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The Brain Coach

The Brain Coach podcast is hosted by executive function expert and 'Brain Coach' Mary Turos. Take a deep dive into executive functions and simple strategies based in neuroscience to overcome obstacles and achieve personal progress. Each episode provides insights from a community of educators, researchers, therapists, clinicians, family members to support a healthy brain.

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Ep: 17: Breani Bridges, Employment Consultant for People with Disabilities

Breani Bridges is an employment consultant who helps adults with disabilities prepare for and navigate work and life. Breani provides supportive services for all ages; young adults transitioning from school to adults moving into retirement. Breani began her career as a peer educator in the Maryland public school systems where she gained experience working with students with disabilities and autism. She is an impassioned expert who helps young adults transition to life outside of school and navigate the reduced resources young adults face after leaving school. In this episode, Mary and Breani discuss the importance of meeting kids where they are, using positive experiences to encourage growth, and how "safe risks" promote growth and increase capacity to adapt and address their disability. Breani shares practical advice for where families and individuals can find resources, as well as her plans to build a Maryland-based community center for adults with disabilities. To contact Breani, email her at: Bbridges@transcen.org


20 Mar 2023

Rank #1

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Ep 16: Denise, Parenting a Child with Down Syndrome

On today's episode of the podcast, Brain Coach Mary Turos speaks with Denise, a mom raising a daughter with Down syndrome. Denise discusses her experiences, from receiving her daughter's initial diagnosis to navigating years of medical programs and everything in between. Mary and Denise talk about myths commonly associated with Down syndrome, how having a disability impacts families, and Denise's personal experience of being a young mother of a child with Down syndrome.  Denise offers advice for families facing Down syndrome diagnosis, and how social media can provide a supportive network.  Some topics discussed in the episode:  Welcome To Holland Poem https://www.emilyperlkingsley.com/welcome-to-holland Down Syndrome Creed:  https://www.gradsa.org/down-syndrome-creed/ Footprints in the Sand: https://www.ryanhart.org/footprints-in-the-sand/


26 Dec 2022

Rank #2

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Ep 15: Adult Executive Function Discussion with Mary

In this episode, Mary takes a deep dive into adult executive functions and the challenges she commonly sees with her adult clients. Topics covered include:           - Feeling overwhelmed          - Inability to manage time, especially during the workday. Dealing with distractions           - How to prioritize and make progress. How much time we can actually be productive daily          - Why providing true value makes us indispensable at work  Understanding how the brain works, especially as adults, is critical to changing thinking and behavior. Hope you enjoy this discussion. 


28 Nov 2022

Rank #3

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Ep 14: Nikki Wooton, We Rock The Spectrum, an Inclusive Kid's Gym

On today's episode of The Brain Coach, Mary speaks with Nikki Wooten, owner of We Rock The Spectrum Kid's Gym in Forest Hill, Maryland. We Rock is a kid's gym for children of all abilities but caters to kids with autism. The gym provides specialized equipment and a safe environment where kids can act freely while getting the sensory input they need.  Ropes courses, trampolines, zip lines, and more allow kids to enjoy safe fun where they (and their parents) feel free of judgement. We Rock provides an outlet for parents to connect and share resources and just relax.   Nikki shares with Mary her family's personal journey with autism and the challenges they've overcome related to diagnosis, school, and finding resources for their neurodiverse son.   We Rock The Spectrum has locations nationwide. Check out the fun programs offered at the Forest Hill location by following Facebook and Instagram or calling 410-891-4600. 


19 Oct 2022

Rank #4

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Ep 13: Jori Eidem's family journey with the rare disease MLD

Today's guest Jori Eidem, a physician assistant from Rochester, MN, discusses her family's personal journey navigating a serious and life-threatening condition called Metachromatic Leukodystrophy or MLD.   Jori shares the story of her niece Amelia, an 8-year-old who played soccer, dressed up as a princess, and collected unicorns. Amelia was bright, funny and with the right amount of sass. She did well in school, despite her left-handedness. Until she didn’t. In 2021, when Amelia began falling behind academically and began having staring spells, she was screened for ADHD and Autism.  A few months passed and she started having trouble with coordination and by the end of the school year, she had rapid deterioration of motor and cognitive function. Amelia was evaluated at a major medical center where an MRI revealed a typical pattern for MLD, a diagnosis later confirmed by genetic testing.  This rare, hereditary condition is passed through a recessive gene and can appear in infancy, childhood, or adulthood. The incidence of MLD ranges, with estimates anywhere from 1 in 40,000 births to 1 is 160,000 births.  You can learn more about the disease at the MLD Foundation. Jori shares Amelia's journey and the Go Fund Me page the family established to provide updates on Amelia's progress. You can get in touch with Jori here: webelieveinunicorns2022@gmail.com or Eidem.Jori@gmail.com  And finally, the link to the article mentioned in the show: Staring Spells: When It's More Than Daydreaming | Johns Hopkins Medicine Please note: Amelia's parents are fully aware of this podcast. They want to spread the word about MLD since it is so rare and difficult to diagnose. It is so rare, in fact, that it doesn't receive funding for research for therapies, and the family has started a small foundation for those in need of information. This podcast does not provide medical advice. The information, images and other materials contained are for informational purposes only. No information discussed is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek help from your physician for medical questions or advice.


