Inclusive learning spaces for neurodivergent teens: Talking with Passages Centre founder Kristina House

Kristina House

I had such an inspiring conversation with Kristina House, who’s co-founded Passages, an experimental hybrid learning space for neurodivergent students and other students, in Toronto!

Listen to the podcast on the audio link below. Also available on Spotify, Stitcher or iTunes.

Read the transcript below audio link.

 

Transcript, by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliantpodcast_K_House

Bio
Kristina House has been as an active member of the Toronto homeschool community for more than a decade, including work through the Ontario Federation of Teaching Parents and as a co-founder of the Toronto Homeschool Symposium. She worked as an American Sign Language in English Interpreter for over 15 years and is now the executive director of Passages, a learning space founded in 2020. Passages offers in-person programming for kids between the ages of 11–18, learning at a pace that’s right for them.

Link
Passages Centre

Talking about Covid, monkeypox, health disinfo & “the 2022 effect” with virologist Alex Greninger

Portrait photo of a white man with shhort broanhair in a blue dress shirt, smiling
Alex Greninger

This is pt 1 of 2 special podcasts about monkeypox, Covid-19 and science communication.

I had an amazing conversation with University of Washington virologist Dr Alex Greninger, whose team innovated one of the earliest Covid tests. We talked about how they developed the test; public health policy; the current monkeypox crisis; other viruses & “the 2022 effect”; and the virological and sociological implications of the pandemic since 2020.

Listen to the podcast on the audio link below. Also available on Spotify, Stitcher or iTunes.

 

Bio
Dr Greninger is the Larry Corey Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Assistant Director of the clinical virology laboratories at the University of Washington Medical Center, and a board-certified clinical pathologist. He earned an MS in Biological Sciences/Immunology from Stanford, a Master’s in Epidemiology from Cambridge, an MD/PhD from University of California San Francisco, and completed his laboratory medicine residency at the University of Washington.

Links
Info on the Monkeypox health crisis, from GMHC
News: Innovator of the Year awarded to directors of University of Washington virology lab 

Is there an Autism Industrial Complex? Interview with Professor Alicia Broderick

front cover of a book. Dark blue cover with words "THE AUTISM INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: HOW BRANDING, MARKETING & CAPITAL INVESTMENT TURNED AUTISM INTO BIG BUSINESS  My guest this episode is Alicia Broderick, author of the new book The Autism Industrial Complex:  How Branding, Marketing, and Capital Investment Turned Autism Into Big Business. Her book traces the cultural, political, and economic history of autism. We talk about the history of autism services, how industry greed often gets in the way of useful approaches that can help families and some advice for families of newly diagnosed kids on how to find the best approaches and sift through all the hype.

Listen to the podcast by pressing Play on the audio file below. Also available on Spotify, Stitcher or iTunes.
Read the transcript at the link below the audio file
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Transcript by Julie-Ann Lee: Podcast_Transcript_0722_Broderick_Borden

Bio
Alicia Broderick is a Professor of Education at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Links mentioned in the podcast

The Autism Industrial Complex:  How Branding, Marketing, and Capital Investment Turned Autism Into Big Business, by Alicia Broderick

Screams, Slaps and Love (Lovaas interviewed in Life Magazine).

Affirming resources for families

Start Here: A Guide for Parents of Autistic Kids, by the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (book & e-book)

Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism (website)

Uniquely Human, by Barry Prizant (book)

Neurotribes, by Steve Silberman (book

Neurodiversity Libraries, activism & community-building: Interview with Lei Wiley Mydske

Lei Wiley Mydske

In this episode I speak with the amazing
Lei Wiley Mydske, founder of the neurodiversity library movement and creator of the Neurodivergent Narwals. We talk about neurodiversity libraries (including how to start one!), community-building, disability justice, activism, hope and more.

Listen to the podcast at the link below. Also available on Spotify, Stitcher or iTunes.

Read the transcript below the audio link.

