Ben Drew has worked in the field of intellectual disabilities for over 25 years. He grew up in the UK and qualified as a learning disability nurse. In 2003 Ben founded Options in Bristol to help people with intellectual disabilities buy or rent their own homes and manage their own support. In 2008 Ben moved to New York and founded Open Future Learning, an organization that helps support staff assist their clients to their best possible potential.
Author: Gilda Evans
Megan Smith is the founder of Harmony Restored, a company focused on helping individuals heal from the stress that is at the root of their physical and emotional pain. She is also President of Guiding Arrow Nature Camp, a non-profit regenerative farm and healing retreat center specializing in providing transformative outdoor experiences in a safe and nurturing community for neurodivergent children and young adults, and their families. Megan shares her experiences as the mother of two autistic children and her vision for the resource she is creating.
Antoinette Banks is an accomplished author, researcher, and CEO of Expert IEP, an EdTech company that supports students who learn differently and their parents. The platform helps to navigate the often confusing and daunting IEP process and system. Her book, “Better than A Diagnosis: A Single Parents Guide to Autism,” draws on her experiences as a mother of an autistic teenager to offer practical guidance and emotional support to others navigating similar challenges.
Nicole Homerin is an Inclusion Communities Manager at Partners for Youth with Disabilities and has over a decade of experience working with disabled children and youth. She has a background as a special education teacher and adaptive performance arts instructor, and joins us to discuss the training provided by her organization to support neurodivergent and disabled individuals and the community that supports them.
Dr. Emily Levy is the founder and director of EBL Coaching, a specialized tutoring program that offers individualized one-on-one home, virtual, and on-site instruction. Her program uses research-based, multi-sensory techniques that have proven successful in helping students who are struggling with their studies. We discuss academic challenges often faced by neurodivergent students and the best ways to support them both in and out of school.
Ben VanHook is a young, neurodivergent person whose goal is to reform employment and education policy to make both domains more inclusive for neurodivergent individuals. He is a speaker and writer and has been featured in the media from PBS programs to the New York Times. In this second episode of a two-part appearance, he shares his own experience of being employed and neurodivergent, as well as various challenges he has faced.
Ben VanHook is a young, neurodivergent person whose goal is to reform employment and education policy to make both domains more inclusive for neurodivergent individuals. He is a speaker and writer and has been featured in the media from PBS programs to the New York Times. In this first episode of a two-part appearance, he shares his own experience of being adopted and neurodivergent, as well as various challenges he has faced.
Professor Andrew Whitehouse helped to create the first national guidelines in Australia for diagnosing autism and supporting autistic children. He is the Director of Clinikids based in Perth, where they are breaking ground in terms of combining research and support for neurodivergent children and their families. Andrew also discusses the importance of early intervention and guiding parents through the first few years of a child’s life. Clinikids makes their services available to families all over the world.
Devon MacNerland is a neurodivergent advocate and documentarian. He has been working in this realm for several years and is spending his time and resources on bringing his cause to the media realm. He discusses his latest project, a documentary about restraints and restrictions for neurodiverse students in schools. He highlights relevant issues and shares his thoughts on needed change and system reform.
Warning: This episode contains material that some listeners may find disturbing.
Zhara Astra is a writer, producer, and television executive. She is also a professor at Arizona State University where she developed the first course in the world on understanding neurodivergent women. After discovering as an adult that she was on the autism spectrum and had ADHD, she set out on a mission to help other women better understand themselves and their potential neurodivergences, while aiming to educate and equip the neurotypical world with a greater understanding of how to interact with those who think differently, operate differently, and see the world through a different lens.