#63. Social Skills Groups Should Be a Place for Belonging, NOT Fixing

In this episode, I interview Portia James, Founder of Behavior Genius. She helps us understand what social skills groups are and we talk about the necessity of creating social spaces where neurodivergent individuals are accepted and comfortable. We also chat about how she’s disrupting the behavior scene with thoughtfulness, creativity, relationship, and by being unconventional. We end our interview with the need to allow our clients to be who they are and not who they should or could be, that our clients don’t need to be fixed, but seen and heard. If you’re wondering what a social skills group is and what a good one looks like, click below to listen . 

To find out more about Portia James and Behavior Genius, click here.  

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#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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#59. What is Self-Determination? Is it Right for Me? What is an Independent Facilitator?

In this episode, I interview Sonni Charness, Founder of The Guidelight Group, about the Self-Determination Program that is being offered to regional center clients in the state of California. By the end of this interview, I hope that you have a better understanding of what the Self-Determination Program is, how to get it, who’s it’s good for, and how Independent Facilitators can be invaluable in this process.

If you are interested in getting in touch with Sonni or to find out more about The Guidelight Group, click here.




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#58. No Perfect Parenting, Destigmatizing Mental Health, and Finding Meaning in the Journey

In this episode, I interview Dani Ryckman, a Head of School of a Private school, but more importantly, a mother to a brave and wonderful kiddo with OCD and anxiety. The intention of our interview is to create an affirming, compassionate, and safe space to talk about mental health, the imperfections of parenting, and to remove the shame and guilt that often follows these topics. Our hope is to destigmatize, humanize, and empower you to stay self-aware, curious, and hopeful as a parent who faces the additional challenges that neurodiversity can bring to parenting. A big thank you to Dani and her daughter for sharing their personal stories, modeling vulnerability, and being empowered voices in this space. Much love!

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#57. Understanding Stress Responses (Fight/Flight/Freeze/Fib/Fawn) in Learning

In this episode, I welcome back Melody Valenzuela, my favorite Educational Therapist! We've been chatting a lot (offline) about stress responses in learning and thought it would be a great podcast episode. Many know the fight/flight/freeze responses, but did you know about fib and fawn? We see fibbing often as a stress response/protective mechanism and want to bring more awareness to this. By understanding when a stress response is triggered, we can do better with creating safe, empowered, and collaborative learning environments for our neurodivergent clients.

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Understanding the Role of Bureaucracy to Effectively Navigate Services (IEPs, IPPs, SSI, etc)

In this episode, I interview Christine L. Ferriter, non-attorney advocate, about the need to understand bureaucracy or how to play in organized systems (IEPs, IPPs) in order to acquire/navigate/coordinate necessary services. Christine has a lovely, friendly, and fun way to conceptualize the bureaucratic systems that most disabled individuals must navigate, offering practical tips/advice for you to feel successful, empowered, and sane!

Interested in reaching out to Christine? Email her at [email protected]

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Apraxia, Rethinking Intentionality, and Shifting Current Paradigms to Presuming Competence

In this episode, I have an important conversation with Dr. Dana Johnson, Founder of Interplay Therapy Center and Invictus Academy Tampa Bay, a non-profit school dedicated to appropriately educating students with motor challenges. Dana is trained in childhood and adolescent mental health and is a licensed Occupational Therapist in Florida. She helps us understand what apraxia (also known as dyspraxia) is and how taxing purposeful motor skills are for anyone who has sensory-motor challenges. Dana strongly encourages us to make a paradigm shift and shares how life-changing presuming competence is for all parties involved.

Interplay Therapy Center and Invictus Academy

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Let's Talk LD, Creating Contexts for Discovery, and Affirming Disability Identity

In this episode, I have an energized conversation with the vibrant KD Harris. KD is the founder and Executive Director of Let's Talk LD, a social impact non-profit corporation that builds coalitions, promotes acceptance, engages collaboration, and helps others value learning, social communication, and attentional differences. We talk about disability identity development, creating contexts for discovery, reimagining failure, promoting acceptance through affirmation, and the squashing effect of shame and isolation. KD is pure joy and a beacon in this space. I can't get enough of her...


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Masking, Burn Out, and the Need to Consider Sensory-Motor Processing

In this episode, I have an important conversation with Dr. Deborah Budding, a gifted and passionate neuropsychologist who specializes in the empowered support of neurodivergent individuals. We discuss what masking is and the toll it takes on everyday functioning. We also explore the critical importance of considering the sensory-motor system when understanding neurodivergent individuals and how we can best support them. I always enjoy my conversation with Deb and this one is no different!  


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Pre-Employment Tips for Autistic Adults with David Sharif, Global Autism Advocate

In this episode, I welcome back David Sharif, Global Autism Advocate and Motivational Speaker, to share his top tips on pre-employment preparation. David brings his unique first-person perspective as an autistic adult and how he prepared himself for the jobs that he has today.


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