Defining Neurodiversity – Celebrating different minds

Neurodiversity is the way we think, move, act, communicate and process information. Some people have challenges and strengths associated with conditions such as (ADHD), Dyslexia, Autism, Dyscalculia, Developmental Coordination Disorder/Dyspraxia, Developmental Language Disorder.

There is not one person or one condition that defines our differences ( or our similarities). We are too often defined by what we can’t do and not by what we can.

The terms neurodivergent and neurodiverse are becoming interchangeable with people identifying as both. Neurodivergent is the dictionary term that pertains to those who have a brain that ‘diverges from the norm’, for example, people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, ADHD, dyscalculia and sensory processing differences. In schools, these people were most likely classified as having ‘Special Educational Needs’ – which connotes low ability and low IQ. This is of course completely inaccurate as learning differences do not correlate with low IQ and ability.

35% of business owners have either ADHD or dyslexia – or both as they frequently co-occur!

ADHD – ADHD is a disorder that is defined through analysis of behaviour. People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity–impulsivity that interferes with day-to-day functioning and/or development.  What is ADHD – About ADHD (

Autism – Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. Autism is a spectrum condition and affects people in different ways. Like all people, autistic people have their own strengths and weaknesses.  National Autistic Society (

Dyslexia – Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which primarily affects reading and writing skills. However, it does not only affect these skills. Dyslexia is actually about information processing. Dyslexic people may have difficulty processing and remembering information they see and hear, which can affect learning and the acquisition of literacy skills. Dyslexia can also impact on other areas such as organisational skills. British Dyslexia Association (

Dyspraxia – Dyspraxia (also known as developmental coordination disorder – DCD) is a surprisingly common condition affecting movement and coordination in children and adults. It is a hidden condition which is still poorly understood.

Dyspraxia affects all areas of life, making it difficult for people to carry out activities that others take for granted. Signs of dyspraxia/DCD are present from a young age but may not be recognised until a child starts school – or even later in adulthood.(

Dyscalculia – Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers which can lead to a diverse range of difficulties with mathematics. It will be unexpected in relation to age, level of education and experience and occurs across all ages and abilities. Dyscalculia – British Dyslexia Association (

At White Willow Partners we pride ourselves on our approach to neurodiversity and embrace all aspects of the extensive ‘umbrella’ of conditions that are defined as neurodiverse. As such we have developed a programme of learning modules to encourage and assist employers to provide an inclusive and safe workplace for those who have any recognised conditions and, to help those who work alongside them understand and embrace the benefits of working with these team members. To find out more contact us.

Posted in Neurodiversity.