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Watch: Navigating Demand Avoidance: Threat, Safety & Foot on the Gas

July 26, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Watch the recording of “Navigating Demand Avoidance: Threat, Safety & Foot on the Gas” here.

Brains need to feel safe in order to engage, pay attention, and learn. The problem is that many brains do not feel safe. In this session, we will describe the brain science of neuroception (threat detection) and discuss everyday examples of the challenges that many children’s limbic systems experience as threats. We will share strategies to optimize our children’s autonomy and minimize conflicts at home and school.

By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the brain science of demand avoidance, as viewed through the lens of neuroception.
  2. List examples of fluctuating external and internal demands impacting many kids at home and school.
  3. List concrete strategies for creating a supportive environment for kids with hypersensitive neuroception.

Presenters: Melissa Houser, MD and Casey Ehrlich, PhD

  • Dr. Mel Houser is a board-certified family physician with a clinical focus on providing primary care for neurodivergent patients across the lifespan. She is the Founder and Executive Director of All Brains Belong VT, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in Montpelier, Vermont that uses universal design principles to provide healthcare, social connection programs, and neurodiversity-related education for kids and adults.
  • Dr. Casey Ehrlich is a coach to parents raising PDA Autistic children and is the co-founder of the PDA Parents community and podcast. Her background is in social science and methodology and she holds a doctorate degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Casey has conducted original research on conflict, peace, and non-violence in areas impacted by civil war in Colombia, and she brings those insights to her work with families raising children with hyper-sensitive nervous systems, fight,flight, and freeze behaviors, and trauma. Her coaching practice is At Peace Parents, LLC.


July 26, 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


Vermont Family Network
View Organizer Website


Virtual Zoom Event