Neurodiversity: challenges and strengths


Date: Tuesday 22 August 2023
Time: 11.00am – 1:00pm NZT

Who should do this course?

Anyone who works in a professional care role or supports people through all forms of loss and grief. Our content is applicable to a wide variety of professions including counsellors, social workers, teachers, emergency response teams, medical, corrections, mental health, hospice, volunteers, caregivers and more. 


This interactive (through the chat function) webinar explores the background, the research, the appropriate language, the challenges, the benefits, and, underlining it all, the mental health and wellbeing of those who identify as neurodiverse, and how we can best support them.

Today, neurodiversity has evolved from a focus on neurodivergent individuals who may have a formal diagnosis of a developmental or learning disability such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia or dyscalculia, to also embrace a broader group of people who may self-identify as neurodivergent.

Our understanding of ‘neurodiversity’ has widened extensively since Australian sociologist, Judy Singer, on the autism spectrum herself, coined the term in the late 1990s in acknowledgement that everyone’s brain develops uniquely. At the time, she wanted to shift the idea that autism was a disability, rather viewing it as natural variance in neurobiology. She defined it as a social justice movement that promoted equality for what she called ‘neurological minorities’; people whose brains work in atypical ways. 

In a broad sense, the term ‘neurodiversity’ acknowledges that all human brains and minds differ from one another. As professionals, it is essential that we consider the potential challenges, loss and grief that neurodiverse people often experience in a neurotypical world.

Key Learning Points

  • Exploring the neurodiversity paradigm, including the associated terminology
  • Insight into common neurodiverse developmental and learning disabilities – Australian and New Zealand statistics
  • Current research, particularly related to mental health and wellbeing; the growing awareness of the benefits of neurodiversity
  • Neurodiversity in the workplace: challenges, strengths, benefits, changes, and support
  • Supporting neurodiverse clients – those with a formal diagnosis of a developmental or learning disability, and those people who self-identify as neurodiverse
  • Resources and additional readings


Q Prensenter: Dr Fiona Pienaar

Dr Fiona Pienaar has an extensive background in education, research and mental health; both clinical and operational. A highly qualified and proficient director, consultant, practitioner, presenter, trainer and academic, she holds a Master of Education in Counselling and a PhD in Behavioural Science (New Zealand children’s experiences of stress and coping).

With a fascinating life journey spanning South Africa, New Zealand and the UK, Fiona is concurrently a Clinical Lead at Whakarongorau Aotearoa New Zealand Telehealth Services and Senior Clinical Advisor at Mental Health Innovations in the UK.

Fiona also maintains a busy online and in-person speaking schedule for education, corporate, charitable and clinical organisations and we are delighted and grateful for her long-standing connection to the Grief Centre and our mission.

Q Webinar registration details

Registration fee: $85 plus GST

Access to the live two-hour webinar
Access to the webinar recording for 30 days
Access to a downloadable PDF handout
Certificate of accomplishment issued on completion of a short quiz
Access to CPD points

Q Certificate of Accomplishment

We can provide a certificate of accomplishment for all our training courses. The requirement for receiving a certificate to confirm professional development is as follows:

You must view a minimum of 80% of a live-presented webinar workshop or
You must view a minimum of 80% of a recorded webinar workshop
You must complete a short quiz on the webinar content

Q CPD/OPD Certification and Points/Credits

We are accredited to provide points/credits to the following Organisations, Educational Institutes, and Associations:

New Zealand


Our training is endorsed or recommended by the following Organisations, Educational Institutes, and Associations:

New Zealand
The CPD Group

ACA (Australian Counselling Association)

And in New Zealand our training courses are recommended by:

To receive your CPD points/credits, you will need to receive a certificate of accomplishment which you can then provide to your relevant institution.