In this episode, Reyma McCoy Hyten helps us explore the root causes of oppression for Autistic people, and sit with the discomfort of examining our role in it. Reyma McCoy Hyten is Autistic and was the first Black woman to ever serve as the US Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner for the Administration on Disabilities. After two decades as a helping professional, Reyma now focuses her work on “how systems create marginalization in the first place.”
In this episode, our guest, Dr. Devon Price, helps us explore the concepts of masking and authenticity and how we, as professionals supporting Autistic people, can push back against these pressures. We also explore some of the more foundational questions around being Autistic and neurodiversity. Dr. Devon Price is a social psychologist, professor, author, and proudly Autistic person. He has written 'Unmasking Autism' and 'Laziness Doesn't Exist'.
This conversation starts with books, then goes into more books, takes a turn into self-advocacy, and then finishes with a powerful message for therapists working with Autistic kids. And if you're wondering, we'll get to the narwhals too. Our guest, Lei Wiley-Mydske, is an Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent and disabled writer, artist, advocate, activist, and parent. Lei runs so many cool projects – including a neurodiversity library inside of a tattoo shop – that we discuss in this episode.
Often as OTs and SLPs we skip right to teaching our Autistic clients new skills. But what about their feelings of felt safety while they are with us? What work do we need to do so that we can show up calm and connected and ready to support our Autistic kids to feel truly safe enough to learn? Psychologist and school psychologist Dr. Gillian Boudreau talks us through this essential and often over-looked first -step to supporting our Autistic clients.
Autistic PDAers need different kinds of supports to feel safe. And before we can provide those, we have to get curious and learn about their needs. Casey Ehrlich from At Peace Parents helps us learn how to foster true safety for our PDA clients. Content warning: this episode includes a detailed description of Autistic burnout for a young child.
Far too often research centers outcomes that actually harm Autistic people. Today’s guest, Dr. T.C. Waisman, helps us move toward research that centers Autistic well-being as defined by Autistics.
In this episode, we field listener questions to Alex Zachos of Meaningful Speech to learn how we can more authentically and effectively support kids who learn language through delayed echolalia. This episode is a follow-up to Episode 40 on supporting Gestalt Language Processors.
Today’s guests, Meghan Ashburn from Not an Autism Mom, and Jules Edwards from Autistic, Typing, will be our guides in examining how we as professionals can create the world Autistic kids and their families deserve. Together we’ll dig through everything that is happening now for families of Autistic kids including going through the diagnostic process, finding a community of families for support, and looking for the right professionals to support Autistic kids in an affirming way. Check out...
This episode is about how we as therapists build something different to support our autistic clients' social and emotional development, with our ethics and values guiding us and our autistic students as our co-creators. Our guests are SLP Carolyn Long of Social Optics and her student-turned-colleague, Nick.
We are gearing up for our OT Neurodiversity Continuing Education Summit and it's going to be transformative. Learn more about it here or visit learnplaythrive.com/summit
Dr. Winnie Dunn totally changed how we think about sensory processing for Autistic people. In this episode, we explore a person-centered, strengths-based way to consider our Autistic clients’ sensory needs in their daily lives. We also get Dr. Dunn’s advice on how to use her tool – The Sensory Profile II – in a way that will make your work easier and more impactful. This is a re-release of episode 16 of the podcast.
There’s a tool that is missing from most of our therapy bags: it’s lowering the demands for our Autistic clients. This tool is irreplaceable for helping Autistic people recover from the burnout cycle, and even for preventing burnout all together. Amanda Diekman (“Low Demand Amanda”) helps us figure out how to do just that.
How does the historical and present-day trauma of Native Autistic kids impact their experience of our therapy? And how does the linear worldview of non-Native therapists create a gap between us and our Native clients? In this episode, Jules Edwards, who is Anishinaabe and Autistic, talks about culturally responsive therapy for supporting Native Autistic kids.
In this episode, Dr. Kristy Coxon and Dr. Caroline Mills look at how we can support Autistic people’s meaningful participation in daily life as they enter older adulthood. And then they help us apply these lessons to supporting Autistic people of any age, in any setting.
The medical model is pervasive, and it asks us to silo the health needs of our Autistic clients. But our Autistic clients are full people, and their needs are intertwined. In this episode, Autistic primary care physician Mel Houser helps us reimagine healthcare and other systems that aren't working for the Autistic community, breaking down access barriers and implementing universal design for all neurotypes.
In this three part episode, we hear from parents of multiply disabled kids on their experiences of inclusion in the schools, collaborating with therapists, and AAC. This episode takes us back in time into the history of the disability rights movement in the US and then to the present day, with practical advice that should guide how we support multiply disabled Autistic clients. Our guests include Taina Moretti, whose son has Angelman Syndrome; Evie Jesperson, whose daughter is Autistic and...
Here’s the truth: if we aren’t engaging in a process to learn about our clients’ cultures and our own biases, we are likely causing harm. In this episode, intersex and transgendered SLP AC Goldberg helps us explore how culturally responsive care can be the difference between causing micro-traumas for our clients or creating meaningful, positive relationships. We talk about gender, race, class and more, bringing it down to the make-or-break moments in our sessions that we may not even notice...
Ready to dive deeper into neurodiversity-affirming approaches to feeding? Our guest Laura Hellfeld, Public Health Nurse, explores the relationship between PDA and feeding, dives into eating disorders, and shares her personal experience with PICA. This episode will take you deeper into dismantling ableist approaches to supporting picky eaters of all ages.
In this episode, neurodivergent RD Naureen Hunani helps us unpack the harm of systematic desensitization for picky eating in autistic kids. Then she lays out a framework for what we can do to support picky eaters in a more affirming way. This episode will inspire you to reassess everything you thought you knew about best practices in feeding therapy.
Have questions on teaching AAC to your autistic clients? Kate McLaughlin, M.S., CCC-SLP has answers! In this episode we field listener questions to Kate and get her insight on the ins and outs of teaching AAC without prompting, where to start for beginners, getting parent buy-in, working with kids who hit the same button repeatedly, choosing the right software and grid size, paying for devices, and more. Kate brings us back time and time again to the key values of autonomy and authenticity in...
In this episode, Autistic psychology practitioner Matt Lowry helps us dive into what a strengths-based diagnostics process looks like for autism, and the incredible difference this can make. We also explore what parents and other professionals should look for to find a neurodiversity-affirming evaluator when making a referral. And Matt reads us a story that he wrote called The Legend of Autistica, which is his poignant, hilarious, and insightful origin story of the Autistic people.
Lydia X. Z. Brown is an autistic attorney and disability justice advocate who specifically focuses on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people. Join us as we explore how racism impacts the lives of Brown, Black and Indigenous Autistic people, and what steps therapists should take to move towards an anti-racist practice. This is a replay of episode 3 and we think you just can't hear it enough times.
This episode is the story of how an autistic physicist, an autistic occupational therapist, and a neurotypical speech language pathologist came together to try and break down the barriers to truly authentic inclusion for autistic kids in Durham, North Carolina. Our guests, Sam Brandsen, Janelle Fenwick, and Jenna Meehan are a neurodiverse group of therapists, researchers, and parents who set out to identify the barriers to inclusion for autistic kids and then to do the work to dismantle them....
In this episode we explore how our ideas about disability – both as a society and as individual therapists - can deeply impact a parent’s relationship with their child and the child’s own view of themselves. Our guest, Chelsea Wallaert, is an occupational therapist and PhD student in disability studies who is deeply passionate about helping parents have more equitable and positive experiences with their disabled kids, especially during early childhood. Before we as therapists can show up...