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“My Mother’s Apprentice” – The Special Qualities of my Upbringing. A Discussion with Gyasi Burks-Abbott Gyasi Burkes-Abbott has a unique perspective as a late-diagnosed autistic man, who is African-American and raised by his mother in a white-dominated culture. In today’s episode, he discusses how his mother was vigilant about exposing him to role …
 
Many of you may be aware of the fact that “Avatar: The Way of Water”, the follow up of the 2009 "Avatar", was just released. One of the stars is Sigourney Weaver, and we had the great pleasure of interviewing Sigourney with Ros Blackburn, a great friend of ours who is an autistic women from England. We invite you to listen again, or for the first t…
 
It is now widely accepted that for autistic and neurodivergent individuals to be fully included and successful in educational and vocational settings, the design of such settings must support accessibility and be sensitive to the specific environmental challenges posed by different settings. Such challenges may occur due to the sensory and social d…
 
The Art of Autism is a nonprofit that has become a community of sharing art, poetry, and literary works by autistic people from around the world. In this episode, Debra Muzikar, one of its founders, discusses the range of artistic endeavors and submissions to their website and then shared in their e-mail newsletter.…
 
Inspired by their NY Times best selling book, John Donovan and Caren Zucker discuss their mission in producing their film, “In a Different Key”. Their engaging film includes an historic perspective built around the life of Donald Triplett, the first autistic child diagnosed by Leo Kanner, as well as many profiles and voices of autistic people shari…
 
Medications are often prescribed for autistic individuals for a number of conditions co-occurring with autism. Dr. Josh Feder, a child and family psychiatrist, author and researcher, discusses his background leading to a specialization on appropriate use of medications. He discusses his emphasis on seeing medications only as part of more comprehens…
 
The concept of neurodiversity and its application is currently one of the hottest issues of discussion and consideration, both within and outside autism and disability culture. Barry and Dave have a wide-ranging conversation that addresses the origin of neurodiversity, current debates about boundaries and terminology, and how the concept has evolve…
 
It is well known that a major challenge for autistic and neurodivergent individuals of all ages is developing a healthy lifestyle that supports fitness, and emotional well-being. Belden Long and Rosie White, NCAA and Olympic elite athletes, with additional expertise in occupational therapy, yoga, and movement approaches to fitness, have dedicated t…
 
As autistic individuals become increasingly involved in contributing to the performing arts, a relatively new role is that of autistic playwrights developing bodies of work admired for their creativity and impact. Dave Osmundsen, one such playwright, is experiencing success and recognition for his contributions. Dave discusses his development as a …
 
Autistic individuals are more likely to attempt suicide at rates alarmingly highly than in the non-autistic population. In this episode, Barry and Dave discuss critical issues regarding suicide and mental health with autistic professional, Lisa Morgan, based on her personal experiences and her professional mission to educate others around the risk …
 
Lauren Ober is an award-winning podcaster and journalist, and also is incredibly insightful (and funny) when discussing her late diagnosis of autism, her early years of being mistreated in school, and how her strengths have led to a successful career. She and Dave discuss similarities in their experiences, and what she hopes to accomplish in her ne…
 
Thrilled to announce a new collaboration with Pushkin Industries, we’re sharing a special preview of a new podcast, The Loudest Girl in the World. For years, journalist and podcast host Lauren Ober wasn’t all that jazzed about herself. She was always getting in trouble, she had a lot of sensory issues and her anxiety felt off the charts. And then, …
 
There is a significant divide between autistic advocates and parents of autistic children. Parents may feel attacked for their lack of understanding, and autistic adults who offer insight and guidance may also be met with rejection. Professionals face their own challenges in supporting autistic people. Limited by information that often excludes aut…
 
Supporting successful transitions back to school is critical for maximizing success for the whole school year. Join us as we throw back to episode 31st, where Dave and Barry shared a lively discussion about challenges and creative strategies to help children of all ages to get off to a good start in this coming school year.…
 
For many years, parents of autistic children and family members, and autistic people themselves have expressed concerns about how they have been misunderstood, and even mistreated by medical professionals and the traditional medical systems they work within. Dr. Mel Houser has experienced this personally as a physician trained in the medical establ…
 
It is widely accepted that many autistic children and adults may have difficulties feeling comfortable in social interaction and social relationships given neurotypical expectations. Non-autistic people also may also feel uncomfortable and may have difficulty adjusting their style of communication and social interaction to support successful social…
 
It is widely accepted that autistic individuals often experience co-occurring mental health challenges and conditions. However, the specific relationships between autism and mental health conditions remain an area of debate and even significant disagreement. Sean Inderbitzen, an autistic Behavioral Health Therapist, holds specific beliefs that vary…
 
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an invaluable framework that has great relevance in addressing the varied needs of autistic and neurodivergent learners, and supporting active engagement in learning environments. We discuss the basic concept of UDL with Emily Rubin and Lindee Morgan, experts on UDL, and its great value for developing individu…
 
Traveling for vacations and for other purposes provides great opportunities for learning, for creating wonderful memories for families and for growing socially and emotionally. However, for autistic and neurodivergent children and adults, and their families, traveling can also present unique challenges. In this episode, we discuss challenges and ma…
 
