Beacon College's "A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" The Podcast
By A World of Difference
Beacon College's "A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" The PodcastNov 04, 2023
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" | Winning the Homework Battles | S4E3
Winning the Homework Battles
Homework. The word gives kids shudders and triggers PTSD flashbacks in parents who recall their own dealings with protractors and prepositions.
As the debate over the value of homework rages on, educators continue to embrace the adage that practice makes perfect.
Try telling that to a child with learning and attention issues whose patience and ability to stay focused have been ground down like a No. 2 pencil after an exhausting day at school. Homework can test any child’s limits. But for youngsters who learn differently, struggles with executive functioning — which impacts their ability to plan, organize, and prioritize — can mean homework leads to meltdowns and breakdowns that leave the child feeling down and out about education.
The good news is that, while there is no one-size-fits-all solution for helping neurodivergent children conquer homework, there are strategies parents can tailor to suit their child’s needs that can transform doing homework from horror to hurrah.
On this episode, we visit a Midwestern mother of three kids with ADHD who long endured stressful homework sessions but fortunately found a solution that has made homework less, well, work.
Next, our panel of national experts reveals what makes homework for neurodivergent kids a struggle and offers winning strategies for acing the assignment.
Later, you’ll meet our latest Difference Maker, a teenage car buff and photographer whose loving portraits of classic rides turn the saying seeing is believing on its head.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" | Praise That Makes a Difference for LD Kids | S4E2
On this episode of "A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity," we visit a Central Florida family that uses praise to nourish the souls of both their neurodivergent and neurotypical daughters. Next, our panel of experts shares how sincere and specific praise can bolster outcomes for children who learn differently. Later, you’ll meet our latest Difference Maker, a TV script writer, sci-fi novelist, and a futurist who because of struggles with dyslexia and other learning differences never could have forecast a career as an award-winning author.
A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity | "The Importance of Early Intervention" | S4E1
One million neural connections per second.
That’s the speed at which brain science clocks a child’s brain developing between birth and age three.
And science shows that early nurturing from parents and caregivers is vital to boosting those neural connections in budding brains and to equipping babies with the sensory pathways and brainy bedrock they’ll need to succeed in life.
Yet, while every child needs early parental involvement, for kids with learning and attention issues early intervention stands as perhaps the most consequential thing parents can do to ensure their child reaches their full potential.
Early intervention primarily describes services and support children from birth to age three with learning and attention issues receive that address their individual communication, social-emotional, and learning needs, helps them reach their peak, and can reduce the likelihood the child will experience more serious mental health problems down the line.
On this episode, we visit a Texas school for neurodivergent students that finds fun ways to tackle the serious task of early intervention.
Next, our panel of national experts discusses how early intervention can enhance children’s outcomes.
Later, you’ll meet our latest Difference Maker, a renowned British academic with much to say about equity in higher education who through childhood negotiated silence and autism.
A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity S3E11 The Evolving LD Discussion in Families
On this episode of "A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity," we meet a family that has treated regular talks about learning differences as second nature since their son’s diagnosis.
Next, our expert panel guides parents to age-appropriate language to use from kindergarten through college for affirming talks with their neurodivergent children.
Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” an author, consultant, and motivational speaker who went from the low of entering foster care with developmental delays days after birth to the high of soaring across America in Air Force One as a valued presidential advisor.
"A World Of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" | "Helping LD Kids Own Their Emotions" S3 E10
On this episode of "A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity," we visit a Virginia program that equips children with learning and attention differences with the social skills they need to regulate and recognize their emotions and succeed alongside their peers. Next, our panel of experts provides strategies and solutions for helping children of all ages better control their feelings. Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” a serial entrepreneur who believes his long string of learning and attention issues are a sort of angel investor in his runaway success.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" S3E9 Mental Health and Neurodivergent Students
Children coping with learning differences and mental health challenges can be more vulnerable to psychiatric issues that undercut their ability to learn, foster relationships, and overcome obstacles.
On this episode of “A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity,” learn more as we explore the mental health needs of neurodivergent students.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" | S3 E8 Neurodivergence Among People of Color
Being a person of color in this country comes with a lot of baggage. Living with learning disabilities is no picnic either.
So, imagine the child who is both neurodivergent and a person of color. The intersection between race and neurodivergence can be daunting.
