Marlo Payne Thurman Ph.D.

Marlo Payne Thurman, Ph.D. began her professional career working with children diagnosed with autism in 1986. With group home management and intensive ABA therapy in her early background, she developed a special interest in meeting the unique needs of those individuals who were asynchronously developed into the realms of the “autistic savant.” Through her private practice, Ms. Thurman followed her passion to explore cognitive difference and began specializing in assessment, advocacy, cognitive training, sensory and behavior support, and socio-emotional coaching for gifted and twice-exceptional children. In 1999 Marlo founded the Brideun Learning Communities and built the Brideun School for Exceptional Children, a play-based, therapeutic school exclusively serving children grades 1-8 who were identified as “twice-exceptional.”

With doctoral-level training in both School Psychology and Special Education Marlo founded 2E Consulting Services to provide assessements, advocacy, and training to support both individuals and programs working with neuro-diverse, twice exceptional, and students with autism.  In January of 2020, Marlo was also appointed as the Director and Board Chairman for the US Autism Association.

In addition to her public speaking and private practice work, Ms. Thurman is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Northern Colorado where she teaches both preservice special educators and trains graduate students in the school’s Autism Certification Program. Marlo has been recognized for her work by People Magazine, the Special Educator, ADDitude Magazine, the New York Times, and National Public Radio as well as numerous local venues. Most recently, Marlo completed a landmark study proposing an alternative Sensory-Cognitive Difference Theory based on her extensive discussions and interactions with adults diagnosed on the spectrum of autism. Her research is the foundation for her new book Autism is the Future: The Evolution of a Different Type of Intelligence. In addition to several “quirky” close friends and family members, Ms. Thurman credits her two adult children for teaching her about the value and beauty of being “different-minded.” 

Author of

Different Minds

Evolutionary trends in sensory, intellectual, and cognitive neurodiversity Read now.