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April 12, 2024 46 mins
Navigating social relationships can be a complex, nuanced journey for Autistic people, and the way it presents in day-to-day interactions and situations is incredibly diverse. In this episode, Patrick Casale and Dr. Megan Anna Neff, two AuDHD mental health professionals, discuss the complexities of friendship management for Autistic individuals, as well as explore the connection between relationships and common Autistic traits such as repetitive behavior, difficulty with flexibility, special interests that are intense or atypical, and sensory differences. Top 3 reasons to listen to the entire episode: Unpack the different ways in which autistic individuals experience and navigate social connections, finding out why that can differ so greatly from neurotypical expectations. Explore the challenges and distinct profiles of autistic social interactions, diving into the importance of understanding the role of social motivation and casing light on the often invisible energy it requires to maintain connections. Gain insight into the world of special interests and repetitive behaviors, showcased through the personal experiences of Patrick and Dr. Neff. As you journey through the intricacies of Autistic social interactions, take a moment to reflect on the unique ways in which people communicate and connect, perhaps finding a new understanding of your own social narrative. Resources: For this conversation, we are using Is This Autism By Dr. Donna Hendreson, Dr. Sarah Wayland, and Dr. Jamell White. You can find it here. But wait... The publisher is giving our listeners a special coupon during this series! Use Code: NDI24 to get 30% off and free shipping Valid through 6-Jul 2024 (must purchase using this link) We’ll be reading this book for our book club in June in the Neurodivergent Learning Nook. Learn more about our community here. DISCLAIMER: We're using the DSM-5 criteria as a framework for this conversation, but this is not our endorsement of the DSM. There have been a lot of very thoughtful critiques of the DSM in the last several years, including how autism is presented in the DSM as very deficit-based. We do not align with that view, but we did use that as a framework to walk through our experience of autism and to unpack the many ways that those criteria could show up in a person. This is our attempt to help demystify the process of diagnosis, which has historically been very obscure and hard to understand. —————————————————————————————————— 🎙️Listen to more episodes of the Divergent Conversations Podcast here 🎙️Spotify 🎙️Apple 🎙️YouTube Music ▶️ YouTube —————————————————————————————————— A Thanks to Our Sponsors: Freed & The Receptionist for iPad ✨ Freed: I would also like to thank Freed for sponsoring this episode. Being a clinician in today's medical or mental health care field can be so overstimulating. It can be so hard to focus on clients as well as take adequate notes. Freed.AI listens, transcribes, and writes medical documentation for you, written in your style and ready the moment the visit is over. No more overstimulation or letting things fall through the cracks. Freed is HIPAA compliant, secure, and takes less than 30 seconds to learn. More importantly, Freed supports your executive function skills, so you can get back to doing what you love — helping your clients. Go to and use code DCPOD for your first month free. ✨ The Receptionist for iPad: I would also like to thank The Receptionist for iPad for sponsoring this episode. The Receptionist offers an iPad list check-in option where clients can scan a QR code to check in, which negates the need for you to buy an iPad and stand. Go to and sign up for a free 14-day trial. When you do, you'll get your first month free. And don't forget to ask about our iPad list check-in option.
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