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Exploring Neurodiversity

Podcast

With Adina from Play. Learn. Chat.

The contrasts at the intersection of being an Autistic ADHDer

The contrasts at the intersection of being an Autistic ADHDer

In this episode, I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down for a wonderful chat with Stephanie Robertson, who is a great friend colleague and really wise autistic ADHD. She’s an occupational therapist and has many other identities as well. This chat that we’re going to have is about the intersection between being an autistic ADHD and how it’s sometimes work for us or works against us. 

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How to include children in their own collaborative teams

How to include children in their own collaborative teams

In this episode, I wanted to share with you a brief section from my recent webinar, Collaborative Connections, where I talked all about how you can actually get children involved in their collaborative teams.

I’m going to share practical suggestions about how you can actually involve children in these situations so that they can be a core part of their own journey. Their self advocacy ability can increase when you support and guide them and you’re including them in their whole process. You’re supporting self determination, choice making, and honouring them as a whole human by showing them the value of their own perspectives.

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My Journey through AuDHD (Autistic + ADHD) Identification / Diagnosis

My Journey through AuDHD (Autistic + ADHD) Identification / Diagnosis

In this episode, I’ll share my journey to identification as an Autistic ADHDer. I recently got an email from another speech therapist who is in the neuro questioning phase. And she asked me this “As I understand you were late diagnosed. I wanted to ask you about your experience getting diagnosed and what you feel have been the benefits and drawbacks of it” and I really, really thank you for this email.

And interestingly, I think within a day I got a message on Instagram from somebody else with a very similar question. So I thought it is probably high time for me to share a bit more about my journey through AuDHD identification and diagnosis here on the podcast, because the bits that I do share always get interesting. I had a long time of questioning before I decided I wanted to seek formal identification (a.k.a. diagnosis). Here’s how my journey went…

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How to Navigate Conflicting Perspectives when you Collaborate to Support Neurodivergent  Children

How to Navigate Conflicting Perspectives when you Collaborate to Support Neurodivergent Children

In this episode, I’m going to be sharing some practical ideas about how you can tackle a challenge that a lot of us experience. Whether you’re a therapist, a teacher, a parent, or a carer of a neurodivergent child. At some point when supporting this child, you’re going to be interacting with a team around them. And at some point you’re going to be experiencing different approaches to how you will support that title, how you believe that child should be supported. It can be incredibly hard to navigate these different perspectives and to find that common ground and come to a productive point in how you work together to achieve solid support for this child.

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Responsive Relationship Strategies for Building Connection with Autistic Children

Responsive Relationship Strategies for Building Connection with Autistic Children

In this episode, I’m super excited to be talking about a topic that is just deeply embedded in my clinical practice. In my worldview and in how I support autistic children in my whole life. And that topic is Responsive relationship strategies for building connection with the autistic children in your life. We’ll be outlining some of the ideas behind what forms responsive relationships. And the opposite, what forms directive relationships and why that can be quite damaging or challenging for your relationship with the autistic kids in your world.

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Ingredients of Self-Advocacy

Ingredients of Self-Advocacy

Self-advocacy is not as simple as just learning one skill or one isolated thing. In the neurodiversity affirming world and in the therapy world, we love talking about self-advocacy, but what is it and how do you get there?

I like to think of the components of self-advocacy is being broken up into four main sub parts. In this episode, I outline what each of those parts are, why they’re so important. And some ideas and examples for how this can look in practice

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“But you seem so sociable” – Experiences of High-Masking Autistic Folks

“But you seem so sociable” – Experiences of High-Masking Autistic Folks

I explore the reasons and impacts of masking for high-masking autistic people (who are often, but not always girls, AFAB, or non-binary folks). I talk some ways that high-masking autistic people can appear in the world, and share my hope for the future of Autistic kids and people everywhere to feel freer and more comfortable to know and be themselves!

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Ingredients for a Neurodiversity Affirming Speech Therapy Assessment

Ingredients for a Neurodiversity Affirming Speech Therapy Assessment

In this episode, I’m sharing with you the ingredients that go into a Neurodiversity Affirming speech therapy assessment.

We’ll talk about my framework ‘CPIE’ — Child, Partner, Interaction, Environment — and how it frames our approach to understanding the communication skills of Autistic children within the context of their relationships & worlds.

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Experiencing the Health & Allied Health Systems as a Pregnant Autistic ADHDer

Experiencing the Health & Allied Health Systems as a Pregnant Autistic ADHDer

This episode is a very personal one where I’m going to share my experiences and insights as an autistic ADHDer who was pregnant at the time of recording, with a particular focus on the positives and negatives that I’ve experienced throughout the pregnancy in terms of how I’ve been supported (or not…) through the medical system.

I also share some points about where I think things need to improve in all of these different medical and allied health settings, to be more accessible and neurodivergent-friendly.

