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Noncompliant - the podcast
46 minutes | Aug 24, 2021
“There are a lot of areas autism researchers have viewed as deficits that can actually confer advantages”: Talking with MIT researchers Anila D’Mello and Liron Rozenkrantz
I had an amazing conversation with Drs Anila D’Mello and Liron Rozenkrantz from MIT about their research review and other work about autism, rationality and cognition! Listen to the episode by clicking the audio file below or on Spotify, Stitcher or iTunes here. Read the transcript below the audio file. . https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/NCP_Aug19_02.mp3 . Transcript by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_Podcast_DMello_Rozenkrantz Bios February 3, 2020 — McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT. Photo by Caitlin Cunningham Photography. Anila D’Mello is a cognitive neuroscientist interested in social cognition and language. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she uses neuro imaging to examine how the brain learns from previous experiences to inform future behavior. She also uses personalized study designs to promote strengths-based approaches to studying social cognition and language in autism. Liron Rozenkrantz Liron Rozenkrantz is a neuroscientist interested in the role of beliefs and expectations on cognition and well-being. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Simons Center for the Social Brain and conducts her research at the MIT Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department. Liron has been studying perception and cognition in children and adults with autism for the past 7 years. Her current line of research looks at “enhanced rationality” in autism and how autistic individuals seem to be less susceptible to cognitive biases. Link Rozenkrantz, D’Mello & Gabrieli: Enhanced Rationality in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Trends in Cognitive Science. July 2021. Note The Noncompliant podcast is taking a break from new episodes. To access previous episodes and other content, as well as updates on the podcast and the book, please visit this website.
31 minutes | Aug 10, 2021
“If you look at how much has changed in the last 5 years, we’ve definitely made progress”: A conversation with autistic lawyer Haley Moss
Haley Moss I had such a great conversation with autistic lawyer Haley Moss about her book Great Minds Think Differently. In this episode, we discuss neurodiversity in law and the workplace, autistic hyperfocus and Haley’s upcoming book, The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook (launching November 2021 & available by preorder)! Listen to the episode at the audio link below or on Spotify, Stitcher or iTunes here. Read the transcript below the audio link. . https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/NCP_Haley_02.mp3 . Transcript by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcript_Haley_Moss_NC_Podcast_0821 . Bio Haley Moss is an openly autistic lawyer practicing in Florida. She was appointed to the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors and the Florida Bar Journal Editorial Board. In addition to being a lawyer, Haley is a neurodiversity advocate and author. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, Fast Company, and other media. She is the author of Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals and an upcoming book, The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook. Links Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook Note: The Florida Bar Foundation’s “Developmental Disabilities & the Criminal Justice System,” referenced in the podcast, is not currently online: please contact the podcast if you want a pdf.)
33 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
On conflicts of interest in autism research: Interview with Kristen Bottema-Beutel and Micheal Sandbank
In this episode, I talk with Professors Kristen Bottema-Beutel and Micheal Sandbank, who have done a systematic review and meta-analysis of 151 group design studies of interventions for young autistic children. For this work, Dr. Sandbank was awarded the Young Investigator Award in 2021 from the International Society of Autism Research. Drs Bottema-Beutel and Sandbank have also done further studies into conflicts of interest (COIs) in autism research. Among their findings are that COIs are prevalent in several areas of autism research. They also found that ABA researchers, who frequently had conflicts of interest, reported these conflicts as rarely as 2 percent of the time. We discuss what conflicts of interest are, the teams’ findings and some of the implications for autism research going forward. Listen to the audio at the link below or on Stitcher or iTunes here. Read the transcript, below audio file. https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/NCP_Micheal_Kristen_02.mp3 . Transcribed by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_Bottema-Beutel and Sandbank Bios Photographed for Boston College by Caitlin Cunningham Kristen Bottema-Beutel is an Associate Professor in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Her research focuses on social and language development, and social interaction dynamics in autistic children and youth. She is interested in pairing qualitative and quantitative methods to better characterize autistic communication and sociality, and in developing community-based strategies to support meaningful engagement of autistic students. More recently, she has explored metascience topics such as researcher ethics and research quality in intervention research for autistic children. Dr. Bottema-Beutel is the director of the autism specialization at LSEHD, a program that prepares future special educators to support autistic students. Micheal Sandbank