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Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Speech Therapy and Autism – The Problem and a Solution

The problem with speech therapy and autism is speech therapy is generally aimed at teaching sound production to the muscles and building one sound upon another in a predetermined pattern of progression. However, autism and speech is more about communication than word formation.

Teaching communication, as opposed to speech, requires a greater level of sophistication from the teacher.

Unfortunately, too often the child is taught in a fashion that, when mirrored, looks like scripted talking and planned responses. This is not usually because the child can’t learn to speak in a more fluid way. (Made obvious by the fact that most ASD individuals do speak with great fluidity and a huge variance in tone when speaking within their perseverative self-talk.) The difficulty for these folks in learning to communicate often has to do with turn taking and the brain’s ability to transition between the processing of receptive to expressive, then back again, at a user friendly speed.

Thus the fluid self-talker should be encouraged to maintain their beautiful flowing dissertation of ideas while responding to our similarly shaped suggestions. Once they get used to ‘communicating’ then we ask them to show an interest in our things.

This works very well.

Unfortunately, what is usually done is the child is asked to STOP TALKING LIKE THAT (in his or her fluid way) and start repeating according to our robotic requests. A real-life example: Say “CAR” not ‘hello Steve …a clue a clue that’s hysterical!’

TEACH WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO LEARN AND IF WHAT YOU ARE WANTING IS SENTENCES THEN RESPOND TO AND ENCOURAGE SENTENCES!

If what you are wanting is communication, that is done by responding.

Practice the skill of responding to, and encouraging, sentences.

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Depression – Making a Difference

When a person is in a state of depression, and any other mental illness that has depression included, one of the things happening in the brain is brain wave activity is moving at slower pace – firing at a lower frequency.

The response to early childhood trauma, or trauma of any kind really, is often an excess of low frequency activity in the brain.

This preponderance of slow moving brain wave activity results in less information being able to process. Thus even muscle tone is affected by the brain not being able to send enough messages to keep the body firm. This is why you will see a lax expression on a depressed person’s face. As well as less color, due to less circulation.

I mention this to explain how just running your body is a job, and adding self-help skills is extra. If you are dealing with slower brain wave activity then it is a big burdensome overwhelming job.

Additionally, these slow moving waves attract a type of daydreaming mental state within which time simply disappears and the opportunity to take care of tasks goes with it.

There’s more to depression of course, but I can say from personal experience – having been a person that suffered from extreme depression before doing neurofeedback – that even the act of wearing underwear was more than I could handle. So I reduced all necessary tasks to only the ones needed in order to survive.

There are things that can make a difference. Neurofeedback can make a difference. Neurofeedback is a wonderful tool for finding those lower frequencies and encouraging them to speed up appropriately. However, at this very moment regardless of what tools you have at your disposal, simply understanding what is happening in the depressed brain can make a difference. Note that your habits show you how you’re operating. (For example: Falling in love a lot in order to increase dopamine in the reward center, effectively speeding up brain wave activity.)

Pay attention to responses and reactions. Pay attention to habits and feelings associated with them, while keeping this information at the forefront. Notice. Assess. Be thoughtful. Then make intentional changes or choices. This will make a difference.

If you are unable to find something that is making a positive difference for the depression in your life, whether it is yours or a loved ones, begin with understanding the brain and body. Validate the challenge by knowing it is real; brain wave activity is affecting you. Make intentional shifts in that activity by paying attention to reactions and changes. Chew ice, tap your toes, talk in a sing song voice. Pay attention, be curious, and be patient.

And, as always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions. Don’t even hesitate.

Your brain is part of my world and I want to help you in order to help me. 😉

~Dr. Lynette Louise aka “The Brain Broad

Email: crazy2sane@gmail.com

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Parents: Model Patience During the Pandemic

Q:  How can parents model patience to children while we wait out this pandemic?

I am often posed this question, by parents and reporters, with phrasing that is some version of “while we wait this out.”

Here’s the thing: The solution, the answer to this question, is buried in the question itself. Children of all ages are very grounded in the present, so implying to them that they are “waiting it out” also implies to them (and the parents) they are missing out; that now is not as good as then or later. The question itself tells us that staying home is difficult.

But, is it?

By seeing everything as a phase opportunity you shift the focus back into the present and the stress automatically lessens.

