Neurodiversity refers to the different ways in which people view, interpret and interact with the world around them. But more often than not, it is used when referring to autism, and neurological conditions such as ADHD. 

A modern term that aims to remove prejudice towards people who think differently from ‘normal’. Neurodiversity in fact should explain that there is no right or wrong way of thinking, learning, and behaving. Rather than the ways in which the brain differs is normal, rather than any differences being seen as a ‘defect’

Although those who have neurological differences do differ in ways and may struggle in some circumstances, these differences can provide opportunities and showcase how these differences can highlight talents.


Where the term came from 


During the 1990’s, there was a movement that aimed at creating more acceptance and inclusivity for all people with neurological differences. Judy Singer, a sociologist on the autism spectrum, began using the term, rejecting the idea that people with autism are ‘disabled’.

She stated (in 2020) that Neurodiversity was:

  • A state of nature to be respected 
  • An analytical tool for examining social issues 
  • An argument for the conservation and facilitation of human diversity 


Neurodiversity facts 


Many people vary in the way in which they think and behave. But with many neurological conditions invisible, it can be difficult to understand exactly how many of us are neurologically diverse


  • Around 5% of the population has ADHD 
  • 10% of the population are dyslexic 
  • 1-2% of the population are autistic 
  • Around 7% of the population has mental health needs 
  • 5% of the population are dyspraxic 
  • 1-2% of the population has Tourette’s Syndrome 


Language and words when talking about Neurodiversity 


When there is a lack of understanding of a subject, it’s important to consider the language used and to approach a conversation sensitively. Rather than making any assumptions, explain a lack of understanding, and ask about a person’s preferred language. Whether this is using a person-first language e.g. ‘a person with autism’ or whether using an identity-first language e.g. ‘an autistic person’. 


Contact Us 

For more information on how to support employees and discuss Neurodiversity within the workplace, get in touch with our experts. Visit our FAQs page, call us at 01260 277797, or email us at

Want to know more about the Occupational Health services we provide at Acorn, and how they could benefit your business and your employees? Please get in touch.