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Closed Captions for Season 3 | Episode #4: Ben VanHook

May 16, 2023



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Hi! Everybody! Welcome to fabulously Candice! Holy cow!


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It's been a minute since we've recorded.


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There's been so much going on this year. We're at season 3, episode 4.


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And I must say this is going to actually be our last season. For a few reasons.


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So we're taking full advantage of interviewing the most amazing for a few reasons. So we're taking full advantage of interviewing the most amazing individuals on our podcast as we end our wrap up fabulously. Candice.


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But today I want to introduce Ben Van Hook. Hi, Ben!


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Hello! Thank you for having me on.


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Yeah, I love that you're on with me. So let me brag about you.


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Ben is autistic. Adhd so like me, and is an expert on the autistic student experience he's spoken at Stanford that has been featured in programs from Pbs to the New York Times.


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He has allered articles for the American Psychological Association, and advise groups from the open mainframe project to partners and prompt in promise.


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Ben is currently a master student, studying public policy at Georg Mason University.


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That's pretty awesome with the hopes of reforming employment and education policy to make both domains more inclusive for neuro divergent individuals. Wow!


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Ben. That is quite the bio.


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Thank you. I I'm doing my best to support our community.


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It's sometimes a little bit difficult, because I'm also a master. Soon.


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So I sometimes difficult balancing studies with work with advocacy, but I do my best to do on school and kind of manage more time and school as well as advocacy, and my full-time job.


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Hi! I understand. I will say I used to be on Linkedin so much more.


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But there's just so much going on out there of social media that I'm in this same boat.


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So I feel you. It's like we want to balance that advocacy with what we're doing in the real world.


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And we. We're doing a lot of advocacy in the real world, too. Right?


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We are. Yes!


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Yeah. So tell me, do you feel comfortable? Just talking a little bit about your dinosed as autistic? Adhd.


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Was that something that you were later later diagnosed? Or is it something that you were diagnosed when you're younger?


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So it's interesting. Because I was diagnosed when I was younger.


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I think I was about 5 or 6, and I went from a public elementary school to a private middle school and a private high school to help me through my education, and so I could look be in smaller classes, and so I could add more individualized attention to help me get through schooling but the thing was at the


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time I didn't really think that I was going into these smaller classes for my autism.


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I didn't really know I had autism, so I my parents, kind of hit that diagnosis from me until I was in high school, and the reason I why I thought I was going to school into like private middle schools and high schools was because I was bullied a lot from my race and


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ethnicity and elementary school, and I kept asking my parents to send me to another school.


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Send me to another school district. Just get me out of the public school system.


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So I thought they were sending me to these private schools, so to protect me from the bullies.


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But I only found on twelfth grade, as I was applying to colleges, so I was autistic because my college campor told me that it would be really useful for we looked at colleges with autism programs, and my reaction was shock like, I was what is autism is it dangerous is it something


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that I should be afraid of what is it? And we kind of.


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That's how the conversation got started and I kind of carry that conversation at home where I ask my parents a little bit about autism and a little bit.


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What about like? What it was like being different and why? It's important for me to go to these schools with autism programs.


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And I, was able to learn more about myself. I was able to learn about why supports, athletes, programs would be really beneficial to me, and it really helped me understand myself better.


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Having these open, honest conversations.


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I love that. And so do you find that because of your experience, smaller classrooms, more open conversations that that's also inspired you to wanna advocate for change in the employment arena as well as in the education arena?


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Yeah, I think that's really important. I think, having these conversations and having a space to do so is really important.


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And one of the ways we I'm trying to reform employment is that I'm trying to create different nerd divergent advisory boards in advisory panels at different organizations to provide no diversion employees a space for them to get their needs but for them to


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advocate for themselves in their community, and also provide for a resource for people who might not be as comfortable self-advocating for themselves.


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Snowing, that you have an ally in the workplace, or knowing that you have a group of people who are like who are behind you, and who you can rely upon this really important to an employee's emotional and psychological well-being, it definitely has translated to my


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work with employment, and wanting to provide for the say for smaller different groups, for people to be a part of.


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Well, I love that. And as you were talking I was thinking of my own experience.


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I I'm going back to school in the fall, and so by the time I complete it I'll be 50.


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It's a very short program it's a certificate, advanced certificate training program.


