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Diverse Thinking Different Learning

May 14, 2024

Hey there, welcome back to Diverse Thinking Different Learning! Today, we're diving into a topic that's often overlooked but incredibly important: late diagnoses of ADHD and autism, particularly in women, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals. It's a conversation that's long overdue, and we're so grateful to have Dr. Monica Blied joining us to shed some light on this crucial issue.

As a clinical psychologist and founder of Faces of Health, Dr. Blied brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. In her private practice, she specializes in providing psychological assessments for adults and children who suspect they may have Autism, ADHD, or learning differences. With a keen focus on supporting adults living with chronic medical and mental illnesses, Dr. Blied has dedicated her career to helping individuals navigate the complex intersection of mental and physical health.

Today, dive deep into the reasons why certain conditions like ADHD and autism are often diagnosed late, despite their significant impact on individuals' lives. From systemic biases to misconceptions and missed opportunities for support, Dr. Blied will be sharing invaluable insights and advice for anyone who suspects they may be struggling with an undiagnosed condition and what parents can look for in their children that could be signs of struggle.

Show Notes:

  • [2:13] - People are often overlooked and it seems that there are systemic biases. There are studies that show that particularly people of color are misdiagnosed.
  • [3:42] - There are many misconceptions. Something important to remember is that most of the time, certain behaviors are not willful.
  • [6:03] - One reason someone’s diagnosis is missed is fewer outward symptoms or struggles, especially when compared to a sibling.
  • [9:34] - Dr. Blied shares an experience in seeing the similarities and differences in siblings and the tendency to put more focus on one child over another.
  • [11:24] - A late diagnosis could also be due to a family normalizing and nurturing certain behaviors.
  • [13:38] - Externalized behaviors are obvious. The kids who internalize are often missed.
  • [15:46] - Individuals who are born female are often misdiagnosed or completely overlooked as children.
  • [17:44] - The average age of ADHD diagnosis in women is 37. By 18 years old, 80% of women who are autistic are still undiagnosed.
  • [20:45] - Special interests can be misleading.
  • [23:51] - Girls and women tend to be very good at masking, until the demands are more difficult to adjust to.
  • [25:07] - In children, ADHD and autism are diagnosed in 4 boys to every 1 girl. But in adulthood, it is a 1 to 1 ratio. It is a misconception that it is more common in boys.
  • [28:21] - There is the belief, even among medical professionals, that ADHD isn’t a real struggle or problem.
  • [29:12] - Dr. Blied describes what ADHD and autism might look like in a girl especially during childhood.
  • [31:11] - There are higher rates of autism and ADHD in those with other types of medical issues and in LGBTQIA+ individuals.
  • [33:36] - A late diagnosis leads to years of missed opportunities for support and intervention.
  • [34:27] - Dr. Blied shares some first steps and advice if you suspect that you could need a diagnosis or are late diagnosed.

About Our Guest:

Dr. Monica Blied is a clinical psychologist, adjunct professor of psychology at Pepperdine, and the founder of Faces of Health in Claremont, California. In her private practice, Dr. Blied provides psychological assessments for adults and children who suspect they have Autism, ADHD, and/or learning differences. With a special interest in supporting adults who are living with chronic medical and mental illnesses, Dr. Blied has also developed expertise in the mind-body health connection.

She currently serves as the Chair-Elect (and former Treasurer) of the California Psychological Association's Division of Education and Training, where she has been a member of the Executive Board for over 10 years. Since 2020, she has also served as a Medical Advisory Board member with Lupus LA, a role which allows her to continue giving back to her fellow Lupus Warriors. In 2022, Dr. Blied developed the Faces of Health app, which teaches mental health and stress management skills via brief, educational videos, all taught by women of color. In 2024, she added to her online educational suite a course on Adult ADHD and Autism, and another on Stress Management using Neuroscience.

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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.