Ep 93: Learning Outside the Lines in College with Neurodivergent Advocates Ryan Neale & Jonathan Mooney

Ep 93: Learning Outside the Lines in College with Neurodivergent Advocates Ryan Neale & Jonathan Mooney

I’m honored to bring you this special part two with dyslexic writer, award winning author, entrepreneur and activist Jonathan Mooney, this time interviewed by my neurodivergent college freshman son, Ryan Neale.

If you haven’t yet listened to part one for a full exploration of Jonathan’s E.P.I.C. life journey, I encourage you to go to that episode next. This episode, inspired by part one, was Ryan’s opportunity, just before he left for college, to ask Jonathan for wisdom and guidance about how to flourish at a university while being neurodivergent. What unfolded was that and so much more.

In this episode, I passed the microphone completely to Ryan, sat back and listened to him and Jonathan uncover how we can all learn and live outside the lines and stop faking normal. I invite you to listen to this conversation with the same sense of curiosity and trust. I hope you will arrive at the end as Ryan, Jonathan and I all did, personally transformed by the experience.  

About Jonathan Mooney:

Jonathan Mooney is a dyslexic writer and activist who did not learn to read until he was 12 years old.

He is a graduate of Brown University and holds an honors degree in English Literature. At Brown, he became the co-founder of Project Eye-To-Eye, a widely duplicated mentoring program for disabled students. He is also a winner of the prestigious Truman Scholarship for graduate studies in creative writing and education and was a national finalist for the Rhodes scholarship.

Jonathan Mooney’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, HBO, NPR, ABC News, New York Magazine, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. A nationally recognized advocate for neurological and physical diversity, he’s been speaking across the nation about neurological and physical diversity for two decades, inspiring those who live with differences and calling for change.

He has published three books: The Short Bus, Learning Outside the Lines, and Normal Sucks.

Connect with Jonathan:

Jonathan’s Books Mentioned in this Episode:

About Ryan Neale:

Ryan Neale is a neurodivergent UCLA Freshman from San Mateo, California. His parents discovered he was differently wired when he was 18 months old but he has been in mainstream education for his academic career, with most people around him not knowing about some of the struggles that he faces.

His experiences masking his neuro differences have given him a unique perspective on many of the struggles neurodiverse people face, such as public stigma, internalized ableism, and the ever-present desire to fit in. As he has begun advocating more for his needs, he has high hopes to use his perspective and communication skills to increase public understanding of neurodiversity, and hopefully create a more inclusive society for everyone.

In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, coaching youth sports, roughhousing with his little brother, and diving headfirst into his many fantasy special interests. He is thrilled to have participated in the 2022 Stanford Neurodiversity Summit on a K-12 student panel. You can listen to the panel here.

Read Ryan’s journey to “I got in!” – This Magic Moment – New UCLA Students Journeys to Acceptance

Connect with Ryan: 

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • How Ryan got introduced to Jonathan and his book Normal Sucks 
  • Jonathan’s invitation to Ryan to lean into his “badassness” 
  • How Jonathan transcended the obstacles in his path as a neurodivergent young adult with ADHD and dyslexia on his way to Brown College
  • The biggest barrier for Jonathan on his path: the internalized messages that he was stupid, lazy, crazy
  • The key question Jonathan says we should be asking instead of “how smart are you?”
  • How and why an F on an English final became an inflection point for Jonathan in his advocacy journey  
  • How neurodiverse students can survive and thrive in a flawed system   
  • The importance of meta-cognition
  • Why we should reframe our language from “diagnosis” to “assessment” that identifies both the challenges and strengths of being neurodiverse.
  • The importance of seeking out people in your life that can help you build self-knowledge and find the good in you
  • What Ryan and Jonathan think Batman has to teach neurodiverse students
  • The negative impact of trying to pass or mask as “normal” and what helped Jonathan move from shame to pride in his own journey   
  • Jonathan’s message to “find your crew” and do something to contribute and make the world better
  • The commitment Ryan is making as he embarks on his college journey

Resources and Topics Mentioned:

www.thrively.com 

Related Podcast Episodes: Listen to these Next

This Episode’s Challenge: 

Jonathan challenges us to not ask yourself, “are you going to be successful?” but instead,  to hold yourself accountable to be successful in the right way. 

He wants us to stop hiding and be out and proud of our differences that make us special. This way, we can give to the community with purpose, pride, and passion.