Michael Gilberg, an attorney specializing in educational law, discusses his varied experiences he brings as an attorney involved in legal issues for individuals with disabilities, including autism. These experiences include his being a student who received a late diagnosis of autism, as well as numerous and varied experiences working with families …
 
Zhara Astra’s mission is to communicate the vital importance of early and accurate diagnosis of autism and neurodivergent conditions in girls and women. Drawing from her own experience as an autistic woman diagnosed in adulthood, as well as her knowledge of the research in this area, she argues for a different set of criteria for diagnosis in femal…
 
An issue of increasing interest and concern in the autism community is that of masking. Masking or camouflaging is when an autistic person or neurodivergent person consciously, or subconsciously seeks to hide or minimize their autism or neurodivergent traits to fit in with the neurotypical world. Individuals with autism, especially ones who have a …
 
Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz, a marriage and family therapist and parent, discusses the development of the Bright and Quirky community, that she founded to support 2E children who are twice exceptional, and their families. That is, they excel in some aspects of development, typically verbal and cognitive abilities, but may also experience challenges in s…
 
Interoception is a relatively new concept as it pertains to the experiences of autistic children and adults. Described as the eighth sense, it has to do with being able to understand and interpret sensations that come from one’s own body. There is increasing evidence that problems related to interoception are common in autism, and are related to ca…
 
Dr. Michael Hannon is an Associate Professor of Counseling at Montclair State University. Dr. Hannon earned his doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision from The Pennsylvania State University. As an award-winning counselor educator and scholar, Dr. Hannon is a highly sought after lecturer, consultant, and collaborator. He also is the …
 
Echolalia has a very special place in Barry’s life. It became a topic of fascination and an enthusiasm in his very early work with a group of wonderful young autistic boys. His deep interest resulted in a federally funded dissertation that challenged and overturned misinformed and disrespectful views of echolalia disseminated by Ivar Lovaas, the fa…
 
Barry and Dave have a lively discussion with Yasmine White, music therapist, and Jonathan Chase, autistic professional musician and self advocate. Yasmine discusses her approach to music therapy and the VOICSSⓇ together model, and her new book focusing on helping parents connecting with their children through music. Jonathan talks about his journey…
 
Anlor Davin, an autistic Zen meditation practitioner discusses her journey to finding her authentic self from her upbringing in France, to her immigration, autistic diagnosis and life in the United States. Since she has found her calling, she shares how she now provides the gift of meditation to autistic individuals through online service and weeke…
 
Dr. Amy Laurent, a Development Psychologist and OT, and her autistic colleague, Dr. Jacquelyn Fede, a Developmental Psychologist discuss how their relationship led to the development and evolution of Autism Level Up, a joint venture that provides a variety of services and supports to the autism community nationally and internationally. As a SCERTS …
 
The holidays can be such a fun and spiritual time of year for a lot of us, but there are also challenges, especially if you or a family member is autistic. In this special throwback episode, Kristy Forbes joins us from Australia, and Dave’s wife Kristen spills the tea on their own family’s strategies for enjoying the holidays together. And, hear a …
 
For 25 years, Barry and his colleagues have conducted a unique retreat weekend in a beautiful setting in New England in partnership with Dr. Elaine Meyer of Harvard University, and Barbara Domingue, founder and Executive Director of Community Autism Resources, a parent founded and run family support agency. The retreat welcomes 50-60 parents each y…
 
Barry and Dave welcome Scott Steindorff, a highly accomplished international television and film producer and writer. In their riveting discussion, Scott shares the many challenges he faced in life resulting from his autism and ADHD, especially in the early years. He describes the torment he experienced as he was misunderstood and misdiagnosed by p…
 
Barry and Dave discuss human rights issues with their guests, Jordyn Zimmerman and Tauna Szymanski, from both a personal and policy perspective. Jordyn Zimmerman is a nonspeaking autistic woman who was denied access to an effective AAC system well into her teen years. She experienced misunderstandings, discrimination, and psychological abuse as she…
 
Jody O'Neill is the award-winning Director, playwright, actor, and mother on the autism spectrum. Her play, "What I (don't) know about Autism, has received critical Acclaim and is opening for the second time at the Abbey theater in Dublin and will be streamed online. Jody discusses how to play was designed to educate the public about autism, but al…
 
Shelly Christensen brings a vast amount of experience in helping various faith communities be more welcoming and inclusive. As a professional with deep experience and expertise in faith communities and disabilities, and as a parent of a young man on the autism spectrum, and as a person with a disability herself, she discusses her experiences as a p…
 
Danny Whitty is a 36 year old Autistic self advocate who communicates his complex thoughts and ideas primarily by spelling, and with unreliable speech. Barry and Dave engage in a lively conversation with Danny who receives support from his sister, his communication regulation partner. Topics range from how his life has changed dramatically since he…
 
Dena Gassner is an autistic professional who is helping to create, shape and advance the agenda of autistic self-advocates, and indeed, society in general. As a researcher, author, social worker, university instructor, mother, grandmother and mentor, she brings a lifetime of experience in sharing her wisdom about autistic identity, generational dif…
 
Dr. Paula Kluth shares her decades of deep experience in supporting inclusion and the rights of students with disabilities in educational settings. She discusses the true meaning of inclusion in educational settings, as well as the benefits of “virtual inclusion” and co-teaching, while offering effective strategies for teaching students virtually a…
 
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