8 Aug 2022

Rank #5

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Ep 12: An Extraordinary Mom's Parenting Story

Meet Mia, our “mom extraordinaire.” Mia shares her experiences successfully parenting a child with learning disabilities. Mia beautifully tells her story of navigating the challenges of school, homeschooling, medication, and social pressures. The conversation touches on fears parents face when first dealing with a diagnosis, how to stay calm while still expressing emotions, and how to move towards acceptance of a situation that may not be what we envisioned. Mia talks about the ups and downs and the pivotal moment she realized her son will be alright. And why she believes building a team or community to support a child helps avoid feelings of isolation.  We hope you enjoy this discussion! You can find Mia on Instagram: @city_mom_77


8 Jul 2022

Rank #6

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Ep 11: ​Eric Robinson, Language-Based Disabilities Expert

As a high school educator, Eric Robinson helps students navigate language-based learning disabilities and language processing issues. Eric wears many hats at The Highlands School in Bel Air, Maryland, as an English and woodworking teacher, co-manager of the drama department, and Upper School Coordinator. Eric also serves as adjunct professor of reading at Community College of Baltimore County. In today's episode he discusses how language disorders present in individuals and how they can impact students.  Mary asks about Eric's mantra of "do it afraid" and why having many different jobs throughout his career led him to this important work helping children with learning challenges. Reflecting on why it's important to help students avoid getting lost in their feelings and instead focus on the evidence in their lives, Eric shares a new area of interest he's introduced at The Highlands School - teaching students soft skills, such as working in teams, understanding their audience, and developing a growth mindset.   The Highlands School is an independent, AIMS-accredited, K-12 program designed for students with dyslexia, ADHD, and language-based learning differences. Founded in 1996, The Highlands School is a state-of-the-art facility located on a beautiful 18-acre campus. The Brain Coach Podcast is building a community of educators, researchers, therapists, clinicians, family members who share information and insights to support a healthy brain.   Please note: this podcast does not provide medical advice. The information, images and other materials contained are for informational purposes only. No information discussed is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek help from your physician for medical questions or advice.


8 Jun 2022

Rank #7

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Ep 10: The 13 Most Common Questions Parents Ask

In today's episode, Brain Coach Mary Turos answers the 13 most common questions she gets from parents of teens and young children. Mary's offers insights into children's behaviors and simple techniques to help parents. The 13 questions follow:  1) Should I reward my kids for good grades or for turning assignments in on time?   2) Will having a disability or disclosing my child's disability impact his/her acceptance into school or college? 3) Why won't my teen go to sleep at a reasonable hour?  4) Why should kids do chores? Isn't school enough responsibility? 5) Should I have my child evaluated? If so, when?  6) My child isn't turning in assignments, but they are capable of doing the work. Why is this happening?  7) My kid has a disability, but I don't want them labeled and I don't want them using it as a crutch. What do you think?  8) What are some ways to interact with my child without it coming off as criticism?  9) Where should my child study?  10) What are some things I can incorporate into my child's home routine?  11) My child does well on quizzes, but bombs tests. What's happening?  12) How long will it take to FIX my kid? (yikes!)  13) What is the worst disability to have? 


4 May 2022

Rank #8

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Ep 9: Mark Feiring, Executive Director, Maryland Book Bank

Mary speaks with Mark Feiring, executive director of the Maryland Book Bank. Based in Baltimore, this nonprofit organization is committed to cultivating literacy in children from under-resourced neighborhoods. The Maryland Book Bank distributes books locally through programs including:  The Maryland Book Bank Ravens Bookmobile: in partnership with the Baltimore Ravens, this mobile library serves Baltimore neighborhoods where kids can climb on board and select their own books.  Warehouse distribution programs where teachers, families and educators can pick up books. Educator boxes where teachers can bring books directly to kids at school.  Story kit program, which provides five story books, so children have books of their own.  Mark discusses circumstances that result from children being illiterate. For example, 50% of people in prison are illiterate, and high school students have an increased likelihood of dropping out if they aren't proficient readers by 3rd grade.  The Book Bank team seeks to mitigate these outcomes by supplying children with books. Studies show children are more apt to be proficient readers when they grow up in a literacy positive environment and books have a positive impact on vocabulary.  Be sure to follow the Maryland Book Bank for details on its upcoming Books for Kids Day. This annual service day event collects books from communities state-wide. In previous years, the Book Bank collected 35,000 books in one day.  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheMarylandBookBank/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mdbookbank/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/MDBookBank?lang=en LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-maryland-book-bank/?viewAsMember=true Please note: this podcast does not provide medical advice. The information, images and other materials contained are for informational purposes only. No information discussed is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek help from your physician for medical questions or advice.


6 Apr 2022

Rank #9

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Ep 8: Michelle Foote, MS, LPC - Professional Counseling

Licensed professional counselor Michelle Foote, MS, LPC, joins Mary on today’s episode of The Brain Coach podcast. Michelle shares her perspective on supporting a healthy brain through her work as a professional counselor and why she’s passionate about lifelong learning. Michelle helps clients move through issues using talk therapy and uncovering underlying challenges. Some of the mental health trends discussed on today's episode include: · Emerging neuroscience connecting brain activity with action · Psychedelics in the treatment of PTSD, particularly the benefit soldiers · The diminishing stigma of seeking therapy for mental health issues Today's discussion addresses challenging elements of working in a 'helping profession', including setting emotional boundaries and being empathetic to clients’ heartbreak without it becoming your own trauma. Michelle provides a great self-care strategy she calls the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique, which is free and can be done anytime. Mary and Michelle discuss personal mantras, personal failures, and Michelle’s story of how therapy had a meaningful impact in her life and ultimately drew her to the profession. Michelle is a therapist for a large state agency in Corpus Christi, TX. Please note: this podcast does not provide medical advice. The information, images and other materials contained are for informational purposes only. No information discussed is a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please seek help from your physician for medical questions or advice.


2 Mar 2022

Rank #10