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The Full Potential: Thriving with Autism

The Full Potential: Thriving with Autism

By Sara Intonato
This podcast teaches parents of children with Austim to support their children in meeting their full potential. We will look at a variety of topics such as health, advocacy, and spirituality. I will give you the tools to heal yourself and in turn become a bold advocate for your children
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The biggest mindset block special needs parents are facing
On today's podcast episode we're talking about the biggest mindset blocks parents face when raising a special needs child and it’s not what you think. It’s sneaky, insidious, and very often imposed on you by others. The great news is you get to choose whether you take it on as your own. Much like a gift you’ve been given, you get to decide whether to receive it or send it back. Admittedly, it took me a while to uncover this mindset issue since it’s not one I struggle with personally. Call me a Pollyanna, but I believe the sky is the limit for these neurodiverse humans. But not every parent feels the same, usually because their hopes have been squashed by the people who should actually be uplifting them. This episode is incredibly powerful regardless of your child’s diagnosis or the challenges and stereotypes they face in every day life.
16:10
May 12, 2022
The real question every parent wants an answer to
Let’s cut to the chase. The only reason you’re listening to this or any other parenting podcast is because you want to know one thing: how can I make my parenting journey easier? On today's podcast episode I have a very special guest Lida Schneider, an expert in Human Design, discussing how discovering this tool and making it part of her daily life transformed her entire family and brought more ease to their daily life. It can transform your life too. Dive into today’s episode to find out more.
45:31
April 28, 2022
When family fun time isn't actually fun
What does your family's fun time say about you? One of the most profound and also heartbreaking trends with special needs families is that they don't have much joyful time together. This is not a shock to me because if you look at human psychology, including Maslow's hierarchy of needs, many of these families are still in survival mode (or inconsistently moving in and out of it). Naturally, survival needs are going to overcome those of simply having fun together. And yet you deserve to have fun in your life and so do your children. You deserve to have joyful times together. This episode is going to cover a few different but specific challenges faced by the families I work with and how you can use your tools to bring the tension down increase the joy instead.
15:48
April 14, 2022
What are you committed to?
On today's podcast episode I'm supporting you in asking some major questions about your parenting journey. There's no question that parenting requires commitment. Parenting a neurodiverse child even more so. Yet, there are many pieces of your parenting journey that would be MUCH easier if you actually committed to doing them. Triggered? Good, keep reading because it's not what you think. For example, I'm sure you know tons of people who are "interested" in improving their fitness. They talk about going to the gym, buy new clothes, and even book the membership. But what percentage of those people actually show up at the gym with commitment and do the work that needs to happen to generate the results, day after day? Even when they're tired, even when they're not in the mood, they show up and do what they've committed to doing anyway. At best, it can be boring. Now I know what you're thinking. "Sara, how does this apply to me as a parent? Parenting isn't something I can't excuse myself from doing!" Hear me out. You're here listening to this podcast because you want more for your life. You don't want your unique child to live his/her life based on stereotypes or glass ceilings.  However, just because you're checking the parenting boxes does not mean you're actually doing what it takes to elevate your child to the next level. Let's take a closer look. In order to catapult your parenting to the next level you must first acknowledge your blind spots. This episode is here to help you do so in a loving, nonjudgmental way. After all, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" (Chinese Proverb).
