Making the World Accessible with Nadia Hamilton from magnusmode

In this episode, I interview Nadia Hamilton, Founder of MagnusMode, a company dedicated to making the world accessible to all. We discuss MagnusMode’s flagship product, Magnus Cards, which is an app that has visual and interactive card decks of skills and routines across 12 categories of living. While MagnusMode was initially designed for the autistic community, Nadia discusses other applications that fulfill her mission to make the world a more accessible place. For Nadia, creating MagnusMode has become more than just helping her brother, she’s now a mission to shift the attitudes and perceptions of the disabled and to remove the barriers that affect an individual’s ability to thrive in today’s world…and to drive home her seriousness of removing barriers and increasing accessibility…MagnusCards is free for users. Check out my interview with Nadia. She’s an inspiration.

 

To find out more about magnusmode and magnuscards, click ...

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Redefining ABA with Nicole Ballinghoff

In this episode, I interview Nicole Balinghoff, BCBA and Regional Director of Kyo, an ABA agency that is trying to redefine the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis. Nicole and I talk about what ABA is, what it looks like, and how it works in real-time. We explore why ABA has gotten a bad rap and how Kyo is disrupting traditional ABA practice by focusing on client and family strengths and using relationships as the primary driver in client-centered treatment. We end the interview with Nicole’s favorite behavioral strategy and the one skill she loves to empower in others.

 

If you are interested in finding out more about Kyo, click here

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The AWAKE Project, Activism, and Gender Differences in Autism with Dr. Dana Waters

An Awakening

In this episode, I interview Dr. Dana Waters, professor at Antioch University, founder of The AWAKE project, and down-right rad activist for Autistics everywhere. She helps us understand the gender differences between Autistic men and women and how these differences have led to an under-identification of Autistic women. Dana’s passion, expertise, and lived experience weave their way through our conversation on cloaking, masking, the insanely effective strategy of externalizing executive functioning tasks, and why being a self-explorer has major payoffs. Anyone who spends any amount of time with Dana quickly gets her quick ability to make anyone feel seen, heard, and understood. In one word, she’s epic. I hope you enjoy my interview with Dana as much as I loved spending time with her.

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Sex & Relationships Series: Dating for Neurodivergent Adults with Dr. Jamie Barstein

Dating when Neurodivergent

In this episode, Dr. Jamie Barstein and I talk about Dating in our ongoing Sex and Relationship series. We discuss dating myths surrounding neurodivergent and autistic individuals, barriers to dating for this population, and tangible ways to improve relationship skills. Ultimately, we hope that our conversation spurs some ideas and brings hope to those who deeply want connections with others. Jamie and I always have such a blast geeking out together. We're definitely continuing our series...hmmm...what will we do next?  

To find out more about Dr. Barstein, check out AdvanceLA

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Neurodiverse Couples Coaching, Neutral Curiosity, and Perspective-taking with Grace Myhill

What's good for everyone is not always good for neurodivergent individuals

In this episode, I interview Grace Myhill a Relationship Coach, educator, group leader, and the Director of Asperger/Autism Network's (AANE) Peter M. Friedman Neurodiverse Couples Institute. Grace specializes in supporting and empowering neurodiverse couples and she shares how her approach to couples counseling is different from traditional couples’ therapy. We debunk myths and Grace shares practical tools and strategies to improve relationship skills. We also explore the fundamental assumption that people have good intentions and how important neutral curiosity and perspective-taking are in any relationship. Grace has trained couples therapists from all over the world to empower and support neurodiverse couples. She's a much-needed beacon in our Autistic community, helping couples find rewarding connections and intimacy.

Thanks to Grace for a lovely conversation and for her kind and nurturing...