is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin. She researches social communication and language interventions for young children with disabilities. Dr. Sandbank is the lead researcher on Project AIM , a scoping systematic review and meta-analysis of group design studies of interventions for young children on the autism spectrum. She was awarded the Young Investigator Award in 2021 for this work, from the International Society of Autism Research. Links Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Sandbank, et al. Research Review: Conflicts of Interest (COIs) in autism early intervention research – a meta‐analysis of COI influences on intervention effects Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. Bottema-Beutel, et al. Adverse event reporting in intervention research for young autistic children. Journal of American Medical Association-Pediatrics. Sandbank, et al. IBI Intervention Recommendations for Children With Autism in Light of a Changing Evidence Base
46 minutes | May 20, 2021
“Co-Regulation is Key”: A Conversation with Occupational Therapist Greg Santucci
In this episode, I talk with Occupational Therapist Greg Santucci about the problems with ABA from his perspective as a practitioner, as well as new and better approaches in schools and the challenges of the post-pandemic period in education. An interesting and inspiring conversation! Listen to the podcast at the audio link below or on Stitcher or iTunes here. Read the transcripts, attached below the audio link. . https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/NCP_Greg_02.mp3 . Transcribed by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_Santucci Bio Greg Santucci is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and the Founding Director of Power Play Pediatric Therapy. He has been an OT for over 20 years, and currently is a Supervisor of Occupational Therapy at Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey. Greg is the creator of the Model of Child Engagement and has been lecturing nationally for over a decade on topics related to sensory processing, child development, behavior and best practices in the public schools. He has dedicated his career to promoting neurodevelopmentally-informed, relationship-based interventions to help parents and teachers support children of all abilities and learning styles. Links Learn more about Greg’s work at https://gregsantucci.com/ Greg’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gregsantucciOT
55 minutes | May 19, 2021
“I worry FDA Expanded Access will become a new way of bringing products to market”: Talking with Jeremy Snyder and Leigh Turner about “stem cells for autism”
In this episode, we discuss the basics of stem cells, medical tourism, false claims about stem cells as an autism treatment, bioethical issues within the field of stem cells and methodological issues in autism research—with discussion of Duke University’s Marcus Center for Autism and The Stem Cell Institute of Panama among others. This is such an informative podcast for anyone who wants to understand what’s going on with stem cell marketing and the autism industry. Thanks to Professors Snyder and Turner for their time. Listen to the podcast at the link below or or on Stitcher or iTunes here. Read the transcript below audio. . https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/NCP_Turner_and_Snyder_05.mp3 . Transcribed by Julie-Ann Lee: Turner_Snyder_Transcribed_Noncompliant Bios and Links Professor Jeremy Snyder Jeremy Snyder is a Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. His background is in Philosophy and his research focuses on public health ethics. His most recent book is Exploiting Hope: How the Promise of New Medical Interventions Sustains Us–and Makes Us Vulnerable. Professor Leigh Turner Leigh Turner is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics, School of Public Health, and College of Pharmacy. Turner’s current research addresses ethical, legal, and social issues related to stem cells and regenerative medicine products. He is a co-editor of Risks and Challenges in Medical Tourism and The View from Here: Bioethics and the Social Sciences. Professors Turner and Synder have collaborated on research and writing about stem cell tourism, including direct to consumer stem cell clinics that claim to treat autism, including the following: Ethical issues concerning a pay-to-participate stem cell study. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. May 19, 2021. Crowdfunding, stem cell interventions and autism spectrum disorder: comparing campaigns related to an international “stem cell clinic” and US academic medical center. Cytotherapy. March 2021.
47 minutes | Apr 17, 2021
The role of private equity and lobbying in ABA funding: Talking with investigative journalist John Summers
John Summers John Summers’ recent expose in The Nation looks at the relationship between private equity companies and the autism service Applied Behaviour Analytics (or ABA) in Massachusetts, where he lives. In this episode, John and I talk about the business of ABA and the problematic industries built around autism. His analysis is incredibly key to understanding this industry. Don’t miss it! Listen to the episode at the audio link below or on Stitcher or iTunes here. Read the transcript below the audio file. https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Noncompliant_John_Summers_01.mp3 . Transcript by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_John_Summers Biography: John Summers is Founder and President of Lingua Franca Media, Inc. He has a Ph.D. in intellectual history and has written, taught and presented extensively on topics in culture and history. His recent expose in The Nation looks at relationships between private equity companies and a form of autism service: Applied Behaviour Analytics (or ABA).
