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Designing Instruction for the Neurodiverse

Dr. Brett Cook-Snell, College Lecturer and Instructional Designer.

What ... and Why


Brett Cook-Snell and Shawn Wilmoth in Lake Taylor assisted living home
I asked myself one day how do my instructional materials account for those who are differently wired (cognitively) and differently designed (physically) while meeting the needs of all my students; that is, how are they neurodiverse?

Neurodiversity is the recognition that cognitive processing disorders such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, depression, and other conditions are rooted in the way our brains are wired.

Controversy exists in ideological beliefs vis-à-vis neurodiversity as a cultural identify to be embraced versus a brain-based disorder that needs to be medically treated or cured (Ruffalo, 2018). That argument is left to those more qualified than I and is a moot point in my opinion. Regardless, is the need for instructors to consider how our materials support learning for neurodivergent students.


My desire to help those who are differently-abled stems, in part, from his nephew, Shawn Wilmoth. Shawn was in an automobile accident that left him a quadraplegic and unable to communicate. It is Brett's hope that this website honors Shawn's memory who has since passed away.

I am Dr. Brett Cook-Snell, college lecturer, instructional designer and web e-learning specialist. I invite you to explore this website to learn more about neurodiversity and designing inclusive instruction