15 episodes

The Autism Podcast, delivered by the London Autism Group Charity, is the definitive autism related podcast. The podcast aims to improve our understanding of autism, boost acceptance, reduce autism stigma, and generate impactful, transformative ideas ranging from practical everyday advice to thoughts on policy, practice, and wider socio-cultural challenges.

The Autism Podcast The Autism Podcast

    • Mental Health

The Autism Podcast, delivered by the London Autism Group Charity, is the definitive autism related podcast. The podcast aims to improve our understanding of autism, boost acceptance, reduce autism stigma, and generate impactful, transformative ideas ranging from practical everyday advice to thoughts on policy, practice, and wider socio-cultural challenges.

    The Autism Podcast - Interview with Christa Holmans (aka Neurodivergent Rebel) on the topic of neurodiversity

    The Autism Podcast - Interview with Christa Holmans (aka Neurodivergent Rebel) on the topic of neurodiversity

     
    In Season 2, episode 5 of The Autism Podcast, Chris and James speak with Christa Holmans, also known as Neurodivergent Rebel, about all things neurodiversity. In particular, we talk about her own journey into late autism diagnosis, how her mental health interplayed with her journey and the stigma of mental health, what neurodiversity means, why it is so important and the stigma associated with it, how to promote neurodiversity in the workplace and the importance of this, and much more.
    Christa is a very well known autistic self-advocate from Texas in the United States and runs the internationally recognized neurodiversity lifestyle blog 'Neurodivergent Rebel' in 2016 as a way to introduce people unfamiliar with the concept of neurodiversity to this new way of seeing neurological difference. Today, she runs a very popular YouTube channel which explores the ideology of neurodiversity and the creative expressions of autistic people. She also actively discusses autism and neurodiversity on her Instagram and Twitter channels She also manages Neurodivergent Consulting, a consulting agency that works with businesses “to create new policies that work to attract and increase tenure of current and future neurodivergent employees”.
    Holmans is also known as the pioneer of the #askingautistics hashtag, which is most often accompanied by a short question about common autistic experiences such as self-stimulation, burnout, special interests, alternative communication, and accommodations needed for accessibility. 
    Episode timeline:
    0 - 7.30 - Christa's autism journey and her late diagnosis, coping mechanisms and working towards correcting the misinformation and misconceptions associated with autism7.31 - 11.15 - the importance of a positive and non-stigmatising diagnostic process11.16 - 17.47 - what led to the diagnosis, the role of yoga17.48 - 22.43 - what helps drive Christa's advocacy of neurodiversity and other work on social media, her personal journey into advocacy post-diagnosis, keeping on top of and engaging in social media discourse22.44 - 27.15 - where she got the name 'neurodivergent rebel', what it means to her and how it reflects her rejection of pathologising autism, the meaning of neurodiversity and the importance of empowering it27.16 - 33.00 - the stigma of neurodiversity and autism, and the significant potential negative impact associated with this33.01 - 33.55 - America being behind the UK and parts of Europe in terms of understanding and valuing neurodiversity33.56 - 39.31 - how to improve the diagnostic process, US vs UK diagnostic service differences, misdiagnosis or incorrect diagnosis39.32 - 44:55 - the relationship between Christa's mental health and her late diagnosis, what in her life negatively impacted on her mental health (anxiety in particular), the stigma of mental health and the importance of destigmatising it, 'Texas Tough' and the expectation of being tough in Texas which can stem conversations about mental health 44.56 - 1.01.35 - how to promote neurodiversity in particular in the workplace, employment stigma and discrimination, how to make workplaces more neurodiversity friendly and the importance of this on productivity and mental health1.01.36 - final thoughts and how to get in touch with Christa
    Links:
    Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/neurodivergentrebel/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/NeuroRebel
    YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdaQVw-dxYuZb2GXHL7LSjA
    Main website: http://neurodivergentrebel.com
    Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/NeurodivergentRebel
    Christa's neurodiversity consultancy company: https://neurodivergentconsulting.org/
    And also: http://AustinAllianceGroup.com

    • 1 hr 6 min
    The Autism Podcast - Interview with Lola Alvarez-Romano (on the topic of psychotherapy and mental health support for parents/carers)

    The Autism Podcast - Interview with Lola Alvarez-Romano (on the topic of psychotherapy and mental health support for parents/carers)

