Here are answers to commonly asked general questions; you can find much more information specific to attending, the full programme, and speakers using these links: REGISTRATION and PROGRAMME

What is neurodiversity?


Put simply, neurodiversity is the fact that all our brains process information in different ways. Neurodiversity includes everyone – the whole human race is neurodiverse.

This means there are differences in how we take in information from the world around us and in how we put that information together in our brains.

For example, in a classroom, children need different things to concentrate. Some children need a fidget toy or to sit on a bouncy chair. Others need complete silence to concentrate. Some children work well in both scenarios.

Our society is inherently neurodiverse – you will find neurodiversity in every family, classroom, hospital ward, workplace and neighbourhood. But neurodiversity is not always visible or labelled. Many neurodivergent people will have a diagnosis such as ADHD, autism and dyslexia or a genetic disorder such as fragile x syndrome or Rett syndrome (or a combination of these), but many will not. And those with a diagnosis might not always choose to share that information.

We all need to be aware of the existence of neurodiversity. We can use that awareness to:

  • accept the fact that we all have different experiences of, responses to, and needs in the world
  • create more inclusive communities, schools, workplaces and services
  • ask for, and provide, accommodations that enable us all to thrive
  • fight stigma, discrimination and prejudice
  • understand our own experience of the world and promote self-discovery
What does it mean to be neurodivergent?


Individuals may be neurodivergent, or neurotypical.

We use “neurodivergent” to describe people who are categorically distinct from the majority norm in both experience and behaviour. Autistic, dyslexic and dyspraxic people as well as people with ADHD, DLD, fragile x syndrome, Down syndrome or Tourette syndrome may all be described as neurodivergent, though this list is not exhaustive, and as individuals they may not necessarily choose to self-describe in that way.

What is the neurodiversity movement?


Neurodiversity is more than just a scientific fact. It is also a force for change, with implications for society as a whole. The neurodiversity movement pushes for the recognition of these implications and of the rights of neurodivergent people. One of the key implications of neurodiversity is that differences between neurotypes are naturally occurring, and that there is no one way to be that is inherently right or better.

Neurodiversity calls us all to accept without judgement the fact that we are not all the same and to find ways to support the varied needs that we all have. Neurodiversity provokes us, collectively, to innovate and to empathise – two things that have driven much of human progress.

At ITAKOM we will continue that progress through the exploration of neurodiversity and neurodivergence and the far-reaching implications of the idea in research and practice.

About the conference

What does ITAKOM stand for?


It Takes All Kinds Of Minds (ITAKOM for short). An international conference entirely focused on the far-reaching concept of neurodiversity, drawing together personal, practitioner, academic and workplace experiences.

Why should professionals attend the conference?


Each session within the conference programme is linked to a different context in which we encounter Neurodiversity HealthcareEducationWorkplace and Community.

Our Programme page explains this in much more detail and you’ll find programme overviews, highlights and each day at-a-glance on this page.

Why should family members, carers, teachers or students attend the conference?


This conference will combine expertise from both research and practice.

With each stream of the conference framed around a different level at which we explore neurodiversity – Healthcare, Education, Workplace and Community – ITAKOM speakers and sessions will address their personal, practitioner and academic experiences.

When is the conference and how can I attend?


ITAKOM takes place on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 March 2023. On Sunday 12 March we will open registration from 16:00 – 19:00 for early arrivals to collect badges. Sessions start at 08:30 sharp each day for both in-person and online attendees.

What time do sessions start and end?


You can see our timetable at-a-glance on the Programme page. Sessions start on both days at 08:30 and end at approximately 17:30.

Is catering included in the in-person registration fee?


Yes indeed!

We will be providing coffee, tea (inc. herbal) with biscuits at morning and afternoon breaks, and a healthy vegetarian bowl-food lunch with light dessert options to follow.

For anything required at other times there are local sandwich bars and a Co-operative mini supermarket within just a few meters of EICC.

