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Digital Seminar

ADHD, Neurodiversity, and Clinical Practice

David Nowell, PhD
1 Hour 30 Minutes
Audio and Video
Nov 10, 2022
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Is ADHD a disorder, a difference, or a gift?  And how does our response to that question inform our clinical work with clients presenting with different attentional and executive functioning?

Powerful collaboration with clients who are not neurotypical requires cultural competency and a willingness to learn on the part of clinicians.  Best-fit intervention for brain differences like ADHD may include behavioural change on the part of the client - but when is the better course of action to identify meaningful environmental changes, schedule changes, or to expect change on the part of the people who work and live and learn with the neurodiverse client.

In this session we will begin to unpack our language around brain differences associated with the ADD/ADHD symptom constellation, and identify harm done by pathologizing terminology. We will consider “bottom-up” and “top-down” approaches to ADHD support and intervention, recognizing that success and well-being for our clients with these brain differences may include environmental/workplace/classroom accommodations as well as mindfully chosen efforts to “fit in” with a largely neurotypical population.


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This program is worth 1.5 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



David Nowell, PhD's Profile

David Nowell, PhD Related seminars and products

Clinical Neuropsychologist

David Nowell, PhD, is a clinical neuropsychologist in private practice in Northborough, Massachusetts. He offers consultations to patients on an inpatient rehabilitation unit and is an adjunct instructor in neuropsychology to graduate students in the Clark University psychology program. He serves as a physician advisor with the University of Massachusetts Medical School Disability Evaluation Service where he was the former clinical director of the Learning Disability Assessment Program. Dr. Nowell writes a popular blog at Psychology Today on motivation and time management and speaks internationally to clinicians on such topics as executive functioning, non-medication management of ADHD, and applying findings from Positive Psychology.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. David Nowell maintains a private practice and has employment relationships with Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, and Clark University. He is a presenter with TATRA Training and receives compensation. Dr. Nowell is an IME provider and receives compensation. He receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. David Nowell is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Massachusetts Neuropsychological Association, and the International Neuropsychological Society.


  1. Distinguish pathologizing from neutral language for discussing and documenting ADHD features.
  2. Develop both “top down” and “bottom up” supports for individuals with ADD/ADHD.
  3. Integrate an appreciation and affirmation of neurodivergence in your work with the ADD/ADHD client.


  • How does clinical and diagnostic language support or harm our clients
  • ADHD - a gift, a difference, a disorder
  • Strategies for integrating an appreciation of neurodiversity in your clinical practice
    • Collaborating rather than teaching
    • Clarifying client-focused treatment goals around behaviour change
    • Speaking directly to “changing myself” versus “changing my environment”
    • Exploring our clients’ lived experience of brain differences
  • Collaborating with clients and treatment team to develop both “bottom up” and “top down” supports and interventions for task avoidance, procrastination, and distractibility


Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Educators/Teachers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Psychologists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Social Workers

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