New Horizons: Embracing Global Mobility and Neurodiversity

December 2023

In an increasingly interconnected world, global mobility is more of a priority for workers than ever. Individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds are exploring opportunities abroad, and this shift towards global thinking has opened doors to a diverse range of perspectives and experiences. 

However, the conversation around global mobility isn't complete without acknowledging the significance of neurodiversity. With so many people now understanding the nature of neurodiverse conditions, the challenges of global mobility can be amplified. But with the right supports, there are no limits to what both neurotypical and neurodiverse individuals can achieve.

Neurodiversity is the recognition that neurological differences, such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and more, are natural variations of the human brain. These differences bring unique strengths, perspectives, and talents that can enrich workplaces and cultures worldwide.

Every neurodiverse individual is different in how their conditions may present and impact their daily lives. To understand neurodiversity, it takes commitment to open dialogue and continuous support, no matter where you’re based.

For neurodiverse individuals, the experience of global mobility can present unique challenges, including:
New environments, languages, and cultures can be overwhelming for individuals with sensory sensitivities, such as those on the autism spectrum.
Language and communication difficulties can be particularly challenging for individuals with conditions like dyslexia or social communication disorders.
For those with neurodivergent traits like ADHD or those on the autism spectrum, adapting to new routines and structures in a different country can be daunting and cause a lot of anxiety.
While embracing a digital nomad lifestyle can be very challenging for neurodiverse individuals, incorporating neurodiversity into global mobility offers numerous advantages, including:
Neurodiverse individuals bring unique perspectives and problem-solving skills to international environments.
By fostering neurodiversity, organisations can tap into a wider pool of talent, potentially driving innovation and creative solutions.
Neurodiverse individuals often possess heightened awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity.
For neurodiverse individuals planning international journeys, and for families supporting them, several key considerations should be kept in mind:
Conduct thorough research on your new destination, including local customs, available services for neurodiverse individuals, and healthcare options.
Prepare yourself with sensory support tools, such as noise-canceling headphones or fidget toys, to help cope with sensory sensitivities. These can help on the journey and in your new home when things become overwhelming.
Establish effective communication strategies to navigate language barriers and help settle into the new environment.
Advocate for yourself and other neurodiverse employees by addressing any neurodiversity-related issues in your new workplace and advising on possible supports and training models.
Global mobility and neurodiversity are not mutually exclusive. Individuals with neurodiverse conditions can be valuable assets to international workplaces, especially when they advocate for themselves in their new surroundings. At Allianz Partners, we offer multilingual and confidential support for mental, financial, physical, and emotional well-being with our Expat Assistance Programme. Helping you plan for the future with support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.