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See Beyond Behavior
31 minutes | May 14, 2020
Creating a Loving Home as Foster Care Providers
Erin and his wife Lisa found themselves contemplating a life-changing decision. In this episode, Erin dives into their journey in becoming foster parents to two young children at a time in their lives they were finding a sense of normalcy within supporting a child with Williams Syndrome - a syndrome impacting both physical health and developmental aspects - as well as the challenges that come with becoming a new parent. With the incredibly big hearts Erin and Lisa have, they chose to undoubtedly and unconditionally step forward as the “foster” parents to two children needing a loving home. The oldest of the two was close in age to their own son and they already had a relationship with him, as he was in the same classroom as their son. Upon saying yes to supporting him, they were made aware of his younger sister (under 1 year) needing a home as well. This decision changed the course of all of their lives; they became a cohesive family, knowing the challenges would be tough, but well worth the fight. Erin and Lisa have found themselves advocating for Developmentally delayed foster youth, particularly those with more complex and challenging needs, as a result of their work. They have stepped forward in a way that is thought-provoking and often a foundation for change within our systemic structures. Having more providers like Erin and Lisa, our foster system would become a place where children would begin to thrive.
33 minutes | Apr 16, 2020
Meeting Basic Human Needs: COVID-19
How we are responding to a “new world” and all the change that will continue to unfold. Jessica Swain-Bradway is the executive director for NWPBIS (North West Positive Behavior Intervention Supports) and has a great deal to offer in the way of meeting basic needs at a time it is most critical. Jessica and Torri dive into a conversation about how to best support ourselves and one another during these unprecedented times. We also talk about the importance of relationship and connection between school supports and home.
31 minutes | Mar 13, 2020
End the Stigma: Autism and Cannabis
Torri interviews Rhonda Moeller, co-founder of the nonprofit organization WPA4A (Whole Plant Access for Autism). WPA4A is focused on educating families and medical cannabis industry professionals about the science behind & benefits of cannabis for autism, while also helping families understand the complexities of using cannabis as medicine. Because of this, WPA4A has grown to be an amazing support group, giving a place for families to share access to information and connect on just about anything autism-related. Cannabis as medicine has the potential to raise the quality of life for everyone involved. For Rhonda’s family, their lives changed overnight once they found a solution for behavior challenges that really worked. It has become her goal and mission to help families learn how to use it, why it’s useful, and its long-term benefits. Real life success stories shared by families across the nation keep the momentum going to see more progress, and provide powerful insight & information for other families. It is clear to Rhonda that when a child does better, the whole family does better. Learn about the “entourage effect” and research from Dr. Ethan Russo that explains how cannabis compounds work together to provide more benefits and effectiveness. Another nonprofit education group doing work to end the stigma is MAMMA (Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism), and their goals directly correlate with the work of WPA4A. Resources for further understanding: https://wpa4a.org/ http://www.mammausa.org/ https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-101/cannabis-entourage-effect-why-thc-and-cbd-only-medicines-arent-g https://www.cannabissciencetech.com/cannabis-voices/latest-medical-cannabis-research-dr-ethan-russo-discusses-neurological-research-dosing-and-more See Beyond Behavior podcast is a place for new insights, strategies, and collaboration-- so we may all feel a sense of belonging in a world full of differences. Questions or comments? Contact Torri by email at email@example.com or via LinkedIn, and learn more at behca.com
33 minutes | Feb 18, 2020
Inclusion Practices: Building Community
Torri interviews Jason Hobson, the Director of Student Services in Estacada, OR, about his work and perspective around inclusion and creating a sense of community for families who often experience isolation. They discuss the inclusion practices that Jason's district have implemented, and how this can increase the level of community collaboration involved in educational systems. Torri touches on how a goal of this podcast is to help identify that there are silos [between systems] and talk about how we can start having cross-conversations. We are able to learn when we get curious and set our assumptions to the side. The complexities of collaboration are important to be aware of, and it is through conversation that we can bring more awareness. Jason aims to build a shared ownership that their systems are in this process together. He asks, “how do we support all of those differences [in students] and value them as strengths?”. The Estacada school district has recognized inclusivity as a priority and funded their own inclusive-practice preschool. They acknowledge that they need to be a trusted support and system for families in the community. These are the types of foundational pieces that lead to bigger change later on. See Beyond Behavior podcast is a place for new insights, strategies, and collaboration-- so we may all feel a sense of belonging in a world full of differences. Questions or comments? Contact Torri by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via LinkedIn.
