The history of autism has moved through phases, largely influenced by English-speaking clinicians drawing on a series of case studies and then bigger data sets. There are two strands to the history of autism — the history according to professionals, mostly clinicians and latterly researchers, and the history according to autistic people and their families. The clinical and academic history of autism is also sadly laden with tragic examples of negative characterisations of autism, leading to misguided and sometimes abusive treatments. The often-upsetting history of autism research and practice is essential reading for anyone choosing to specialise in the field. Neurodiversity describes variability in brain structure and function, and resulting cognitive processes, accounting for differences between all individuals and, in cases of neurodivergence, also giving rise to diagnostic categories. Neurodivergent people may find that their experiences of the world and of other people do not align with the norm, and this is attributed to basic, underlying neurological differences.