Definition: Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is the different way people's brains process information and interact with the world around them. This can be around communication, learning, thinking or behaving.114Learning Disability, Autism and Neurodiversity Bill: scoping work analysis 2022 - easy read

For more information on ‘what is neurodiversity?’ Watch this video.

Homelessness perspective

Few studies have been compiled on neurodiversity and homelessness, but those that have show higher rates of neurodivergence with people experiencing homelessness.115Autism and Homelessness – Increasing autism awareness and improving access and engagement in homelessness services

There is an increasing awareness that autistic people maybe at higher risk of homelessness. A study examining prevalence found:116The autistic experience of homelessness: Implications from a narrative enquiry Dr Beth Stone, Ailsa Cameron and Sandra Dowling

Society has been designed` by and for people who are neurotypical. This can contribute to people who are neurodivergent experiencing homelessness as these systems do not cater to their unique needs.  

This toolkit on Autism and Homelessness is a great resource to finding out more and how to support someone you are working with.  

Gambling perspective

People who are neurodivergent may be at higher risk of experiencing harm from their gambling.117The Role of ADHD Symptomatology and Emotion Dysregulation in Gambling Disorder - Gemma Mestre-Bach, Trevor Steward, Marc N. Potenza, Roser Granero, Fernando Fernández-Aranda, Teresa Mena-Moreno, Pablo Magaña, Cristina Vintró-Alcaraz, Amparo del Pino-Gutiérrez, José M. Menchón, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, 2021 (; Executive function in high-functioning autism: Decision-making consistency as a characteristic gambling behaviour - PubMed (  The design of some gambling products may be particularly appealing to people who identify as neurodivergent, as they provide:

  • Clearly-defined expectations and repetitive tasks
  • Feelings of control
  • Escape from difficult emotions or experiences
  • Social connection
  • A way to quiet or slow an overactive mind

Supporting an individual to connect their neurodiversity with their gambling activities may help them understand gambling harms in a different light. This can help them identify behaviour patterns they're using to manage difficulties they are experiencing, and consider alternative behaviours or sources of support.

“Undiagnosed ADHD presented me with challenges, which likely exacerbated my gambling. Some of my behavioural traits were the direct result of frustration and not being able to cope overly well. Gambling dulled the noise for me, but also dulled my emotions and sense of self over time.

Other traits, I just accepted as part of who I am as I’d always been told “that’s Darren”.

Could medication and an early diagnosis have helped? Probably. But only if support was available too, along with self awareness.

I needed help. But I simply didn't see, realise and fully understand for a very long time”

Darren Crocker, Ruleetteout