We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Bedard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, what inspires you?
I am inspired by human growth and change, resilience, and kindness. The typical journey of the human experience is to grow and change over time. Sometimes that journey has a hiccup, sometimes due to brain development, sometimes due to external forces (see also: Covid-19, cancer, a death in the family, the birth of a new baby…).
My attention is drawn to those hiccup moments, when humans work hard to grow, and rely in their personal resilience to thrive. I routinely tear up when parents send an email sharing their child’s growth – uttering “mom,” making intentional and fleeting eye contact with a loved one, or hugging a sibling way too tightly and for too long – something we all want to do sometimes! Celebrating ALL the milestones: talking, driving, dating, moving out, adulting…it is all growth!
I love watching humans grow, develop new skills, find their strengths, advocate for themselves and others, and make the world a better place.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I work in a community of therapists dedicated to helping neurodiverse individuals thrive. All of us run our own businesses, which means we set our own hours, allowing us to balance work, family, and hopefully other fulfilling aspects of life.
We frequently collaborate, which means we can create unique programming such as the Autism Resource Fair (FCASD.org), a Facebook group for local parents, books (https://www.drrachelbedard.com/books/), and groups (art groups, groups for teens and adults). Watch for our upcoming Dating series (details to be posted at https://thesociallearningproject.com/).
The positive energy and enthusiasm of this group is remarkable. I’ve never previously worked in a setting with this many brilliant minds, a flat hierarchy, immense talent, and endless motivation to listen to what our clients really need and make it happen. I’m lucky to be surrounded by this talent, and humbled by the opportunity to collaborate with these folks.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As an introvert with a strong appreciation for the outdoors, and both emotional connection and silence, I’m pointing this adventure toward the great outdoors. In Fort Collins we are lucky to have miles and miles of hiking/running trails, fabulous biking opportunities, a reservoir, a river, the CSU Trial Flower Gardens, art in public places, and some great parks. We also have great local businesses for gardening (The Perennial Gardener, Bath greenhouse), outdoor gear (Jax!), and entertainment (The Lyric).
While I would like to avoid visiting the hospital, I do want to give a shout out to Poudre Valley Hospital staff, as they routinely clean up the adventure accidents experienced by my family and friends😊
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I offer my shoutout to the Autism Community, both locally and globally. My professional life has involved working with families with Autism. While I have continued to grow my understanding and skill set over time, I’ve made mistakes and mis-steps, and benefitted greatly from my families suggesting resources and practicing patience with me.
Talk about human growth and resilience – the Autism Community embodies those characteristics fully and has been my best teacher!
Linkedin: Rachel Bedard
Ohana Photography Marc Leblond (family photos)