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How I Experience My Auditory World as an Auditory-Sensitive Autistic Person

How I Experience My Auditory World as an Auditory-Sensitive Autistic Person

In this episode, I delve into the world of auditory sensitivities as experienced by an autistic person… that’s me! I give you a glimpse into my own personal journey with significant auditory challenges.

First I discuss how I navigate and process my unique auditory experiences. Then I shed light on some effective strategies that benefit me and also my daughter.

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Why Neurodivergent Kids aren’t ‘Lazy’ or ‘Naughty’

Why Neurodivergent Kids aren’t ‘Lazy’ or ‘Naughty’

‘Naughty’ and ‘lazy’ are two words that I can’t stand, especially when it comes to describing young kids, neurodivergent kids.

I don’t believe, in the vast majority of cases, neurodivergent kids are lazy or naughty. However, unfortunately, these are some of the labels that often get placed onto these kids by people who don’t understand them much.

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Being a Part-time AAC user, Internalised Ableism & Mental Health – Chat with Harriet Richardson

Being a Part-time AAC user, Internalised Ableism & Mental Health – Chat with Harriet Richardson

In this episode, I chat with the amazing Hat, also known as Harriet Richardson, a significant voice in the neurodivergent community. Hat not only is an autistic ADHDer but also shines in her roles as a speech and language therapist, blogger, and public speaker. We discuss AAC, Internalised Ableism, the joy of claiming ND identity, mental health, consent for goals, and her beautiful dog Meeno.

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Crafting a Genuinely Supportive World for Neurodivergent Children – A Remedy to the Double Empathy Problem!

Crafting a Genuinely Supportive World for Neurodivergent Children – A Remedy to the Double Empathy Problem!

In this episode I share a few practical ideas of what it actually looks like to be changing the world around a child, to be most supportive and enable positive social interactions and connections for neurodivergent children.

I talk about changes to the world around the child in 3 ways:
• changes to other people
• changes to the physical environment
• changes to schedules and expectations

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Radical Acceptance & Building Trusting Relationships with Kids with Chrissie Davies

Radical Acceptance & Building Trusting Relationships with Kids with Chrissie Davies

In this episode I chat with the fabulous Chrissie Davies, from Chaos to Calm Consultancy and author of books including the wonderful ‘Love Me Love my ADHD’ and ‘Love your Brain’.

We discuss all kinds of big ideas around trauma-informed practice in schools, tips for families supporting neurodivergent children, practicing radical acceptance, and building trusting relationships with children.

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3 Ways to Teach Neurodivergent Kids Self-Advocacy

3 Ways to Teach Neurodivergent Kids Self-Advocacy

Today I’m sharing a shortie, practical episode – all about how you can teaching neurodivergent children about self-advocacy in these 3 ways:
– Explicit teaching (this doesn’t mean swear words!)
– Model when you did and didn’t self-advocate
– Incidental teaching as natural opportunities arise

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The Role of ‘Play’ in Speech Therapy for Autistic Children

The Role of ‘Play’ in Speech Therapy for Autistic Children

In this episode I share my perspectives about the role that ‘play’ should take in speech therapy sessions for autistic children.

I also share my ideas for how you can support learning and progression towards various goals for a child, through connecting with the way they enjoy playing!

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8 Ways to Do Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy

8 Ways to Do Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy

I’m sharing 8 key ways you can do Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy –

You can find all of the points I discuss on the free PDF download here:
Neurodiversity Affirming Speech Therapy Practices for SLPs supporting Autistic Children:

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NeuroAccessibilty & being a Neurodivergent Parent with Annie Crowe

NeuroAccessibilty & being a Neurodivergent Parent with Annie Crowe

In this episode I chat with the wonderful Annie Crowe. Friend, Neurodivergent Empowerment Coach and NeuroAccess Consultant who brings her lived experience as a late-identified Autistic ADHDer 2e PDAer, together with her professional experience as a human rights lawyer to help neurodivergent adults gain the skills, confidence and community needed to live their best neurodivergent life!

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3 Practical Ways to Kickstart your Neurodiversity Affirming Practice Journey

3 Practical Ways to Kickstart your Neurodiversity Affirming Practice Journey

Today I’m sharing three actionable, practical changes that you can make (or start to make) today around language, relationship strategies, and a commitment to keep learning, to support you on your Neurodiversity Affirming Practice journey.

This is an abridged version of my recent webinar (Neurodiversity Affirming Practice Kickstart: 3 Actionable Tips to do Today), where I share actions you can start doing right now to help you become more confident that your approach as a professional who supports neurodivergent kids is aligned more and more with a Neurodiversity Affirming approach.

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Collaboration & Advocacy: When others aren’t aligned with your Neurodiversity Affirming approach to supporting Neurodivergent Kids

Collaboration & Advocacy: When others aren’t aligned with your Neurodiversity Affirming approach to supporting Neurodivergent Kids

In this episode for parents and professionals who support autistic and neurodivergent children, I share my response to a very common question – What should I do when other people don’t agree with my neurodiversity affirming approach to supporting autistic or neurodivergent kids?

