17 episodes

The Otherness Podcast is exploring and engaging autism through experienced stories. Dr. Todd Peter Levine presents conversations, concepts and guests covering an array of the interactions and experiences from those with or close to autism.

Otherness Podcast Todd Peter Levine

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 44 Ratings

The Otherness Podcast is exploring and engaging autism through experienced stories. Dr. Todd Peter Levine presents conversations, concepts and guests covering an array of the interactions and experiences from those with or close to autism.

    Diagnosed with autism later in life. A Joe Barksdale Story.

    Diagnosed with autism later in life. A Joe Barksdale Story.

    Joe Barksdale shares his story about a life that was forged and assembled by an abusive and neglectful family in Detroit, tested on football fields, and released in recording studios and on stage. While feeling so much pain and internal self-loathing, he talks about how he tolerated the social discomfort and loneliness of autism. He goes on to describe how he has endured his own darkness to add art to the world and create community which generated the discussion for s2. E7. N17. of the Otherness Podcast.

    This week, Todd interviews Joe Barksdale who is a comedian, musician, and author who was recently diagnosed with autism while struggling with a lifetime of crushing depression. Joe describes how the lens of autism has worsened his depression and feelings of hopelessness while he strives to create community and support through his music and comedy.

    Struggles can come in multiple ways for many to form the people we become. Autism can provide a unique lens which can magnify these struggles into more painful feelings that lead to desolation. Joe Barksdale shares about how he has lived a brave life through his childhood defined by abuse and neglect and time spent playing professional football. Barksdale shares how he wanted to be the best in a focused and concrete way that can be enhanced by autism. Despite his perceived success, Joe explains in this interview how he struggled with gripping depression and consistent suicidal thoughts. Joe talks about how he was an A student in high school who wanted to design the interior of cars before he embarked on his football career which was driven by his desire to show others that he could be the best at what he did. Joe talks about how he succeeded in the game of football, but did not like to be the center of attention. In this episode, Joe shares how he feels most comfortable when performing comedy and expressing his true self to others on stage. Joe goes on to describe how he wants to build a community that supports the creative output and compassion of others, particularly those affected by things with which he has struggled as a black man with mental illness and autism. Joe wants to call the community Moonbeam, which is the name of the first song he wrote for which he felt truly proud. This vision of community may embody Joe’s living force which appears so rooted in darkness.

    The Otherness Podcast is exploring and engaging autism through experienced stories with Dr. Todd Peter Levine and is available on most places and sites where you like to listen to podcasts.


    *******
    Opening Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Intro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing/Nick Burling (ASCAP)
    Administered by Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *******
    Closing Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Outro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    Administered by late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *******

    • 44 min
    Faith without knowing. Autism Family Reflections from Mom.

    Faith without knowing. Autism Family Reflections from Mom.

    Todd talks to his mother, Melanie, about how families form around defining members and moments. The Levine family was created around his brother, Jay, and moved forward with the compassion and conviction of Melanie. They reflect on how they purely embraced who Jay was and how they saw a future of companionship and community for him in s2. E6. N16. of the Otherness Podcast titled Faith without knowing. Autism Family Reflections from Mom.

    It took a while for Todd’s mother, Melanie, to join him for a family conversation on the Otherness Podcast. When they recorded this episode, Todd was able to remember how she led the Levine family into the uncharted waters of being truly present with his brother, Jay. Companionship for Jay was the top priority for Melanie, and she shares the experiences and images that fueled her faith and hope.

    Todd’s brother, Jay, has a steady job, his own apartment, and a caring girlfriend. Objectively, one could say that Jay is a success as a man, let alone one with autism. In this conversation between Todd and his mother, Melanie, these successes are not the focal point. The more meaningful creations were the relationships that were fueled by Jay’s true desire to connect and set by Melanie’s steady faith in his capacity for companionship with individuals and his community.

    Melanie shares an important family story of when she went to a local hardware store many years ago and met an employee there that reminded her of Jay. He wore a wedding ring and Melanie wondered who his wife was. She returned to the store a few days later and saw this man’s wife and was moved by how similar they were to each other as well as to Jay. The image of that couple stayed with her during Jay’s arduous yet fulfilling road towards being with someone who truly cared about him. Todd and Melanie also discuss how she went to the many school meetings to help Jay get the resources he needed being cooperative and non-adversarial, even if she was angry about what wasn’t being done for him. Todd describes what it was like to be forged in autism as Jay’s brother and how there was no real concept of abnormality in the relationship.

    The Otherness Podcast is exploring and engaging autism through experienced stories with Dr. Todd Peter Levine and is available on most places and sites where you like to listen to podcasts.

