171 episodes

Join Mona Kay as she focuses on increasing understanding of the strengths, differences, and challenges in mixed neurotype relationships. Whether you're autistic, neurotypical or allistic, this podcast is for you! Knowing how your neurology may impact your communication style, emotional and social needs, processing speeds, sensory needs and sexual and physical intimacy desires is critical, especially in your romantic relationships. Listen in and learn about other's lived experiences, lessons learned, and strategies for understanding how neurological differences can impact your relationship.

Neurodiverse Love with Mona Kay Neurodiverse Love with Mona Kay

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.5 • 33 Ratings

Join Mona Kay as she focuses on increasing understanding of the strengths, differences, and challenges in mixed neurotype relationships. Whether you're autistic, neurotypical or allistic, this podcast is for you! Knowing how your neurology may impact your communication style, emotional and social needs, processing speeds, sensory needs and sexual and physical intimacy desires is critical, especially in your romantic relationships. Listen in and learn about other's lived experiences, lessons learned, and strategies for understanding how neurological differences can impact your relationship.

    Being an Autistic Female Partner-Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett

    Being an Autistic Female Partner-Tony Attwood and Michelle Garnett

    To learn more about the Neurodivere Love Conversation Cards and Workbook, the Neurodiverse Love Conference videos and the other resources available for individuals or couples in mixed neurotype relationships click here.

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    Professor Tony Attwood and Dr, Michelle Garnett have learned through their many years of clinical experience that there are some unique challenges to being in a love relationship as a female autistic partner, and yet much of the literature on relationships where one partner is autistic focuses on the male autistic/female neurotypical experience. In this session, they both describe some of the experiences they have discovered to be challenging for autistic women in love relationships, and give some ideas about how to manage these challenges. This session will be helpful to both autistic women and their partners.

    If you would like to learn more about the workshops and resources that Tony and Michelle have available, please check out their website.


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    • 29 min
    Trauma Informed Neurodiverse Couples Therapy-Harry Motro

    Trauma Informed Neurodiverse Couples Therapy-Harry Motro

    To understand yourself, your partner and your neurodiverse relationship better, invest in the Neurodiverse Love Conversation Cards, Workbook, and the Neurodiverse Love Conference videos. In addition, check out the other resources available to help you find guidance as you move forward on your Neurodiverse Love journey. ———————————————————————During this session from the Neurodiverse Love Conference, Dr. Harry Motro shares how "Trauma Informed Neurodiverse Couples Therapy" can help create a path to lasting healing.



    When one or both partners has been traumatized by relationship patterns that are rooted in their neuro-differences, the partners must overcome two distinct challenges:


    1. Heal the trauma, and
    2. Understand and build bridges across the neurological differences.


    Unfortunately, most approaches to Neurodiverse couples counseling do not adequately address the trauma. As a result, couples get stuck in trauma-fed reactive behaviors that keep them stuck.







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    • 21 min
    Rebuilding Your Self Worth and Healing Emotionally, Mentally and Physically-Solo Episode

    Rebuilding Your Self Worth and Healing Emotionally, Mentally and Physically-Solo Episode

    To help you and your partner better understand each other, you can buy the digital download of the Neurodiverse Love Conversation Cards for $11 or the Neurodiverse Love Conversation Card Workbook for $12.97

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    During this solo episode, Mona shares how she has rebuilt her self-worth and self esteem and healed emotionally, mentally and physically since her divorce 6 years ago. Other topics addressed include:



