Tag Archives: Autism Spectrum Disorder

A Conversation With Dr. Camilla Pang. Richard Gabriel On Infamous Verdicts

Camilla Pang An Outsider’s Guide To Humans – What Science Taught Me About What We Do And Who We are

“Blessed with the solid combination of ASD, ADHD, and Ph.D. – I use the powers of neurodiversity to navigate the under-passed connections of how human psychology can meander beyond the norm. The study of humans and analogous evolving systems are my life long passion which is fed by books, observation, and intricate sensing which I process through the lenses of science and art in my writing.” These words are on the website of Dr. Camilla Pang, who shares her story with uncompromising grace, honesty, and subtle wit in her writing and in person. Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of eight, Camilla Pang struggled to understand the world around her. Desperate for a solution, she asked her mother if there was an instruction manual for humans that she could consult. With no blueprint to life, Pang began to create her own, using the language she understands best: science. That lifelong project eventually resulted in An Outsider’s Guide to Humans, original and incisive exploration of human nature and the strangeness of social norms, written from the outside looking in–which is helpful to even the most neurotypical thinker. Camilla Pang uses a set of scientific principles to examine life’s everyday interactions. “I use the microscope of science to shed light on the bigger pictures of social norms, and advocates for neurodiversity being a hidden treasure of human evolution.” Camilla writes, adding,My mother is an artist, and my father is a scientist, and being honest I am somewhere caught in between.” Camilla Pang holds a Ph.D. in bioinformatics from University College London and is a postdoctoral scientist. Her career and studies have been heavily influenced by her diagnoses of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ADHD and she is driven by her passion for understanding humans and how we work. Pang is also a volunteer cancer researcher at the Francis Crick Institute and volunteers on socio-psychological projects for mining communities in Africa. She is an active contributor to art and science initiatives and often partakes in mental health and decision making research projects.

Richard Gabriel Acquittal: An Insider Reveals The Stories and Strategies Behind Today’s Most Infamous Verdicts

It was October 3, 1995. The shocking outcome of the O.J. Simpson trial leaves a nation divided. Then, July 5, 2011. Casey Anthony walks free despite being convicted by millions on cable news and social media. There are times when something as supposedly simple as a just verdict rises to the level of cultural touchstone. Often these moments hinge on logic that seems flawed and inexplicable—until now. Lead trial consultant, Richard Gabriel explains in his book Acquittal how some of the most controversial verdicts in recent times came to be. Drawing on more than twenty-eight years of experience, Gabriel provides firsthand accounts of his work on high-profile cases, from the tabloid trials of Casey Anthony, O.J. Simpson, and Phil Spector to the political firestorms involving Enron and Whitewater. An expert on court psychology and communications, Gabriel offers unique insights on defendants, prosecutors, judges, witnesses, journalists, and the most important people in the room: the jury. Don’t miss Richard‘s answer to the question, “What verdict surprised you the most?” 

Show #403

The Professor & The Doctor

Stephen ShoreThe latest edition of Life Elsewhere features two authors who have written books based on their personal experiences. First we talk with Professor Stephen Shore who was diagnosed with Autism and Asperger Syndrome. His book Beyond The Wall vividly documents his life from infancy to present day. Non-verbal till the age of four, Stephen was viewed as “too sick” to be treated on an outpatient basis. Ignoring the professionals’ call for separating their son from his home, Stephen’s parents did what they thought was “right”. In the interview with Norman B, he talks candidly about this and other aspects of “being different”.

Dr. Dan PetersIn the second half of the program Norman B talks with Dr. Dan Peters about the Worrier Monster and how to conquer him. Dan Peters like many people worried and decided to set about dealing with the problem to help himself and in turn, help others. He wrote two books, From Worrier to Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Fears and Make Your Worrier a Warrior: A Guide to Conquering Your Child’s Fears. In the interview, Norman B asks Dr. Dan, What is worry? Why do we worry? Is worrying hereditary? and Who worries more, women or men?