    In Season 2, Episode 4 of The Autism Podcast, Chris and James speak with Lola Alvarez-Romano, an experienced child and adolescent psychotherapist who works to support the mental health of families in a special school based in North London. Lola talks about some of the key mental health issues she has observed during her time supporting families with a child with additional needs, the importance of the therapeutic journey and power of acceptance, the importance of supporting the mental health (particularly in school settings), how she protects her own well-being against emotional burnout, and much more.
    Timeline:
    0 - 13.09: Lola's background, training and how she ended up working in a special school supporting the mental health of families of children attending the school13.10: The aim of the current school service she provides, main themes of issues that she encounters, the role of culture and stigma, isolation and social networks, the challenges and also positives of parenting a child with additional needs, the potential trauma of diagnosis26.10: The 'why me?' feeling and the importance of the process and journey, how parental feelings could impact upon the child, the crucial importance of acceptance29.02: Changing the social narrative towards embracing and accepting disability and diversity 32.35: James' experience of Lola's school-based support, parents being stuck in a negative loop and breaking this loop, the pressure on marriages, father mental health 40.18: The potential negative impact of professionals focusing on mothers over fathers, the importance of father involvement and parental unity43.38: How Lola protects herself from burnout and boosts her own resilience in the face of often difficult, challenging and emotive conversations. Also her responsibility for safeguarding above all else. 50.56: Lola's belief that mental health services in schools, particularly special schools, should be available more widely and that commissioners & headteachers should try to prioritise services like this if resources allow more than they currently do. 57.30: The importance of thinking about the whole family including siblings whose mental health can also become vulnerable. How to contact Lola
    Find out more about the work Lola does and how to contact her from the following links:
    Association of child psychotherapists (https://childpsychotherapy.org.uk/member_details/4118) https://uk.linkedin.com/in/lola-%C3%A1lvarez-romano-583bba6ahttps://senmagazine.co.uk/home/articles/senarticles-2/the-unforeseen-journey

    • 1 hr
    The Autism Podcast - Interview with Venessa Bobb (on the topic of BAME autistic communities)

    The Autism Podcast - Interview with Venessa Bobb (on the topic of BAME autistic communities)

    In Season 2, Episode 3 of The Autism Podcast, Chris speaks with Venessa Bobb about the difficulties Black, Asian and Minority ethnic (BAME) autistic people and their families face including stigma and when accessing support.
    Venessa is a well-known UK-based autistic campaigner and advocate of autistic people in particular those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities. She is the founder of A2ndvoice, a small voluntary group run by parents and carers of autistic children and adults, and Branch Officer of the National Autistic Society (NAS) Lambeth Autism Group (see also https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/amazing-volunteers/venessa.aspx). She is a member of the Advisory Group All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism (APPGA), an advisor on the National Autistic Society's Diverse Perspectives report, the author of Network Autism's Supporting BAME autistic people and their families article, and supports the organisations Cassandra Centre and GroomSafe.  
    You can contact Venessa through her Twitter handle (https://twitter.com/BobbVenessa) and LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/venessabobb/.
    Timeline:
    0 - 2.02: Introduction
    2.03 - 9.01: Venessa's experiences of her autistic son when he was young including people's stigmatising and negative reactions across the community, the diagnostic process
    9.02 - 15.19: Accessing support after her son's diagnosis and the lack of BAME representation; judgements and stigma towards her parenting, the increase of stigma in the community when her son's diagnosis was revealed, the importance of others accepting the diagnosis, stigma from professionals including judgements from the GP and social services that the underlying issue was parenting skills, the importance of being transparent and communicating with professionals.
    15.20 - 21.08: The limitations of the Autism Act 2009 (until the update in 2019) in particular for autistic children, the statutory services not implementing the Act appropriately, lack of BAME representation, the need for the community to come together to support each-other and to hear stories from the BAME autistic community, the need for BAME autistic representation
    21.09 - 24.17: The Black community reacting to incidents but not coming together in unity and finding solutions through appropriate representation from the community, the Cassandra Centre, the importance of looking at family dynamics and looking beyond just autism per se to understand the whole picture, the importance of the BAME community supporting each-other
    24.18 - 27.46: How social services can improve the way they are delivering their support to families, lack of joined up thinking across professionals, the importance of cultural competence, trusting services
    27.47 - 30.15: The role of the religious community in supporting autistic people and their families, what led Venessa to set up A2ndVoice and the work the organisation focuses upon, her other roles including the NAS Lambeth Autism Support Group
    30.16 - 38.29: How we can reduce autism stigma and discrimination across different communities
    38.30 - 40.19: Autistic people in the criminal justice system
    40.20 - 51.12 Advice to new carers and parents of recently diagnosed autistic children who are experiencing/vulnerable to stigma

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Season 2, Episode 2: Interview with Rachel Aanstad (on the topic of older autistic adults)

    Season 2, Episode 2: Interview with Rachel Aanstad (on the topic of older autistic adults)