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And when I did my interview, so I you know my application went through, and then I had an interview to get in.


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The woman that interviewed me grilled me on autism, you know.


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How do you know your autistic? So I found myself quote, proving my autism and just kind of that same rhetoric of Well, I used to work with autistic mills, you know, here are doing research.


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And and so I felt very shut down, and I it was the very first question, and I had about an hour with her, and so it was.


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I mean, I had to keep it together. But afterwards I cried, you know, and so I love that you're thinking about this in terms of yeah, we've got to change this so that autistic folks neuro different folks have support going into the education system.


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No matter how old we are, and then also with employment, because well, the first thing I think is, we shouldn't have to prove ourselves.


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People really need to be educated if we're talking now about being culturally sensitive, I really look at autism and neuro difference as it's a neurological culture.


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And so, you know, because there's so much, I guess you know.


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Push for let's be multiculturally diverse, and and, you know, sensitive to diversity when it comes to cultures and ethnicity.


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Well, let's be neurologically sensitive as well.


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What are your thoughts on that?


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Yeah, I think that's a really interesting way to think about it.


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Narrow inclusivity, having a separate culture for nodivergent individuals, and I think it's we can break that down even further and say, there's even subcultures within this culture.


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And that's whereinceptionality comes in, because we are divergent to are part of the community.


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We have no divergence who are of racial and ethnic minorities, and we have narrow divergent individuals who, like myself, are adopted, and that comes with the whole different set of challenges, but also a whole different set of strengths, like for example, being adopted comes with in terms of


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abandonment from like anyone and everyone professional lives. But it also makes us more compassionate, and it also makes us a lot more empathetic towards others who, have, like really similar challenges, or who have been abandoned in the past.


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So these different intersections can create different sub or micro cultures within this larger neuro-culture.


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So I really like that way of thinking about it. I think one of the way I really like the example understands about the interview itself, because I've also been pushing for interview reforms, and I've been pushing for universal design in the workplace as well as education and being able


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to tailor. Each aspect of someone's job to their strengths, and being able to provide for the most accommodating environment from the outset, for neurodivergent employees and one of the ways in which this can get started is in the application process the job description is the first


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thing that many people see when applying for your job, and a lot of times the job description is inaccessible because it's long.


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It's very lengthy a lot of times.


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The terms required versus preferred requirements are not really distinguished.


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So if we see requirement, and we're just like Nope, we don't have that, even if we have 5 or 6 others.


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Yeah, yeah.


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I don't apply, because I'm afraid they're going to grow me on that one aspect that I don't have and that's what happened a few times.


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But even moving past like the job description, and going off with the job description, like there's language technology, it's like what exactly is competency in or familiarity in, because I can be competent in the tool.


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I can have a knowledge in 95% of like an app or 2.


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But I might not be completely in the 5% that you need me to do for the job.


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So I've been out of waiting for a lot more specific guidelines as to what we'll be doing, what we'll need to use these skills for in the job description.


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Moving past the moving past the top description. There's interview prices, and there's a lot of different accessibility, things that can be put in place that are free, like sending the questions ahead of time, putting the questions in writing, adding close captioning to the Zoom call allow them for the interview itself, to


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be like had through zoom, because some people are really stringent.


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Want you to come in person and adding test based task based like assignments to the interview.


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So it's not just you talking, but it's you actually showing what you can do, because a lot of times for me, I struggle to make eye contact.


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I also fidget a lot during interviews. I'm also sometimes tripping off of my wires because of my anxiety or cause.


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I'm just really nervous all the time. So, being able to offset those by adding, in some competency based task, could really help the process go bit smoother.


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And then comes the transition to the workplace, and a lot of times the training is difficult, has been difficult for me, because it was like given it a non-inclusive manner.


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So for my current job. How they tried me was I made me read like like 30 15 page documents that were unrelated to each other, with no context.


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And what I wanted, and what I asked for was if the my supervisor, the person training me, could actually go through the task with me and give me honest spotback. And it was because I do work for a smaller organization, so people do have like a lot of things to get done.


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It's not like people can cover for them. So there was this one task that was really important.


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It was basically providing our resources to like our consumers.


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And that was a really important part, because I was managing our online store and for one home months people weren't getting any of the orders they.