30 minutes | Jan 25, 2020
A Chat with the Founders of BEHCA
Learn more about the founders of BEHCA, Torri Wright & Michael Krol, as they talk about the development of BEHCA. This process opened their eyes to learning more about each other's worlds and the fascinating discoveries of human behavior. Michael and his team are the genius behind the application design and development. His attention to detail & level of care becomes apparent in the user-friendly design-- showing the evidence of his own neurodiversity. When talking about his experience collaborating on the development of BEHCA, Michael says, “it has become a labor of love because I’ve seen how much it has impacted my own personal life and the way I communicate & understand those that I serve and parent.” Questions or comments? Contact Torri by email at email@example.com or via LinkedIn.
31 minutes | May 29, 2019
Shifting Perspectives on Poverty and Behavior
Did you know that in the United States, 1 in 5 children grow up in poverty? Now imagine being poor and/or homeless, and caring for a child with a developmental disability. Joined by poverty expert, international speaker, and author Dr. Donna Beegle, this episode explores the links between poverty and behavior, challenging our perceptions. Throughout her career, Dr. Beegle has worked hard to shift perspectives around poverty; urging everyone to look beyond the surface and understand there is a culture, system structures, and common variables, creating recurring barriers that keep people from pulling themselves out of poverty. Torri and Dr. Beegle also discuss the See Beyond Behavior approach, leading the conversation through a look at correlations and the different lenses we look through, based on our biases and life experiences. Resource links: Communication Across Barriers: https://www.combarriers.com See Poverty… Be The Difference!: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1934085014/ Questions or comments? Contact Torri at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @TorriWrightSPED
13 minutes | May 9, 2019
Coming to Terms: Advocacy
In this episode, Torri covers Advocacy; the ins-and-outs of what it can look like for both parents and professionals to connect to services, gain school supports, seek community awareness and engagement, and feel an overall sense of belonging. Often we can feel overwhelmed, isolated, or alone on this journey with very minimal support. Being an advocate is more than fighting for “justice”; it is about supporting caregivers at different stages of their journey--providing resources or simply being part of their tribe or community of support. #SeeBeyondBehavior
33 minutes | Apr 25, 2019
Accessing DD Services
Host Torri Wright speaks with Toi Gibson to get an insider's view on accessing social services & supports for your child with a diagnosed intellectual or developmental disability. Resource links: Oregon Intellectual & Disability Services: www.oregon.gov/DHS/SENIORS-DISABILITIES/DD/pages/index.aspx US Government & Local DD Resources: www.usa.gov/disability-programs Learn more about Developmental Disabilities: www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/developmentaldisabilities/index.html
33 minutes | Apr 4, 2019
Neurodiversity in the Workplace
Neurodiversity exists everywhere--even at work. In fact, toxic office environments can manifest when people don’t recognize their staff, fellow colleagues, outside partners, etc. may be wired to think or act differently than they do. On this episode, host Torri Wright speaks with Lori Eberly, LCSW, executive coach, author, and owner of Radius ECD to explore neurodiversity in the workplace, and how it can impact both relationships and quality-of-life. Lori shares her experiences working with corporate executives who self-identify as being ADHD or OCD, or even demonstrate social behaviors that may indicate being on the Autism Spectrum--whether they’ve been formally diagnosed or not. Her goal is to help leaders and colleagues better understand how their own brains function, and how our neurological differences influence how we lead, communicate, and even collaborate, impacting focus, team morale, relationships, productivity, results, etc. Resource links: Unwritten Social Rules by Shawn Barron & Temple Grandin: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1941765386/ Fuckery, by Lori Eberly: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/1533088365/ Radius ECD: https://radiusecd.com
11 minutes | Mar 25, 2019
Coming to Terms: Neurodiversity
Coming to Terms are shorter bonus episodes to help define and demystify the unique language of the behavior space. In this episode, Torri covers Neurodiversity; a concept where neurological differences (e.g., how we think and process information) are to be acknowledged and respected as any other human variation. These differences can include a wide variety of labels/diagnoses; ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, dyslexia, dysgraphia, Down Syndrome, PTSD, and many more. The goal in both acknowledging and discussing these differences is see how different perspectives are formed and how another person “thinks,” offering new insights and ways to solve problems. We all have something unique to contribute in this world of many differences; inquisitive, active, and respectful listening can allow us the opportunity to learn from one another; rather than insist that one's own personal way is the only way. Resource links: Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage: https://hbr.org/2017/05/neurodiversity-as-a-competitive-advantage My Life Asperger’s: www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/my-life-aspergers/201310/what-is-neurodiversity About Neurodiversity: www.institute4learning.com/resources/articles/neurodiversity/ #SeeBeyondBehavior