25:14
April 07, 2022
How to rebound when your IEP meeting doesn't go in your favor
On today's podcast episdoe we are going to discusss what to do if your child's IEP meeting does not result in the way you wanted it to.  Sometimes you go to your kids’ IEP meeting and everything transpires beautifully. You happily sign off on the dotted line at the end of the meeting and then carry on with your daily life.  Other times the outcome of the district meeting does not feel like it's in support of your child's wellbeing.  In that moment you have to ask yourself, “where do I go from here as a parent?” It can be very hard to leave those meetings feeling upset or even as if you’ve been bullied. I know first hand what that feels like. Today’s episode is focused on how to pick yourself up off the ground when that happens. Where do you go from here to help your kid? Dive into today’s episode to find out more
14:51
March 31, 2022
It’s IEP meeting season, whether you like it or not
On today's podcast episode we’re talking about there good, the bad, and the ugly of IEP season. Most parents I speak with approach it feeling a combination of dread, anxiety, and worry that the outcome won’t be one that truly supports their child’s growth. Trust me, I’ve been there! My child’s IEP meetings are very different now (thankfully), and I’m here to share with you how you can approach them with confidence and be the bold advocate your child needs you to be. I want ALL the neurodiverse people of this world to thrive. I know you do too. It starts with us not settling for less than what our kids deserve. Are you with me? Dive into today’s episode to find out more
18:42
March 25, 2022
The parenting obstacle nobody’s talking about
On today's podcast episode I'm going to talk about a challenge that touches almost every family that I work with, in to my own.   Out of all the families I’ve worked with to date, I can think of only one that has not struggled with this challenge.  What’s the obstacle? One parent (usually the mom) acts as the leader for the child’s journey of advocacy, support, logistical management and emotional heavy lifting while the other parent is the less involved follower. It leads to resentment and frustration on behalf of the fatigued leader, who feels like the follows isn’t pulling their weight. Sound familiar? Have you fully considered the fact that statistics say your partner is likely neurodiverse (and therefore lacking executive functioning) just like your child? And because professionals weren’t handing out ADHD diagnoses 30 years ago, your partner probably never received the support he or she needed. Did the penny just drop? Good. Dive into today’s episode to find out more
20:18
March 19, 2022
The Real Cost of Raising A Neurodiverse Child
On today's podcast episode we are getting real about the cost of autism and neurodiversities and how the costs associated with having a unique child is have a real effect on families.  The time and energy that go into caring for unique child is just the beginning. The average cost of autism per family that lives in the United States is an estimated $60,000 per year. This number has tripled since 2006. On average, parents, especially mothers of children with autism, work fewer hours per week in order to be with their child and earn 56% less than mothers of children with no health limitations and 35% less than mothers of children with other disabilities or disorders. Take a deep breath and process that for a minute.  Now, remind yourself that one in 54 children is diagnosed with autism in our current world, in the United States. In many other countries, it's not far behind and in some countries it's even more prevalent. Remember, I’m a parent just like you and have experienced this in my own life. It doesn’t have to overpower you. Instead of listening to all the economic gloom and doom on the news, dive into this episode and see how you can still choose to thrive. Check out the latest podcast.
16:25
March 10, 2022
The Powerful Communication Tool that Can Change Your Life
On today's podcast episode we're looking into a highly effective communication tool that you've probably never even heard about! This tool is incredibly powerful for people who are non-speaking/non-verbal, but also supportive for those who can speak but are distracted with sensory issues or intense ADHD. This tool is called Rapid Prompt Method (RPM). It came into my life years ago, but only recently did I become a certified practitioner myself (because I was tired of searching for an available practitioner to magically appear to help my child). It has been one of the most profound, life-changing communication methods for our family and it can be for yours too.
28:59
March 03, 2022
Have you really been 100% honest with yourself?
Today’s podcast episode applies to you regardless of your child’s diagnosis. Maybe he or she hasn’t even been evaluated yet. Maybe your child has undergone testing and doesn’t quite fit into any box, but you are seeing evidence in your life that is putting your parent antennae up. You belong here too. Today's topic is a trend that I've been seeing across the board with this population of parents to neurodiverse children. It's a trend that I find problematic. I also relate to it very much because I've seen in my own life. What I'm seeing is that parents of unique children want their child to thrive. However, they feel so demoralized by comparing themselves to everyone else's perfect families that it puts them into paralysis. It prevents them from asking for help because they feel shame and fear. It prevents them from raising their hand and letting people in their lives know they need support because they either don't feel at peace with where they're at yet, or they just don't know where to turn.
16:23
February 24, 2022
The Truth About Self Stimulatory Behaviors (Stimming)
On today's podcast episode we are taking a closer look as self stimulatory behaviors, or “stimming.” This is one of the biggest concerns parents feel self conscious about when I speak with them in my consulting practice. They wonder if it's okay to let their child engage in self stimulatory behaviors, because there are different schools of thought around whether it's helpful or harmful. Many parents worry where the line is between a stim and an OCD tendency. Others notice it’s become crutch to keep their child calm and they don't know how to get rid of it. We’re are taking a closer look at this topic because it is not a black or white issue. There's a lot of nuance here. I’ll tell you how I handle it with my own child, as well as help you to identify when a stim is positively or negatively influencing your child.
20:27
February 17, 2022
Assumptions You Want to Make
If  you’re like me you grew up hearing the phrase, “Don’t assume, because  it makes and ass out of you and me!” Even saying it now causes me to  flash back to my mom shaking her finger in my face (hahahaha, love you  mom). Today,  I’m going to flip the script and tell you that there are a few key  assumptions that you WANT to make when encountering an individual with  unique needs, especially adults. The  catalyst for this episode is that I've had the pleasure of recently  having powerful conversations with certified behaviorists and the  founder of Rapid Prompt Method (RPM), Soma Mukhopadhyay. RPM is powerful  method of communication and teaching that I'm now certified in, by the  way. These  incredible women stirred up MAJOR insights around why individuals with  special needs are not being offered the same opportunities as their  neurotypical peers. In short, they blew my mind. The  best part is you and I, right now, can be in charge of creating a shift  for this population so that they achieve their full potential and allow  their brilliance to show.
17:49
February 03, 2022
What Are You Making Your Child's Journey Mean
When your child has a “bad day,” what are you making it mean about YOU as a parent? A mentor of mine is always reminding his students that humans are meaning making machines. We color everything with our meaning.  If you sit down to really look at the meanings you're putting onto your child's journey (or your own, for that matter), you might be surprised at how many of them are actually interpretations vs. how many are REALLY true.  For example, what's true about me in this moment? Am I a good mom? Well, that depends on who you talk to. It's probably up for interpretation, right? Am I a female? Yes. That's a fact. Am I somebody who's fun and enjoyable to be around? Well, that's subject to interpretation. You can see how so many stories you tell yourselves every day that are probably interpretations rather than the actual truth. You, like everyone else on the planet, are attaching meaning to every event that happens in your life, whether small or large, and letting it affect your self worth Today on the podcast we're taking a close at this, followed by simple steps you can use every day to create interpretations that actually support your journey as a parent rather than those that cause you to be so hard on yourself. Check out the latest podcast.
14:05
January 13, 2022
Are you getting pulled out of your Intuition
Today's podcast episode might sound a little "woo woo" at first, but stay with me! It's actually the catalyst for making powerful shifts as you step up and lead your family. It's the power of noticing when you've disconnected from your intuition, and it's often hard for people to measure. Why is it even important to talk about this? Because at some point ALL of my clients have come to me and said, verbatim, "Sara, am I going crazy?" They ask me if they're crazy for knowing that something's going on with their kid, even though everyone else is denying there is a problem. They ask me if they're crazy for seeing a problem brewing when everyone else is rolling their eyes and telling them that they're overthinking things. Have you been called crazy for listening to your gut instead of your mom or doctor when they tell you everything is "fine?" What if I told you this is your superpower? I'm serious. This is your most powerful tool as a parent, yet too many people are pushed into questioning their sanity, pushing down their gut feelings, and denying them altogether, only to regret it later. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PODCAST EPISODES I'VE EVER DONE, because it's going to allow you to identify if YOU are pushing down your intuition right now, and choose to reconnect to it instead. Are you going to give your power away as a parent? Have you fully considered where you'll be one year from now if you step up as the leader of your family instead? I said it a thousand times, nobody knows your child better than you. Nobody is going to get your success story out there for your child. More than you, not school, not the therapist, not the doctors. Are you ready? Let's do this.
18:48
January 06, 2022
How Can You Feel Your Emotions Without Them Taking You Down, with Lisa Carpenter
On today's podcast episode I am joined by the amazing Lisa Carpenter. She is one of the most powerful transformational coaches I've ever met. I’m also blessed to call her my dear friend. Lisa’s wisdom as a coach runs deep. In addition to 20 years if experience, she specializes in emotional resiliency with powerful results. Oh, and while most people were eating garbage and gaining their Covid 15, she opted to immerse herself in intense training and took the stage as a fitness pro (she won that competition, of course). But life isn’t all glitter and unicorns. Lisa has grappled with lockdowns, homeschooling, and routine disruption like the rest of us. In this episode neither of us hold back, and we’re honored to share with you how we supported ourselves through a crazy time in history. If you feel stuck or uninspired going into the new year, don’t judge yourself. Lean into this conversation and absorb the valuable tools we’re sharing with you today.