Black autistic children are twice as likely to be misdiagnosed with conduct disorder, owing, one study found, to deeply rooted perceptions of black children as mischief-makers. Or they are never diagnosed at all. Asian children may go untreated because Asian cultures often see learning disabilities as shameful, a result of poor parenting, or something that can be overcome by working even harder on achieving a good education which is strictly prioritized in many Asian American families. And Latino kids, like African-American children, often receive late diagnoses for autism — leading to them missing out on critical years of early intervention and treatment that could have improved outcomes.
Indeed, a 2007 study by the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Research and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, found that African-American children were 5.1 times more likely to be misdiagnosed with conduct disorders before receiving the proper diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
On this episode, we explore the challenges one neurodivergent Asian college student faces around lingering stigmas about learning and thinking differences and limiting racial stereotypes.
Next, our expert panel looks closer the twofold challenges that neurodivergent children of color can face and provide strategies to head off the issues that can undercut their ability to succeed and thrive.
Later, we’ll introduce you to our latest “Difference Maker,” a neurodivergent NASCAR driver with a lifelong need for speed.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" S3 E7 Tech and Neurodiversity
A recent blog post on Tech Nation, a growth platform for tech companies and leaders, asked an intriguing and important question: “In a technology-driven world, how is it possible to improve the world for everyone, without everyone’s input?”
Of late, more companies answering that question by leveraging the abilities, insights, and talents of a wide array of different thinkers by diversifying their workforces.
Rising high on the wish list are employees who are neurodivergent — workers who think and learn differently. Why? Research and anecdotal success stories confirm that different perspectives and cognitive skills produce tangible benefits to the bottom line. As companies embrace neurodiversity in technology, more parents are steering their neurodivergent children into tech, hoping to nurture strengths and aptitudes that their learning differences may afford — abilities that may afford the child a sustainable, stable, and independent future.
On this episode of "A World of Difference," we explore a New York program that aims to transform the lives of neurodivergent students by teaching computer science thinking and technology skills to upgrade their education and future employment prospects. Next, we travel to a Texas private school for students with learning differences that is training the next wave of American defenders to man the cyber front lines. Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” the neurodivergent mind behind a coding education platform designed to help school districts equip students with the computer programming skills necessary to enter the workforce or to succeed in college.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" | S3 E6 Leveraging Vocational Rehabilitation for Aspiring Collegians
Vocational Rehabilitation, or VR, helps individuals with disabilities transition into the workforce. It can support training in any field or career from science to law that requires postsecondary education or a degree. And VR can provide help with planning for college and provide help with some of the costs of attendance. Of course, it helps to understand the nuts and bolts of how vocational rehabilitation can help your student go to college to maximize the benefits.
On this episode, we peek in on an education professional who tutors parents in the ABCs of using vocational rehabilitation programs to pay for college for students who learn differently.
Next, to help parents best maximize what could be a valuable resource for their college-bound child with learning or attention issues, our expert panel delves deeper into the thorny patch of different jargon, processes, and requirements that set apart state vocational rehabilitation programs.
Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” Jeremiah Josey, a baker who is a cooking up a multi-layered brand of success as a model, author, and neurodiversity advocate.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" | S3 E5 Twice-Exceptional Kids
On this episode, we visit an Arizona twice-exceptional teenager who through her podcast is giving voice and shedding light on the 2e life.
Next, our expert panel delves deeper into the dynamics of twice-exceptionality and how parents can best support and advocate for their kids.
Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” world-renown paleontologist John “Jack” Horner whose success with science helped him bury his struggles with undiagnosed dyslexia.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" | S3 E4 Neurodiversity Around the World
Today, there are 193 recognized countries in the world. And according to a recent review published in the journal Science, about 10 percent of people worldwide live with specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and autism.
Meanwhile, Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires countries around the world ensure that students with disabilities receive free, inclusive, and appropriate education up to college.
How that plays out in real life, however, is spotty at best.
Diagnosis, services and supports differ. Legal guardrails ensuring inclusive education are hit or miss. There isn’t even global consensus what constitutes learning disabilities.
Worse, in countries riddled with misconceptions and cultural shame about learning disabilities it isn’t unusual for students to be physically punished or reprimanded over their learning struggles.
In short, there is a world of difference regarding how neurodivergence is viewed and embraced around the globe.