Dr. Lynette Louise with playing on a blanket in the grass with one of her toddler granddaughters.

While you’re in this phase, tell jokes and laugh about not having to hug people with bad breath or scratchy beards. Talk about it at the child’s level, make it relatable, make it a gift. Remote schooling means sleeping till the last minute and eating breakfast while you work. YAHOO! Wearing masks hides pimples and stained teeth, makes you look mysterious and is easier to play ‘guess who’ when you meet up with old friends. Teach about understanding people using body language and eye expressions.


Most of all, make it a special year or two with opportunities like learning social media etiquette and focusing on the benefits of the moment. These are skills you and your child need. They will benefit you for life. 

Bonus: There’s no better time than the present to put home economics and shop class back into the curriculum. No better time to teach what you know (and learn what they know) rather than abdicating to academics.

Let’s model patience during this pandemic. We can help ourselves do so by recognizing this as an opportunity to be explored and exploited rather than waited out.

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

It’s Important to Move: The Brain Broad on Staying Motivated

Lynette Louise aka THE BRAIN BROAD dances with her son, Dar.


It’s important to move.

For some, waking up, getting motivated, and meeting a brand new day with intention isn’t as much of a challenge as staying motivated and clear on goals and intentions throughout the day is. Particularly for folks finding themselves at home and entirely responsible for keeping themselves motivated and clear on their intentions throughout the days, weeks, and months.

I want to step in here and offer a simple but important tip: move.

It will increase blood flow and hence oxygen, as well as the flow of hormones and electrolytes, through your brain and body. Also, movement can help interrupt your perseverative thoughts and bring about a state of emotional/physiological balance.

If you’re sitting all day you will likely become steeped in anxiety or depression which you will crave alleviating with food, sleep, emotional outbursts, or mood altering substances.

But if you move – often and with purpose – you probably won’t swing so dysfunctionally out of balance. In fact, you may fully reset back into comfort every time you move. And even if you don’t you will at least be closer to a state of balance then you are without physical action. So when you feel yourself struggling to focus, when you experience a dip in motivation, or begin to feel anxious leading to a state of overwhelm, take breaks and move. Eat an apple, take a walk, sing a song, dance.

If movement doesn’t solve the problem something else may be going on.

It’s important to know the difference between being stressed due to a psychological issue or a belief-driven psychological one. Knowing your own brain and body is important. If you’re working and you hear or see a piece of news that frightens you, that’s belief-driven. If you’re working and there’s simply a downturn in your mood, maybe you need to eat. Know the difference between your physiology and your psychology. Even though they beget each other, if you practice paying attention to yourself you should come to know what the core issue is.

So, move your body, stop and think about the problem, assess if you’re in an emergency right now – if so, deal with the emergency. If not, let it go and dance a happy jig, get some skin to skin time with a loved one or take a nap.To be honest, most problems are easier to solve than we tend to realize.

It’s important to move.

Move and behave in a balanced way full of social joy, good sleep, healthy food and physical movement. Your brain and body will follow.

 


Looking for something to dance and sing along to? Let’s sing about finding balance. 😉

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Why All Leaders, Teachers, and Parents Should Model Themselves after my Singing Coach

I never wanted to be a whiner but I was. He asked me to breathe from the diaphragm and I laid out all my excuses. Complained of pain near my liver where scar tissue and adhesions glued my diaphragm to my rib cage. He smiled and said, “Let’s do Mee Meh Maw.” I felt silly but I was paying him so I tried to stay on pitch. My throat tightened and I whined about being sexually abused which left a psychological scarring that closed my throat whenever I was nervous. He listened sympathetically and said, “Let’s work with the lips. Sing b-b-b-b-b-b.” Again, I felt silly. This time embarrassed to be taking singing so seriously; as if I had any talent at all in that arena. With so many resistant thoughts in my head I couldn’t match the notes, let alone stay in key. Pitch and tone weren’t even a thing at that moment. I sighed to calm my rapid heartbeat and relax my tightened throat. The sigh had a tone and he said, “Good.”

And that is how it started.

Mitch and I have done a lot of projects and shows together. We have written music and recorded CDs as well as television scores. I always love working with him. He holds me up and makes me better. And until the coronavirus I had him come by whenever possible and work with me at my piano so that I might become better. My piano faces him towards the wall and I sing behind him mainly because my home has been overtaken by toys and children. The piano is nestled away for less exposure to toddler composers playing with their feet.

