Kids & Family

Educating, Supporting and Empowering the Autism Community.

Episodes

EPISODE 66: Behavioral Health Therapy for ASD

With Sean Inderbitzen

 

INTRO:

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to My Autism Tribe. We’ll be speaking with Sean Inderbitzen on today’s show. He’s a mental health clinician who is on the autism spectrum, and reached out a couple of weeks ago because he wanted to share his voice. It makes me so happy when people reach out to me – it truly does. I want to make sure that everyone is able to share their voice, because that’s how we learn, how we expand and stretch ourselves, and at the end of the day – accept one another regardless if our views and opinions may sometimes vary from others. Thanks so much for listening!

 

SEGMENT:

Sean was diagnosed with autism at the age of 18, and is now a practicing behavioral health therapist. He’s so passionate about helping his clients, and letting others know about the importance of having counseling services available to people who have autism. He notes, however, that in a study 43 out of 44 clinicians are not comfortable in counseling patients on the spectrum. It’s pretty special that Sean has this personal experience as a way to relate and empathize with those lives that he touches. Please welcome Sean to our show!

 

CONCLUSION:

“The process of therapy for clinicians who work with individuals on the spectrum requires a unique subset of therapeutic skill that is not always taught in graduate training. While it’s important to utilize all of the common microskills (like showing empathy, active listening, open-ended questioning) with the ASD population, it’s also important to recognize these individuals may have an additional set of needs for the therapy room. For example, they may not have the cognitive capacity to follow metaphors and/or analogies that are often used in therapy.” Providing continuing professional development for clinicians will help increase the number of competent professionals in providing these appropriate services, and I’m so happy that individuals like Sean Inderbitzen are advocating. Thanks so much for being a part of My Autism Tribe, and I’ll see ya soon!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Email: seabindie@me.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYJdX4NCous

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYgqa_FbTok

 

 

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EPISODE 65: NEURODIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE

With Joseph Riddle

 

INTRO:

There are really important skills that people with autism have, that make them, in some cases, the best employees you could have. This is something that small businesses could benefit from, and is already something that many large corporations are already using to their advantage. Today, we’re speaking with Joseph Riddle, the Director of The Neurodiversity in the Workplace team, a dedicated group of talented individuals who work tirelessly for the people they serve. Thanks so much for listening!

 

SEGMENT:

Because of certain traits of autism, individuals with autism often have trouble getting past the interview stage for a job or maintaining a position once they are hired. Joseph Riddle has led a team to design and partner in implementing hiring programs for neurodiverse individuals. Companies such as SAP and their Autism at Work program, Dell, and Bank of America have participated in hiring programs allowing the creation of a network of employers and talented individuals on the spectrum. These companies, with support from Joe and his team, are leading the way in demonstrating to the American workforce that neurodiverse talent is both valuable and productive.

 

CONCLUSION:

Few resources have been allocated to understanding autistic adults. According to a 2017 report from the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, only 2 percent of autism research funding goes into understanding the developmental disorder for the adult population. Autism isn’t just something for young individuals, and more needs to be done to propel and prepare this population. With organizations like Neurodiversity in the Workplace, we can not only become inspired, but also determined to make the workforce a better and more welcoming environment for our loved ones. Thanks so much for being a part of My Autism Tribe, and I’ll see you soon.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Email: neurodiversity@nitw.org  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NeurodiversityInTheWorkplace/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/neurodiversityintheworkplace/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/4Neurodiversity

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EPISODE 64: ENHANCING LIVES FOR FAMILIES OF AUTISM

With Rachelle Vartanian

 

INTRO:

Hi, everyone! Thanks for connecting with this week’s podcast featuring Rachelle Vartanian. She’s the founder and president of the Living and Learning Enrichment Center, a former special education teacher, and mother of a teenager on the autism spectrum.

If this is your first time here, welcome! If you are a returning listener, thanks for coming back! We truly do appreciate it. Be sure to check us out on your social platforms, and if you’re enjoying this podcast, we’d love your rating and review wherever you listen to podcasts – it helps make our voices stronger. Let’s get started!

 

SEGMENT:

The Living and Learning Enrichment Center is based in Northville, Michigan and their mission is to help individuals with autism and related challenges reach their full potential in work, relationships and in the community. They have summer camps, art and music classes, clubs, social and professional skills groups. It’s really impressive what they’re doing, and I’m excited to speak with the founder today – Rachelle. Let’s give her a warm welcome.

 

CONCLUSION:

The unemployment rate for individuals with autism is upwards of 90%. With training like that provided by the Living and Learning Enrichment Center, job training, real world job experiences can be achieved for those individuals with autism and other special needs. It’s truly special what these organizations are doing, and it’s my hope that more organizations will begin doing the same. Thanks for being a part of My Autism Tribe, and I’ll see ya soon!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Website: https://www.livingandlearningcenter.org/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/livingandlearningenrichmentcenter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/livingandlearningcenter/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/livelearncenter

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/livinglearnllc/boards/

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EPISODE 63: Co-occurring Conditions in Autism

With Brad Ferguson of Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri

 

INTRO:

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to My Autism Tribe. I hope everyone is hanging in there. School is out, so no more of the Non-Traditional Instruction in our home, however, we are going a little crazier as the days go on. Regardless, thanks for checking back in, and if this is your first time, welcome. I hope you find a piece of your autism advocacy here.

