Put simply, neurodiversity is the fact that all our brains process information in different ways. Neurodiversity includes everyone – the whole human race is neurodiverse.
This means there are differences in how we take in information from the world around us and in how we put that information together in our brains.
For example, in a classroom, children need different things to concentrate. Some children need a fidget toy or to sit on a bouncy chair. Others need complete silence to concentrate. Some children work well in both scenarios.
Our society is inherently neurodiverse – you will find neurodiversity in every family, classroom, hospital ward, workplace and neighbourhood. But neurodiversity is not always visible or labelled. Many neurodivergent people will have a diagnosis such as ADHD, autism and dyslexia or a genetic disorder such as fragile x syndrome or Rett syndrome (or a combination of these), but many will not. And those with a diagnosis might not always choose to share that information.
We all need to be aware of the existence of neurodiversity. We can use that awareness to:
- accept the fact that we all have different experiences of, responses to, and needs in the world
- create more inclusive communities, schools, workplaces and services
- ask for, and provide, accommodations that enable us all to thrive
- fight stigma, discrimination and prejudice
- understand our own experience of the world and promote self-discovery