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An estimated 1 in 5 of us are neurodiverse – an umbrella term for conditions that, although are much better understood today, have a long history of stigma and being misunderstood. 

Here, we look at what neurodiversity is, examine its relationship with mental health, delve into its intricacies through exploratory articles and real-life accounts, and signpost towards useful resources.

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Understanding neurodiversity

Understanding neurodiversity

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What is 
'Neurodiversity' is a term used to describe the naturally occurring variations of the human brain.
These variations are thought to result in different human cognitive capabilities which can be expressed through unique talents, intelligence and the ability to think differently. 
Neurodiversity is more common than you might think... fact, an estimated 1 in 5 people are living with a neurodevelopmental condition...
1 in 5
...including dyslexia, ADHD, autism, dyscalculia, developmental coordination disorder (formerly known as dyspraxia), or Tourette's Syndrome.
1 in 10
1 in 20
1 in 60
1 in 250
Unfortunately, being neurodiverse or neurodivergent has, in the past, been thought of as living with a deficit condition, i.e. something that needs to be 'cured'.
But since the concept of 'neurodiversity' was coined in the 1990s, awareness efforts and research into the field have increased and improved.
Now, conditions like dyslexia are no longer thought of as 'abnormal', or a form of disability...
...and instead as representations of the very differences that make each and every one of us unique.

Statistics and figures

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Stats and figures
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Neurodiversity and mental health
Not all neurodivergent people will experience mental health problems, and individual experiences of people with neurodivergent conditions vary widely. However, research does suggest a link between neurodiversity and mental health, and that neurodivergent people are more likely to experience mental health problems than non-neurodivergent people.
of neurodivergent children and young people are living with a mental health condition
Source: Autistica
of children with ASC have a mental health condition...
...almost half of whom having at least two mental health conditions
Source: Charlie Health
of adults with ASC have a mental health condition
Source: National Autistic Society
in 3
people with ADHD are also living with one or more mental health conditions
almost 4 in 10 are living with a mood disorder (e.g. depression)
almost half are living with an anxiety disorder
Source: Charlie Health
of children with Tourette syndrome have a co-occurring mental health condition
Source: Charlie Health
6 in 10
people with dyslexia
4 in 10
people with dyscalculia
3 in 10
people with dyspraxia
have a co-occurring mental health condition
Source: Charlie Health

Stories and insights

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Stories and insights
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Shades of grey (matter)

Despite the progress made in recent years toward better understanding neurodiversity, stigmas and barriers remain for those living with one or more of the variety of neurodiverse conditions.


To continue the push toward a society that is more accepting of, and accommodating to, neurodivergent people, we want to gather real-life stories of people who have experience with neurodiversity, either directly (themselves) or indirectly (friends or loved ones). 

If you would like to share your story of neurodiversity and have it featured alongside our own editorial content, please contact us using the button below. 

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No posts published in this language yet
Once posts are published, you’ll see them here.


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Who to talk to
Image by Stephane YAICH
Who to talk to
 Stephane Yaich | Unsplash 

The Brain Charity

The Brain Charity provides practical help, emotional support, and social activities to thousands of people from all over the UK

The ADHD Foundation

The ADHD Foundation offers a strength-based, lifespan service for the 1 in 5 of us who live with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, DCD, Dyscalculia, OCD, Tourette’s Syndrome and more.

National Autistic Society

Running specialist schools, campaigning for improved rights or training companies on being more autism-friendly, the National Autistic Society is dedicated to transforming lives and changing attitudes.

Do you know any other resources that could improve understanding of neurodiversity?

Get in touch >

And finally... a request
Talking Mental Health is a small team of volunteers with a passion to change the way we think and talk about mental health, for the better. But we can't achieve our mission without you.

If this Spotlight has proven valuable to you, please share it with your friends, loved ones and anyone else you think it could help. 
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