Today’s guest is Dr. Brad Ferguson, an Assistant Research Professor in the Departments of Health Psychology, and Radiology at the Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri. I wonder if he has all of this on a business card (laugh). I’m really pumped about the information that he’s going to share today, so please stay tuned.

Don’t forget to check us out on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter platforms, and if you’re enjoying this podcast we sure would love a rating and review wherever you listen to podcasts. It helps make our voices stronger. Thanks for listening!

 

SEGMENT:

Dr. Ferguson has been conducting research in autism for over 12 years, and his main research focus over that period of time has been the study of co-occurring conditions in autism, mainly gastrointestinal problems and problem behaviors. His goal is to find out why many autistic individuals have co-occurring conditions so that they can be addressed, which will ultimately lead to increased quality of life. Let’s welcome Dr. Ferguson to our show.

 

CONCLUSION:

There are so many organizations out there that are doing amazing research on autism-related topics – many of them that I’m just discovering. These people are devoting their lives to make sure we are making positive strides, gaining more information than we had yesterday, in order to make improvements in the lives of those we love so much. Thanks for being a part of My Autism Tribe, and I’ll talk to you soon!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

thompsoncenter.missouri.edu

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheThompsonCenter/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mutcautism/

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EPISODE 62: EXCEPTIONAL MINDS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM

With guest Corinne Levitt

 

INTRO:

Hello, and welcome back! Today we’re speaking with Corinne Levitt, a special educator and author of a new book called “Exceptional Minds Across the Autism Spectrum”. Her background in learning disability psycholinguistics, and the arts has enabled her to “teach to the talent” while encouraging her students to discover and explore their potential. She’s a fascinating woman, and I’m excited for her to share her story. Stay tuned and follow us on our social media platforms to engage or ask questions. Thanks for listening!

 

SEGMENT:

Corinne Levitt wrote her latest book in recognition of the need to promote the important role an enriched educational experience can have on the lives of students who stand to benefit the most from best educational practices. Let’s welcome Corinne to our show today.

 

CONCLUSION:

As Corinne has stated, “more than money, resources, or even teaching methods, it is our attitude toward those who seem different that influences our expectations and limits learning opportunities for growth and development. It’s our attitude and understanding that shape our vision. But attitudes and mindsets can change, and when that happens, we can move closer to understanding the struggles and learning challenges of individuals with exceptionalities.” I hope this podcast finds you and your family safe and healthy. Keep up the great work, and I’ll talk with you soon!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

www.teachexceptionalminds.com

 

 

Play Now
May 15, 2020

CBD for Autism

EPISODE 61: CBD FOR AUTISM

With guest Dr. Rachna Patel

 

INTRO:

Hi, everyone! First and foremost, I want to thank everyone out there who has been patient with me these last couple of months. It turns out that working a 9-5 job, homeschooling my son, and running a nonprofit with these podcasts is a lot harder than I thought. Just know, that I’m doing my very best to bring you the most relevant information, from people within the autism community, to the best of my ability.

Today, I’m speaking with Dr. Patel, who is a world-recognized expert in the field of Cannabinoid Medicine. CBD is something that we hear about all the time, but maybe perhaps, we still have very limited knowledge on. Stay tuned to hear Dr. Patel share information on CBD products, what to expect when using CBD products, while also dispelling some of our fears that we may have. Thanks for listening!

SEGMENT:

I’ve personally looked into CBD products, not only for myself, but also for my son. I’ve had conversations with many families on their use of CBD. Dr. Patel is with a company called Doc Patels, a company that produces CBD products made from industrial hemp plants derived on American farms which produce 100% 0.00% THC Broad Spectrum CBD products through their patented process. Their team of 30 engineers, scientists, a psychiatrist and even a dentist, along with their manufacturing partner, consist of Doc Patels. Let’s welcome Dr. Patel to our show.

CONCLUSION:

As families are looking for natural, healthy ways to help their loved ones, and even themselves, I hope you find this information helpful in your decision-making process. Every path is different, but whatever path you choose, know that we are here to support you along the way. Thanks so much for listening, and I’ll talk to you soon!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

www.DocPatels.com

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EPISODE 60: AUTISM ISN’T BLACK AND WHITE

With Erin Clemens

 

INTRO:

Hi, everyone! As you know, April is Autism Awareness month, as we continue to raise autism awareness, and promote autism acceptance and inclusion in our communities (although it may look a bit different now), I wanted to feature yet another autism advocate. This week’s episode features guest Erin Clemens. Erin is an awesome young woman on the autism spectrum. When she’s not working, she’s volunteering and helping others. She graduated from college last year, and is interested in pursuing a career in dog training. She’s an absolute pleasure to speak with, and full of so much knowledge and insight. Stay tuned to hear her story.

 

SEGMENT:

Today, we’re providing a stronger voice to another powerful autism advocate, Erin Clemens. She’s a public speaker, and author of a book called “I Have Asperger’s”. Let’s give a warm welcome to this delightful young woman.