    Looking back I am able to get a clear understanding of what brought me the peace and joy I have today.
    Whether you stay in your current relationship or go please know that we all deserve joy and peace!!!
    You can’t change the past, but you can understand it to change the narrative or story you tell yourself and this helps improve life in the present and the future.  
    We all are doing the best we can in the moment and when we know better we CAN do better!!! (Maya Angelou)
    Understand what is changeable, focus on your side of the street, take action towards thriving!!!
    Feel it, visualize it and see yourself taking the action steps to move forward on making the changes you want to create to have the life you want!
    Emotional death by a thousand papercuts occurs because you don’t understand your own or each other’s neurotypes, childhood wounds or vulnerabilities. You wish your partner could change and do things more like you do and you are both unintentionally hurting and triggering each other…your nervous systems are continuously dysregulated and you may find yourself in a state of fight, flight, freeze or fawn often.
    Mourning, grief and disbelief that our marriage was ending after 30 years, yet we still loved each other!!!
    Resentment, anger and regret.
    Anxiety, depression, despair.
    Feeling all the feels and having a support system that could hold me close and love me through some of the most emotional and lowest points in my life.
    Working on my mental health, finding a good therapist, listening to podcasts and reading books, walking, spending time outside in the sun and at the beach.
    Reconnecting with the things I loved when I was younger, that I was no longer including in my life.
    Getting clear about my own needs, wants, desires, and non-negotiables.
    Practicing self-care and saying no to things that no longer mattered to me and saying "fuck yes" to the things that I was most passionate about or that brought me peace.
    Rebuilding my self esteem and self-worth, and then putting myself out there again to start dating.
    Eating healthy and exercising.
    Getting clear about my dreams and taking steps to move forward on making them a reality… asking myself “will I regret this if I don’t do it?”
    Having and communicating healthy boundaries in every relationship in my life which included work, friends, family and dating.
    Tapping into my life purpose and moving forward to making that a reality.
    Being kind and patient with myself, and fully accepting what I needed to heal and grow.
    Forgiveness, healing somatically and spiritually and finally, knowing that other peoples opinions of me is none of my business, and is oftentimes a reflection of their own unhealed trauma or pain. 
    You can’t do the work for two people!!! 
    Own your truth! 
    Let old patterns die!!! 
    Celebrating freedom from unintentional hurt and pain…healing, growth and living an aligned life. 
    Saying goodbye to the old version of me and embracing my authentic self.
    Radical acceptance and responsibility for living my truth! 
    Understanding my own neurotype, my wants, needs, desires, values and preferences. 
    Knowing that I deserve to live my best, most authentic life!!!!

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    To keep up-to-date on all the resources available through Neurodiverse Love you can subscribe to Mona's newsletter at: https://www.neurodiverselove.com/newsletter-signup
    Follow Mona on Instagram: @neurodiverse_loveCheck out her website:  www.neurodivers

    • 47 min
    Increasing Knowledge of Neurodivergence for Therapists and the Self-Discovery Process-Ali Cunningham Abbott

    Increasing Knowledge of Neurodivergence for Therapists and the Self-Discovery Process-Ali Cunningham Abbott

    If you are interested in learning more about the resources Mona has available for neurodiverse couples, or individuals in a neurodiverse relationship, you can check out her website at: www.neurodiverselove.com

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    During this episode with Dr. Ali Cunningham Abbott, LMHC we talk about the self-discovery process for neurodivergent individuals and why it is critical for therapists, health care professionals and educators to have more knowledge and training about neurodiversity. Other topics addressed include:




    Ali's work at the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU).
    Combatting assumptions about autism and romantic relationships.
    Counselors need to have the competencies to work with neurodivergent individuals or neurodiverse couples.
    Understanding the self-identification and self-discovery options and process. 
    Knowing if it’s necessary to get a formal diagnosis.
    Using free assessment tools may be helpful (ie: Autism Quotient; Social Responsiveness Scale).
    Go to www.embraceautism.com for a lot of free assessment tools.
    Understand your Sensory Profile.
    Hypo and Hyper social motivation.
    Understanding autism across the lifespan, for all genders, for different races and the diversity in sexuality identities.
    Autism representation in the media and stereotypes.
    Feeling alien or not belonging and getting a diagnosis or self-identification as an adult.
    Grieving what could have been because of unknown autism.
    Using strengths and assets to help individuals thrive.
    Project F.I.N.D. (Females in Need of Diagnosis).
    Making higher educational training more autism friendly.



    Ali is the Program Director for the Counseling Program at Lynn University and she has created an “Interest Network” at the Southern Association for Counselors Educators and Supervisors.




    If you would like to buy Ali's book the title is: Counseling Adults with Autism; A Comprehensive Toolkit. 




    The title of Steph Jones book is: The Autistic Survival Guide to Therapy.




    You can contact Ali at Lynn University  or on LinkedIn






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    • 56 min
    Camouflaging Autistic Traits: The Impact on Mental Health and Identity-Laura Hull

    Camouflaging Autistic Traits: The Impact on Mental Health and Identity-Laura Hull

    If you are looking for more resources on neurodiverse relationships you can check out Mona's website: www.neurodiverselove.com

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    During this episode with Dr. Laura Hull you will learn more about the development of the CAT-Q tool (Camouflaging Autistic Traits Questionnaire)  and the impact of camouflaging/masking.