This Episode is dedicated by Cindy McCormick:

Some people are lucky enough to have a career doing EXACTLY what they were born to do – Cindy is one of them. She loves running Cindy McCormick College Advising (CMCA,) but more importantly, she thrives on guiding high school students along their paths to college. She received her B.A., teaching credential, and Masters in Education from UCLA; instructional writing certification from UC Santa Barbara; and college counseling certificate from UC San Diego. With the highest standards in education, training, and ethics, she believes in getting to know her students thoroughly while relentlessly researching schools to ultimately guide kids to their best fit college homes.

Before college advising, Cindy taught school in both Westchester County, NY and Southern California, and then specialized as a college application and essay writing instructor. She also served as a PTA President and a team manager of a global top-ranked STEM student team for ten years.  

As a mother of five children, Gifted And Talented educator, autism specialist, and Spanish bilingual instructor, Cindy embraces diverse abilities, perspectives and backgrounds. Her wide variety of experiences allow her to bond with all kinds of teenage personalities and interests; she delights in getting to know each student, motivating and coaching them, and ultimately customizing their unique college plans.

In her downtime, she loves spending time with her family of 6 men, running marathons in beautiful places, and cuddling her Goldendoodle, Ollie.

Connect with Cindy: 

Announcements:

Our Fall Virtual Milestone Hike Is Here!

Ready to press pause and set YOUR course for an intentional new school year?

Our kids have had new beginnings… now it’s time for us!

Sign up today for the fall Mother’s Quest Virtual Milestone Hike and a powerful interactive experience like none other.

Intrigued? Check out the links below for more info and to register for one of two upcoming dates: 

Tuesday Sept 27 – https://mailchi.mp/mothersquest/septvirtualhike22 

Saturday Oct. 1st – https://mailchi.mp/mothersquest/octvirtualhike22 

It’s Pay from the Heart to make it accessible to anyone who wants to come. Hope to see you there!

P.S. Have a friend who would like to join? Invite them along. Always better to hike with a friend

Mother’s Quest Circle: Next Chapter Edition

Registration is now open for the Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle!

I’m facilitating a Mother’s Quest Virtual Circle in November for moms like me who have children going off to their next chapter (whether that is college, trade school, travel or the workforce) 

Our children’s next chapter is a window of opportunity for us to invest in ourselves in new ways. Doing it in community with like-minded mothers is always powerful.

Click here to register https://mothersquest.com/virtualcircle-nextchapter/

Much appreciation,

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, Engaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

Episode #5: Live your E.P.I.C. Life to Help Your Children Thrive
Throwback Thursday: The Healer Lies Within through Ayurveda with Avanti Kumar Singh

Throwback Thursday: The Healer Lies Within through Ayurveda with Avanti Kumar Singh

“Each of us has that innate ability to attain and maintain our own optimal health – the real healer lies within.” — Avanti Kumar Singh

Touching on each E.P.I.C guidepost on this Throwback Thursday episode, Avanti shares how Ayurveda can become a powerful lens for living a healthy, reflective life, one where we open our minds, and tap into our own ability to provide counter-balance to the things that are troubling us and support our own healing. Within that frame, we touched on so many topics, from Ayurveda and parenting to menopause, intermittent fasting and how to support our children as they transition to college and beyond.

Avanti gives us a challenge to explore our daily routines, identify any trouble spots and then apply the teachings of Ayurveda to craft our own remedies.

This month in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, we’re focused on the big transitions under way for our children and ourselves during this back to school season. To join the group and the conversation, visit www.mothersquest.com/community.

Much appreciation,

Full Episode Show Notes

Check out the full show notes from the original episode here: Ep 59: The Healer Lies Within through Ayurveda with Avanti Kumar Singh

 

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, Engaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

Episode #5: Live your E.P.I.C. Life to Help Your Children Thrive
Throwback Thursday: Talking about Boys and Sex with Peggy Orenstein

Throwback Thursday: Talking about Boys and Sex with Peggy Orenstein

This month in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group, we’re focused on the big transitions under way for our children and ourselves during this back to school season. To join the group and the conversation, visit www.mothersquest.com/community.

This topic feels especially important for me this year, because in just one week, we pack up our car to drive our son Ryan to LA to start his college freshman experience. 

As the day gets closer, we find ourselves savoring the moments, creating extra quality family time, and making space for conversations about all the things that matter.

I found myself returning to the messages and inspiration of this conversation with best-selling author of Boys and Sex, Peggy Orenstein and thought you might need it too. Whether you have a boy just entering adolescence or off to college, I hope this episode provides perspective and support to open, and continue having honest conversations, to help your boys navigate the terrain of young male sexuality in today’s world.  

