Today’s show introduces you to a difference-maker in the world of neurodivergence. Her collective endeavors to advocate for kids, parents, and families are truly making a difference. Join us to learn more!
Debbie Reber is an author, speaker, and parenting activist. In 2016, she founded Tilt Parenting, a website, top podcast, and online community aimed at helping parents raise differently wired kids from a place of confidence, connection, and joy. Debbie’s most recent book is Differently Wired: A Parent's Guide to Raising an Atypical Child with Confidence and Hope.
In this episode:
Connect with Debbie:
Books by Debbie mentioned in this episode:
The countdown of our top ten most downloaded episodes from 2021:
#10: Ep. 231 Intuitive Flow with Kari Betton
Our July Guest Call was on Intuitive Flow and Creativity. Kari is a coach and mentor for highly sensitive and twice-exceptional people, and she has a passion for helping them find their innate sense of intuitive flow.
#9: Ep. 239 Perspectives in Giftedness with Gail Post
Being gifted can complicate many situations in life. It is wonderful to know that empathetic and supportive professionals are dedicating their lives to advocacy for these individuals. Learn more with psychotherapist Gail Post.
#8: Ep. 229 Thinking Patterns
I have seen a lot of posts about the overlap and similarities between ADHD and Autism, and it got me thinking about some observations I’d made both personally and professionally testing neurodivergent kids over the years. I also asked for feedback from neurodivergent people on social media about the patterns they related to most.
#7: Ep. 235 Playing with Your Inner Critic with Jeff Harry
This show allows you to listen to our recent group call with Jeff Harry of Rediscover Your Play. Jeff provides tips, insights, and interactive exercises to learn more about “Playing With Your Inner Critic.” Find the full discussion in the Embracing Intensity Community.
#6: Ep. 202 Chipping Away at Societal Conditioning with Julia R. Wild
This show focuses on highly sensitive people. My guest loves helping HSPs uncover the layers of conditioning put on them by society and bloom in their uniqueness. Julia R. Wild is a bestselling author, spiritual teacher, and trauma educator with a Master’s degree in psychology. She is also a writing, creativity, and life coach.
#5: Ep. 207 “But I’m Not Really THAT Smart”
I’ve heard a lot more comments lately along the lines of, “I relate to your work, but I’m not really gifted.” In this episode, I discuss why gifted folks might not recognize their own gifts, along with some resources to explore if you suspect that you might be gifted.
#4: Ep. 236 Gifted and 2E Assessment
This solo episode is about a topic that I’ve thought about for a long time, so I’m happy to bring it to you. We will discuss getting an assessment as a gifted or twice-exceptional adult, so I hope you find my thoughts and tips helpful.
#3: Ep. 208 Coaching and Mentoring Neurodivergent Adults with Dr. Kimberly Douglass
I found this guest in the most unusual place: TikTok! I first noticed her work with gifted and twice-exceptional people, and I knew I had to have her on the show. Dr. Kimberly Douglass is president and CEO of Remote Learning Solutions.
#2: Ep. 226 Asynchronous Development in Gifted Adults with Tiff Choumm
Our June Guest Call was on Asynchronous Development in Gifted Adults. Asynchronous development is a hallmark of the gifted experience, when we may have developed far ahead of our peers in some areas and have fallen behind in others. This can continue into adulthood, especially for those who are also twice-exceptional, and it can impact many aspects of our life experiences. Find the full discussion in the Embracing Intensity Community.
#1: Ep. 205 Twice Exceptionality–When Giftedness Meets ADHD
Last year, I participated in an event called Camp ADHD, where folks around the world shared talks and discussion on topics related to ADHD. I spoke about twice-exceptionality, specifically as it relates to ADHD, and the topic seemed to resonate with many, so I decided to share my talk on twice-exceptionality on the podcast as well.
I’m super excited to announce our 2022 guest speakers and general topics! (Specific details are subject to change.) You can find the schedule listed in the events calendar on the Embracing Intensity Community, and it will soon be on the 2E Connection and Embracing Intensity website calendars!
