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What is neurodiversity?

What is neurodiversity?

Find out more about what being neurodivergent actually means, and build your understanding of different neurodiverse conditions.

What is neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term for all the different ways that people experience, interpret and interact with the world around them.

Around 1 in 7 of us has a neurodevelopmental condition which falls under this term, such as ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia or Tourette’s Syndrome (you can read about these different conditions below), although there are many more people who have a neurodiverse condition but haven’t been diagnosed.

There is no ‘correct’ or ‘normal’ way in which the brain functions – the differences presented by these conditions is just a normal part of human variation and diversity. Someone who doesn’t have one of these conditions is considered to be neurotypical.

So, when we talk about neurodiversity, we’re recognising and celebrating all the unique capabilities people can bring to their community, relationships, and workplace – rather than seeing differences as deficits.

Why neurodiversity matters

Neurodiversity is important to all of us whether we are neurodivergent or neurotypical. With the numbers of people who are neurodiverse – and research suggesting that the majority of neurodiverse people have more than one condition – it’s vital that we all understand the strengths and challenges these conditions can bring.

This way, we can support both ourselves and the people around us, so that we can enhance relationships, work more effectively together, achieve personal and collective goals, and fulfil untapped potential.

What is neurodiversity

"I think differently, my reactions are different, my ‘cause and effect’ is not the same as others’ – and that’s ok. My diagnosis is helping me understand my strengths and explain some of the challenges I’ve faced in my life."

Read Stuart's story of his experiences with Autistic Spectrum Disorder – and how his diagnosis has helped him understand himself better, and come to terms with what it means for him.

Stuart Redgard DWH Branded

Strengths of being neurodivergent

Neurodiversity is not a ‘problem’ or ‘issue’ to be fixed. There are many varied strengths that come with each neurodiverse condition.

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For example, ADHD is often associated with insightfulness, problem-solving and creative thinking. People with dyslexia are seen to be generally inventive and good at pattern-spotting. And Autism Spectrum Disorder is often linked to skills in analytical thinking.

Tapping into and utilising these strengths can open up new opportunities for neurodiverse people. If you support someone who is neurodivergent, it’s important to encourage them to embrace these unique talents.

Challenges of being neurodivergent

Whilst there are many strengths that neurodiversity can bring, there are also many challenges that people living with a neurodiverse condition can go through.

Each condition has its own specific diagnostic criteria, but there are some particular challenges that can be experienced across multiple conditions.

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For example, many people with ADHD can have difficulty with executive functioning, which can present as struggles with planning, organisation and time management. However, other executive functioning difficulties can be present in other neurodiverse conditions too.

Another common challenge of neurodiversity can be emotional dysregulation. Many people who are neurodiverse can struggle with anxiety, stress and low self-esteem. If you support someone who is neurodivergent, it’s important to take this into consideration.

Need support?

We know that when you’re struggling emotionally, practically and financially, often the hardest step to take is reaching out and asking for support. And these challenges can have even more of an impact if you’re neurodivergent. But everyone experiences challenges in life, and it’s important to remember that you are not alone – after all, there are thousands of neurodiverse engineers just like you around the world, many of whom may be in a similar situation.

Our support is here to help you live better and thrive – whatever your circumstances. So if you’re ready to get in touch with us, we’re ready to listen to your needs and offer whatever support we can.


You are not alone. Hear from people across the engineering community on how they’ve managed their neurodiversity journey, and what being a neurodivergent engineer means to them.

Stuart Redgard DWH Branded

Read Stuart's story of his experiences with Autism – and how his diagnosis helped him understand himself better.

Mikaela Sanchez Branded

Learn how we helped Mikaela get a diagnosis for ADHD so that she could pass her placement with confidence.


Read Brian's story of how he got a diagnosis for dyslexia - but wishes the signs had been spotted sooner.