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Neurodiversity-Informed Coaching: What is it & why is it important?

  • 24 May 2023
  • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Zoom Meeting


  • This option is open to ICF Toronto Members who have paid their annual Activity Fee
  • This option is for ICF Toronto Members who are choosing to pay-as-you-go

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Neurodiversity-Informed Coaching: What is it & why is it important?

with Elaine Taylor-Klaus, MCC

The brain does not discriminate. Neurodiversity is a universal human phenomenon that crosses all racial, ethnic, gender, socio-economic and/or religious boundaries. And yet, when coaching clients present with neurodivergence—such as ADHD, anxiety, autism, depression, learning disabilities, giftedness or other exceptionalities—it can alter expected patterns of effecting change. A coach uninformed about neurodiverse differences in processing information or initiating change not only can fail to support a client in achieving desired results, but runs the risk of damaging a client’s self-esteem and impeding their progress.

It is more essential than ever for all coaches to acquire a functional literacy about neurodiversity. On the one hand, there is an expanding general awareness about giftedness and exceptionalism. On the other, according to the media, we are in the midst of a global mental health crisis. And while there is some question whether COVID did more to create or shed light on the limitations of therapeutic systems, the data is clear. People are struggling. The CDC reported that more than 2 out of 5 adults in the US demonstrated symptoms of anxiety or depression during research in 2021, and many are having a difficult time finding available therapeutic providers. As a result, it is more essential than ever for all coaches to acquire a functional literacy about neurodiversity. This is not to suggest that we cross into the realm of therapy, but that we understand enough to be able to partner effectively with all clients, and be well-informed about whether and when to make referrals to specialized coaches or other helping professionals.

Neurodiversity-informed coaching is not dramatically different from neurotypical coaching, so much as it provides a difference in awareness that lends itself to using some tools more intentionally than others. Neurodiversity-informed coaching awareness and skills aren’t complicated, but in today's stress-filled world they must be included as a fundamental part of coach training – to serve neurodivergent and neurotypical coaches and clients, alike. This session will discuss what neurodiversity-informed training for coaches might include, and make a case for why it should be considered a core competency for all coaches. It is not designed to train coaches to become specialists in supporting any particular aspect of neurodiversity. Instead, it will provide coaches with a general education to recognize, understand, and determine whether, when, and how to ethically provide coaching for clients with all kinds of neurodiversity. In this interactive session, participants will be invited to understand and explore neurodiversity through the lens of their own personal coaching examples.

Learning objectives:

  • Identify fundamental components, typical patterns, and signs of neurodiversity
  • Understand how client behaviours and follow-through may be impacted by neurodiversity
  • Consider how to partner with clients to explore the role that neurodiversity might be playing in their life and leadership
  • Explore whether and when to refer clients to other helping professionals
  • Discuss continued education in neurodiversity

About Elaine Taylor-Klaus, MCC

Elaine Taylor-Klaus, MCC, is first and foremost the mom in an ADHD ++ family of six and her complex kids are now successful young adults. Professionally, she is a Master Certified Coach, bringing a neurodiversity-informed coach-approach to her work as an internationally recognized speaker, author and educator. The co-founder of the first global coaching organization for parents and professionals of neurodiverse kids, ImpactParents.com, she is a trusted advisor to executives, parents, health care and education professionals, with a nuanced expertise supporting parents with 'very' complex teens and young adults. She and her business partner, Diane Dempster, PCC, have co-created a Certification Program to provide neurodiversity-informed training to coaches and related professionals. Elaine co-authored Parenting ADHD Now! in 2016 and published The Essential Guide to Raising Complex Kids with ADHD, Anxiety and More, in 2020, released in Spanish in 2023. For more information, visit ImpactParents.com/Toronto.

Continuing Coach Education (CCE) units for this event: 
Core Competencies: 1.00
Resource Development: 0.50

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