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Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast

Stairway to STEM Editorial Board Members explore the actions that students, families, educators, and institutions can take to bring about greater acceptance, integration, and meaningful opportunities for autistic students / students on the spectrum. Acceptance is action.

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Warning: This podcast is a series podcast

This means episodes are recommended to be heard in order from the very start. Here's the 10 best episodes of the series anyway though!

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STEM, Autism, and Building Professional Relationships: Interview with a Mentor, Part Three

Dr. Melike SchalomonDr. Melike Schalomon is Interim Dean of Arts and Science and Associate Professor at Grant MacEwan University in Canada. Her background is in neuropsychology. In this three-part interview series, I speak with her about her experience mentoring me as an autistic student. This segment explores how my case (and others like it) influenced Dr. Schalomon to advocate for administrative change to make honor’s degree programs at Grant MacEwan University accessible to autistic students and students with other disabilities or health conditions. In fact, MacEwan is recognized within Alberta for initiatives to encourage diversity on campus and to support students and faculty of all minorities. I am thankful both for the advocacy of Dr. Schalomon and the values of the university when it comes to promoting diversity and inclusion. https://www.stairwaytostem.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Melike_Interview_Part_3_V2_Custom.mp3 For a pdf transcript of this interview, click here. Download the audio file here: Laura Gilmour and Dr. Melike Schalomon: Interview with a Mentor, Part Three. Do you have questions for Laura about building professional relationships or how to advocate for similar change at your own institution? Let us know in the comments. Parts one and two of the interview also available.

20 Dec 2018

Rank #1

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Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode One, Institutions of Higher Education

Editorial Board Member Susan Woods and Dr. Eric Endlich on what colleges and institutions of higher education can do to foster inclusion and acceptance for autistic students and other marginalized groups on campus. Download transcript, Susan Wood and Eric Endlich: Institutions of Higher Ed and Autism Acceptance Episode Notes Resources for more STS resources on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), look here: Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Supporting All STEM College Learners, Autism, STEM, and UDL: What is Universal Design for Learning? and Rules About Technology in the Classroom: A Barrier for Students With Disabilities? CAST is an excellent resource on UDL Landmark College (VT) and Beacon College (FL), particularly neurodiverse college communities College Autism Network References Jackson, S. L. J., Hart, L., Brown, J. T., & Volkmar, F. R. (2018). Briefreport: Self-reported Academic, Social, and Mental Health Experiencesof Post-secondary Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 48: 643. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3315-x McLeod, J.D., Meanwell, E. & Hawbaker, A. (2019). The Experiences of College Students on the Autism Spectrum: A Comparison to Their Neurotypical Peers. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-03910-8 Robertson, S. M., Ne’eman, A. D. (2008) Autistic Acceptance, the College Campus, and Technology: Growth of Neurodiversity in Society and Academia. Disability Studies Quarterly, 28(4). http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/146/146 Hosts Susan Woods Susan Woods, M. Ed, recently retired as Associate Dean of Student Support Services at Middlesex Community College after 27 years. Susan managed the college’s Disability Support Services, supporting 1000 students with documented disabilities, as well as alternative and grant funded support programs. Susan has regularly provided training and workshops to faculty and staff on creating welcoming and inclusive environments and universal design for instruction. Her work now focuses on professional development and training to high school personnel and families to help support the successful transition to college for students with disabilities. Her professional development website is www.susanbwoods.com. Eric Endlich Dr. Endlich has taught at Tufts University, Suffolk University, Boston College and UMass/Boston, and has supervised doctoral students at William James College. He is a senior writer and wellness advisory board member for Personal Best publishing. As a psychologist, he has worked with many high school students to manage stress, anxiety, depression, ADHD, and autism. He serves on the clinical advisory board at the Asperger/Autism Network (AANE), and has presented regularly at AANE conferences, as well as the Harvard Medical School Continuing Education autism conference, Southern Maine Autism Conference, and Massachusetts Psychological Association annual conference. Learn more about Dr. Endlich at: Top College Consultants. Questions for Susan or Eric?  Join the conversation below.

