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Understanding Neurodiversity at the Workplace: In Conversation with Roshni Kavina

Team StoryWeavers|August 30, 2022, 19:02 IST|

Everyone has a different outlook towards life, one that they might perceive with a version of their own. However, a different perspective and vision don’t imply they’re different, they’re simply wired differently. They’re neurodiverse.

But as members of society, it is imperative to understand and be inclusive of the neurodiversity community. And who better to talk about it than a community member?

One such member, Roshni Kavina, Senior Creative Director, BYJU’S, brings a unique perspective to the company with her professional and personal experiences. She has a portfolio of spectacles across brands that got a smack of Roshni’s fantastic storytelling skills.

Her efforts have added several feathers to her cap – from Cannes to Effie Awards.

When she has the time, Roshni also tutors Dharavi’s children and young adults through the Acorn Foundation. Roshni has also had a long-standing relationship with trees, and her slew of nature-inspired artwork speaks for the same. She is also a very staunch animal-rights activist and makes sure to feed them regularly.

Roshni had also shared that she, too, is wired a little differently – she was diagnosed with Mild Dyslexia and Type-2 Bipolar disorder as an adult.

Shreya Jain, Head, BYJU’S UNO, spoke to Roshni Kavina in a fireside chat, who shared her experiences of being neurodiverse and how she paved her life around it.

Talking about her school days, Roshni denies they are memorable.

“I was always distracted and would go into my dream world, but teachers often thought I was naughty and not paying attention,” says Roshni, recalling her school days and saying, “It was quite terrible.”

But she adds, “But I was good with everything extra-curricular.”

Even at home, Roshni created her own world with her creativity and talents. She would surround herself with art and craft, looking at which her parents would say, “At least she’s good at something,” Roshni laughs.

“When I look back, I exhibited extremely obvious signs. I never crawled as a child, which was my first sign of dyslexia. I sat, and at 11 months, I began walking. I always created things and would often slip into my dream world,” says Roshni.

She says that she would always complain about being unable to unread, despite having a good vocabulary. “For the longest time, I would read the textbooks with a foot ruler by sliding it down the sentences. If not, my eyes would swim in the words,” she shares.

When she was finally diagnosed as neurodiverse, Roshni says she was relieved to have an answer to everything finally. She says, “After I was diagnosed, I realised I wasn’t stupid. I was dyslexic, and it was okay to be different.”

Roshni says, “Once I started doing well at what I was doing, things started looking better. And I focused solely on strengths and kept building on it.”

As the conversation progresses, Roshni talks about breaking the barriers about neurodiversity and how over the years, battles the challenges it entailed professionally.

“A few years into my career, I had to do a presentation and read the slides. I completely froze. I just couldn’t read it. I just began talking about the presentation on my own without any references. And that was really embarrassing for me,” she says. “So I began making my own presentations, and rehearse it many times before reading it aloud in the meeting.”

She goes on to talk about how she endured every hurdle thrown her way to not just build her own successful career, but also empower every neurodiverse person she came across in her professional journey.

Watch the video above to learn more about why Roshni stands as the perfect example of why having diverse people in the workplace improves performance.

Also Read: Made Equal: A Session About Neurodiversity and Inclusion for BYJUites

About the Author

Anju is a peace-lover, a video-game addict, and a childhood doodler who imagined that the scribbles were words. This storyteller enjoys a good read, some doodling, and learning new languages. One day, she hopes to write her own story someday, and hopefully in the French language, too! She never loses hope of making the world a better place to live in.

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