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  • Writer's pictureMarie Robinson

Neurodiversity (autism / ADHD) – Thinking outside the box

Updated: Apr 7

Neurodiversity (eg autism, ADHD) refers to the natural variation and differences in the ways peoples brain work. Whereas ‘Neurotypical’ refers to someone who thinks, processes things and behaves in ways that are considered standard typical in terms of neurological functioning.

Around 15% to 20% of the population is thought to be neurodivergent - with autism, ADHD and dyslexia being the most common form of neurological or developmental conditions.

Successful companies are not only fostering a more inclusive workplace – they are recognising the potential benefits of neurodiversity for increased innovation and productivity.

For example, neurodiverse individuals with autism / ADHD, often possess exceptional abilities, such as heightened creativity, problem-solving skills, strong attention to detail, and innovative thinking.

It is perhaps easy to see why we see many successful neurodivergent entrepreneurs and innovators; due to their ability to think outside the box.

Richard Branson has openly spoken about his experiences with dyslexia and ADHD and how he struggled with traditional methods of learning. He has credited his neurodivergent traits with - creativity and having a unique perspective that has contributed to his entrepreneurial success.

History has certainly shown us that diversity in thinking can lead to ground-breaking innovation and progress.

For example:-

Albert Einstein - The renowned physicist and mathematician behind the theory of relativity. Einstein is believed to have had Asperger's syndrome.

Sir Isaac Newton - The father of modern physics and calculus may have had Asperger's syndrome or ADHD.

Marie Curie - The pioneering physicist and chemist who discovered radioactivity is thought to have had ADHD.

Steve Jobs - The co-founder of Apple and driving force behind the personal computing revolution was likely to have had ADHD.

Nikola Tesla - The electrical engineer and inventor behind the alternating current (AC) system is believed to have had Asperger's syndrome.

Thomas Edison - The inventor of the light bulb and phonograph is thought to have had ADHD.

Jane Austen - The English novelist is recognized as one of the greatest writers in English literature, is believed to have had ADHD.

In contemporary times, the contributions of neurodivergent individuals continue to be significant in various fields.

It is therefore important that people are not made to fit into the same mould. Instead, environments need to embrace and accommodate unique ways of thinking and valuable perspectives.

Embracing neurodiversity (autism and / or ADHD ) means recognising and supporting the unique abilities and strengths of all individuals regardless of their neurological differences……….

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