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As for this was during autism, acceptance, month out of all months, and because we didn't know how to do this task if they weren't getting their orders all month, they weren't getting the resources. I requested, are needed.


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So finally, my supervisor sat down with me, went through the task with me.


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One on one. Give me feedback, and within 15 min I got it.


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I just understood it. It just became so much easier because she was able to go through it with me versus having me read these confusing documents.


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Oh, I love it!


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So having is really important.


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Well, I love how you just walked us through that! And I were.


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It's like. Wouldn't it be nice if we hadn't instructions for dating?


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We're going to get there, I promise. I do want to say 2 things as 0 different folks.


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I know for me. I'm very rejection sensitive.


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And so, yeah, I see you're agreeing with that.


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It's like when you talked about. Okay, we look up these job descriptions right?


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And we have 5 out of like 7 things that we do.


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But it's those 2 things that it's like, okay, if we person that we're gonna get rejected, it's like, Nope, you know, whereas someone else, perhaps, who's not neuro different.


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Might say, I'm going to go for it right? So I love that you brought that up.


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I also want to say one thing that I've noticed, and I my world is all about intimacy and relationships.


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I mean, I'm a truly an intimacy. Experts.


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And so I work with a lot of couples and mixed in same neurotype.


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And what I talk a lot about is that how we define words is very different.


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And so like you were saying, if you read something like competency the way you might define it might actually be really different for an employer.


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And that's the same in relationship. Where, like the how, I define love, intimacy, connection might be very different from what it often is.


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I mean, I've learned this from my partner of 12 years that the way that way we define words is just different.


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So my language and the words I use in my autism play are different from his language, and what he uses.


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So I just wanna say that because I think that's really important for our listeners to think about that.


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Words, matter, and as an aught part of the neuro, different culture, how I define and speak words are just different.


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So are you? Okay? If we transition, I start. I wanted to start out with maybe more of a safe topic of talking about.


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Your expertise before I move into like a little more. I think you know, people tend to get a little bit squirmy and uncomfortable when I talk about dating or intimacy.


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Even sex. And so let me just start with that question, what are your?


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Wouldn't it be nice if there were instructions on dating?


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There was like a manual for dating. We knew what to say when to say it, how to say it the tone of voice we are supposed to use the dating is so dynamic with so many different moving factors, and so many, and that's not even like mentioning the factors, that like contribute to


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the other people like the factors. Other people are like thinking about us.


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So there's so much that we have to consider about ourselves.


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So much!


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And so what about the other person?


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So are you dating?


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Right now I'm trying. Today. It's really difficult, because kind of over the position I'm in.


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I'm out of college. I'm in grad school now, so it's hard to find people like my age, and I'm not really sometimes going to social locations like going to bars are going to restaurants or going to like clubs.


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Things are similar, are really challenging for me. Honest, social, and sensory level cause.


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It's really loud. And you also have, like a lot of people around.


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So you don't really have that much personal space, and it can also just be really overwhelming from the centuries.


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Perspective, so it can be really difficult to find. People are to date like we're out of college.


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Or that was my experience. I've gone on a few bedding sites like applications like Kicky, for example, and it's been hard to like on date, sir, because it's not many people are on the apps.


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Yeah, I love how you talked about bars. And you know I've interviewed other folks that have said that too.


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And I agree with you. It is so sensory, overloaded, and there's just too much going on.


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People, are up in your biz and your personal space. It's loud.


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It's just I find my! I have not been to a bar in a very long time, and so I agree with you.


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It's like, where are those safe places where we can find people?


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If I were dating I would want to know that I get the apps are like the big thing, but even then it's still like there's no manual.


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And then how do you screen people properly? Because I do think the diagnosis of autism equates to vulnerability.


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We are vulnerable to being manipulated, and really overly trusting I don't know if you've experienced that just even in friendships.


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I know I have, and so.


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Yeah, for me as well, especially being like in an to sexual individual who has been abandoned in the past.


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I was that's how my story began in a train station.


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I was abandoned in China, which is right underneath Eastern Russia.


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It has nice to meet you, but I was abounded in China in a translation at 6 months old, and since then it's hard cause, like I've wanted to.


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I've been desperate for different relationships.


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I've been desperate to like become close to people, but I've also been really afraid to become close to people as well.


