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First impressions can take only 6 seconds to make! But if you’re neurodivergent, those quick judgments about you can be misleading.

That’s where the Beyond 6 Seconds podcast comes in! Join me, Carolyn Kiel, as I talk with neurodivergent entrepreneurs, creators, advocates & more about their lives and identities. Their stories shatter misconceptions, break stigma and showcase the vibrance of neurodiversity.

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Recognition for Beyond 6 Seconds:

  • Ambie Awards 2024: Nominee - Best DIY Podcast
  • Signal Award Gold Winner and Listener's Choice Winner: 2023 Best Individual Episode - Best Conversation Starter 
  • Positive Change Podcast Awards 2022: First Place Winner - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion category
  • Positive Change Podcast Awards 2022: First Place Winner - Personal Journal category
  • Positive Change Podcast Awards 2022: First Place Winner - Mental Health category
  • Positive Change Podcast Awards 2022: Second Place Winner - Inspiration/Motivation category
  • Positive Change Podcast Awards 2022: Second Place Winner - Psychology category
  • Signal Award Silver Winner: 2022 Best Individual Episode - Diversity, Equity & Inclusion 
  • W3 Award Gold Winner: 2022 Podcasts General Series - Community 
  • W3 Award Silver Winner (x2): 2022 Podcast Features - Best Individual Episode
  • International Women's Podcast Association: 2022 Shortlist - "Moment of Raw Emotion" Episode Category

Apr 10, 2023

Ben VanHook is an autistic master’s degree student studying public policy at George Mason University, with the hopes of reforming employment and education policy to make them more inclusive for neurodivergent individuals. Ben's passion for creating a more inclusive world stems from his own experiences as an autistic Jewish Asian American adoptee and has led to him speaking and presenting to employers, professors, researchers and self-advocates in the United States and abroad.

During this episode, you will hear Ben talk about:

  • How he learned he was autistic while he was in high school
  • The challenges he faced coming from China to the United States as an adoptee
  • His insights about the intersections of his identities as an autistic, Jewish, Asian American adoptee
  • How posting on LinkedIn led him to become a neurodiversity advocate and public speaker on the intersections of autism, race and religion
  • His role in a TV documentary about intersectionality between race and autism 
  • His thoughts on supporting neurodivergent employees in the workplace and in their careers
  • What are the main goals for his advocacy 

To learn more about Ben and his advocacy:

Listener shout-outs! A big THANK YOU to Elaine A. and Dan G. for supporting this podcast on

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*Disclaimer: The views, guidance, opinions, and thoughts expressed in Beyond 6 Seconds episodes are solely mine and/or those of my guests, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer or other organizations.*