Mitch accepts whatever excuse I bring to the table. He allows for the challenge of teaching a great-grandmother with a babe in her arms and an autistic man child moaning along. But no matter what excuse I bring to the table he never lowers the bar. We pick up where we left off and he asks for more.

 

We begin with warmups. They have gone from being the worst part to my favorite part and when I am particular needy I do more vocal exercises than songs.

Here is how it works: During the exercises, he is the boss. I do whatever he says and we sing scales and arpeggios and make weird noises with mouth, lips, tongue etc. After every single run he says “good” or “excellent” or “fantastic” or “Ok” or “Great” mixed with the occasional, “Listen to your pitch on the top note,” and frequent “breath” “amazing” “wonderful!” Then we switch, and I am the boss. I sing my songs and tell him what I’m after, and he tells me how to get it. Some days I can’t get enough of the warm-ups. So we stay at it the whole time. With his face toward the wall I sometimes imagine that he is being insincere and rolling his eyes at my not quite perfect tone, vocal inflexibility, whining. So while I benefit from emotional support and a positive attitude while I oxygenate and warm-up and focus on the present, I still occasionally flinch with a slight echo of low self-esteem.

And then the pandemic hit and we had to shift to facetime lessons.

As it turns out, he means it when he compliments me. He enjoys my singing style and actually likes my voice. And since I think he is a musical genius his opinion feeds mine and my self-esteem has exploded and my whining stopped. Suddenly I can riff on pitch, hear tone, trill and dance about with the melody.

This is the recipe for success I use with brain challenged people. I trained and educated to get this knowledge. Worked hard to become a behavioral expert that understands and improves brain function. Mitch just did it out of his intrinsic love and passion for music.

_________________________

The Recipe

#1 The coach is the boss. The expert who teaches. (S)he shores you up by caring and complimenting. Looking for the successes and building on that. The compliments come at any point within which the student might wonder how they are doing. Sometimes that is every 5 seconds or so. The compliment eradicates the uncertainty and allows the person to refocus and go further. After enough of this (usually 45 min or so) the expert position is shifted to the student.

#2 Now it is the student who guides the use of time. With the student in the expert position choosing (in this case) the song, the style, the lyrics etc, the coach becomes the supporter. The coach brings their superior knowledge of the subject into the arrangement, guiding workable choices with an eye on supporting the student so that they can achieve their goal. Whatever that may be. The coach does not decide what holds value, for that is the student’s place. The coach just inserts enough accuracy to make execution possible.

_____________________________

I am nearly 65 and Mitch still does this for me. He shores me up. He tells me I’m great, fantastic, wonderful when I am. He tells me how to adjust and improve when I am not. Then we feel good while he tells me I am great, fantastic, amazing all over again. He never leaves me floundering in a state of uncertainty, he tells me every time I am right, and when I am not he tells me how to do it differently so that I can be right again. He does all of this from the perspective of someone who understands step by step learning. He solidifies my accomplishments at every step in the road. He asks for more but not for too much. He never withheld his compliments until I succeeded at singing in operatic tones when I was still struggling with folk music. Instead, he complimented every improvement I made in the direction of greater control and vocal range.

Mitch builds my confidence so that I can become and do what I want to become and do. He never tries to make me into anything other than what I ask to be. We collaborate often because we are equals. Even as each of us has our own expertise.

This simple rhythm is the recipe for leadership.

Teaching, parenting, governing, influencing anyone to become more of what they want to be requires trusting that what they choose for themself is what they should become. It requires stepping into the supporter position. It requires pointing them in the right direction, standing in the way of failure and giving them the companionship with which to practice. It does not require pushing. It requires that you stay on pitch and in key with a beautiful tone so that you might use your voice to stir emotions, rejuvenate, and inspire.

If you don’t understand how, perhaps Mitch Kaplan can teach you to sing.

 

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Choosing a Counselor

The weather is changing, family-oriented holidays are around the corner, our atmosphere and environment are charged with an assumption of happiness and supportive gatherings.

 

Yet for far too many this time of year, infused as it is with manipulative marketing campaigns and shifting weather patterns, can exacerbate or even create exactly the opposite feelings in generally comfortable people.

