Nature – I don’t mean ‘it’s in our nature’, I mean our love of nature. This is not a universal theme for neurodivergent people but a passion for nature, in its many varied forms, is a common feature of our lives. Whether this is because we are brilliant at appreciating the tiny details – which never cease to thrill me – or whether we feel more comfortable in non-human surroundings because animals don’t judge us, I guess it depends on the individual. Humans, of course, are part of nature. We just seem to have forgotten that in our desire to fill our boots with as much self-gratification as we can.

Autistic people seem to view the world in a different way. The amazing intricacies and delights that the natural world offers still thrill us, as they did when we were kids. This is a sweeping generalisation, I know, I’m full of those! Most of the people I know who are bird-watchers (twitchers), animal rescuers, horticulturalists, botanists, naturalists, nature photographers – are neurodivergent. Coincidence? Perhaps it’s our magnifying glass minds that give us this bonus feature. Perhaps it’s because nature is just less of a sensory challenge than a busy shopping centre.

If nature is one of your special interests I can highly recommend reading Fingers in the Sparkle Jar, a memoir by Chris Packham. It’s simply beautiful.

I’d also recommend reading A Year of Living Simply by Kate Humble. Nature is everywhere in this wonderfully refreshing examination of how we might improve the quality of our lives…with the bonus that I feature in it in at least a couple of chapters!