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UNIQUELY US

Gracefully Navigating the Maze of Neurodiverse Marriage

Uniquely Us explores the complicated connection between Autism, Marriage, and Faith and provides a path forward for the Neurodiverse Couples working together in this journey.

 

Uniquely Us is designed to educate clergy, coaches, chaplains, and counselors on the nuances and complexities of working with NeuroDiverse Christian Couples.

Featuring experts in the fields of Marriage, ADHD, Autism, Life Coaching, and more!

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Book Launch Date Release Coming Soon!

FALL 2024
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Conventional relationship counselling needs to be adapted to accommodate the profile of abilities and history of interpersonal experiences of an autistic partner. Uniquely Us explains the adaptations based on the authors' extensive relationship counselling expertise and contribution to the research literature. Their new book covers, in some depth, aspects of a neurodiverse relationship that may only be superficially explored in other publications, such as abuse in the relationship, neuroplasticity, Executive Function and religious beliefs. The latest theoretical models of autism are clearly explained and applied to aspects of everyday life for a neurodiverse couple and illustrated by quotations from partners whom the authors have interviewed. When reading Uniquely Us, there will be many ‘light bulb’ moments for both partners in a neurodiverse relationship and relationship counsellors.

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Professor Tony Attwood
Author of Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

Dr. Stephanie and Dan Holmes are innovators in their pioneering work of understanding and bringing healing to NeuroDiverse Christian marriages.  They bring a strong integration of neuroscience, Scripture, and practical wisdom to all of us. Their honesty about their own 29-year neurodiverse marriage journey is refreshing and brings hope.  As a seasoned marriage therapist of 25 years, and now coach, who has also worked with Autism Level 1 for the past 10 years, I have learned a great deal by reading this book.  I immediately began applying their wisdom to the couples and individuals that I see in my clinical practice.  Couples and clinicians alike will be blessed by this book.

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Dr. W. Jesse Gill, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist
Author of Face to Face: Seven Keys to a Secure Marriage

Relational joy is easily the most important factor in brain development. Joy is just as important for those with neurodiversity but the pathway to joy may be less flexible. When brains are misattuned, people become irritable and discouraged. Synchronicity matters! Dr. Holmes uses research and experience to provide the critical balancing factors that nurture a joyful and peaceful togetherness in neurodiverse couples and families. 

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Dr. E. James Wilder
Neurotheologian and Life Model theoretician of Life Model Works; International speaker, author and co-author of multiple books that intersect neuroscience and theology, including Escaping Enemy Mode & Joy Starts Here, and The Other Half of Church

One of the major discoveries in brain science involves the concept of neuroplasticity, which means our brain can change, adapt, and reorganize under the right conditions. As someone who has trained relational brain skills for nearly 25 years, this is good news! All neurotypes can grow new relational skills and improve relationships. Some intentionality and collaboration goes a long way to increase joy and transform bonds of fear to bonds of love and delight. This brings me to Uniquely Us. Here we have a rich treasure trove that adds much-needed clarity to neurodiversity, a topic that is greatly misunderstood. The lack of understanding around neurodiversity and faith can lead to immense pain and hardship for couples and families who are navigating life with ASD and ADHD. Uniquely Us is a goldmine of wisdom, research, stories and experience that will clarify, instruct, enlighten and encourage. This important work will untangle confusion around neurodiversity, neuroplasticity, autism, and more. We now have a much-needed resource that brings clarity and hope for couples with neurodiverse marriages.

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Chris M. Coursey
President of THRIVEtoday, Author of The Joy Switch

Dr. Stephanie Holmes asks and answers critically important questions on the intersection of faith and neurodiverse marriages. It is not unusual for legalistic and rigid misunderstandings about Scripture to make a dysfunctional marriage even more difficult and for there to be harm when it results in a spouse being deprived of effective tools to deal with the problems in a healthy way. This is magnified in neurodiverse Christian marriages where the AS partner interprets Scriptures and teachings in an even more literal, black-and-white, inflexible, and rule-based way that increases the likelihood of abuse. I highly recommend this book to anyone who offers advice to ND/NT couples and to those who are in a neurodiverse marriage. 

