Neurodiversity Focused Professional Speaker
We routinely speak to many various groups of people about different topics related to the work we do and our advocacy for the autistic and neurodivergent communities. Each individual who works at Planning Across the Spectrum has different experience and expertise, meaning we have given speaking engagements on many different topics covering everything from money skills to building a neurodiverse inclusive future for companies. We typically speak to three specific communities and often tailor our speaking topics to each community and the topics they would value learning about. Our goal is to share our knowledge and experiences as neurodiverse individuals and neurodiverse professionals who work with neurodiverse clients, in order to empower those we speak to. We also aim to create a deeper understanding and level of comfortability with the topics we discuss, specifically because many of them are not talked about nearly enough.
On this page, you can find a breakdown of the different communities we often speak to and the topics we often cover. We have spoken to organizations, as well as at conferences and other events, and are always looking for new opportunities to spread our message and knowledge. If you are interested in having us speak somewhere do not hesitate to reach out.
The first community we often provide speaking engagements for are Families and Individuals. These engagements focus on helping families of neurodivergent individuals and neurodivergent individuals themselves develop a deeper understanding and wider skillset regarding the challenges and difficulties we know they often face.
Below are just a few examples of topics we provide speaking engagements on for families and individuals:
Money Skills: A lot of times it’s important to just start with the basics! We work with many families and individuals who simply don’t know where to start when it comes to developing skills related to making, spending, investing, and saving money. We always say it’s vital to have a firm understanding of basic money skills. These include skills such as Shopping Independently, Budgeting, Understanding Credit and Loans, and Managing your Savings and Investments.
Life and Career Skills: Skills that will help autistic individuals navigate our world to build the life they want to have is a topic of discussion that we have spoken about many times in many different ways. Interacting with and navigating the world is crucial to getting what you want out of it, whether that’s fulfillment, peace, excitement, motivation, or just professional success and a lasting legacy. To navigate the world in this way, we have found Life and Career Skills are crucial. For this topic, we have spoken about Living Independently, Embracing New Experiences, Applying for a Job, Interviewing Skills, Preparing for College, Turning Skills into Income, and Writing a Resume.
Financial Planning: Planning Across the Spectrum is built on the idea that effective and thoughtful financial planning can greatly empower autistic individuals and their families. It can also provide peace of mind and confidence in the future. Understanding the potential value of financial planning for neurodivergent individuals and their families is something we have repeatedly spoken about at large conferences and small parent support groups alike. The concepts we’ve spoken about include, Insurance Planning, Understanding Benefits, Applying for and Maintaining Benefits, Special Needs Trusts and ABLE Accounts, and Investing in your Future.
Housing and Education: Housing and Education are tough topics to talk about, especially with neurodiverse individuals and their families who do not work in these fields and therefore don’t understand the complexities of these systems. Many of the clients we work with note that they do not feel they understand these topics enough to advocate for themselves or their loved ones on them. We leave attendees with a stronger sense and deeper understanding of how to advocate on these topics. In these talks we cover topics such as Understanding and Navigating IEP’s, Evaluating Progress in School, Obtaining Public Benefits for Education or Housing, the Complexities of College Expenses for Neurodivergent Individuals, Evaluating the Appropriateness of a Housing Situation, and Private Pay Options related to both Education and Housing.
The second community we often provide speaking engagements for are Employers and Employees. These engagements focus on creating neurodiversity inclusion within professional spaces in a way that employers, employees, and companies as a whole thrive. We have worked with employers in many different capacities throughout our careers and we bring all of that experience and expertise to these speaking engagements.
Below are a few examples of topics we provide speaking engagements on for employers and employees:
Employee Benefits Packages: Throughout our work with companies on inclusivity and our work as financial planners we have come to realize the enormous benefit of a thoughtful and meaningful employee benefits package. In fact, it is one of the most effective ways that employers can create a work environment where neurodiverse employees can thrive. Topics we cover when talking about this include Understanding Unique Needs and Non-Traditionals Benefits, Retirement Benefits for Neurodiverse Workers, and Health Benefits for Disabled Workers.
