What is neurodiversity?

Last updated: 15 Nov 2023

Like many human characteristics, such as height, weight or shoe size, there is a natural variation in the anatomy of people’s brains.

While most people can be described as neurologically typical, or neurotypical, a minority who show differences are now characterised as neurologically diverse, or neurodivergent.

Many authorities now use the term neurodiversity to describe;

  • Autism
  • Asperger syndrome
  • Dyslexia,
  • Dyspraxia,
  • Dyscalculia
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

See our glossary of neurodiversity terms

Neurodivergent people have a range of characteristics and many are highly able, leading successful careers and holding positions of authority.

Examples of famous people who were or are neurodivergent include, scientist Albert Einstein, inventor Thomas Edison, ballet dancer Darcey Bussell, crime writer Agatha Christie, architect Richard Rogers, inventor James Dyson, Apple founder Steve Jobs and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.