November 25, 2020

Working with People with Brain-Based Conditions and Respecting Neurodiversity with Debbie Stanley, Organizational Consultant & NAPO University Instructor

Episode 65: Working with People with Brain-Based Conditions and Respecting Neurodiversity

‘Brain-based conditions’ is a catchall phrase that encompasses a broad set of conditions that impact cognition, emotion, socialization, or behavior. In Episode 65, NAPO Stand Out Podcast Host, Clare Kumar speaks with Organizational Consultant, NAPO Member Since 1998, and NAPO University Instructor, Debbie Stanley as she sheds light on the phenomenon of brain-based conditions and how organizers can best work with clients who fall under this category.

In this episode, we talk about what brain-based conditions typically are and the importance of reframing people’s struggles. Organizers can get clients to understand how their perceived weaknesses are, in fact, strengths, removing much of the shame and stigma people may be feeling. We talk about what it means to be sensitive and how to create shared spaces where everyone feels their needs are met. There will always be a range of sensitivities and sensory experiences, which is why organizers – who are trained to anticipate needs – can be so helpful. Working with those who have brain-based conditions should not be taken lightly. As organizers, we are not clinical professionals, which is why, as Debbie highlights, it is vital to learn as much as you can to be sensitive and ensure the outcomes do not do any damage to your clients.

Tune into this episode to hear more from this enlightening discussion!

About the Speaker

Debbie Stanley has been a self-employed organizational consultant since 1997. She has degrees in journalism, industrial & organizational psychology, and mental health counseling, and enjoys translating the eye-glazing rhetoric of her scholarly education into concepts that make sense in everyday life. She’s been devoted to helping music professionals get their act together since moving to Austin, Texas, in 2012.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Insights into brain-based conditions with examples of what falls under this category.
  • The importance of not pathologizing people with brain-based conditions.
  • Understanding that organizing and organization looks different for everyone.
  • How organizers can deal with shared spaces and varying levels of sensitivity and needs.
  • Why parents should not impose their organizational preferences on their children.
  • Explaining the reasons behind rules helps people follow them better.
  • Removing blame from situations where clients are not implementing changes.
  • And much more!


Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Thoughts in Order —

Debbie Stanley on LinkedIn —

Debbie Stanley on Twitter —

Debbie Stanley on Facebook —

Debbie Stanley on Instagram —

Debbie Stanley Email —

Debbie Stanley Phone Number — (512) 296-9886

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization —

Brain-Based Conditions Course — Collection —


Faster Than Normal —

Dr. Elaine Aaron —

AllSides —