What is Theory of Mind? w/ Dr. Laurie Stephens

In this episode, I interview Dr. Laurie Stevens, the Senior Director of Autism Programming at The Help Group, a Licensed Psychologist in Private Practice, and one of my professional mentors. Laurie is well-known as a savvy, creative, and practical therapist, writing fun and effective curriculums that empower the lives of neurodiverse individuals. These days, Laurie is especially focused on the development of the theory of mind and how these skills work together to improve everyday functioning. We also touch upon the use of social autopsies, the importance of social repairs, and the greyscale of social functioning. I’ve had the honor of having so many of these conversations with Laurie over my professional career and I’m so excited to share one with you. It’s my hope that something you hear today will positively impact your life, even if in a small way. 

 

Email for Dr. Laurie - [email protected] 

About Dr. Laurie - ...

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Autism Goes to College with Erik Linthorst

In this episode, I interview Erik Linthorst, producer of acclaimed Autism Goes to College, a documentary that follows 5 autistic students throughout their college journey. We talk about the many options for placement and support in the college setting and how important it is to be able to see what college can look like for our neurodiverse population. Erik also shares that Autism Goes to College has a new podcast and will be launching an online resource center to help autistic adults make college a successful reality. As a bonus, Erik shares his top consideration for parents who are evaluating college placements for their autistic teens.   

To find out more about Autism Goes to College, click here

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Sexual Curiosity and Neurodiversity with Dr. Eileen Crehan and Dr. Jamie Barstein

In this episode, Dr. Jamie Barstein and I welcome Dr. Eileen Crehan from Tufts University. We discuss how to positively support sexual curiosity in our neurodiverse community and inevitably explore factors surrounding pornography and masturbation. I love that we can have a real conversation about sexual development, where we healthily disrupt social and societal norms and empower through good information. I hope that the information shared in this interview helps you navigate the complex waters of sexual development that are just right for you and your family.

 

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The Critical Role of Respect and Person-Centered Planning in ABA Therapy

In this episode, I interview Dr. Hilya Tehrani, a Clinical Psychologist and Founder of Connected Strides, a psychological practice dedicated to the therapy and assessment of individuals with autism, ADHD, anxiety, and trauma. Dr. Hilya and I talk about the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and deconstruct the best and worst applications for ABA in the treatment of individuals on the autism (ASD) and disability spectrum. As two clinical psychologists who have been in this field for a while, we can’t help but explore the importance of person-centered treatment, the role of trust and respect in a therapeutic relationship, paying attention to individual differences, and delivering treatment with intentionality. Having a conversation with Hilya is always been a grounding experience for me. Her expertise and deep care for what she does always shines through. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Hilya.

 To find out more about Dr. Hilya and Connected Strides, click...

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The Importance of Mindfulness & Agency in Transition with Maureen & Josh White from Red Mountain

 

In this episode, I interview Maureen and Josh White, founders of Red Mountain, a premier young adult residential transition program that is grounded in mindfulness, empowerment, and person-centered experiential treatment. Maureen and Josh help me understand the 4 phases of their model, which aims to internalize positive change through practice and application while embracing human messiness. We also explore the importance of experience, noticing, contentment, and the power of disrupting behaviors that don’t serve our best living. I found an instant connection with this power couple and had to stop myself from having more fun with them. If Red Mountain reflects Maureen and Josh’s expertise, thoughtfulness, and compassion, it is a place like no other.

Find out more about Red Mountain Sedona here, Red Mountain Colorado here, and their awesome YouTube channel here

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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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