 

It can be even far worse for people who struggle at the best of times.

 

Truth be told, where my promise to clients of free phone calls and emails for life is concerned, this is my busiest time of the year. Also, where emergency appointments for clients and their close friends or family is concerned, again, this is my busiest time.

 

For those of you who are not my clients (or their close friends and family) and who are without a trustworthy and helpful therapist or counselor to call when things take a shift for the worse, I would like to offer a few tips for finding that perfect counselor. One who will help you not need them but also be available when you require a tune-up.

 

I suggest:

 

1) Pick a counselor that believes in firing their clients because they have grown healthy.

 

2) Go to a counselor for the purpose of becoming healthy, NOT for the purpose of coping or venting or being validated in your suffering.

 

3) Know that feeling better is better but that you need a little help in understanding how to do that.

 

4) NEVER see a counselor you do not like.

 

5) Imagine yourself happy, healthy and enjoying life. Make it believable by putting it in a context that matches you. If you are a waitress, imagine yourself as a happy comfortable waitress; not a movie star.

 

6) Choose a counselor you can afford.

 

7) Decide in advance how many sessions you will need. This can be revamped, but without believing in an endpoint you may never choose to be well.

 

I retired a few years ago from accepting new clients, but if you are struggling and want to reach out for a consult, don’t hesitate to use my contact info. Message me on social media or email me here: crazy2sane@gmail.com

 

Though I’m not accepting new clients, I always take time to help people.

 

This season is filled with joy for many.

I’d love for that to be true for you.

We all have a right and the ability to own that joy.

 

~Lynette

Dr. Lynette Louise,  “The Brain Broad”

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Five Reasons You Should Spend Five Days at our Neurofeedback & Nutrition Retreat this October: Change Your Mindset To Change Your Life with Dr. Lynette Louise (The Brain Broad), Dianne Kosto, and Dana James

Apparently, I like the number five when inspiring people to grow. For example, I have a show called Fix It In Five and I wrote Five Steps To Self Discovery in my new book Inspire Yourself To Greatness Change Your Brain Change the World. I even rewrote the number five in The Seven Senses of Leadership: The Brain Broad’s Guide To Leadership Sensibilities by shifting the normally believed in sensory system senses from five to seven. (When you tell people there are seven they automatically think of the number five.)

When it comes to numbers and being heard by the populace there is an actual science. Five, seven, nine, ten, and eleven top the list depending on the purpose of the list. Generally speaking, lower numbers are better in to-do/not-to-do and “why” lists, whereas higher numbers are better for accomplishments like the top ten charities, etc. For me, the number five seems most compelling because it implies enough work to make a difference and not so much work that you can’t remember all the steps or risk getting overwhelmed just reading the list. When it comes to “reasons why” this is even more true. Too few reasons won’t get me to reduce my bank account by more than a few dollars and too many reasons has an implied message that tells me I am super broken and need way more than five days for the fix (and, oh ya, the retreat is five days long).

What retreat you ask?

Why, the one in Mexico of course 🙂

My last five days this October will be spent rejuvenating brains and bodies at a beachfront luxury villa located in the exclusive neighborhood of Punta Mita on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Alongside Dianne Kosto (founder of SYMMETRY Neuro-Pathway Training) and Dana James (founder of the Archetype Diet), we’ll be using our expertise and passion to give you the tools and experiences needed to Change Your Mindset To Change Your Life. I invite you to join us. You see, to really become better, more you, happier, and healthier, your psychology AND your physiology must shift in unison. And THAT is easiest done away from home in a soothing environment.

Whether you are facing anxiety, burn-out, overwhelm, sleep problems, health issues or a few stubborn extra pounds; this experience will prove that changing the way you think really can change everything.
Enjoy accommodation in a luxury, beachfront villa in paradise.

So, here you go. Five Reasons You Should Spend Five Days at our Neurofeedback & Nutrition Retreat this October:

1- The price of the retreat is cheaper than the two QEEG tests and various sessions you will receive would be if you bought them individually. So if you have been wanting to test neurofeedback this is an amazing opportunity! Normally, to get neurofeedback the provider requires these tests AND a minimum number of pre-purchased sessions. This is a huge commitment for the person just deciding if the therapy is right for them.