23mins

17 Apr 2019

Rank #2

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Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode Two, Managing Limitations and Shutdowns in College

Editorial Board Member Arianne Garcia and college student Rem discuss some of the challenges and barriers to autistic student success, as well as how to deal with shutdowns on campus: what they might feel like, what might trigger them, how students can address them, and how teachers and instructors can best support students who are struggling with a shutdown. Download transcript, Arianne Garcia and Rem: Managing Limitations and Avoiding Shutdowns on Campus Resources For more STS resources on flexible teaching and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), look here: Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Supporting All STEM College Learners, UDL and Teaching STEM: Ideas for Group Work and Rules About Technology in the Classroom: A Barrier for Students With Disabilities? For study skills and executive functioning material, try these posts: On Using “Get Ready, Do, Done”: A Model to Support Executive Functioning for Autistic Students, The Ultimate College Guide: Lists, Schedules, and Calendars for Autistic Students, and Mental, Physical, and Emotional Well-being. For considerations about disclosure, look here: Five Reasons to Self-Disclose Your Autism When Going to College and Problem-Focused Coping: Autism and Preparing for Graduate School in Research Fields.  Learn more about the National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities / Coalición Nacional para Latinxs con Discapacidades (CNLD) here. Hosts Arianne Garcia Arianne Garcia is a Hispanic writer, activist, artist, and autism advocate. She was diagnosed at 25 with ADHD and autism. Unsatisfied with just educating herself, Arianne set up her own website to help others navigate the tricky communication bridge between autistic and neurotypical thinking and speaking. Arianne has written on numerous autism topics, such as Hispanics and autism diagnosis rates, hiring autistic people, suicidal ideation in autistic adults, amongst other things. Arianne‘s stress therapy includes sensory aides, music, and playing with Legos. Interested in her work? Visit her website: www.arianneswork.com Rem Rem is an autistic student in his second year of college.

25mins

24 Apr 2019

Rank #3

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Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast, Episode Three: Communication Within Interpersonal Relationships

Editorial Board Member John Caldora and spouse Alexandria Crabtree Caldora on how autistic people can navigate communication challenges in their romantic relationships and friendships. Download transcript, John Caldora and Alexandria Crabtree Caldora: Communication Within Interpersonal Relationships Episode Notes Resources For more STS resources on romantic relationships, check out the posts below. Autism, LGBTQA Dating, Community, and Student Groups: A Reflection Safe Sexuality on Campus for Adults on the Spectrum: Recognizing the Unique Challenges For more STS resources on friendship, look here.  Autism and Socializing in College Establishing an Autism Peer Support Community Let’s Talk Autism, Special Interests, and College Social Life Socializing in STEM Classes and Careers, Part Two: Practical Tips for Autistic Students “Find a Pathway That Works for You”: Interview with Jody Goldstein, Director of Disabilities Services, UMASS Lowell For more STS resources about well-being, check out these resources. Mental, Physical, and Emotional Well-being Preparing for the Worst: Safety Tools for Your Autistic High School or College Student Bullying and Autism: How to Recognize Harmful Behavior and Create a Safer School Environment A Guide for Autistic Students: World Mental Health Day 2018, Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.  Hosts John Caldora John Caldora, M.Ed. is a case manager who works with students of concern at a large public university in the Southern United States. He is also a member of the autism spectrum. John draws on his personal experiences as well as his knowledge of Higher Education administration to help autistic students succeed. He has spent years presenting to higher education professionals regarding best practice interventions and encouraging self-advocacy in students. Allie Alexandria Crabtree Caldora is married to STS Editorial Board Member John Caldora. She holds an MA in Arts and Religion from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC and a BA in music from Berea College in Kentucky. She is a performing flautist and has performed at locations such as the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. Presently she is Choir Director at a church in Lexington, KY and an AmeriCorps volunteer. Questions for John or Allie?  Join the conversation below.

13mins

1 May 2019

Rank #4

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Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode Four, What Friends and Peers Can Do to Support College Students on the Spectrum

Editorial Board Member Claire Barnett and her college friends talk about being autistic as well as being friends with students who have autism. Download transcript, Claire Barnett & Friends: What Peers and Friends Can Do to Support Autism Acceptance on Campus Resources For more STS resources on socializing, friends, and communication, you might like this posts: our Core Issues page, Autism and Socializing in College Autism, LGBTQA Dating, Community, and Student Groups: A Reflection Autistic and Looking for Social Connections on Campus? Join a Club! Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast, Episode Three: Communication Within Interpersonal Relationships Bullying and Autism: How to Recognize Harmful Behavior and Create a Safer School Environment Let’s Talk Autism, Special Interests, and College Social Life For more about sensory sensitivity, check out these resources: Autistic Sensory Sensitivity on Campus: Part One, Introduction How Not to Treat Sensory Anxiety, from Autistic Scholar For more about the Vanderbilt Autism and Neurodiversity Alliance, look here: The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation HostStaff Photo (Official White House Photo by Stephanie Chasez)Claire Barnett is a recent Vanderbilt University graduate who studied Human & Organizational Development. She was diagnosed with autism in November of 2017 and is a proponent of the neurodiversity framework for understanding people with all types of neurological differences. At school Claire was a student journalist, as the Photo-Video Director of the Vanderbilt Hustler and the Executive Producer of Vanderbilt TV News. In summer of 2017, she participated in the White House Internship Program in the Photo Office. You can check out her photographs at www.clairetomphotos.com. Questions for Claire?  Join the conversation below.

