EP. 102: You can be part of an Autism research project!  

This week we talk to Dr. Lord from the Center for the Autism and Developing Brain.  They have a large study opening up.  You can be a part.

The Center for Autism and the Developing Brain (CADB) teamed up with the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) to share information about a new research study called SPARK. SPARK is a free online study with a simple mission: to speed up research and advance the understanding of autism. SPARK aims to be the largest study of its kind with the goal of building a community of 50,000 individuals with autism and their families across the nation. The entire autism community is encouraged to participate, including adults and children diagnosed with autism, as well as their biological parents and siblings. By joining SPARK, you’re helping accelerate research to find causes and treatments for autism. Additionally, you will receive: updates on the latest research; access to experts who will arm you with information to help address daily situations; results from the analysis of your or your family’s DNA, in the event that you opt to receive this information and a genetic cause for autism is identified; individuals with autism will receive gift cards valued at up to a total of $50 for participation.  To learn more about SPARK and register online via a secure portal, visit

#269: The Forgotten History of Autism  

In the past decade, autism has gotten more and more attention by the media and the wider culture. You probably know someone with autism or who has a child with autism. Yet despite the spotlight autism has gotten in recent years, several myths and misconceptions about it pervade the popular culture. Understanding the history of how the conception of autism we have today developed can go a long way in shedding light on these myths. My guest has written what is probably the most extensive history of the development of autism. His name is Steve Silberman and his book is "NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and The Future of Neurodiversity." Today on the show, Steve and I discuss the forgotten history of autism research, how the popular myths we have about autism got their start, theories as to why autism even exists, how parents should approach raising a child on the spectrum, and advice on how to connect with your autistic friends or colleagues.

When Opera Meets Autism  

Michelle Dunn and Larry Harris make an unlikely team.

Dunn is an autism researcher and Harris was an offensive lineman for the Houston Oilers – and is now an opera singer. They met at a church choir in New York.

Between sessions at the church they got to talking about Dunn’s work at the Montefiore-Einstein Center for Autism and Communication Disorders. She works with patients who are bright and high-functioning, but often struggle to speak and communicate in an effective tone and cadence.

“They speak in a very disfluent way or their voice sounds really unusual and people shut them down right away,” she said.

Michelle Dunn and Larry Harris developed a new technique to help people with autism communicate. (Meghan Cunnane )

When Larry Harris heard about Dunn’s struggle with her patients’ speech, he was intrigued, and offered to help – using his opera training and his athlete’s background. Together they created lesson plans for the patients that incorporated training vocal cords and breath, which forces a person to stop and organize their thoughts.

“My brain just kicks into this place where I want to help them,” Harris said. “It’s exciting.”

Dunn had been working for many years with a patient named Devon* who was prone to repeating himself or fixating on a topic while speaking. But she and Harris started to focus on the new technique, and after just five months, they noticed great improvement in Devon’s speech. The quickest improvement Dunn had ever seen.

“I’ve been learning to take calming breaths and breathe pause,” Devon said. “I come across to people more normally.”

It’s been two years now since Dunn and Harris started their new technique, which they’ve chronicled in a guide called The Music of Speech. Autism manifests in people very differently, so Dunn and Harris’s approach may not work for everyone on the autism spectrum. But they’ve worked successfully with ten patients so far.

Dunn and Harris found a new way to work with people on the autism spectrum. (Meghan Cunnane )

Dunn says their work is not just about training people to speak a certain way to fit in, it’s about helping them feel comfortable enough to live their lives in society at large. So instead of getting shut down in the first conversation, Devon and others with autism can have a second, third or fourth conversation where they can maybe let go.

“It makes people care about me more, it makes people value what I have to say more,” Devon said.

*Devon’s name was changed to protect his privacy.

Steve Silberman: Evolving Attitudes Toward Autism  

It used to be that autism was considered to be the result of poor parenting, but starting in the 1930s, it was understood to be a hereditary condition, and the behaviors often associated with autism turn out to be present, to one degree or another, in most of us. Though attitudes about autism have changed over the decades, the stigma attached to it lingers on.

To discuss our evolving understanding of autism, Point of Inquiry welcomes award-winning science journalist Steve Silberman, author of the new book Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. Silberman uncovers the lost history of autism, and shows how we arrived at the concept of the autism spectrum. Steve argues that many of us have autistic traits, and that some of which, such as social awkwardness and highly focused passions, have actually helped to shape the world in which we live, especially the digital realm we all now depend upon.