January 22–Leela Sinha, from Ep. 7: The Intersection of Queerness and Neurodivergence
February 19–Alexandra Loves, from Ep. 67: Passion vs. Drama
March 19–Boontarika Sripom, from Ep. 177: Play
April 16–Cosette “CoCo” Leary, from Ep. 181: Building Confidence and Resilience
May 21–Aileen Kelleher, from Ep. 241: Perfectionism
June 18–Mara McLoughlin, from Ep. 230: Neurodivergent Social Connection
August 20–Dr. Kimberly Douglass, from Ep. 208: Navigating Systems as a Neurodivergent
September 17–Dr. Matt Zakreski, from Ep. 240: Self-Advocacy
October 15–Nadja Careghetti, from Ep. 198: Tidying Up Your Brain (Marie Kondo-Style)
November 19–Julia Wild, from Ep. 202: How to Heal
Find more information at email@example.com.
Today’s guest has wonderful Instagram posts, many of them covering her work with twice-exceptional adults. I’m a fan of hers, and she’s a fan of the podcast, so it’s exciting to introduce her to the Embracing Intensity audience!
Aileen Kelleher is a licensed clinical social worker, therapist, and coach. Her therapy practice in Chicago specializes in helping gifted and twice-exceptional children build social-emotional skills, self-compassion, and confidence to recover from anxiety, depression, and other mental health difficulties. Her international coaching practice focuses on helping gifted and 2E women harness their talents to help them find fulfillment and fun in their personal, professional, and social lives.
Parting words from Aileen: “You are OK just the way you are, even if you feel like you don’t belong in a certain situation. That doesn’t mean that there is something fundamentally wrong with you, and it’s OK to ask for help if you need it. Gifted and 2E can have full and satisfied lives, and the fact that we are different shouldn’t stop us from pursuing what we want--and what everyone else gets to have.”
Find Aileen on Instagram or at www.coaching4gifted.com. Her work with kids is at www.aileenkelleher.com.
Continuing our top 2019 reruns. This has been one of our top episodes from it’s very start! 2019 was our first year of guest speakers, and we took a break for 2020 but had a great run in 2021. I’m super excited about our upcoming 2022 series especially because all of my top choices got back to me right away and agreed to speak. I’m still waiting on a few scheduling clarifications, but I’m pleased to announce that Jan. 22 we will have Leela Sinha, author of “You’re Not Too Much” talk about the Intersection of Queerness and Neurodivergence, and Feb 19th we’ll have Alexandra Loves talk about Passion vs. Drama! Get on our mailing list for updates and log in information at www.embracingintensity.com. You can support the continued growth of these free calls by joining our community at community.embracingintensity.com or supporting Embracing Intensity on Patreon!
Navigating relationships successfully can be one of the most challenging things we ever do. The intensity and outside-the-box nature of twice-exceptionality (gifted plus disability), adds in a whole new layer of challenge. In this episode, Dr. Melanie Hayes shares both the joys and the hurdles of twice exceptional relationships.
In this episode:
Continuing our top 2019 reruns. One of my most popular topics is twice exceptionality, especially as it relates to ADHD. This is what prompted my work in sharing stories of twice exceptionality on YouTube and my upcoming 2E Comics. I’ll be launching a Kickstarter in the new year to help fund support with illustration so I can make it happen with my limited time!
Coincidentally, this episode features input from Brendan Mahan of ADHD Essentials, and he just shared his most recent episode with me on twice exceptionality this week! Go listen to “Giftedness is Not Achievement w/ Aurora Remember Holtzman on ADHD Essentials!
I've been asked a lot about twice-exceptionality recently and especially on how to identify ADHD when giftedness is also involved.
In this episode:
Continuing the tradition of reruns for the month of December, and this month I'll be sharing some of my top episodes from 2019. The top guest episode was on Positive Disintegration w/ Chris Wells, and she has a new podcast on the topic that just came out recently! You can find the discussion recording and her latest talk on Overexitabilities in the Embracing Intensity Community.
Kazmiers Dabrowski was an early proponent of what we now call the neurodiversity movement. He asserted that what was viewed as "neuroses" were not an illness, but in fact a sign of high developmental potential! His theory of Positive Disintegration views the importance of falling apart, or disintegrating, before integrating into a higher whole.
