What is neurodiversity?

Some people think and act differently to other people because of the way their brain works. This is called neurodiversity.

Neurodiversity can affect someone's behaviour, memory or ability to learn. People experience the world in many different ways.

We are all different – we have different eyes, hair, skin, abilities and beliefs. Our brains can be different too.  Knowing more about our differences helps us to be more understanding.  1 in 5 people are neurodiverse.

Understanding that Neurodiversity is an essential form of human diversity subject to the same social dynamics as other forms of diversity. The idea that there is one “normal” type of brain or style of neurocognitive functioning has no more value than the idea that there is one “right” culture, gender, race or sexuality. When embraced, diversity acts as a positive force to unleash creative potential.

We need to help one another to navigate the world and find strategies to help us all reach our potential.

Many well-known people have neurodiversity listed are some of the many hundreds of thousands of people who have neurodiversity and agree it has help them to be the person they are today:

  • Lewis Capaldi  - Tourette's
  • Billie Eilish – Tourette’s
  • Greta Thunberg - autistic, and has also been diagnosed with Asperger’s, obsessive compulsive disorder and selective mutism.
  • Courtney Love – Autism
  • Emma Watson – ADHD
  • Jennifer Aniston - Dyslexia was not diagnosed until her early 20’s.
  • Kiera Knightley – ADHD
  • Simone Biles – ADHD - gymnast who boasts 30 Olympic and World Championship medals
  • Lewis Hamilton – dyslexia & Learning Difficulties
  • - ADHD
  • Bobby Fischer – Autism Chess Grand Master
  • Elon Musk - Autism
  • Bob Dylan – Autism
  • Nick Cannon - ADHD

Often within health pathways particular diagnoses are often given. Some have co-occurring conditions. Increasingly the idea of neurodiversity better captures how many of people who such diagnoses want to be seen in terms of difference and understanding them and support better.


Background reading

A parent group in Essex has produced an excellent guide on Supporting your neurodiverse child. It includes lots of useful general information. However, for specific information about Newham services and support are provided in this website.

Neurodiversity video

Useful Resources

Related Information


Related Features

Last updated: 03/04/2024

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