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Stairway to STEM Editorial Board Members explore the actions that students, families, educators, and institutions can take to bring about greater acceptance, integration, and meaningful opportunities for autistic students / students on the spectrum. Acceptance is action.

Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast Stairway to STEM

    • Kurse

Stairway to STEM Editorial Board Members explore the actions that students, families, educators, and institutions can take to bring about greater acceptance, integration, and meaningful opportunities for autistic students / students on the spectrum. Acceptance is action.

    An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: College, Culture Shock & Indigenous Communities

    An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: College, Culture Shock & Indigenous Communities

    In this audio clip Laura Gilmour asks her friend Shallen Blanchard about her experiences being a member of a rural indigenous community who had to acclimate to an urban college setting far from family when she attended an undergraduate program. Laura and Shallen find a lot of similarities in their experiences, even though they come from different minority groups. This discussion helps us learn more about the ways all students can be supported during their college journeys. 
     

    Shallen Blanchard grew up in a remote Saskatchewan farming community. She is the daughter of Métis First Nation parents from Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. Being both a minority student and a student with anxiety made the transition to a major city to attend university difficult. She is a strong advocate for her community and other individuals who face barriers, such as refugees and immigrants.

    Download the transcript here:
    An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: College, Culture Shock & Indigenous Communities
    You might also like:
    An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: Campus Life
    STEM, Autism, and Building Professional Relationships: Interview With a Mentor, Part I
    Strategies for Autistic Students in Overcoming Anxiety
    Becoming Visible: STEM Role Models & Mentors for Disabled Students
    Autism and STEM: Career Considerations for Students
    On Inclusive Hiring: Diversity Consultant Samuel Ellison
     
    Questions or comments? Let us know!
     
     
     

    • 10 Min.
    An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: Campus Life

    An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: Campus Life

    Autism, college life, and connecting with other minority students during undergrad. In this audio clip on what it’s like being an undergraduate from another country, autistic self-advocate Laura Gilmour asks her mentor Dr. Melike Shalomon, originally from Barvaria, about her experiences acclimating to studying in Canada when she was an undergraduate.
     
    Dr. Melike Schalomon, Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science. Associate Professor, Psychology. MacEwan University, Alberta, CA.
    Dr. Schalomon’s background is in behavioral neuroscience. Her graduate education focused on animal research in rodents, with an emphasis on neuroanatomy, neurosurgery and neurogenetics. She studied cerebral lateralization and the consequences of damage to the corpus callosum as a result of split brain surgery and congenital agenesis of the callosum. After obtaining her degree, she developed a secondary teaching and research interest in the field of human sexuality with a primary focus on sexual orientation. She has explored the relationship between sexual orientation and sexual behavior in exceptional populations. Over the past several years, her main research interests have refocused on behavioral neuroscience. She is engaged in a program of research using zebrafish. Zebrafish are rapidly becoming a major model organism for studying the nervous system, as their genetics are well understood and their neurochemistry closely parallels that of the human brain. One focus of Dr. Schalomon’s research with zebrafish is the development of reliable and valid paradigms for assessing zebrafish behavior. These paradigms are then used to explore how environmental manipulations, for example pharmaceutical agents, affect various behaviors including anxiety and memory.
    Download the transcript here: Laura Gilmour and Dr. Melike Schalomon Being a Minority on Campus as an Undergrad.docx
    Want to hear more from Laura and Dr. Schalomon? Try these:
    STEM, Autism, and Building Professional Relationships: Interview with a Mentor, Part One
    Debate in College STEM Classes: Hot Topics & Autistic Students
    You might also like:
    Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode One, Institutions of Higher Education
    Autistic and Transitioning to College? What Students and Families Need to Know
    How Examining Autism and the Immigrant Experience Together Can Benefit Communities
    Where’s Bavaria? What’s it like?
    Learn more here.
    Questions or comments? Let us know!
     