2- An unfamiliar yet supportive environment removes the usual habit forming behavioral cues and allows you to dig deep and rewrite old beliefs that are causing barriers to your development. Having neurofeedback sessions at the same time enables you to balance your physiology and correct for minor functional issues that have been impeding your growth and challenging your focus. For example, for some people feeling stressed results in a type of targeting behavior that means the person will look for who to attack. Removing that stress without balancing the brain leaves them feeling frightened as if they were in a stranger’s body. People who are like this find it hard to enjoy relaxing. However, with both neurofeedback and a supportive environment – away from the usual triggers – relaxing becomes rejuvenating

3- As mentioned, change can be stressful. But with neurofeedback that stress is reduced. And then living in a state of comfort helps solidify the desired feelings and behaviors. Thus, being surrounded by balancing techniques and activities (beaches, boats, yoga, infra-red sauna, massage, etc) facilitates the changes while allowing you to eliminate the difficulties.

4- The setting is beautiful yet separate from the town. It is secure and operates like an oasis for you and the other participants to recreate themselves in. This, and the neurofeedback accompanied by teaching and testing, magnifies the possibilities and enables people to accomplish for themselves in five days what it would normally require months to do.

5– The participant list will remain small to allow for intimacy and full access to experts. Though intentional change is possible in large gatherings the potential for emotional damage is high. In smaller groups, we can assist you as you choose and even attain your own personal self-discovery goals. We have small groups in order to ensure your success.

Of course, there are many more than five reasons to join us. And many of those reasons will be of a more personalized nature. So I encourage you to imagine yourself there, check out our itinerary, the menu, the photos of the villa, and picture how you might personally benefit. What you may want to work on or examine.

Feel free to make your own list of all the reasons you should spend five days at our neurofeedback and nutrition retreat this October. May I offer a fun suggestion?

Make it a list of five. 😉

Visit: Change Your Mindset to Change Your Life

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Be Inspired & Leave Your Judgments at “The Door” – Always Listen To Your Children

Always listen to your children, even if they have a diagnosis, or rather, especially if they have a diagnosis.

 

A boy I work with was having a problem with tantrums. He wanted to stop yelling and hitting but couldn’t quite manage it. He told his mom he needed a “Tar-tis.” He begged her to have it built according to his specifications. Unlike most moms I know, she listened to his unusual request and rather than explaining that she couldn’t do it she figured out that she could. Then she did.

Once it was built whenever he felt a tantrum coming he would go inside and “time travel” to just before the feeling of anger began. He would exit the Tardis happy again. The Tardis worked!

For a while.

And then the anger began again.

He said that he realized something important. He said that since he was supposed to be a grownup he needed a door into the new adult world. He again begged his mom. She again listened and off we went to the hardware store.

This young man is multiply diagnosed with autism and Tourette’s. (He is also finally tic free but that is another story.) This young man takes no prescribed drugs though he ingests many supplements. This young man knows himself well. He uses the power of belief and imagination to manage his symptoms and heal.

He is brilliant and should be trusted. He is blessed with a mother who does just that. She is an inspirational woman dedicated to health and happiness. She honors his instincts and so he does too.

They have many more stories and problem-solving contraptions. This is just one quick snapshot into a beautiful story about a mother and a son I admire.

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Growing In And Out Of Autism

Originally written for and published on OpEdNews.com here: Growing In And Out Of Autism

 

I suppose this article will be seen as inflammatory but I just can’t keep what I am seeing a secret anymore.

 

 

To understand what I am about to share first you have to know a little about me. I raised 8 children, 6 were adopted and of those six 5 were labeled as challenged. As the spectrum of autism became more cohesive 4 of the 5 were considered autistic. In addition 2 of my grandsons also showed signs of autism and we – as a family – took immediate measures to change the story.

 

I learned and discovered a lot of things during those years. These learnings led to 6 of the 7 healing and growing off the spectrum. I then began working Internationally with a primary therapy called neurofeedback and an environmental approach for teaching through play.

 

Initially my clients were the hard cases no one could help primarily having tried everything else first. Many were dangerous, most were non-verbal and incontinent, all were extremely challenged. After a while word got out that I could ‘change the story’ with this unique cocktail of therapies and that I was willing to come to the home and teach the family what to do. I began speaking and sharing on facebook to keep up with the interest. I wrote a book to reach beyond myself and put up youtube. I began a podcast. I started chasing my PhD so that credibility would be scholastically extended and I could share what I knew.

