Supporting Neurodiversity in Online Education: A Systematic Review

Anne-Laure Le Cunff*, Eleanor Dommett, Vincent Giampietro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Numerous institutions have increased their reliance on online education, greatly altering the education system for all students, and particularly for neurodivergent students. A systematic review was carried out to search, retrieve, critically appraise, and synthesise the available evidence on how to support neurodiversity in online education. The review summarises the evidence from seven studies included in the final synthesis, outlining how neurodivergent students engage with online education, and the specific issues these students encounter when switching from traditional in-person delivery modes to online teaching. The synthesis of the evidence is presented in a narrative of three thematic areas: cognitive factors, instructional factors, and social factors that challenge or support neurodiversity in online education. The results highlight some of the challenges faced by neurodivergent students in online education — such as difficulties managing information overload, maintaining attention, communicating effectively, and building confidence in managing online learning. The review also revealed significant gaps in the current literature. Practical implications for the future of online education include the identification of neurodivergent students to better support them, the use of inclusive or adaptive instructional design to address their challenges, and the fostering of a psychologically safe environment for all students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Future of Online Education
PublisherNova Publishers
ISBN (Print)979-8-88697-118-7
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2022


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