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...
Published 09/21/22
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.
Published 09/07/22
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.
Published 08/17/22
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...
Published 08/03/22
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.
Published 07/20/22
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.
Published 07/06/22
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....
Published 06/15/22
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...
Published 06/01/22
In this episode, we explore neurodiversity-affirming social-emotional learning through video games and stories. Our guest, Vanessa Castañeda Gill. Vanessa is autistic and the founder of Social Cipher. Our conversation goes into why game-based learning works, and how we can teach some of the most important social and emotional lessons in our work with autistic clients. You can check out Social Cipher at https://www.socialciphergame.com/ and if you decide you want to purchase it, use coupon...
Published 05/18/22
In this episode we explore the role of therapists in promoting positive sexual identity and reducing the risk of sexual assault for our clients. Our guest, Sarah Selvaggi Hernandez is an autistic occupational therapist and educator working to promote an intentional identity-first approach to autism and OT. Promoting bodily autonomy starts with what we teach our youngest clients and how we treat them in our sessions. This is a must-listen episode for all therapists no matter their setting.
Published 05/04/22
In this episode we explore how a comprehensive literacy framework can totally transform how we approach speech and OT goals around reading and writing. Our guest, Jane Farrall, is a speech pathologist and special educator with extensive training and experience in literacy. This episode covers how SLPs and OTs can support reading comprehension and writing development in the larger frame of literacy.
Published 04/20/22
In this episode we dive into interoception, our ability to understand the messages we are getting from inside our bodies. Our guest, Kelly Mahler, makes the connection between interoception and truly neurodiversity-affirming therapy practices. Kelly Mahler presents internationally on interoception and has authored 12 resources, including The Interoception Curriculum. This episode covers how a deeper understanding of interoception can help us support authentic self-regulation for our autistic...
Published 04/06/22
In this episode, we talk about what it means to cultivate an authentic life together with our autistic clients, from early childhood through adulthood. Our guest, Maisie Soetantyo, is an openly autistic family and inclusivity consultant who founded the Autism Career Pathways. She’s worked with families for 3 decades and believes that nurturing one's autistic authenticity is a critical first foundation to meaningful self-advocacy, career path and living the best life as an autistic person....
Published 03/16/22
In this episode with preschool director Corrie Price, we go into exactly how you can build neurodiverse, inclusive early childhood spaces from the ground up and from the top down. Corrie Price is a life-long advocate for children and families and the director of Evolve Early Learning, an inclusive preschool in Asheville, NC.
Published 03/02/22
In this episode with autistic AAC user Tiffany Joseph, we cover functioning labels, AAC access, how race intersects with disability in the autistic community, aggressive behaviors, and so much more. But the thread that runs throughout the conversation is empowering our clients to participate more authentically in their daily life. Tiffany Joseph, or TJ, is autistic and runs the Instagram and Facebook pages 'Nigh Functioning Autism', where she posts about AAC, being black and autistic,...
Published 02/16/22
In this episode we deeply explore how therapists misunderstand kids who communicate using scripts, how traditional approaches just don’t work to support their language acquisition, and a totally new framework we can all use to support them in a meaningful way. Our guest, Alexandria Zachos, is a speech-language pathologist who has presented at ASHA and all over the world on delayed echolalia and gestalt language processing. She owns a private practice in Illinois called Social Butterfly Speech...
Published 02/02/22
Kat Harhai is a facilitator, educator, and writer, and currently works as the Neurodiversity Collaboration Facilitator at Bridges Learning System. She is multiply disabled and was late diagnosed as autistic as a young adult. Katrina Martin is the founder of Bridges Learning System. Katrina is fully dedicated to moving beyond the deficit-based model of education for autistic students and moving into a model that focuses on strengths and teaches the benefits and values inherent in diverse ways...
Published 01/19/22
We'll be back later this month with a new episode, but for now, check out the free Neurodiversity in the New Year Summit at learnplaythrive.com/summit
Published 01/05/22
Sarah Selvaggi Hernandez is an occupational therapist and educator working to promote an intentional identity-first approach to autism and OT. She’s also a mother to three neurodiverse children. In this episode, we explore Sarah’s experiences as an autistic mother, the types of supports that help her thrive in her daily routines, and her own process of self-advocacy. Then we apply this insight to the clinical work of anyone working with autistic children, children with autistic mothers, and...
Published 12/01/21
Greg Santucci is an occupational therapist and the founder of Power Play Pediatric Therapy. Greg provides workshops and trainings to parents and professionals all over the country on compassionate, collaborative, and neuro-developmentally informed approaches. In this episode we talk about how restraint, seclusion, and behaviorism harm kids, and why they are more prevalent than we’d like to admit. Greg shares how he fights these practices on the ground as a school-based OT and at the policy...
Published 11/17/21
Dr. Alyssa Hillary Zisk is autistic, a part-time AAC user, and a recent graduate from the interdisciplinary neuroscience program at the University of Rhode Island. In this episode, we talk about why and how part-time AAC use can support authentic participation for many autistic people. We also explore Alyssa’s insights on teaching AAC from Alyssa's perspective as an engineer, as a researcher, and as an AAC user.
Published 11/03/21
Rachel Dorsey is an Autistic SLP in private practice, a consultant, and the creator of a new Learn Play Thrive course, Goal Writing for Autistic Students: A Neurodiversity-Affirming Approach. In episode 35, we cover the basics of the neurodiversity paradigm and why and how to write strengths-based goals. Rachel also gives us the inside scoop on her own journey towards neurodiversity-affirming practice.
Published 10/20/21
Rachel Coley is an OT and mom of three kids, one of whom is autistic. She’s also the founder of CanDo Kiddo, where she gives strengths-based strategies for supporting infant development. In this episode Rachel and I talk about how her OT practice has grown and changed to embrace a neurodiversity-affirming, strengths-based approach. We dive into what it means to be strengths-based with very early development, and concrete ways that schools and school-based therapists can better support...
Published 10/06/21
Moyna Talcer is an autistic occupational therapist and researcher who conducted a qualitative study on the sensory experiences of autistic mothers. Her findings have implications for the ways we support not only autistic mothers, but all autistic people, starting in childhood.
Published 09/15/21
Oswin Latimer is the founder and President of Foundations for Divergent Minds (FDM) and former Director of Community Engagement for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). In this episode, Oswin and I talk about the specific executive function strategies we can use to support our autistic clients’ participation in meaningful daily activities.
Published 09/01/21