#60. A Necessary Edit in Our Understanding of Executive Functioning

In this episode, I welcome back Dr. Laura Flores Shaw, Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, to clarify what Executive Functioning truly is. By the end of this interview, my hope is that you have a more complete and wholistic understanding of executive functioning and that this leads to fewer misinterpretations of intentions and more empathy for people’s neurology and lived experiences.

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Parent-Child Sexuality Communication and Autism

In this episode, I welcome back Dr. Eileen Crehan, Assistant Professor at Tufts University. We discuss the big takeaways from a research article (Holmes and Himle, 2014) that evaluates parent-child communication surrounding sexuality with autistic children and adolescents. Eileen points our attention towards the chart in the article which can be helpful in identifying skills associated with sexuality (hint: it's not all that you think).

You can find the article here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24854331/

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The Top Stressors In Education with Jeff Snyder Autism Self-Advocate

first person interviews Nov 12, 2021

In this episode, I speak with Jeff Snyder, Autism Neurodiversity Self-Advocate and Public Speaker. Jeff shares what his top 3 stressors were during his educational career and practical strategies to manage these stressors. He hopes that this information will help bring awareness to the needs of autistic students and how to make education more accessible and comfortable for these students.

You can find out more about Jeff (and his awesome blogs) here

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Defining My Success From Therapy

In this episode, I welcome back David Sharif, Global Autism Advocate and Motivational Speaker. He generously shares with us his experience of the various therapies he received and how they have helped him find success today.


Want to get in touch David? Pick a method...

https://theneurodiversetraveler.wordpress.com/ Instagram: @david_thetraveler Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theincredibletraveler YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCctvl8y8bXaVUrULgSsGiqQ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/davidssharif/_saved/ Email: [email protected] Phone: 310-739-1272

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What is a Special Needs Advocate and When Do You Need One?

interviews professional Oct 22, 2021

In this episode, Kristen Carmi, Special Education Advocate and BCBA, joins me in a conversation about the role of advocates in the lives of individuals on the autism and disability spectrum. We get into when an advocate is helpful, what the difference is between an advocate and an attorney, and what GREAT advocates do. As is usual fare with Kristen, she can't help but share delicious tidbits and gems about the law, the rights of students, the inevitable and human emotions that get triggered when we advocate for people we deeply love, and one question that can empower every parent in an IEP (at the end).

If you want to find out more about Kristen Carmi, click here

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Promoting Inclusive Living for Disabled Adults with Julia Moluf from Best Buddies

In this episode, I interview Julia Moluf, Residential Manager at Best Buddies. I get an update on Best Buddies and what this infamous organization is up to these days. We do a deep dive into the Best Buddies Living Program and I learn about their living model and how it aims to promote the independence of disabled adults while keeping true to inclusion. Julia and I have a fun conversation about necessary mindsets to have when working in our community and discuss the importance of presuming competence and putting disabled adults front and center in their lives…which is exactly where they need to be.

To find out more about the Best Buddies Living Program, click here

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Sex & Relationship Series: Making Sex Education Meaningful for Neurodivergent Individuals

Let's talk about sex

Um, what did you say? Yes, you read this correctly. Talking about sex can be such a taboo and touchy (pun intended) topic. Dr. Jamie Barstein, a psychologist who runs the "Let's Talk about Sex: Exploring Intimate and Healthy Relationships for Young Adults on the Spectrum" class with AdvanceLA, joins me in this episode. We talk about how sex education for young adults with learning differences, autism, and neurodivergence has gone and what's missing to make it relevant and meaningful today. Jamie and I had so much fun that we decided to make a Sex & Relationship series. We tackling dating next, so stay tuned. 


To find out more about Dr. Barstein's young adult class with AdvanceLA, click here

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Communication Challenges, Presuming Competence, and Supported Decision Making with Darlene Hanson

interviews professionals Mar 19, 2021

Everyone communicates, we just have to listen

In this episode, I interview Darlene Hanson, a seasoned speech and language therapist who has helped limited communicators find and use their voice for decades. Darlene helps us understand that everyone has something to say and we can understand them if we listen. This interview is jam-packed with mindsets that are critical for any ally or professional who supports neurodivergent or disabled individuals. From presuming competence, to the difference between unreliable vs. limited speech, to considering supported decision making as a replacement for conservatorship, Darlene's thoughts and words challenge current belief systems and are a call to action to change how we support individuals with communication challenges. Darlene is a beacon for this community, helping individuals who are often unseen and unheard find their voice and place in this world. Spending time with Darlene is always a joy and I always walk away with...

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Transition Assessments, Key Employment Skills, and Informed Choice with Bruce Bloom

It's about the apple, not the apple slices

In this video, I interview Bruce Bloom, a Vocational Expert, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Certified Autism Specialist, and CEO of Bloom Consulting. Bruce is an incredible resource and a light in the disability community, proudly placing over 1500 disabled and neurodivergent individuals in competitive employment over the past 10 years. Bruce's passion for his work and expertise is evident. His knowledge of the vocational space, especially as it intersects with disabilities, is sought after across the nation. School districts all over the nation hire him to conduct transition assessments. He's a legend. Bruce was instrumental in informing and shaping my approach to transition assessments and continues to offer his generosity of time and talent today. For this, I am truly and deeply grateful. Watch the full interview to understand one of Bruce's mantras, "It's about the apple, not the apple slices." 


Check out Bruce and all...

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What is the College to Career Program? An Interview with Kelly Privitt

interviews programs youtube Jul 15, 2020

Yeah, this is gonna work

Well, this YouTube experiment is turning out to be a total win. I'm so grateful that the colleagues in my life are equally as (or maybe even more) adventurous as me. Enter Kelly Privitt, Director of AbilityFirst's College to Career (C2C) program, who graciously agreed to do one of these interviews. She knocks it out of the park by talking about empowering students with choice and allowing her students the dignity of risk. She gets personal, sharing her own learning profile and how her daughter, who allowed her mother to disclose that she has a disability on YouTube, is a total bada$$ at her job and shattering distribution records in corporate America. 

My intention with these YouTube videos has always been to provide high-quality information for free to the disabled community. I wanted everyone to have access to the amazing professionals and programs that I get to work with on a regular basis. It turns out that I'm also benefitting personally and...

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Let's do this!