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So it's kind of this catch. 22 situation of me wanting to like be in a close relationship with people, but also being afraid of like the rejection and the abound that might happen like situation, occur.


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Hi! I just have so much compassion for you, Ben, with your story, and you know, when you talk about that, just that intersectionality factor.


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And again being abandoned as a key component for you being adopted in.


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Then, having the sphere wanting to connect, it is just that challenge right where I feel that same way, where I wanna connect.


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But then I've had these experiences where I feel like I can trust people.


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I'm having it right now with this friend group. Where, gosh!


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They were so nice in the beginning, but in supportive. And now it's like they're not even. I shared.


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I got into this program. You know, it's really competitive.


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I'm so excited in crickets. Just ignore the text like, just mean girl.


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And so that struggle, even as adults, you and I are adults.


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But even that experience of being bullied right and's like, and I'm not even talking about an intimate relationship.


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I know in intimate relationships and dating, we can be victims of bullying.


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But I'm talking about just even friendships. So and then so that component, I think, is really challenging because I'm with you.


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I just well, I'm open. I just. I'm loving.


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I wanna be friends with everyone, and then I even see it in in our autism community, on social media.


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Sometimes, where there's just this judgment, and instead of getting to know me, for instance, people can just be mean.


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And so have you experienced that like you said with friends where it's like even as an adult where you're just wanting to be opening, connect, and even friends, it's just not.


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It's not as easy.


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Yeah, it's really difficult. I'm really sorry you have that experience with your friend group like you were.


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Open your vonnerable, and you shared something that was really exciting about yourself, and they kind of all streams to you, and didn't really respond in.


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That's something that has been challenging the past for me, and that is like setting boundaries and knowing what others are setting boundaries cause a lot of times when they set boundaries.


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It's usually like these implicit boundaries that we're just expected to know.


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Instead of people explicitly saying, Hey, account, to at this time, or Hey, if you don't hear from me, I might be busy or so a lot of times if I send someone a message, and like within, like one or 2 or 3 days I don't hear back I kind of feel like they're I


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feel personally, talked right, just feel like they're not really interested in.


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But I.


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Well, that happens with dating like the ghosting situation right with my friend Group.


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What's interesting is they responded. A part of my, we started a ketamine program at our Anoma State Center for healing.


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So they said, congrats on serving ketamine but didn't even acknowledge that I got into this certificate program.


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So, so it was. They responded right away. They were super supportive of what of my other friends?


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Said one line that was just like me, and then completely ignored, and then moved on, and then one friend was even really cold and distance distance with me in a personal text that same day.


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So I share that. So that because I do get a lot of listeners, and even on Linkedin, where there's a lot of assumptions.


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Oh, you're overreacting! Oh, people might be, but I feel like I know from my own experience, autistic people were actually quite intuitive, and we're picking up energy so we've been little.


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We're picking up on all the energy around us which people focus on other we're sensory, sensitive, but we're also energy, sensitive and part of that is because I believe there isn't.


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This direct communication it's very vague, you know.


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I really feel like the neural majority communicates in a very vague way like you, said implicit boundaries and kind of just these assumptions.


00:22:56.000 --> 00:23:05.000

And your work just left guessing. So I think we have this gift of, we're feeling the energy of what's going on and oftentimes I think we're accurate.


00:23:05.000 --> 00:23:19.000

And then what happens is we call it out, hey? We just say it directly I notice this and then I don't know if you've experienced this, but there were gas lights so again, whether it's friends or in relationship where it's like we start to question ourselves.


00:23:19.000 --> 00:23:22.000

So there's a lot of dynamics. I think, that go into relationships, whether it's friendships or intimate relationships.


00:23:22.000 --> 00:23:32.000

That can be very challenging for us and I'm just curious and intimate relationships are dating relationships.


00:23:32.000 --> 00:23:44.000

If you've had any experiences that you found were really rewarding where the person was really loving and understanding, or the flip side where they were so much.


00:23:44.000 --> 00:23:50.000

I've only been on one romantic relationship, and that was in college, and I did feel like it was really rewarding.


00:23:50.000 --> 00:23:55.000

We really understood each other, we we're able to do things.


00:23:55.000 --> 00:23:56.000

We had really similar interests because we were both psychology majors, and she was also autistic as well.