    In Season 2, Episode 2 of The Autism Podcast, Chris and James speak with Rachel Aanstad, an older autistic adult based in the United States who runs the Actually Autistic Podcast. Rachel talks about her personal experiences with diagnosis, the impact autism stigma and the allistic social world has had on her, the complexities in generating reliable research evidence about older autistic adults, social conformity, and the benefits of early diagnosis and self-acceptance. She also talks about what led to her developing her podcast, the podcast's main long-term goals, and ends with providing advice for older adults who are also discovering that they may be autistic.
    Timeline:
    0 - 1.58: Introduction1.59 - 5.28: Rachel's own experience with the self-realisation that she may autistic5.29 - 9.36: Autism stigma impacting on conversations about self-exploration9.37 - 22.16: The mortality gap with older autistic adults, some of the risk factors associated with this (e.g. discrimination, poverty, social exclusion, loneliness), the need for more research evidence in particular reliable statistics and some of the challenges associated with researching this22.17 - 33.26: Differences in outcomes exist, how the sensory world impacts upon wellbeing, the need and preference for aloneness, and Rachel's hyperphantasia33.27 - 37.59: Social conformity, the pressure to comply, bullying, cultural differences towards the need to comply38.00 - 42.18: The benefits of early diagnosis, self-diagnosis and self-acceptance for older autistic adults42.19 - 50.47: What led to her podcast, what the podcast is about and the hope for long-term impact50.48 - 54.37: Advice for older autistic people who are currently on the journey of self-exploration

    • 55 min
    Season 2, Episode 1: Interview with Joseph Redford (on the topic of autistic advocacy and campaigning)

    Season 2, Episode 1: Interview with Joseph Redford (on the topic of autistic advocacy and campaigning)

    In Season 2, Episode 1 of The Autism Podcast, Chris and James speak with Joseph Redford, an autistic adult, campaigner, advocate involved in a range of autistic-led organisations. He talks about his personal experiences and challenges during school and education, finding a sense of belonging and identity with the autism community, and all of the various work he undertakes with the autistic-led organisations he is involved with. He also opens up about his mental health including what has helped and also challenged his mental health, organising autistic pride events, and more!
    Timeline:
    0 - 3:28 - Introduction3:29 - 15:55 - Joseph's experiences at school including social rejection and bullying, the importance of exploring one's identity and the role school could have with this, and autism stigma more broadly15:56 - 24:41 - Autscape, conferences, and the importance of autistic-led boards, how to get involved in Autscape and its board24:42 - 36:57 - Labour Party Autism / Neurodiversity Manifesto, employment discrimination, the crucial importance of social policy, the need for a cultural change and autism stigma36:58 - 42:50 Autistic pride events, recommendations on how people can get involved or arrange an autistic pride event42:51 - 1:00:51 - Westminster autism commission, demonstrations and the Mendip House protest organised by Autistic Inclusive Meets, Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs), Mental Health Inpatient units and discriminatory and harmful sectioning, the negative portrayal of autism in the media, the Oliver McGowan case, antidepressants and side effects, mental health and its links with traumatic experiences 1:00:52 - 1:06.51 - What has helped and hindered Joseph's mental health, and the impact of Joseph's work.
    To contact Joseph, please email him at obergine@gmail.com or find him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/joseph.m.redford). Joseph also has a Twitter account (@jmtredford) but is not on regularly.
    Links to the organisations referred to in the episode are listed below:
    Autscape - http://www.autscape.org/labour party autism/neurodiversity manifesto- https://neurodiversitymanifesto.com/2018/09/18/labour-party-autism-neurodiversity-manifesto-final-draft-version-2018/
    Westminster Autism Commission - https://westminsterautismcommission.wordpress.com/
    The Autism Empire (who produce the customised autism alert cards) - https://www.autisticempire.com
    Autistic cooperative - https://www.facebook.com/TheAutisticCooperative/
    Stripped of Human Rights - https://bringingustogether.org.uk/stripped-of-human-rights/

    • 1 hr 9 min
    The Autism Podcast - Season 1 finale - Chris and James discuss Season 1

    The Autism Podcast - Season 1 finale - Chris and James discuss Season 1

    In the final and 10th episode of season 1 of The Autism Podcast, Chris and James reflect upon and discuss Season 1 and the podcast's plans for Season 2. They discuss some of the issues highlighted in each episode to date, including SEN and EHCP issues in schools, the importance of how professionals conduct the diagnosis process and communicate with parents/carers, the impact of social media including the neurodiversity discourse on Twitter and Facebook support groups (including the London Autism Group) as well as community meet-ups, autistic girls and women, bullying, sleeping issues, and the sensory experience. Both also talk about some of their personal experiences including diagnosis and epilepsy.
    Thanks to everyone who has listened to Season 1. We hope the podcast has been useful to you and made a positive impact. We will be back with more episodes and interviews in Season 2 which will commence in September/October 2019.
    -- If you would like to support the London Autism Group Charity, which produces 'The Autism Podcast', please visit https://www.facebook.com/londonautismgroupcharity/ and consider making a donation (no matter how small). Thank you! --

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

Firegnat ,

Inspirational interviews

Thank you for this podcast. An excellent resource for anyone who is or knows someone with Autism. Inspirational interviews and a very knowledgeable host!
It’s the only ‘Autistic’ podcast I listen to.

WelshTim78 ,

Amazing

Incredibly knowledgeable broadcaster with great guests.
It’s a really informative podcast.

Aycéline ,

Dénis

Brilliant, informative,Fun, real life experience 👏👏👏👏

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