Food & Autism  

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that around 1 in 68 American children are on the autism spectrum. This is a ten-fold increase in prevalence in the last 40 years. Autism spectrum disorders are estimated to affect more than two million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide.  Not only is the prevalence increasing in our country, but in many countries around the world. April 2 is World Autism Day and in the U.S., April is National Autism Awareness Month. In honor of World Autism Day and Autism Awareness Month, hosts Kara Carper and Kristen Gunderson talk about how nutrition can make a difference in improving the lives of those with an autism diagnosis.

Ep. 98:  Science about autism's link to smoking and Schizophrenia  

This week we talk about the link between grandma's smoking and their grandkids autism.


Also we talk about links between autism and Schizophrenia.

Can Imaging Lead To Better Diagnoses for Autism?- Part 2 of an interview with Lisa Ackerman  

When you see a kid with autism, you’ve seen ONE kid with autism. Unfortunately, autism is not one thing, and you can’t treat every brain the same. Fortunately, there are ways to scan the brain to determine the type of autism your child has, so you can treat them using appropriate methods. In part two of a series with Lisa Ackerman, founder of TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), hosts Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen discuss the role SPECT imaging plays in autism treatment.

#78 Curing Autism? with Kerri Rivera  

Ocean water, full moons, and vortexes: oh my! These are a few of the things you’ll hear about on this episode of Bulletproof Radio. Is autism curable? Most experts would agree: it’s not. Though Kerri Rivera thinks otherwise and comes on the show to discuss her Chlorine Dioxide protocol and why she believes it has the power to heal the symptoms known as autism. It’s a controversial method to say the least, but according to Kerri, 110 children have been cured using her CD Autism protocol. Please listen and enjoy! Director and Founder of Autismo2 – Hyperbaric Clinic, first and only Biomed-based Autism Clinic in Latin America, Kerri Rivera is the mother of two sons; 11-year old Patrick is in recovery from ASD. Responsible for translating the ARI ́s Biomedical Protocol to Spanish, she is a part of “Curando el Autismo” and “Fundacion Venciendo el Autismo” (Puerto Rico and Venezuela); Mexican liaison for AutismOne and ARI, Rescue Angel, bilingual mentor for TACA, and member of the Global Autism Alliance

Episode 1: You Can’t Achieve Success All by Yourself, with Steve Cunningham  

Today we’re speaking with Steve Cunningham from Pivot Point Family Growth Centers.

I am super excited to get going today to give you some really golden nuggets from people that have built successful businesses, but guess what? They haven't always been that way. There's trials, tribulations, challenges they've gone through to get to where they are today, and I have Steve with me. I’m really going to take you through some of the most challenging things that he's been through. But before we get there, I want Steve to do a little bit of an intro of who he is, and who Pivot Point is as a company, and maybe where that started just so, as a listener, you get an idea of how long Steve's been around and how long their business has been around, and what's taken to get where they are today. So, I'm going to hand it over to you Steve. Just give a little bit of a background of Pivot Point, as itself, maybe a little bit of a background of yourself.

Sure. Fantastic, thanks Colin. Yeah, Pivot Point was a fantastic dream that came to life about 14 years ago when I started to reach out to the needs of parents who had children with autism or other problems. So, in British Columbia, there were a lot of changes 14 years ago, in terms of how funding was provided to parents who had children with autism and other diverse abilities, and that created an opportunity to meet those needs for those parents. So, we got started with just a few families, and now we're up to several hundred, 400, almost 500 families now.


All over the province.

Fantastic. So, give me a little bit about your background. So, in terms of the listeners listening to this podcast today, and for those of you that don't know where British Columbia is, that's here in Canada, right on the West Coast. It's the most western province of Canada, and of course we've got listeners from all over the globe listening to this podcast. So, brilliant. Give us a little bit of your background. What gives you that expertise in terms of really giving services to these families with kids that have autism or maybe some of their family members, the adults, that have autism?

That's a great question, and it's always fun to be able to tell that story. My journey actually began way when I was a child at summer camps, when my family life was going through a few little struggles here and there, and I had an opportunity to run into some really powerful male role models at summer camps. These older teens and young 20s people who would teach me how to rock climb and canoe and kayak and build campfires, really inspired me to become a better person, a better version of myself than the path I was following when I was younger.

So, within a short while, I started working at the summer camp, and that gave me a lot of exposure to working with different children of different abilities, and really my whole working career, from my teens through my 20s and 30s and 40s, has been in service of children and their families around diverse abilities, behavior needs, autism, down syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning challenges, kind of the full spectrum. So, I've been doing child youth care work. I've done teaching assistant work in the public schools. I've become a clinical counselor, so I have a counseling degree in counseling psychology, and had worked for an agency for several years before this opportunity opened up here in the province of British Columbia, and I started my business 14 years ago.

