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Katie Rose Guest Pryal, J.D., Ph.D., is a bipolar-autistic author, speaker, lawyer, and law professor. With a law degree and a doctorate in rhetoric, she is an expert in public discourse and how it influences policy. She has spent nearly two decades researching neurodiversity and how to make the world more accessible to all people.
She is the author of more than fifteen books that center neurodiversity and mental health. Her latest book, A Light in the Tower: A New Reckoning with Mental Health in Higher Education (University Press of Kansas, 2024). She is also the author Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education (Blue Crow, 2017).
Dr. Pryal is a frequent speaker, writer, and media guest for venues such as The New York Times, Slate, Al-Jazeera, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and more, and she publishes research on neurodiversity and mental health. An avid equestrian, she founded NeuroEq, an organization dedicated to inclusion of neurodiversity in the equestrian community. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
THE NEURODIVERSITY KEY: PRINCIPLES FOR INCLUSION OF NEURODIVERSITY IN WORK, SCHOOL, AND COMMUNITIES
Three interlocking principles—solving the iceberg problem, breaking the stigma cycle, and prioritizing accessibility—make up what Dr. Pryal calls The Neurodiversity Key for creating true inclusion of neurodivergent people at work, in school, and in our communities. In either keynote or workshop format, Dr. Pryal will guide your group toward a greater understanding of neurodiversity and mental health and how to create a community of inclusion.
RECKONING WITH SYSTEMIC BURNOUT
Burnout has always been around, but only in 2019 did the World Health Organization add it to the International Classification of Diseases (the ICD-11) as an official syndrome. Post-pandemic, burnout seems to be everywhere—indeed, it is systemic. A recent study shows that, in the U.S., rates are up by nearly 25%. The mental health toll of burnout is only now being seen. Workers, parents, students, professionals, and entrepreneurs are all suffering; burnout doesn’t discriminate. But when we are burning out, we often don’t recognize it, and when we do, we often don’t know what do to about it.
Dr. Pryal applies her decade-plus of research on mental health and organizations to help your group understand systemic burnout, spot it, and then address it. In either a keynote or workshop format, customized to your needs, Dr. Pryal delivers hopeful guidance in these challenging times.
MOM, INTERRUPTED: A FIELD GUIDE TO NEURODIVERSITY AND PARENTHOOD
Are you a neurodivergent parent or parent of neurodivergent children? Do you struggle to find your place in the world? Do you wish to understand how to better include neurodivergent parents and children in your community?
In this talk, Dr. Katie Pryal, a bipolar-autistic mom to two autistic kids, recounts heartwarming and hilarious stories of her own childhood and of parenting her children. Audiences will fall in love with Dr. Pryal's heartfelt, frustrating, yet inspiring and funny tales from the front lines of neurodiversity and accessibility. When Dr. Pryal shares her story of childhood and motherhood with audiences, she not only informs with research and powerful storytelling, but also expands audiences’ capacity for empathy and compassion.
Listeners will leave with key takeaways for how to create inclusive communities for parents and children that gather everyone with accessibility and empathy.
A Light in the Tower: A New Reckoning with Mental Health in Higher Education
With evocative storytelling and incisive research, Pryal brings a new eye to the mental health crisis that higher education has faced for decades. Addressing the stigma that haunts mental disability on campus, the ableism that dogs our teaching, and the cascade of mental health struggles that far too many faculty and students face, Pryal provides straightforward solutions to these complex problems. Our communities must only garner the courage to take the necessary steps.
The Freelance Academic: Transform Your Creative Life and Career
Higher education has changed—and we have to change with it. The Freelance Academic will show you how.
Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education
Academia isn’t an easy place to be if your brain isn’t quite right.
Even If You’re Broken: Bodies, Boundaries, and Mental Health.
How do we make a good life in a world where sexual violence always lurks in the shadows?