Neurodiversity club hosts 3rd annual Neurodiversity panel


courtesy of The Iona Counseling Center and Neurodiversity Club

This year’s Neurodiversity panel had the highest attendance out of the three panels.

Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza, News Editor

 Iona’s University Neurodiversity club held their third annual Neurodiversity panel at McGrath in the LaPenta Student Union on April 12.  

The event was held from 12:30 to 1:40 pm as part of Leadership Wednesday. The event included panelists from varying neurodivergent identities such as Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, OCD and more. The Neurodiversity panel’s popularity has skyrocketed with this year having the highest attendance with the room almost packed.  

Emma Savage, the Counseling Center’s Dolce postgraduate Fellow, introduced and moderated the panel. Audience members could ask questions after the first part of the panel including faculty and staff. They had the option to write their question down on a piece of paper or speak aloud.  

Familiar faces returned to the panel such as the president and vice-president of the Neurodiversity club, Michael Levine ‘23, and Alessandra Payne ‘24. Some other panelists included Annabel Gordon ‘24, Ethan Moskowitz ‘23 and Mary Crinnion ‘24.  

Before the panel began Savage introduced the panelists. Panelist were asked the following question before the informal Q&A session: 

How has your neurodiversity shaped your experience at Iona?  

How if at all have negative stereotypes or bias of neurodivergent impacted you? 

How has a professor or a peer affirmed or supported your neurodiverse status? 

If you can share one strategy to make programing more accessible and inclusive, what would you recommend. 

 What do you want others to know about neurodivergency?  

Highlights include Gaels explaining how the CAP program has helped them, with some citing the program as one of the reasons they attended Iona. As well as students expressing ways the university can help neurodiverse students such as creating a safe space and holding more sensory friendly events. One suggestion was including a way for neurodiverse students to identify themselves on events survey to foster more feedback.  

The Neurodiversity club creates a welcoming environment for all to be comfortable expressing themselves without the fear of judgement. All events are sensory friendly. Currently, there are opening spots for an e-board position if you have been diagnosed as neurodivergent, self9-identified, or an ally. If you are interested in becoming the PR chair or treasurer, please contact Michael Levine at [email protected]. 

Registration for Gael Chat, one credit pass/ungraded class is opened. In this course, students will learn important tools for social interaction, and it is a chance to practice these skills and develop daily conservations and relationships. A few of the panelists were or are currently in the class. Gael Chat takes place on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00 pm, contact Emma Savage at [email protected]