This week, Chris Wells, Director of Qualitative Research at the Gifted Development Center, dives deeper into Dabrowski's life, what led to his theory and how it applies to us in the current day.
In this episode:
How Dabrowski's theory relates to the current neurodiversity movement.
How his own life experiences and trauma impacted his theory.
The importance of values.
The three factors of developmental potential.
How dynamisms, or the forces that drive our actions, serve as a catalyst to higher development.
I first met today’s guest when he enthusiastically shared some of my animated shorts on 2E experiences. We have followed each other, and I’m a big fan of his advocacy work. Join us to learn more!
Dr. Matt Zakreski is a psychologist who works with gifted and twice-exceptional folks. We have connected over social media, and I’m excited to talk to him today and introduce him to the Embracing Intensity audience.
Find Matt on Facebook.
If you or someone you love is a gifted person, you understand that it can complicate many situations in life. It’s wonderful to know that empathetic and supportive professionals are dedicating their lives to advocacy for these individuals. Join me to learn more about one such psychotherapist in today’s episode!
Gail Post is a clinical psychologist, parenting coach, workshop leader, and writer. In clinical practice for over 35 years, she provides psychotherapy in the Philadelphia area with a focus on the needs of the intellectually and musically gifted. Gail does consultations with educators and psychotherapists and parent coaching throughout the US and Canada. Dr. Post served as a co-chair of a gifted parents’ advocacy group when her children were in school, and she continues to advocate through workshops in schools and parenting groups. Her writing related to giftedness includes online articles, several books, chapters, plans for an upcoming book, and a long-standing blog, Gifted Challenges. Gail is just one of the popular gifted writers whose work is included in the book, Perspectives on Giftedness: Sound Advice from Parents and Professionals by GHF Press.
Connect with Gail on Facebook.
We are celebrating our 5th anniversary of the Embracing Intensity Podcast by sharing past guests, listeners and community members answer to the question "What does Embracing Intensity mean to me?
I'm also launching my new website at EmbracingIntensity.com - go check it out and explore!
The podcast is marking a huge milestone this week as we celebrate our 5th anniversary! In today’s show, we go outside the box as we discuss the importance of storytelling when it comes to giftedness, equity, identity, and inclusion. Join us to learn more!
Marc Smolowitz is a previous guest on the show, and I’m thrilled to have him back to talk about one of his projects, The G Word film. Marc is a multi-award-winning director, producer, and executive producer who has been involved in more than 50 independent films. His works have touched viewers on five continents and screened at the world’s top-tier film festivals. Marc is currently in post-production on The G Word, a feature-length documentary that aims to be the most comprehensive film ever made on the topics of gifted, talented, and neurodiverse education across the US. The film tells seven stories with different perspectives and asks the urgent equity question, “In the 21st century, who gets to be gifted in America, and why?” The film is poised to premiere in 2022.
The G Word Film Find out more about the film, find resources, and sign up for G/T/N Awareness Week.
I’m excited to introduce you to today’s guest. She’s a highly esteemed expert in the area of neuroscience and twice-exceptionality. Join us to learn more!
Dr. Nicole Tetreault is a compassionate author, meditation teacher, and international speaker on neurodiversity, neurodevelopment, creativity, mental health, and wellness. Her book, Insight into a Bright Mind, explores groundbreaking research examining the experiences of unique, creative, and intense brains while advocating for new directions of human diversity and neurodiversity. Nicole is the founder of Awesome Neuroscience and translates the most promising neuroscience and positive psychology for people to live their best life. She is on the faculty at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity and Education, and she leads a new generation of meditation practices by fusing novel discoveries in neuroscience with the ancient art of meditation. As the recipient of the Milton Career Exploration Prize from CalTech, she founded the novel nonprofit, Beyond the Cell, a transformative program to rehabilitate incarcerated women through guided meditation, neuroscience, literature, and expressive writing. Nicole believes we have the ability to wire our minds for positive plasticity through compassion and wisdom to live the life we dream.
Connect with me: 2E Connection
Today’s solo episode is about a topic that I’ve thought about for a long time, so I’m happy to bring it to you. We will discuss getting an assessment as a gifted or twice-exceptional adult, so I hope you find it helpful for me to share my thoughts and tips.