42 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
“Letting people know that it’s ok to be your original self”: Talking about breast cancer & autistic community with Melanie Keiling
I had such a heartfelt and illuminating conversation with Melanie, first about autistic online communities, then about combating sexism in the world of breast cancer care. Listen to the audio by clicking the audio link below or on Stitcher here or iTunes here Read the transcript by lcicking the file below the audio. . https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Noncompliant_Melanie_Interview_02.mp3 . Transcript by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Melanie_Keiling_Noncompliant. . Bio Melanie Keiling is an autistic mother of autistic children. She runs the blog Autistic Grandma, and campaigns for autistic human rights, and works with the autistic community directly to provide emotional support for individual self healing, self care, and personal development. Her goal is to create a stronger community by providing a platform for change in the way autism is viewed by the world, and to help gather autistics together to support one another. The podcast In the first half, Melanie and I talk about the Autistic Grandma social media group and the supportive role of autistic communities. In the second half we dive into the topic of health care—specifically cancer care, and the biases that still exist within it, especially towards women and nonbinary people—and come up with some pathways towards changing things for the better. Links Autistic Grandma page on Facebook “Going Flat” After Mastectomy: Patient-Reported Outcomes by Online Survey. Dr. Jennifer Baker, et al. Annals of Surgical Oncology (2021) Women Who ‘Go Flat’ After Mastectomy Report Being Generally OK With It. Kate Kneisel. Medpage Today. February 5, 2021. Study Authors: Jennifer L. Baker, Don S. Dizon, et al. Flat closure after mastectomy: Are your patients satisfied with the results? Kimberly B Bowles. San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Published February 2020.
8 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
I wrote this about my year fighting cancer during the pandemic. Listen to the audio file below to listen. Read the transcript below the audio file. https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Pandemaversary.mp3 . Transcript: Pandemiversary .
5 minutes | Dec 22, 2020
A neurodivergent guide to your radiation treatments
I wrote this recently, about radiation treatment for cancer. To listen, click the audio file below. Transcript: A Neurodivergent Guide to Cancer Treatments https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Anne_Borden_Dec211.mp3 .
37 minutes | Dec 21, 2020
“Often, autistic people are seen as inspiring for overcoming ‘autism,’ not for overcoming the obstacles that the world puts around them”: Interview with journalist Eric Garcia
Eric Garcia I had a really interesting conversation with journalist Eric Garcia about his upcoming book, We’re Not Broken, which focuses on the social and policy gaps that exist in supporting autistic people. We talked about the current policy landscape, media bias and the challenges and recent triumphs of the autistic rights movement. Listen to the podcast here by clicking the audio link below –or on Stitcher here or on iTunes here (Transcript below audio) Transcription by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Noncompliant_Eric_Garcia . https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Noncompliant_Eric_Interview.mp3 . . Bio Eric Garcia is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. His first book We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation is coming out in August 2021. Eric previously worked at The Washington Post, The Hill, Roll Call, National Journal and MarketWatch. His new book uses his life as a springboard to discuss the social and policy gaps that exist in supporting autistic people. It looks at politics; education; employment; independent living; relationships/sexuality; gender; race and the future of the neurodiversity movement.
4 minutes | Dec 4, 2020
Time to Breathe
I wrote this about the pandemic, cancer and what’s happened to time. Audio below. Transcript: Transcript_Time to breathe https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Time_to_Breath_02.mp3 .
48 minutes | Nov 30, 2020
“The things we don’t talk about”: A Cross-Interview with CripChat UK!
I had the great pleasure and honour of talking with Shabaaz and Pete from CripChat UK, on their podcast. We discussed autism pseudoscience, the Sia film controversy and much more. Listen to the podcast right here by clicking the audio link below or on Stitcher here or on iTunes here . Transcript: Transcript_CripChatUK_1 . https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/KCfinaledit-28_11_2020.mp3 . Listen to CripChat UK on Podbean here. Great guests and discussions every week!
