Edge Dwellers Cafe Podcast: Social understandings of autism and ADHD with Bec Flower

Dr Bec Flower, Lecturer and autism researcher in the Department of Psychology and Counselling at La Trobe University, joins us at the Edge Dwellers Cafe. Bec and Ben explore the social model of disability and how we apply this to understanding the lives of autistic people, in contrast to the medical/deficit model of disability that so often dehumanises and disempowers people on the spectrum. We discuss the barriers to the diagnostic process for adults and some of the issues that arise post-diagnosis, and examine the challenges that arise for neurodiverse students at university and explore some strategies for students navigating that journey. We conclude with a fascinating dive into music the role of music and movement in emotional regulation.

00:00:00  Introduction.

00:03:41  Bec’s career progression into autism research.

00:10:20  Co-creation of autism research with the autism community.

00:14:47  The social model of autism and the persistence of the deficit model.

00:18:25  Understanding the employment challenges for autistic people through the social model.

00:20:59  Autistic people as a ‘canary in the coalmine’ for socio-economic dysfunction.

00:24:01  Masking our sensitivity as a survival adaptation.

00:25:39  The ontological shift one goes through after adult diagnosis.

00:27:57  Difficulties in accessing reliable information on autism and ADHD.

00:32:40  Barriers to diagnosis and the difficulties of the diagnostic process.

00:42:50  Common challenges for neurodiverse students at university.

00:46:48  Strategies for assisting neurodiverse students with university study.

00:51:20  Navigating university bureaucracies as a student is intimidating.

00:53:28  Advice for neurodiverse students (and students who think they might be).

00:58:26  Work hacks for ADHD’ers.

01:06:35  Hard music and emotional regulation for the neurodivergent brain.

01:12:26  Dancing and embodied movement as therapy.

01:13:53  Deeply resonating with underground music with a social justice edge.

Show links

About Bec Flower

Dr Bec Flower (she/her) is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Counselling at La Trobe University. Bec’s research centres around equity of access to employment and mental health services for autistic adults. As a first in family graduate with ADHD, Bec has a passion for learning about how her research and teaching can be accessible.

Contact Bec Flower:  Email  |  LTU Staff Profile  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

About Ben Habib, host of Edge Dwellers Cafe

Ben@Earth  |  LTU staff profile  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |   YouTube  |  ORCiD 

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This podcast is broadcast from Naarm/Melbourne on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people. Edge Dwellers Cafe pays respect to their elders past, present and emerging.