 

CONCLUSION:

It’s important that we listen to those voices that can provide personal experiences. There are varying opinions, and often times, these opinions may not align with another person’s opinions. That’s ok, because autism isn’t black and white…it’s a spectrum…and we are all on different journeys, and I’m so glad that Erin was able to share her’s. Thanks so much for being a part of my army…My Autism Tribe. Stay healthy, stay safe, keep your chin up, and I’ll see you here next week!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR ERIN:

Website: https://erinclemens.wixsite.com/erin-clemens

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erin.clemens.58

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AspergerSadie

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aspergersadie/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/erinclem

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EPISODE 59: A CONVERSATION WITH MY SON

 

INTRO:

Hi everyone! Welcome to this week’s podcast. Hope you guys are hanging in there and staying healthy. I’ve definitely had small moments of anxiety these last several weeks, but am trying to stay positive and trying to keep a routine as much as possible. As many of you, I’m working my 9-5 job from home, while homeschooling my son, and producing this podcast. The last couple of episodes, you might have even heard my son in the background as I’ve been recording from my kitchen table instead of my makeshift and more sound-proof studio off of my bedroom, otherwise known as a closet. Lots of glamour here folks. Try to remain calm. So, as I’ve recorded these podcasts out in the open, my son has become more and more curious as to what in the world I’ve been doing. We’ve had our own little recording sessions with the microphone where he sings his favorite song, talks in different cartoon voices. It’s super cute, and so I thought I might try to actually interview him, and I use the word “interview” extremely loosely. So, bear with us, and thanks for listening!

SEGMENT:

There was a point in time where I didn’t know if I would ever truly know my son’s voice. I remember actually walking through a store one time and hearing a parent tell their child to shut up, and it took every ounce of mama bear energy in me to not go over to them and tell them our family’s story. And maybe I should, but I didn’t. Instead, my heart broke knowing that I would do absolutely anything to hear my son say anything, and here was this parent telling their child they didn’t want to hear what they had to say. Anyway, as I’ve said before, the My Autism Tribe platform was started because I made a promise to my son that I would be his voice and that voice I wanted to become stronger. Fast forward several years later, and my son is speaking, and there hasn’t been one time…I don’t exaggerate, not ONE time where I wished that he would not speak. His voice is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard, and so without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my son, Alex.

Hi, honey. I thought that maybe everyone would like to get to know you better, so I’m going to ask you some questions, ok?

  • What’s your name? Alex
  • What’s your favorite color? Red
  • What’s your favorite food? Bacon
  • Do you have a favorite dinosaur? Brachiosaurus
  • Who’s my favorite boy in the whole world? Me
  • Would you like to sing a song? What about that song that you made up the other day? The Scoop song? (sings)

CONCLUSION:

Thank you for sharing this experience with me. I know this isn’t the lengthy podcast that I’m used to doing, but I thought, “Why not? Why not take advantage of this quarantine to do something that is new?” Thank you for sharing this special moment with me, and for listening to the sweet sound of my son’s voice. A sound that I will never once take for granted, but will do my best to make stronger. I hope everyone out there is staying healthy at home. Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you next week!

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EPISODE 58: Autism as a Stress Adaptation

With Lori Hogenkamp

 

INTRO:

Hi there, everyone! Welcome to this week’s podcast episode featuring autism advocate and consultant Lori Hogenkamp. Lori is on the autism spectrum, and has studied neuroscience and stress-related behaviors for over 20 years. Her love of science drives her passion for understanding the complex patterns of abilities and disabilities of those on the autism spectrum. Stay tuned to listen to her incredible story, and so much great information from her research.

 

If you’re enjoying this podcast, can I ask you of a favor? Could you rate and review My Autism Tribe wherever you listen to podcasts. It allows us to make our voices stronger by extending our reach. Send me a message if you want, and let me know if there is a subject that you’d like to hear about. Don’t forget to check us out on all of the My Autism Tribe social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

SEGMENT:

Lori Hogenkamp explores the idea “Autism as a Stress Adaptation” and publicly speaks to parents, adults, teachers and healthcare professionals about using advanced physics to develop Stress Models to help understand and create innovative solutions for autistics, their environment and their families. She uses her knowledge to develop innovative Stress Management programs and seminars for professional, education and health organizations.

 

CONCLUSION:

I hope that everyone out there is staying safe and healthy. If you need someone to listen, if you have a question or concern, we’re here for you. Let us know how we can help…how I can help. I know that everyone is doing a great job, even though we may not feel like it sometimes. Keep up the great work, and I’ll see you next week! Be well.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peripheralminds?lang=en

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lori-hogenkamp-44205410

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PeripheralMindsofAutism/   

Blog: https://peripheralmindsofautism.com/presentation/  

 

Play Now
March 31, 2020

Adjusting to a New Normal

EPISODE 57: ADJUSTING TO A NEW NORMAL

 

INTRO:

Hi there! Welcome to this week’s My Autism Tribe podcast. To be honest, I’m struggling to remember what day it is, and who I was before this COVID19 quarantine existed. I’m almost positive that I’m a day late in posting this podcast, and 100% sure that I have a pile of clean clothes still in the dryer from 3 days ago that I have yet to fold and put away. The struggle is so real. I hope everyone out there is adulting at least a little better than me right now. Stay tuned as I share how we’re trying to find our new normal.

And if you have a couple of minutes and aren’t watching the latest episode of Tiger King, or Frozen 2 for the 100th time, might you give our podcast a rating and review wherever you listen to podcasts? We could sure use some cheering up right about now. I kid…no, but seriously. It would be greatly appreciated.

