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ADHD Struggles with Self-Esteem and Labels: An Insider's Perspective with Ari Tuckman and Jessica McCabe

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Ari Tuckman, PsyD, MBA |  Jessica McCabe
1 Hour 31 Minutes
Audio and Video
Nov 10, 2022
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Digital Recording
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If ADHD is a disorder, can it also be a gift or even a superpower? Some people say that it is.  People with ADHD are often acutely aware of their struggles which can ravage self-esteem, so it’s natural to seek ways to feel better about themselves. It’s certainly true that individuals with ADHD have many gifts, but there are risks to claiming that ADHD itself is what provides those gifts.

In this session, view Ari Tuckman and Jessica McCabe as they integrate the impact of ableism on how disorders are defined, address the risks of toxic positivity, and assist clients to navigate social expectations for performance.
You’ll discover:

  • Why it matters whether someone “has ADHD” or “is ADHD”
  • Benefits of conceptualizing ADHD through the lens of neurodiversity
  • Help clients recognize ADHD traits as potential strengths in some situations, but liabilities in others
  • The negative impact of medicalization, pathologizing, and pharmaceutical profiteering on ADHD

Don’t miss this dynamic duo - critically acclaimed author and presenter and podcaster, Ari Tuckman, and film actor, creator and star of award-winning YouTube channel How to ADHD and TEDx presenter, Jessica McCabe!


** No CPD Credit Available
Continuing Professional Development credit is not available on this product.



Ari Tuckman, PsyD, MBA's Profile

Ari Tuckman, PsyD, MBA Related seminars and products

Ari Tuckman, PsyD, MBA, is a psychologist, international presenter, author, and ADHD expert. He is the author of four books on adult ADHD – one for clinicians and three for the general public. He has also written several book chapters and is a frequent author for ADHD-related publications, including ADDitude Magazine and Attention Magazine.

He is a popular and dynamic presenter who routinely earns excellent reviews for his ability to make complex concepts understandable and useful. He has given more than 650 presentations and podcast interviews for professionals and members of the public, across America and in Sweden, Turkey, Greece, Mexico, England, Spain, Denmark, Canada, and Iceland.

He has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio, and XM Radio and has been quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe,, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health, and many other media outlets. He is a former board member and current conference committee chair for CHADD and is the 2023 recipient of their Hall of Fame award for his significant contributions to the field.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Ari Tuckman maintains a private practice. He receives royalties as a published author. Ari Tuckman receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Ari Tuckman is the National Conference Committee co-chair for CHAAD.

Jessica McCabe's Profile

Jessica McCabe Related seminars and products

At 32, Jessica McCabe’s ADHD brought her to the darkest point of her life thus far. At 34, she was thriving both personally and professionally, producing a successful, award-winning YouTube channel about living with ADHD - How to ADHD. She is also known for roles in several independent films and television shows including the show American Dreams and the short film Lure. Since its founding in 2015, How to ADHD has grown to over 1.25 million subscribers. The channel – widely respected by treatment providers, ADHD researchers, and especially the ADHD community – has become a treasure trove of scientifically backed and experientially affirming information on how people with ADHD might work with their brains in a world not built for them.


  1. Respond effectively and compassionately to clients who say that ADHD is a gift.
  2. Integrate numerous perspectives on how to define ADHD in a more clinically useful way.
  3. Support clients with ADHD to balance others’ performance expectations with an accurate self-assessment of their abilities.


  • Why do some people say ADHD is a superpower?
    • Benefits of conceptualizing ADHD through the lens of neurodiversity
    • Using individual gifts to counterbalance the many struggles
    • The problems with medicalization, pathologizing, and the pharmaceutical profit motive
  • The Dark Side of ADHD as a Gift
    • Support clients’ self-identity while still advocating for treatment
    • Identify toxic positivity and the fallout when a client can’t also be as successful as they “should be”
    • Compassion to challenge the fragility of seeing ADHD as a gift when a client’s life offers contradictory evidence
  • A More Nuanced (and resilient) Self-Esteem
    • Promote clients’ accurate self-awareness to help them choose appropriate strategies, settings, and expectations
    • Help clients recognize ADHD traits as potential strengths in some situations, but liabilities in others
    • Promote a strengths-based approach that acknowledges social impacts on self-assessment
  • Balancing Acceptance with Growth
    • Help clients own their ADHD in an empowering way that fits all of who they are
    • Why it matters whether someone “has ADHD” or “is ADHD”
    • Promote a definition of ADHD that strengthens clients’ sense of agency

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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