Spectacular Failures Host Lauren Ober Launches New Memoir Podcast On Autism Diagnosis Journey
Launching on September 13, 2022, The Loudest Girl in The World is a first-hand account of navigating a life-changing diagnosis.
New York, NY – September 7, 2022 – Lauren Ober, former host of APM Studios’ Spectacular Failures and NPR’s The Big Listen, pairs up with Pushkin Industries and iHeartMedia to release The Loudest Girl in The World, a reported podcast about Ober’s own autism diagnosis journey. For years, Ober wasn’t all that jazzed up about herself. She was loud, had weird sensory issues, and her anxiety was off the charts. Then, as a forty-something adult, she found out why – she is autistic. The Loudest Girl in The World is a first-person account of Ober’s two-year-long journey in understanding what it means to be on the autism spectrum and how to live life as a newly diagnosed autistic person. Launching on September 13, The Loudest Girl in the World is a co-production of Pushkin Industries and iHeartMedia and can be heard on iHeartRadio and all other major platforms. Listen to the trailer here.
With help from public radio host Anna Sale, musician Adrianne Lenker of Big Thief, bestselling author Katherine May, and a few other notable friends, Ober dives into this wild new thing she’s learned about herself. From the challenges she faced while seeking an evaluation and figuring out how to tell her friends and family to the way neurodiversity is gendered and treated in the workplace, The Loudest Girl in the World is a full exploration of Ober’s search for answers.
“I wasn't really seeing any autistic representation that felt relatable anywhere,” says Ober. “And maybe that’s because most media portraying autistic people isn't made by autistic people.” The Loudest Girl in The World explores what autism is from an autistic person’s perspective as Ober navigates how to carve out her own neurodiversity roadmap and, along the way, reclaims the popular narratives surrounding autistic people. By mixing humorous storytelling and poignant anecdotes with conversations with other autistic people, like Olympic BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe and Kiwi popstar Ladyhawke, listeners will get a more on-the ground understanding of what accurate autistic representation really is. Because as Ober explains in the show, if you know one autistic person, you know one autistic person.
Lauren Ober is a podcast host and producer, most recently of Fine Gorilla Person from Topic Studios/Audible. Before that, she hosted Spectacular Failures from APMStudios. The show was one of TIME magazine’s top 10 podcasts of 2019 and was named best business podcast at the 2020 New York Festivals Radio Awards. Ober also hosted and produced NPR's The Big Listen, a nationally distributed broadcast about podcasts. In a life before hosting, Ober was an award-winning audio reporter and has been heard on shows like This American Life, 99% Invisible and Criminal, as well as all of NPR’s flagship programs. She is a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop, Syracuse University and American University. A proud Pittsburgh native, Lauren currently lives in the 51st state.
The first season of The Loudest Girl in The World will premiere on September 13, 2022 on iHeartRadio and wherever listeners access podcasts and will feature 9 memoir-style episodes. For more information visit www.Pushkin.fm. Episodes include:
Episode 1 – Talking: A Love Story
Lauren loves to talk. She’ll talk to anyone — baristas, postal carriers, neighborhood dog walkers. But her talking is more than just idle chit chat — it’s a kind of compulsion that’s gotten her in a lot of trouble over her life. Lauren’s never been able to turn it off and has never been able to figure out why… until recently, thanks to a diagnosis that changed everything.
Episode 2 – Goodbye, Routine; Hello, Meltdown!
The pandemic upended nearly everyone’s lives. It caused people to reevaluate their jobs, their relationships, their lives. For Lauren, the pandemic meant a collapse of her daily routine. When the day-to-day fell apart, so did Lauren. After a while, she needed to understand why. Her creeping suspicion that there was something going on in her brain got louder and louder. So she did something about it.
Episode 3 – Little Robots and Casual Rockers
If you want to get evaluated for autism, you have to take some tests. But the earliest autism evaluations suggested that autistic kids were like little robots who wore the same clothes every day and looked through people like they were ghosts. So when Lauren decided to get evaluated, she was stepping into a problematic history. Still, she needed to do it.
Episode 4 – Hannah Gadsby Is My Bestie
So Lauren finally got her autism diagnosis. But what the hell did that even mean? Where is the neurodiversity roadmap for someone diagnosed in their 40s? Turns out, there isn’t one. So Lauren has to make it up on her own. It’s time to do a deep dive into the world of autism. Which in itself is very autistic. Let’s get our research on!
Episode 5 – Let’s Talk About Hard Things
It’s no fun being autistic all by yourself. If you feel comfortable, you have to tell folks and let them into your truth. So it’s disclosure time for Lauren. It’s time to tell her pals this wild new thing she’s learned about herself. But that’s not as easy as it sounds. Predictably, things get… kinda awkward. So Lauren calls in an expert — her pal Anna Sale, host of the podcast Death, Sex & Money — for advice.
Episode 6 – Autism Pleasantville or: A Ridiculous Journey Into A Neurodivergent Fantasia
This autism stuff is hard. So Lauren needs a break. And she gets it on a trip to Autism Pleasantville — a perfect world made just for her and all her quirks and weirdnesses. Autism Pleasantville is a place full of cute dogs and restaurants that accommodate extreme food sensitivities and autism support humans who help Lauren navigate sticky social situations. Is Autism Pleasantville real? No. But it is nice to pretend.
Episode 7 – Will You Be My Autistic Friend?
It’s really hard to be a newly diagnosed autistic person and not know any autistic people. So it’s time for Lauren to make some autistic friends. But it’s not as easy as you might think. Which is why Lauren has to call up some big guns — Olympic BMX rider Chelsea Wolfe, New Zealand pop star Ladyhawke and best-selling author Katherine May — and force her friendship on them.
Episode 8 – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯¿Lauren comes out to family? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Coming out to family is hard. And Lauren should know — she’s already done it once. But if Lauren wants to fully inhabit her autism, she’s going to have to let all the people into her reality. So it’s time for Lauren to pull up her big girl pants and get to it. And no better time to disclose than during an already stressful family holiday.
Episode 9 – I Love You, Sweetheart
At some point in any journey of self-discovery, you just have to start living. And that’s what Lauren needs to do. But before she can get on with it, she has to make peace — with herself and with others. She needs to allow herself to be a person with jumbo-sized feelings. And she needs the help of a guitar, a paintbrush and the lead singer of the band Big Thief — Adrianne Lenker — to get her there. Viva la feelings!
ABOUT LAUREN OBER
Lauren Ober is a podcast host and producer, most recently of Fine Gorilla Person from Topic Studios and Audible. Before that, she hosted Spectacular Failures from APM Studios. The show was one of TIME magazine’s top 10 podcasts of 2019 and has been downloaded more than 6 million times. Ober also hosted and produced NPR's The Big Listen, a nationally distributed broadcast about podcasts. In a life before hosting, Ober was an award-winning audio reporter and has been heard on shows like This American Life, 99% Invisible and Criminal, as well as all of NPR’s flagship programs. She is a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop, Syracuse University and American University. A proud Pittsburgh native, Lauren currently lives in the 51st state.
ABOUT PUSHKIN INDUSTRIES
Pushkin Industries is the audio production company co-founded by Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg in 2018. Pushkin has produced numerous podcasts that have broken into the top 10 on Apple’s Top Podcasts chart, including Gladwell’s hugely successful Revisionist History, as well as Against the Rules, The Happiness Lab, Broken Record, Cautionary Tales, The Last Archive, Deep Cover, Lost Hills and Apple’s Best Show of 2021, A Slight Change of Plans. Pushkin’s podcast hosts include Michael Lewis, Jill Lepore, Rick Rubin, Maya Shankar, Tim Harford, Laurie Santos, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Ben Austen, Dana Goodyear, Jake Halpern, Hallie Rubenhold, Sam Fragoso, Glory Edim, Anita Hill, Jacob Goldstein, Brendan Francis Newnam, Eddie Alterman, Lauren Ober, Helen Molesworth and many more. Pushkin’s audiobooks include the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen, Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis, Fauci by Michael Specter, Heartbreak by Florence Williams, and Malcolm Gladwell’s Miracle and Wonder: Conversations with Paul Simon, The Bomber Mafia and Talking to Strangers. Pushkin is dedicated to producing audio in any format that challenges listeners, encourages their curiosity, and inspires joy. Our work is built on principles of trust: respect, fairness, accuracy, accountability, and honesty. Visit pushkin.fm, where you can purchase our audiobooks and then listen on your podcast player of choice. Follow us @PushkinPods.