8 minutes | Nov 8, 2020
Half a Woman
. I wrote this after my recent surgery. Audio here, transcript below. . https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Nov13_Blog1.mp3 . Transcript: Transcript_Half a Woman_2020
28 minutes | Oct 1, 2020
“Most of the victims have to move on from these pathological relations”: Interview with Dr. Marc D. Feldman about medical child abuse
I had a very informative and thought-provoking conversation with Dr. Marc D. Feldman, an expert on medical child abuse and factitious disorder. We talked about medical child abuse, including Munchausen-by-proxy and the abuse of autistic children through autism pseudoscience. We also talked about interventions and supports, the need for education and what we all can do to stop the abuse. Listen to the podcast right here by clicking the audio link below.Full transcript below the audio link.Listen to this episode on Stitcher hereListen to this episode on iTunes here https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/drfeldman_podcast_2.mp3 .Transcript, by Julie Ann Lee: Feldman_Transcript_Noncompliant_The_Podcast BioDr. Marc D. Feldman is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. A Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, he is the author of 5 books and more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in the professional literature. Dr. Feldman is an international expert in factitious disorder, Munchausen syndrome, Munchausen by proxy, and malingering. In his recent book, Dying to be Ill: True Stories of Medical Deception, Dr. Feldman, with Gregory Yates, has chronicled people’s acts and motivations in fabricating or inducing illness or injury in themselves or their dependents. Links:American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (registration required for some resources but the content is free.
4 minutes | Jul 7, 2020
Heaven and earth
I wrote this as I’m getting ready to start chemo. Audio file with transcript below. https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/blog_audio_2.mp3 I can’t really imagine what heaven will be like. I did think about it when they walked me into the operating room, yeah, in Canada they just walk you right in to your surgery. There’s hot white light in there…in the operating room I mean…and I closed my eyes to it as a nurse called out my stats to the team. I thought about my cat then from when I was a kid and I imagined petting him again. i thought well, my cat will be in heaven and oh well….Maybe I’ll be going there now, I thought. But I didn’t. I woke up. And the world was full of people and beautiful. Is heaven like that? With cool breezes and kids running past? Is it summer in heaven? Do we hear the tick-tick of bicycles and feel the warm sun on our backs? Are there a lot of people? Are they all talking at once? Or is it quiet —like under the water during a really good swim? I’m waiting now to start my chemo in 3 weeks. The prognosis is I will probably see more summers after this one. I hope. Summer feels like heaven must be —like at the city pool. Because of Covid I’ll have to avoid the pools during chemo, so we’re going every day now till it starts. We go in the afternoon. My son plays with the other kids and I swim laps close by. It’s so quiet under the water. A muted world. My mind travels to past present and future. I find myself dreaming as I swim and flip, swim, flip. Dreaming about the long summers before this one, the easiness of life, and of a future where life is back to normal, when this pandemic crisis comes to an end… Is there an end? I wonder. Then I flip. And swim, flip and dream again. Cancer really changed how I look at death. You’ll see, at whatever time in your life that life gets reduced on paper to probabilities, to 5 and 10 year increments scrawled by a busy doctor. When you’re asked to balance the decisions that are yours with the factors that you can’t change. The thing you can’t believe at first. You’ll see. I drew away from life just after my diagnosis. That’s normal. It can last. Eventually you jump back in —but you’re different though. Now Covid…Covid changed how I look at life. Right? In the early weeks of the pandemic the past felt suspended in air like pictures of the gone world. What happened? How do we make a new life? What do we do with the now? Do we hoard our moments like a poet, scrawling them down, sketching and photographing them for later? There’s a before and and after now. What’s coming ahead of us in this world of the post? Is pre and post any way to look at the world? What are the other ways? In the deep end I dive down —and watch my shadow float over glittery mandalas of sunlight on the pool floor… then I see another shadow following. It’s my son, he’s stopped playing to come swim along and do the grown up thing. It’s quiet here as we glide. Then a faraway, oceanic whistle sounds: the 5 minute warning from the lifeguards above. It’s time to swim to the edge. They have to clean the pool for the next people. We emerge to the world again and make our way through the scratchy grass and clover, home.