SEGMENT:

It has been a little over two weeks since I’ve been working 100% from home, and since my son has been homeschooled. And I’m just being real…I’ve been struggling with feelings of anxiety as a single mama in keeping it all together. The first week was SUPER tough, for both my son and myself. We picked up a packet of homework from my son’s school, and I pulled all my files from my office so I could migrate under my home’s roof. I thought at the time that this wouldn’t be so bad, and it’s not because it could be a lot worse…I know that…but the anxiety starts settling in when I begin thinking about the unknown timeline. How long will we be in quarantine? How much will my son regress? How in the world am I going to work at full capacity, while also homeschooling my son, while also maintaining some of his therapy sessions, and while also making sure that my son doesn’t feel neglected because I’m not able to spend the amount of time that I would like with him? So many questions!

Other parents and I have been having conversations about this, and there’s one common theme. We all feel like we’re failing…every single day. Even though this temporarily makes me feel better about my current situation, it also makes me sad and frustrated. Now, more than ever, we parents are being tasked we rise above all doubt in our parenting efforts. We’re taking on roles that we don’t have degrees or certifications for. We’re wearing multiple hats all day, changing them up as needed to fill the title that we’ve been given in any given hour. We’re more than parents. We’re teachers, therapists, playmates. I woke up this morning and again felt anxious about fulfilling my roles today, and I heard these words. “Susan, the more you feel anxious, the more you feel stressed, the more you feel in despair, the less you will be able to give.” I felt a calmness come over me. I’ve been able to approach today with a new set of lenses. Maybe this is just me making the adjustment to my new sense of normal. So, I made a list of things that I miss…not because I want to dwell on the things that I can’t have right now, but to give me something to look forward to.

  1. Taking my son to the park. There are only so many days that I feel like these walls will be standing. That at any moment, my son will morph full-on into a flying squirrel. If not him, most undoubtedly me. Our space is beginning to feel extremely small.
  2. Seeing the faces of other family members…actually their faces…not on FaceTime…not on Zoom…but being able to touch their sweet faces and give them kisses.
  3. Hanging out with friends. Meeting up with them for dinner at our favorite restaurants, and getting my son together with his friends for play dates.
  4. Going to the movies. I’m a big fan of Netflix, and Hulu, and Disney Plus…but there’s something that I’m craving about going to the big screen and catching the latest flick.
  5. Hanging out at the pool. Well, we’re still in our early spring in the U.S. so the pools aren’t open yet, but I sure do hope that when they do open, we will be out of quarantine. Call me crazy, but I love the smell of chlorine paired with fresh cut grass. Surely, I’m not the only one.
  6. Going to the zoo and the aquarium. If my son could move and set up residence at either of these two places he would, and even if my home will feel like a zoo in another few weeks, it will hardly be the same. He’s already making the itinerary of what exhibits he wants to see first. To see his smile when we get to go back – it will make all of this crazy stuff worth it.

I understand that most of these are first world problems. There are so many people in our world that will never get to experience these. Which makes me believe that we are truly “resetting our priorities”. Don’t you think that maybe we took so much for granted? We spent so much time behind the windshield going to work, taking our children to therapy, and then back to work, and then to other appointments…maybe we just needed to slow down and truly learn to appreciate all that we have. We don’t NEED many things to live, and we truly don’t need many things to be happy. My son is a perfect example for me. He struggles sometimes, and yet he continues to have the most gorgeous smile…one that can light up any room.

So…I’ll continue to do my best and give myself grace when I feel like I’ve failed. I’ve learned that I’m not a very good Kindergarten teacher. I’m not the best therapist for my son, but you know what? I’m a mom, who loves her son so much, and at the very least, I will make sure that my son is happy, healthy, and feels love every single day. That, I feel, is what I can control the most. The rest…well…this time will pass and as cliché as it is, it will make us stronger. I truly believe that.

Thanks so much for being a part of My Autism Tribe. Hang in there, and I’ll see you next week!

Play Now

EPISODE 56: Helping Families with Special Needs During the COVID-19 Crisis

With Amy Kelly

 

INTRO:

As we all are very much aware, COVID-19 is affecting everyone’s lives around the world. COVID-19 is a new strain that was discovered in 2019, and has not been previously identified in humans. There is so much information out there; some is factual and some is misleading. This leaves us with a lot of questions, but I believe it’s important to speak on how it might be affecting the autism community specifically. How do we help families who live with autism and disabilities? How do we help them cope with everything during this trying time? How do we explain this current situation to our children? Stay tuned to listen to today’s guest as she offers some insightful information that may benefit you and your family.

SEGMENT:

Today’s guest is Amy Kelly. She’s the mother to Danny, Annie, and Ryan. Her daughter Annie is diagnosed with moderate to severe autism, verbal apraxia, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and general anxiety disorder. Amy is the National Director of Family Engagement for Devereaux Advanced Behavioral Health, one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit providers of behavioral healthcare, and she also serves as a family representative on several special-needs boards in the community, locally and nationally. In addition to all of this, she participates with other patients and families in efforts supported by the American Board of Pediatrics Foundation to address children with special needs and the importance of quality care. She’s quite the busy lady, and sounds like she’s gonna to be able to share some really good stuff with us. Let’s welcome Amy!