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Karla Downing, M.A., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Best-Selling Author of 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages and founder of ChangeMyRelationship.com

Dr. Stephanie Holmes, Dan, and contributing authors have crafted a masterful edited text that not only conceptualizes the nature of autism but seeks to broaden perspective and create pathways of growth, knowledge, and healing for the self and couples. Research and techniques have traditionally centered around children and often present a singular self-focus of treatment, but the value of this text is the focus on adulthood and in the marital realm, which makes this text a true gift to the world.

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Dr. Kevin B. Hull, Ph.D, LMHC, RPT, CGP
Associate Professor and Faculty Advisor, School of Behavioral Sciences at Liberty University

Dr. Stephanie Holmes and her husband Dan have been leading the way in the field of neurodiversity in marriage and family for years! This book is “must-have” resource for all who provide counseling, coaching, or guidance to spouses and couples even if neurodiversity such as autism or ADHD has never been formally diagnosed.  Clinicians and clergy have little to no education and training in understanding and recognizing neurodiversity and how marriages are impacted by partners’ differences from one another. Differences in spoken and non-verbal language, how sensation is experienced and processed, how problems are solved, and the purpose of rules and routines are but a few of the relationship challenges that can be misinterpreted by clinicians and clergy. I have worked with countless partners and couples who have been unintentionally harmed by the guidance of providers who had no knowledge of neurodiversity. This book provides paramount insight into the world of a neurodiverse couple!

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Jodi Carlton, MEd.
Host of the “YOUR Neurodiverse Relationship” podcast

Pastors and Christian mental health professionals are too often ill-prepared to provide counseling, spiritual care and support with neurodiverse families who are coming to church in increasing numbers through the efforts of rapidly proliferating inclusion ministries. Dr. Stephanie Holmes and Rev. Dan Holmes have been uniquely positioned through their academic training, professional calling and lived experience to serve as exceptional resources to the Christian community as we come alongside couples navigating the challenges of neurodiverse marriages. They blend practical wisdom with evidence-based practice to provide invaluable insight for Christians with autism and their spouses to thrive in their marriages while living out their faith.

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Stephen Grcevich, MD
President and Founder, Key Ministry
Author of Mental Health and the Church: A Ministry Handbook for Including Children and Adults with ADHD, Anxiety, Mood Disorders and Other Common Mental Health Conditions

Dr. Holmes has done it again, combining cutting-edge research with couples with AS and practical experience from both the field of counseling and life experience, to create an exceptional book for marriage and autism. Her work with couples, where one or both partners have AS, provides a wealth of knowledge and resources for the practitioner who specializes in AS/ND as well as those interested in topics in autism. This book is a must-read for anyone looking for unique insights into autism and relationships.

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Dr. William Carroll, Ph.D., LPC
Dissertation Study: Sister-to-Sister: A phenomenological study of women’s experiences of having a sister with Autism Spectrum Disorder based on the Female Autism Phenotype

Uniquely Us is a must-read for clinicians, coaches, and those who live with, love, and do life with someone who is Neurodivergent. Dr. Holmes and the contributing authors never whitewash the real struggle these couples face, including abuse, without losing hope that change can happen. The book is full of helpful research, best practices, and how-to’s. My favorite part was the personal stories from the ND individuals who accepted their diagnosis and shared how they did their work to learn to become more loving and present people.

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Leslie Vernick, MSW
International Speaker, Relationship Coach, and Author of The Emotionally Destructive Relationship and The Emotionally Destructive Marriage

Meet the Authors

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Rev. Dr. Stephanie C. Holmes

Rev. Dan Holmes
 

NeuroDiverse Christian Couple (NDCC) Coaches & Coaching Coaches of NDCCs

Stephanie and Dan Holmes write from lived experience as a NeuroDiverse Christian Couple (NDCC) as well as professional experience working with NDCCs. Their first book, written with their adult children, Embracing the Autism Spectrum: Finding Hope & Joy Navigating the NeuroDiverse Family Journey focuses on their parenting journey of neurodivergent children and discovering their own neurodiversity in marriage.