00:23:56.000 --> 00:24:08.000

So we were able to like set these explicit boundaries, and we were able to study together.


00:24:08.000 --> 00:24:11.000

We also.


00:24:11.000 --> 00:24:12.000

We knew like where each other's limits were. So we knew not to schedule it.


00:24:12.000 --> 00:24:20.000

Activities, interfered with like each other's limits.


00:24:20.000 --> 00:24:29.000

But we also knew, like that. It's healthy to like spend time away from each other as well.


00:24:29.000 --> 00:24:30.000



00:24:30.000 --> 00:24:33.000

So hanging out with other friends, maybe introducing each other, or mutual friends, so we can kind of have this friend group.


00:24:33.000 --> 00:24:37.000

And that's honestly what we did our senior year of college.


00:24:37.000 --> 00:24:38.000



00:24:38.000 --> 00:24:47.000

We had a group of me, her and her roommate, and her roommate's boyfriend at the time, and we just hung out every single weekend.


00:24:47.000 --> 00:24:53.000

We went out to different restaurants that weren't really too crowded, cause it was it was early Pennsylvania, so it wasn't really so.


00:24:53.000 --> 00:24:54.000



00:24:54.000 --> 00:25:00.000

It was a really nice small town, quiet town, so the rescheduled trips to the beach would go to different restaurants.


00:25:00.000 --> 00:25:03.000

We would go bowling. Every once in a while we would go to the Park, and just do all of these.


00:25:03.000 --> 00:25:24.000

Sensory, friendly things, most hanging out with each other as a friend, group and we'd also like when we're alone, we would like be a little bit more intimate.


00:25:24.000 --> 00:25:25.000



00:25:25.000 --> 00:25:36.000

But we also need new one to be a little bit more professional, and one to do a bit due to these explicit boundaries, and due to having experiences with like dating each other as large individuals.


00:25:36.000 --> 00:25:41.000

I love, that I love all the things you said. Again the explicit boundaries.


00:25:41.000 --> 00:25:42.000

Go ahead!


00:25:42.000 --> 00:25:48.000

It's also. But it's also me, because we oh, sorry I'm so sorry because the way we got into relationship was we.


00:25:48.000 --> 00:25:52.000

This was both their first relationship. So she came over.


00:25:52.000 --> 00:25:55.000

She lived in Arizona. So she came to DC.


00:25:55.000 --> 00:26:01.000

Just to hang out over the summer and we were on the caps watching a movie.


00:26:01.000 --> 00:26:10.000

And she said something like, Hey, wouldn't it be cold like we were like this couple of the movie?


00:26:10.000 --> 00:26:12.000

And I great with that, and we didn't really know how to like.


00:26:12.000 --> 00:26:22.000

Ask if we wanted to be a relationship, but we both wanted it because we both like thought.


00:26:22.000 --> 00:26:30.000

It would be really cool, and we both really close to each other, and we were good classmates, good colleagues and good friends at the time.


00:26:30.000 --> 00:26:49.000

So basically what happened, how we got into relationship was, I just said, Okay, on the count of 3, we say, it's official but we didn't really know at the time, like, how relationships work.


00:26:49.000 --> 00:26:50.000

I love it!


00:26:50.000 --> 00:26:53.000

So I just was like, 1, 2, 3, and we both shouted, it's so. And that's kind of how how we, down to that relationship.


00:26:53.000 --> 00:26:57.000

I love it. It's like it gets to be whatever works for people.


00:26:57.000 --> 00:26:58.000

You know that's where that's my motto.


00:26:58.000 --> 00:27:04.000

It's like whatever works for people, and I love it. And how long were you with her?


00:27:04.000 --> 00:27:07.000

So I think it was about 2 and a half 3 years.


00:27:07.000 --> 00:27:15.000

It was difficult during Covid, because we we're releasing each other because, like we took classes from home.


00:27:15.000 --> 00:27:32.000

Communication through text and everything, bye, I think it was like 2 and a half years we met when I was in my sophomore year of college, and she was in her freshman year, because she was great below me.


00:27:32.000 --> 00:27:39.000

I didn't know she was an autism program until like we started talking about doctors and program at the college.


00:27:39.000 --> 00:27:44.000

And we just found out that we were both in it. So.