    S2. E6. N16. of the Otherness Podcast titled Faith without knowing. Autism Family Reflections from Mom.

    *******
    Opening Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Intro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing/Nick Burling (ASCAP)
    Administered by Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *******
    Closing Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Outro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    Administered by late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *******

    • 29 min
    Like Father Like Daughter. A Family Discussion About Autism.

    Like Father Like Daughter. A Family Discussion About Autism.

    When Todd’s daughter, Sofia, told him she wanted to write about autism for her end-of-year middle school research paper, Todd was both excited and anxious. Both the anxiety and excitement came from wondering what parts of her life experience with autism she incorporated into herself. The connective conversation that took place and became s2. E5. N15. of the Otherness Podcast titled Like Father Like Daughter. A Family Discussion About Autism.

    The tables of the Otherness Podcast are turned as Todd is interviewed by his daughter, Sofia. She asks intuitive questions about how Todd understands challenges hospitals have with engaging families affected by autism, the changing landscape from finding a “cure” for autism towards community and cultural support, and what she was surprised to learn in her research about how autism is actually a part of all of us.

    “Embracing autism is embracing the human condition”

    Like many of us, Todd has understood it is hard to “leave your work at the office”, especially when you spend it with families facing all of the challenges of autism as he does. He realized that his daughter, Sofia, was incorporating some of the spoken and unspoken lessons she learned about autism into her own ideas and questions. This led her to write a research paper on autism for a middle school project and was able to explore what we know and don’t know about autism.

    “I never thought of it as weird, it was just who my uncle was.”

    Todd has always wanted Sofia to form her own voice, which she did. While some of her views overlap with her father, some do not. Their discussion helped Todd realize that the children watching us try to “figure out autism” are actually growing up in an environment where they actually experience autism with those around them. Sofia not only learned about autism from growing up with her Uncle Jay, but saw communities embracing those with special needs. This brings normalcy to relationships grown in autism. She never viewed Jay as anything but her uncle and describes how she can relate to some of his autism traits for herself as we all need tools to cope that may involve repetition and order. They also discuss caring for people with autism in schools, hospitals, and therapy sessions while reflecting on what Jay experienced and what they have seen around them today.

    s2. E5. N15. of the Otherness Podcast is titled Like Father Like Daughter. A Family Discussion About Autism.

    The Otherness Podcast is exploring and engaging autism through experienced stories with Dr. Todd Peter Levine and is available on most places and sites where you like to listen to podcasts.

    *
    Opening Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Intro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing/Nick Burling (ASCAP)
    Administered by Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *
    Closing Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Outro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    Administered by late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)

    Like Father Like Daughter. A Family Discussion About Autism.

    • 24 min
    Professionals Are Not The Autism Experts, Families Are.

    Professionals Are Not The Autism Experts, Families Are.

    Todd finds himself closely relating to retired Officer Jerry Turning who has learned that patience, relatability, and trust lead to better outcomes in interactions between the autism community and law enforcement. Todd has learned similar lessons in his medical career and he and Jerry take inventory on how autism has shaped them as people and professionals in s2. E4. N14. of the Otherness Podcast titled Professionals Are Not The Autism Experts, Families Are.

    Todd finds a meaningful connection with retired Officer Jerry Turning whose blog “Bacon and Juiceboxes” and book “Desperate Pursuits” describe the internal struggles and steep learning curve that come from being a K9 police officer and autism dad. He has now forged a new career in retirement helping first responders and the autism community make meaningful connections.

    For the second part of his conversation with retired Officer Jerry Turning, Todd finds out much more about how Jerry felt terror and sadness when trying to help families affected by autism get through crises. He emotionally describes a situation where a bruised grandmother called the police to help calm her grandson with autism who was aggressive and destructive. Jerry made the call, to the confusion and alarm of his fellow officers, to leave the house when the grandson was able to calm down. He stayed in his cruiser nearby and was ready to help if the grandmother needed help. He feels we have to do better and the families are the experts when it comes to engaging their members with autism. Jerry imagines his son being physically restrained and brought to a hospital where he still may not receive adequate help and that drives him towards finding other ways to de-escalate crises. Todd relates to Jerry’s experiences and has found it very liberating to admit he does not know what to do at times and feels we don’t have control of the human condition. Jerry described how acting like you have control and know things when you actually do not will make a stressful situation much, much worse.

    The Otherness Podcast is exploring and engaging autism through experienced stories with Dr. Todd Peter Levine and is available on most places and sites where you like to listen to podcasts.


    *******
    Opening Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Intro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing/Nick Burling (ASCAP)
    Administered by Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *******
    Closing Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Outro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    Administered by Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *******
    Professionals Are Not The Autism Experts, Families Are.