Connect with me: Aurora Remember
Find out our upcoming group call on Overexcitability with Chris Wells: Embracing Intensity
Check out the following resources:
Cognitive Processing Inventory at LDinfo
Gifted Adult Checklist at Gifted Development
Paula Prober’s Giftedness Checklist from Your Rainforest Mind
Today’s show lets you listen to our recent group call with Jeff Harry of Rediscover Your Play. Jeff helps us with tips, insights, and interactive exercises to learn more about “Playing With Your Inner Critic.” Join us to learn more!
Jeff Harry is a Workplace Play Consultant, International Play Speaker, and Positive Psychology Play Coach. He helps individuals and companies navigate difficult conversations and address their most challenging issues using play and positive psychology. While we spend most of our time pretending to be important, serious grownups, it’s when we let go of that facade and just play that the real magic happens. Fully embracing your own nerdy genius gives you the power to make a difference and change lives. Jeff believes that we already have many of the answers we seek, and by simply unleashing our inner child, we can find our purpose and help to create a better world.
Today’s guest is truly a multipotentialite with interests spanning gender nonconformity, psychology, healthy eating, photography, and the creative arts. He has discovered ways to embrace his creativity and merge his talents to offer meaningful help to others in their struggles. Join us to learn more!
Greg Halpen is a food blogger and food photographer who created the food blog, Craving the Yum: Eating After Chemo. Chemotherapy can do a number on our palates, leaving our taste buds desensitized and frustrated about what to eat that actually tastes good. Greg gives chemotherapy patients the steps and practical tools to reimagine meals without compromising the YUM factor. Through his food blog, he shares the secrets to preparing meals that are simple, healthy, and extra.
Get Greg’s FREE mini-cookbook, Eating After Chemo!
Visit our website to learn more about the Embracing Intensity community and events
Visit our new platform with resources and events for the 2E community
I didn't promote last week's episode very much because I got super deep into the rabbit hole on a new project that really. Kind of pulls together a lot of the little projects that I've been doing in this past year.
It's called 2E Connection, and it's a directory for twice exceptional folks to share, explore and find support!
In this episode:
My guest today was diagnosed with ADHD and twice-exceptionality later in life. We have connected through TikTok and are learning a lot from each other. He demonstrates kind accountability in his TikTok posts and shows authenticity in his longer YouTube posts that I greatly appreciate. Join us to hear his unique perspective.
Sean Szolek-Van Valkenburgh grew up in Indiana surrounded by orchestral, classical, and contemporary music. His formal musical education began at age 7 when he started studying piano and performing in choral ensembles. As his musical education progressed, he noticed that he had the unusual gift of chromesthesia. Through TikTok, Sean avidly posts about being a professional musician and artist and connects with over 680,000 followers; he refers to them as “kings, queens, and monarchs.” He hopes to provide a safe, inclusive, and entertaining platform that prioritizes genuine content creation and critical thought.
Find Sean on Instagram: @seanszolekvanvalkenburgh
Find Sean on Twitter: @SeanSzolek
Find Sean on TikTok: @seansvv
Our July Guest Call was on Intuitive Flow & Creativity with Kari Betton
Kari Betton is a coach and mentor for highly sensitive and twice-exceptional people, with a passion for helping them find their innate sense of intuitive flow.
Too often, we can be focused on developing our mental health, physical health, intellect, etc, but including intuitive development in our personal development practice creates an easier foundation for all types of development within you to be congruent with each other.
A personal intuitive wandering practice can have profound implications on achieving the results and designing the life that you desire. In this call, Kari will focus on how to attain clarity and enough space in your life to listen to the inner wisdom that you already have.
In their spare time, Kari enjoys recording and producing their podcast Decolonizing Sexuality, vegan foodie adventures with friends, and painting galaxies.
You can find out more about Kari and their work at: simplybybeing.com/
In this episode:
I’m excited to introduce you to a speech therapist whose work is informed by the autistic community and her personal experience in identifying as twice-exceptional. Her heart and passion are to help give a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves. Join us!