00:27:44.000 --> 00:27:50.000

I love it. I mean, I think that again. That's not just meeting someone on a dating app or at a bar.


00:27:50.000 --> 00:27:54.000

But you can meet people in real life, whether it's a work or school finding similar interests.


00:27:54.000 --> 00:27:58.000

And what are your thoughts, Ben? Do you feel like for you?


00:27:58.000 --> 00:28:07.000

It makes sense to look for someone who has a similar brain type. Like, if you're dating, are you interested in dating someone who's autistic rather than not?


00:28:07.000 --> 00:28:21.000

I think it might make the communication process easier, because a lot of autistics have have, like similar experiences when it comes to rejection when it comes to being misunderstood.


00:28:21.000 --> 00:28:30.000

So I think being it helps with the connection piece, but also, I think, like having similar interest, having similar goals does help.


00:28:30.000 --> 00:28:36.000

So I think, having both a mixture of like someone who is no divergent, but also somebody is compatible.


00:28:36.000 --> 00:28:44.000

Someone who similar interests and maybe like, has the same hobbies as he is really important.


00:28:44.000 --> 00:28:45.000

I agree.


00:28:45.000 --> 00:28:50.000

So I I think just having mixture. I mean, I data in our typical person.


00:28:50.000 --> 00:28:54.000

If they would have similar interests and goals as mayor.


00:28:54.000 --> 00:28:56.000

They weren't like, completely different from me.


00:28:56.000 --> 00:29:03.000

Yeah. And I think just again, if there was respect for your culture, your neurologically different culture, right?


00:29:03.000 --> 00:29:04.000

It's like respect and patient with each other as you learn your language, and you learn the behavior around it right?


00:29:04.000 --> 00:29:24.000

And you're just kind of navigating that I agree with you.


00:29:24.000 --> 00:29:25.000



00:29:25.000 --> 00:29:29.000

It's funny now when I work with couples, Ben, I'm if one person's autistic I'm starting to to observe and screen the other person as well, because what I'm noticing is more often than not there might be an identified autistic person in the


00:29:29.000 --> 00:29:34.000

relationship. But the other person might be 82 or autistic.


00:29:34.000 --> 00:29:40.000

So it's really interesting, because I do think like a tracks like, and I think neur neurology attracts neurology.


00:29:40.000 --> 00:29:41.000



00:29:41.000 --> 00:29:47.000

I joke with Chris, my partner, that I actually see a lot of autistic traits with Chris, and you know he doesn't want to take on a label.


00:29:47.000 --> 00:29:59.000

I get it. So it's like, okay. But I I noticed myself being more pain with him when he came.


00:29:59.000 --> 00:30:00.000

Really rigid, and stuck in like a certain, you know, it's like, Okay, it's gotta look this way.


00:30:00.000 --> 00:30:05.000

Or maybe he gets where he's just like going into a shutdown, because I know that in my own self.


00:30:05.000 --> 00:30:13.000

And so I think just those things being really sensitive to our partners, can be really helpful.


00:30:13.000 --> 00:30:32.000

Do you mind if I ask how your relationship ended, or what happened?


00:30:32.000 --> 00:30:38.000

Hmm! Hi!


00:30:38.000 --> 00:30:39.000



00:30:39.000 --> 00:30:41.000

Oh, yeah, that. Yeah, that sounds good. I did. Wanna just add that the fact that like we didn't really know we were nerve or now, the other person, my version at the time and I guess it's the same for like using is autistic.


00:30:41.000 --> 00:30:42.000



00:30:42.000 --> 00:30:46.000

And kind of screening I think that lends a lot of support for the double empathy theory.


00:30:46.000 --> 00:30:47.000



00:30:47.000 --> 00:30:55.000

Oh, can. Like in our different styles, and some people communicate with their own neurotype better than others.


00:30:55.000 --> 00:30:56.000



00:30:56.000 --> 00:31:03.000

We do get each other, and like I always check that.


00:31:03.000 --> 00:31:04.000

Me too!


00:31:04.000 --> 00:31:13.000

I can spot like an autistic person from a crowded bar, so like at least here, like I'm there all the food I'm not interacting with people I'm like, all the way in the background by the food or on my phone.


