Uniquely Human: the Podcast expands the conversation on autism and neurodiversity by amplifying the voices of autistic individuals and thought leaders in providing insightful, cutting-edge and practical information about the autistic experience. Hosted by Barry Prizant and Dave Finch.
Temple Grandin on Understanding Different Minds
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53:12Temple Grandin on Understanding Different Minds: Its importance in Education, Life Skills and Eventual Employment for Younger Autistic Individuals One of the many groundbreaking contributions that Dr. Temple Grandin has made in her career is increasing awareness of different learning styles demonstrated by autistic and neurodivergent individuals. Her work has been applied in enhancing employment opportunities and education for older autistic individuals, but less so for younger children. In her new book, Different Kinds of Minds, she reaches out to younger children, their families and educators on this essential topic. In this far-reaching discussion, Barry, Dave and Temple discuss the longer term implications of her work for autistic individuals, and society in general. Learn more and find useful resources on our website
Neurodivergence, Chronic Pain (Fibromyalgia) and Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. Michael Lenz
1:04:17In recent years, there has been increasing interest in a range of medical conditions experienced by individuals diagnosed with autism and other neurodivergent conditions. Autistic and neurodivergent individuals, diagnosed and undiagnosed, may present with complex conditions that cause considerable discomfort and pain, and that have a significant detrimental impact on quality of life. In some cases, concerns about medical conditions may be the “gateway” issues that lead to a diagnosis of autism, in previously undiagnosed individuals. However, many physicians are not trained to explore the complex and at times, puzzling interactions between medical conditions and neurodivergence. Dr. Lenz, with a career of “in the trenches” expertise, discusses these issues with Barry and Dave with a focus on compassionate medical care and life-style changes that best support autistic and neurodivergent people. Learn more about this episode on our website!
Raising Neurodivergent Children of Color: with Jaya Ramesh and Priya Saaral
56:49Jaya Ramesh and Priya Saaral, both neurodivergent professionals and parents of neurodivergent children bring a unique perspective to the challenges and gifts of raising children of color. Based on their new book, Parenting at the Intersections, we discuss the barriers that families of color face over and above those encountered by all families who have children with neurodevelopmental differences, as well as all that can be learned in each family’s journey. Find out more about the episode, and useful resources, here
Autism on Broadway: "How to Dance in Ohio" Makes History
1:06:50How to Dance in Ohio is a heart-filled new musical that explores what it means to belong, the courage it takes to put yourself out in the world, and the universal need to connect. The musical follows the challenges and triumphs faced by a group of seven autistic young adults at a counseling center in Columbus, Ohio. The center arranges a spring formal dance, and encourages them as they encounter love, fear, stress, excitement, and hope along the path to human connection. We speak with Linda J. Walder, Founder and Executive Director of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation that honored the cast and crew with the DJF Foundation Adult Autism award, and with Rebekah Greer Melocik, book author and lyricist, and Nicole D’Angelo, Assistant Music Director and member of the show’s access team. Learn more and find useful resources on our website!
De-pathologizing Series EP 2 – Exploring the "Deep Why" of Control - with Barry and Dave
56:43In his first description of autism, Leo Kanner noted that “insistence on preservation of sameness” was a distinguishing characteristic of autistic individuals. This may be manifest in a number of characteristics including “resistance to change” and the need to maintain routines that have been established in daily activities. Often such patterns may be manifest throughout the lifespan and too often, are described primarily as problematic and as a “symptom” of autism. But what if rather than viewing “control” through the lens of pathology, we consider the “deep why”. That is, from the perspective of the person who is viewed as controlling, what functions might be served by such patterns? Barry and Dave discuss the issue of control from their own personal experiences. Explore more about the episode Find more episodes of De-Pathologizing Series
Anxiety, Phobias, and the Therapeutic Use of Humor - with Dr. Karen Levine
1:03:52Autistic and other neurodivergent people of all ages are vulnerable to many factors, both internal and external, that may lead to anxiety and phobias. Dr. Karen Levine’s publications and clinical innovations have directly addressed these challenges in respectful and insightful ways. We discuss ways to understand such challenges and provide support based on a deeper understanding of the experiences shared by autistic individuals and neurodivergent individuals. Karen discusses her approach focusing on relationships, affective support, and the use of humor in co-regulation . Explore more on the episode's webpage.
De-pathologizing Series EP 1 – The Many Meanings of NO - with Barry and Dave
1:00:23One of the most challenging behavioral patterns observed in neurodivergent individuals with developmental challenges (and, in fact, all children!), is when they verbally or nonverbally communicate “NO”. In fact, the term “Non-compliance” has been the most frequently used phrase when characterizing refusal or protest behavior, and such behavior most often raises the “ire” of an adult partner. In approaches that focusing only on the surface behavior, and do not explore the “deep why”, reducing “non-compliant” behavior is often targeted in behavior plans for children. However, when a child communicates “NO”, the picture may be much more complex than it first appears. In this first episode or our de-pathologizing series, Barry and Dave explore these complexities. Find out more in the episode's website
Autistic Doctors International, with Dr. Mary Doherty.
1:11:08Dr. Mary Doherty founded Autistic Doctors international to unify autistic voices who work in medical and health care to “have a seat at the table” in establishing policies and practices sensitive to the needs of neurodivergent individuals. She believes that the lived experience of autistic professionals is essential to shift medical and healthcare practices to be more effective and neuroaffirming. Barry and Dave discuss these issues with Mary. Find out more on our website
Low-demand Parenting: with Amanda Diekman
1:10:27Amanda Diekman discusses and provides examples of the approach she refers to as “Low Demand Parenting” and presents this approach in contrast to advice often given to parents of autistic and other neurodivergent children. With her lived experience as a mother of three neurodivergent children, and as an autistic person, she challenges many mainstream beliefs about raising children, especially those who are defined as having behavioral patterns perceived as problematic by others. Her work prioritizes building trusting relationships focused on supporting the emotional growth and well-being of children. Find out more about this episode here
Aging and Autism: with Christine Jenkins, Autistic Advocate
1:04:57It is widely recognized, but unfortunately, that most attention is paid to understanding and supporting autistic individuals in their childhood years, but much less so in middle-aged and older individuals. The result is a critical need for understanding of the experience of autism in older and late-diagnosed individuals, both from a research and support need perspective. These issues are discussed with Christine Jenkins, an autistic advocate and professional with expertise and personal experience in this much needed area of focus. Dive deeper into this episode, with useful resources, on our website