Wellbeing of People with Neurodiverse Conditions

Takeaway: Neurodivergent individuals face many barriers that limit the ability to secure a "healthy" wellbeing. Understanding the societal constructs that limit an individual's access is vital for practitioners.
Cite as: Colombo-Dougovito, A. M., Dillon, S. R., & Mpofu, E. (2021). The wellbeing of people with neurodiverse conditions. In E. Mpofu (Ed.), Sustainable Community Health: Systems and Practices in Diverse Settings (pp. 499-535), Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-59687-3_15.


Diversity in human attributes provides for richness in how we engage and flourish as people and communities. This fact may not be apparent or as well appreciated for people with neurodiverse conditions such as those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and dyslexia. In this chapter, we define and characterize neurodiversity in human populations, and the associated community health-related implications. We follow this up by providing a brief history of the research and practice with people with neurodivergent conditions, addressing their health and wellbeing. Next, we discuss current and prospective inclusive approaches to the sustainable health of people with neurodivergent conditions. In doing so, we also consider the cultural, professional, and legal issues relevant to the sustainable health of people with neurodivergent conditions as well as the roles of interdisciplinary services. We conclude our chapter by discussing issues for research and practice to inform the sustainable health of neurodivergent individuals.

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