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Transcript, by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Lei_Wiley_Mydske_Noncompliant

Bio
Lei is a writer and artist, creator of the Neurodivergent Narwhals, co-director of neurodiversitylibrary.org, and founder of the neurodiversity library movement. They are the Community Outreach Coordinator at the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network and a contributor to the group’s anthology “Sincerely, Your Autistic Child”. Lei has presented at a range of conferences and gatherings on autistic advocacy and neurodiversity libraries in the community. Lei is the co-owner of Stanwood Tattoo Company in Stanwood Washington, which also hosts a neurodiversity library.

Technical note
There were a couple tech glitches in this episode, apologies!

Podcast update
Noncompliant is mostly on hiatus until 2023.

“The most effective way to stop it is public pressure”: Talking about Spectrum10K with Irish autistic activist Ryan Hendry

Ryan Hendry

The Noncompliant podcast came out of hiatus this week to talk with autistic advocate Ryan Hendry about Spectrum10K, a currently-proposed project by UK business interests to collect DNA data on autistic children and adults for a database to sell to companies for commercial ventures. Ryan and I discussed the ethical implications of the project and others like it. We also talked about activism being welcoming to new members of the community.

Listen to the podcast via the audio file below, or on Spotify, Stitcher or iTunes here.

Read the transcript at the link below the audio file.
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Transcript by Julie-Ann Lee: Ryan Hendry Transcript_Noncompliant Podcast

Bio
Ryan is a 27 year old Autistic and ADHD advocate from Carrick fergus, Northern Ireland. Whilst Ryan’s advocacy covers a wide range of topics relating to Autism and ADHD, he is particularly focused upon the issues that Autistic People face when finding employment, as well as issues that particularly affect young people between the ages of 16-21.

Reference
Liam O’Dell’s coverage of the Spectrum 10K papers

“There are a lot of areas autism researchers have viewed as deficits that can actually confer advantages”: Talking with MIT researchers Anila D’Mello and Liron Rozenkrantz

I had an amazing conversation with Drs Anila D’Mello and Liron Rozenkrantz from MIT about their research review and other work about autism, rationality and cognition!

Listen to the episode by clicking the audio file below or on Spotify, Stitcher or iTunes here.

 Read the transcript below the audio file.
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Transcript by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_Podcast_DMello_Rozenkrantz

Bios

February 3, 2020 — McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. Photo by Caitlin Cunningham Photography.

Anila D’Mello is a cognitive neuroscientist interested in social cognition and language. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she uses neuro imaging to examine how the brain learns from previous experiences to inform future behavior. She also uses personalized study designs to promote strengths-based approaches to studying social cognition and language in autism.

Liron Rozenkrantz

Liron Rozenkrantz is a neuroscientist interested in the role of beliefs and expectations on cognition and well-being. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Simons Center for the Social Brain and conducts her research at the MIT Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department. Liron has been studying perception and cognition in children and adults with autism for the past 7 years. Her current line of research looks at “enhanced rationality” in autism and how autistic individuals seem to be less susceptible to cognitive biases.

Link
Rozenkrantz, D’Mello & Gabrieli: Enhanced Rationality in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Trends in Cognitive Science. July 2021.

Note
The Noncompliant podcast is taking a break from new episodes. To access previous episodes and other content, as well as updates on the podcast and the book, please visit this website.

“If you look at how much has changed in the last 5 years, we’ve definitely made progress”: A conversation with autistic lawyer Haley Moss

Haley Moss

I had such a great conversation with autistic lawyer Haley Moss about her book Great Minds Think Differently.

In this episode, we discuss neurodiversity in law and the workplace, autistic hyperfocus and Haley’s upcoming book, The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook (launching November 2021 & available by preorder)!

Listen to the episode at the audio link below or on Spotify,  Stitcher or iTunes here.

Read the transcript below the audio link.
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Transcript by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcript_Haley_Moss_NC_Podcast_0821
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Bio
Haley Moss is an openly autistic lawyer practicing in Florida. She was appointed to the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors and the Florida Bar Journal Editorial Board. In addition to being a lawyer, Haley is a neurodiversity advocate and author. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, Fast Company, and other media. She is the author of Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals and an upcoming book, The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook.

Links
Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals
The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook
Note: The Florida Bar Foundation’s “Developmental Disabilities & the Criminal Justice System,” referenced in the podcast, is not currently online: please contact the podcast if you want a pdf.)

On conflicts of interest in autism research: Interview with Kristen Bottema-Beutel and Micheal Sandbank

In this episode, I talk with Professors Kristen Bottema-Beutel and Micheal Sandbank, who have done a systematic review and meta-analysis of 151 group design studies of interventions for young autistic children. For this work, Dr. Sandbank was awarded the Young Investigator Award in 2021 from the International Society of Autism Research. Drs Bottema-Beutel and Sandbank have also done further studies into conflicts of interest (COIs) in autism research. Among their findings are that COIs are prevalent in several areas of autism research. They also found that ABA researchers, who frequently had conflicts of interest, reported these conflicts as rarely as 2 percent of the time.

We discuss what conflicts of interest are, the teams’ findings and some of the implications for autism research going forward.

Listen to the audio at the link below or on Stitcher or iTunes here.
Read the transcript, below audio file.

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Transcribed by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_Bottema-Beutel and Sandbank

Bios

Photographed for Boston College by Caitlin Cunningham

Kristen Bottema-Beutel is an Associate Professor in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Her research focuses on social and language development, and social interaction dynamics in autistic children and youth. She is interested in pairing qualitative and quantitative methods to better characterize autistic communication and sociality, and in developing community-based strategies to support meaningful engagement of autistic students. More recently, she has explored metascience topics such as researcher ethics and research quality in intervention research for autistic children. Dr. Bottema-Beutel is the director of the autism specialization at LSEHD, a program that prepares future special educators to support autistic students.

Micheal Sandbank is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin. She researches social communication and language interventions for young children with disabilities. Dr. Sandbank is the lead researcher on Project AIM , a scoping systematic review and meta-analysis of group design studies of interventions for young children on the autism spectrum. She was awarded the Young Investigator Award in 2021 for this work, from the International Society of Autism Research.

Links

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Sandbank, et al. Research Review: Conflicts of Interest (COIs) in autism early intervention research – a meta‐analysis of COI influences on intervention effects

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Bottema-Beutel, et al. Adverse event reporting in intervention research for young autistic children.

Journal of American Medical Association-Pediatrics. Sandbank, et al. IBI Intervention Recommendations for Children With Autism in Light of a Changing Evidence Base

“Co-Regulation is Key”: A Conversation with Occupational Therapist Greg Santucci

In this episode, I talk with Occupational Therapist Greg Santucci about the problems with ABA from his perspective as a practitioner, as well as new and better approaches in schools and the challenges of the post-pandemic period in education. An interesting and inspiring conversation!

Listen to the podcast at the audio link below or on Stitcher or iTunes here.

Read the transcripts, attached below the audio link.
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Transcribed by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_Santucci

Bio
Greg Santucci
is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and the Founding Director of Power Play Pediatric Therapy. He has been an OT for over 20 years, and currently is a Supervisor of Occupational Therapy at Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey. Greg is the creator of the Model of Child Engagement and has been lecturing nationally for over a decade on topics related to sensory processing, child development, behavior and best practices in the public schools. He has dedicated his career to promoting neurodevelopmentally-informed, relationship-based interventions to help parents and teachers support children of all abilities and learning styles.

Links
Learn more about Greg’s work at https://gregsantucci.com/
Greg’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gregsantucciOT

The role of private equity and lobbying in ABA funding: Talking with investigative journalist John Summers

A portrait photo of a white male with short brown hair, blue shirt and brown coat
John Summers

John Summers’ recent expose in The Nation looks at the relationship between private equity companies and the autism service Applied Behaviour Analytics (or ABA) in Massachusetts, where he lives.

In this episode, John and I talk about the business of ABA and the problematic industries built around autism. His analysis is incredibly key to understanding this industry. Don’t miss it!

Listen to the episode at the audio link below or on Stitcher or  iTunes here.

Read the transcript below the audio file.

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Transcript by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_John_Summers

Biography: John Summers is Founder and President of Lingua Franca Media, Inc. He has a Ph.D. in intellectual history and has written, taught and presented extensively on topics in culture and history. His recent expose in The Nation looks at relationships between private equity companies and a form of autism service: Applied Behaviour Analytics (or ABA).

 

 

“Often, autistic people are seen as inspiring for overcoming ‘autism,’ not for overcoming the obstacles that the world puts around them”: Interview with journalist Eric Garcia

photo of a Latino man with black hair and brown eyes, wearing a white shirt, red tie and black suitjacket, seated at a brown wood table with his arms folded in front of him and colourful photos on the wall behind him.
Eric Garcia

I had a really interesting conversation with journalist Eric Garcia about his upcoming book, We’re Not Broken, which focuses on the social and policy gaps that exist in supporting autistic people.

We talked about the current policy landscape, media bias and the challenges and recent triumphs of the autistic rights movement.

Listen to the podcast here by clicking the audio link below –or on Stitcher here or on iTunes here  (Transcript below audio)

Transcription by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_Eric_Garcia
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Bio

Eric Garcia is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. His first book We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation is coming out in August 2021. Eric previously worked at The Washington Post, The Hill, Roll Call, National Journal and MarketWatch. His new book uses his life as a springboard to discuss the social and policy gaps that exist in supporting autistic people. It looks at politics; education; employment; independent living; relationships/sexuality; gender; race and the future of the neurodiversity movement.

My published work/interviews, 2020

If you’re interested in what I’ve been writing outside of this podcast, check out the links below! Also selected interviews.

Articles

Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. March, 2020. The power of autistic mentorship.

New York Times, April 2020: Trump Suggested ‘Injecting’ Disinfectant to Cure Coronavirus? We’re Not Surprised

Autistics for Autistics, April 2020 (co-authored with Raya Shields): We are heroes: A plain-language guide about Covid

New York Times, July 2020: I have cancer: Now my Facebook feed is full of “alternative care” ads

Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, July 2020: Autistic with Cancer: Six Tips for Navigating the Medical System

Healthy Debate, September 2020: It took moms to hack the Covid quacks

Healthy Debate, October 2020: I’ve got cancer. Will I get the health care I need during a pandemic

Healthy Debate, November 2020: Autism case highlights urgent need to reform Ontario’s regulatory colleges

Autistics for Autistics, December 2020: 2020 has not been a good year for ABA: A research review

Interviewed on podcasts

Body of Evidence (o/p October 2019, w/Melissa Eaton & Amanda Seigler): Campaign Against Phony Autism Cures

The Avalanche, April, 2020: Autism, Disability and Access in the Times of Covid

The Big Story, August 2020: What it’s like to get cancer care during a pandemic

Documenting my cancer treatments on my podcast

July, 2020: Heaven and Earth
November, 2020: Half a woman
December, 2020: Time to breathe

“The things we don’t talk about”: A Cross-Interview with CripChat UK!


I had the great pleasure and honour of talking with Shabaaz and Pete from CripChat UK, on their podcast. We discussed autism pseudoscience, the Sia film controversy and much more.

Listen to the podcast right here by clicking the audio link below or on Stitcher here or on iTunes here .

Transcript: Transcript_CripChatUK_1
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Listen to CripChat UK on Podbean here. Great guests and discussions every week!

 

 

“Everyone Can Do Something to Stop Autism Pseudoscience”: Interview with Melissa Eaton

Melissa photoIn this podcast, I interviewed Melissa Eaton, one of the first (and most effective) campaigners against autism pseudoscience. We talked about phony autism cures and what we can all do to stop the people selling them.

Listen to the podcast right here by clicking the audio link below.
Listen to this episode on Stitcher here
Listen to this episode on iTunes here

Transcription, by Julie-Anne Lee: Transcript_Melissa_Eaton_Noncompliant

Bio: Melissa Eaton, a parent of an autistic child, became aware autistic children were being abused with harmful pseudoscientific and unregulated treatments in 2014, after her son was diagnosed. She joined other activists who were campaigning against it and she is one of the key figures in the movement to get phony MMS “bleach for autism” treatments banned, among others. Her work has been featured on NBC and other media and she recently co-wrote an OpEd for the New York Times about the impact of MMS marketers on the Covid crisis.

How “crunchy” got crushed: An interview with naturopathic doctor Matt Brignall

Matt photoIn this episode, I talk with Matt Brignall, ND, about how the natural health movement has been co-opted over the past 3 decades by capitalist interests, as well as what we can all do to counter Covid pseudoscience and antivax.

Listen to the podcast here by clicking the audio link below.
Listen to this episode on Stitcher here
Listen to this episode on iTunes here


Transcription by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcription_Matt_Brignall_Noncompliant

Bio: Matt Brignall, ND is a naturopathic doctor in Tacoma, Washington. He currently works in a community-based primary care practice. For nearly 20 years, he was a professor in the naturopathic training program at Bastyr University. He left because he felt that the alternative medicine community was losing its ethical bearings, and becoming a threat to individual and public health. In addition to his practice, he is currently working as part of the Medical Reserve Corps COVID-19 response team. Matt is the parent of a 20-year-old daughter with Rett syndrome, and is active in disability advocacy.

Links from the podcast:
Inside Monsanto’s Millennial Outreach GMO campaign

Steve Silberman’s TED Talk about antivax and the power of storytelling

New York Times: Donald Trump and Covid Pseudoscience  (I co-wrote this OpEd!)

Washington Post: The Empire of Joseph Mercola

Washington Post: The powerful right wing networks behind the re-open protests in the US

NYT: Corporate interests behind the re-open rallies

DeVos -funded group organized re-open rallies in Michigan

Canada: Free North Patriots recruit from antivax groups for re-open rallies

SPLC: Right-wing militias and antivax converge at re-open rallies

Media Matters: FB said they wold remove re-open protest events. It didn’t

Canada, Press Progress: Who is behind the Free North Patriots?

NBC News: Natural News Pages Removed from Facebook

“Punishments and rewards can get one thing, under certain conditions – temporary compliance” Interview with Alfie Kohn

Kohn photo This is a fascinating interview with Alfie Kohn, who has been researching and writing about education, parenting, authority and co-operative learning for years, driving home a simple fact: rewards and punishment are two sides of the same coin –and they’re not helping us to raise the kind of children we say we want to raise.

“The problem with ABA,” says Kohn, “is not just with the method, but with the goal. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that when these kids grow up they are struggling to try to figure out how to make decisions, be assertive and advocate for themselves …because the whole precondition for the temporarily effective use of rewards is the opposite of independence—it’s dependence.”

Listen to the podcast at the link below or on Stitcher here and on iTunes here

Read the transcripts below the audio file.

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Transcription by Julie-Ann Lee: Alfie Kohn transcript_Noncompliant podcast_2020

Bio: Alfie Kohn is an expert on the problem of compliance-training and reward-based systems in the schools, the work world and in the family. His many books include the classics PUNISHED BY REWARDS (1993) and BEYOND DISCIPLINE: From Compliance to Community in which he explores alternatives to our merit-based approach at work and school. He has also critically examined the influence of behaviorism on our education system and the power of cooperative learning, altruism and empathy.

Links from the conversation:
Alfie Kohn’s website: https://www.alfiekohn.org/

“Neurodivergent individuals challenge society to question exactly what normalcy is, if it even exists to begin with” –Interview with Gaby from A4A

In this podcast, Gaby and I discussed racism in the education system, the disability hierarchy, media bias and representations of the self-advocacy movement, eye contact and cultural norms, the power of social media, the situation in Ontario and more!

Listen to the podcast at the audio link below. Listen to this episode on Stitcher here
& on iTunes here.


Transcript, by Julie Ann Lee:
Transcript_Gaby_Noncompliant

Bio: Gaby received her BA in Biological Anthropology from the University of Toronto. In addition to contributing to the critically-acclaimed anthology “All The Weight of our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism,” Gaby is one of the founding members of Autistics for Autistics Ontario, the first provincial autistic self-advocacy group in Ontario and an international affiliate of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

Her work includes programs to educate health providers on autistic patient experiences and needs, employment accessibility outreach and communications with the governments of Ontario and Canada to reform autism policy. In addition to being diagnosed autistic in early adulthood, she also holds other identities such as being multiply neurodivergent and the first in her family to attend university in Canada.

The Episode: In this podcast, Gaby and I talk about racism, ableism and the overlapping oppressions faced by her family as newcomers to Canada in dealing with schools, the autism services system and higher education. Despite the Government of Canada’s official rhetoric about diversity, Canadian schools and service organizations continue to marginalize newcomers, failing at effective outreach for services, discouraging children from speaking their language of origin and operating community services without meaningful inclusion of people of Colour. Students of Colour are still targeted disproportionately for disciplinary actions and overtly or tacitly streamed out of the path to higher education.

“The social workers, the City workers, anyone behind the front desk did not look like me—or like any other resident in the community they were supposed to be serving.”

While positive models exist in other jurisdictions (supported decision-making, the money-follows-the-person model, independent supported living, school inclusion) somehow Ontario’s system isn’t yet being reformed in any meaningful way. This episode is very connected to what’s happening here—and also part a much longer, on-going discussion within disability rights and autistic self-advocacy towards addressing bias within our own organizations. We have a lot of work ahead of us.

Resources
All the Weight of Our Dreams explores intersectional oppression and realities for autistics of Colour, and it is a must-read, in a world that is too often white-washed and centred on an imagined norm (neurotypicality). Ordering info below:

All The Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism
Autism and Safety, a report by ASAN on police bias against racialized and autistic Americans
The Autism Wars, blog by Kerima Cevik
Autistic Hoya, Webpage by Lydia X.Z. Brown
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (US)
Autistic, Trans and Latinx: My Survival is our Community’s Survival Against Gentrification by Ruby Herida Eterna De Amor
Black, Female and Autistic: Hiding in Plain Sight, Interview with Moreniki GIwa Onaiwu by Matthew Rozsa
What Does a Black Autistic Man Look Like? A personal essay by N.I. NIcholson
What it Feels like to be an Autistic Person of Colour in the eyes of the Police, by Eric Garcia

“We need much better standards of research in autism intervention”: An interview with Dr. Damian Milton

damian In this broad-ranging interview, Dr. Damian Milton & I discuss the theory of the “double empathy problem”; hyperfocus/flow state; autistic parenting; the medical versus social model of disability; the subjectivity of outcome measures; and the diverse ways in which autism itself is framed and defined.

Listen to the interview at the audio link below or on Stitcher here or  iTunes here
Read the transcript below the audio file.

Transcribed by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Milton_Noncompliant

Bio
Dr. Damian Milton is a sociologist and lecturer at the University of Kent, on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through the Tizard Centre. He is also a consultant for the National Autistic Society in the UK, a Director at the National Autism Task Force, Chair of the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC Network) and involved in many other research and practice related projects. His most recent book is A Mismatch of Salience: Explorations in Autism Theory and Practice. His scholarship is central to a paradigm shift to understandings of autism in the field.

 

“Creating a home environment that works for everybody”: Interview with Shannon Rosa

shannon “”There’s a lot of people out there who are going to try and tell you what your kid needs, but really, autistic people are the ones who actually do know.”

I had a fascinating conversation with Shannon Rosa, co-founder and editor of The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism,  about parenting, autism pseudoscience and autistic acceptance. Our conversation, which wandered between the personal and the political, circled back to the core messages of equity, compassion and inclusion.

Listen to the podcast at the audio link below or on Stitcher here and on iTunes here

Read the transcript. See link below the audio file.

 

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Shannon_Rosa_transcription

Bio:
Shannon Des Roches Rosa’s writing and interviews are featured at Huffington Post Parents, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MacWorld, Parents Magazine and more. Shannon is a co-founder and editor of The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. She has edited several anthologies and contributed stories to numerous books and the newly edited version of the classic she co-edited, The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is soon to be published. She lives with her family near San Francisco.

Trauma-informed Mindfulness, Teaching & Care: Interview with Dr Sam Himelstein

sam photo

I recently talked with Sam Himelstein, the president of the Center for Adolescent Studies , about the pitfalls of pop-culture “mindfulness” and the importance of trauma-informed care. We also talked about the problems with behaviourist approaches that focus only on measuring outcomes for compliance rather than quality of life.

Listen to the podcast on audio link below, or  on Stitcher here or on iTunes here.

Read the transcript, below the audio file.

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Transcript, by Julie Ann Lee: Himelstein_transcript-Noncompliant

Bio
Sam Himelstein, Ph.D., is a Licensed Psychologist specializing in working with juvenile justice-involved youth, addiction, and trauma. He travels the country speaking at conferences and conducting professional trainings and is the president of the Center for Adolescent Studies.  His mission is to help young people become aware of the power of self-awareness and transformation, and train professionals with similar interests.

Links
The Centre for Adolescent Studies

“Why don’t we work autistic people into inherently fantastic scenarios like a space opera or a globetrotting adventure story?” Interview with comedian Michael McCreary

McCreary picI interviewed 23-year-old comedian Michael McCreary about media portrayals, comedy & so much more!

Listen to the audio link below or on Stitcher here
or on iTunes here.

Read the transcript,  below the audio file.

 

Transcript by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_McCreary_Noncompliant

Bio
Michael began stand-up comedy at the age of 13. He has performed stand-up shows, keynote addresses and panel presentations across Canada and the US. He just published the book entitled “Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic” and recently delivered a TEDx Talk on the topic of autism acceptance. He has also consulted on the television show “Ransom” to ensure authenticity of an autistic character and has appeared on CBC television and radio.

Links mentioned in the podcast

Michael’s book: Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic
Canadian Down Syndrome Society: “Anything But Sorry” video
Pablo show: Pablo-Official YouTube channel
Michael’s Facebook page

 

 

Disrupting the Autism Services Market: Interview with Foundations for Divergent Minds founder Oswin Latimer

Oswin Latimer-1Today’s guest is Oswin Latimer, co-founder of Foundations for Divergent Minds, a framework designed by autistic and neurodivergent people for use by families and professionals. FDM works on the principle that when a child struggles it is because their surroundings need to be adjusted–and assessment should find what is missing from their environment. FDM is a portable, affordable approach that is based on equity and access –and in the short time since its launch, it has disrupted the autism services market in a brilliant way, as we discuss in the podcast!

Listen to the full podcast at the audio link below or on Stitcher here or on iTunes here

Read the transcript, below the audio link.


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Transcript by Julie Ann Lee: Transcribed_Noncompliant_Oswin_Latimer

Bio
Oswin Latimer is an indigenous, non-binary, Autistic adult, parent to 3 neurodivergent children and a disability advocate. Oswin is a founder of Foundations For Divergent Minds, which we will focus on in this episode. Prior to founding Foundations for Divergent Minds, Oswin was Director of Community Engagement with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) and in addition to activist and education projects there, they represented the autistic community to policymakers in the US Departments of Labor,  Education, Personnel Management and others.

After leaving ASAN, Oswin spent several years as a disability consultant, advising parents on ways to set up their homes and create individualized education plans that better met their child’s needs. They also compiled and edited Navigating College: A Handbook on Self Advocacy Written for Autistic Students from Autistic Adults, among other projects.

Link:
Foundations for Divergent Minds

“We don’t even need to reinvent the wheel: the wheel’s there”: Interview with Cal Montgomery

Cal photo

I spoke with human rights activist Cal Montgomery, a survivor of residential institutions and, after institutionalization. Cal describes how the institutional model is replicated in group home settings, even when they have a veneer of independent living. As he observes: “It’s really not that hard to take a program that looks like it supports self-determination and make it all about control. And we see it done every day.”

We talked about the Judge Rotenberg Centre (JRC), a residential institution that has been using shock torture on autistic and IDD residents. Despite some of the difficult subject matter of this podcast, I walked away with a feeling of hope, the kind of hope that is given by shedding a light on truth–one of the many gifts that Cal brings to the movement.

Listen to the podcast at the audio link below or on Stitcher here
or on iTunes here

Read the transcript, below the audio file.

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: Cal_Montgomery_Noncompliant_transcript

Bio
Cal Montgomery is a trans, queer, autistic, physically disabled activist and writer in the United States and a survivor of long-term institutionalization. He is a Director of the Board at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, engages in direct actions and civil disobedience around disability rights issues and is a former member of ADAPT, the US direct-action organization.

Cal is at the forefront of action against the electric shock aversives used at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Massachusetts, which we talk about in the podcast. Cal is probably best known in the neurodiversity community for his essay “Critic of the Dawn”. In it, he writes: “Disability is injustice, not tragedy; unequal treatment, not inherent inequality.” I highly recommend you check out that essay as well as following Cal’s blog, Watch Well: A Blog about Disability.

Links and Sources:
Critic of the Dawn, an essay by Cal Montgomery
Cal’s Blog, Watch Well: A Blog About Disability
Missing Pieces, by Irving Kinsola

Interview with Bruce Uditsky, CEO Emeritus of Inclusion Alberta

Bruce photo“There are far too few schools who operate on the basis of what the research and knowledge have said about restraint and seclusion for decades.”

I spoke with Bruce Uditsky of Inclusion Alberta about the use of restraint and isolation on special education students and the need for tracking, regulation, enforcement and appropriate training in positive strategies, trauma-enforced care, de-escalation and alternatives to teacher violence.

 

Listen at the audio link below or on Stitcher here
or on iTunes here

Read the transcript, below the audio.


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Transcript by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_Uditsky

Bio
Bruce Uditsky, M.Ed., is the CEO Emeritus of Inclusion Alberta and its former CEO for over 25 years. He is internationally recognized for his leadership and advocacy in social justice and inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families. Bruce is the founder of Inclusive Post-Secondary Education and co-founder of the Rotary Employment Partnerships, both of which have been formally recognized as world-leading innovations. He has consulted and taught in many countries and is the author and co-author of books, chapters and articles on inclusion. He is the parent of two adult sons, one of whom has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and intellectual disabilities.

Bruce is a recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities Gary McPherson Leadership Award.

Links:
Inclusion Alberta
Alberta’s ban on isolation in public schools
CBC News: Autistic Boy Locked Naked in Alberta School’s Isolation Room
Toronto Life: Autistic Student Locked in a School Seclusion Room for Hours without Food or Water
A4A’s Report to the Education Ministry: Human Rights in Special Education
A4A’s Report to the Education Ministry: School Inclusion that Works
A4A’s Report to the United Nations Health Rapporteur: Human Rights in Ontario Group Homes

 

“It models how to relate, in a way that’s not overwhelming and respects autonomy” Interview with autistic mentor Raya Shields

Podcast
Listen to the podcast at the audio link below or on Stitcher here or on iTunes here

Read the transcript, below the audio file.

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Transcribed by Julie Ann Lee:  Transcript_Noncompliant_Shields

Bio
Raya Shields just received her Master’s Degree from York University (Toronto) in the school of Critical Disability Studies. Her master’s thesis focuses on human rights abuses at the Judge Rotenberg Centre. She is autistic, multiply neurodivergent, and queer. For the last 12 years she has been mentoring autistic children and youth. She is currently working on a series of children’s books.

The episode
Raya and I talked mainly about her experiences as an autistic mentor. She described what the time spent with her mentees looks like: what they do, how they plan and what comes out of the experience for the youth and for their families. I hope you enjoy this podcast as much as I did. Lots of great ideas and inspiration as we move towards inclusion in our society.