 

Much appreciation,

Full Episode Show Notes

Check out the full show notes from the original episode here: Ep 71: Talking about Boys and Sex with Peggy Orenstein

 

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, Engaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

Episode #5: Live your E.P.I.C. Life to Help Your Children Thrive
Throwback Thursday: Back to School Milestone Hike: My Secret to Starting The School Year Well

Throwback Thursday: Back to School Milestone Hike: My Secret to Starting The School Year Well

This Throwback Thursday’s minisode is inspired by the photos, posts and stories from so many of you about your children’s new beginnings at the start of this school year.

Recorded a few years ago, it outlines my secret to a powerful start that we can share with our children…an experience called a “Milestone Hike” that I’ve done in person and now virtually for many years.

In this Minisode I Talk About:

  • How/when I learned about the importance of ending well to begin well at the youth development organization Alternatives in Action 
  • The transformative Milestone Hike Experience I had on my 40th birthday
  • How I’ve used the same components of that hike to acknowledge milestones with my son Ryan (we even recorded a podcast episode about one on his 13th birthday!) including Back to School Milestone Hikes
  • The ways I have taken that experience to create signature Mother’s Quest opportunities for reflection

Hope this supports you or a mother preparing for Back to School in your life! 

Also, I’d love to hear from YOU: What are your Back to School Rituals that help you start the year well? Please join us in the Mother’s Quest Facebook Group to share or email me at julie@mothersquest.com

Much appreciation,

Listen to my episode with Ryan that we recorded after our Milestone Hike on his 13th birthday. He has grown and changed so much since then and will be starting college in just a few weeks. I’m so glad we have this almost like a time capsule of that period in his life. 

http://mothersquest.com/ep-18-yolo-you-only-live-once-and-other-milestone-reflections-with-ryan-neale/

Fall 2022 Spark Your E.P.I.C. Year Virtual Hike – Two Dates!

If you’d like to go on a reflective milestone hike (virtually!) with me and others from the Mother’s Quest Community by your side, we’ve opened up registration for the Fall Spark Your E.P.I.C. Year Virtual Hike. Choose from two dates:  


You can sign up here for Thursday, Sept 29th from Noon – 1:30 pm PST: https://mailchi.mp/mothersquest/septvirtualhike22

You can sign up here for Saturday, Oct 1st from 10 – 12:30 pm PSt: https://mailchi.mp/mothersquest/octvirtualhike22

Full Episode Show Notes

Check out the full show notes from the original episode here: Back to School Milestone Hike: My Secret to Starting The School Year Well

 

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, Engaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/

Episode #5: Live your E.P.I.C. Life to Help Your Children Thrive
Ep 92: Showing Up with Shameless Mom Academy’s Sara Dean

Ep 92: Showing Up with Shameless Mom Academy’s Sara Dean

Today’s show with keynote speaker, business and leadership coach and Step into Your Moxie® facilitator Sara Dean, was five years in the making and worth the wait!

Sara is the creator and host of the Shameless Mom Academy Podcast, a top rated podcast with over 600 episodes and 5 million downloads.  As you’ll hear her share in this conversation, Sara’s biggest passion is helping women own their space.  After enduring her own identity crisis following the birth of her son, Sara took her background in psychology/health/wellness and rebuilt her identity, one step at a time.  

Today, Sara motivates and inspires women to stop shrinking and start shining and she’s been stretching herself to do the same, moving beyond her podcast microphone and onto new stages, including speaking for Amazon, the City of Seattle, Charles Schwab, Inspired Mama, WE Ignite, Alt Summit, and She Podcasts Live to name a few. 

Sara’s ability to show up,  with a  “sticktoitiveness” she says is in her DNA, enables her to achieve incredible things, like training for the triathlon she is in the midst of now. What I so appreciate about where Sara is on her journey, is her intention to move beyond the doing for doing sake to a thoughtfulness about what matters most and why, a shift she opens up about. 

I hope this conversation, and the challenge Sara offers us to cut the crap and calm the chaos, inspires us to show up as Sara does, with humility and bravery, honesty and humor, and as she says, shameless #everydamnday.

 

About Sara:

Sara Dean is a keynote speaker, a business and leadership coach, and a Step into Your Moxie® facilitator.  She is also the creator and host of the Shameless Mom Academy Podcast, a top rated podcast with 5 million downloads.  Sara’s biggest passion is helping women own their space.  After enduring her own identity crisis following the birth of her son, Sara took her background in psychology/health/ wellness and rebuilt her identity, one step at a time.  Sara motivates and inspires women to stop shrinking and start shining #everydamnday.  

Sara has spoken for Amazon, the City of Seattle, Charles Schwab, Inspired Mama, WE Ignite, Alt Summit, and She Podcasts Live.  She has been featured on the Dr Phil Show.  