    • 33 min
    Failing and Finding in Autism. Loving the Autism Perspective.

    Failing and Finding in Autism. Loving the Autism Perspective.

    Todd sits down with retired Officer Jerry Turning who has chronicled his life as an autism dad in his blog “Bacon and Juiceboxes” where he describes the often gritty and disruptive life in autism. They go into the shared experience of appreciating the autism mindset as something of beauty despite it being a big mystery in s2. E3. N13. of the Otherness Podcast called Failing and Finding In Autism. Loving the Autism Perspective.

    Todd finds himself moved and intrigued by how a police officer and psychiatrist can get together and find a common energy in living with autism in their families and work. Officer Jerry Turning joins Todd to share his feelings and experiences of being an autism father and someone dedicated to working in the autism community and law enforcement.

    After Todd was introduced to the “Bacon and Juiceboxes” blog, he read the book “Desperate Pursuits” which are both written by Officer Jerry Turning. While the blog is about Jerry’s personal and unfiltered approach to living with his son with autism (Eric) the book is fictional and dives into the life of a police officer who is haunted by his son’s autism. The first conversation Todd and Jerry had lasted 2 hours and could have gone much longer. This is because the concepts of appreciating autism for what it is and reflecting on why they have the responses they do was very connecting for both of them. On the episode, Jerry describes how he will “fail” multiple times a day as he grows with Eric and his family to find a rhythm that works for everyone involved. Jerry has been able to find joy in Eric’s repetitive enjoyment of the same simple acts. For example, Eric is excited to the same degree every time go to the store to buy the same toy cars, even though he does not actually play with them. He also finds more enjoyment from getting a pepperoni sandwich (no toppings) from Subway for the 100th time than he does going to a luxury resort. Jerry also described how anxious he feels when he is not with Eric and wonders about his emotions and safety. Jerry is most at rest when he and Eric are sitting comfortably on the couch together and can put aside the challenges of the outside world for a few moments.

    The Otherness Podcast is exploring and engaging autism through experienced stories with Dr. Todd Peter Levine and is available on most places and sites where you like to listen to podcasts.

    Failing and Finding in Autism. Loving the Autism Perspective. S2 E3 #013 of The Otherness Podcast

    *******
    Opening Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Intro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing/Nick Burling (ASCAP)
    Administered by Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *******
    Closing Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Outro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    Administered by late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *******

    • 38 min
    Listening to the Spectrum. An Otherness Podcast Overview

    Listening to the Spectrum. An Otherness Podcast Overview

    Todd talks about how the stories of living with autism have been much more important than any textbook, any medical journal or any lecture he’s ever been to. What families have shown him is that autism is to be lived and experienced and not just studied in s2. E2. N12. of the Otherness Podcast called Listening to the Spectrum. An Otherness Podcast Overview.

    Todd speaks to how much the Otherness Podcast has led to his personal growth. Particularly, he talks about how despite studying autism through traditional methods of medical school and medical training, the most fulfilling and thrilling parts of his career have come from learning from the people he’s met and talked to about real feelings.

    Reflection is a powerful tool for remembering what has been lived and felt so it can inform how we move forward. Todd takes time to remember what brought him to the creation of the Otherness Podcast and they are friendship, passion, and communication. As season 2 begins, there are memories of all of the meaningful stories that have already been told and how they create a longer narrative that will continue in season 2 and beyond. Stories of what it means to feel the vast spectrum of feelings that include terror, rage, sadness, and pain can create a venue to move into the humanity of autism and away from the diagnosis itself. We define our children by who they are as humans and the lens through which autism is viewed, while different, has a unique perspective that can actually open our minds up to humanity in a greater way. That's how the name of The Otherness Podcast came about. What does this person who sees and feels differently bring to me and what can I bring to them and share in the experience?
    These are the questions Todd asks himself when he speaks with of all of his guests and the families he works with professionally.

    Listening to the Spectrum. An Otherness Podcast Overview. s2. E2. N12.

    The Otherness Podcast is exploring and engaging autism through experienced stories with Dr. Todd Peter Levine and is available on most places and sites where you like to listen to podcasts.

    *******
    Opening Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Intro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing/Nick Burling (ASCAP)
    Administered by Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *******
    Closing Theme Song Music Credits
    “Otherness Podcast Outro Theme Song and Music” by Nicholas Burling
    Copyright 2021 Late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    Administered by late Leopard Publishing (ASCAP)
    *******

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
44 Ratings

44 Ratings

jojo woin ,

otherness podcast

Great

yenrkhg ,

Irma

Good

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