Leone Centre Glossary

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Neurodiversity-affirmative Therapy

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)

ADHD is defined as a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. In the context of neurodiversity-affirmative therapy, ADHD is approached with a focus on recognising and valuing neurological differences. This perspective emphasises the unique strengths and abilities of individuals with ADHD, promoting a more inclusive and supportive therapeutic environment.

Challenges Faced

Individuals with ADHD often encounter difficulties in maintaining attention, controlling impulses, and managing hyperactivity. These challenges can impact various aspects of life, including academic performance, work efficiency, and interpersonal relationships. Traditional therapeutic approaches may not always consider the neurodiversity perspective, potentially overlooking the unique needs and strengths of those with ADHD.

About ADHD

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental condition that manifests in childhood and is likely to persist into adulthood. It is characterised by patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, which can vary in intensity and impact.

Therapeutic Benefits

Neurodiversity-affirmative therapy offers numerous benefits, including:

  1. Validation: Recognising and affirming the experiences of individuals with ADHD.
  2. Empowerment: Encouraging self-acceptance and confidence by focusing on strengths.
  3. Adaptation: Helping individuals develop personalised ways to manage challenges confidently.

Therapeutic Approach

Neurodiversity-affirmative therapy acknowledges ADHD as a variation of functioning rather than a deficit. This approach focuses on:

  1. Emphasising strengths: Highlighting the strengths and abilities associated with ADHD, such as creativity, problem-solving skills, and high energy levels.
  2. Individualised support: Providing specialised support that addresses specific challenges while leveraging individual strengths.
  3. Inclusive environment: Creating a therapeutic space that respects and values neurological diversity.

Therapy Process

This approach involves:

  1. Assessment: Understanding the individual’s unique profile of strengths and challenges.
  2. Goal setting: Collaborating to set realistic and meaningful goals.
  3. Ongoing support: Providing continuous guidance and adjustments to therapeutic interventions.


What is ADHD?
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a neurodevelopmental condition marked by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
What is neurodiversity-affirmative therapy?
Neurodiversity-affirmative therapy is an approach that recognises and values neurological differences, focusing on the strengths and unique abilities of individuals.
How can neurodiversity-affirmative therapy help with ADHD?
This therapy approach emphasises individual strengths, provides personalised support, and creates an inclusive environment that respects and values neurodiversity.
What are the benefits of focusing on strengths in therapy?
Focusing on strengths can boost self-esteem, enhance motivation, and help individuals develop confident approaches for managing challenges.


  1. Brown, T. E. (2020). ADHD and Asperger Syndrome in Smart Kids and Adults: Twelve Stories of Struggle, Support, and Treatment. Routledge.
  2. Armstrong, T. (2010). Neurodiversity: Discovering the Extraordinary Gifts of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Brain Differences. Da Capo Lifelong Books.
  3. Kapp, S. K. (Ed.). (2020). Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement: Stories from the Frontline. Palgrave Macmillan.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision