Beacon College's "A World of Difference: The Podcast"
By A World of Difference
"A World of Difference" celebrates and supports families who are navigating the journey of learning differences. The show is produced by Beacon College (America's first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to educating students who learn differently). Episodes examine neurodiversity issues related to learning disabilities, ADHD, dyslexia, autistic spectrum disorders, and learning differences from birth through the baccalaureate years through compelling storytelling, conversations with experts, viewer Q&As, and interviews with successful/famous individuals with learning differences.
"A World of Difference," S2, E9 | "All in the (neurodiverse) Family"
It’s not unusual for parents to gaze at their kids and see little mirrors reflecting back. Children can inherit mom and dad’s eyes, hair color, freckles, and other physical traits. And if mom and dad’s brains are wired differently, time may reveal that their little ones also learn differently. Rearing children is tough enough, but when it’s all in the neurodiverse family, navigating the daily challenges of schoolwork and household tasks can prove extra challenging. Yet, while parents and children who learn differently may experience more trials in understanding each other and the world, these moms and dads may also be uniquely equipped to support youngsters with learning disabilities for having lived their shared experience. On this episode, you’ll meet a mom with learning differences who is walking the neurodiverse journey hand-in-hand with her neurodiverse son. Next, our panel of experts will share wise counsel and helpful tips for multi-generational neurodiverse families. Later, you’ll meet Avi, our latest “Difference Maker,” who turned the page on a writing-focused learning disability by cranking out scores of best-selling and award-winning children’s books.
June 22, 2022
"A World of Difference," S2, E8 | "Bolstering Executive Function for Kids who Learn Differently"
While not a learning disability, executive functioning issues are typical with people with attention issues and learning differences. On this episode, you’ll learn the basics of executive function in our “In the Know” segment. Next, our national panel of experts will provide a deeper understanding and actionable strategies for enhancing executive function during our “Ask the Experts” conversation. Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” once a struggling dyslexic who turned his Kryptonite into a secret weapon for inspiring children with dyslexia — especially children of color.
June 22, 2022
"A World Of Difference," S2, E7 | "Empowering Children With Dyslexia"
Recently, Comic Book Resources, a popular outlet for comics industry news, released its ranking of the 20 Best Superpowers of All Time. The list included the usual suspects: Super-strength. X-ray vision. Flight. One that didn’t crack the list was dyslexia. Of course, dyslexia is far more common than heat vision considering between 5 to 10% of Americans live with signs such as slow reading, difficulty spelling, or mixing up words. The severity differs for everyone, and dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence. Children diagnosed with dyslexia can get into college and live abundant lives, especially when they learn to harness the creativity and novel thinking that entrepreneurial superheroes with dyslexia like “Shark Tank’s” Daymond John consider their superpower. On this episode, you’ll hear about dyslexia from individuals and families from around the country who’ve learned to thrive with it during our “In the Know” segment. Next, our national panel of experts will provide advice on how families can empower children who have dyslexia during our “Ask the Experts” conversation. Later, you’ll met our latest “Difference Maker,” a Florida mother whose advocacy for her son with dyslexia morphed into a worldwide mission to equip parents and educators to decode dyslexia.
April 18, 2022
“A World of Difference,” S2, E6 | "Assistive Technology For Students With Learning Differences"
Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle observed that “Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.” For kids with learning differences, one of the most power tools at their disposal is assistive technology. What is it? Assistive technology, or (AT), are products, equipment, and systems that enhance learning, working, and daily living for persons with disabilities. Tools that when properly implemented in the classroom or in the home can empower students who learn differently and by making learning more accessible provide them a vibrant voice in their education. On this episode, you’ll discover the latest assistive tech gadgets and gizmos in an “In the Know” interview with David Dikter, chief executive officer of Assistive Technology Industry Association. Next, we’ll take a deeper dive into AT in our “Ask the Experts” conversation with Google’s accessibility guru Laura Allen. Later, you’ll met our latest “Difference Maker,” Jeanne Betancourt, who leveraged her dyslexia to write a happy ending as a popular children’s book author.
March 07, 2022
“A World of Difference,” S2, E5 | “Music’s Magic for Kids who Learn Differently”
On this episode, in you’ll meet two young men living in vastly differently parts of the work but enjoying similar benefits as a result of taking up a musical instrument. Next, our “Ask the Experts” panel will explore the challenges and benefits music instruments hold for children who learn differently. Later, we’ll introduce you to our latest “Difference Maker,” a producer, educator and entrepreneur with an awesome surname who channeled ADHD into a Grammy-winning jazz career.
January 31, 2022
"A World of Difference," S2, E4 | "How to Get the Most of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for Students who Learn Differently"
This episode of "A World of Difference," explores the basics of Individualized Education Programs through our new HealthDay News segment, “In the Know.” Our “Ask the Experts” panelists will give tips for acing the IEP process. And you'll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” Meredith O'Connor, a YouTube sensation and singer with learning differences who has tuned into her life of being bullied and turned up a blossoming career as a singer and anti-bullying advocate.
January 06, 2022
"A World of Difference," S2, E3 | "The Greatest Love of All: Teaching LD Kids to Love Themselves"
Perhaps you remember the classic song, “The Greatest Love of All” and its defining lyric: The greatest love of all | is easy to achieve | Learning to love yourself | It is the greatest love of all Yet, for children who learn differently, achieving this outcome isn’t always so easy. Classmates, and even adults, can stigmatize children as being weird, odd, or dumb. This discrimination undercuts their self-esteem. Not surprisingly, kids who learn differently often remain tight-lipped about their learning differences, afraid of being ridiculed, bullied, or seen as stupid. While not every child who learns differently experiences these feelings, many find themselves in a tug-of-war over feeling good about themselves — even if they pretend not to care. On this episode, you’ll meet an Australian mom who’s using her artistic talent to paint a more inclusive landscape for people who learn differently. Next, our “Ask the Experts” panel will share how parents can help their kids learn to love themselves. Later, you’ll meet our latest “Difference Maker,” a journalist and historian with several learning differences whose book “The Only Plane in the Sky” is widely considered the seminal account of 9/11.
December 09, 2021
"A World of Difference," S2, E2 | "Timing College for LD teens: When to pause, when to Jump in?
This episode of "A World of Difference" explores best practices for parents considering college for students with learning differences both through the eyes of a Texas family facing the critical decisions involved and through wise counsel from our expert panel. You'll also meet our latest “Difference Maker,” Mackenzie Thorpe, a British artist whose heartwarming paintings and sculptures make the world a much nicer place.
November 05, 2021
"A World of Difference," S2, E1 | "Shark Tells: Daymond John Speaks about Success and Dyslexia"
On this episode of “A World of Difference” “The People’s Shark,” Daymond John, CEO of FUBU and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” discusses being a uber-successful entrepreneur and living with dyslexia. From running a business in his basement to starring on a hit reality television show, Daymond John has embodied the word “entrepreneur” and is now inspiring others to pursue their goals and empowering them to make positive changes in their lives. Diagnosed with dyslexia himself, John has been open in sharing his entrepreneurial journey, through his many successes as well as failures, and what he has learned about getting the best out of business and life. In each episode, “A World of Difference” examines neurodiversity issues related to learning disabilities experienced from birth to adult years, using compelling storytelling, conversations with experts, viewer Q&As, and interviews with successful individuals with learning differences of their own.
October 13, 2021
''A World of Difference'' S1, E11 | "Self-care for Parents and Caregivers of Children with Learning Differences"
This episode of “A World of Difference” is devoted to providing care for the caregivers, the parents, and guardians of children with learning differences. On an extended segment of “Ask the Experts,” our panel will discuss symptoms of caregiver burnout, strategies for coping, and ways to not only survive but thrive in the joys of raising your different thinkers. And later, you’ll meet this episode’s Difference Maker, Victor Villasenor, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated author who didn’t learn how to read until the age of 20 because of dyslexia.