    • 15 Min.
    Debate in College STEM Classes: Hot Topics & Autistic Students

    Debate in College STEM Classes: Hot Topics & Autistic Students

    In this audio clip on handling classroom debate for autistic students, Laura Gilmour asks her mentor Dr. Melike Shalomon for her take on how to set up classroom dynamics and expectations to encourage the best debate environment on hot-button issues. As Dr. Schalomon says, “You don’t have to agree, but you do have to get to the point where you can respect the other person’s opinion.” This brief exchange has a lot of good advice. 
     
    Dr. Melike Schalomon, Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science. Associate Professor, Psychology. MacEwan University, Alberta, CA.
    Dr. Schalomon’s background is in behavioral neuroscience. Her graduate education focused on animal research in rodents, with an emphasis on neuroanatomy, neurosurgery and neurogenetics. She studied cerebral lateralization and the consequences of damage to the corpus callosum as a result of split brain surgery and congenital agenesis of the callosum. After obtaining her degree, she developed a secondary teaching and research interest in the field of human sexuality with a primary focus on sexual orientation. She has explored the relationship between sexual orientation and sexual behavior in exceptional populations. Over the past several years, her main research interests have refocused on behavioral neuroscience. She is engaged in a program of research using zebrafish. Zebrafish are rapidly becoming a major model organism for studying the nervous system, as their genetics are well understood and their neurochemistry closely parallels that of the human brain. One focus of Dr. Schalomon’s research with zebrafish is the development of reliable and valid paradigms for assessing zebrafish behavior. These paradigms are then used to explore how environmental manipulations, for example pharmaceutical agents, affect various behaviors including anxiety and memory.
    Download the transcript here:
    Debate in College STEM Classes: Hot Topics and Autistic Students
    You might also like:
    Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Institutions of Higher Education
    Autistic Self-advocacy and STEM: A College Journey
    Autism and Socializing in College

    • 4 Min.
    Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast, Episode Six: Bridging Communication Differences

    Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast, Episode Six: Bridging Communication Differences

    Bridging communication differences between autistic and non-autistic people. Editorial Board Member Arianne Garcia and contributor Katie Newton discuss the limitations of social scripts, the challenges of masking, race and gender in relation to autism, and techniques for everyone on improving breakdowns in communication and communication styles. 

    Download Transcript, Arianne Garcia and Katie Newton, Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast, Episode Six, Bridging Communication Differences
     
    Episode Notes





    Resources



    For more STS resources on communication, look here:


    Autism and Socializing in College


    Strategies for Autistic Students in Overcoming Anxiety


    Five Reasons to Self-Disclose Your Autism When Going to College


    Autism and Self-care for College Students


    Insight for Autistic Students and Their Families About Developing Self-Advocacy Skills: Two Studies on Emerging Adulthood


    For more resources on supporting self-advocacy, look here:


    Mental, Physical, and Emotional Well-being

    On Creating a STEM Familia: Dr. Lisette Torres

    Autistic and Transitioning to College? What Students and Families Need to Know (video)


    How Greater Autism Representation Positively Impacts the Workplace







    Hosts









    Arianne Garcia



    Arianne is a Hispanic writer, activist, artist, and autism advocate. She was diagnosed at 25 with ADHD and autism. Unsatisfied with just educating herself, Arianne set up her own website to help others navigate the tricky communication bridge between autistic and neurotypical thinking and speaking. Arianne has written on numerous autism topics, such as Hispanics and autism diagnosis rates, hiring autistic people, suicidal ideation in autistic adults, amongst other things. Arianne‘s stress therapy includes sensory aides, music, and playing with Legos. Interested in her work? Visit her website: www.arianneswork.com
     

    Katie Newton
    Katie is a part time speech and language pathologist and part time professional runner. Katie received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Boston University in Speech, Hearing, and Language Sciences and Speech-Language Pathology, respectively. She also trains on the Boston Athletic Association High Performance Team. Katie has experience in public and private schools as well as private clinic settings. She works with children and young adults with a variety of disabilities, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Katie loves to share executive functioning and planning tips along with the more traditional social language strategies to help students succeed.
     
