Understanding Neurodiversity: How Many People Are Neurodiverse?

It is estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of the world's population has some type of neurodivergence. Neurodivergent conditions, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are overrepresented in STEM fields. This term, coined by Australian sociologist Judy Singer in 1998, conveys the idea that the neurological differences that determine the way people think and interact are natural variations of the human genome. Neurodiversity, therefore, is not something that needs to be “fixed”, but must be understood and adapted.Depending on how the term neurodivergent is defined, between 10 and 30 percent of the population has a neurodivergent trait.

In the case of autism, every year, 50,000 children with the autism spectrum reach the age of 18 and 44 percent attend some form of post-secondary education to prepare for the labor market and employment. However, more than 80 percent of adults on the spectrum become unemployed. Half of the people on the spectrum who are employed are underemployed, meaning they have skills that go beyond what their job requires.Neurodiversity is an important concept to understand in today's world. It is estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of people worldwide have some form of neurodivergence.

This includes conditions such as ADHD, ASD, and other neurological differences that affect how people think and interact. Neurodiversity is not something to be “fixed” but rather something to be embraced and adapted to.In terms of autism specifically, 50,000 children with autism reach adulthood each year. Of those, 44 percent attend some form of post-secondary education to prepare for employment. Unfortunately, more than 80 percent of adults on the autism spectrum become unemployed and half of those who are employed are underemployed.It is important to recognize neurodiversity as a natural variation in human genetics and to understand how it affects individuals differently.

By embracing neurodiversity and adapting to it, we can create a more inclusive society for everyone.

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