 

With all this my net spread wider and more and more people with younger children, early in their diagnosis, found me. Something disturbing began to emerge.

 

I was being called into homes wherein a small issue of perhaps auditory processing or slower development or hyperactivity or imaginary friends were evident in the child. The rush for early diagnosis and the newness of the parents and the push for well behaved nursery school children all combined and led to diagnosis that in my opinion (I am NOT a diagnostician, just an experienced mom and clinician) created the disorder.

 

Let me give you some examples (names and areas changed to protect identity).

 

#1 Six Year Old Boy who has been doing ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) since he was 3. Upon meeting him he appears to avoid eye contact and be uncomfortable with new people. Within 10 minutes he is fully engaged and telling me about his past. He adores playing and has peculiar interests that one could attach to an intelligent curiousity of the world archeological past but is also willing to play and story tell in more traditional areans like Disney movies. When a game gets too tough he wants to quit, but when he is reassured that no one minds if he quits, he tries again. When his parents are pointing out his autism he displays it, and when they are going with my assessment so does he. I look at various reports and find one common element: In all testing he first appears neuro-typical and doesn’t display any symptoms until he is removed from a comfortable office setting and placed in a testing environment. At this point he shrinks and hides from the testers. Since this appears common they diagnose him as ASD. He begins three years of therapy. Over the next few years his ASD seems to emerge more and more. Two things happen. 1- they hire me 2- they move. The move helps immediately because (in my opinion) they don’t have the necessary resources to maintain his vigilant reinforcement of spectrum behavior. 2- I see with fresh eyes. I add neurofeedback which helps to break behavioral patterns quickly and suggest they DON’T put him in special ed but instead hold him back a year in kindergarten. He flourishes.

 

#2 Eight Year Old Boy who comes with a warning that he doesn’t talk to people, look in eyes or play ‘normally’.  The schools are having a hard time with him and he is being ‘programmed for’ as in sent to a variety of therapies like speech therapy and sensory integration while they await the final diagnosis. He has been prescribed risperidone for hyperactivity and outbursts and trasidome for sleep but hasn’t yet taken any. The moment I meet him I am playful and he shys away so I jump back in the car and model that I will NOT make him do anything. I mention that he is handsome in an offhanded way. He hovers around me and peeks up at my eyes. I say ‘thanks’. I then spend two days with him and he behaves in a neuro-typical boyish way the entire time as long as I don’t act as if I am going to control his body. I do not do neurofeedback on him for a variety of reasons. He sleeps fine and plays well. He is a little starved for attention but even that levels out. I suggest the family give him loads of control and move him out of the program that is making him anxious every morning for school. They say he cries and screams every morning before going. I suggest making a school spot at home and saying you don’t have to go to school but the law says you have to be ‘doing school’ so sit here till three or go … its up to you. I know this will work. I have absolutely no doubt. The family is yet to try it. They are not my clients so I have less of an influence and they may end up using the drugs instead.

 

#3 She is eleven. Intervention began for her at 22 months. She has many many tapes wherein she speaks clearly at the table. She is a mess. In the past year she began pulling hair and biting and refusing to leave her closet. She didn’t want me to join her in her closet so I made a closet extension with a big refridgerator box. I gathered her spit (which she ruthlessly aimed at my face) into a small tube I found in her playthings and told her that when it was full we would be friends. She stopped spitting and smiled. I spent a lot of time promising not to force and explaining why I thought we could help each other. She let me begin neurofeedback (put a sensor on her head and watch her EEG while giving a video display of her brain activity) as long as I didn’t make her look at it. She laid her head out of the closet and onto my lap. This young woman was definitely disturbed, definitely different, definitely uncomfortable but not very ASD. In fact, by the end of three days we were best friends and she seemed totally neurotypical when in the comfort of her room and only my presence. Fortunately there were nanny cameras set up so I was able to convince the family that she may have been misdiagnosed.