31 minutes | Mar 8, 2019
Living with a Vestibular Disorder
Cynthia Ryan, Executive Director of VeDA (Vestibular Disorders Association), and Susan, facilitator of a vestibular support group, join host Torri Wright to talk about often misdiagnosed or overlooked vestibular disorders. Vestibular disorders are invisible conditions related to the inner ear and brain, affecting sensory processing involved with controlling balance and eye movements. If injury or disease damages these areas, people can suffer from imbalance, dizziness, vertigo, and brain fog in varying degrees. Common vestibular disorders include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis & vestibular neuritis, Ménière’s disease, acoustic neuroma, and vestibular migraines. Vestibular disorders can also result from or be worsened by genetic or environmental conditions, or occur for unknown reasons. Many with vestibular disorders can find it challenging to be accurately diagnosed or find coping strategies to manage their symptoms. Resource links: VeDA | Vestibular Disorders Association: https://vestibular.org Vestibular support groups: https://vestibular.org/support_groups Patient logs: https://vestibular.org/patient-logs Vestibular for kids: www.pinterest.com/vestibularveda/vestibular-for-kids/
11 minutes | Feb 27, 2019
Coming to Terms: Secondary Trauma
Coming to Terms are shorter bonus episodes to help define and demystify the unique language of the behavior space. In this episode, Torri covers Secondary Trauma; a trauma where another person who witnesses or supports traumatic situations, ends up experiencing trauma of their own. As parents, care providers, or even professionals, we often fail to recognize the long-term effects traumatic situations can pose on our own health and regulation. Prolonged exposure to traumatic situations can cause chronic stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression, impacting our health and well-being. Resource links: Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS)--US Dept. of Health & Human Services: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/trauma-toolkit/secondary-traumatic-stress Secondary Trauma--When PTSD is Contagious: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/12/ptsd-secondary-trauma/420282/
35 minutes | Feb 19, 2019
Meet Mary--a college student, aspiring author, fashion designer, and artist. I first met Mary way back when she was in the sixth-grade. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Mary grow and evolve. She has taught me a lot about navigating adolescence, and now young adulthood, as a girl/woman on the autism spectrum. Mary’s sense of humor, insights about her educational experience, and unique way of seeing the world through a neurodiverse lens is both inspiring and thought-provoking.
30 minutes | Jan 30, 2019
Parenting a Child with Challenging Behavior
Parenting a child is one of the hardest roles we play as adults. No matter how prepared we think we are, our lives forever change the moment they enter our world. Now image that same experience with a child who has complex needs or challenging behavior--it forces us to discover superpowers we maybe never knew we had. In this episode, Torri sits down with Carole, a fearless mother in Portland, Oregon who shares her story of navigating parenthood with two unique and special children; a daughter with Down Syndrome and autism, and a son who experiences dyslexia and dysgraphia. Resource links: FACT OREGON: https://factoregon.org NW Down Syndrome Association: https://nwdsa.org Autism Empowerment: www.autismempowerment.org Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/DecodingDyslexiaOR/
8 minutes | Jan 17, 2019
Coming to Terms: Co-Regulation
Coming to Terms are shorter bonus episodes in the See Beyond Behavior podcast series. In the behavior space, we often use unique terms, acronyms, and jargon. For many people, these may be unfamiliar or even misunderstood. So with that in mind, we hope to use our podcast to help define and demystify this language, so we are all on the same page and you are prepared for future conversations (and episodes). Here Torri dives into Co-Regulation; a term that came up recently in our conversation with Dr. Henson, discussing trauma-informed care (episode 2). Here’s a bit of background on co-regulation, so you will have a better idea of what it looks like and why it’s important to always keep in mind. One way to define co-regulation, is as the conscious shifting of one's’ own physical & emotional response in order to support another person who has become dysregulated (e.g., not in control of their emotions or body). What co-regulation might look like: Reflection of one's energy or calmness, rather than a lack thereof, and how others are responding to you. Being aware and mindful of physiological responses within the body and consciously