 

Dr. Stephanie C. Holmes was formerly a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in the state of North Carolina. She received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Campbell University, her Master's in counseling from Liberty University, and her doctorate in education from Abilene Christian University. She is an ordained minister, author, autism researcher, speaker, and certified autism specialist. When her daughter Sydney was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, her world and focus changed from a thriving marriage and family therapy practice to a world of Individualized Education Programs, 504 educational plans, and understanding how to help students and individuals with challenges and needs in the classroom and the church setting. Today, she pulls from personal as well as professional experience to focus on neurodiverse marriages and family systems. She is the owner and founder of Autism Spectrum Resources for Marriage & Family, LLC, and she and Dan are co-founders of The International Association of NeuroDiverse Christian Marriage, LLC, and the podcast NeuroDiverse Christian Couples. Dr. Holmes and her family, Dan, Sydney & Erica, share their different perspectives and insights as a neurodiverse family!

Dan Holmes is a seasoned leader with a rich background in systems architecture, design, and consulting. He received his bachelor's degree in management information systems from The University of Charlotte (UNCC at the time), and his Masters in computer science through The Georgia Institute of Technology (GT). In addition to his technical roles, he is a professional coach who guides Neurodivergent men, helping them harness their unique potential in personal and professional spheres. These dual roles allow him to integrate innovative thinking with empathy, fostering a culture of understanding and driving holistic growth. Dan is an ordained minister, Master Life Coach, and has served in church ministry through band ministry, small group leadership and board leadership. He received his own identification on the spectrum in 2019 and is a co-founder with Stephanie of The International Association of NeuroDiverse Christian Marriage, LLC and their podcast, NeuroDiverse Christian Couples.

 

Uniquely Us is based on published research from Dan's later-in-life adult autism diagnosis and focuses on faith, marriage and autism. It then examines how neurodiversity and faith create a complex relationship dynamic for NeuroDiverse Christian Couples. If you want to continue to learn about NDCCs, join Stephanie & Dan on their podcast, NeuroDiverse Christian Couples at:
 www.christianneurodiversemarriage.com.

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Charity Rochford TI-CLC & Jeremy Rochford TI-CLC, C-MHC, C-YMHC
NDCC Neurodiverse Family, Parent & Marriage Coaches

Jeremy and Charity, Team Rochford, as they are affectionately known, are an ND/NT couple who have been happily married for over 20 years. They have two Neurodivergent children, both of whom are on the Autism spectrum and most likely they inherited those genes from Jeremy, who himself, received an Autism/ADHD diagnosis later in life.

 

Both are Trauma Informed (TI) Certified Life Coaches (CLC) who specialize in helping Neurodivergent and Neurodiverse Families understand communication, culture, and their own unique family dynamic. Together, as a Neurodiverse couple and family, they've founded NeuroFam (www.OurNeuroFam.com) to support other ND/NT families through the intricacies of navigating life in a world that (far too often) doesn’t understand their struggles.

 

Jeremy, with his BA in Communication (California University of Pa), and Charity, with her BA in Psychology (California University of Pa), live in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA with their two awesomely neurodivergent children, an overused coffee maker, and multiple emotional support stuffed animals.

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Robin Tate, MA, MS, BCC, CAS
Autism/ADHD Life & Neurodiverse Couples Coach

Robin is a professionally trained coach with ten years of teaching experience; she owns her own coaching and education practice (Robin Tate LLC). As a Neurodivergent (ADHD) woman, Robin has a lifetime of personal and professional experiences with Autistic/ADHD adults. Robin holds a Master of Science in Reading and a Master of Arts in Counseling. She is credentialed as a Board Certified Coach (BCC), Associate Certified Coach (ACC), and Certified Autism Specialist (CAS). With a focus on Autistic individuals as well as their relationships, she trained with The Association for Autism & Neurodiversity (AANE). She holds AANE certifications as an "AsperCoach" and a Neurodiverse Couples Coach. Robin is a UCLA PEERS "Certified Young Adult Provider". She has also trained with JST Coaching Training, The Professional Christian Coaching Institute (PCCI), and The International Association of Neurodiverse Christian Couples. Robin has completed Gottman Level 1 and 2 training. Her coaching approach is trauma-informed, strength-based, and client-centered. Robin is passionate about helping couples build safe, inclusive, homes where each person can be authentic and grow to reach their unique life and couples goals.

