Celebrating Diversity: Fostering Inclusive Environments for NeuroQueer and LGBTQ+ Communities in Education

The intersection of neurodiversity and queer identities illuminates the multifaceted nature of human experience. Neurodiversity encompasses a range of neurological differences, including but not limited to autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and others. When combined with queer identities, which encompass diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, individuals navigate a complex interplay of social, cultural, and personal factors that shape their identities and experiences.

Schools and educators play a pivotal role in fostering inclusive environments that embrace neurodiverse and queer identities. By implementing inclusive policies, curriculum materials, and support services, schools can create safe spaces where all students feel valued, respected, and supported in expressing their authentic selves. Training programs for educators on topics such as neurodiversity, LGBTQ+ inclusivity, and intersectionality can enhance their understanding and ability to create affirming learning environments for all students.

SENIA International recognizes that our world is better and everyone benefits when diversity is celebrated. We have curated some great resources to support your individual or school-wide effort to honor diversity in your setting: 

Some of these resources speak to the experience and ways we can support LGBTQIA+ individuals and others are more specific to the intersectional identities of NeuroQueer individuals.

Tricia Friedman:AllyEd.org (SENIA Unplugged: Inclusive Insights Keynote Speaker) Friedman offers a host of resources including a podcast, a free course on media literacy for LGBTQ+ inclusion, a GSA guide, and more. 

SENIA Happy Hour Podcast with Emily Meadows: LGBTQ+ Policy & Practice

Host Lori Boll speaks with Dr. Emily Meadows (she/her), SENIA 2023 Virtual Conference Keynote Speaker. Emily is an LGBTQ+ consultant specialized in international schools who holds master’s degrees in both Sexual Health and Counseling, and has worked as an international school counselor for over a decade. She researches, publishes, and trains school communities on equitable policy and practice, while also teaching for the LGBT Health Policy & Practice graduate program at George Washington University. Having spent more than half of her life in international schools, Emily specializes in culturally-relevant solutions to promote equity and belonging worldwide. Lori & Emily discuss Emily’s work in international schools and how she works alongside school leaders, faculty, and the community to ensure that members of the LGBTQ+ community feel safe. 

Dr. Emily Meadows

In addition to the services she offers, Emily’s website has great free resources including an LGBTQ+ Inclusion Policy Template for International Schools, an LGBTQ+ Intent vs Impact infographic series, and more. Emily’s Wheel of Safety and Belonging is a good tool for personal and team reflections in considering the intersectional nature of identity and how that influences safety and belonging. 

Post-normal childhoods: Neuroqueering education and play

This short blog post explores the concept of ‘post-normal childhoods’ and the role of neuroqueering in education and play, delving into how societal shifts influence the way children learn and interact.

Drawn to a Story: OutStanding LGBTQ+ Advocacy Training and Resources

This collection of resources from SENIA 2022 All In speaker, Cath Brew, offers comprehensive LGBTQ advocacy training materials, empowering individuals and organizations to advocate effectively for LGBTQ rights and inclusivity.

SENIA Happy Hour Podcast with Cath Brew: Drawn to a Story 

Host Lori Boll speaks with Cath Brew. Cath  is an artist who illustrates and educates about marginalized experiences for positive change – with a focus on identity, belonging and expat life.She ‘s also a passionate advocate for open and honest conversations. Cath hosts Talk-Back Tuesday – a weekly Q&A on social media about LGBTQ+ issues and the podcast “Drawn to a Deeper Story” which explores the lives that challenge us and the difficult conversations around them.


This resource from GLSEN provides guidance and tools for creating LGBTQ-inclusive curricula, aimed at fostering safer and more affirming educational environments for all students.

GLSEN Rainbow Library 

GLSEN’s Rainbow Library is a program that sends LGBTQ+ affirming K-12 text sets to schools across select states — for free! While many of us are international teachers and can’t take advantage of this amazing offer, we can benefit from their list of books and lesson plans.

Welcoming Schools 

Welcoming Schools offers lesson plans under four umbrella topics: gender, family, LGBTQ+ inclusive, and bullying. Together, these lesson plans help develop safe and welcoming classrooms and schools.

A Checklist for Embracing All Families 

This is exactly what it suggests it is, and is a great way to ensure that your school is inclusive in its communications and actions.

Magination Press

Books for kids from the American Psychological Association

Online? Here is a Safe Space virtual background you can use