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What is neurodiversity?

Very simply, neurodiversity refers to the different ways a person’s brain processes information.

Woman in a lab taking a lab tube out of the small rack

I don’t always have the energy, time or words to fully explain what it is like living with a neuro difference and worry about people’s misconceptions.

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term used to describe a number of these variations.

It is estimated that around 1 in 7 people in the UK have some kind of neuro difference.

That’s as many as 1,650 of our CUH Family!

Being neurodiverse does not correlate with low intelligence; many people with neuro differences are highly intelligent.

People who are neurodiverse often think about and see the world differently, making them a huge asset to any team that wants to improve how they do things and deliver excellent patient care or services.

Most common types of neurodiversity

You may have heard of many of these types of neurodiversity.

  • Autism, or Autism Spectrum Conditions
  • ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia, or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)

Some other types of neurodiversity

There are a number of other examples of how brains can process information differently.

Some people consider these to be part of the ‘neurodiversity’ umbrella and others like to keep them separate - there’s no right or wrong answer.

  • Cognitive functioning difficulties or executive dysfunction
  • Dysgraphia
  • Misophonia
  • Slow processing speed
  • Stammering
  • Tourette’s syndrome

Why are we talking about it?

At CUH we are committed to improving the working lives of all our staff.

We want to value and celebrate the differences in our workforce and harness the incredible talents of our neurodiverse staff to help us all improve and provide the best patient care and the best services in a way that is safe, kind and excellent.

We recognise that workplaces in general, and CUH in particular, can be challenging for people who have neuro differences and we want to do all we can to change that. This handbook/toolkit/guide is just one part of that.

We hope it will be a useful resource for staff who are neurodiverse, and for managers and supervisors and teams to learn, grow, develop a shared understanding and create workplace cultures that enable people to thrive.