In this episode of the TiLT Parenting Podcast, I have a powerful and thoughtful conversation with Dr. Barry Prizant, one of the world’s leading authorities on autism. Barry is recognized as an innovator of respectful, person- and family-centered approaches for individuals with autism and neurodevelopmental disabilities. He has more than forty years of experience as a scholar, researcher, and international consultant, and he’s an adjunct professor at Brown University, a certified speech-language pathologist and director of Childhood Communication Services, a private practice.

Barry is also the author of the must-read book Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, which suggests a major shift in our understanding of autism. Instead of classifying “autistic” behaviors as signs of pathology, he sees them as part of a range of strategies to cope with a world that feels chaotic and overwhelming. As you listen to our conversation, you’ll know exactly why I was so excited to bring Barry onto the show. He is at the forefront of the revolution in helping to change the way neurodiversity is perceived in the world and frankly I’m just so grateful there are people like him in the world doing this critical work. I hope you enjoy the episode.

 

About Barry: Dr. Barry Prizant is recognized internationally as a scholar in autism spectrum disorders and childhood disabilities, with more than 40 years experience as a researcher and int’l consultant. He is an Adjunct Professor, Brown University, & Director, Childhood Communication Services. Barry has received many honors including the 2014 Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2005 Princeton University-Eden Career Award in autism, and the 2013 Divine Neurotypical Award of GRASP. His most recent book is Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism (Simon & Schuster, 2015).

 

THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:

  • Barry’s personal story for how he came to be doing this work
  • How things can change for autistic kids when we reframe and view their “behavior” through a new lens
  • The relationship between trust and emotional regulation
  • Barry’s perspective on the use of language such as “high-functioning” and “low-functioning” autism
  • Why words like “oppositional” and “noncompliant” in relation to an autistic person’s behavior are usually completely off-mark
  • The very real cost of pathologizing autism
  • Barry’s powerful ideas for how he is trying to shift thinking around the way autism is perceived
  • What should our goals be with regards to the long-term vision for our autistic children?
  • The story behind Barry’s book Uniquely Human

 

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