Author: Gilda Evans

Understanding Self-Direction/Determination with Mark Altieri

Mark Altieri, Senior Director of the multi-state financial management service Public Consulting Group/Public Partnerships, shares his wealth of knowledge and experience in navigating the ins and outs of self-direction aka self-determination, the differences between the programs in various states, and the many benefits of being a part of this growing trend in improving the quality of life for a multitude of people within the special needs and differently abled communities.  

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy with Nicole Ballinghoff, M. Ed. and BCBA

Nicole Ballinghoff, M. Ed. and BCBA discusses the controversy behind some of the techniques traditionally used under the ABA banner and how her positive approach differs from the others to help the individual and their family grow and thrive. She goes on the share about who can benefit from this technique and how to incorporate it into the school setting and daily life in general. 

Virtual Learning with Dr. Daniel Franklin

Dr. Daniel Franklin, Director of Franklin Educational Services, discusses the challenges associated with digital organization, virtual learning and adapting to the new educational trends, systems and resources. He covers what students can do to cope with the transition from the traditional classroom, as well as what parents can do to help support their children in this process.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder with Dr. Allison Kawa

Dr. Allison Kawa, a clinical psychologist and Director at the Los Angeles Center for Integrated Assessment, talks about understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the variety of challenges faced by different genders in terms of coping and diagnosis. She covers the common ways that ASD presents itself in males vs. females, and why dangerous misdiagnoses so often occur. Her broad areas of expertise include learning and processing differences, attention disorders, autism, and anxiety or mood issues. 


Stress Resilience - Jessica Patching-Bunch

Stress Resilience with Jessica Patching-Bunch

In this episode, Jessica Patching-Bunch, stress resilience coach, shares tips and techniques on managing stress, achieving a higher level of wellness, and creating a better life for yourself and those you care about. Her approach targets the whole being, and she discusses using the brain, body, and breath to navigate stress, anxiety, and depression. 

HowTo Address Sensory Processing Disorders with Courtney Harris

Courtney Harris, a pediatric occupational therapy specialist, discusses the signs and affects of various sensory processing disorders including self-regulation, attention, organization, impulse control, motor delays, and social skills. She shares her thoughts and insights on how to support those who are faced with these challenges to improve their quality of life, and help them surmount the issues they deal with on a daily basis. 

How You Can Boost Executive Function Skills and What Kind of Challenges You Might Face with Sean McCormick

Executive function skills and challenges
Photo: Sean McCormick

In this episode of the Autism Resource Podcast Gilda’s guest is Sean McCormick of EF Specialists. Sean stresses the importance of understanding executive function skills. He talks about what it is, some common misconceptions, and useful tools for dealing with the challenges people with executive function issues often face. Plus, Sean underscores how proper support can enhance the quality of life on many levels for those who struggle in this area. 

Executive Function Skills

Executive function skills - Executive function challenges
Photo: Ben Rosett, via Unsplash

What are executive function skills? Sean explains that executive function is the processes that people use to engage in goal oriented behavior. If you have a goal like you want to earn an A in a class, first you have to use a lot of different mental and physical tools to be able to reach that goal. That might include communicating effectively with your teacher. Then, being able to physically type up emails. You then might need to use a calendar or some type of time management system to plan out your timelines. It can also include being able to estimate how long it’s going to take to complete an assignment.

What Kinds of Executive Function Challenges Could You Face?

Executive function skills - Sean McCormick
Photo: Behnam Norouzi, via Unsplash

Undoubtedly, you’re likley needing to use these kinds of skills for simple day to day tasks. For example: if you’re going to the grocery store, you’re making a list, you’re checking for the weather to see if you need a raincoat or whatever it may be. You’re constantly using your executive functions to make decisions and meet your goals. \

Some people are incredible with executive function. They can plan 10 years in advance. They can plot out all their different goals and build incredible things. And some people really struggle with executive function. Maybe they just weren’t born with great working memory. So they have to externalize all their reminder systems.

How to Support Students with Executive Function Challenges

executive function skills - Executive function challenges
Photo: Priscilla DuPreez, via Unsplash

Of course, the best way to help someone with executive function challenged is to talk them through the process. It’s not just about showing what what people with good executive function skills do. It’s about demontrating to someone with exectuive function challenges. Then most importantly having them do it themselves. That way they experience what it’s like to actually do a process. This can include anything from setting reminders on a phone or putting in calendar entries. and even setting alarms. 

Where Can You Find Out More about Sean McCormick?

Executive function skills and challenges - Sean McCormick
Photo: Sean McCormick

You can find Sean McCormick at his blog at And you can link up with him directly at


Learning Differences and Educational Therapy with Avlyn Kotton, MA and BCET

Avlyn Kotton, MA and BCET, shares her insights about the various learning differences, early detection, assistive technology and strategies to help students overcome the educational challenges they might be dealing with. She discusses warning signs to look out for, as well as resources that can assist a student to get the most out of their education. 

Entering Adulthood: After School and Beyond with Claudia Wenger, BCBA

Claudia Wenger, BCBA, has supported the special needs community for over 25 years. In this episode, she shares her extensive knowledge about preparing for a successful transition from life in high school, to secondary education and beyond. She gives us greats tips about how to handle communication with the school, the right questions to ask, and the pitfalls to avoid. 

Autism Resource Podcast
© Autism Resource Podcast.

Privacy - Disclaimer: Undoubtedly, information expressed by others on these podcasts is the guest's opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Gilda Evans or others posted here. In particular, any information given by Gilda Evans or her guests is strictly subjective in nature and in no way meant to be construed as legal, medical, or financial advice of any kind. It is for educational and informational purposes only. Neither Gilda Evans nor any of her guests assume any responsibility for the usage of any information herein.