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Coloring Outside the Lines - Embracing Neuroinclusion

In a bustling city like Jakarta, where the art scene beckons individuals of all ages to explore their creative inclinations, my journey into the world of art took an unexpected turn. The decision to enroll my neurodivergent sons in an art center resulted in rejection due to their unconventional coloring style – a vivid representation of the broader challenge faced by neurodivergent individuals when their unique thinking is misunderstood or overlooked.

Much like the corporate world, where judgment often stems from personal perspectives, the art centers failed to see the unique strengths my sons possessed. This rejection, however, became the catalyst for their artistic journey. Rather than conforming to traditional norms, they found solace in expressing their creativity with art painting. Little did we know that this rejection would catch the attention and admiration of creators, artists, curators, and gallery owners who recognized the authenticity and charm in their work.

This scenario mirrors the corporate world, where neurodivergent individuals face hurdles in being recognized for their talents. Similar to my sons' artwork finding appreciation outside mainstream art centers, the workplace can benefit from embracing neurodiversity. By fostering collaboration between neurotypical and neurodivergent individuals, we pave the way for neuroinclusion – a culture where diverse minds come together to create something extraordinary.

Studies show that neurodivergent individuals bring unique perspectives and creative solutions, contributing to increased profits and productivity. The key lies in recognizing and valuing these differences rather than adhering to preconceived notions of what constitutes 'normal.'

Just as my sons' artistic journey unfolded beyond the limitations imposed by coloring inside the lines, so too can the workplace break free from restrictive norms. Embracing neurodivergent talents not only fosters a more inclusive and compassionate environment but also unlocks a wealth of creativity and innovation that benefits us all. It's time for companies to appreciate the vast spectrum of human potential and create a workplace where everyone, neurotypical and neurodivergent alike, can thrive.

Neuroinclusion in education and the workplace focuses on creating environments that embrace neurodiversity, supporting individuals with diverse neurological abilities. It involves accommodating different learning styles and fostering inclusivity to harness the strengths of all individuals, regardless of their neurocognitive differences. This approach enhances overall productivity and well-being in both educational settings and workplaces.

When my sons learnt about painting, they produced remarkable arts. Their inability to paint within the lines or follow conventional orders did not diminish their potential to become great artists. Similarly, in the workplace, neurodivergent individuals often bring different perspectives and offer creative solutions. If they do not conform to the norm, it doesn't mean they are not performing. It takes inclusivity to appreciate and unlock the hidden potential that lies in different ways of thinking.

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“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work is to love what you do. I you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
JULIANA CEN
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