May 7, 2019
Deb Helfrich is a truly unique individual. She practically raised herself in the Carnegie Library where she grew up, reading at college level at around 2nd grade. Adults and children left her to her own curiosity, with little interest or effort to find out what made her tick. It wasn't until she went to college, after advocating at her local school district to adjust the policy so she could graduate from high school in three years, that she finally found peers who could not only understand her, but challenge her in a way she hadn't experienced before.
It was her time at Carnegie Mellon University that helped develop her into a thinker who could also translate deep and complex thought to language that was approachable and applicable to everyday life.
I'm a big believer in surrounding myself with diversity of every kind, including thought. What other way can we be truly curious and demonstrate our desire for personal and professional growth?
Diversity of thought includes everything from political views to religion, and everything in between. Deb crosses pretty much every boundary, challenging those in her orbit to open our minds, consider our biases, and develop our ability to listen intensely to what isn'tbeing said.
I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know Deb, and to have interviewed her for this podcast.
During our interview, we spoke about a variety of current research, including some very interesting ideas about human evolution. Here are a couple of links to articles about the possibility that certain current diagnoses of what are considered "disabilities" may actually be human evolutionary adjustments.
"It stands to reason that a process as complex as human neural development involves multiple pathways, signaling and metabolic, in multiple cell types."
And from Sage Journals: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/147470491100900209
"Disorders, like autism, that are so prevalent that they exceed common mutation rates are thought to have persisted because the genes responsible for them conferred some advantage in the ancestral environment."
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