Thursday, June 18, 2015

Introducing Joyce Bernheim

Joyce Bernheim joined me for a frank discussion about her own journey into understanding the importance of social-emotional intelligence in today's society prior to having her own son diagnosed with autism. She then delved into the neuroscience behind this intelligence with a vengeance while also becoming an incredible advocate for the autism community here in Oregon through her work on the state autism commission.

Introducing Diane Solomon

One of my first guests is Diane Solomon. She is a mental health nurse practitioner who also has a son on the autism spectrum. Her son is the youngest of 4 beautiful children. She was a nurse midwife who did not believe in the use of prescription medications... then learned to appreciate their support with post-partum women with challenging depression. This new understanding guided her into her own pursuit to become a mental health nurse practitioner who could prescribe such medications. Later, when faced with the decision about medicating her own son, she had perspective that many parents do not have. She shares this wisdom, what she chose to do, among other tough decisions and wonderful celebrations along the way.

Introducing the Synergy Autism Podcast....

Welcome to the Synergy Autism Podcast blog.  I decided to start this blog to share the behind the scenes work it is taking to get the Synergy Autism Podcast on air!

The Synergy Autism Podcast Host: Barbara Avila, M.S. RDI®

I am an autism specialist and trainer in Portland, Oregon. I own Synergy Autism Center. I feel extremely blessed to have almost 30 years of experience working in the field of autism. I met a child with autism when volunteering at a weekend "camp" in 1985 and through my one on one work with a child with autism, became intensely curious about the brain, development, and autism.

Over the 29 years, I have been a line therapist and lead interventionist using ABA, an evaluator for school eligibilities, a teacher, a group home parent, a lecturer on autism for university courses, a consultant for school teams and parents, and trainer. I have received and provided training on almost every intervention available over the past 29 years. I am realizing the perspective I have that is different than others who have entered the field since I have. I have seen autism steadily rise in numbers of people identified and parents struggle with the diagnosis regardless of how early or how late. I have watched families and professionals struggle to learn as much as possible in a community that seems to consist of silos versus a collaborative mission. Parents and professionals pick which silo they will put their energy and put that energy in 150%. But then, many find that the silo is limiting or that the child has outgrown the silo or they simply need a different approach.

We all have the same mission: Healthy, Happy, Well-Balanced, and Celebrated People
I truly believe that no child, autism or not, should have just one teaching or parenting camp (or silo). We are all in this together. We all want the very best for all people on the autism spectrum. We want all children to be raised to be healthy, happy, well-balanced, and celebrated members of our communities. Autism does not change that. We now know so much about what works and does not work for guiding those with autism that we should be listening and collaborating vs continuing to support the confusion and division between interventions and therapies.

I have met amazing people in our world wide community who have understandings about our brains and how they develop, our inter-personal interactions that support growth, the ins and outs of diagnosis, social-emotional development (the hallmark challenge of autism), and more. This podcast's mission is to bring listeners the inside view of our autism community and how passionately we all work for the same mission - to better understand autism together.

Come along with me in this blog, as I take the journey into creating a podcast full of the voices of these wonderful people.