Educational opportunities about Neurodiversity coming soon.
We value advocacy. It is why we decided to work together. Our team of therapists, therapy students, professors and teachers will help you continue your work and shape your career and personal growth by learning how to work better with your students and patients.
We Do This for the Neurodivergent Community
Lindsay and Jessica had discovered a rather large unhelpful pattern in the therapy field. The therapy professions are not well-educated on the subject of Neurodiversity, Neuroqueering, and the Neurodiversity paradigm due to the education system in the US.
They both had the desire to help the Music Therapy field, and other therapy professions adjust attitudes and goals in acceptance of neurodivergent clients, co-workers, and bosses, and more. With this goal in mind, this allows autistic individuals feel accepted in the long run when the neuro-majority decides to decenter their identities, and work on allyship to address systemic racism, ableism, etc. This is evidence-based, simply because researchers typically are behind, and research has shown that only 20-25% of music therapy supervisors are typically accepting of neurodivergence.
Jessica and Lindsay both noticed a pattern of neurodivergent individuals feeling afraid to disclose their identities within the music therapy field and profession. When they and Cassandra had started working on a comparative analysis of this pattern in the education field as well in 2019, there was a continual pattern of bias towards neurodivergence as a whole in both Academia and in the Professions of therapy. This work is needed and urgent as we continue to help address systemic inequities in the US.
Lindsay received their Bachelors of Arts in Theater from Randolph College, and is currently the Director of Education and Professional Development at Autistic Inclusive Meets, USA. They are transitioning from a second bachelor’s degree in music therapy to a second bachelor’s degree in sociology, and then eventually a master’s in Clinical Social Work. She has been invited to colleges and universities as a guest speaker and lecturer, (including Alverno College, and presented to their graduate Music Therapy class on Intersectionality for Disability Culture and Ableism). They have done individual and group consultations as well over the years about specific topics, and has provided feedback to researchers, therapists, professors, and teachers.
Lindsay will be our company’s Chair, as well as the Associate Director of Therapy Development, and resident Graphic Designer. Lindsay is also openly Autistic, Neurodivergent, Multiply Disabled, Queer, Nonbinary, and uses they/them or she/her pronouns.
She is just beginning her career in authorship, and is currently working on a book on accessibility and barriers with Cassandra Crosman. Lindsay was also invited to a Podcast with Aucademy on Social Justice and Autism, created a podcast for their own business, and is currently working on several books, training courses, and continuing education courses specifically on Neurodiversity as a whole. She and Jessica were also invited to a Panel via Voices, which is an open access music therapy journal in the music therapy field. Lindsay will be working underneath Jessica in creating content for therapists.
Jessica Leza MT-BC, MA:
Jessica received her Master of Arts in Music Therapy from Texas Woman’s University, and her Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from University of North Texas. She is a full time Board Certified Music Therapist and is a public speaker, has been published in books, and is well on her way to publishing research, books, and more with Lindsay and others in the MT field, as well as beyond. Jessica will be our company’s vice chair, as well as the Director of Therapy Development. Jessica is openly Autistic, Neurodivergent, Queer, and Cuban. Some of her work can be found below:
The Neurodiversity Reader: Jessica was published in a chapter of autistic UK researcher Damian Milton’s book, titled: ‘The Neurodiversity Reader’. “This collection will explore the history of the movement, the concepts that have shaped it, and where the future might lead to. Through a variety of accounts, the relevance and criticisms of these concepts in understanding ourselves and one another will be examined, as well as implications for practice,” (Milton, Leza, 2020).
Sociocultural Identities in Music Therapy: Jessica was published in a chapter in Susan Hadley’s academic book for music therapists, titled: ‘Sociocultural Identities in Music Therapy’. “Woven together, this book is a rich tapestry of the sociocultural identities of music therapists and implications for their therapeutic relationships and processes. It provides a deep understanding and appreciation of the concept of culture and its omnipresence in all we do and all we are,” (Hadley, Leza, 2021).
Rhythmic Roots Music Services, LLC: OCT 26, 2020. Episode 7: Jessica Leza- Neuroqueering, Music Therapy, and Individualized Client-Centered Work. A podcast discussing the following: “In this episode, Jessica and I discuss an essay she wrote for the Neurodiversity Reader including topics such as neuroqueering, neurodiversity, neuroqueering in music therapy, and radical individualized client-centered work,” (Leza, Houpt, 2020).
Cassandra received her Bachelor’s in Humanities, and Master’s of Science in Education and Special Education from Western Oregon University. She will be finishing her licensing requirements within the next year. Cassandra is currently the Programs Director at Autistic Inclusive Meets USA, and working at a middle school full time. She is also working on a book with Lindsay Mohler that covers accessibility and barriers in the education system. She is openly Autistic, Neurodivergent, and is just starting her career in public speaking and authorship. Cassandra has also presented at her alma mater on topics within Neurodiversity. She uses she/her pronouns, and is also multiply disabled, and runs a blog online, titled: ‘In The Loop About Neurodiversity’. That blog can be found here. She will be creating training courses, education courses, and more for the education field on Neurodiversity. She is interested in collaborative work too.
Cassandra will be the company’s Secretary, as well as the Director of Educational Development.
Jamie will be our Associate Director of Educational Development. Jamie received her Bachelor’s degree in history and her Master’s of Arts in Adolescent Education from Adelphi University. She will be working underneath Cassandra in creating content for educators as our Associate Director of Educational Development, and is interested in collaborative work as well. Jamie is not a current teacher, but is still very passionate about education. She is just starting her career path towards this kind of work. Jamie is openly queer and uses she/her pronouns.
More information will be available soon!
1. Aucademy (2020). Aucademy. aucademy.co.uk. https://aucademy.co.uk/
2. Crosman, C. (2019). In The Loop About Neurodiversity. WordPress. https://intheloopaboutneurodiversity.wordpress.com/
3. Hadley, S. (2021). Sociocultural Identities in Music Therapy. Barcelona. https://www.barcelonapublishers.com/Sociocultural_Identitites_In_Music_Therapy?fbclid=IwAR0PvCMyYnILYseCulRcu1_9VCn8RuxrDMTwIseWrSyBvZMTMUuJcv__Ugw
4. Milton, D. (2020). The Neurodiversity Reader. Pavillion. https://www.pavpub.com/mental-health/the-neurodiversity-reader
5. Houpt, B., Leza, J. (Anchor.fm). (2020, October 26). Jessica Leza- Neuroqueering, Music Therapy, and Individualized Client-Centered Work (No. 07) [Audio podcast episode]. In Navigating Adulthood and IDD. Rhythmic Roots Music Services LLC. https://rhythmicrootsmusicservices.org/navigatingadulthoodandidd/episode-7-jessica-leza-neuroqueering-music-therapy-and-individualized-client-centered-work
6. Shelton, Warren, Rawlings, et. al., (2019). The Glass Ceiling of Disability: Examining Implicit Biases About Disabled Professionals. DropBox, 1-21. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8mmel1ttn15zdmp/AAA6jpjuJplL0xZXrRcZwZXua?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR2i8ZsyLjrRSdwKNyf9UwVRbr34ytSEOsHyjEp2izFAeu5p645yhEXqcWg&preview=The+Glass+Ceiling+of+Disability.pptx
7. Voices. (2001). Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. GAMUT. https://www.voices.no/