CONCLUSION:

Please know that I’m thinking about everyone out there. I’m lifting you up, sending virtual hugs, high-fives, fist bumps…you name it. Now more than ever we have to be in this together. It’s an emotional time for everyone, and I do hope that if you need someone to listen that you please reach out. Send me a message on any of our social platforms, send me an email. I want to make sure that all platforms are open and available to you. If I can’t personally assist you, I’ll make sure that I find someone that can. You’re not alone. You never have been, nor will you ever be. Thanks so much for being a part of My Autism Tribe. Hang in there, and I’ll see you next week!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DevCareers

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/devereux/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/DevereuxCEO

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrF_lQGwNvQHuqQ7xcSE0Gg

 

About Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

https://www.devereux.org/site/SPageServer/?pagename=helping_families

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is one of the largest and most advanced behavioral healthcare organizations in the country. They have a unique model that connects the latest scientific and medical advancements to practical, effective interventions in the treatment of behavioral health.

They were founded in 1912 by one of the first pioneers in the field, Helena Devereux. Today, they are a national nonprofit partner for individuals, families, schools and communities, serving many of the most vulnerable members of our society in areas of autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, specialty mental health, and child welfare.

Informed by the latest advancements in science and medicine, they combine evidence-based interventions with compassionate family engagement to help change lives. Their programs are offered in hospital and residential, community, and school-based settings.

They include:

  • Comprehensive Assessment, Diagnostics and Measurement to support data-driven care
  • Evidence-based Treatment & Special Education
  • Transition and Independent Life Services
  • Family Education and Professional Training
  • Research and Innovation to advance the field
  • Advocacy, Public Awareness and Prevention
Play Now

EPISODE 55: PIXAR’S BOBBY RUBIO SHARES HIS AUTISM DAD STORY IN “FLOAT”

 

INTRO:

Hi, everyone! Welcome to this week’s episode with a very special guest, Bobby Rubio, an autism dad and a story artist at Pixar. You may have seen his personal and professional story in thousands of news feeds around the world. You don’t want to miss this one! Also, if you’re enjoying being a part of My Autism Tribe, and listening to our podcast, we would love for you to take a moment to rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts, and of course, share us with a friend or your organization. That’s how we make our voices stronger. We’re also on all social platforms, so give us a follow and send us a message about topics that you would like to hear about. It’s important to us that we’re providing you with information and messages that are near and dear to your heart. Thanks for listening!

 

SEGMENT:

When parents first receive an autism diagnosis, and even in moments afterwards, they may feel like they’re drowning…and they’re not alone. Many of us may feel like this, but our guest today has created a special animation that touches every parent, and sheds a light on the positivity that can be found in dark times.

Bobby Rubio made his directorial debut with Pixar’s animated short “Float” on Disney Plus in November and it has captured our hearts and told many of our stories. Bobby has worked at Pixar as a story artist since 2012, contributing to “Inside Out”, “Incredibles 2”, and “Brave”, but “Float” broke through barriers as not only a short focused on neurodiversity, but also Pixar’s first work to feature a Filipino American animated character. The short tells the story of a father that discovers his son is different than others, and rather have the outside world view him as being different, the father keeps his son out of sight. Bobby’s own son, who was diagnosed with autism, didn’t handle the news of his son’s diagnosis well…again…just like many of us, and his testimony is so heart-felt and inspiring. Please welcome, my special guest today, Bobby Rubio.

 

CONCLUSION:

The story behind “Float” is not only a story that autism parents can relate to, but about some of the struggles that every parent has with their children. We need to love and celebrate people from all walks of life. Being unique or different isn’t bad, but beautiful. I truly do believe that, and it’s my hope that Bobby’s story touched you in the way that it touched me. The way that it inspired me. It’s ok to step outside of your comfort zone, and embrace the unknown. Thanks so much for joining me today, for being a part of My Autism Tribe, and for being an advocate for yourself and others. I’ll see you next week!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR BOBBY:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bobbyrubio/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barrypresh

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bobby_Rubio

Disney Plus: https://www.disneyplus.com/

“Float” on Disney Plus: https://www.disneyplus.com/movies/float/7dIYGyfvHWEJ

Play Now

EPISODE 54: Financial Planning for Your Special Needs Child

With Nick Wallace

 

INTRO:

Raising a child with special needs can be one of life’s most fulfilling experiences, but it can also be one of the most costly. According to Autism Speaks, raising a child with autism costs on average $60,000 a year, but let’s face it…it costs a lot more than that for a lot of us depending on the severity and insurance coverage. It can be scary looking at the financial numbers, and even scarier when you wonder what would happen if something happened to you. Long-term financial planning is daunting, but no matter your child’s age, it’s important for you to start as early as possible.

 

Today, I’m speaking with Nick Wallace, a financial planner that focuses on planning for families in the special-needs community. His passion for this type of planning is inspired by the feeling of relief that he experienced after working through a game plan for his brother’s future, who has special needs. Nick is going to share some insights from the daily conversations that he has with families and planning for their loved ones.

 

CONCLUSION:

The process for financial planning for a special-needs loved one takes time, but you can start by laying out a timeline for what needs to be done.

Plan early, and revise as needed. It’s not easy or straightforward, and what makes sense for one family may not make sense for another. Get help. It’s doable.