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Barbara Grant, MA MFT, CAS
Neurodiverse Couples Coach

Barbara Grant, MA MFT, CAS, NCC, has a master's in Marriage & Family Therapy, is a Certified Autism Specialist (IBCCES), and is a certified Neurodiverse Couples Coach (AANE). She has also been trained by the International Association of ND Christian Marriage and is a contributing author to their blogs.

 

She has been coaching and offering Biblical counseling since 2005, working with individuals, couples, and groups. Her current coaching practice focuses on neurodiverse couples, individuals, and families and offers support groups for neurotypicals. Barbara enjoys people! She is neurotypical; her first marriage (of 20 years) was to a neurodiverse partner and has a neurodiverse adult child from that marriage. She brings a lifetime of experience, compassion, and understanding to all her clients and is becoming a significant voice in the growing dialog about how to best support and strengthen neurodiverse relationships.

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Rev. Iris Knapp
Women’s Life & Discernment Coach

Iris has over 50 years of ministry experience, now ministering as a Life Coach. She was raised Jewish and came to know Jesus as Messiah in 1969 during the “Jesus Freak” revival.


She is certified with Light University, AIFC Australian Institute of Family Counseling, Ministerial Licensed with IAOG International Assemblies of God Fellowship, and ND Training with the International Association of ND Christian Couples. She has personal family ties to the autism spectrum. Her passion is to see women fulfill their potential in their God-given calling and her heart is to lead women through restoration, growth, and purpose so that they can be all that God has created them to be.

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Mary H. Jones, MD, FAAP
ASD Clinical Specialist & Life Coach

Dr. Mary Jones is a physician, Autism Spectrum Clinical Disorder Specialist, and Professional Christian Coaching Institute-trained life and leadership coach. As a devoted mother of a child on the autism spectrum as well as a neurodiverse Christian marriage, Dr. Jones brings a unique blend of personal experience and professional expertise to her work.

 

Her unwavering passion lies in advocating for individuals on the spectrum within the Black community, as well as for their families, caregivers, and service providers. Dr. Jones firmly believes that education and the dismantling of cultural taboos are pivotal in fostering a deeper understanding of autism and neurodiversity within Black culture. By addressing these issues head-on, she endeavors to empower her community to embrace autism from their own cultural perspective.

 

Dr. Jones is committed to breaking down barriers to diagnosis and early intervention within the Black community. By promoting awareness and cultural sensitivity, she aims to expedite the diagnosis process, ensuring timely access to crucial services. Her ultimate goal is to facilitate equitable opportunities for individuals with autism in the Black community, enabling them to achieve the same quality of life as their counterparts in other communities.

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Carol Reller, MS

Retired Speech-Language Pathologist

Carol Reller has a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology as well as a Clinical Rehabilitative Services credential. She retired after 32 years working in the field of Speech and Language. Her first 11 years were spent teaching in a first-to-third grade classroom for children with severe disorders of language. The last 21 years she worked with preschool through high school as an itinerant therapist with a focus on articulation, language and communication.  Carol has been married to Greg for 33 years and they have three adult children.  Asperger's was recognized in Greg after 25 years of marriage.  Since the diagnosis 8 years ago, she and Greg have benefitted from coaching, books and podcasts on autism and group work and continue to learn to navigate their neurodiverse marriage.  She enjoys scrapbooking, hiking, reading, and tending to their 5 acres of land which includes a garden, orchard, and animals.

Meet the Authors

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