At Monday evening’s ITAKOM Get-Together, wine, beers, soft drinks and light nibbles will be available.

What’s the format for Monday evening’s social event?


The ITAKOM Get-Together will be a great opportunity for us all to be together. Wine, beers, soft drinks and light nibbles will be available. It will start immediately after Pelle Sandstrak’s (“Mr Tourette”) remarkable keynote lecture in the ITAKOM Hub (the Cromdale Hall) at EICC.

We will be officially welcomed to the city by the Rt. Hon. Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant of the City of Edinburgh, Robert Aldridge. There will also be entertainment… further information coming soon!

Note: it was decided not to hold a dinner after all, preferring to have a more inclusive “just drinks” event included in the in-person registration fee. So, you are free to make your own arrangements for dinner when the Get-Together ends at 19:00. The ITAKOM Enquiry Desk will have a list of restaurants available for anyone who needs advice.

Is there a conference app I can download?


Yes, the conference app will be available to download on Apple and Android devices. It will be available from around 8 March 2023 and we will notify all pre-registered attendees once it’s live.

What information will the app provide?


It will include the following facilities:

  • Full and headline programme information
  • Speaker details
  • Abstracts and posters
  • List of delegates and facility to contact them
  • Sponsors information
  • Useful information (timings, contacts, venue information)
  • A plan of EICC

About the venue

Where is Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC)?


EICC is located in Edinburgh city centre, located on Morrison Street and within 10 minutes’ walk from Princes Street at the heart of Edinburgh. It is 1.1 mile from Edinburgh Waverley Station (22 minutes’ walk) and 0.4 miles from Edinburgh Haymarket station (8 minutes’ walk).

Is there parking available?


Yes, there are various car parks in the surrounding area, although it is expensive for a whole day. The closest to EICC is Edinburgh Scottish Widows car park accessed from Semple Street.

What Accessibility measures will be available?


EICC is a modern, purpose built and fully accessible events venue, designed to be inclusive to people of all abilities and their team has received full Equality and Diversity Training.  Information about accessibility measures at EICC are available here.


In addition, the ITAKOM organisers are taking further steps to make the event accessible and inclusive. We will provide:

  • A quiet room for silent breaks
  • A break-out room which will not be silent but will provide respite from the busy conference.


More generally there will be a strong expectation on all delegates to respect and accept differences in how people approach the conference. We are asking delegates about their accessibility needs at the point of registration and will use answers to identify common needs and increase our provision for those needs to every extent possible, and to liaise with individual delegates who have more specific requirements.

Are there quiet spaces, nursing and multi-faith rooms available at the venue?


Yes, there will be dedicated quiet rooms located around the EICC, along with nursing, baby changing and multi-faith rooms which we will arrange based on advance requests. Please contact us with your specific requirements by emailing ITAKOM@integrity-events.com.

Is there a taxi rank at EICC?


Yes, taxis pull up on a regular basis (and will be alerted to the event taking place by EICC). EICC has a Concierge service and can book taxis in advance or call them at the time required.

What happens if I need medical assistance?


EICC staff are medically trained for emergencies, and in a serious medical emergency they will call for an ambulance immediately.

Supporting SMC at ITAKOM/directly

How can my organisation take part in/support ITAKOM?


There are a variety of ways to get involved! To find out more about sponsorship opportunities, including collaborative involvement in the programme, our Sponsor page has more details including how to contact us.

If you would like to bring a group of colleagues, check out our group registration details here.

How can I make a donation to Salvesen Mindroom Centre (SMC)?


To make a donation today, please follow this link to SMC’s donation page.

Children and young people with learning difficulties and their families still need support. The work isn’t over yet and you can help by continuing to donate. You can learn more about how your donation is used via the same link, or if you would like to receive a monthly newsletter, join SMC’s mailing list by contacting communications@mindroom.org

I have another question


If you have already referenced other FAQ’s under About Programme and Registration Info, and cannot find an answer, please click here (itakom@integrity-events.com )to send us your enquiry via email.

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