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The eSpecial Needs Podcast

The eSpecial Needs Podcast

By eSpecial Needs
eSpecial Needs sits down with therapists, educators, and parents in the special needs community to discuss a wide variety of important topics.
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Your kiddo just got diagnosed, what's next? with Christina Narasimhan
Christina Narasimhan is the Director for Region 2 of the St. Louis County, St. Louis Area First Steps discusses with host Katherine Blanner next steps after a diagnosis. 
March 6, 2021
Social Skills for Individuals Autism with EasterSeals Midwest's Melanie Mills
In this episode of the eSpecial Needs Podcast, we sit down with Melanie Mills, who is the director of Autism Services for EasterSeals Midwest. 
March 6, 2021
Equine Therapy with guests Amy Willard and Kathy Castellitto of TREE House
Equine therapy can be effective in a number of ways for individuals of all abilities! Learn about how and why from our expert friends at TREE House in Wentzville, MO. Visit their website at
July 29, 2020
DIY Sensory Solutions with Autism Mom Sarah Weirich
Sarah Weirich, also known as @embracingthespectrum on Instagram, is a queen of sensory solutions for her son Tristan. They've decked out their two-bedroom apartment with a variety of sensory experiences. Learn Sarah's ideas and solutions. 
July 15, 2020
Meet Make-A-Wish®! with guest Ashley Hopkins
Ashley Hopkins, Wish Manager for Make-A-Wish® Missouri & Kansas, gives us insight as to how wishes are granted from start to finish. 
July 1, 2020
Funding profile: Variety
Variety is an international organization that provides kiddos with disabilities and special needs funding for therapies and equipment. In this episode, Susan Susch gives us insights as to how the organization got started, qualifiers for funding, and how to begin reaching out for funding. 
June 17, 2020
Raising a kiddo with autism from diagnosis to guardianship with guest Malinda Cook
Malinda and Chad cook are the hosts of the podcast Autism Mastermind. In this episode, we discuss practical tips for parenting a kiddo with autism from diagnosis to guardianship. 
June 3, 2020
Therapy and Assistance Dogs for Individuals with Special Needs with Guest Pam Budke
Pam Budke is the executive director for CHAMP Assistance Dogs. We discuss the ins and outs of therapy and assistance dogs for individuals with special needs or disabilities. 
May 20, 2020
Mini-Episode: Tips for parenting during lockdown from an autism parent
Malinda Cook, host of the Autism Mastermind podcast, gives us tips and tricks for parenting her daughter, Paige, during lockdown. 
May 6, 2020
Mini-Episode: Tips for learning from home with guest Mary Blanner
Guest Mary Blanner has 8 kids and used to home school all of them. To top it all off, she has a bachelor's in special education and is pursuing her master's in the same field.  These days, her kiddos, who now attend a private school, are learning from home again. In this episode of the eSpecial Needs Podcast, we discuss quarantine-time tips for parents of kiddos of all ages and abilities. 
April 22, 2020
Finding Friends with Kelly Quinn
Kelly Quinn is the State Director for the state of Missouri for Best Buddies international. We discuss the importance of finding, maintaining, and cultivating good friendships for individuals with special needs and/or disabilities. 
April 8, 2020
The Ins and Outs of Autism, Aggression, and ABA Therapy with Angela Craven
Angela Craven is a certified ABA therapist from St. Louis, MO. Craven gives us insights into behavioral techniques and therapies to help understand autism, aggression, and ABA. 
June 20, 2019
Special Needs Siblings with Lyndsey Boyer, OT/R
Lyndsey Boyer is the founder of our Special Needs Family Support Group here at eSpecial Needs. She is connected to the special needs community in a pretty unique way. Not only is she an occupational therapist, but she's also has a twin sister who has CP. In this episode of the eSpecial Needs Podcast, Lyndsey gives insight into the unique relationships families form with their loved ones with special needs. 
June 6, 2019
The Ins and Outs of the IEP Process with John Ourth
The IEP process can seem a bit daunting. Pack your bag with the necessary information and communication tools from special education teacher for Great Circle, John Ourth. He's written over 200 IEPs in his career, so he's got the tips and tricks that you need to know to help your kiddo. 
May 23, 2019
Sex Education for Individuals with Special Needs with Nicholas Maio-Ather
Just about every kid needs the birds and the bees talk at some point. For individuals with special needs, that doesn't always happen. We sit down with sex therapist Nicholas Maio-Ather to talk about the importance of talking to your kiddo with special needs, how to help them understand the anatomy of it, and the significance of teaching consent at an early age. Please keep in mind that the content of this podcast may not be acceptable for a workplace environment, or age-appropriate for younger children. 
May 9, 2019
Literacy for individuals with special needs with Mary Blanner
eSpecial Needs sits down with early childhood special education reading specialist, Mary Blanner, to talk about the importance of literacy and the tips and tools to make it as effective as possible. 
April 25, 2019
Physical Activity and Sports for Individuals with Special Needs with Physical Therapist Kelly Behlmann
eSpecial Needs sits down with Kelly Behlman, physical therapist and executive director/founder of the Disabled Athlete Sports Association (DASA) in St. Louis, MO, to talk about the importance of physical activity for individuals with special needs. Music is "Easy Saturday" by Bad Snacks, from the Youtube Music Archive. 
April 11, 2019
Ninja Therapy with Emily Martin MOT, OTR/L
eSpecial Needs sits down with occupational therapist Emily Martin to talk about her background as an OT and her approach to "Ninja Therapy." Music: "Easy Saturday" by Bad Snacks from the YouTube Audio Library.
March 28, 2019