00:31:13.000 --> 00:31:14.000



00:31:14.000 --> 00:31:25.000

It's I think it learned a lot of support for this double empathy theory, because we didn't really the first version at the time yeah, we're able to communicate.


00:31:25.000 --> 00:31:32.000

And a lot of times especially, and this even happens to my friend groups like my friends from like, when I was 7 or 8.


00:31:32.000 --> 00:31:36.000

We're later diagnosed as being Adhd or being autistic.


00:31:36.000 --> 00:31:39.000

And we didn't know we were no divergent at the time.


00:31:39.000 --> 00:31:53.000

We didn't know they were no divergent at the time, but we so much we're able to communicate in a way each of us understood, even if the Nera majority didn't really understand the way of thinking.


00:31:53.000 --> 00:31:54.000

Oh, I agree.


00:31:54.000 --> 00:31:56.000

So I think it learned a lot of support for the stability theory when it comes about like how my relationship ended.


00:31:56.000 --> 00:32:06.000

It was just a matter of like us kind of like graduating college, like I was going back to Virginia.


00:32:06.000 --> 00:32:12.000



00:32:12.000 --> 00:32:13.000

Oh, good!


00:32:13.000 --> 00:32:21.000

She was I'm staying in there. So we realize that, like we could still be friends, and but like, I'm and we also like, have really similar goals of wanting to advocate for the community.


00:32:21.000 --> 00:32:22.000



00:32:22.000 --> 00:32:26.000

So I've been giving her like resources, and I've been.


00:32:26.000 --> 00:32:27.000



00:32:27.000 --> 00:32:32.000

We actually work on a project together after I graduated, in which we could raise an empower, no divergent voices.


00:32:32.000 --> 00:32:44.000

So we've been in contact. I wouldn't say we talk as often because we're like so busy with like grad school, and with our own lives in the here. Now.


00:32:44.000 --> 00:32:51.000

But we sometimes talk like when the Chancellor ises and catch up with.


00:32:51.000 --> 00:32:59.000

Well, Ben, the fact that you 2 still are friends is huge I mean, you're a 6 story about a relationship.


00:32:59.000 --> 00:33:02.000

I love your story. Thank you.


00:33:02.000 --> 00:33:08.000

Yeah, it's yeah. I'm really happy that you show you.


00:33:08.000 --> 00:33:09.000



00:33:09.000 --> 00:33:21.000

Appreciate it, hearing, and it was. It was difficult because we, but we also, like both, had our backs like with.


00:33:21.000 --> 00:33:22.000



00:33:22.000 --> 00:33:23.000

Both navigating and our typewriter college life together, and we both how to support each other.


00:33:23.000 --> 00:33:30.000

And we did get support from some of the staff members at the college, because a code should have an autism program.


00:33:30.000 --> 00:33:36.000

We were both part of, so we did get some guidance and some advice around that.


00:33:36.000 --> 00:33:48.000

But a lot of times we were kind of alone, and we were left to figure things out, and that was one time, actually, when we were kind of in the car light at night.


00:33:48.000 --> 00:34:02.000

Listen to music, and we wanted to like be in the car because we didn't want to disrupt like any of our roommates or anyone else in the apartment, and we have like, I guess we have like 10 am classes.


00:34:02.000 --> 00:34:12.000

So we could stay up late at night, but we were like it was about 9 30 at night, and all of a sudden we see flashing lights.


00:34:12.000 --> 00:34:13.000

Wow! Wow!


00:34:13.000 --> 00:34:23.000

We see the police who are behind as we were listening to music and the police, knocked on my door because it was my car, and he was asking, What are you doing?


00:34:23.000 --> 00:34:27.000

Why are you in the car at this late night? And it was really intimidating, and we were able to answer those questions, and they left.


00:34:27.000 --> 00:34:38.000

But the next morning we were kind of pulled into the like aim offices, and we.


00:34:38.000 --> 00:34:51.000

It was explained to us that when, like no typical people see like people, encourage their mind automatically wonders to their having sex in the car, or they're doing something explicit.


00:34:51.000 --> 00:34:52.000

Wow! Wow!


00:34:52.000 --> 00:34:55.000

And a public area. So they didn't know we were just listening to music.


00:34:55.000 --> 00:35:00.000

Or we just we thought as near divergence. So we were actually doing the respectful thing.


