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How do I talk to a neurodiverse person?

Communicating with neurodiverse people — those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other conditions — can be super rewarding. Here are some tips to help you connect better.

Neurodiversity means people’s brains work differently. This includes people with autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and more. Everyone’s brain is unique, so communication styles can vary. Learn more about neurodiversity here.

Tips for Better Communication

  • Be clear and direct: Use simple, straightforward language. Avoid using idioms or sarcasm, as they can be confusing.
  • Listen actively: Pay attention to what they’re saying without interrupting. Show that you’re listening by nodding or saying things like “I see” or “Got it.”
  • Give them time: Some neurodiverse people might need more time to process information or respond. Be patient and avoid rushing them.
  • Respect boundaries: Understand and respect their personal space and sensory preferences. Some might not like loud noises or bright lights.
  • Use visual aids: Visuals can help explain things more clearly. Use pictures, charts, or written instructions if needed.
  • Ask how they prefer to communicate: Everyone is different. Ask them if they have a preferred way of communicating, like via text or email.

Watch this video below with Leo (a young man with autism) talking to actor Michael Sheen. It’s a great example of how to be a supportive and patient listener:

Building positive interactions

  • Be open-minded: Accept that they might have different ways of expressing themselves and interacting.
  • Show empathy: Try to understand their perspective and experiences.
  • Be supportive: Offer encouragement and positive feedback. Acknowledge their efforts and strengths.

Why this matters

Effective communication helps build stronger relationships and promotes understanding. By learning how to communicate better with neurodiverse people, you help create an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.

Learn more


Understanding and respecting neurodiversity is key to effective communication. By following these tips, you can help create a more inclusive society where everyone feels valued and understood.

Need someone to talk to? Free, confidential support is available.

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