Beautiful, man. Now, one of the key things I'd love to dig right into, and it's just something that came into my head as you were talking, is that counselors, people that really want to serve people ... I even went through some of this myself as I started my own business, as I started Make Your Mark, and of course this podcast is called The Brutal Truth. So, I don't want you to hold back on anything.

One of the key things for me is we love to give and love to serve and what have you, and I'm sure somewhere along the lines we might have had some challenges around even charging for your services because your heart is there to serve people. Of course, probably have a lot of listeners out there that are serving people in some way or form, but probably not charging what they should be charging, don't know their own self worth, what have you. Can you speak completely open on maybe some of the challenges you went through? Maybe about how you overcame those challenges to charging, maybe what you should be charging, or even making money in an environment that people think you shouldn't be making money?

Absolutely. As you asked me the question, I'm starting to smile thinking about that. There are a lot of triggers that come up for me around that. When I first got started, like many new professionals out of university, I was suffering from what is known as the imposter syndrome. You go through school, you get the degree, you have the training, and you step out into the real world and think, "Wow. Does anyone know that I haven't done this before? Do I really belong here? I don't fit in. Everybody else seems to know what they're doing, and I'm just getting started."

So, early on, it was really difficult for me to charge a higher rate for my counseling services, and I had to start to compare myself to others and realize that maybe I can provide a meaningful service, maybe I can deliver something that's of value to people, maybe I am coming from the heart and trying to meet the needs genuinely, and therefore, it's on par cost-wise with what other people are charging. That's absolutely been an important barrier for me to overcome. That was fairly early on in the business.

Let me ask you something. If you went back and you started over today, would you charge what you're charging today then, in the beginning? In the beginning you felt like you couldn't charge what you were worth.

Yeah, you're absolutely right. It's about ... I felt like I wasn't worthy of that higher rate, and so, it took some building of my own self confidence to realize that the service that was being provided was valued at that rate. So it was working on myself first to be ready for the proper billing rate.

Yeah, and I think many of the listeners are thinking when they all started out, "Wow. I should have charged what I was worth right in the beginning." The big thing is, you should be charging what you're worth up front. The challenging part is we always seem to think we're not worthy of it, we don't deserve it, or what have you. So, really great point, thank you for that.

So, let's get into a couple of key things that you've learned along the way. Pivot Point's now 14 years old. I've been really privileged enough to see you grow and grow into different areas of British Columbia here in Canada, as you've expanded, but let's go back right to the beginning as well. What were some of the key things that, if you had to start Pivot Point over again, what would it be that you could say, "Please don't do this," or "Get your thoughts in line," whatever it is.

That's my important thing for all our listeners is get this brutal truth. Because if you don't get this, you bumble along and you fumble and you trip and you fall and what have you. That's why I brought these amazing people on to serve you. So, what's ... give me one or two, maybe a couple of nuggets we could have a discussion about of what you would do differently if you had to start Pivot Point up again today.

You bet. That's an excellent question. Really, I see two different sides to the same coin on that question. It really has to do with the use of others. So, I was very fortunate with Pivot Point that we were growing quickly in the first few years and there was enough revenue to afford to lean on others to reach out for accounting support, legal support, some marketing support, and some administrative support. If I had not reached out to others and invited others into the business, then I would have been trying to do all of those things myself. That's not my background, and I very likely would've steered it off course not knowing better. So, the first nugget for me was really learning to lean on others and trust in others to help guide me.

Which really comes down to -- and it might sound like a really callous word -- but it comes down to leverage. At the end of the day, you've got to leverage other people. There's only two kinds of leverage, other people's time, other people's money. So, in that sense, you're leveraging other people's time, and if you heard one of the keywords there, and listeners if you want to write this word down right now, the most important word I think you can ever learn when building a team, having people, contractors, employees, whatever it is, is the word trust. If you cannot have that trust in people, then guess what? You'll probably never get to where you want to be.

Steve, the saddest thing I hear from so many people is, "I never want employees. I want everyone to be contractors, not employees." For me, what Steve's saying to you is you'll never get to where you want to be if you don't have a team around you, or with you. I don't even like the word, they're working for you, because they don't work for you. You work together as a team.

So, really understand this, listeners, it's all about that trust. If you cannot trust people, well then how are you ever going to get to be able to go on vacation and lie on the beach, have some fun, whatever it is, and your business keeps on running. If it's all about you, while you're lying on the beach, guess what happens? Your business is closed, because while you sit there doing nothing and enjoying yourself, your business is doing nothing. So that leverage point,

When People With Autism Encounter Police | Collusion in the NFL?  