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The College Internship Program

Trampolines vs. Safety Nets 

In this episode, I interview Crystal Hayes from the College Internship Program or CIP. CIP is a comprehensive residential transition program that empowers young adults with learning differences, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and ADHD to succeed in college, employment, and independent living. Crystal lovingly refers to CIP as a trampoline vs. a safety net, where they help young adults bounce back from inevitable bumps and mistakes along the path to achieving one’s independence. Crystal and I talk about what students are a good fit for CIP, how students in California can pay for CIP, and C-Step, CIP’s vocational and career-readiness program. With 2 campuses in California, one in Massachusetts, one in Florida, and one in Indiana, there are some pretty cool options for neurodivergent young adults to find their groove.   


To find out more about The College Internship Program, click here

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Mansfield Hall: A Super Dorm that Supports the Transition of Autistic Students from College to Adulthood

Longer runways and soft landings

In this episode, I interview Jake Weld from Mansfield Hall, a residential program that supports the successful transition of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) from high school to college to independent adult living. While Jake and I cover the fundamentals of Mansfield Hall’s program, our conversation about healthy interdependence, the critical skill of self-awareness, providing longer runways and soft landings, speeding up feedback loops, and finding your tribe are the real gems of this interview. Jake has an amazing knack for summarizing concepts in an understandable way. Every time I connect with Jake, I have my own aha moments and this time was no different. Apart from his clear and present expertise at supporting the transition of adolescents to adulthood, he’s just a super fun and personable guy…just the type you’d want to have a D&D campaign with.

To find out more about Mansfield Hall, click here. ...

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Campus Connections - Transitioning Students with Autism and Disabilities from College to Meaningful Careers

In this episode, I interview Dr. James Williams, Chief Operating Officer and National Pre-ETS Director at Bloom Consulting. James is an experienced certified Rehabilitation Counselor who holds an advanced certification as an Autism Specialist and special education teacher. He is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern College-Iowa. With over 15 years of experience, James is passionate about providing transitional and vocational services to individuals with autism and other disabilities. We specifically talk about Campus Connections, a research-based program that supports students with disabilities through college with the final aim of connecting them to post-graduation job placement referrals and leads. James calls Campus Connections a start-to-closure program, placing focus on the main goal of the program - to find and land a meaningful career. James brings tons of passion and excitement to the vocational rehabilitation field and brings hope to adults who have struggled...

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What is a College Consultant? When Might One be Helpful? | An Interview with Dr. Eric Endlich from Top College Consultants

interview professional Feb 08, 2021

It's not just about college admissions

In my interview with Dr. Eric Endlich from Top College Consultants, I learn that a College Consultant is not just about someone that helps you get into college. Rather, they offer a formal process to fully understand a student. Combine this understanding with the expertise of a College Consultant, and a plan is formed to adroitly usher a teen into their next phase of young adulthood, whether this means immediately going to college after high school or not. 

Here are just a few things that Eric takes into account:

  • Who is the student? What are their goals/hopes/dreams? What is their learning profile? What accommodations and supports (if any) were provided in high school? What are the student's grades and testing scores? What do we know about the student's neurological and emotional profile?
  • What kind of school does the student want to attend? What kind of college experience do they want? Would the student feel more comfortable at a...
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How Does Reading Develop? Can Reading Problems be Treated? | An Interview with Anne Perry from Lindamood-Bell

Geeky magpie

In this week's interview, I had the privilege of interviewing Anne Perry, Center Director of Lindamood-Bell's (LMB) Pasadena learning center. A self-proclaimed lifelong educator and geeky magpie, Anne sees her role as making complicated things simple. She fulfills her promise as she spends time helping me better understand how reading develops, which I learned, is a complicated process. 

How does reading develop?

It turns out that our reading skills start with hearing sounds in utero. These sounds, which are further explored through singing, talking, and playing with infants, set the foundation for our overall language acquisition. Sounds are the first component of reading. 

Enter school. Now, sounds are paired with symbols (letters) and an old part of the brain that was once used primarily for survival is tasked with a new job...to read. Symbol imagery (holding an image in your mind) is paired with sounds with added rules (phonemic awareness)....

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