00:35:00.000 --> 00:35:01.000



00:35:01.000 --> 00:35:14.000

But take activity outside. So it was kind of like we were kind of frustrated that, like even though we were trying to be respectful of others, sleep times and quiet hours, we were still like punished for it.


00:35:14.000 --> 00:35:19.000



00:35:19.000 --> 00:35:20.000



00:35:20.000 --> 00:35:21.000

We weren't finished, but we were so lectured about it, and it's kind of it was really confusing for us.


00:35:21.000 --> 00:35:22.000

But I'm.


00:35:22.000 --> 00:35:38.000

I bet I I appreciate you sharing that story, and I hope that people listening that are not neurodivergent will please be just a more open-minded that just because someone's in a car at night doesn't mean they're doing something explicit or illegal


00:35:38.000 --> 00:35:42.000

right. It's like it's just so fascinating.


00:35:42.000 --> 00:35:45.000

So what? Thank you for sharing that story, then?


00:35:45.000 --> 00:35:56.000

Yeah, I would a stressful situation. Bye, once it was explained to us, like, I guess the explanation didn't really satisfy either of us.


00:35:56.000 --> 00:35:57.000



00:35:57.000 --> 00:36:02.000

We were with even more questions like, Why is that the first?


00:36:02.000 --> 00:36:05.000



00:36:05.000 --> 00:36:06.000



00:36:06.000 --> 00:36:07.000

Thing that comes to mind when people see people in cars late at night like that was literally my first question.


00:36:07.000 --> 00:36:11.000

Yeah, yeah.


00:36:11.000 --> 00:36:18.000

Yeah, yeah.


00:36:18.000 --> 00:36:19.000



00:36:19.000 --> 00:36:26.000

Look, why the automatic, implicit, mindset and my second question was, why didn't they come out and ask us what we were doing instead of getting the police involved because if that questions like could like text us, so they could if they didn't have a phone number they could just like kind of ask us


00:36:26.000 --> 00:36:27.000

or something.


00:36:27.000 --> 00:36:32.000

Yeah. The assumptions right again, it just speaks to that.


00:36:32.000 --> 00:36:36.000

I really think the poor communication of the neuro majority where there's just such we live in such a knee-jerk reactive.


00:36:36.000 --> 00:36:46.000

Society, instead of giving people the benefit of the doubt, and being compassionate and patient, so.


00:36:46.000 --> 00:36:53.000

But I am aware of the time Ban. It's been so lovely talking with you're just an amazing human.


00:36:53.000 --> 00:36:54.000

Thank you for inspiring the world, and also sharing such a beautiful story about dating. Thank you.


00:36:54.000 --> 00:37:10.000

So much. I know that your story is going to your people inspiration and hope, but and also I mean you actually, without maybe recognizing it.


00:37:10.000 --> 00:37:20.000

But you gave some tips you did, you know just about like oh, you know, we take time apart or we hang out with friends, or, you know, find someone that you have.


00:37:20.000 --> 00:37:31.000

That's similar hobbies and similar interests, and it's, you you just did a beautiful job communicating your dating experience.


00:37:31.000 --> 00:37:32.000

So I just wanna thank you so much for coming on fabulous.


00:37:32.000 --> 00:37:37.000

The Candace today.


00:37:37.000 --> 00:37:45.000

Yes, thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure talking with you and explaining and exploring my experiences, and sharing these insights.


00:37:45.000 --> 00:37:49.000

Your community, and with the broader, or divergent community.


00:37:49.000 --> 00:37:51.000

So thank you so much for having me on.


00:37:51.000 --> 00:37:59.000

Thank you. Okay, everybody. This is our final season. I'm going to be going on to different things.


00:37:59.000 --> 00:38:07.000

Starting school, our wonderful podcast producer, Tatum, is also going to graduate school.


00:38:07.000 --> 00:38:12.000

So there's going to be a transition. So we're just gonna savor every moment together as we wrap up.


00:38:12.000 --> 00:38:19.000

Season 3. I want to tell all of you that love is the medicine, and we are all love.


00:38:19.000 --> 00:38:26.000

So please please spread love, not hate, and please be tender with your sweet cells.


00:38:26.000 --> 00:38:33.000

Alright until next time. Bye!