On this episode, we meet a father and daughter in the Netherlands who both have dyslexia and have discovered that succeeding at life isn’t tilting at windmills.
Next, our international panel of experts will explore the global response to learning disabilities.
Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” Nik Govier, a public relations powerbroker from across the pond who considers her dyslexia a gift that allows her to bring something different, and valuable, to the party.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" | S3 E3 Making Reading Fundamental for Dyslexics
One in five students has dyslexia, the most common language-based learning disability.
In general, dyslexia impacts one’s ability to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols. Yet, it’s no indicator of general intelligence.
Still, kids who can’t read like their peers often suffer ridicule, battered self-esteem and withdrawal because they stop believing themselves smart and capable.
But with early intervention and the right support, struggling readers can make significant strides and discover reading to be less formidable and more fundamental to their lives.
On this episode, we take you to a Georgia private school for dyslexics where focused remediation means nearly half the student body leaves every year ready to compete, and then to a Florida public school classroom where daily reading sessions are an opportunity to bolster dyslexic learners.
Next, our panel of experts shares practical strategies to help parents better support their struggling readers at home.
Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Makers,” the Winner Twins, an award-winning fantasy and sci-fi writing duo of identical twins, who’ve discovered learning differences don’t close the book on success.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity" | S3 E2 Embracing Neurodiversity
In an unprecedented exodus, more than 47 million Americans in 2021 quit their jobs, according a recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
Many dub that great migration — driven by the COVID-19 pandemic — the Great Resignation. And there are few signs it’s slowing.
All those departures mean opportunities for jobseekers. But opportunities for whom?
Even as employers increasingly talk the talk about diversifying the workforce — including making it more neurodiverse — candidates with learning and attention issues often aren’t making the cut.
According to Harvard Business Review, neurodivergent unemployment soars as high as 80%.
Not only do neurodivergent jobseekers miss out, but employers lose out on the value these employees add to the company in terms of productivity, culture, and diversity of thought.
In fact, during National Disability Employment Awareness Month each October, the U.S. Department of Labor celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. While learning differences often come coupled with greater abilities, the fact remains that there is still more education that can be done regarding the unique talents of the neurodivergent.
On this episode, we share the experiences of a young neurodivergent professional with attention issues establishing herself in the workaday world.
Next, our expert panel reveals ways that employers can and should leverage the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce.
Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” David Flink, whose personal experience with dyslexia led him to start a national nonprofit aimed at unlocking greatness in the one in five individuals who learn differently.
"A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity," S3, E1 | "Getting Social with the LD Community"
Social media is almost inescapable in today’s world, for better or worse. Today around seven-in-ten Americans use social media to engage the world, according to the Pew Research Center. The numbers are growing as quickly as the new social media platforms to accommodate the connections.
And while too much of it amounts to doom scrolling society’s slog towards perdition, British journalist Jon Ronson rightly noted, “The great thing about social media was how it gave a voice to voiceless people.”
And too often voiceless has described the neurodivergent and the people who love them. Take parents of children with autism, ADHD, and other learning differences desperately searching for ways to support them. Or neurodivergent individuals longing to turn the page on wrongheaded narratives that cast them as weird.
Enter social media — part support group and living, breathing Info Please almanac for moms and dads in search of life hacks for parenting their kids with learning disabilities, and also a far-reaching megaphone for young and proudly neurodivergent content creators to shout out their truth.
On this episode, you’ll meet a woman who helps parents on Facebook sort through the extra that often accompanies rearing children who learn differently.
Next, you meet a handful of creative neurodivergent influencers who use TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram as their canvas to paint new and vibrant portraits of what it means to be an individual who thinks and learns differently.
Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” Penn Holderness, a former TV journalist who has pivoted to YouTube where he uses humor to educate about the serious topic of embracing neurodiversity.