51:25
December 31, 2021
Cord Cutting Meditation
Today's episode is going to be key in helping you untangle yourself from others’ emotions, energy, and drama. In this podcast episode I’m gifting you a meditation that I prescribe to many of my clients on a regular basis, and it is a meditation for cord cutting. You might be thinking, what is cord cutting? Cord cutting is a powerful meditative exercise you can do when you're finding yourself stuck in someone else's stuff, whether they’re an energy vampire or just someone you need to distance yourself from, physically or energetically. When you KNOW it's time to remove yourself from the drama, this meditation will walk you through it, step by step. IMPORTANT: Cord cutting is not done maliciously. It is one of the highest forms of love. You are freeing the other people in your life to have their own journey and learn what they need to learn. You're freeing yourself to do the same with love and respect. I'm sharing this now for two reasons: 1. It’s holiday time, where even the most enlightened people are bombarded by the belief systems of family, friends, and society. Old wounds often rise to the surface. There’s a lot to sift through energetically. 2. We’re winding down 2021. It has been a year of a lot of intensity and confrontation in our world. What do you need to release from your life in order to make 2022 a powerful year? If you’re committed to going into the new year, refreshed, energized, focused, and ready to be your best self with nothing holding you back or dragging you down, it’s wise to do some detoxing first. Take a deep breathe and dive into this cord cutting meditation.
16:36
December 23, 2021
Overcoming Your Excuses with Eliza Miron
On today's podcast episode I have a very special guest, Eliza Miron. Eliza is not just a client of mine, but also someone who I really admire. Eliza is both a devoted a yoga  practitioner and teacher, and also a streak runner. She has run for over 7,000 days, consecutively without stopping for any reason at all! Yes, you read that right. Seven THOUSAND days straight, including the days she gave birth (Eliza’s a single mother of two young boys). So all the moms listening, we know how busy you are! Eliza juggles the same things you do every day. We're here to talk to you today about building healthy habits. Eliza and I are excited to dive into how we have both taken a non-traditional path for our wellbeing. We are both devoted yoga practitioners who practice five to six days per week without interruption. Eliza obviously runs every day. That means there are many days when we come face to face with our own excuses. We have to make a choice in that moment. Am I going to choose what serves me or am I going to choose my excuse? Today, we share our process with you. Come find out more on the latest episode.
51:07
December 17, 2021
Why Support Groups Don't Work
On today's podcast episode we’re diving into an edgy topic: why support groups don't work and what you can do instead.  This episode might ruffle your feathers, because I'm calling out ALL the problems with them today. If you've been pushed to try support groups as a solution to the daily challenges you face you're probably thinking, “Crap! What do I do now?” Don’t fret. I’d never leave you hanging. In the second half of this episode there will be a heavy focus on what you can do instead to empower yourself, especially if you’re moving through trauma or challenges that feel really heavy.
21:41
December 09, 2021
Grounding yourself in a high stakes situation
On today's podcast episode we’re addressing one of the most frequently asked questions I receive.  “How do I ground and center myself in the middle of a high stakes situation?” High stakes moments can translate to a LOT of stress, especially when it impacts your child's schooling, health, or emotional well-being.  When I left teaching yoga full-time, I figured I’d no longer teach the skills I have learned in my 20 years on the mat. The joke was on me! I find myself talking about yoga principles on the regular with my clients who desire to calm their nervous systems, which is exactly what we're going to talk about today. I cannot emphasize enough that what you’re hearing in this episode is meant to be applied in your daily life, ESPECIALLY when things around you get pretty intense. You have tools, and I’m here to help you use them.  Come find out more on the latest episode.
33:22
December 02, 2021
Strategies to make your holidays go smoothly
The holidays can be a time of stress and chaos for most families. Add in Neurodiversity, sensory issues, noise sensitivity, dietary concerns, and poof! You have a holiday recipe for disaster if you’re not prepared. The goos news is YOU get to decide what your holiday season will look like for your family. Identifying your needs, placing boundaries around them, and enforcing them hard core might sound intimidating, but it will allow you preserve your holiday joy and minimize stress. And that’s priceless. What actionable steps do you need to take to ease your way into the holiday season with your family and friends? Instead of assuming it’s hard, listen to today’s episode with an open mind. You CAN have the most peaceful holiday season you’ve always dreamed of. Check out todays podcast episode to hear those simple strategies you can take action on now.