46 minutes | Jun 22, 2020
“Everyone Can Do Something to Stop Autism Pseudoscience”: Interview with Melissa Eaton
In this podcast, I interviewed Melissa Eaton, one of the first (and most effective) campaigners against autism pseudoscience. We talked about phony autism cures and what we can all do to stop the people selling them. Listen to the podcast right here by clicking the audio link below. Listen to this episode on Stitcher here Listen to this episode on iTunes here https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/non_compliant_melissa_01.mp3 Transcription, by Julie-Anne Lee: Transcript_Melissa_Eaton_Noncompliant Bio: Melissa Eaton, a parent of an autistic child, became aware autistic children were being abused with harmful pseudoscientific and unregulated treatments in 2014, after her son was diagnosed. She joined other activists who were campaigning against it and she is one of the key figures in the movement to get phony MMS “bleach for autism” treatments banned, among others. Her work has been featured on NBC and other media and she recently co-wrote an OpEd for the New York Times about the impact of MMS marketers on the Covid crisis. She has worked tirelessly, giving her time and energy for free to stop autism pseudoscience. Because of her efforts, the movement has made many strides in the uphill battle to get our regulators to recognize the human rights of autistic children and protect them. Melissa is a true hero and I was honoured to speak with her for this podcast! The episode: We started with a summary of some of the major phony autism cures/ autism pseudoscience. We focused on chelation, MMS (bleach for autism) and GcMAF. We discussed why they are dangerous; how popular they are; how sellers market to parents via social media; and how much sellers profit from their scams. We then explored legal regulations… when they work (stories of success) and why it is often hard to get governments to stop the scammers from selling these products (the challenges we still face). We also talked about the role of social media and journalism in exposing and de-platforming the scams. We discussed the broader societal biases against autistic people–and against children that allow parents to embrace these “cures” and thatalso prevent regulators from using common sense and truly shutting them down. This last point pivoted us to a discussion of autistic acceptance and how the rights of autistic children to health and safety is core to the neurodiversity movement. The first group to identify autism pseudoscience was the autistic-led UK-based group Autistic Inclusive Meets when it launched in 2016. In Canada, Autistics for Autistics launched in 2017 with stopping phony cures an integral part of its mandate. In the US, Fierce Autistics and Allies and In the Loop About Neurodiversity also immediately incorporated fighting pseudoscience into their platforms. The project Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism regularly covers the need to confront autism pseudoscience and to make reforms within the field of autism science. But the campaign to end autism pseudoscience does not get any support from traditional, large, NT-led “autism” organizations such as Autism Speaks and Autism Canada (both of which have a long history of reinforcing autism pseudoscience). Melissa and I talked about that towards the end of the podcast: Anne: What’s happening to these children is torture. Autistic children are being tortured. Where are the “autism organizations”? They are nowhere to be found. Because somewhere deep inside, they can’t make that leap towards autistic acceptance. And it shows that the “autism organizations” are really broken. The people who are going to bring about human rights protections are the autistic-led self-advocacy organizations, because they’re the only ones who are… even making a statement about autism pseudoscience. These appear, to us, to be really basic concepts, so we really have to ask ourselves why. Why won’t the mainstream autism organizations take a stand on this? Melissa: These [mainstream] organizations continue to collect money from communities. This money could be going to things that actually help autistics. And they’re not addressing the problems of autistics like autistic-led organizations are doing. Autistic-led groups definitely have the grasp of what needs to happen and the supports that are needed within their communities, yet they’re overshadowed by these bigger organizations who do not have autistic interests in mind. Melissa and I talked then about how we keep hope, and the smaller victories that build towards the kind of major reform we are slowly achieving. Melissa pointed out the role that each individual can have in education and the importance of grassroots advocacy. “Everybody can do something,” whether it is signing petitions, reporting, flagging, complaints, letters, media awareness, or many other means of support. Conversations in parent groups also make a world of difference. After the interview was over, Melissa and I talked about a few groups online that are bringing these parent discussions to the fore, including Autism Inclusivity and Autistic Allies. Thanks for listening!