"A World of Difference," S2, E10 | "Boosting Working Memory for Kids with Learning Differences"
Maybe this sounds familiar: Friends are coming over for a visit and you issue clean-up orders to your child. Stash your toys in your toy box. Scoop up your clothes and put them in the hamper. And take out the garbage. Sometime later, the doorbell rings, and as you snake through the house you notice toys littering the floor, pajamas serving as area rugs, and the kitchen trash can erupting like Mount Vesuvius. And there’s your rugrat standing in the distance giggling at TikTok videos. Maybe you’ve got a disobedient child on your hands. Or maybe your child’s inability to stay on track signals something else: a sign of poor working memory. Research suggests some 15% of children struggle with poor working memory. It’s an issue that can impact their success in the classroom. The good news is, that there are ways to beef up working memory skills right at home. On this episode, you’ll meet a mom who details who understands working memory issues are more than absent-mindedness. Next, our panel of experts will offer actionable strategies that parents can use to strengthen their child’s working memory. Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” Tova Sherman, whose ADHD has helped turn her into an Energizer Bunny for diversity, equity, and inclusion for the disabled community.
"A World of Difference," S2, E11 | "Helping Neurodivergent Children Forge Friendships"
Seneca, the Roman philosopher, observed that “one of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” Wise words that put a finger on the conundrum often facing neurodivergent children: Many long for friendship, but struggle with understanding the nuts and bolts of being a pal. Meanwhile, potential friends often eye-roll neurodivergent interactions as weird and move on.
For kids with autism, ADHD, and other learning differences who struggle with deciphering body language and facial expressions, forging friendships can be an uphill struggle. Research shows that, as a result, children with autism, for example, sing the lonesome blues more than their neurotypical peers. Here’s the good news: Parents can step in and tutor their neurodivergent kiddos in developing lasting, fulfilling relationships.
On this episode, a group of young neurodivergent individuals with a Colorado autism organization called Firefly Autism relates the ups and downs youngsters who learn differently experience forging relationships.
Next, our experts share ways that parents can support their children from an early age through college on the friendship journey.
Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” author Carmen Agra Deedy, whose love of stories overpowered her struggles reading the words that shaped the fabulous tales she loved.
"A World of Difference," S2, E9 | "All in the (neurodiverse) Family"
It’s not unusual for parents to gaze at their kids and see little mirrors reflecting back. Children can inherit mom and dad’s eyes, hair color, freckles, and other physical traits. And if mom and dad’s brains are wired differently, time may reveal that their little ones also learn differently. Rearing children is tough enough, but when it’s all in the neurodiverse family, navigating the daily challenges of schoolwork and household tasks can prove extra challenging. Yet, while parents and children who learn differently may experience more trials in understanding each other and the world, these moms and dads may also be uniquely equipped to support youngsters with learning disabilities for having lived their shared experience.
On this episode, you’ll meet a mom with learning differences who is walking the neurodiverse journey hand-in-hand with her neurodiverse son.
Next, our panel of experts will share wise counsel and helpful tips for multi-generational neurodiverse families.
Later, you’ll meet Avi, our latest “Difference Maker,” who turned the page on a writing-focused learning disability by cranking out scores of best-selling and award-winning children’s books.
"A World of Difference," S2, E8 | "Bolstering Executive Function for Kids who Learn Differently"
While not a learning disability, executive functioning issues are typical with people with attention issues and learning differences.
On this episode, you’ll learn the basics of executive function in our “In the Know” segment.
Next, our national panel of experts will provide a deeper understanding and actionable strategies for enhancing executive function during our “Ask the Experts” conversation.
Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” once a struggling dyslexic who turned his Kryptonite into a secret weapon for inspiring children with dyslexia — especially children of color.
"A World Of Difference," S2, E7 | "Empowering Children With Dyslexia"
Recently, Comic Book Resources, a popular outlet for comics industry news, released its ranking of the 20 Best Superpowers of All Time. The list included the usual suspects: Super-strength. X-ray vision. Flight. One that didn’t crack the list was dyslexia. Of course, dyslexia is far more common than heat vision considering between 5 to 10% of Americans live with signs such as slow reading, difficulty spelling, or mixing up words. The severity differs for everyone, and dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. Children diagnosed with dyslexia can get into college and live abundant lives, especially when they learn to harness the creativity and novel thinking that entrepreneurial superheroes with dyslexia like “Shark Tank’s” Daymond John consider their superpower. On this episode, you’ll hear about dyslexia from individuals and families from around the country who’ve learned to thrive with it during our “In the Know” segment. Next, our national panel of experts will provide advice on how families can empower children who have dyslexia during our “Ask the Experts” conversation. Later, you’ll met our latest “Difference Maker,” a Florida mother whose advocacy for her son with dyslexia morphed into a worldwide mission to equip parents and educators to decode dyslexia.