    Other topics discussed are:


    How the CAT-Q was developed and why.
    What might make it difficult for girls or women to get an autism diagnosis?
    Developing methods for teachers and parents to recognize and understand camouflaging. 
    Camouflaging may be affect a person's mental health because of increased stress and anxiety, feeling like they may be losing their identity, lack of authenticity, or lying about who they are.
    The research shows there is a connection between mental health and camouflaging.  There is ongoing research on the correlation between these topics.
    Masking and camouflaging are used interchangeably and focus on changing and fitting in. Camouflaging-is compensating for differences or assimilating into other aspects of behavior. Masking is a subtype of camouflaging and is about hiding of Autistic characteristics.
    Discovering that you’re Autistic later in life and beginning to work out your identity and unmask to find out who your “real self” is.
    Determining if you want to unmask in all areas of life.
    How unmasking impacts your relationships.
    Seeing your child get negative feedback for being who they are may be a catalyst for unmasking .
    There are some differences between different genders and the way they camouflage.
    What if health care and mental health providers ALL screened for neurodivergence? This could help more people get the right support and accommodations!
    The CAT-Q can be accessed for free at:https://embrace-autism.com/cat-q/
    The tool can help you better understand if and how you might be camouflaging.
    Laura is working on another project with neurodivergent individuals to determine what type of support young people who are masking might need.

    To learn more about masking you can buy the book Laura co-authored: Autism and Masking: How and Why People Do It and the Impact it Can Have by Dr. Felicity Sedgewick, Dr. Laura Hull and Helen Ellis.



    You can also contact Laura at: Laura.hull@bristol.ac.uk






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    • 34 min
    Women & Girls on the Spectrum and Understanding Differences in Our Neurodiverse Relationships-Sarah Hendrickx

    Women & Girls on the Spectrum and Understanding Differences in Our Neurodiverse Relationships-Sarah Hendrickx

    To get more information about the resources Mona has available for neurodiverse couples or individuals in mixed neurotype relationships check out her website at: www.neurodiverselove.com
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    During this episode with author Sarah Hendrickx, she will share how she met her partner 20 years ago and why she didn’t understand why their relationship was so wonderful and difficult at the same time. She also talks about how she began to discover her own neurotype and how she and her partner Keith compliment each other's strengths and understand and accomodate each other's differences. Sarah has been doing “non-clinical autism diagnostic assessments”, workshops and conference presentations for many years and the 2nd edition of her fantastic book "Women and Girls on the Autism Spectrum" was released this year and is a “must read”.

    Other topics discussed include: 


    The Lost Generation.
    PCOS and Autistic women.
    Anxiety and agoraphobia.
    AuDHD and women.
    Bridging the silos.
    Menopause and ND women (autistic menopause.com is doing research on this topic)
    What attracts neurodivergent partners? 
    Not being focused on social conventions.
    How neurodiverse couples are attracted to certain qualities in the beginning of the relationship that may drive them nuts as the relationship moves forward.
    The differences in her relationship with Keith and how they help each other step up and take care of each other. (Socializing, sensory and emotional/mental health differences).
    How alexithymia may be impacting your relationship.
    The importance of self-awareness.
    Acknowledging that you are no longer in the same relationship that you were in before you knew you were a neurodiverse couple.
    The importance of shared core values.
    Always be kind! 
    Want the best for each other.
    Understanding what is changeable and what is not.
    The best you each can do is going to change…sometimes daily.


    Other books and authors mentioned on the podcast:
    Other books by Sarah: The Adolescent and Adult Neuro-diversity Handbook; Love, Sex & Long Term Relationships; Aspergers Syndrome and Employment; Asperger's Syndrome-a love story.
    An Asperger Marriage by Gisela and Christopher Slater
    Asperger Syndrome and Alcohol: Drinking to Cope by Matthew Tinsley and Sarah Hendrickx
    Books by: Liane Holliday Willey (Pretending to Be Normal and Asperger Syndrome in the Family), Temple Grandin (The Autistic Brain and Navigating Autism) and Donna Williams (Autism: An Inside-Out Approach and Nobody Nowhere)

    You can learn more about Sarah or contact her daughter Jess at: https://www.asperger-training.com/sarah-hendrickx
    In addition, for more information about the assessments available you can go to: https://axia-asd.co.uk/




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    • 1 hr 9 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
33 Ratings

33 Ratings

WellFedbyGijiMD ,

A Wealth of Information

For as far back as I can remember I have had an affinity for neurodiverse people — especially children, but also adults. Listening to Mona Kay’s interview with Dr. Veronica Anderson may have provided some insight into why by revealing what may be some of my own neurodiversity. Whether the Goldilocks Zone, Double Empathy, the Core Wound of Failure or other very resonating revelations abound in each episode.

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