Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard trained neuroanatomist, experienced a major left sided stroke in 1996. In this episode, she tells her story of resilience, perseverance, and the power of the connection and attention her mother bestowed on her. She gives us insight into her eight years of being differently abled, her inability to communicate like everyone else around her, and her feelings of vulnerability and vitality. Jill asks us to question the concept of “normal” and believes that to look at (and celebrate!) one’s abilities is powerful and essential. She speaks to all parents, healthcare workers and educators.
Dr. Taylor is Author of “My Stroke of Insight,” and “Whole Brain Living,” and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008. She is the Founder of Jill Bolte Taylor BRAINS, Inc, a not for profit organization.
“What does it mean to ‘Man Up’? It actually means to stand down, take a good look at the situation, and stand from a platform of humbleness. Stand from a platform where strength comes from saying, I actually don’t know it all. Maybe I had to have a special needs daughter to understand all of that.” —Damas Manderson
In this fifth episode of Wisdom Shared, we hear from a New Zealand father, husband and entrepreneur who gave up his career, country, and everything he knew for the opportunity to help his daughter and sustain his family. Damas Manderson’s daughter, now 17, was diagnosed at an early age with Cri du Chat (also known as 5p- syndrome), a rare genetic disorder. In this interview, Damas opens up about what he has learned while raising Kennedy Rose, whose condition includes a range of developmental challenges including autism, severe ADHD, aggressive behavior, lax ligaments, seizures, heart issues, and the possibility of sudden death. Damas describes his journey with conventional and unconventional therapies, navigating well-intended advice, religion and spirituality, and the power of vulnerability and kindness. His story is one of perseverance, hope, compassion, and love. All parents, healthcare professionals and teachers can learn from this father who shares his wisdom so generously.
Paria Hassouri admits to being blindsided when the child she gave birth to and called her son announced at 13 1/2 years old that she identified as a girl and wanted to be recognized and acknowledged as her mother’s daughter. In this episode, we explore the topic of gender identity and a parent’s journey from doubt to acceptance. Paria opens up about her personal transformation and how she learned who her daughter is from the inside out, realizing that the way forward is not to judge, but to listen; not to try and fix, but to connect and love.
Eleven years ago Mara Yale’s daughter, Mia, had a stroke at birth. In this episode, we hear how Mara’s research, advocacy, self-education, and curiosity informed her approach to parenting and contributed to her daughter’s remarkable recovery. Mara shares considerations that apply across the board for all kids, regardless of age, diagnosis, severity of injury, or track in development as well as information on both the unconventional and conventional therapies she chose for Mia.
A Mother Shares Her Journey Raising Her 20-Year-Old Daughter who was Diagnosed With Autism as a Young Child.
In this episode, Claude Winn shares her journey raising her twenty-year-old daughter, Maya, who was diagnosed at an early age as being on the autism spectrum. Claude talks about learning how best to support her extraordinary child; her explorations into alternative therapies; the advocacy needed to ensure Maya’s right to participate in activities available to so-called typical students; and the importance of trusting and caring for herself all throughout the process.
Anne Pratt, from Indianapolis, Indiana is an ABM practitioner and scientist whose 4 year-old son Charlie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 7 months old. Anne describes her experience with traditional and non-traditional approaches to Charlie’s individual needs, the challenges that her family faced, and how they found their current team of doctors, therapists, and support network. Anne also talks about her ongoing advocacy for Charlie, her own self-care, and offers wisdom to families with unique children. Her point of view is inspiring, informative, and deeply moving.