“A World of Difference,” S2, E6 | "Assistive Technology For Students With Learning Differences"
Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle observed that “Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.” For kids with learning differences, one of the most power tools at their disposal is assistive technology. What is it? Assistive technology, or (AT), are products, equipment, and systems that enhance learning, working, and daily living for persons with disabilities. Tools that when properly implemented in the classroom or in the home can empower students who learn differently and by making learning more accessible provide them a vibrant voice in their education. On this episode, you’ll discover the latest assistive tech gadgets and gizmos in an “In the Know” interview with David Dikter, chief executive officer of Assistive Technology Industry Association. Next, we’ll take a deeper dive into AT in our “Ask the Experts” conversation with Google’s accessibility guru Laura Allen. Later, you’ll met our latest “Difference Maker,” Jeanne Betancourt, who leveraged her dyslexia to write a happy ending as a popular children’s book author.
“A World of Difference,” S2, E5 | “Music’s Magic for Kids who Learn Differently”
On this episode, in you’ll meet two young men living in vastly differently parts of the work but enjoying similar benefits as a result of taking up a musical instrument. Next, our “Ask the Experts” panel will explore the challenges and benefits music instruments hold for children who learn differently. Later, we’ll introduce you to our latest “Difference Maker,” a producer, educator and entrepreneur with an awesome surname who channeled ADHD into a Grammy-winning jazz career.
"A World of Difference," S2, E4 | "How to Get the Most of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for Students who Learn Differently"
This episode of "A World of Difference," explores the basics of Individualized Education Programs through our new HealthDay News segment, “In the Know.”
Our “Ask the Experts” panelists will give tips for acing the IEP process.
And you'll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” Meredith O'Connor, a YouTube sensation and singer with learning differences who has tuned into her life of being bullied and turned up a blossoming career as a singer and anti-bullying advocate.
"A World of Difference," S2, E3 | "The Greatest Love of All: Teaching LD Kids to Love Themselves"
Perhaps you remember the classic song, “The Greatest Love of All” and its defining lyric:
The greatest love of all | is easy to achieve | Learning to love yourself | It is the greatest love of all
Yet, for children who learn differently, achieving this outcome isn’t always so easy.
Classmates, and even adults, can stigmatize children as being weird, odd, or dumb. This discrimination undercuts their self-esteem.
Not surprisingly, kids who learn differently often remain tight-lipped about their learning differences, afraid of being ridiculed, bullied, or seen as stupid. While not every child who learns differently experiences these feelings, many find themselves in a tug-of-war over feeling good about themselves — even if they pretend not to care.
On this episode, you’ll meet an Australian mom who’s using her artistic talent to paint a more inclusive landscape for people who learn differently.
Next, our “Ask the Experts” panel will share how parents can help their kids learn to love themselves.
Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” a journalist and historian with several learning differences whose book “The Only Plane in the Sky” is widely considered the seminal account of 9/11.
"A World of Difference," S2, E2 | "Timing College for LD teens: When to pause, when to Jump in?
This episode of "A World of Difference" explores best practices for parents considering college for students with learning differences both through the eyes of a Texas family facing the critical decisions involved and through wise counsel from our expert panel. You'll also meet our latest “Difference Maker,” Mackenzie Thorpe, a British artist whose heartwarming paintings and sculptures make the world a much nicer place.
"A World of Difference," S2, E1 | "Shark Tells: Daymond John Speaks about Success and Dyslexia"
On this episode of “A World of Difference” “The People’s Shark,” Daymond John, CEO of FUBU and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” discusses being a uber-successful entrepreneur and living with dyslexia.
From running a business in his basement to starring on a hit reality television show, Daymond John has embodied the word “entrepreneur” and is now inspiring others to pursue their goals and empowering them to make positive changes in their lives. Diagnosed with dyslexia himself, John has been open in sharing his entrepreneurial journey, through his many successes as well as failures, and what he has learned about getting the best out of business and life.
In each episode, “A World of Difference” examines neurodiversity issues related to learning disabilities experienced from birth to adult years, using compelling storytelling, conversations with experts, viewer Q&As, and interviews with successful individuals with learning differences of their own.
''A World of Difference'' S1, E11 | "Self-care for Parents and Caregivers of Children with Learning Differences"
This episode of “A World of Difference” is devoted to providing care for the caregivers, the parents, and guardians of children with learning differences.