44 minutes | May 29, 2020
How “crunchy” got crushed: An interview with naturopathic doctor Matt Brignall
In this episode, I talk with Matt Brignall, ND, about how the natural health movement has been co-opted over the past 3 decades by capitalist interests, as well as what we can all do to counter Covid pseudoscience and antivax. Listen to the podcast here by clicking the audio link below. Listen to this episode on Stitcher here Listen to this episode on iTunes here https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/brignall_noncompliant.mp3 Transcription by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcription_Matt_Brignall_Noncompliant Bio: Matt Brignall, ND is a naturopathic doctor in Tacoma, Washington. He currently works in a community-based primary care practice. For nearly 20 years, he was a professor in the naturopathic training program at Bastyr University. He left because he felt that the alternative medicine community was losing its ethical bearings, and becoming a threat to individual and public health. In addition to his practice, he is currently working as part of the Medical Reserve Corps COVID-19 response team. Matt is the parent of a 20-year-old daughter with Rett syndrome, and is active in disability advocacy. The Episode: I was really glad to talk to Matt because we come from similar backgrounds and we have both witnessed the natural foods/health movement, which was once mostly about supporting workers and farmers, now being co-opted by corporate interests who’ve morphed it around a model of personal “wellness,” complete with gurus telling people which snake oil products to buy (and earning billions from it). We also addressed how, in Covid times, predatory right wing interests are leveraging people’s fears to build momentum for political and white- supremacist movements. Persuasion across differences: Matt and I talked about science communication; namely, how do we really convince people, within our own families and communities, to steer clear of the toxicity of the Mercola/Natural News empire, to detect pseudoscience and to understand the importance of vaccinating? There is a clear need for more compassion and compromise, for the sake of persuasion and also for preventing radicalization. We need to stop the divisiveness between science and anti-science because this divisiveness only serves to make things worse. Matt’s website, NDs for Vaccines, offers a wealth of information for naturopaths as well as consumers on the safety and the need for vaccines. It’s really about creating an environment to find common ground and solutions– that might not always be the solutions we want in a perfect world, but which are realistic and bring us closer to public health goals. In my own family and community (homeschool community), I follow these guidelines: choose wisely who I want to spend energy discussing this with (not trolls!); focus on common perspectives; mainly lead by example (talk about what my own family is doing and why, rather than “should-ing” on people); never call names or make fun of a person; focus on conversing with people I know personally; and show flexibility (e.g., be open to solutions that aren’t my perfect solution). Monsanto & the problem of orthodoxies: Monsanto “millennial engagement” campaign (which I reference in the podcast) is an example of how corporate influence on our community really diluted a central message about vaccine safety. Much like Mercola & Company co-opted the natural health movement, so did players like Monsanto attempt to infiltrate issue/interest-based social media groups (environmental, pro-vax, STEM) to develop an association between their product and a range of science-based movements—seeming to want to create a “science orthodoxy” in which supporting their corporate brand was central to being a good scientific comrade. Journalist Kavin Senapathy observed the following dynamic from Vance Crowe, Monsanto’s Director of the initiative: “Crowe preached a scientific gospel of GMOs that went something like this: If you’re pro-science, you must be pro-GMO. If you’re anti-Monsanto, then you’re anti-GMO. Therefore, if you’re anti-Monsanto, you’re anti-science. His objective, it seemed, was to render opposition to GMOs as ridiculous as belief in Bigfoot, and to amass a movement that could be counted on to shout that message from the rooftops.” Monsanto’s intrusion into specific science-related groups created credibility problems for the groups, especially vaccine-focused groups. At the height of it, vaccines and Monsanto had become mixed in some dialogues, as if one couldn’t support vaccines without uncritically supporting Monsanto. We now know much of the GMO rhetoric had been planted in science groups by the company itself and that a few of high-profile “pro-science” voices were actively promoting the Monsanto brand. Going forward, we should all take care to stay on topic if we want to be persuasive (e.g., climate change, vaccines) rather than demanding adherence to completely unrelated belief systems, especially when these focus around a brand. Re-open protests and the radical right Much like Monsanto’s approach, pseudoscience purveyors like Mercola/Natural News