Student perceptions

AI: Empowering Inclusive Education

This guest post is authored by Nalina Brahim-Said. Nalina is a current master’s student at the University of Bolton focusing on inclusive education in the UK curriculum and integrating AI for SEN and neurodiversity.

In the context of education in the UK, the pursuit of equity should be prioritised to ensure that all students have fair access to resources and opportunities. This goes beyond the concept of simple equality and compliance, as it recognises that different individuals have different needs and may require tailored support to thrive academically. For instance, Neurodiverse (ND) and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) students often face unique challenges that can impede their learning experience. Therefore, it’s crucial for educational institutions to implement inclusive practices that provide specialised support for these students, enabling them to reach their full potential. This can include the provision of assistive technologies, personalised learning plans, and additional support from specialist educators. By embracing this approach, institutions can foster an environment where every student, regardless of their individual circumstances, can access quality education and achieve success.


As a neurodiverse individual, I’ve found Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR) to be essential for my academic success. AI helps me process and understand complex information, enabling me to complete my master’s degree. It structures my thoughts and helps me produce flowing written work, keeping me on point and preventing personal tangents. I strongly believe that ethical use of AI is crucial for creating equitable environments and levelling the playing field for neurodiverse learners.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) have immense potential in education for neurodiverse individuals. VR communication training creates an immersive environment for skill development, while AI provides personalised support and tools for academic success and overall well-being. By integrating AI and VR, we can transform education, offering tailored experiences that help neurodiverse individuals with their progression and mental well-being to thrive and succeed.


AI can promote equity in United Kingdom (UK) education by offering personalised learning tools and aids of communication for diverse learners, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), neurodiversity (ND), and neurotypical (NT) students. Addressing equity in education is crucial for preventing long-term implications on individuals, communities, and society, particularly concerning mental health support and suicide rates among individuals with autism in the UK. Upholding equity ensures that all individuals receive the resources and support needed for academic success, levelling the playing field, and addressing systemic barriers. Research by Autistica UK shows that individuals with autism have a suicide risk 9 times higher than the general UK population. Approximately 721 neurodiverse individuals were part of total suicides in the UK in 2021. This emphasises the need for tailored support and intervention for autistic individuals at risk of suicide. Highlighting the need for inclusivity and addressing higher suicide among neurodiverse individuals is crucial. Utilising AI in education can make learning more accessible and inclusive for them.


AI can provide various forms of support for neurodiverse and SEND students, including personalised learning experiences, adaptive assessments, within assistive technologies, and behavioural support. AI, VR, and AR can also be used for work placements to develop communication skills in a safe and supportive environment, creating equitable opportunities for skill development.


  • Personalised Learning: AI tailors language learning ESOL students.
  • Communication Tools: AI aids ND individuals in expressing themselves.
  • Social Skills: AI fosters social interaction practice for building relationships
  • Interview Prep: AI simulations help ND individuals succeed in interviews.


As an individual diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and dyslexia late in life, I have found AI to be invaluable in my academic journey towards an equitable education. AI has been instrumental in helping me with communication, particularly in my studies and personal projects. For instance, it assists me in taking notes, analysing research, and organising my assignments. Tools like Claro Read plus, Speak, View, and Claro Capture, Talk Type, and Grammarly aid me in refining my writing and expanding my vocabulary. AI has the potential to create more inclusive environments for neurodiverse individuals and bridge gaps in education and employment opportunities. It’s important to remain patient as we continue exploring the possibilities of AI in this space.


It’s important to note that while AI can address the needs of neurodiverse and SEND students, human input is crucial. The combination of AI and human input can also create new job opportunities. Virtual reality (VR) technology can support SEND, ND, and ESOL learners by providing a virtual world for practicing communication and social language skills, fostering a safe space to develop, and preventing potential humiliation. This could ultimately contribute to better societal integration through improved job opportunities and reduced reliance on unpaid work placements.


As a neurodiverse individual, completing academic reports is inherently challenging. However, the utilisation of AI in education by myself and university teachers has illuminated the availability of support, underscoring the significance of inclusive support in educational settings. Inclusive support is pivotal for addressing the mental health needs of neurodiverse individuals, and AI can play a pivotal role in providing personalised interventions and support, identifying early mental health concerns, and offering targeted therapies. Integrating AI into the curriculum can significantly enhance inclusivity and effectiveness for students with special educational needs and neurodiversity.


Ultimately, recognising and supporting the strengths of all learners, particularly those with neurodiverse and SEND needs, is paramount. While historic challenges persist, recent years have witnessed a positive shift, leading to improved support systems and greater emphasis on mental health. Future research should centre on integrating AI, equity, equality, and inclusion policies into the curriculum to better support these learners, while facilitating data analysis to identify patterns related to suicide and autism, and neurodiversity, ultimately leading to the development of more targeted interventions. Integrating AI in inclusive education can weave inclusion into the very fabric of education, as AI itself becomes an integral part of that fabric.


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By Nalina Brahim-Said

Nalina is a current Masters student at the University of Bolton focusing on inclusive education in the UK curriculum and integrating AI for SEN and neurodiversity.

5 replies on “AI: Empowering Inclusive Education”

Interesting and informative article on the uses of AI! As teachers we are often quick to demonize AI as a source of plagiarism/cheating but your post demonstrates there are wider and more beneficial applications. AI is certainly not going away, so the education sector would be wise to heed feedback from neurodiverse learners so it can be implemented ethically for the benefit of students and teachers alike.

Hi Suzi,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the article about the uses of AI. I agree that it’s crucial for us as educators to recognise the broader potential of AI beyond its negative associations. Your point about the importance of considering feedback from neurodiverse learners to ensure ethical implementation is valid and resonates with me. Incorporating diverse perspectives will be key in leveraging AI’s benefits in the education sector while maintaining ethical standards. It’s an exciting yet challenging journey, and I’m glad to see others recognising the potential for positive impact.

Best regards,

As A 40 something mature student I’m new to AI and if in honest a little resistant.
I can see how this could aid people in lots of ways, but still worry about if, the writers true voice could be lost by its use.
I think I would use it to maybe refine what I have already written and so my true voice would still be heard.

As a SEND teacher. I agree that AI can be beneficial for neurodiverse learners. AI technologies can be adapted to cater for different learning styles and preferences, providing personalised learning experiences. The customisation can help neurodiverse individuals by tailoring educational content, pace, and methods to better suit their unique needs, enhancing their learning outcomes and their overall educational experience.

I love the way AI is being used in education creating a level playing field for all students.

A great article giving insights of your own expertise Nalina.

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