On an extended segment of “Ask the Experts,” our panel will discuss symptoms of caregiver burnout, strategies for coping, and ways to not only survive but thrive in the joys of raising your different thinkers.
And later, you’ll meet this episode’s Difference Maker, Victor Villasenor, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated author who didn’t learn how to read until the age of 20 because of dyslexia.
"A World of Difference," S1, E10 | "Helping students with ADHD Succeed"
On this episode of “A World of Difference,” we’ll visit an innovative small private school in Leesburg, Florida that integrates art and movement into the three R’s and has proven to be just what the doctor ordered for its students with ADHD.
Next, we’ll do a deeper dive into the alphabet soup of ADHD and explore ways that parents can better support their children with the help of our esteemed panel of experts in our “Ask the Experts” segment with Miami psychiatrist Dr. Arthur Bregman, Dr. Gilbert Franco, and Rashonda R. Musawwir, APRN, CPNP, PMHS.
Finally, we’ll introduce you to this month’s “Difference Maker,” Peter Shankman, an entrepreneur whose ADHD has powered the launch of several companies and the publication of a host of books.
"A World of Difference," S1, E9 | "The Value of Animal-Assisted Interventions for LD Individuals"
From the moment Noah crammed animals two by two into a floating Old Testament menagerie, mankind has shared a close bond with animals. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors considered essential to the health and well-being of both. The bond includes but is not limited to the emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment.
More specifically, the field of human-animal interactions (HAI) and, in particular, animal-assisted interventions (AAI), has greatly evolved over the past half-century, and become a more recognized, legitimate form of complementary therapy.
On this episode of “A World of Difference,” we’ll saddle up and travel to a small Florida horse ranch to get a glimpse of animal-assisted intervention in action. Next, we’ll explore the ins and outs of animal-assisted intervention in our “Ask the Experts” segment. Finally, we’ll introduce you to this month’s “Difference Maker,” Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned scientist, author, and speaker, who has spent a lifetime making the world a more humane place for both livestock and the neurodiverse.
"A World of Difference," S1, E8 | Bolstering Self-Esteem in Kids with Learning Disabilities
Jack Canfield, the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, once observed that “self-esteem is made up primarily of two things: feeling lovable and feeling capable.” Low self-esteem doesn’t play favorites. But it can betray a fondness for children with learning disabilities. And because school-based learning programs are created for the masses — meaning neurotypical children — a child who learns differently may fall victim to believing he or she isn’t as smart as their classmates. And this belief comes with baggage: shame, doubt, and feeling different. When children with learning disabilities fall into that trapped thinking they may link their performance and ability to their self-worth, as they no longer feel worthy of respect or love from others. That can result in them dodging homework, withdrawing from social activities, or acting out. Bewildered parents wonder: How can I boost my son’s self-esteem? How can I teach my daughter to cope? How can I celebrate my child’s strengths? On this episode of “A World of Difference,” we’ll meet a pair of Charlotte, NC brothers at The Fletcher School, who learn differently whose parents have been all in with helping bolster their sons’ sense of self and supporting their journeys toward abundant lives. Next, we dive deeper into the sources and methods of bolstering self-esteem with an esteemed panel of experts in our “Ask the Experts” segment. Finally, we’ll introduce you to this month’s “Difference Maker,” Stanley Cup champion Brent Sopel, who now is scoring even more points off the ice chasing his goal of helping dyslexics like him find their footing.
"A World of Difference," S1, E7 | "Helping Students with Learning Disabilities Successfully Transition to College"
As high school seniors await acceptance letters from their dream and "safety" schools, they dream of ditching the constraints of high school for the freedom that college life brings.
For parents of aspiring collegians who learn differently, the reality of that looming independence comes with heightened uncertainty, anxiety, additional hurdles to negotiate, and the overriding question: is my child who learns differently poised for making a successful transition from high school to college?
On this episode of the Beacon College-produced “A World of Difference,” TV show, you'll meet a high school senior who learns differently who is prepping for that transition and see how one family is approaching this next chapter of life.
You'll also receive the straight dope from our panel of transition professionals on helping LD high schoolers make the college transition with fewer stumbles in our “Ask the Experts” segment.