and Del Bigtree’s enterprise infiltrated counter-cultures on social media (including the home ed community) in an attempt to institute a sort of orthodoxy that conveniently includes supporting their brand. Within that belief system, if you have a nuanced perspective on nearly anything, you’re just a sheeple. Ironically, Mercola, Bigtree and other leaders require a fairly sheep-like adherence to their belief system. This is deeply disturbing, especially as antivaccine and vaccine-hesitant groups have been drifting further to the right wing politically, particularly since their views are currently being validated by the current US administration (see links, below.) Followers are not just being told how to buy anymore. They are also being told how to vote. Political groups like the Tea Party have been promoting and leveraging the re-open protests for their own agendas and sometimes for a corporate agenda (see links, below). And we are now dealing with the US President normalizing what were formerly seen as fringe, pseudoscience views. Examples include Trump’s supportive comments about antivax, and his seeming to recommend products like MMS bleach for Covid which “wellness guru” Mercola also endorses. (See my OpEd about this in the links below.) In many ways, corporate interests and the radical right have been working together to radicalize antivax, home ed and other traditionally non-partisan groups towards the far right (see links at end). Beyond the grassroots communities, right wing lawmakers in the US–and at least one far-right political party and the Yellow Vests movement in Canada are also leveraging the alienation within antivax communities to recruit new members (see links below). Social media is a key pathway for this. It seems like good news this week that Natural News was removed from the Facebook platform… but these groups can also move to new, even less-regulated platforms, and of course they even have a bigger platform now within some powerful political movements. Those of us working against pseudoscience and/or in antifascism really have our work cut out for us. As Matt states: “We’re really only in chapter 2 or 3 of a very long book.” Links from the podcast: Inside Monsanto’s Millennial Outreach GMO campaign Steve Silberman’s TED Talk about antivax and the power of storytelling New York Times: Donald Trump and Covid Pseudoscience (I co-wrote this OpEd!) Washington Post: The Empire of Joseph Mercola Washington Post: The powerful right wing networks behind the re-open protests in the US NYT: Corporate interests behind the re-open rallies DeVos -funded group organized re-open rallies in Michigan Canada: Free North Patriots recruit from antivax groups for re-open rallies SPLC: Right-wing militias and antivax converge at re-open rallies Media Matters: FB said they wold remove re-open protest events. It didn’t Canada, Press Progress: Who is behind the Free North Patriots? NBC News: Natural News Pages Removed from Facebook
45 minutes | Apr 18, 2020
Neurodiversity & Disability Rights in Alberta: An Interview with Christopher Whelan of Neurodiversity YMM
I always enjoy talking to Christopher and this was a wonderful and educational conversation. Chris and I talked about our rural upbringings and autistic relationships with natural world; what’s happening in neurodiversity communities in Alberta; school inclusion and the importance of class size; housing supports and neurodivergence; outreach to remote communities and so much more! Link to the audio below. Link to the podcast on Stitcher and iTunes at the end. https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/01-anne-christopher.mp3 Transcription by Julie-Ann Lee: Transcript_Chris Whelan_Noncompliant Bio: Christopher Whelan is an autistic self-advocate and a Housing First social worker operating in his community of Fort McMurray, Alberta. He is the founder of Neurodiversity YMM: a grassroots sharing circle for neurodivergent and disabled people in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, as well as the director for his local chapter of Autistics United Canada. His new publication, the 95 Theses of Neurodiversity, offers 95 principles to guide communities in promoting Love, Self-Determination, and Inclusion of neurodivergent people in society. Listen to this episode on Stitcher here Listen to this episode on iTunes here
28 minutes | Jan 20, 2020
“Punishments and rewards can get one thing, under certain conditions – temporary compliance” Interview with Alfie Kohn
