“Neurodiversity” is a popular term that is used to describe differences in the way people's brains work. According to Zurich Insurance, around 15-20% of the world’s population is neurodivergent. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia all fall within the spectrum of “Neurodiversity”.

Within this blog, you will hear from two of our EAs around their journeys on parenting neurodiverse children.

Kerry's story

I am Kerry, a single mum of 11-year-old twins. My twins are diagnosed with ADHD and are both autistic. I always knew there was something unique about them, but often put the more challenging times down to the fact that I had two at once!

I remember when I was called into a meeting with their school when the twins were in year one. The school saw me struggling to get them in on time, which was often accompanied with meltdowns, them being distracted in class and struggling with social interactions amongst peers.

After a lengthy process of appointments, extensive reports from the school and myself, they were finally diagnosed three years later. It is more common for girls to mask their difficulties and therefore I had to fight for my daughter to have an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan. Although she was excelling in her education, her emotional and social struggles were the reason I fought for this legal document, to ensure she receives the correct educational support to flourish. My son also holds in his frustrations and masks like my daughter. This results in him releasing his challenges of the day when he comes home. He too excels in his education, but struggles with impulsivity, hyperactivity, and his executive functioning.

I was extremely open in my interviews about being a parent to neurodiverse children. Despite my fear of sharing this information, I have been given nothing but support, understanding, and regular wellness check-ins since starting at Baringa. Through Baringa, I have access to therapy and the support of my amazing colleagues, which has helped immensely when life gets tough and I need a chat, a coffee, or even a cry! I have been given the tools to manage my work/life balance, especially when the twins are having a bad day. I am grateful for being able to have a fulfilling career as a full time EA, while being able to parent my children the best way I can.

Jodie's story

I am Jodie, a single parent with a 15-year-old son who is neurodivergent.

I knew my son was different from pre-school, to me my child stood out amongst all the other ‘normal’ children. He was given a social, communication and interaction diagnosis in 2015, but unfortunately this was not enough for the education system to provide my son with the support he needed.

Many years of multiple appointments, a speech and language assessment in 2022 and being on waiting lists, my son was finally given an ADHD combined diagnosis in 2024. Most parents dread receiving a diagnosis, but I welcomed the day when my son received his. No label defines him, but I knew we needed the diagnosis for his education and for schools to not see him as the ‘naughty child’ but to understand. It was also important for him to know why he was unique and that it was not all bad.  

With a neurodiverse child, no day is ever the same, no matter how much you stick to a routine. My son will still call and message me several times throughout the day with anything he is unhappy or excited about. For him, there is no realisation that I am at work or in meetings, I am expected to answer and be there for him regardless. My world is extremely challenging and draining, but work is my escape and something I pride myself in.

I have been honest from the start with Baringa about my journey and the difficulties I face with my son. By keeping my colleagues and manager informed, it gives them an understanding of my work/life balance and helps me be supported emotionally, which I am incredibly grateful for. I am fortunate for the benefits I have access to through my employment at Baringa. Our Private Healthcare was the reason I was able to finally get my son his diagnosis that was so needed.

As you can tell, neurodiversity is something we are incredibly passionate about, and love that Baringa are too! We have our very own Neurodiversity Network, which grows daily as more people are becoming comfortable talking about this topic within the workplace. In February we hosted our first ever client roundtable, bringing together representatives from each of our client sectors to discuss neurodiversity, in an open and safe forum. We are excited to be planning future events, continuing the conversation around this important topic amongst colleagues and clients.

Raising a neurodiverse child brings a level of seclusion and exhaustion most people cannot understand. There is always more to the story, so be kind and remember, no two stories are the same.

We hope you found this blog informative, we encourage you to reflect and ask if there is more yourself or your workplace could do to support those with Neurodiversity?


About the authors:

Kerry Burt

Kerry has been at Baringa for 18 months. She loves boxing, strength training and hiking (the Lake District is her happy place).

Jodie Watts

Jodie has been with Baringa for two years and has over 20 years of experience as a PA/EA. She loves swimming, reading and being in the sunshine (ideally on holiday somewhere).

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