I’ve got 7 ideas to share about how to collaborate and advocate when you’re not aligned with the other person’s approach. Here’s the short list:

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Don’t Teach Kids through Trauma – Teach through Connection

Don’t Teach Kids through Trauma – Teach through Connection

Picture this. You take your child to swimming class and it’s a pretty unfamiliar environment. They haven’t met the teacher before. It’s noisy. It’s all new and pretty overwhelming. It might also be quite enticing and interesting, but there’s also a huge dose of new and unknown in there.

The time comes around for your child’s lesson to start. And you take your child over to the edge of the pool. The teacher’s standing in the pool, looking up. Checking the clock and saying, “just pass it to me. She’ll be okay.”

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How to be an Excellent Ally this Autism Acceptance Month

How to be an Excellent Ally this Autism Acceptance Month

Autism Acceptance Month is here! This April, how can YOU be a fantastic, genuine and helpful ally to the autistic community?

Here’s how you can be an excellent ally this Autism Acceptance Month:⁠
1️⃣ Listen to diverse autistic people⁠
2️⃣ Share the work of autistic creators

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An Alternative, Affirming Approach to Behaviour Support – Understand the Deep Why

An Alternative, Affirming Approach to Behaviour Support – Understand the Deep Why

In this episode, I discuss the issue with looking at children’s behaviour through a lens of ‘what triggered that behaviour?’. We talk about the need to understand the Deep Why behind a child’s behaviour, before you can work out how best to support them.

I share a very relatable example for any parent – a child ‘refusing’ to leave the house when you need to get out the door, and how two very different approaches to understanding WHY the behaviour is happening leads to two very different outcomes!

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What do Neurodiversity Affirming Goals look like for Autistic children?

What do Neurodiversity Affirming Goals look like for Autistic children?

In this episode we discuss a range of key considerations to ensure that goals for autistic children’s support are Neurodiversity Affirming, useful and relevant to each child.

We’ll discuss the need for goals that support an autistic child’s regulation, connection, and overall well-being. Goals should not only seek to change the skills of a child, but we should instead have goals that aim to change the world around the child. This includes supporting other people’s knowledge, perspectives, and skills in supporting and accepting each child, as well as their physical environment.

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Neurodiversity Affirming ‘Social Skills’ Support for Autistic Children – Part 2: What Is and What Isn’t Affirming

Neurodiversity Affirming ‘Social Skills’ Support for Autistic Children – Part 2: What Is and What Isn’t Affirming

In this episode, we dive into the specifics of what a Neurodiversity Affirming approach looks like when supporting social interactions for autistic children. The key point is that we do not want to teach neurodivergent children that they need to act more neurotypical. This means all our goals, therapy approaches and resources need to teach that autistic children might be different, and socialise in different (but not wrong) ways to neurotypical kids. We need to stop sending the message that kids are missing social skills… because they DO have social skills, just different perhaps from neurotypical social skills.

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Neurodiversity Affirming ‘Social Skills’ Support for Autistic Children – Part 1: The Big Ideas

Neurodiversity Affirming ‘Social Skills’ Support for Autistic Children – Part 1: The Big Ideas

‘Social skills’ is a massively important area of support that we all need to pause and examine what we’ve been teaching neurodivergent kids. We need to check if the programs, resources and goals we’ve worked on previously still apply under a Neurodiversity Affirming approach.

There’s a lot that we need to change.

In short, we do not want to be teaching neurodivergent kids that they should act ‘more neurotypical’ to be accepted and socially connected.

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Words Matter: Exploring Neurodiversity Affirming Language – Exploring Neurodiversity Podcast Episode 1

Words Matter: Exploring Neurodiversity Affirming Language – Exploring Neurodiversity Podcast Episode 1

So… you’re ready to be part of the Neurodiversity Affirming movement to support an autistic and neurodivergent child in your world. Awesome, welcome in! The language you use matters. I’m kicking off this podcast series by sharing the language that you need to put in the bin, and the language to use instead.

In today’s episode, we delve into neurodiversity versus neurodivergent, why identity first language is preferred by most autistic people. We discuss getting comfortable with the term ‘autistic’ rather than ‘on the spectrum’ and why ‘high-functioning’ & ‘low-functioning’ terms should be left in the past.

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Welcome to the Play. Learn. Chat – Exploring Neurodiversity podcast!

Welcome to the Play. Learn. Chat – Exploring Neurodiversity podcast!

Welcome to the Play. Learn. Chat – Exploring Neurodiversity podcast. Here, we’re going to share conversations to help you connect and grow with your autistic or neurodivergent child.

Join me, speech therapist, Adina Levy, as I share realistic ideas, practical strategies, and open conversations to help you better understand and celebrate your autistic or neurodivergent child. We’ll discuss your child’s strengths, their unique mind, preferences, their challenges, and the supports that they need to thrive.

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