People with autism shouldn't get mistaken as criminals. But they do. Evidence suggests people with autism experience seven times the number of encounters with police that most of us do — and almost never in a good way. How do we fix that? Guest host John Donvan is joined by Emily Iland, an autism advocate and educator, Barry Prizant, author of "Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism," Michael John Carley, who has Asperger syndrome and founded GRASP, the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership, and Carolyn Gammicchia, a former police officer who founded L.E.A.N On Us, a law enforcement awareness network. First, let's talk about Colin Kaepernick. The NFL pre-season is halfway over and the quarterback still hasn't been signed to a team. Kaepernick gained attention outside sports circles last year when he declined to stand during the pre-game national anthem. Are NFL teams too afraid to take on an activist athlete? We're joined by William Rhoden, writer-at-large for ESPN's The Undefeated.

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The Autism Community – Part 3 of an Interview with Lisa Ackerman  

When it comes to autism treatment, acceptance is not a strategy. Neither is guilt. A sense of community, however, can be a major asset for families with autism. In the last installment of this series with Lisa Ackerman, founder of TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen talk with Lisa about what may be the biggest resource of all for those treating autism: other people. TACA provides an abundance of helpful resources for these families, such as putting them in touch with a local chapter for help in facing their special challenges.

Maternal Instinct: Stories about moms  

In this week's episode, we present two stories of science and motherhood, just in time for Mother's Day. Part 1: Developmental biologist Pam Feliciano tries to understand her autistic son. Part 2: Science writer Katharine Gammon thinks she’s gone into labor, but her doctor says she hasn’t. As Scientific Director of, Pamela Feliciano leads the effort to build the largest autism research cohort in the United States, to speed up research and improve lives. SPARK aims to build a partnership between 50,000 individuals with autism and their families and autism researchers. Feliciano has also been a senior scientist at SFARI, the largest private funder of autism research in the United States, since 2013. At SFARI, she has been involved in  efforts to develop objective and reliable outcome measures for autism clinical trials. Previously, Feliciano was a senior editor at Nature Genetics, where she was responsible for managing the peer review process of research publications in all areas of genetics. While at Nature Genetics, Feliciano was engaged with the scientific community, attending conferences and giving talks and workshops on editorial decision-making at academic institutes worldwide. Katharine Gammon is an award-winning freelance science writer based in Santa Monica, California. She has written about a wide range of topics, from childhood memory to sexually-transmitted diseases in koalas to designing cities on Mars for publications like Wired, Popular Science, Newsweek and Scientific American. Katharine grew up in Seattle as the child of two scientists, attended Princeton University and received a master’s degree from MIT. She taught English in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria before discovering science writing. With two little boys under age 4, she has endless fodder for her blog Kinderlab about child development, and in her miniscule free time she rides horses and wants to spend more time under sail.

ep 029: Ann-Marie Lidmark – ADHD och autism utan mediciner  

Idag ska vi prata om ADH och Autism med Ann-Marie Lidmark som har gjort ett fantastiskt fint jobb när det kommer till att sammanfatta hur forskningsläget ser ut för alternativa behandlingsmetoder för de här diagnoserna. Ann-Marie har kollat på 1000-tals forskningsstudier när det kommer till vitamin- och mineralterapier och blev sedan väldigt intresserad av påverkan det kan ha på ADHD och Autism. Efter flera år av intensiv efterforskning ville hon dela med sig av all den informationen on samlat på sig under flera år. Så hon skrev en jättebra bok i ämnet för att sprida information till föräldrar och andra som har de här diagnoserna; Frisk utan mediciner: om ADHD och autism.

Ann-Marie har inte själv behandlat människor med ADHD och autism utan har gått igenom mycket av den forskning som finns och intervjuat många människor som blivit hjälpta utan läkemedel

The forgotten history of autism | Steve Silberman  

Decades ago, few pediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? Steve Silberman points to “a perfect storm of autism awareness” — a pair of psychologists with an accepting view, an unexpected pop culture moment and a new clinical test. But to really understand, we have to go back further to an Austrian doctor by the name of Hans Asperger, who published a pioneering paper in 1944. Because it was buried in time, autism has been shrouded in misunderstanding ever since. (This talk was part of a TED2015 session curated by Pop-Up Magazine: or @popupmag on Twitter.)

