24 episodes

The Sunflower Conversations deliver a deeper understanding of the Sunflower's role in supporting people with hidden disabilities. The topics are often personal and explore hidden disabilities through the prism of the Sunflower with guests hosted by members of the HIdden Disabilities Sunflower team. Making the invisible, visible.

The Sunflower Conversations Hidden Disabilities Sunflower

    • Health & Fitness

The Sunflower Conversations deliver a deeper understanding of the Sunflower's role in supporting people with hidden disabilities. The topics are often personal and explore hidden disabilities through the prism of the Sunflower with guests hosted by members of the HIdden Disabilities Sunflower team. Making the invisible, visible.

    Disability isn’t tragic

    Disability isn’t tragic

    Disability isn’t tragic
    Mik Lenth is 19 and lives in the MidWest in the US and has Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (EDS) which affects her connective tissue. The type that Mik has is hypermobility which means that her joints come out of place and dislocate.
    Mik talks us through her condition and how it has affected her growing up, particularly at school and how it continued into employment. The symptoms have progressively got worse and has led to several operations on her jaw and knee.
    With a good support system Mik doesn’t let her chronic illness hold her back and is looking forward to studying in Madrid this year and advocating for invisible disabilities.

    If you are experiencing problems discussed in this podcast contact your GP.

    For support
    Charity: Ehlers Danlos Support UK.

    Hosted by Chantal Boyle and Lynn Smith, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.


    Want to share your story? email conversations@hiddendisabilitiesstore.com

    Visit the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower website.

    • 19 min
    Supporting families with additional needs

    Supporting families with additional needs

    Supporting families with additional needs

    Benedict Symcox is CEO of charity, Family Voice Surrey, which is a parent carer forum.

    We learn how they engage with parents of children with additional needs, of which there are over 30,000 families in Surrey. They use the lived experiences of real people to help inform the council's policy making and services.

    By listening to parents and carers they are able to create mini communities for them to feel supported, as well as offering training.

    Organisations discussed in this podcast:
    Family Voice Surrey Family Voice Surrey Facebook groupIf you can help with their website (pro-bono) contact contact@familyvoicesurrey.org 
    Hosted by Chantal Boyle and Paul Shriever, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

    Want to share your story? email conversations@hiddendisabilitiesstore.com

    Visit the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower website.

    • 14 min
    Don't judge me

    Don't judge me

    Don't judge me
    Kez Symcox is neurodiverse, and has comorbidities, including: autism spectrum disorder, Tourettes, generalised anxiety disorder, depression, an eating disorder, PTSD traits, chronic fatigue syndrome, functional neurological disorder, and is awaiting an ADHD assessment.
    We chat to Kez and her mum, Benedicte, to find out what their normal is.  After many years of seeking medical advice and support what becomes clear is how mentally and physically demanding it is for Kez's parents.  There always seems to be a battle to get the correct diagnosis which has had it's own impacts on their mental health.

    Now that Kez knows what her conditions are it has allowed her to find support and a sense of community through online groups. Looking ahead to the future Kez is passionate about raising awareness of minority issues.

    In the words of Benedicte 'It will be okay'.

    If you are experiencing problems discussed in this podcast contact your GP.


    Organisations discussed in this podcast:

    Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS)

    Hosted by Paul Shriever and Chantal Boyle, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

    Want to share your story? email conversations@hiddendisabilitiesstore.com

    Visit the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower website.

    • 18 min
    Never Give Up

    Never Give Up

     Never Give Up
    Tom Ryan-Elliott has epilepsy and aphasia because of a brain injury he received while on holiday in Las Vegas. He has no recollection of the accident and has had several years of rehabilitation. 
    His epilepsy gives him Simple Focal and Atonic Clonic seizures, and the aphasia affects his speech and language processing. Over time he has developed coping strategies and with the use of technology he is on a mission to re-enter the world of employment.
    Now a keen photographer Tom’s moto is ‘never give up’.

    If you are experiencing problems discussed in this podcast contact your GP.

    Organisations discussed in this podcast:
    Tom Ryan-Elliot's photographyFor brain injuries - HeadwayFor aphasia - Aphasia Re-connect
    Hosted by Chantal Boyle, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

    Want to share your story? email conversations@hiddendisabilitiesstore.com

    Visit the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower website.

    • 24 min
    The day I stopped

    The day I stopped

    The day I stopped

    In this podcast we talk to Hidden Disability Sunflower team member - Paul Shriever.

    Paul chats about his own invisible disabilities - in his thirties with a young family Paul was admitted to A&E and told that he needed life saving open heart surgery- the treatment he received was a mitral heart valve replacement (titanium).

    The trauma of this experience and also being asthmatic from an early age has caused Paul a great deal of anxiety. Overtime he has learnt coping mechanisms and readdressed the balance in his life both physically and mentally.

    If you are experiencing problems discussed in this podcast contact your GP.

    To find out more about asthma, check out Asthma UK, a charity that offers information and support to people with asthma.  You can also call the charity's helpline team on 0300 222 5800.

    Hosted by Chantal Boyle, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

    Want to share your story? email conversations@hiddendisabilitiesstore.com

    Visit the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower website.

    • 28 min
    I'm not a problem child

    I'm not a problem child

    I'm not a problem child

    Saxon Boone lives in  Canada.  Saxon finally received her diagnosis of autism after teachers thought that she was a problem child.  Additionally she has ADHD, anxiety and Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PSOC).

    Her health conditions are intertwined  and the medication she takes to balance her hormones for PSOC can affect her mood which then affects her other conditions.

    Saxon shares with us her coping mechanisms to help her navigate her daily life and her hopes for the here and now and the future.

    Hosted by Paul Shriever, Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

    Visit the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower website.

    • 15 min

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