Thanks so much for being a part of My Autism Tribe, and I’ll see ya next week!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

TOOLS THAT ARE OFTEN USED:

  • Various types of special needs trusts (with the help of a special needs attorney)
  • ABLE accounts (when appropriate if allowed by the state)
  • Various types of life insurance to answer the tomorrow questions or the 40 years from now questions
  • Various types of investments for retirement and estate planning

 

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR FINANCIAL PLANNER:

  • Did we take into consideration my loved one’s special needs when we established my insurance and investment game plan?
  • Do I have enough life insurance to protect the care and income that I provide my family if something were to happen to me tomorrow? How did we arrive at this number?
  • What steps can I take to make sure that I am on track for retirement? How did we come up with these numbers?
  • Are my beneficiary designations on my life insurance and investment accounts set correctly so that my loved one with special needs’ benefits will not be in jeopardy?
  • What is the long-term game plan on leaving behind money for my loved one if I live a long life of caring for them, but pass away before they do?
  • A solid financial plan has answers for the “what-ifs” that life could throw at us tomorrow or 60 years from now. Nick recommends meeting with a financial advisor at least yearly to review plans and make changes if necessary.

 

NICK WALLACE CONTACT INFORMATION:

 

Facebook - @nickwallacefinance

Website – www.nickwallace.nm.com

Email – nick.wallace@nm.com

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EPISODE 53: SOCIALIZATION OF CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

With Dr. Annette Nunez

 

 

INTRO:

Hi, everyone! Welcome to this week’s episode primarily focusing on mainstreaming and socialization of children with autism. I’m speaking with Dr. Annette Nunez, the founder and director of Breakthrough Interventions. You may have even seen her on FOX News as she does many interviews on the power of positivity and autism. Stay tuned to listen to this awesome lady share her experience and advice on cultivating positive relationships through facilitated play and much more.

 

Also, a friendly reminder that if you’re enjoying the podcast, I would love for you to take just a minute to rate and review wherever you listen to podcasts and share with a friend. That’s how we make our voices stronger. Thanks for listening!

 

SEGMENT:

Dr. Annette Nunez conducts many seminars both nationally and internationally, in addition to consulting with schools in China and South Africa on autism interventions. She is a licensed psychotherapist and has worked with children on the spectrum and other related disorders for over 20 years. She has a B.A. in Psychology, a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Research Methods with a specialization in Child Development. She loves working with the whole family, so much so that she created an online community called Breaking Through Autism where she shares support and self-care tips. We all know that every journey looks different, but it’s the support system that you need to help guide, inspire and encourage you along the way. That’s what keeps EVERYONE moving forward. I’m really excited to introduce Dr. Annette Nunez to our show today.

 

CONCLUSION:

As Dr. Nunez has stated, “Success for me is not what I can do for your child. Success is when parents trust and support the process no matter how hard it can be. Success is when I have the privilege to watch my clients realize their full potential and have a positive outlook on life and their future.” Rather than focusing on the negatives that you may hear, “your child will never, can’t, etc.”, try focusing on the positives. Thanks so much for being a part of My Autism Tribe, and I hope to see you next week.

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

 

Dr. Annette Nunez Bio

Dr. Annette Nunez is the founder and director of Breakthrough Interventions, LLC. She is a licensed psychotherapist and has worked with children with ASD and other related disorders for over 20 years. She received a B.A. in Psychology, an M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Research Methods with a specialization in Child Development. At UCLA, she studied and trained with renowned autism expert, Dr. Ivar Lovaas on Discrete Trial Training (DTT). She also received training from the Institute for Child Development in California on the Floortime Approach and developed a successful behavioral program that combined aspects of DTT and Floortime.

As part of her doctorate work at the University of Denver, Dr. Nunez developed the Children’s Social Competence Scale (CSCS). The CSCS is an early intervention evaluation tool that measures social competency in young children. She serves as the Program Director for Connect Us, a non-profit organization that helps children cultivate positive relationships through facilitated play. Her research interests include the mainstreaming and socialization of children with High Functioning Autism.

Dr. Nunez co-wrote the Friendship Is… book and is currently writing a book about the Breakthrough Interventions model that will be published this year. She conducts many seminars both nationally and internationally and has consulted with many schools in China and South Africa. Dr. Nunez also consults and supervises the therapists at the Breakthrough Interventions site in South Africa.

Dr. Nunez was honored by the Autism Society of Colorado as a finalist for the 2011 Faces of Autism Professional Award. You can see Dr. Nunez on FOX News as she as she does many interviews on the power of positivity and autism. She plans to continue educating parents and professionals about mainstreaming and socialization of children with Autism.

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BreakthroughInterventionsLLC/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/breakthrough_autism/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BTInterventions

Podcast: http://www.btinterventions.com/episodes/

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February 17, 2020

Atypical and Proud of It

EPISODE 52: ATYPICAL AND PROUD OF IT

With Joy Johnson

 

INTRO:

Hi there! Welcome to this week’s podcast episode “Atypical and Proud of It”. I’m really excited to be speaking with behavioral therapist Joy Johnson who is also on the spectrum herself. I fell in love with her Instagram page because she is just super honest, and let’s be real…what better way to learn about neurodiversity than from someone that is on the spectrum. I hope you enjoy!

Also, make sure that you’re following My Autism Tribe on our social platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and also YouTube. Let’s make our voices stronger.

 

SEGMENT:

Joy Johnson is an autism advocate, behavior and inclusion specialist, and is on the spectrum. She uses her social platform to not only share her thoughts on everyday life, but also her thoughts on some of the more popular autism research and science. It’s such a joy to welcome Joy Johnson to our show today!

 

CONCLUSION:

In the past, our traditional expert knowledge came from observations by professionals who often lacked the personal experience of being autistic, but by listening to autism advocates that are on the spectrum, we can gain a larger understanding and acceptance of autism. One might even say that those on the spectrum are the true experts, right? Thanks for listening to this week’s episode, and thanks for being a part of My Autism Tribe. I’ll see ya next week!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/joyfjohnson/

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February 10, 2020

An Autism Dad’s Field Guide

EPISODE 51: AN AUTISM DAD’S FIELD GUIDE

With Tim Gonzalez-Smith

 

INTRO:

Hi there! Welcome to My Autism Tribe! Today I’m speaking with an autism dad, Tim. So often times, we are listening to the voices of mothers to children on the spectrum, but Tim is going to share all about his journey with his son, Rafa, and how he is educating and supporting the autism community from a dad’s perspective. Keep listening – he’s awesome!

And, if you’ve been enjoying this podcast, I would love it if you could rate and review us wherever you listen to podcasts and share with a friend. It helps make our voices stronger.

 

SEGMENT:

I started following Tim through his Instagram account @autismdads, because a dad’s perspective is just as important as a mother’s when raising a child on the spectrum. Tim knew this and wanted to connect with the autism community. Along the way he has provided support for so many people, and has also learned so much from others, which he shares with us. He has struggled with anxiety, just like a lot of us, and is such an awesome advocate for his son. Please welcome Tim.

 

CONCLUSION:

To all the dads out there that are traveling on this autism journey, thank you for everything that you do. We see you! You are a very important member of our Autism Tribe. Thanks for joining me this week, and thanks for being a part of My Autism Tribe. I’ll see ya next week!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/autismdads/

BOOKS:

“The Autism Field Guide” – A book to help parents of newly diagnosed kids use empathy and understand as a way to support & empower.

“8 Ways to Support an Autistic Child and Improve Yourself” on the www.theautismfieldguide.com

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EPISODE 50:  FROM REAL HOUSEWIVES TO AUTISM ADVOCACY, JACQUELINE LAURITA DOES IT ALL

 

INTRO:

Hi, everyone! You are in for a special treat today. Today’s guest is none other than autism mom advocate extraordinaire and reality tv celebrity, Jacqueline Laurita. She was on Bravo TV’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” for seven seasons, and during this time her adorable son Nicholas received his autism diagnosis. She’s gonna share all about that, so stay tuned. You definitely don’t want to miss it.

Also, you may have seen, the My Autism Tribe podcast and nonprofit organization just recently celebrated our one-year birthday. That’s one year of successes, one year of challenges, and one year of getting to know each of you. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me, and for listening to this podcast! Your support means the world.

 

SEGMENT:

Jacqueline’s son Nicholas was diagnosed with autism in 2012 at the age of three, and since this time Jacqueline has become a leading advocate in campaigns for increasing autism awareness. She’s a female powerhouse with a mama bear’s love for her family. I’m so excited to introduce to you, Jacqueline Laurita.

 

CONCLUSION:

Whether you are a regular on a TV reality show, a teacher, a service provider, a stay-at-home mom, ALL of our voices are absolutely necessary in spreading autism awareness and acceptance in our communities. Maybe your platform is social media, or being a part of your child’s PTA. Don’t be afraid to make your voice stronger. Thanks so much to Jacqueline for her time and willingness to share her family’s story with us, and thanks so much to you for listening. You are an amazing member of My Autism Tribe, and without you none of this would be possible. I’ll see ya next week!

 

QUESTIONS ANSWERED DURING PODCAST:

  1. Can you tell us more about the diagnosis story- who, what where when and how- 
  2. What have been some of the biggest challenges you and your family have faced? 
  3.  Let’s talk about advocating and awareness- what recent work have you done that has helped with awareness? 
  4. With all the many projects you have going on and caring for your family how do you like to unwind and relieve stress? 
  5. What words of advice would you tell the person you were 10 years ago? 
  6. Can you share a story of success in your journey? 
  7. Tell us more about Simple Spectrum and why you’re so passionate about this company?
  8. Can you tell us more about your nutrition background and why you got into this?
  9. Why do you think Simple Spectrum is so different than most supplements out there? 
  10. Can you tell us the difference that nutrition and supplements have made for you guys? Gluten free/ casein free diets? 
  11. Do you miss being on the housewives? Any chance you will do it again?
  12. Can you tell us more about The Lookover Ladies podcast? How’s that been going?

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR JACQUELINE

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jacquelinelaurita/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaclaurita/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JacLaurita

Book: https://www.amazon.com/Get-Beauty-Wellness-Getting-Together/dp/1940363845/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=get+it%3A+a+beauty%2C+style%2C+and+wellness+guide&qid=1580314793&sr=8-1

Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-lookover-ladies/id1479048850

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EPISODE 49: THE AUTISM CAFÉ – A PLACE OF LOVE AND SELF-DISCOVERY

With Eileen Lamb

 

INTRO:

Hey, guys! Welcome to the My Autism Tribe podcast! If this is your first time, I’m glad you found us, and if you’ve been listening – welcome back! Today I’m speaking with Eileen Lamb. She’s the founder of blog The Autism Cafe, and she is also a writer and photographer. Born in France, she now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two sons, Charlie (6) and Jude (3). On her blog, she shares the ups and downs of raising a severely autistic child while being on the autism spectrum herself. You’re not gonna want to miss this one. I’m really excited to have her on the show today.

Also, don’t forget to check us out on social media. That’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. It’s My Autism Tribe across the board, so find us, follow us, join our tribe. We’d love to have you!

 

SEGMENT:

Before we start our interview, I’d like to share with you a quote from our guest today. You can find this on her blog The Autism Café: “Dear Strong Woman: You don’t show your pain because you heard that to be vulnerable is to be weak, that crying is a flaw, and that you need to get back up as soon as you fall. Yet you don’t.  I’m here to tell you that it’s okay if you can’t. Strength is finding the courage to speak up in a world that has been cruel to you. Strength is letting people in, no matter how many times you’ve been hurt before. Strength is being able to say, “I’m not okay right now. I need you.” Those are such powerful words, right? I’m so happy to welcome Eileen to our show.

 

CONCLUSION:

Eileen’s unique story, coupled with her absolutely stunning photography, is an inspiration and tribute to all who overcome the impossible and persevere for those they love. There are so many people out there that are, for whatever reason, traveling on this journey alone…but it doesn’t have to be that way. I hope you, and others, find relief in knowing that there are a lot of us traveling the same road and you don’t have to travel alone. As Eileen points out, road trips can be fun – why not join others. We are not alone. Thanks for being a part of My Autism Tribe and I’ll see ya next week!

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

https://theautismcafe.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theautismcafe/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theautismcafe/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/theautismcafe

 

Get a hardback copy here: All Across The Spectum

Get the Kindle version here:  AATS on Amazon

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EPISODE 48: AUTISM ADVENTURES (WITH BIG E)

With Jacqui Folks

 

INTRO:

Hi there! Thanks for joining me today. I’m speaking with a busy mother of three young men, Jacqui Folks. Her middle son, Ethan, has autism, and she’s going to share her family’s story, along with some resources that she has been working on for the autism community.

I also want to let you know that this week will mark the one-year anniversary for the My Autism Tribe podcast. It seems like yesterday that I started it, but it’s been a whirlwind and here I am one year later…still breathing…high five!

If you haven’t had a chance to rate or review the My Autism Tribe podcast, it would absolutely be cool if you did. It helps people find our podcast – especially on Apple Podcasts. Thanks for listening, as always, and for going on this crazy journey with me. You’re the best!

 

SEGMENT:

Jacqui Folks son was diagnosed in 2003, a time when there were little resources out there for parents. Think about all the resources that we have now, including podcasts! She learned almost everything from books, but there was also something that she felt that was missing. I’m excited for her to share what that was. Please welcome Jacqui Folks.

 

CONCLUSION:

I love hearing inspirational stories from those in the autism community. We are a group of fighters ya know, and I mean that in a good way. A bunch of mama and papa bears, and fearless advocates, both on and off the spectrum that are clawing our way for better awareness and inclusion in our communities. It’s so awesome. Thanks for being a part of My Autism Tribe, and I’ll see ya next week!

 

JACQUI’S BIO:

When my son was diagnosed in 2003 there were little to no resources out there for parents. I learned almost everything I know from books. However, there were no children’s books I could share with him for his learning experience. It was always suggested to me to write social stories, and I did, but nothing is more catching than a good children’s book.  

Over the years I have kept them and my dream was to have a series of Autism friendly books, with a main character who has Autism, for spectrum kids to listen and learn from. Well, my dream is coming true. Book one in our series is here!! These stories are something I longed for as I was raising my son. They would have been so helpful to just pick up and read before each life event. I would have used them daily at home, in the community and in the classroom. I feel confident that they can help others in the future.

Here are a few reasons why:

-Simple, short, direct and honest text that is actually used in the home.
-Reference to visuals, picture boards
-The same returning character with a simple and fun name.
-The same start and end to each book, no matter how different the story or message is. Repetition is key!
-There are several stories about Autism but very few series. In my research I only found two and they were short series not based on daily life skills.
-My series does help with daily life skills but with fun illustrations and a relatable, adorable, supportive main character.

-A lot of parents and educators do not know how to access or write social stories. Why not provide them for these families and educators?

 

Awarded a top book of 2019 by Autism Live and featured in their 2019 Holiday Toy & Gift Guide:

https://www.facebook.com/adventureswithBigE/

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January 13, 2020

FUBAR: Autism Parenting

EPISODE 47: FUBAR: Autism Parenting

With Jessica Temple

 

INTRO: 

If you spend just one minute on Google searching for parenting memes, you’ll be inundated with hilarious quotes and pictures on how to survive parenthood. It’s something that us parents get a few good laughs from, while we’re silently screaming inside. How many times have we questioned ourselves, “Will I get through this?”.

My guest today, Jessica Temple, is the creator of a podcast called FUBAR: Surviving Parenthood with Special Needs Kids, and is also a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist. Her podcast is all about creating a non-judgmental space to realize that we all actually WILL live through this, and offer tips on making the survival of parenthood an actual possibility. It’s hilarious. Jessica and her husband have two children with special needs. Their oldest has autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and developmental delays, and their youngest child had a perinatal stroke and has developmental delays. It’s a complete joy to welcome Jessica to our show today.

 

CONCLUSION:

There’s no perfect way of parenting, and as Jessica points out, there are always “fails”, “nails”, and “comical tales” along our journeys. Learn to embrace them, and know you are not alone. We’re all in it together. Thanks for joining me on my journey, and thanks for being a part of My Autism Tribe. See ya next week!

 

Additional information: 

Website: www.fubarpod.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fubarpod

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fubarpod 

 

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