Co-occurring conditions, also described as co-existing conditions or co-morbidities, are very simply conditions that are known to appear alongside other conditions. They are not the condition itself – they feature alongside it – sometimes, often or rarely.

As we’re here to talk about the co-occurring conditions of neurodivergencies, an example of a commonly co-occurring condition for autistic people is epilepsy. Sometimes we have a learning disability as a co-occurring condition. ADHDers commonly have learning difficulties as co-occurring conditions, and/or depression, not always, but commonly. Importantly, having one of these conditions does NOT mean that we will automatically have the other. For instance, epilepsy can co-occur with autism but having epilepsy doesn’t imply you are definitely autistic. You may be, you may not be.

I’m reiterating the importance of this because there is such massive misunderstanding about what being autistic or ADHD actually IS! You will find more on this elsewhere in the glossary, including under entries such as learning disability or learning difficulty?, low-functioning, high-functioning… actually, most of the glossary – my references to co-occurring conditions are probably the most frequent! I’ll leave you to have a root around…