Dr. David O. Black

Director, Pediatric Neuropsychologist
“We all do better when we feel understood, supported and capable.” – David Black

Dr.  David O. Black is a pediatric neuropsychologist and scientist who is a nationally recognized expert in autism spectrum and related disorders. He has spent much of the last ten years working clinically with children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorders. He is a researcher in the Pediatrics and Developmental Neuroscience Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH where he has been investigating the factors that contribute to the best outcomes among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. His clinical and research interests have both focused on the neurocognitive and psychological underpinnings for effective navigation of the social world. Most recently, he has been interested in the transition to adulthood and unique challenges inherent in that transition, as well as in the role of stress and anxiety in autism and intervention that may reduce its impact. Dr. Black has repeatedly published his work in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He often serves on advisory and expert review committees for autism-related services and programs.  He is frequently asked to give lectures on a variety of topics related to autism, social cognition, child development, learning disabilities, and post secondary transition.

Clinical Interests: In addition to his work with individuals who have social and self regulatory problems, Dr. Black provides comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations to children, adolescents, and young adults for learning disabilities, attention disorders, and medical conditions such as epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and genetic disorders. He provides ongoing individual and family consultation and support, including assisting families navigate the transition to adulthood. Dr. Black frequently assists with the implementation of treatment plans and school placement decisions, attends school meetings (including I.E.P. meetings and due process hearings), and forensic evaluation and expert testimony in cases that involve autism spectrum disorders

Philosophy:  I am passionate about supporting individuals to reach their potential. I believe that we all want to be happy, healthy, and productive, that we strive to have a life that is fulfilling, that we desire to form close connections with others, and that we want to contribute to family, friends and community. I also believe that all parents deeply desire to give their children the psychological, social, academic, and practical tools – and the emotional resilience and perseverance – necessary to arrive at adulthood ready to live independent, productive and fulfilling lives. I believe that self-understanding is empowering. An accurate understanding one’s strengths and weaknesses is essential for understanding how one learns best, facilitates selection of appropriate intervention for academic life and beyond, allows others to provide support, and that through sufficient understanding of strengths and weaknesses one can thrive.  We all do better when we feel understood, supported and capable.

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