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On Autism and Our Brain: Interview with Dr. Robert Rose on Rewiring Your Brain

I just did my first radio interview on BlogTalkRadio with Dr. Robert Rose of Rewiring Your Brain. It was a great time, and I would like to thank Robert for inviting me on his show!

Being extremely nervous during the interview you will here a lot of my nervous giggling (sorry).  When I was done I was sweating because I walked in small little circles in my living room (very  much like Tantrum Tot does) during the entire one hour interview. The interview took place over the telephone and I did have difficulty knowing when it was my turn to speak, and had to constantly try not to cut Dr. Rose off or begin talking before he was finished with his sentences.  It definitely was good practice!

Dr. Rose is quiet insightful; I think you will all enjoy listening. 🙂

You can read Dr. Rose’s review of Twirling Naked in the Streets and No One Noticed HERE.




Listen to internet radio with REWIRING YOUR BRAIN on BlogTalkRadio

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.


  1. Re. nervous giggling, you have a nice warm laughter and voice, there is nothing to be apologise for in that regard.

    • Thank you. I am always giggling when I am nervous or making jokes that I am sure make no sense and leaving people raising their eyebrows. I just can’t help it!

      And when I went back and listened to the interview, I realized that I would not have recognized my own voice! How odd I sound to my own eyes like I was listening to someone else. I wonder if my voice really sounds like that to other people??

      • One’s voice always sounds totally different in recordings and on the phone compared to real life. I think that is a fact and not just subjective, because I have noticed that e.g. my husband has a different voice on the phone or on recordings. That goes for many others too. I do recognise my own voice in recordings, but only because I’ve heard it in recordings before and it is different the same way. It doesn’t at all sound like I think I sound:-)

        However, despite the difference there are some features that are dominating/recognisable across real life and recordings. E.g. you have a ‘full’ voice in a relatively medium-low pitch, whereas some women have very high pitched voices, which is stressing to listen to. (I may be biased in this area because I find many high pitched sounds painful)

        • I too, cannot handle high pitched sounds…very painful (especially on many cartoons and video games), and yes some people’s voice feel like you are taking a cheese grater to my brain while they speak.

          • The feeling sounds familiar, although I hadn’t visualised it as a cheese grater:-) but yes it feels like certain people’s voices tear through my head like physical destruction.

          • It isn’t all high pitched sounds that are painful. Whistles, toddlers screeching, high pitched laughter & talk, cash registres beeping, ATMs ‘remember your money’ beeps, some shop’s entry bells, MacDonald’s many notification beeps to their staff (a nightmare… I only do drive-in), trucks’ repetitive reverse gear beeps = painful.

            The dogs’ squeeky toys, birds’ singing (most), high pitched music (mostly… ehm except flutes), and soft high pitched sounds & voices at low to moderate volume = mostly OK.

  2. Thanks for sharing the interview! I didn’t get to listen to the whole interview, but I am curious to know what you think about “rewiring” the brain. In your adult experience, have you found that you have been able to adapt to navigating the social world through reading and learning about Aspergers and neurotypicals?

    • Absolutely! Although, admittedly I do not navigate the world the way a NT person does but life, learning, reading, and experience goes a long way in understand (or at least memorizing) what is acceptable and what is not. I do better if I stop trying to figure out the “why’s”, which is not easy for me because I want things to be logical and make sense.

      With time I think we can learn what to say, and what NOT to say in situationations, but again that is through rote memorization and life experiences rather than an innate ability to pick up on social cues, which is why I think it take ssooo much longer for us to catch up to our peers.

  3. That is so funny. I had very similar same experience in primary school to what you describe. I practically always knew the answers to the questions the teacher asked, and it took me a while to learn to raise my hand before answering. When I did, they rarely picked me and I was so frustrated and eager, it was like having explosions of energy inside and a closed lid on. The teacher would pick me only if every other kid they picked answered wrong. The explanation was the same as the one you was told: that they already knew that I knew the answer, and it did not make sense to me either: why would they ask kids who were unlikely to answer correctly, and not ask me who was highly likely to have the right answer?