Neurodiversity Worker and Consumer Inclusivity: We know that creating a truly inclusive work environment for consumers and workers is easier said than done. It requires a deep understanding of who you’re trying to make the environment inclusive for and the most practical ways to do so. In our speaking engagements, we discuss concrete steps employers can take toward creating an inclusive culture in their workplace. The ideas and concepts we discussed during these speaking engagements include Neurodiversity Inclusive Hiring Practices, Creating Neurodivergent Focused Events and Services, Empowering Neurodiverse Workers to Grow Within a Company, and How Neurodiverse Workers Can Create More Profitable Businesses.
Advocacy Within a Company: We often speak about creating neurodiversity advocacy within a company. This advocacy can come in many forms and we most often see it manifest as Employer Resource Groups, new departments that focus on empowering employees, and company-wide inclusivity efforts that help neurodivergent employees reach leadership positions within a company. In these neurodiverse speaking engagements, we lay out what advocacy within a company looks like and how to encourage it as an employer or employee. Speaking engagements on this topic have previously covered ideas such as Creating Company Wide Buy-In for Inclusivity Efforts, How to Self Advocate Within a Company, How to Support Inclusivity Both Publicly and Internally, and The Importance and Value of Neurodivergent Leadership Within a Company.
The third community we often provide speaking engagements for are Professionals, Advocates, and All Members of the Neurodivergent Community. There are many ideas and concepts that are simply very valuable to understand regardless of your specific connection to the neurodivergent or autistic community. These speaking engagements typically take place at large conferences or non-profits and focus on the power and value of neurodiversity inclusivity. We speak to how massive this undertaking is, but also how we as neurodivergent people feel about the changes we are seeing around us.
Below are a few examples of topics we provide speaking engagements on for Professionals, Advocates, and all of the Neurodiverse Community:
The Complex History and Value Neurodiversity: We believe that understanding the history of Neurodiversity and how it relates to the disability and autism advocacy of the past is crucial for understanding the current discourse and conversations around neurodiversity, as well as why it’s empowered many we’ve worked with. Neurodiversity is a big and complex topic to cover as it relates to oppression, identity, empowerment, social movements, and medical and social understandings of autism and other disabilities. Because of this, we often break this topic down depending on the speaking engagement into smaller talks that focus on topics such as The History and Purpose of Neurodiversity, The Value of Neurodiversity, and The Future of the Neurodiversity Movement.
The Importance of Self-Advocacy: Self-Advocacy is one of the core pillars of our work. Everything we do, including our financial planning work, is focused on empowering individuals to self-advocate and take as much control over their life as they want to or feel ready for. This is a careful balance but we feel it is crucial for helping those we work with live their best and most fulfilling lives. We often speak on concepts such as Developing Self-Advocacy in Oneself, Fostering Self-Advocacy in Others, and Creating Goals for Neurodivergent Individuals.
Building an Inclusive Future: We at Planning Across the Spectrum think a lot about the future. Specifically, the neurodivergent inclusive future that we are working to build. As neurodiverse individuals ourselves we know we’re building this future for our loved ones, our friends, our community, and ourselves. Using our experiences and knowledge as Financial Planners along with our individual personal and professional expertise, we often give speaking engagements on how to build this future and why it’s so important. This means discussing topics such as How Investing Can Help Build a Neurodiverse Inclusive Future, Why Companies Should Embrace Neurodiversity, and The Future of Business is Neurodivergent Inclusive.
We are always open to presenting on new topics that are within our expertise. Through our neurodiverse professional speaking engagements, we are consistently seeking new ways to empower those we talk to through imparting knowledge and developing deeper understandings of important topics. If you are interested in learning more about a potential speaking engagement, reach out, and let’s chat!