Understanding neurodivergent perspectives with Joe Newman & Eric Garcia

Original Air Date Wednesday, September 8, 2021 

A neurodivergent person is one whose neurological development is atypical. People with ADHD, Aspergers, and autism are generally considered to be neurodivergent. It is common for neurotypical thinkers to misunderstand those with neurodivergent perspectives in social interactions and in the workplace. To discover more about how and why we should embrace neurodiversity immediately, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two authors who are experts on living with neurodivergent perspectives. As one of the first children to be diagnosed with ADHD, Joe Newman understands the misdirection of labels. He describes how he overcame them and how he helps parents foster a growth mindset by way of his acclaimed parenting methods as detailed in his book, Raising Lions. And, Eric Garcia recounts his research about living with autism in the United States. The research, originally part of a magazine article, led to his breakthrough book, We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation, which shares the perspectives of neurodivergent people.

Joe Newman — Raising Lions:

  • Fear-based child raising methods may be a thing of the past but what will replace it? [3:40]
  • Joe shares an example of cause and consequence parenting to foster a growth mindset for neurodivergent and neurotypical alike. [6:52]
  • In Raising Lions, Joe describes what motivates children and how parents can protect a child’s autonomy. [17:19]
  • Joe describes his experience of being one of the first children to be diagnosed with ADHD, which now falls under the neurodivergent category. [26:25]

Joe Newman on blue background in a new episode of our positive psychology podcast about neurodivergent perspectivesJoe Newman likes kids with an attitude because he was one. As one of the first children to be diagnosed with ADHD, he grew up with the label and belief he was broken and his potential limited. Through experience and growth, he has shattered this label and become a joyful and whole person. For several decades Joe has worked with children of all ages to help them harness their potential. He also coaches parents, teachers and school administrators. His work has been researched by UCSB.

Books: Raising Lions (2nd ed.)


Raising Lions

@RaisingLions on Twitter

Raising Lions Method on Facebook

@RaisingLions on Instagram

Eric Garcia — Neurodivergent Perspectives

  • Eric’s book, We’re Not Broken, originally started as a magazine article about living with autism in Washington, DC. [32:34]
  • Traveling through the US when doing research on living with autism, Eric learned many communities are left without treatment based on misunderstandings. [37:41]
  • Up until the 1980s, autism was thought to be a psychiatric disorder. [40:57]
  • Many autistic and neurodivergent people live with depression and hopelessness and helplessness. [45:47]
  • Empathy and understanding go a long way in leveling the playing field when it comes to neurodivergent people. [53:30]

Eric garcia posing in gray background in a new episode of our positive psychology podcast about neurodivergent perspectivesEric Garcia is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was an assistant editor at the Washington Post’s Outlook section and an associate editor at The Hill and a correspondent for National Journal, MarketWatch and Roll Call. He has also written for the Daily Beast, the New Republic, and Salon.com. Garcia is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Book: We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation


Eric M. Garcia

@EricMGarcia on Twitter

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“Adults and kids are driven by the need to feel as though we are in control and have some effect on the world around us.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We can put ourselves in each other's shoes and be willing to see the struggles of one another; it softens our heart.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Learned helplessness creates a toxic loop. It is frustrating and disharmonious in the household.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Vaccinate your kids, people.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Up until the 1980s, many people believed that autism was a psychiatric disorder.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Through much of human history children were raised by fear.” @RaisingLions on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“When you tell someone what they did wrong their natural response is to defend themselves.” @RaisingLions on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Children are motivated by independent problem solving and power.” @RaisingLions on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Parents need to learn the difference between reward and punishment and cause and effect.” @RaisingLions on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Defiance is often a cry for dignity.” @RaisingLions on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We focus too much on trying to cure autistic people and not enough on how to live fulfilling lives.” @EricMGarcia on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Because we see autism mostly as a white male thing that affects upper-class people, it has led to a lot of women getting undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed.” @EricMGarcia on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“There was no spike in instances of autism in the 90s, there was just more reporting.” @EricMGarcia on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Many autistic people live with depression and have lost their lives to suicide.” @EricMGarcia on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet



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