Salvesen Mindroom Research Centre

The Neurodiversity Alliance

This project is focused on creating and evaluating peer support models for neurodivergent adolescents in mainstream secondary schools.

high school group
high school group

In a Nutshell

We are co-designing a neurodiversity-informed peer support model for use in mainstream secondary schools. We hope that creating a peer support model with neurodivergent young people, based on their priorities, will have significant impact not only for research, practice, and education, but also on how future interventions are designed.

About the project

Overview

The peer support model is intended to nurture a positive outlook on neurodivergent identity, a sense of belonging and self-advocacy skills. This model will be trialled in three schools, and evaluated to investigate its impact on neurodivergent pupils’ educational engagement, inclusion, and wellbeing. 

The project will draw on models already developed by the LGBTQ+ community, data from  interviews with neurodivergent recent school leavers,  and working directly with neurodivergent young people.

Key Questions to address

  • What are the key components of a neurodiversity peer support program in secondary school for neurodivergent pupils and other stakeholders?
  • Is a peer support program feasible and acceptable to neurodivergent pupils and other stakeholders, and what are the associated barriers and bridges to engagement?
  • What is the impact of a neurodiversity peer support program on educational engagement, inclusion and wellbeing?  
  • What are the perspectives of neurodivergent pupils and other stakeholders on how peer support systems in secondary school should be delivered in the future?

Impact

We will produce a comprehensive pack of co-designed, pupil-friendly materials to allow teachers and pupils to create and sustain neurodivergent peer support in mainstream secondary schools. The pack will be shared freely online through national and international networks.

Funder

SMRC Scientific Advisory Board

Key contact

Dr Catherine Crompton