And you'll meet this month’s “Difference Maker,” real estate guru John Crossman, who learned later in life that the career he built was constructed upon a foundation of dyslexia, a realization that powers the caring heart he has for helping young people find their way.
"A World of Difference," S1, E6 | "Pushing Students Who Learn Differently — but not over the Edge"
The Flying Wallendas earned fame and a reputation as circus daredevils for performing stupendous acts of balance on a high-wire. Yet, even the uncanny skill with which they performed their incredible seven-person chair pyramid stunt pales in comparison to the balance required by parents of children who learn differently when it comes to walking the tightrope of when to push your child and pushing too hard. Good parents want the best for their kids. And sometimes, children need a nudge. But what is pushing too hard?
In this episode, we’ll learn how a collective of Florida exceptional student education charter schools serving students with learning and learning-related disabilities negotiates that fine line. Next, we’ll drill down on the topic and suggest some strategies for parents in our “Ask the Experts” segment. And, we’ll close out the program with this month's “Difference Maker,” British micro-artist Willard Wigan, the brilliant creative who found that big things come in the smallest of packages.
"A World of Difference" S1, E5 | "Helping Autistic Students Succeed on Campus"
How can parents help their autistic child succeed academically?
What are some tools, strategies, and resources that parents can lean on to provide their child with autism added support?
We'll explore these questions and provide some practical strategies with our panel in our “Ask the Experts” segment.
And we'll meet this episode's "Difference Maker," author, filmmaker, and disability advocate Quinn Bradlee.
"A World of Difference," S1, E4 | "Boosting LD Numbers in STEM"
Students who learn differently are underrepresented in STEM fields. This episode of "A World of Difference," which celebrates and supports families living with learning differences, offers strategies for supporting STEM. It also profiles the STEAM Lab at The Christ School in Orlando which inspires dyslexic students to embrace science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
"A World of Difference," S1, E3 | ''Ensuring Workforce Diversity Includes Neurodiversity''
This episode focuses on ''Ensuring Workforce Diversity Includes Neurodiversity,'' and features Carolyn Jeppsen, Co-Founder/CEO/President, BroadFutures, a national organization that helps job candidates with learning disabilities reach their highest potential and works to change employer perceptions about learning disabilities. Also featured: RAISE, a local Florida grassroots program that equips clients with disabilities to join the workforce, and this month's “Difference Maker” is Jhillika Kumar, whose LinkedIn-like platform matches neurodiverse job candidates with employers. It also features a ''Just the Facts'' presentation from Drs. A.J. Marsden and Nicki Nance on the benefits to employers of nurturing a neurodiverse workplace.
"A World of Difference," S1, E2 | "The Americans with Disabilities Act at 30"
This episode of "A World of Difference" examines the first three decades of the Americans with Disabilities Act with a Q&A with Haley Moss, Florida's first openly autistic attorney, reflections from disability advocates Dr. George J. Hagerty, president of Beacon College, and author/filmmaker/disability activist Quinn Bradlee, founder of Friends of Quinn. The show also includes an extended intimate interview with this month's "Difference Maker," retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, the lead sponsor of the ADA.
Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida is a nonprofit liberal arts school and America's first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to educating primarily students with learning disabilities, ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning differences.
"A World of Difference," S1, E1 | "Helping Students Emerge Successfully from the COVID Cocoon"
"A World of Difference" is a newsmagazine style show that celebrates and educates parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, employers, and more on how to navigate the journey of neurodiversity.
This episode focuses on helping parents prepare their children for success once they return to in-person learning on campus following the COVID cocoon. It includes a feature on the Sleboda family and how COVID impacted their son's academics.
It includes expert strategies for supporting children's successful return to school and Q&As with parents, and a "Difference Makers" profile on Matt Morgan, a former WWE professional wrestler turned mayor of Longwood, Florida, who has wrestled ADD all his life.
The show is produced by Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida, a nonprofit liberal arts school and America's first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to educating primarily neurodiverse students.
"A World of Difference" Episode 1 trailer
"A World of Difference" is an new TV show and podcast that celebrates and supports families navigating the journey of neurodiversity. Episodes feature profiles of families with children from kindergarten to college with learning disabilities and learning differences, provides advice from experts from Beacon College, America's first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to educating neurodiverse students, and salutes "Difference Makers," successful and/or famous individuals living with learning differences.