It's a new cliché: "everyone" seems to have some kind of neurodivergence. Autism, ADHD, OCD – where outsiders suspect the symptoms of social media-fuelled hyper-individualism, the reality of affected individuals is different: Neurodivergence is not a TikTok trend.
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Difficulty looking people in the eye when talking? Autism! Can't keep the TV volume at 27? Clear obsessive-compulsive disorder: OCD. Bored during a 40-minute meeting? Well, ADHD! Behind these – often humorous – clichés there is, as so often, some truth: the number of diagnosed neurodivergent people worldwide is increasing, in some cases seemingly at a rapid pace: while in the 1990s it was estimated that 5 in 10,000 (0.05 per cent) people were autistic, today the estimates are 20 times higher, at 1 in 100 (1 per cent). According to two studies(Study 1, Study 2) by the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 36 children will be autistic in 2020 – in 2006, the estimate was 1 in 110.
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