When she’s not supporting Shameless Moms, you’ll find Sara with her husband and 10 year old son – trying to keep up on video game jargon and baseball stats.

 

Connect with Sara:

 

Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • The social media post Sara shared five years ago that made me want to meet her at our first podcasting conference! 
  • The impact on Sara of being raised by her mother who was a nun for 16 years 
  • The power of routine and the need for flexibility
  • Why showing up is in Sara’s DNA
  • How to “qualify yourself” so you can sit at any table and add value   
  • How Sara is moving out of her comfort zone to have more impact 
  • Using rejection as fuel to keep going 
  • Sara’s simple self-care tip for investing in herself 
  • Going back to what makes us feel reconnected with ourselves 
  • The power of finding  your people in the same place and time as you 
  • What it means to Sara to be a “Shameless Mom”

 

Resources and Topics Mentioned

You Might Also Want To Listen to My Interview with Sara On Her Podcast: https://shamelessmom.com/episode/julie-neale-and-caren-lettiere-sisters-making-magic-in-e-p-i-c-ways/

 

This Episode’s Challenge:

Calm your chaos and let go of your crap. Sara wants you to think of what you really need right now, and how you can let go of extraneous junk in order to get what you want out of the season you’re in.

Join us at Sara’s free online workshop entitled, “How to Calm Your Chaos and Let Go of Your Crap”. You can register at shamelssmom.com/calm and let her know Mother’s Quest sent you. Happening on September 13, 4pm pacific time (7pm eastern time) and September 14, 10 am pacific time (1pm eastern time).

Sara invites you to reevaluate how you’re spending your time and energy, give yourself permission to create a schedule and systems you love, invest in relationships that give you life, stop over giving and stop overlooking your own needs. We hope to see you there!

 

This Episode is dedicated by Nikita Burks-Hale:

Nikita Burks-Hale (she/her) is the CEO and Chief Coloring Officer at Headphones and Crayons, a space for amplifying voice, sound, and color. As an Alignment Coach, she journeys and supports creatives, podcasters, and entrepreneurs as they create podcasts and launch new business initiatives that feel good without losing themselves in the process. As a Coloring Practitioner, Nikita integrates connection, community building, dialogue, and healing, all through the art of coloring.

Nikita is a journeyer in every sense of the word and truly believes that life is a journey and you must be open to its endless possibilities. Her coaching and personal beliefs are centered around living your imperfect journey to the FULLest by:

  • Showing Up
  • Being Vulnerable
  • Practicing Grace and Gratitude
  • Be A Bada**
  • And Enjoying the Ride

When she is not coaching, podcasting, aligning, or coloring, you can find her watching the latest Disney movies with her wife Jessica and her two young kids, Adonis and Remy.

Connect with Nikita:

 

Announcement:

Step into Your Moxie® Certification Training with Alexia (Lex) Vernon

Sara Dean and I are aligned in our commitment to using our voices and also to supporting fellow mothers to do the same. Another thing we share in common is mutual respect and appreciation for our speaker coach Lex Vernon.

A few years ago, I had the honor of interviewing Lex for the podcast and this fall, I’m excited to participate in a Step into Your Moxie® Certification Training  she is leading. I’m also a proud affiliate partner of Lex’s courses.

If you’re a coach, consultant or organizational leader looking for a proven system and training to help your clients find their voice and develop the confidence to use it, Lex and this training may be for you.

Follow the links below to learn more and to sign up for a free upcoming workshops Lex is leading and be sure to tell her Mother’s Quest sent you her way. If it ends up being the right fit, I look forward to learning alongside you at the Step Into Your Moxie training this fall. 


Step into Your Moxie® Certification Training
https://stepintoyourmoxie.com/certification/

Free Workshop: 4 Mistakes Coaches, Trainers, and Managers Make That Undermine People’s Speaking Success
https://stepintoyourmoxie.com/speaking-mistakes/

Hear my episode on the podcast with Lex here: http://mothersquest.com/tag/alexia-vernon/

**As an affiliate partner, Mother’s Quest will receive a commission if you participate in the training and list my name as a referral source on the Certification application. I only recommend people and programs that I believe wholeheartedly in, and Lex tops that list.

 

Mother’s Quest is a podcast for moms who are ready to live a truly E.P.I.C. life.

Join in for intimate conversations with a diverse group of inspiring mothers as they share how they are living an E.P.I.C. life, Engaging mindfully with their children (E), Passionately and Purposefully making a difference beyond their family (P), Investing in themselves (I), and Connecting to a strong support network (C).

Join our community of mothers to light the way and sustain you on your quest at https://www.facebook.com/groups/mothersquest/