Jay Baldwin, Program Navigator at the Help Group’s Kaleidoscope organization for LGBTQIA+ youth, joins us to discuss the intersection of autism and LGBTQIA+ identities. They share the importance of creating a safe place for these young people to explore and grow. Jay also offers advice for the families of these individuals to support them in their journeys, as well as to facilitate communication in order to ease the transition and discovery process for everyone concerned.
Dr. Nora Baladerian joins us to discuss the prevalence of abuse among the neurodiverse and disabled communities. Statistics show the rate is much higher than in the general population and the abuse is not limited to a particular type. She also shares the approach and treatments she uses to deal with the associated trauma and reduce the risk of the abuse happening in the first place. Dr. Baladerian treats those at all levels including those who are non-verbal or whose disabilities are profound.
Walt Karniski, MD, author of the book “ADHD Medication: Does It Work and Is It Safe?” joins us to share his expertise. We discuss diagnosis, presentation in males versus females, the various medications, and their side effects. We also talk about transitioning to adulthood with ADHD, and the results of research and certain studies that have been done. Dr. Karniski’s background as a developmental pediatrician supports an informative and intriguing conversation.
California State Senator Anthony Portantino joins us to discuss how he supports the neurodiverse community. He stresses the importance of advocacy and shares his plans for legislation that will make important changes for the benefit of this population. He also shares his thoughts on social justice and access to services. He believes that addressing mental health is just as important as physical health and talks about the need for reform in our educational system.
Ernie Merlan is the Founder of Muralism, an organization dedicated to connecting people with special needs to their community through art. They create large-scale murals wherever they are commissioned, from city streets to museums, to government offices. It is a group effort, and everyone from the public to politicians works side by side with the artists. The organization is heading towards its goal of 100 murals by the year 2028. Muralism teaches young neurodiverse artists to work while doing something they love.
Chris Latham, CFP, gives us an overview of financial planning for those with special needs. He shares his insights on what it takes to properly plan for the future. He offers information on special needs trusts, ABLE accounts, using life insurance as a tool, and more. He stresses that financial wellness and physical/mental health go hand in hand.
Dr. Temple Grandin, a renowned authority on both autism and animal behavior, shares her insights and perspectives on raising a child with autism. She discusses various do’s and don’ts and offers some sage advice about early intervention, developing personal strengths, dealing with sensory issues, and preparing for the workforce. She also mentions a few of the many books she has written on the subject.
Andrew Arboe, Founder of Driving with Autism, specializes in helping neurodiverse individuals pursue driving as a transportation option. He was inspired to start the organization by his own experiences and discusses things to be aware of when considering driving. He offers online workshops and consultations and plans to make his solutions available across the United States.
Vijay Ravindran, Founder and CEO of Floreo, shares the amazing technology of virtual reality learning he has helped develop to aid neurodiverse learners to succeed in school and in life. It is a tool for therapists, schools, and parents alike. It teaches a wide variety of skills from socialization, to coping with bullying, to navigating your neighborhood. It is a fun and accessible device that is available through many affordable avenues.
David Terk of Serenitas Special Needs Planning joins us to discuss some of the basic government benefits available to this community. He helps to demystify what the different names and acronyms mean. He also gives some great tips on how to qualify and apply for things like SSI, SSDI, and IHSS. David also touches on the importance of special needs trusts and planning for the future.
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