 

#4 Closer to home and on the other side of the story: My grandson began turning his head away from eye contact and twisting out of anyones arms but his mothers (or mine as long as I was on the trampoline or dancing) around 5 months of age. He had intense meltdowns and threw up whenever he was upset by anything visual or a bad smell. His sounds became guttural and he seldom slept. Our family devised a ‘pass him around playfully engaging eye contact and speech for hours upon end’ program. He eventually reversed each symptom (though things like vomiting and needing long rests after periods of social engagement took years) though he still plays wayyyy too much xbox. We did intervene early but not with a diagnosis ABA approach. At present he is an A student has friends and is much loved.

 

#5 Again closer to home and on a similar other side of the story: Another grandson was still not talking at age four. He walked on his toes, tapped the top of his lip and stared at trains (especially Thomas). He was naked whenever possible and played alone for large periods of time. His baby brother had showed signs of autism and we had thus realized that they were both in need.  We used a sign language super fun around the face and highlighting eye contact approach with this one. He began to talk. His other symptoms were slower to help and he had enuresis till age 8. One of my favorite memories of this child was my daughter driving around and around the school while he sat naked in the back seat covering himself with a towel. She would say ‘Are you ready yet?’ and eventually he would say ‘yes’ put on his cloths and go to school. When she would pick him up at the end of the day he would get in the car take his cloths off under the towel and breath a sigh of relief. He had handled school and held it together all day. It was time to relax. This was our very accepting, playfull early intervention program. For attention and bedwetting we used neurofeedback. He had some difficulty focusing and was a low scorer for the first years but he caught up and is now just cool different and very loved. He is a little like a true thespian; on the edges and happy there.

 

 

So, what’s the point?

In the past years the rising numbers for those on the spectrum of autism have made ‘autism’ a buzz word of terror for parents. Blame is thrown everywhere and responsibility for healing is dodged at every trun. In the past few months parents have been successfully and unsuccessfully killing their autistic children and themselves out of desperation and a desire for mutual freedom. Recently studies have shown that autism can be detected at an early age via the EEG and that with the right encouragement children can grow out of autism. Thus social sharing has dragged autism into the limelight and parents have been told to seek early intervention as if there is no harm done when intervening early but harm done when the problem is ignored. The primary school sanctioned approach is called ABA and it comes in all shapes and sizes.

 

The concept seems sound BUT early intervention is NOT harmless.

 

In the stories I have shared with you it was early intervention that took an existing issue and caused it to either grow in or out of autism. In the stories I shared wherein the ‘system’ intervened, the early intervention that is primarily used reinforced the problems and asked the child to ‘sit still, hands quiet, head up, at an age when this is innapropriate. Early intervention also reinforced the learning problem by rewarding the child and giving them breaks within which to behave abnormally, while data was jotted down and evidence of learning tracked. In addition ‘talking’ about the child’s difficulties as if they are written in stone and need to be ‘trained’ away reinforced their low self-esteem and desire to hide.

 

What’s worse most of the people performing this work and seeking help for their children are being prescribed drugs to deal with the stress instead of methods that make the journey fun.

 

Years ago we let children be themselves and asked them to step up and learn some stuff then do their chores. We worked together as families, used our instincts and loved our children through. I don’t like what I am seeing. Having a child on the spectrum is hard, but lovingly doable as long as we weren’t complicit in creating the problem.

 

But when we know it’s our fault we hide our eyes and teach them to go deeper within. When you reach for early intervention make sure it mirrors that phase of a child’s life. If they are two, three, four, five, six it needs to look like play.

 

 

Welcome to my Brainy Lady blog! This is where I get to take off the doctor’s coat (it's not mine--yet), tie it around my waist and share autism tips, surprising brain science, funny personal stories and painful doctorate program homework complaints… okay, maybe I'll avoid that last one. Regardless, I hope to offer insights and invite the same while enjoying a cup of coffee with the autism, neuroscience, psycophysiology, parenting, spiritual, thinking, comedic, curious community! If that leaves you out, I'm sorry and suggest you try on one of the many hats. One is bound to fit!