Mara McLoughlin has over ten years of professional experience working with autistic and other neurodivergent people and their families. She has been a student and teacher of yoga and mindfulness for over 25 years, knowing that building these skills can help build a better world. She is a certified provider of the PEERS program that exists for the educational and enrichment of relational skills. With both her bachelor’s and master's degrees in Communication Science and Disorders, she knows that communication is fun, difficult, and the key to life. To learn and gain confidence in the initial steps of founding friendships and self-regulation skills can help improve the lives of everyone.
Connect with Mara: irl Social Skills.com
Find IRL Social Skills on Facebook and Mara McLoughlin on Twitter and @pawsomesocialskills on Instagram.
There are lots of upcoming great events happening in the EI Community. Check us out at Embracing Intensity
A while back I had seen a lot of posts about the overlap and similarities between ADHD and Autism, and it got me thinking about some observations I’d made both personally and professionally testing neurodivergent kids over the years.
More recently I posted the same questions with elaboration on TikTok and the responses were fascinating!
I think my biggest takeaway from hearing personal accounts from so many neurodivergent folks is that even when there’s a consistent pattern that is statistically more likely in a specific area of neurodivergence, they are not hard and fast rules.
I met today’s guest through the neurodivergent community on Twitter. Join us to learn more about his inspiring story.
Joseph Gitau is a writer, singer, and blogger who has been diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar I. With his childhood and youth being spent between his native Kenya and the US, he has a unique perspective about how neurodivergence is treated differently in both countries. Joseph uses his talents to promote mental health throughout his creative outlets.
Find Joseph Gitau on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Today’s conversation is with a creative who has overcome obstacles to find her place in the world where she isn’t afraid to be seen and heard. She helps others connect and engage, no matter how they have been “othered” by society, and she has learned how to effectively use her superpowers. Join us to learn more about making the world a brighter place for us all.
Jen Sujin Yoon is a creative consultant, storyteller, people-connector, and future-builder. We met on TikTok and immediately vibed with each other’s content. Jen is starting a new adventure as she launches The Dork Web Production Company. She lives in the Bushwick community of Brooklyn and loves this “cool hood” filled with passionate artists.
Find The Dork Web on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram. Website coming soon at The Dork Web
Our June Guest Call was on Asynchronous Development in Gifted Adults with Tiffany Chhuom.
Asynchronous development is a hallmark of the gifted experience, when we may have developed far ahead of our peers in some areas, and behind in others. This can continue into adulthood, especially for those who are also twice exceptional, and impact many aspects of our life experience.
Tiffany Chhuom, MPH, MSW is the owner of EthTech, a healthcare consulting and training firm for the Digital Era, and Lucy in the Sky Therapy, an on-line private practice for neurodiverse adults. With almost 20 years of experience in healthcare, she holds four degrees in four disciplines from the University of Washington. Her work produced notable achievements in practice, policy, research and administration across the Public Health, Social Work, Psychology, Criminal Justice, and Child Welfare sectors. She has lead large projects across the country in behavioral and medical research while also fine tuning her craft as a trauma and addiction therapist. Mrs. Chhuom is a long-time mentor and applauded speaker, creating new opportunities to advance course offerings and continuing education on telehealth ethics and digital marketing for providers and healthcare partners. You can find out more about Tiffany and her work at: ethtechusa.com/about/tiffany/
This is a part of our 2021 Embracing Intensity Community Speaker Series.
We had our first neurodivergent book club on Saturday, and one of the things we talked about was the complexity of labels. On the one hand, they serve as a tool to get information, support and connect with others, but it can also serve to separate us into "us and them" if we're not careful.
In this episode:
Today’s show is all about taking a holistic approach to achieve balance and take back control of your life. Join us to learn more.
Zarya Rubin is a physician and functional medicine health coach. She is a formerly stressed-out mom who now helps women in mid-life get to the root of their health issues and manage their stress to take back control of their lives.
Find out more about Zarya and her work, and find her FREE Guide to Becoming Stress-Proof:
The foundation of my work on my blog and podcast has been about intensity, and it's origins came from my work on excitability, also known as over excitability. Excitability is when you receive and respond the world more intensely than others.
In this episode: