This workshop will take an intimate look at neurodiversity and many of the characteristics resulting from seeing the world through a very different lens. We will engage in several activities that will provide a glimpse into living with a learning disability and ADHD. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of this population along with their strengths and challenges. Come prepared to move around, share your thoughts, and participate in experiential lessons designed to help you better serve this dynamic population.

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John Willson received a B.A. in Sociology in 1990 from Texas State University and an M.S in Outdoor Therapeutic Recreation Administration from Aurora University in 1993. John has spent over 30 years working in youth programs with an emphasis on youth diagnosed with learning and attention challenges. He has led hundreds of adventure courses throughout North America, Costa Rica, and Belize. He is currently the Executive Director of SOAR, a non profit residential academic boarding school, summer adventure camp, and Gap year program serving youth diagnosed with learning disabilities and ADHD.

Along with his responsibilities at SOAR, John is currently the Past President of the Learning Disabilities Association (LDA) of North Carolina. He also served on the national board for CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficiency / Hyperactivity Disorder).

He actively presents to teachers, parents and professionals at local, state and national conferences. In addition, he has been an adjunct professor at Western Carolina University and Mars Hill College teaching Outdoor Recreation, Therapeutic Recreation, and Leadership courses. His certifications include Wilderness First Responder, PADI Rescue Diver, State licensed Recreation Therapist, and Nationally Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist.

Finally, and most importantly, he is an adult thriving with ADHD and the proud parent of two magnificent, creative, children living with learning and attention challenges.