As the well-worn proverb attests, silence is golden. That is unless you are a loving mother desperate to hear your child speak your name or whisper that precious trio of words: I love you. Unable to speak or write, Jason Arday for years bore silent witness to the world as he navigated his autism journey, always observing, thinking, and learning. When he eventually found his words as a tweenager, Arday finally was freed to share with the world the intellect that had been percolating in silence.
When you come into the world the child of a mother struggling with substance abuse — and as a result, saddled with developmental delays and learning issues — and then moved into the foster care system less than two weeks after entering the world, there’s no telling where your life will end up. As the Read More…
In western culture, the number seven often is considered lucky. Perhaps not so much when you’re a kid and then a young man left trying to make sense of the world while dealing with seven undiagnosed neurodivergent conditions. That was Gregory Shepard’s life until his 40s when he finally learned that he was autistic and living with several processing disorders.
When you’re born into a family in which your grandfather and father are doctors and your mother is a nurse, it’s a good bet that playing doctor may lie in your future. Yet, once John Rhodes was placed into special education classes in elementary school the possibility that he would follow their footsteps into medicine seemed longshot at best, and the writing was on the wall. Only he struggled mightily to read it.
When doctors told the parents of Armani Williams that he had autism and might need to be a ward of his parents for life, the dreams they had for their son seemed stuck in park. But the boy who was fascinated with cars and trucks took a detour and put his own dream on overdrive. He started racing go-karts as an 8-year-old and debuted in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series in Canada in 2017.
On this episode of “A World of Difference: Embracing Neurodiversity” meet Ness Blackbird, our latest “Difference Maker.” He is 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.
Jeremiah Josey’s passion for pastry led him to launch a YouTube program, “Jeremiah’s Cooking Adventures,” where he cooked with famous chefs. But things really heated up for this easy baker after a guest spot on the Steve Harvey Show. These days, when Josey isn’t baking with his culinary heroes or modeling for Tommy Hilfiger, he’s penning books about his journey with autism and standing up tall as an advocate for the neurodiverse.
Though not impossible, it’s pretty tough to find young boys who aren’t fascinated by dinosaurs. And it’s about as difficult to find young boys who don’t like digging in the dirt. Indeed, as a boy, John “Jack” Horner plunged his tools into the soil and found his first dinosaur bone at age 8. As adult, Read More…
Public relations has gotten a bad rap of being known as the art of spin. Yet, although she’d found her niche in PR — and was really good at it — Nik Govier could never spin her doubts about her intellectual capabilities into a winning narrative. She struggles to spell or write by hand and Read More…
David Flink was determined no other neurodivergent kids should have to endure the stigma of learning disability, leading him to found Eye to Eye, a nationwide nonprofit created by and for people who learn differently, with the goal of promoting a more equitable and inclusive world for people with learning differences.