23mins

17 May 2019

Rank #5

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Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode Five, Inclusive College Models for Students Who Have Autism

Inclusive college models for students who have autism. Editorial Board Member Theresa Revans-McMenimon and her husband John McMenimon talk about their family’s experience with the college transition and the Think College model that their emerging young adult student participates in.  Download transcript, Theresa Revans-McMenimon and John McMenimon, Steps to Autism Acceptance, Episode Five: Think College Models Episode Notes Resources For more STS resources on Universal Design for Learning (UDL), look here: Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Supporting All STEM College Learners (video) Autism, STEM, and UDL: What is Universal Design for Learning? (video) Rules About Technology in the Classroom: A Barrier for Students With Disabilities? CAST is also an excellent resource on UDL Pleasantville Lab School Think:College Model  For more resources on supporting self-advocacy and interdependence, look here: Mental, Physical, and Emotional Well-being The Danger of Pursuing Interdependence as a Goal for Autistic Young Adults Insight for Autistic Students and Their Families About Developing Self-Advocacy Skills: Two Studies on Emerging Adulthood Autistic Self-Advocacy and STEM: A College Journey (video) Autistic and Transitioning to College? What Students and Families Need to Know (video) Hosts Theresa Revans-McMenimon, M.S., L.M.H.C., L.M.F.T. Theresa is a licensed mental health counselor and marriage and family therapist living and working in New York. In addition, she is an Adjunct Counselor for Students on the Autism Spectrum for Westchester Community College. Theresa brings her experience as a clinician and personal perspective as a parent of an individual with ASD to her higher ed position. Theresa is also an educational consultant to various families and institutions in New York. Questions for Theresa?  Join the conversation below.

24mins

23 May 2019

Rank #6

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Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast, Episode Six: Bridging Communication Differences

Bridging communication differences between autistic and non-autistic people. Editorial Board Member Arianne Garcia and contributor Katie Newton discuss the limitations of social scripts, the challenges of masking, race and gender in relation to autism, and techniques for everyone on improving breakdowns in communication and communication styles.  Download Transcript, Arianne Garcia and Katie Newton, Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast, Episode Six, Bridging Communication Differences Episode Notes Resources For more STS resources on communication, look here: Autism and Socializing in College Strategies for Autistic Students in Overcoming Anxiety Five Reasons to Self-Disclose Your Autism When Going to College Autism and Self-care for College Students Insight for Autistic Students and Their Families About Developing Self-Advocacy Skills: Two Studies on Emerging Adulthood For more resources on supporting self-advocacy, look here: Mental, Physical, and Emotional Well-being On Creating a STEM Familia: Dr. Lisette Torres Autistic and Transitioning to College? What Students and Families Need to Know (video) How Greater Autism Representation Positively Impacts the Workplace Hosts Arianne Garcia Arianne is a Hispanic writer, activist, artist, and autism advocate. She was diagnosed at 25 with ADHD and autism. Unsatisfied with just educating herself, Arianne set up her own website to help others navigate the tricky communication bridge between autistic and neurotypical thinking and speaking. Arianne has written on numerous autism topics, such as Hispanics and autism diagnosis rates, hiring autistic people, suicidal ideation in autistic adults, amongst other things. Arianne‘s stress therapy includes sensory aides, music, and playing with Legos. Interested in her work? Visit her website: www.arianneswork.com Katie Newton Katie is a part time speech and language pathologist and part time professional runner. Katie received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Boston University in Speech, Hearing, and Language Sciences and Speech-Language Pathology, respectively. She also trains on the Boston Athletic Association High Performance Team. Katie has experience in public and private schools as well as private clinic settings. She works with children and young adults with a variety of disabilities, including those with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Katie loves to share executive functioning and planning tips along with the more traditional social language strategies to help students succeed. Join the conversation below.

32mins

10 Aug 2019

Rank #7

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Debate in College STEM Classes: Hot Topics & Autistic Students

In this audio clip on handling classroom debate for autistic students, Laura Gilmour asks her mentor Dr. Melike Shalomon for her take on how to set up classroom dynamics and expectations to encourage the best debate environment on hot-button issues. As Dr. Schalomon says, “You don’t have to agree, but you do have to get to the point where you can respect the other person’s opinion.” This brief exchange has a lot of good advice.   Dr. Melike Schalomon, Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science. Associate Professor, Psychology. MacEwan University, Alberta, CA.Dr. Schalomon’s background is in behavioral neuroscience. Her graduate education focused on animal research in rodents, with an emphasis on neuroanatomy, neurosurgery and neurogenetics. She studied cerebral lateralization and the consequences of damage to the corpus callosum as a result of split brain surgery and congenital agenesis of the callosum. After obtaining her degree, she developed a secondary teaching and research interest in the field of human sexuality with a primary focus on sexual orientation. She has explored the relationship between sexual orientation and sexual behavior in exceptional populations. Over the past several years, her main research interests have refocused on behavioral neuroscience. She is engaged in a program of research using zebrafish. Zebrafish are rapidly becoming a major model organism for studying the nervous system, as their genetics are well understood and their neurochemistry closely parallels that of the human brain. One focus of Dr. Schalomon’s research with zebrafish is the development of reliable and valid paradigms for assessing zebrafish behavior. These paradigms are then used to explore how environmental manipulations, for example pharmaceutical agents, affect various behaviors including anxiety and memory. Download the transcript here: Debate in College STEM Classes: Hot Topics and Autistic Students You might also like: Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Institutions of Higher Education Autistic Self-advocacy and STEM: A College Journey Autism and Socializing in College

4mins

17 Oct 2019

Rank #8

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An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: Campus Life

Autism, college life, and connecting with other minority students during undergrad. In this audio clip on what it’s like being an undergraduate from another country, autistic self-advocate Laura Gilmour asks her mentor Dr. Melike Shalomon, originally from Barvaria, about her experiences acclimating to studying in Canada when she was an undergraduate.  Dr. Melike Schalomon, Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science. Associate Professor, Psychology. MacEwan University, Alberta, CA.Dr. Schalomon’s background is in behavioral neuroscience. Her graduate education focused on animal research in rodents, with an emphasis on neuroanatomy, neurosurgery and neurogenetics. She studied cerebral lateralization and the consequences of damage to the corpus callosum as a result of split brain surgery and congenital agenesis of the callosum. After obtaining her degree, she developed a secondary teaching and research interest in the field of human sexuality with a primary focus on sexual orientation. She has explored the relationship between sexual orientation and sexual behavior in exceptional populations. Over the past several years, her main research interests have refocused on behavioral neuroscience. She is engaged in a program of research using zebrafish. Zebrafish are rapidly becoming a major model organism for studying the nervous system, as their genetics are well understood and their neurochemistry closely parallels that of the human brain. One focus of Dr. Schalomon’s research with zebrafish is the development of reliable and valid paradigms for assessing zebrafish behavior. These paradigms are then used to explore how environmental manipulations, for example pharmaceutical agents, affect various behaviors including anxiety and memory. Download the transcript here: Laura Gilmour and Dr. Melike Schalomon Being a Minority on Campus as an Undergrad.docx Want to hear more from Laura and Dr. Schalomon? Try these: STEM, Autism, and Building Professional Relationships: Interview with a Mentor, Part One Debate in College STEM Classes: Hot Topics & Autistic Students You might also like: Steps to Autism Acceptance Podcast: Episode One, Institutions of Higher Education Autistic and Transitioning to College? What Students and Families Need to Know How Examining Autism and the Immigrant Experience Together Can Benefit Communities Where’s Bavaria? What’s it like? Learn more here. Questions or comments? Let us know!

15mins

8 Jan 2020

Rank #9

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An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: College, Culture Shock & Indigenous Communities

In this audio clip Laura Gilmour asks her friend Shallen Blanchard about her experiences being a member of a rural indigenous community who had to acclimate to an urban college setting far from family when she attended an undergraduate program. Laura and Shallen find a lot of similarities in their experiences, even though they come from different minority groups. This discussion helps us learn more about the ways all students can be supported during their college journeys.  Shallen Blanchard grew up in a remote Saskatchewan farming community. She is the daughter of Métis First Nation parents from Duck Lake, Saskatchewan. Being both a minority student and a student with anxiety made the transition to a major city to attend university difficult. She is a strong advocate for her community and other individuals who face barriers, such as refugees and immigrants. Download the transcript here: An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: College, Culture Shock & Indigenous Communities You might also like: An Autistic Asks Other Minorities: Campus Life STEM, Autism, and Building Professional Relationships: Interview With a Mentor, Part I Strategies for Autistic Students in Overcoming Anxiety Becoming Visible: STEM Role Models & Mentors for Disabled Students Autism and STEM: Career Considerations for Students On Inclusive Hiring: Diversity Consultant Samuel Ellison Questions or comments? Let us know!

10mins

28 Jan 2020

Rank #10