I had a wonderf six years doing Autismpodcast and learned so much from the nearly 100 episodes I produced.
The podcast was a way for a father to learn about autism from medical providers, parents, children and people on the autism spectrum.
Like a tv series, it has reached its conclusion for me and I currently do not plan to do any more podcasts.
Thank you to all the listeners for keeping me going all these years.
Michael Boll, father to a son on the autism spectrum.
Shannon and I interview Geradine Wurzberg director of the film Wretches and Jabberers.
The film is about the world travels of two middle-aged autistic men with severe communication difficulties. They travel to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland to meet other adults with autism and to share more information about autism to different parts of the world.
In ‘Wretches & Jabberers and Stories from the Road’, two men with autism embark on a global quest to change prevailing attitudes about disability and intelligence. With limited speech, Tracy Thresher, 42, and Larry Bissonnette, 52, both faced lives of mute isolation in mental institutions or adult disability centers. When they learned as adults to communicate by typing, their lives changed dramatically. Their world tour message is that the same possibility exists for others like themselves. At each stop, they dissect public attitudes about autism and issue a hopeful challenge to reconsider competency and the future. Along the way, they reunite with old friends from the USA, expand the isolated world of a talented young painter and make new allies in their cause.
Today I had a great talk with Dan Tedesco of HandHold Adaptive and the new iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) app called AutismTrack .
I talked with Dan a while back in episode 86 about their first product, iPrompts. One of the things I enjoy most about our conversations is the facsinating picture Dan paints for the future of these handheld devices and how they can help individuals with ASD.
Here is more about AutismTrack from their website:
A new app from the makers of iPrompts®! Featured by Apple as “New and Noteworthy”
AutismTrack™ is a portable, customizable data tracking tool that empowers caregivers of those with autism to easily track interventions, behaviors and symptoms. Checkboxes allow daily recording of any therapy, medicine or diet. Simple “sliders” allow rating of any behavior or symptom (e.g., eye contact, aggression and echolalic speech).
With multiple reporting features, this information can then be reviewed and shared, to help parents and other caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) answer the ongoing and ever-puzzling question: “What seems to be working, and what’s not?”
The other day I came across an article called “Aging with Autism.” It talks about adults with autism and working. As my son ages (he is ten now) I more often think about his future and how it will all play out.
So I contacted the Dr. Scott for an interview. Shannon and I discussed the Adult Autism and Employment Guide that he wrote (find it here) as well as his March 3-4, 2011 conference on autism and employment.
Shannon and I talk with Marty Kelly who has twice made the trip to Central America for stem cell transplants for her autistic son. After the first trip, Marty noticed significant gains in many areas and decided to make a recent, repeat trip.
We discuss the process of how stem cells work and the procedure used for her son.
Marty feels, and explains, that there is no downside to a stem cell transplant other than it not working. However, stem cell transplants are not allowed to be done in the USA and the Mayo Clinic writes on their website that: ” A stem cell transplant poses many risks of complications, some potentially fatal. Although some people experience few problems with a transplant, others must endure frequent tests and repeated hospitalizations.” For more information, see here and here.
Shannon Johnson and I talk with Megan Drane of Fire Fly Nights Photography. Megan, a professional photographer, has a young son with autism. Realizing that there is a need out there for quality photos of families that have a child with autism, Megan moved into fill that gap.
We discuss her patient, flexible approach she uses to grab some fantastic photos. We also get into the range of emotions and feelings she comes across as she meets parents looking to get, perhaps, their first family photo shoot with a photographer who empathizes with their situation.
I conduct a follow up discussion with Dr. Paul Law about the Interactive Autism Network (IAN). My first podcast with Dr. Law took place three years ago when the program was in its infancy.
Dr. Law also has a son with autism.
We discuss some of the latest studies that have come forth from IAN as well as where it might all lead to in the future.
More about IAN from their Website:
The Interactive Autism Network (IAN) is an innovative online project bringing together tens of thousands of people nationwide affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and hundreds of researchers in a search for answers.
Lori Boll and I talk with Dr. Tracy Alloway about working memory versus long term memory. We have an interesting discussion working memory (think short term) and how it relates to people with autism. We also discuss her working memory enhancing program called Jungle Learning.
Here is more about Tracy from her website:
Tracy Packiam Alloway, PhD, is the Director of the Center for Memory and Learning in the Lifespan at the University of Stirling, UK. She is the author of over 75 scientific articles and books on working memory and learning, and has developed the world’s first standardized working-memory tests for educators published by Pearson. Her research has received widespread international coverage, appearing in outlets such as the Guardian, Daily Mail, Scientific American, Forbes, US News, ABC News, and NBC. She is much in demand international speaker in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. She is an advisor to the World Bank on the importance of working memory.
Shannon Johnson and I speak with Dr. Susan Wilczynski of the National Autism Center. We cover a range of topics including evidence based practices. We pay particular attention to an educators’ field guide the National Autism Center put together for educators of children on the autism spectrum. You can see a copy of that guide here.
Here is some more about Dr. Wilczynski from her website:
Dr. Wilczynski is the Executive Director of the National Autism Center. In her role as Chair of the National Standards Project, she has worked in collaboration with experts from around the country in order to establish national standards for the treatment of individuals on the autism spectrum. Under Dr. Wilczynski’s leadership, the National Autism Center has recently published Evidence-based Practice and Autism in the Schools. This resource manual for educators is being distributed to school systems across the country. It is the first in a series of manuals to support families, educators, physicians, and service providers.