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Neurodivergence in Females with Zhara Astra

| Gilda Evans

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. 

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The Rhythmic Arts Project with Eddie Tuduri

| Gilda Evans

Eddie Tuduri is a career musician who has worked with many of the world’s great entertainers. He has also received many awards for his work with neurodiverse and disabled communities all over the world. After a near-death and disabling experience, Eddie founded The Rhythmic Arts Project, known as TRAP, which he created to help neurodiverse and disabled individuals overcome learning issues and address cognitive, emotional, and physical challenges.

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Empowering Families with Ashley Keller

| Gilda Evans

Ashley Keller, Founder of Empower Self-Care and Consulting joins us to discuss helping families cope with the challenges they face when the system has failed them and they lack the support and resources they need. She talks about the “old vs. the new” ABA model. She believes in building proper communication on a foundation of mutual respect and trust between parent and child. Her goal is to maintain a strong parent-child bond, address caregiver burnout and support children to build skills that help them and their families live life to the fullest.

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Supporting LGBTQIA+ Youth and Their Families with Jay Baldwin

| Gilda Evans

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.

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Dealing with Abuse and Trauma with Dr. Nora Baladerian

| Gilda Evans

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.

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Understanding ADHD with Walt Karniski, MD

| Gilda Evans

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.

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Advocacy and Legislation with CA State Senator Anthony Portantino

| Gilda Evans

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. 

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Art, Murals and Neurodiversity with Ernie Merlan of Muralism

| Gilda Evans

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.

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Financial Planning and Security with Chris Latham, CFP

| Gilda Evans

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. 

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Raising a Child with Autism with Dr. Temple Grandin

| Gilda Evans

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. 

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