Coaching Techniques

Embracing Neurodiversity: A Guide for Neurodivergent Life Coaches Working with Neurodivergent Clients

Being a neurodivergent life coach for neurodivergent clients offers a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on your own community.

This is the first installment in our series focusing on neurodiversity in coaching. We begin with a guide for neurodivergent coaches who work with neurodivergent clients. In upcoming posts, we'll explore strategies for neurotypical coaches who are also working with neurodivergent clients, ADHD coaching and more.

This post is written in partnership with Maverick (Mav) Stoothoff, a dedicated life coach, mentor, and advocate with a unique perspective shaped by their own journey as a neurodivergent and queer individual. Embracing their identity, Mav (they/them) is devoted to fostering a world where neurodiversity, inclusivity, and equity thrive.

Mav's core values—justice, authenticity, making a difference, empathy, and love—fuel their commitment to help clients embrace their neurodivergence and curate lives of authenticity and purpose.

Having transformed their own narrative from feeling 'out of place' to a place of self-acceptance and advocacy, Mav now stands as a beacon of hope and a catalyst for change, guiding others to embrace their potential. You can reach Mav at

Embracing Neurodiversity: A Guide for Neurodivergent Life Coaches Working with Neurodivergent Clients

In a world that often prioritizes conformity, neurodivergent individuals bring unique perspectives, strengths, and challenges. As a neurodivergent life coach who works with neurodivergent clients, you not only navigate your own unique experiences in the world but also empower others to do the same. 

This guide is designed to support aspiring neurodivergent life coaches who specialize in working with neurodivergent clients in harnessing their distinctive abilities to inspire and lead their clients toward personal growth and fulfillment.

Understanding Your Neurodivergence within Coaching

The initial step in becoming a neurodivergent affirming coach involves a deep understanding of the neurodiversity paradigm coupled with a commitment to dismantling ableism. 

What is neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity regards the diversity of human brains and minds as a natural, normal variation in the population. This means that neurological differences like autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and others are not defects or disorders, but are variations that have their own distinct strengths and challenges. 

What is the neurodiversity paradigm?

The neurodiversity paradigm promotes acceptance of these many differences, rather than labeling them as defects. It pushes for the accommodation and support of neurodivergent individuals in a way that respects their unique neurotype. 

Your own neurodivergence is a natural and necessary form of human diversity and a key component of what makes you who you are. Your unique way of processing information, and the challenges you’ve faced, equip you with empathy, authenticity and an ability to innovate. These are valuable tools in coaching, allowing you to connect with and inspire your clients on a very genuine level.

By embracing this perspective, coaches can create an environment for their clients that values and respects these differences. 

What role does ableism play?

Ableism plays a significant role in shaping the experiences of neurodivergent individuals, both in everyday life and within professional settings such as coaching. 

Ableism often marginalizes those who do not conform to societal norms, whether through subtle biases or overt systemic barriers. That might look like inaccessible communication practices, or rigid procedural norms – all of which can undermine the potential and ignore the lived experiences of neurodivergent people.

As a professional coach, it's important to recognize and actively challenge these ableist structures. This involves rethinking traditional coaching models that might inadvertently exclude or devalue neurodivergent ways of thinking and interacting. And, asking deeper questions that evaluate barriers (environmental, sensory, motor, etc.) for the clients, rather than only asking questions to shift the client's mindset.

For instance, you may need to adopt more flexible communication methods and session structures that can accommodate diverse neurological needs. Ultimately, confronting ableism will lead to a more holistic and affirming coaching experience for all people.

Building Your Coaching Toolkit

Every life coach needs a set of tools and strategies to support their clients. For neurodivergent coaches, it's essential to incorporate tools that leverage your neurodivergent strengths. 

This might include creative problem-solving techniques, innovative communication methods, and strategies for managing sensory overload or executive functioning challenges. 

Being visible as a coach is inspiring to others who may not have considered it as a career path, and part of the work that you do in helping others.

Remember, your toolkit should be as unique as you are, catering to both your needs and the diverse needs of your clients. 

Do's and Don'ts for Neurodivergent Life Coaches


  • Do embrace your neurodivergent identity: Your lived experience enables you to offer unique insights and perspectives and to work in creative ways to support your clients.

  • Do lead by example. Accepting and embracing your neurodivergence is a radical act of self love and provides positive ND representation for your clients.

  • Do leverage your strengths and accommodate your challenges: Utilize your strengths to benefit your coaching practice. Accommodate your challenges by implementing strategies and adjustments.

  • Do create a supportive environment: Ensure your coaching space (virtual or physical) is accommodating for your needs as well as your clients, taking into account sensory sensitivities and communication preferences.

  • Do practice self-care: Prioritize your well-being. Regular self-care practices can enhance your resilience and overall effectiveness as a coach.


  • Don't overextend yourself: Recognize your limits and set healthy boundaries to avoid burnout. It's essential to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others.

  • Don't underestimate the power of empathy: Avoid assuming that your experience of neurodivergence is the same as your client's. Use empathy to understand and support their unique journey.

  • Don't conform to neuronormativity: Rejecting neuronormativity can empower you to fully embrace and accept your neurodivergence. Refusing to adhere to neuronormative standards, expectations, and norms nurtures an inclusive coaching practice for you and your clients.
  • Don't shy away from seeking support: Collaborating with other coaches, seeking supervision, or joining peer support groups can provide valuable insights and encouragement.

How to Coach Neurodivergent People

When coaching neurodivergent clients, understanding and respect for their individual experiences are key. It's important to approach each client as a whole person, recognizing the diversity within neurodivergence and their unique lived experience.

Build on strengths: Focus on identifying and nurturing your clients' strengths and passions. This positive approach can boost confidence and motivation.

Customize strategies: Develop personalized strategies that accommodate your client's specific needs, preferences, and challenges. Tailor your coaching methods to fit the individual needs of each neurodivergent client, recognizing that neurodivergence manifests differently for everyone.

Encourage self-advocacy: Empower your clients to understand and communicate their needs, both in personal and professional settings.

Provide a safe space: Offer an environment where clients feel seen, heard, and understood. This includes being flexible and patient, allowing for different communication styles and processing times.

Presume competence: Assume your clients can think, learn, and understand. Discover how you can best support them in working towards their goals by meeting them where they're at, building off their strengths, and recognizing barriers.

Being a neurodivergent life coach for neurodivergent clients offers a unique opportunity to make a significant impact on your own community. By embracing your neurodivergence, you not only model self-acceptance and authenticity but also create a space where others feel empowered to do the same.

Ready to stand out from the pack, as a coach?

One of our values at Lumia is that we dare to be different. Our life coaches ignore the expectations society tries to impose on them, and seek to live from their own truth instead. If you are ready to step into your power and you’d like a partner in the process, come check out Lumia Life Coach Training. Grounded in science, our ICF accredited program features authentic instructors, a robust curriculum, and business instruction to prepare you for liftoff.

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