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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What is CBT and is it Effective for Individuals with Neurodiversities? An Interview with Dr. Nicole Pickering

Hello, Dr. Nicole Pickering

It's wonderful to be surrounded by wonderful colleagues who like to geek out with me. I've known Dr. Nicole Pickering, Director of the CBT Treatment Center, in the Los Angeles area for many years and she's always generous with her time and talent. I've been hearing lots of chatter in my sphere about whether Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment modality for individuals with neurodiversities, so I asked Nicole if she'd come on my YouTube channel to chat about it. Lucky me. She did. 

The nuts and bolts

Let's start with what CBT is. CBT is an evidence-based approach that has been scientifically proven to relieve anxiety-based (and other) disorders. Anxiety-based disorders include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), phobias, tic disorder, and body-focused repetitive disorders (Trichotillomania, skin picking). 

CBT focuses on...

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What is The Glenholme School? An Interview with Lisa Berman

What is The Glenholme School?

It's always great to discover another wonderful placement for my clients. I had the chance to speak with Lisa Berman, Director of Marketing and Community Outreach, at The Glenholme School. The Glenholme School is a therapeutic residential and day program in Washington, Connecticut. Serving 10-21-year-olds on 110 acres of pristine property, The Glenholme School is able to offer a variety of therapeutic and athletic activities, while also providing a setting that grounds, calms, and relaxes.  

Lisa shared that the Glenholme program is built on the following pillars: kindness, respect, responsibility, honesty, and fairness. These pillars guide their program and promote the supportive and nurturing environment that allows students to heal, feel safe, to belong, and to grow. 

Who does best at The Glenholme School?

Students who do well in The Glenholme School program have average to above-average intelligence with learning...

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Squashing Fear and Reclaiming Life for Neurodivergent Individuals | An Interview with Arolyn Burns

Whiteout

What is trauma? In my line of work, I've run across this repeatedly and see the paralysis it delivers to my clients. It seriously breaks my heart. So, with the desire to improve my own skills, I reached out to one of our local experts and a wonderful colleague of mine to talk about trauma.

Arolyn Burns is a Licensed Therapist and the Director of The "A" Treatment Center. She specializes in the treatment of trauma, anxiety, fears, and phobias. Arolyn's bag of therapeutic tricks reminds me of Mary Poppins' carpetbag, unbounded, and without limits. From hypnotherapy to EMDR to using rocks for grounding, Arolyn is a creative and masterful therapist, individualizing treatment to help her clients face their fears. 

Arolyn uses the term "whiteout" to describe what fear feels like when traumatized. When triggered by fear at this level, it's like snowfall is blocking a person's entire vision, the person can't think, and then shuts down. Trauma is an event that...

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CLIMB | An Insider's View of a Residential Program for Visually Impaired and Developmentally Disabled Adults

We are family

CLIMB has been supporting the independent living of adults with visual impairments and developmental disabilities for over 35 years. Located in the quaint towns of Sierra Madre (CA) and Alhambra (CA), CLIMB offers residential living and day programming that empowers choices and promotes independence. In an interview with Alexis, Director of Operations, and Joanne and Janet, two long-term residents of CLIMB, I became more acquainted with this special and unique organization. Fun fact: I discovered that Alexis is the founder's daughter and that Joanne and Janet have known Alexis for the majority of her life. CLIMB continues to be family owned and operated today. 

More than a place to live

CLIMB is organized into two main arms. CLIMB-Inc. is the residential arm, while CLIMB Transition Services is the day program arm. CLIMB offers personalized residential living options, where adults can live with peers in houses or independently in apartments. Individuals can...

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When do I Need a Neuropsychological Assessment? How Can the Results be Used to Change my Life?

Special Ops

I hit the lottery when Dr. Karen Wilson, a Pediatric Clinical Neuropsychologist from West LA Neuropsychology, agreed to spend time with me for this episode. I think I have a thing for Neuropsychologists. Even though I've interviewed another Neuropsychologist on my channel, I'm always drawn to the way Neuropsychologists think, analyze, and evaluate. They expand my thinking and mesmerize me with their skills. They're like the special ops of psychologists (oh wow, I just made psychologists sound so cool...nice move, me!). 

In this episode, Karen helps me split hairs. We talk about how Neuropsychologists are different than Clinical Psychologists and School Psychologists. It comes down to 1) having a doctoral degree and clinical training as a psychologist and then 2) going the extra distance with 2-3 years of laser-focused training in neuropsychology, which (over)simply put, is how the brain develops at different times and what can happen functionally when development is...

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