    Join the conversation below.

    • 32 Min.
    Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode Five, Inclusive College Models for Students Who Have Autism

    Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode Five, Inclusive College Models for Students Who Have Autism

    Inclusive college models for students who have autism. Editorial Board Member Theresa Revans-McMenimon and her husband John McMenimon talk about their family’s experience with the college transition and the Think College model that their emerging young adult student participates in. 

    Download transcript, Theresa Revans-McMenimon and John McMenimon, Steps to Autism Acceptance, Episode Five: Think College Models
     
    Episode Notes





    Resources



    For more STS resources on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), look here:


    Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Supporting All STEM College Learners (video)


    Autism, STEM, and UDL: What is Universal Design for Learning? (video)


    Rules About Technology in the Classroom: A Barrier for Students With Disabilities?


    CAST is also an excellent resource on UDL


    Pleasantville Lab School


    Think:College Model 





    For more resources on supporting self-advocacy and interdependence, look here:


    Mental, Physical, and Emotional Well-being


    The Danger of Pursuing Interdependence as a Goal for Autistic Young Adults


    Insight for Autistic Students and Their Families About Developing Self-Advocacy Skills: Two Studies on Emerging Adulthood


    Autistic Self-Advocacy and STEM: A College Journey (video)


    Autistic and Transitioning to College? What Students and Families Need to Know (video)







    Hosts









    Theresa Revans-McMenimon, M.S., L.M.H.C., L.M.F.T.



    Theresa is a licensed mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist living and working in New York. In addition, she is an Adjunct Counselor for Students on the Autism Spectrum for Westchester Community College. Theresa brings her experience as a clinician and personal perspective as a parent of an individual with ASD to her higher ed position. Theresa is also an educational consultant to various families and institutions in New York.
    Questions for Theresa? 
    Join the conversation below.

    • 24 Min.
    Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode Four, What Friends and Peers Can Do to Support College Students on the Spectrum

    Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode Four, What Friends and Peers Can Do to Support College Students on the Spectrum

    Editorial Board Member Claire Barnett and her college friends talk about being autistic as well as being friends with students who have autism.

    Download transcript, Claire Barnett & Friends: What Peers and Friends Can Do to Support Autism Acceptance on Campus

    Resources
    For more STS resources on socializing, friends, and communication, you might like this posts:








    our Core Issues page, Autism and Socializing in College

    Autism, LGBTQA Dating, Community, and Student Groups: A Reflection


    Autistic and Looking for Social Connections on Campus? Join a Club!


    Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast, Episode Three: Communication Within Interpersonal Relationships


    Bullying and Autism: How to Recognize Harmful Behavior and Create a Safer School Environment


    Let’s Talk Autism, Special Interests, and College Social Life


    For more about sensory sensitivity, check out these resources:


    Autistic Sensory Sensitivity on Campus: Part One, Introduction

    How Not to Treat Sensory Anxiety, from Autistic Scholar

    For more about the Vanderbilt Autism and Neurodiversity Alliance, look here:

    The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation






     
    Host




    Staff Photo (Official White House Photo by Stephanie Chasez)




    Claire Barnett is a recent Vanderbilt University graduate who studied Human & Organizational Development. She was diagnosed with autism in November of 2017 and is a proponent of the neurodiversity framework for understanding people with all types of neurological differences. At school Claire was a student journalist, as the Photo-Video Director of the Vanderbilt Hustler and the Executive Producer of Vanderbilt TV News. In summer of 2017, she participated in the White House Internship Program in the Photo Office. You can check out her photographs at www.clairetomphotos.com.





    Questions for Claire? 
    Join the conversation below.

    • 23 Min.

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