TMB E78: The Wellness Show; With Brie Seward of The Autism Society of Southern Arizona & Katie Frazee of Integrative Touch (InTouch)

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Mark delves into Autism with the Executive Director of the Autism Society of Southern Arizona Brie Seward. Also joining is the Program Director of Integrative Touch, Katie Frazee.

The co-host of this episode is Kathleen Pickrel of Choose Congruency Coaching and Dating After Decades!

About Brie Seward & The Autism Society of Southern Arizona

Brie is the Executive Director of the Autism Society of Southern Arizona and a Tucson native. She brings her past media experience working in publishing (Harper’s Bazaar and Gourmet magazines), eCommerce (Bond No. 9 Fragrances and Louis Vuitton), and digital marketing (Perry Ellis brands) in New York City and Miami. Brie has a master’s in communications from ASU, completed the ArizonaLEND program, and has two young boys. Her oldest was diagnosed with Autism when he was three years old.

The Autism Society of Southern Arizona is one of 75 affiliates across the country. Our mission is to create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully.

Whether an individual with Autism or a parent of a newly diagnosed child comes seeking information – our organization provides support for a person’s emotional, practical, and intellectual needs to build and foster community connections. We offer programs for individuals across the lifespan from parent trainings, teen meetups, adult social club, social skills classes, Autism Friendly Communities, and our Navigating Autism Program. Recently, we partnered with the Pima County Superintendent’s Office to create a proclamation that was approved by the board of supervisors on March 15th stating that April is Autism Acceptance Month.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a complex, lifelong developmental condition that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. The Autism experience is different for everyone. It is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is often referred to as a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees. While there is currently no known single cause of Autism, early diagnosis helps a person receive resources that can support the choices and opportunities needed to live fully.

This Autism Acceptance Month, you can be the connection to help us fulfill our mission.

• Educate yourself and share resources
• Take action through advocacy
• Connect to a local Autism Society affiliate
• Attend an Autism Society event
• Host a fundraiser
• Donate, every dollar helps

We are a staff of three part-time parents of children with an autism diagnosis. We just hired a new program/grant coordinator this week! Every day we provide support, programs, and information to the community. We envision a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need when they need it – including education, advocacy efforts, and supports and services throughout the lifespan.

The impact we are striving for now is to help others understand the importance of fostering acceptance which can lead to improved support and to achieve equity in education, employment, housing, health care and comprehensive long-term service. It is not enough to be aware of autism but to become involved in the community and offer jobs for autistic individuals, a place on the sports team, an invitation to the Birthday party, and become a more inclusive society

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About Katie Frazee & Integrative Touch (InTouch)

I was raised in Tucson, and I received a BA in Anthropology (Human Biology) and Sociology (Deviance and Law) from the University of Pennsylvania. I continued on with an MS in Biological and Forensic Anthropology from Mercyhurst University. After graduation, I studied trends in pediatric skeletal growth for the National Institute of Justice. After a severe injury, I began to study the regenerative mechanisms of the body accessed through touch, movement, & the energetic healing systems.

My work is at the intersection of biology and culture, centering on the value of human connection in healing everything from cells to society. Delivering integrative healing therapies to underserved populations drew me to Integrative Touch’s pioneering community-based model, first as a volunteer, and now as Program Director.

I am passionate about supporting a child in the hospital to feel seen as their whole healthy self at any point in their care journey. With our unique approach, we are also able to serve their siblings, parents, doctors, and nurses to experience this feeling, creating an integrated network of support for everyone. I truly adore designing and delivering team-based wellness services that relieve suffering with love in home, healthcare, and community settings. I am particularly passionate about scaling and replicating this work to empower caregivers and health systems at all levels.

Integrative Touch (InTouch) is working to transform the way people experience healthcare. A leader in the field of pediatric integrative medicine, the organization supports caregivers and families whose children have any type of special health or medical need. This includes kids with cancers, genetic conditions, autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic stress, and other serious health issues. The founder, Shay Beider, pioneered a new therapy called Integrative Touch Therapy that supports healing from trauma and serious illness. The organization reaches thousands of people each year in hospitals and communities and offers unique Telehealth programs to families and healthcare providers from around the world. Thanks to the incredible support of volunteers and contributors, individuals are able to receive wellness education and integrative medical services at little or no cost.

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