shifting them. eg. increased heart-rate; incorporate deep breathing to slow heart-rate and anxiety. Awareness of the tone of voice (use of words or sounds) and body language (arms crossed, standing over, stern look on face), as these are all non-verbal cues a person who is dysregulated can pick up on. Understanding the person who is dysregulated may not have the skills or ability to redirect themselves or incorporate calming techniques, therefore as the adult/person supporting, we must calm our own energy/presence as much as possible, helping the other person have a safe space to work through their process without an exchanged (reactive/intense) interaction with another person. Why co-regulation is important: What is our responsibility to the exchanges and interactions? Are we adding to the increased or prolonged dysregulation with how we are responding/reacting? What can we control and what is our plan when we have been triggered ourselves, to stay in a calm place? How can “we” support or be a positive, calming presence for those who struggle with dysregulation? When another person is there, not involved or wrapped up in the unraveling events, there is grounded energy that person can feel (biochemical) and will eventually connect to that, to help them begin to calm their body as well. The more we can see the dysregulation is not about a conscious desire to create chaos or dysfunction, rather a neurological process that is automatically happening, the better we are able to not get attached and do our job in being a calm presence. Co-regulation will likely come up again in future episodes, and we may also say things like; reflective, self-aware, personal check-in, how grounded is your energy, or other adults supporting someone who may be dysregulated. Are there other behavior terms that would be helpful to cover on the podcast? Send your ideas to email@example.com or on our Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/behca_app Resource links: https://www.acesconnection.com/g/aces-in-education/blog/co-regulation-with-students-at-risk-calming-together http://occupationaltherapychildren.com.au/what-is-co-regulation/ https://www.321insight.com/ (for educators)
30 minutes | Jan 3, 2019
Traumatic events affect each of us in unique and varied ways. They can have lasting impacts on our neurological pathways, influencing how we later respond or react to our environment, resulting in increased agitation, hypersensitivity, hyper-focused/aroused, or shut-down responses. Trauma-informed practices offer a different perspective in looking at behavior. In this episode, Torri is joined by Dr. Will Henson from 321 Insight to discuss trauma-informed practices within schools. Both have worked in this field for more than 20+ years and offer personal stories, anecdotal observations, and insights on an emerging topic they are equally passionate about. Together, they explore a wider lens into how human behavior affected by trauma shows up in the classroom and some of the “whys” behind it. As Torri touched on in the previous episode, when we recognize behavior is a form of communication, we can reflect on what message behavior is trying to convey. Instead of seeing behavior from children as an annoying factor adults’ have to “put up with,” we challenge audiences to reflect on their own process and take notice of how certain experiences in their lives have stayed with them--influencing their reactions or responses when triggered by specific events, smells, sounds, or feelings. As adults, we develop coping skills along the way; often unaware of the deeper reason(s) why we are “behaving” a particular way. If you have any questions or comments on this topic or others, please leave a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for listening and stay tuned for more episodes of the See Beyond Behavior podcast on the horizon. Resource links: Dr. WIll Henson, a licensed clinical psychologist, and a state-wide education consultant: 321insight.com Adverse Childhood Experience (ACES): http://bit.ly/2F26quO
10 minutes | Nov 29, 2018
Introducing See Beyond Behavior
Behavior consultant and author Torri Wright provides a unique glimpse into the world of complex and challenging behavior. Over the past 20 years, she has worked as a special education teacher, behavior consultant, author, and business owner. In that time, she has witnessed countless situations where people fixate on bad behaviors. They often make assumptions, instead of taking a few steps back to see what the function of the behavior is or simply what it might be communicating. From her experiences within group homes to the corporate world, and everything in between, she can confidently say that behind every behavior is a purpose. And it’s up to us to move beyond tick marks and journaling, to identify patterns. We need to decode what the behavior - good or bad - is trying to tell us. The word behavior itself is an action that is observable and measurable. Undesirable behavior creates a resistance, discomfort, or even unsafe situations for the individual and those around them. The internal workings of where and why behavior occurs is a complicated mapping within the human process. Rarely, does challenging or undesirable behavior occur due to a single, isolated event.
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