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 internationally recognized expert in autism spectrum and related disorders. In addition to his work with individuals who have social and self-regulatory problems, Dr. Black provides comprehensive neuropsychological assessment and consultation services to children, adolescents, and adults with learning differences, attention disorders, and medical conditions such as epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and genetic disorders. His assessments are comprehensive, integrated, and individualized, emphasize strengths, and capture the nuance that makes each person unique. 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 and developmental disorders.
Dr. Black’s more recent work has focused on the transition to adulthood and unique challenges inherent in that transition, and on the role stress and anxiety have in autism as well as intervention that may reduce their impacts. Prior to founding the Center for Assessment And Treatment, Dr. Black was a researcher in the Pediatrics and Developmental Neuroscience Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, NIH. His research examined factors that contribute to the best outcomes among children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. His clinical and research interests have focused on the neurocognitive and psychological underpinnings for effective navigation of the social world.
Dr. Black has published works in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals. He serves on advisory and expert review committees for autism-related services and programs. He frequently gives talks on a variety of topics related to autism, social cognition, child development, learning disabilities, and post-secondary transition.
Philosophy: My mission is to support 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 and meaningful, 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 of one’s strengths and weaknesses is essential for understanding how one learns best, facilitating the selection of appropriate intervention for academic life and beyond, enabling others to provide support, and that through sufficient understanding of strengths and weaknesses, a person can thrive. We all do better when we feel understood, supported and capable.