    When I could no longer ignore the fact that I was systematically skipped, then I lost patience and just shouted the answers out when I wasn’t picked. I was sometimes told to stand outside the classroom during class so I didn’t interrupt, but then I quickly memorised the textbook pages and listened to the questions through the door, and then shouted the answers through the gap under the door. I didn’t feel I was being naughty. I was just extremely zealous about providing everybody with the correct answers:-)

    • This always drove me absolutely nuts!

      That is funny though–yelling the answers out under the door, I wish i would have thought of it!!!

      I am convinced that the reason they called on those who did not know the answer was simply to embarrass them. Like embarrassing a child who did not know the answer was going to somehow miraculously make them learn it, or make them WANT to learn the material! I rediculous practice.

      • I don’t think so. I do understand it now: giving the kids who are ‘most in need of learning’ a go gives an opportunity to correct the entire class. Many kids may be off track but do not have the courage to put the hand up. Just getting the correct answer doesn’t teach the kids anything. I presumed it was all about getting the correct answer (that was what they asked for!), but I can see now that it wasn’t. (but they could have explained that better!)

        I don’t presume teachers are out to harm kids (although a few may be)…

        • I don’t think they intentionally harm kids (although I have some doubts about some of my elementary school teachers LOL) Just that the system in which are “different” children are forced to learn in does not suit them. In fact, it does not suit ALL students but they want all students to fit into their mold. The truth is that many students who were excited to learn have that excitement snuffed out of them after only a few years of formal schooling…sad, but true.

          I for sure had the love of learning sapped right out of me, as did my own children….I see a pattern.

          • I agree with that. I think the ‘one mold fits all’ (not!) is particularly bad in Denmark due to the Scandinavian fondness of equal opportunities, which means to not move faster than the slowest individual in the pack… *sigh*.

            I also agree that too little challenge, and being asked to wait for the rest rather being challenged and encouraged on a relevant level, detracts from the love of learning and also from self .

            It had the impact on me that I became lazy. I was very disorganised, and figuring whether we had homework and getting my school books up at home for seemed like a logistical nightmare:-) Figuring which books I would need next day (to be put in the back) wasn’t on the agenda either. Then ad that I actually didn’t HAVE to do homework, I could quickly do it in the beginning of class (if I had the right books. That was also the point where I usually discovered that we we had homework, and what it was, anyway)… and it isn’t that hard to understand why it didn’t happen.

            My nonchalant attitude to homework didn’t create any major problems in all the early years of primary school, and I think most teachers assumed that I did homework at home because I quickly scribbled it in the start of the classes for which it was due. However, in the late years where I both skipped most classes + was half asleep & mentally absent most of the time when I did attend classes + didn’t do homework, I fell behind in subjects with a ladder-like learning structure such as math and any other subject where I couldn’t just intuitively catch up and get it within the first part of a single lesson.

            Later on again, discipline & organisation is an ongoing struggle. Grasping fascinating concepts intuitively is an easy & exciting shortcut, but it is important to also be trained to plan & execute boring development step by step over long time with a strategic long term goal in mind. I know kids don’t think like that, but I guess that is part of the point of going to school. When ‘forward’ kids are asked to wait for the rest without being challenged & encouraged at their relevant level, and without their forwardness being used as a positive resource, then they don’t get the motivation to learn to work hard and get through boring stuff to the satisfaction of having learned something that is really difficult! (for oneself… not just for others)

          • Hi again, do you mind deleting the second paragraph from my comment above? This one:

            “I also agree that too little challenge, and being asked to wait for the rest rather being challenged and encouraged on a relevant level, detracts from the love of learning and also from self .”

            (The content is already covered in the rest of the comment, and it cuts off in the end… Don’t remember how I planned to finish that sentence)

            Thanks in advance.

  4. The interview revealed & confirmed so many things. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences.

  5. Congratulations! I know what it’s like to have difficulty knowing “when it is my turn to speak!!” Great that you got “good practice”! So much is about practicing what we are learning!

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