Journal of Lifestyle Medicine: Patricia Lemer on Outsmarting Autism  

In 2008 Patricia Lemer published her first book on Autism, and she thought her work as an author was done. Over the next few years, however, science began proving the prevailing theories about the cause, treatment and prevention of Autism Spectrum disorders. Her new book Outsmarting Autism, now out on Kindle and due soon in print, brings together all that is know about this wide spectrum of developmental disorders in one 500 page compendium. In this interview, Lemer covers the five essential steps to treating autism, her career of four decades as founder of Developmental Delay Resources (DDR), and the upcoming "Conversation" about Vaccination set for Sept 12 at Phipps Conservatory. This topic, she says, is the most divisive and controversial issue in medicine today, and this is an opportunity to allow cooler, reasoned conversation around the topic. Also in this cast, a weekly update from Trenton Oczypok of Organically Social, who starts a pre-sale on the discount card this week, and from Joe Venare of Fittsburgh, who we caught up with at the Popup Wellness Fair in Market Square. Websites mentioned in this cast: Patricia Lemer Vacination Converstion Fittsburgh Popup Wellness Fair Jim Donovan Drum Event at Pgh Shambhala David Newman (Durga Das) Kirtan at Union Project Whirl Magazine Yogafest Seclairer Psychiatric Grand Rounds Pittsburgh School of Massage Massage CE at 7 Springs Organically Social Journal of Lifestyle Medicine Facebook page Integrative Medicine Professionals Meetup Group

Paul Collins and Jennifer Elder — Autism and Humanity  

One child in every 110 in the U.S. is now diagnosed to be somewhere on the spectrum of autism. We step back from public controversies over causes and cures and explore the mystery and meaning of autism in one family's life, and in history and society. Our guests say that life with their child with autism has deepened their understanding of human nature — of disability, and of creativity, intelligence, and accomplishment.

Meet the farmer who says autism helped him achieve his dreams  

Now to a story about a young man who credits his childhood diagnosis of autism and dyslexia for helping him achieve his dreams. Daniel Lutz says having autism makes him a better farmer. He describes having autism as having heightened sensitivity, to animal body language, to memories of genetics and to details from 10 years ago.

Ep. 93: Autism Speaks Chief Science officer speaks  

This week Jill Esher travels to San Francisco to attend the International meeting for Autism research.  We have interviews of:

Dr. Tom Frazier, new chief science officer for Autism Speaks


Dr. David Amaral, research director at the UC Davis MIND Institute

Dr. Thomas Avino, UC Davis, discussing Autism BrainNet

I hope you enjoy this weeks special episode about the brain.



Positive Partnerships Podcast Series Episode 2  

Welcome to Episode 2 in the Positive Partnerships Podcast Series, where we bring you inspiring real stories from around Australia about life on the autism spectrum by those that know best. In this episode we meet Megan Warry, a wonderful mother from Darwin in the Northern Territory whose 9 year old son is on the autism spectrum. Be sure to visit for more resources and workshop locations to support school aged students on the autism spectrum. The Positive Partnerships initiative is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training through the Helping Children with Autism Package. The views expressed in these podcasts do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government or the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.

Ep. 497, The Man With Two Left Feet, by P.G. Wodehouse  

When Henry Wallace Mills realizes that his inability to dance may cause his wife feelings of cloudy despondency, he decides to take the matter in hand. Or should we say, feet. P.G. Wodehouse, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.

Welcome to The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening.

Today’s show is made possible by those of you who are Classic Tales Podcast Financial Supporters. If you enjoy The Classic Tales Podcast, please become a supporting member at This doesn’t just happen!

Season Four of The Classic Tales Podcast is now available at It contains 29 audiobooks, and is over 39 hours long. The range of titles in this collection is just incredible. So put it on your iPhone, and listen to it in your car on your way to work. Every story is a new surprise.

This 39-hour compilation is only $18.99, and it’s only available at

Now, I know that the definition of autism has been evolving since 1908 until what it is today, but I think that the hero of today’s story is on what is now considered the autism spectrum. My reasons for saying this? 1) His method of study is unorthodox, and requires an incredible amount of tenacity, even fixation. Most people couldn’t do this. This is what I term the autism super power. 2) His unwillingness to vary his study schedule of the Encyclopedia (He won’t skip a volume). 3) He imagines a fantasy scheme where his problems are all solved, and works diligently to accomplish this impossible task. 4) He is rather socially awkward, bless him.

This is no way official, and I can’t back it up with anything other than my own observations, but when I read this story, it struck me how my autistic son has many of these same character traits. He also demonstrates the autism super power, and is a truly amazing boy. I find it encouraging that P.G. Wodehouse saw how characters of this temperament could find happiness and love in a world that largely misunderstands them.

And now, The Man With Two Left Feet, by P.G. Wodehouse.

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