This is a fascinating interview with Alfie Kohn, who has been researching and writing about education, parenting, authority and co-operative learning for years, driving home a simple fact: rewards and punishment are two sides of the same coin –and they’re not helping us to raise the kind of children we say we want to raise. Listen to the podcast at the link below or read transcripts (also below). Links to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher at the end of this post. https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/01-noncompliant-podcast-alfie-koh-1.mp3 . Transcription by Julie-Ann Lee: Alfie Kohn transcript_Noncompliant podcast_2020 Bio: Alfie Kohn is an expert on the problem of compliance-training and reward-based systems in the schools, the work world and in the family. His many books include the classics PUNISHED BY REWARDS (1993) and BEYOND DISCIPLINE: From Compliance to Community in which he explores alternatives to our merit-based approach at work and school. He has also critically examined the influence of behaviorism on our education system and the power of cooperative learning, altruism and empathy. The episode: Alfie and I had a fascinating conversation about social control and children’s rights. We also spoke at length about behaviourism/ABA. “The problem with ABA,” says Kohn, “is not just with the method, but with the goal. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that when these kids grow up they are struggling to try to figure out how to make decisions, be assertive and advocate for themselves …because the whole precondition for the temporarily effective use of rewards is the opposite of independence—it’s dependence.” So much more insight, as well as interesting discussions of research and the path forward, in this podcast. Definitely listen to the end! Links from the conversation: Alfie Kohn’s website: https://www.alfiekohn.org/ Listen to this episode on Stitcher here Listen to this episode on iTunes here
28 minutes | Jan 16, 2020
“Neurodivergent individuals challenge society to question exactly what normalcy is, if it even exists to begin with” –Interview with Gaby from A4A
In this podcast, Gaby and I discussed racism in the education system, the disability hierarchy, media bias and representations of the self-advocacy movement, eye contact and cultural norms, the power of social media, the situation in Ontario and more! Listen to the podcast at the audio link below. Listen to this episode on Stitcher here & on iTunes here. https://noncompliantpodcast.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/noncompliant-podcast-gaby.mp3 Transcript, by Julie Ann Lee: Transcript_Gaby_Noncompliant Bio: Gaby received her BA in Biological Anthropology from the University of Toronto. In addition to contributing to the critically-acclaimed anthology “All The Weight of our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism,” Gaby is one of the founding members of Autistics for Autistics Ontario, the first provincial autistic self-advocacy group in Ontario and an international affiliate of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Her work includes programs to educate health providers on autistic patient experiences and needs, employment accessibility outreach and communications with the governments of Ontario and Canada to reform autism policy. In addition to being diagnosed autistic in early adulthood, she also holds other identities such as being multiply neurodivergent and the first in her family to attend university in Canada. The Episode: In this podcast, Gaby and I talk about racism, ableism and the overlapping oppressions faced by her family as newcomers to Canada in dealing with schools, the autism services system and higher education. Despite the Government of Canada’s official rhetoric about diversity, Canadian schools and service organizations continue to marginalize newcomers, failing at effective outreach for services, discouraging children from speaking their language of origin and operating community services without meaningful inclusion of people of Colour. Students of Colour are still targeted disproportionately for disciplinary actions and overtly or tacitly streamed out of the path to higher education. “The social workers, the City workers, anyone behind the front desk did not look like me—or like any other resident in the community they were supposed to be serving.” While positive models exist in other jurisdictions (supported decision-making, the money-follows-the-person model, independent supported living, school inclusion) somehow Ontario’s system isn’t yet being reformed in any meaningful way. This episode is very connected to what’s happening here—and also part a much longer, on-going discussion within disability rights and autistic self-advocacy towards addressing bias within our own organizations. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Resources All the Weight of Our Dreams explores intersectional oppression and realities for autistics of Colour, and it is a must-read, in a world that is too often white-washed and centred on an imagined norm (neurotypicality). Ordering info below: All The Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism Autism and Safety, a report by ASAN on police bias against racialized and autistic Americans The Autism Wars, blog by Kerima Cevik Autistic Hoya, Webpage by Lydia X.Z. Brown The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (US) Autistic, Trans and Latinx: My Survival is our Community’s Survival Against Gentrification by Ruby Herida Eterna De Amor Black, Female and Autistic: Hiding in Plain Sight, Interview with Moreniki GIwa Onaiwu by Matthew Rozsa What Does a Black Autistic Man Look Like? A personal essay by N.I. NIcholson What it Feels like to be an Autistic Person of Colour in the eyes of the Police, by Eric Garcia
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