Uniquely Wired: Nurturing Neurodiverse Children and Teens with Dr. Nicole Beurkens & Debbie Reber

Original Air Date Wednesday, August 12, 2020 

Neurodiversity refers to variations in the human brain regarding sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions.

As the percentage of neurodiverse children and teens rise, parents and school systems may find themselves with few resources on how to adapt to children who learn and behave differently. Many children are being prescribed psychoactive medications when proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise may be a better remedy. In addition, children are susceptible to the onslaught of chemicals and preservatives in highly-processed foods. Where can parents, family members, and those who work with children turn for guidance when non-traditional methods are no longer valid? To find out more about how we can support children and teens who are wired differently, Positive Psychology Podcast Host, Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two women who are mothers, authors, and podcast hosts about neurodiversity and behavioral differences in children. Dr. Nicole Beurkens shares insights from her book, Life Will Get Better: Simple Solutions for Parents of Children with Attention, Anxiety, Mood and Behavior Challenges. And, Debbie Reber offers unique tilts from her book, Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World. This episode includes practical strategies and tips on nutrition, sleep, mindset, and the importance of taking care of the caretaker.

Dr. Nicole Beurkens — Natural Solutions to Behavioral Changes:
  • Dr. Beurkens describes how she became a behavior ‘detective’. [2:05]
  • This is the most damaging thing we do to children in the field of mental health. [4:21]
  • Proper nutrition can be life-changing for a child’s behavioral, emotional, and physiological development. [8:56]
  • How undiagnosed and untreated sleep problems can lead to behavioral problems in children and teens. [14:26]
  • Movement not only provides a child’s body with physical exercise, the brain also thrives on it. [19:02]
  • Tips for parents who have neurologically-diverse children and modeling as a way to teach children to support themselves. [21:30]

A unique combination of psychologist, nutritionist, and special education teacher, Dr. Nicole Beurkens has 20 years of experience supporting children, young adults, and families to improve behavior naturally. She is an expert in evaluating and treating a wide range of learning, mood, and behavior challenges including ADHD, autism, anxiety, mood disorders, and brain injury. Dr. Nicole has a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, a Master’s degree in Special Education and Nutrition, and is a Board Certified Nutrition Specialist.

Book: Life Will Get Better: Simple Solutions for Parents of Children with Attention, Anxiety, Mood and Behavior Challenges

Dr. Beurkens Website

The Better Behavior Show

@drbeurkens on Twitter

Dr. Beurkens on Facebook

Debbie Reber — Nurturing Neurodiversity:
  • Debbie shares examples of raising her child that is differently wired and why she wrote Differently Wired. [27:06]
  • With so many different types of learners, why do school systems not nurture neurodiversity? [32:02]
  • Debbie created the Tilt Parenting online community and Podcast as resources for parents who have children who are wired differently. [37:44]
  • Tilts are practical strategies to shift beliefs about neurodiversity. [39:59]

Deborah Reber is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and the founder of TiLT Parenting, a website, podcast, and global online community for parents raising differently wired children. Her TiLT Parenting Podcast — on which she interviews high-profile thought leaders in parenting and education — has grown to be a top podcast in iTunes’ Kids and Family category.  Prior to launching TiLT, Debbie spent fifteen years writing inspiring books for teen girls before becoming a writer and consultant. Debbie worked as a television development and production executive for Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

Book: Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World

Tilt Parenting Website

@TiltParenting on Twitter

Tilt Parenting on Facebook


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“The system doesn’t speak to the needs of the middle and so many of our children are outside of that middle zone.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Uniquely wired kids find joy in things that are different from other kids.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We thrive when we are in community.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“The standard ways of handling child behavior with rewards and punishments just don't cut it and it doesn't get to the root of the issue.” @drbeurkens on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Very often in children who are having emotional or behavioral challenges, there are nutrient deficiencies and imbalances in their guts.” @drbeurkens on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We send children a message that there is something broken or wrong with them and they need a pill to fix it.” @drbeurkens on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Children are very susceptible to the impacts of chemicals and preservatives, dyes and artificial sugars in processed foods.” @drbeurkens on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We know that getting even 30 minutes less sleep than is needed leads to a deterioration in a child's mood and increases their anxiety.” @drbeurkens on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Up to 40% of children diagnosed with ADHD actually have undiagnosed and untreated sleep problems.” @drbeurkens on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Parents need to model eating in a way that is brain and body supportive.” @drbeurkens on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“These kids are not broken, they are different and we need to figure out a way to support them.” @TiltParenting on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We need to figure out a way to not focus on kid’s deficits and try to get them to fit into the existing system.” @TiltParenting on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“When we take leaps of faith on behalf of our kids it's amazing how things can change for the whole family and our child can thrive in ways we never thought possible.” @TiltParenting on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Some of us are living in silence and secrecy because we are afraid of the many different stigmas attached to being neurodiverse.” @TiltParenting on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We need to be willing to adapt our style and learn how we can best communicate with our children.” @TiltParenting on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet





Awake and Aware: The Science of Becoming a Better Human and Society with Stuart Shanker & Jim Davies PhD

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Purpose-driven and consciously prepared brain food from the beaches of Malibu, California. Join us on this week’s show focusing on being a better human and society. Guests Stuart Shanker and Jim Davies PhD discuss managing the constant barrage of distractions brought on by modern life, optimizing your life and taking back our productivity. To learn more visit HarvestingHappinessTalkRadio.com.

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