Autism Interview #184: Ronan Boren on Songwriting

Ronan Boren is a fifteen-year-old autistic songwriter from Texas. Boren works with his music tutor Bill Paige (also an author/musician/songwriter) to compose original music he shares with the world.

Ronan writes all the lyrics for Josephmooon, whose debut album, “So Far So Good” features 12 songs about shifting moods (“Out of Tune,” “Up All Night,” “Check For”), menacing strangers (“Captolea,” “Busybodies”) and teenage fantasies (“Reusable Money,” “High In The Sky”).

His album can be purchased on JosephMooon.com as well as Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora, Apple Music, and iTunes. A link to the full press release is available below. This week Boren gave us a glimpse into his music collaboration with Paige and teenage life.

Autism Interview #185: Tejas Rao Sankar on Learning to Spell, Traveling, and the Autistic Community

Tejas Rao Sankar is a nonspeaking autistic who spells to communicate. Tejas is a passionate traveler who loves to dance and spend time with his friends. He blogs with Neuroclastic to contribute to our emerging understanding of autistics, by autistics. Tejas loves to read with The BookWallis – A social media book group. He also loves creating memes for social media with I-ASC’s Spellers & Allies, a network which works to bring advocacy to spellers’ causes. He has been a panelist presenter at conferences such as Innovations in Education. Tejas has been recognized by Congressman Max Rose and other legislators for the advocacy work he does.

Tejas, with his autistic friends, is a co-founder of CrimsonRise, a neurodiverse community. You can find him on social media – Facebook and Instagram. This week Tejas shared how his life has changed since he learned how to spell to communicate. He also shared his love of traveling and engaging with other autistic people.

Autism Interview #182: Laura Weldon on Wellness, Treating Autistic Burnout, and Embracing Neurodiversity in Medicine

Laura Z. Weldon, ND, MS is a naturopathic physician who loves exploring how people think, feel, sense, and connect. Weldon earned a doctorate in naturopathic medicine, a master’s degree in integrative mental health, an undergraduate degree in english literature and post-bacc pre-med degree. Her interdisciplinary research currently focuses on the pathophysiology and treatment of autistic burnout, and her work advocates for a neurodiversity paradigm shift across both medicine and society. She provides trauma-informed naturopathic consulting and coaching services, using herbs, nutrition, movement, health counseling, and craniosacral therapy to establish and embody a radical concept of wellness that includes autistic and disabled populations. This week she shared her research on autistic burnout and how she advocates for a neurodiversity paradigm shift in medicine.

Autism Interview #181: Flo Neville on Autistic Health and Wellbeing

Flo Neville is an autistic PhD candidate at the University of the West of England, exploring autistic peoples’ needs for the time and space to just be themselves. Her Masters dissertation Autistics, Autodidacts and Autonomy was the inspiration for Autism HWB, a health and wellbeing website by and for autistic people. She lives with her husband, teenage daughters, dog and cat in a village in the South West of England. This week she discussed the autistic health resource portal she manages and her research on how late-diagnosed autistic women manage their own health and wellbeing.

Autism Interview #183: Magda Regula on Communication–Open Options When Possible

Magda Regula is a blogger living in the U.K. and originally from Poland. She was diagnosed with autism at the age of 38 and has been advocating for teaching communication methods that were especially helpful for her since she has become aware of her autistic identity. She writes about her experiences on her website Autistic and Me. This week she discussed her path to a diagnosis and open-ended communication methods that she hopes are taught more widely among therapists/educators.

PDA Life Hacks

Jo Richardson is a parent advocate and author from the UK. Richardson blogs at Different Not Deficient on a variety of different topics related to parenting, mental health, autism, and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA). Last week she shared how PDA affects her daily life and how others can recognize and support others with PDA tendencies. The article below was originally published on her blog on December 6, 2019. It is reposted here with her permission.

Autism Interview #179: Andi Barclay on Late Diagnosis and Autism Prejudice

Andi Barclay was diagnosed as autistic as an adult at the age of 24 during her first year at graduate school. Within months of that diagnosis, Barclay published a few articles on NeuroClastic on her reaction to that recent diagnosis. Barclay thought it was important to immortalize those raw and honest feelings when they were fresh because she knew she would quickly forget how that felt. Barclay didn’t see her feelings represented in the autism blogs she was reading, and wanted to change that. This week she shared her experience grappling with a new diagnosis, prejudice about autism, and fitting into the Autistic community. Below is a transcript of our interview that has been edited for clarity.