, reflect upon and celebrate cognitive differences. Over the past month at Cinesite, we have been sharing information and resources with our teams which enable us to better understand each other. We believe that by promoting difference and acceptance, we can create a more welcoming environment for all.  Since the first step in changing attitudes is learning, we wanted to share some of the resources and information we’ve compiled here.

What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity refers to the natural variation in how people think and behave, including how they learn, remember information, focus, solve problems, and make decisions. This diversity includes conditions such as Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and others. Research shows that around 15% to 20% of the world’s population manifests a form of neurodivergence.

When discussing specific conditions, we generally use the term “Neurodivergence.” Neurodiversity is a spectrum and shows up differently for people. Everyone has their individual experience, so please avoid any generalisation.

Supporting Neurodivergent Individuals at Work

Neurodivergent’s individuals  often possess unique skills and abilities that can be highly valued in various environments. For example, some individuals may have: 

  • Exceptional creativity and the ability to think outside the box, enabling them to generate innovative solutions for complex problems.
  • A sharp eye for detail, noticing subtleties and nuances that most people would overlook.
  • A high degree of empathy, enabling them to connect deeply with others and display emotional intelligence in their interactions.
  • High determination, resilience, and patience.
  • High level of organisation and productivity.

And, neurodivergent individuals may also face some challenges, including but not limited to sensitivity to environments, difficulty in communication, interpreting body language, organisation, or concentration for instance. 

To support neurodivergent individuals, it’s important to create an environment that is inclusive and flexible. Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Use clear and concise language. Avoid using complex or abstract language, and be sure to explain any jargon or technical terms. Use simple and direct language to convey your message. This can include visual aids to ensure effective communication.
  • Listen actively. Listen to what they are saying and their perspective. Avoid interrupting or finishing their sentences for them.
  • Educate yourself. Many misconceptions about neurodivergent individuals exist and create challenges and barriers to them that can be avoided.
  • Remain available. Be available to answer questions, explain processes, give instructions, clarify guidelines to ensure employees feel comfortable communicating and doing their job.
  • Provide accommodations. Some neurodivergent individuals may require accommodations, including equipment, flexible hours, written instructions, or assistive technology for instance.

By following these tips, we can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for neurodivergent individuals. Remember, everyone is different, and that’s okay. We should celebrate diversity and work together to create a world that is more inclusive for all.

Anxiety and Neurodivergent Individuals

Anxiety disorders are prevalent among neurodivergent individuals, and they can be particularly challenging to manage. Difficult social situations, systemic barriers, not necessarily being understood, and sensory environments, for instance, can increase stress and anxiety for neurodivergent individuals.

It’s essential to recognize the signs of anxiety in neurodivergent individuals and provide them with support. Some signs of anxiety include:

  1. Avoiding social situations
  2. Obsessive behaviour
  3. Difficulty sleeping
  4. Irritability
  5. Panic attacks


Self-diagnosis is not a replacement for a professional diagnosis, but it remains valid too. Many factors, such as socioeconomic status, the lack of inclusive studies, discriminatory behaviours, or other systemic barriers in the healthcare system, may impact access to a clear and specific diagnosis for some individuals. Self-diagnosis may also validate that an individual’s experience in the world may differ from those whose experience matches the social norms. To read more about it, please read this blog post from Autism BC about autism self-diagnosis .

Take Care of Your Mental Health

We take your mental well-being seriously and highly encourage you to take care of your mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, and needs support, please seek help from your HR department. Remember that you’re not alone, and there’s no shame in seeking help.

Let’s use Autism and Neurodiversity Awareness Month as an opportunity to learn, grow, and support neurodivergent individuals in our communities. Together, we can create a more inclusive world for all.

To learn more about neurodiversity, check out the following resources:

Here is a selection of a few podcasts: