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 (available soon) below audio link.

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

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

“Letting people know that it’s ok to be your original self”: Talking about breast cancer & autistic community with Melanie Keiling

I had such a heartfelt and illuminating conversation with Melanie, founder of the  Autistic Grandma online community first about autistic online communities, then about combating sexism in the world of breast cancer care.

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

Read the transcript by clicking the file below the audio.
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Transcript by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Melanie_Keiling_Noncompliant
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Bio

Melanie Keiling is an autistic mother of autistic children. She runs the blog Autistic Grandma, and campaigns for autistic human rights, and works with the autistic community directly to provide emotional support for individual self healing, self care, and personal development. Her goal is to create a stronger community by providing a platform for change in the way autism is viewed by the world, and to help gather autistics together to support one another.

Links
Autistic Grandma page on Facebook

“Going Flat” After Mastectomy: Patient-Reported Outcomes by Online Survey. Dr. Jennifer Baker, et al. Annals of Surgical Oncology (2021)

Women Who ‘Go Flat’ After Mastectomy Report Being Generally OK With It. Kate Kneisel. Medpage Today. February 5, 2021. Study Authors: Jennifer L. Baker, Don S. Dizon, et al.

Flat closure after mastectomy: Are your patients satisfied with the results? Kimberly B Bowles. San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Published February 2020.

“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/

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

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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

 

 

“Window-watching Wendy” and the history of ADHD: An Interview with Matthew Smith

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I had an amazing conversation with University of Strathclyde professor Matthew Smithabout the trajectory of the ADHD diagnosis in the last half of the 20th century and shifts in child psychology as well as Ritalin marketing and sales.

We discussed the impact of society’s responses to ADHD in kids, as well as the problem of teaching to the test and the current use of ADHD drugs for performance-enhancement or as an “easy fix” replacement for meaningful inclusion. I also asked Matt about an innovative new pilot approach to schooling in Musselburgh, Scotland, where many children had been receiving the ADHD diagnosis. 

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

Read the transcript at the link below the audio file.

 

 

 

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Transcript by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Matthew_Smith_Noncompliant

Bio
Matthew Smith is Professor of Health History within the Centre for the Social History of Healthcare. He is Vice Dean Research for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Strathclyde. He has written many books about the history of medicine, including two about ADHD and Another Person’s Poison: A History of Food Allergy –as well as co-editing the 2016 collection: Deinstitutionalisation and After: Post-War Psychiatry in the Western World (2016).

Links
Professor Smith’s blog on Psychology Today

Professor Smith’s book, Hyperactive, The Controversial History of ADHD

Hyperactive Child, song and lyrics

New York Times series about ADHD drugs in America

 

 

 

 

“It’s scamming parents–and through that the children are suffering”: Interview with Emma Dalmayne

Screenshot_20190428-002122_GoogleI was so honoured to have Emma as a guest on the podcast. She leads a UK-based campaign against autism pseudoscience: her work on autism pseudoscience established the groundwork for the UK Parliament to begin working towards regulation and enforcement against phony autism cures. Autism pseudoscience is a human rights issue. Right now, lax proxy consent laws and an absence of regulation and enforcement has allowed providers and parents to give autistic children “treatments” that could kill them. As the UK government concluded in its report: “Health care fraud is big business and autism is one of its many targets.”

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

Read the transcript, below the audio file.

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Transcript by Julie Ann Lee: transcript_Dalmayne_Noncompliant_podcast

Bio
Emma Dalmayne is a mom of six, a home educator and co-founder of Autistic Inclusive Meets, which organizes meetups for autistics of all ages, as well as activist actions on issues that impact the community and advocacy at the governmental level.

Eating in the 4th Dimension: Interview with Alan Levinovitz

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I had a great conversation with Alan Levinovitz about how the desire for empowering rituals around food can be twisted by marketers to sell a product or a plan, such as the GAPS, DAN or MAPS diets. We talked about the negative impact of restrictive diets on individuals, the problem with proxy consent, the inaccessibility of medical jargon– and so much more. Alan also discussed food restrictions within the framework of world religions and the commodification of rituals: incredibly interesting!

Listen to the episode by clicking the audio link below, on Stitcher here on iTunes here.
Read the transcript below the audio.

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Transcript by Julie Ann Lee: transcript_Noncompliant_Alan_Levinovitz

Bio
Professor Alan Levinovitz is an associate professor of religious studies at James Madison University. He specializes in classical Chinese philosophy and the relationship between religion and science. In addition to scholarly articles, he is the author of The Gluten Lie: And Other Myths about What You Eat –and The Limits of Religious Tolerance. He has also appeared on the Netflix series A User’s Guide to Cheating Death. His next book is about how nature gets treated like God.

Links
Interview with Alan Levinovitz

The Gluten Lie

 

“Neurodiversity is not an opinion. It’s a living fact” : Interview with Steve Silberman

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Steve Silberman

 
I was thrilled to speak with Steve Silberman, author of the seminal history of the autism diagnosis and the neurodiversity movement, Neurotribes!

Listen to the episode by clicking the audio link below or on Stitcher here,  iTunes here

Read the transcript below the audio file.


Transcribed by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_ SteveSilberman-Noncompliant
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Bio
Steve Silberman is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in Wired, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and many other publications. His book NeuroTribes became a widely-praised bestseller, winning the 2015 Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction and was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2015 by The New York Times, The Economist, The Independent and many others. His TED talk, “The Forgotten History of Autism,” has been viewed more than a million times and translated into 35 languages. He lives with his husband Keith in San Francisco, where he is working on a new book, The Taste of Salt (discussed in this podcast).

The impact of Neurotribes
Neurotribes
really changed the public conversation about autism in some radical ways. It meticulously traces the history of the autism diagnosis, synthesizing a forgotten history of the residential institution era, while also giving detail and context to competing notions of the diagnosis in the medical literature across time (and the impact of that competition). The book traces shifting understandings of autism in society, explaining how medicine, culture and grassroots activism came together for both a rise in diagnosis and new understandings about autism and neurodiversity.  Neurotribes creates a context for what we see today: how our social institutions and media interpret, respond and portray autism. 

Since writing Neurotribes, Steve continues to speak and write about autism, but always with a mind to refer to “the real experts”: autistic people. We talked about this, as well as his new book project; neurodiversity; autistic history; platforms of communication; states of being; the rise of false news and our need for honesty; inspiring new youth movements; and the power of continuing the work of social justice when we have no choice but to carry on.

Links from the podcast:
Greta Thunberg: Profile

Dara McAnulty’s blog

Interview with Steve Silberman: The Sun Magazine

Steve Silberman’s TED Talk: The Forgotten History of Autism


Steve Silberman’s webpage