Also in the program, this week’s Hit That Never Was featuring Nova Scotia native Jenn Grant with DreamerSend your selection to: hithatneverwas@lifeelsewhere.co

Download the Life Elsewhere Podcast at Stitcher

         

The Producer Cries

At the beginning of our program today titled, Understanding Autism, Norman B’s monologue caused his producer Maria to start weeping. She began signaling distress messages to the host as he poignantly described the birth of James, his son. In turn, Norman B, realizing his very competent controller of all the knobs an buttons that make a radio show work, may fall apart at any moment, asked if she wanted him to pause for second or two. In turn, Norman B, began to choke up and suddenly, very live, very real, emotional, unrehearsed and memorable radio was broadcast. 

The guests, both listening to the opening monologue were, Maria Mutch, author of the just-released, Know the Night a memoir that chronicles a two-year period when her son Gabriel, who has both Autism and Downs Syndrome, unexpectedly stopped sleeping through the night. Maria Mutch will tell us how she and Gabriel entered a secret world of their own, where they found spiritual company in the words of a polar explorer. And, Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson Executive Director of ACT Today! A nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness and provide treatment services and support to families to help their children with autism achieve their full potential. Nancy is a former television producer, author and mother of Wyatt, who was diagnosed with Autism. Nancy, via phone from California, began by saying, “Thank you Norman, for making me cry at 6.00am!”

Listen to the Understanding Autism edition of Life Elsewhere here

Understanding Autism

Autism

Facts about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. People with ASDs handle information in their brain differently than other people. ASDs are “spectrum disorders.” That means ASDs affect each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe. People with ASDs share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction. But there are differences in when the symptoms start, how severe they are, and the exact nature of the symptoms.

Types of ASDs

There are three different types of ASDs:
  • Autistic Disorder (also called “classic” autism)
    This is what most people think of when hearing the word “autism.” People with autistic disorder usually have significant language delays, social and communication challenges, and unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with autistic disorder also have intellectual disability.
  • Asperger Syndrome
    People with Asperger syndrome usually have some milder symptoms of autistic disorder. They might have social challenges and unusual behaviors and interests. However, they typically do not have problems with language or intellectual disability.
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS; also called “atypical autism”)
    People who meet some of the criteria for autistic disorder or Asperger syndrome, but not all, may be diagnosed with PDD-NOS. People with PDD-NOS usually have fewer and milder symptoms than those with autistic disorder. The symptoms might cause only social and communication challenges.
  • Signs and Symptoms
  • ASDs begin before the age of 3 and last throughout a person’s life, although symptoms may improve over time. Some children with an ASD show hints of future problems within the first few months of life. In others, symptoms might not show up until 24 months or later. Some children with an ASD seem to develop normally until around 18 to 24 months of age and then they stop gaining new skills, or they lose the skills they once had.
  • A person with an ASD might:
  • Not respond to their name by 12 months
  • Not point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over) by 14 months
  • Not play “pretend” games (pretend to “feed” a doll) by 18 months
  • Avoid eye contact and want to be alone
  • Have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • Have delayed speech and language skills
  • Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia)
  • Give unrelated answers to questions
  • Get upset by minor changes
  • Have obsessive interests
  • Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles
  • Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel
Facts courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

On the next edition of Life Elsewhere we’ll turn the spotlight on a
syndrome that is widely misunderstood, with Maria Mutch, author of the just-released, Know the Night, a memoir that chronicles a two-year period when her son Gabriel, who has both Autism and Downs Syndrome, unexpectedly stopped sleeping through the night. Maria Mutch will tell us how she and Gabriel entered a secret world all of their own, where they found spiritual company in the words of a polar explorer. We urge you not to miss this very special edition of Life Elsewhere.

April is Autism Awareness Month

Life Elsewhere airs 9.00am EST, Monday, March 24

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