Advocates and Activists: Recognize, Become, and Choose Effective Leaders with Lessons from Mental Health Expert, The Brain Broad (Press Release)

Lynette Louise (“The Brain Broad”) Is Returning To Speak At The Annual Leadership Summit America

*Lynette Louise has been working effectively as an advocate (for victims of abuse, homelessness, and disabilities) for over thirty years. Around the world she has helped build passionate teams of educators, taught families necessary skills for raising the bar and growing more successful, and even opened up her own home as a place of Leadership, love, and learning. Anyone interested in building an influential team that gives power to their activism or advocacy will want to learn with Lynette!*

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Back by popular demand, renowned international brain change expert Lynette Louise (“The Brain Broad”) will be speaking at the Annual Leadership Summit America – Albany, November 2-3rd 2017 at the DESMOND Hotel and Conference Center. On an impressive roster with fellow Leadership Influencers – Jeff Hoffman, Sharon Burstein, Forbes Riley, Frank Shankwitz, and Marilyn Suey – The Brain Broad will be showing attendees how to harness their Leadership Senses in pursuit of better Leaders and Leadership Skills.

The Seven Leadership Sensibilities (as described in the book The Seven Senses Of Leadership: The Brain Broad’s Guide to Leadership Sensibilities by Lynette Louise) are Seeing, Hearing, Tasting, Smelling, Feeling, Balancing, and Leading. Lynette is skilled at teaching the science of the senses with passion and easily remembered metaphors, and then taking us several steps further into creating, enhancing, and building our own skills with this new surprisingly fascinating knowledge.

Neuro-diversity, disability, and mental health advocates will particularly appreciate Lynette’s inclusive presentation! As an international expert and hands-on clinician, The Brain Broad gives neuro-diversity, behavior, ability, and more an important role. Also, Lynette is hosting a no-cost gathering for folks interested in learning more about Leadership and Neuro-Diversity, or brain health and disability, on the Friday at the finish of the summit.

A Tiny Taste Of What Lynette Teaches:

1) SEEING leads to believing and believing leads to seeing: they work together and build upon each other. It is the act of believing (or expecting) that causes your brain to choose what bits and pieces, out of the landscape of possibilities in front of you, that you will perSEEv .

2) People choose their leaders out of fear and love. The SMELL OF SUCCESS in a leader can be thrown out there like a chemical pheromone; a pheromone of love or a pheromone of hate. Lynette shows you how to control your pheromone production through intention, helping you produce the ODOR OF ADORE. You must have the ODOR OF ADORE – not just to get adoration, but to give it. It’s a mutual feedback loop of chemical reception.

3) LEADERS choose strength and set their followers free. In fact, they insist upon it. Leaders Lead and then let go in order to grow. They are always on the move. And every time they step forward, they leave an empty space behind in their wake that somebody else must step into and fill.

BRAIN BROAD TIP: “A Natural Leader naturally knows how to build herself using the world around her and the raw material of her personage. A Learned Leader learns to do the same. In the end, you can’t tell one from the other. So learn. Learn how to Lead and how to not be misLed .”

This is only a small sample of the many fascinating and effective Leadership Sensibilities Lynette Louise will help attendees understand and employ at November’s Annual Leadership Summit America – Albany. And Lynette is merely one of the speakers that will be sharing valuable knowledge!

BONUS: Lynette will host a special no-cost gathering for Q&A on the brain after the summit has ended on Friday. Simply email her with your name and intention to attend. (Scroll down for contact info.)

Whether learning to lead is your motivation, or choosing better leaders – or both! – be sure to attend this powerful event.

Lynette Louise is available for interviews.

*Lynette Louise began her career in Leadership at the age of seven when she gave a sermon at her local church about the dangers of prejudice. Sadly, after her passionate sermon, prejudice still existed. So, armed with vision and overflowing with ideas, Lynette spent a lifetime studying human behavior with the specific purpose of becoming an ethical influential Leader. Now she works tirelessly to share that lifetime of learning with others through storytelling. Films, books, performances, articles, and events large and small have been honored by the spirit of that seven-year-old who continues to change the world.*

Register or learn more about the Annual Leadership Summit America – Albany here: http://www.sharonburstein.com/leadership-summit/

Purchase The Seven Senses of Leadership: The Brain Broad’s Guide to Leadership Sensibilities here: http://www.lynettelouise.com/book/
Contact – Lynette Louise, D.Sc., Ph.D. ABD, Doubly Board Certified in Neurofeedback
www.lynettelouise.com/ www.brainbody.net / EMAIL: mom4evermore@juno.com

PHONE: 713-213-7682

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