Mental Power

Join Maria Kennedy for a special episode of Crucial Conversations About Cognitive Diversity focused on Mental Wellness for the twice exceptional. Maria, Julie Diep, and Anahid Koumriqian will discuss the topic in depth and explore strategies to improve the mental well-being of neurologically diverse students and adults. Click here to register for the webcast on May 24th. It will also be available via or on You Tube.

Julie Diep built upon her career as a speech pathologist, both in school settings and in private practice, to create the OCAutism Foundation, which offers bilingual services in Vietnamese, Chinese, and Spanish, as well as English. Although based in Orange County, California, Julie is quick to point out that the OC in their name stands for “Our Community.” Through the technology of the Internet, she adds, “we can reach everybody around the world, especially families that need that extra support.” OCAF offers direct speech therapy services, free workshops, family resources, special education advocacy and community events. Working through her own ADHD and dyslexia, Julie believes that the best support we have is family and an ever-expanding circle of friends. “Being that person,” said Diep, “that provides a resource has always brought me the most pride and joy.”

Anahid Koumriqian, born and raised in San Francisco, is a mother of three and completed a master's degree at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity in Education. She was a former public school teacher and realized that the training teachers usually get is to identify problem areas. “That leads,” she said, “to a deficit based system where a teacher is focused on remediation.” She experienced how sti...


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