In this episode, Dr. Hackie Reitman speaks with 7 amazing people from the world of neurodiversity- parents, employers, educators, and authors – as they tell us how they found their inspirations to make change in the lives of those of us with Different Brains.
Featured in this episode:[01:21] Michael Bernick, the former director of California’s labor department, author of the book “The Autism Job Club,” and board member of AASCEND [03:23] Susan Kahn, educator and author of the “Sue’s Strategies” series. [04:41] Catherine Pascuas, host of The Autism Show Podcast and author of The Autism Activities Handbook. [05:57] Cassandra Dunn, author of “The Art of Adapting.” Her personal site can be seen here. [08:28] Sarah Collins, founder of Autism CAER. [10:14] Thomas D’Eri, COO and co-founder of Rising Tide Car Wash. [12:19] Karen Bowersox of Downs Designs Dreams and NBZ Jeans.
CLICK ON THE ABOVE NAMES TO SEE THEIR FULL INTERVIEWS ON EXPLORING DIFFERENT BRAINS
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This video is owned by Different Brains Inc, kindly donated by it’s original producer PCE Media LLC.
Different Brains® Inc. founder Harold “Hackie” Reitman, M.D. is an author, filmmaker, retired orthopedic surgeon, former professional heavyweight boxer, the past chairman and president (and current board member) of The Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County, and a neurodiversity advocate. However, it was his role as a father that led to the creation of the DifferentBrains.org website.
Hackie’s daughter Rebecca grew up with epilepsy, 23 vascular brains tumors, and underwent 2 brain surgeries before the age of 5. Her struggles and recovery put him on the road to, through 26 professional heavyweight boxing matches, raising money for children’s charities (to which he donated every fight purse).
Rebecca eventually went on to graduate from Georgia Tech with a degree in Discrete Mathematics, and Dr. Reitman wrote and produced a film based on her experiences there (The Square Root of 2, starring Darby Stanchfield of ABC’s Scandal). After graduation, Rebecca received a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome. Hackie, shocked at his own ignorance of the topic despite being an M.D., embarked on years of research that culminated with his book Aspertools: The Practical Guide for Understanding and Embracing Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Neurodiversity (released by HCI books, publishers of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series).
This experience revealed to Hackie the interconnectedness of the conditions that fall under the neurodiversity umbrella, while alerting him to the in-fighting and fractured relations that often plague the organizations tasked with serving the community. Convinced that overcoming these schisms could help all of society, Hackie forged the Different Brains philosophy of inclusive advocacy: “Supporting Neurodiversity – From Autism to Alzheimer’s and All Brains In Between”.
In the company’s initial years of operation, Hackie self-financed all of the content on DifferentBrains.org, all of which offered free to view to the public. Currently he is the host of our weekly interview show Exploring Different Brains, writes blogs for the site, and tours the country speaking at conferences, conventions and private functions, all with the goal of improving the lives of neurodiverse individuals and their families, and maximizing the potential of those with different brains. Separate from Different Brains, Hackie is the founder and CEO of PCE Media, a media production company focusing on reality based content. He recently co-executive produced the documentary “Foreman”, the definitive feature documentary on legendary boxer and pitchman George Foreman.