July 20, 2021
"A World of Difference," S1, E10 | "Helping students with ADHD Succeed"
On this episode of “A World of Difference,” we’ll visit an innovative small private school in Leesburg, Florida that integrates art and movement into the three R’s and has proven to be just what the doctor ordered for its students with ADHD. Next, we’ll do a deeper dive into the alphabet soup of ADHD and explore ways that parents can better support their children with the help of our esteemed panel of experts in our “Ask the Experts” segment with Miami psychiatrist Dr. Arthur Bregman, Dr. Gilbert Franco, and Rashonda R. Musawwir, APRN, CPNP, PMHS. Finally, we’ll introduce you to this month’s “Difference Maker,” Peter Shankman, an entrepreneur whose ADHD has powered the launch of several companies and the publication of a host of books.
June 10, 2021
"A World of Difference," S1, E9 | "The Value of Animal-Assisted Interventions for LD Individuals"
From the moment Noah crammed animals two by two into a floating Old Testament menagerie, mankind has shared a close bond with animals. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors considered essential to the health and well-being of both. The bond includes but is not limited to the emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment. More specifically, the field of human-animal interactions (HAI) and, in particular, animal-assisted interventions (AAI), has greatly evolved over the past half-century, and become a more recognized, legitimate form of complementary therapy. On this episode of “A World of Difference,” we’ll saddle up and travel to a small Florida horse ranch to get a glimpse of animal-assisted intervention in action. Next, we’ll explore the ins and outs of animal-assisted intervention in our “Ask the Experts” segment. Finally, we’ll introduce you to this month’s “Difference Maker,” Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned scientist, author, and speaker, who has spent a lifetime making the world a more humane place for both livestock and the neurodiverse.
June 08, 2021
"A World of Difference," S1, E8 | Bolstering Self-Esteem in Kids with Learning Disabilities
Jack Canfield, the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, once observed that “self-esteem is made up primarily of two things: feeling lovable and feeling capable.” Low self-esteem doesn’t play favorites. But it can betray a fondness for children with learning disabilities. And because school-based learning programs are created for the masses — meaning neurotypical children — a child who learns differently may fall victim to believing he or she isn’t as smart as their classmates. And this belief comes with baggage: shame, doubt, and feeling different. When children with learning disabilities fall into that trapped thinking they may link their performance and ability to their self-worth, as they no longer feel worthy of respect or love from others. That can result in them dodging homework, withdrawing from social activities, or acting out. Bewildered parents wonder: How can I boost my son’s self-esteem? How can I teach my daughter to cope? How can I celebrate my child’s strengths? On this episode of “A World of Difference,” we’ll meet a pair of Charlotte, NC brothers at The Fletcher School, who learn differently whose parents have been all in with helping bolster their sons’ sense of self and supporting their journeys toward abundant lives. Next, we dive deeper into the sources and methods of bolstering self-esteem with an esteemed panel of experts in our “Ask the Experts” segment. Finally, we’ll introduce you to this month’s “Difference Maker,” Stanley Cup champion Brent Sopel, who now is scoring even more points off the ice chasing his goal of helping dyslexics like him find their footing.
June 08, 2021
"A World of Difference," S1, E7 | "Helping Students with Learning Disabilities Successfully Transition to College"
As high school seniors await acceptance letters from their dream and "safety" schools, they dream of ditching the constraints of high school for the freedom that college life brings. For parents of aspiring collegians who learn differently, the reality of that looming independence comes with heightened uncertainty, anxiety, additional hurdles to negotiate, and the overriding question: is my child who learns differently poised for making a successful transition from high school to college? On this episode of the Beacon College-produced “A World of Difference,” TV show, you'll meet a high school senior who learns differently who is prepping for that transition and see how one family is approaching this next chapter of life. You'll also receive the straight dope from our panel of transition professionals on helping LD high schoolers make the college transition with fewer stumbles in our “Ask the Experts” segment. And you'll meet this month’s “Difference Maker,” real estate guru John Crossman, who learned later in life that the career he built was constructed upon a foundation of dyslexia, a realization that powers the caring heart he has for helping young people find their way.
March 02, 2021
"A World of Difference," S1, E6 | "Pushing Students Who Learn Differently — but not over the Edge"
The Flying Wallendas earned fame and a reputation as circus daredevils for performing stupendous acts of balance on a high-wire. Yet, even the uncanny skill with which they performed their incredible seven-person chair pyramid stunt pales in comparison to the balance required by parents of children who learn differently when it comes to walking the tightrope of when to push your child and pushing too hard. Good parents want the best for their kids. And sometimes, children need a nudge. But what is pushing too hard? In this episode, we’ll learn how a collective of Florida exceptional student education charter schools serving students with learning and learning-related disabilities negotiates that fine line. Next, we’ll drill down on the topic and suggest some strategies for parents in our “Ask the Experts” segment. And, we’ll close out the program with this month's “Difference Maker,” British micro-artist Willard Wigan, the brilliant creative who found that big things come in the smallest of packages.
January 27, 2021
"A World of Difference" S1, E5 | "Helping Autistic Students Succeed on Campus"
How can parents help their autistic child succeed academically? What are some tools, strategies, and resources that parents can lean on to provide their child with autism added support? We'll explore these questions and provide some practical strategies with our panel in our “Ask the Experts” segment. And we'll meet this episode's "Difference Maker," author, filmmaker, and disability advocate Quinn Bradlee.
December 17, 2020
"A World of Difference," S1, E4 | "Boosting LD Numbers in STEM"
Students who learn differently are underrepresented in STEM fields. This episode of "A World of Difference," which celebrates and supports families living with learning differences, offers strategies for supporting STEM. It also profiles the STEAM Lab at The Christ School in Orlando which inspires dyslexic students to embrace science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.
November 18, 2020
"A World of Difference," S1, E3 | ''Ensuring Workforce Diversity Includes Neurodiversity''
This episode focuses on ''Ensuring Workforce Diversity Includes Neurodiversity,'' and features Carolyn Jeppsen, Co-Founder/CEO/President, BroadFutures, a national organization that helps job candidates with learning disabilities reach their highest potential and works to change employer perceptions about learning disabilities. Also featured: RAISE, a local Florida grassroots program that equips clients with disabilities to join the workforce, and this month's “Difference Maker” is Jhillika Kumar, whose LinkedIn-like platform matches neurodiverse job candidates with employers. It also features a ''Just the Facts'' presentation from Drs. A.J. Marsden and Nicki Nance on the benefits to employers of nurturing a neurodiverse workplace.
October 30, 2020
"A World of Difference," S1, E2 | "The Americans with Disabilities Act at 30"
This episode of "A World of Difference" examines the first three decades of the Americans with Disabilities Act with a Q&A with Haley Moss, Florida's first openly autistic attorney, reflections from disability advocates Dr. George J. Hagerty, president of Beacon College, and author/filmmaker/disability activist Quinn Bradlee, founder of Friends of Quinn. The show also includes an extended intimate interview with this month's "Difference Maker," retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, the lead sponsor of the ADA. Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida is a nonprofit liberal arts school and America's first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to educating primarily students with learning disabilities, ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning differences.
September 28, 2020
"A World of Difference," S1, E1 | "Helping Students Emerge Successfully from the COVID Cocoon"
"A World of Difference" is a newsmagazine style show that celebrates and educates parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, employers, and more on how to navigate the journey of neurodiversity. This episode focuses on helping parents prepare their children for success once they return to in-person learning on campus following the COVID cocoon. It includes a feature on the Sleboda family and how COVID impacted their son's academics. It includes expert strategies for supporting children's successful return to school and Q&As with parents, and a "Difference Makers" profile on Matt Morgan, a former WWE professional wrestler turned mayor of Longwood, Florida, who has wrestled ADD all his life. The show is produced by Beacon College in Leesburg, Florida, a nonprofit liberal arts school and America's first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to educating primarily neurodiverse students.
August 05, 2020
"A World of Difference" Episode 1 trailer
"A World of Difference" is an new TV show and podcast that celebrates and supports families navigating the journey of neurodiversity. Episodes feature profiles of families with children from kindergarten to college with learning disabilities and learning differences, provides advice from experts from Beacon College, America's first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to educating neurodiverse students, and salutes "Difference Makers," successful and/or famous individuals living with learning differences.
July 29, 2020