10:26
November 18, 2021
Are you tangling up your self worth in your child's journey?
On today's podcast episode we're diving into what it looks like when you're tangling up your own self-worth and your child's journey. Full transparency, this used to be me. Even though I had been practicing yoga and intense spiritual devotion for many years, I didn't even realize I was doing this until my coach called me out on it. How did it show up in my life? -I’d feel sad when Rocco had an off day and use it as an excuse to flog myself mentally, allowing the "you're not good enough or doing enough" thoughts to pull me out of my confidence. -I’d tell myself I didn’t deserve to be successful/happy until he was “fixed” and start attracting challenges in my life to prove that true. And so much more. Sound familiar? Do you feel on top of the world until your child hits an obstacle, and then it's hard to get out of bed?
14:58
November 11, 2021
Parenting a unique child doesn't have to take a toll on your marriage with Padma Ali
On today's podcast episode I'm here with a dear friend and colleague Padma Ali. Padma is a brilliant coach and a healer, and she has a unique perspective after working for 20 years as a marital counselor. It's an immense honor to have her as a guest on today's episode, which I know will support many people. There's a lot of talk in autism communities that the strains of parenting a unique child result in an 80% divorce rate. Ouch! While this statistic is often disputed, any parent on an autism journey can tell you they carry far more responsibilities than they expected, which leads to increased stress levels. Self care often becomes less of a priority too, all of which are a recipe for marital tension.  Today, Padma and I are here to ensure you don't fall prey to this statistic. Listen and take notes on this unfiltered discussion around how you can support yourself inside and outside of your marriage so that you can step up as a leader for yourself and your family every single day.
39:58
November 05, 2021
Simple Steps To Creating More Joy In Your Life with Chelsea Arns
On today's podcast I have a very special guest, the brilliant Chelsea Arns. She’s a mother of three and a 7 figure business owner. In this episode she candidly shared that she used to be “the mom who yelled every night.” The real reason Chelsea is here today is to tell you how she stopped being THAT mom and started creating a daily life filled with joy. She’s passionate about making spiritual growth tangible and doable, no matter how busy you are. Come find out more about how Chelsea’s story can help you on the latest episode. If you would like to purchase one of Chelsea's amazing planners go to https://www.alignedplanners.co/  and use promo code fullpotential15 to order now!
38:16
October 28, 2021
Simple Strategies for Successful Travel with your Child with Autism
Every time I meet a loving family that tells me they want to travel with their unique child but instead stay home because they’re too scared of what could go wrong, my heart breaks a little. You deserve to have family vacations without worry. And you can. In  today’s episode we’re examining simple buy highly effective strategies for successful travel with your child on the spectrum.  I have two children, one who with ASD and one who is neuro-typical. These powerful strategies I'm sharing with you today make travel smooth sailing with BOTH my children.  So, if you're listening and thinking “my child has ADHD, but isn't really too much of a challenge,“ keep listening because these strategies are going to help you regardless of your child's diagnosis soyou can have a more successful travel experience for with your whole family.
31:57
October 21, 2021
It's Time to Trust Your Gut Feelings
Today's episode is a powerful and  important one, all about how dismissing your mother’s (or father’s) intuition is hurting your child's trajectory, especially if you're suspecting that your child has unique needs.  I almost titled this episode. “Am I crazy?” because that is the phrase I hear from every single mom who crosses my proverbial door step. They are smart, confident, and empowered decision makers.  Yet, when they arrive at my proverbial doorstep, they question themselves in SO MANY WAYS. Even though they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that their child has something going on that needs to be addressed, they’re allowing other people in their lives to call them crazy, over analyzing, just imagining things, blah blah blah.  My role in today's episode is to tell you that you're not crazy for thinking that your child needs some special attention. You're not crazy for wanting answers. You're not crazy for wondering if the trajectory of “normal kids” is appropriate for your child.  Today we're going to look at how dismissing your own intuition can really hurt your child's ability to thrive and why it's worth trusting your gut, even when everyone else is telling you that you're crazy.
20:38
October 14, 2021
I'm Here to Help You Take A Stand
On today's podcast episode we're diving into three key points you need to know before you take a stand for your child.  When I use the phrase “taking a stand for your child,” I mean advocating for him or her powerfully, whether it be in the classroom setting with teachers, at a district level, with family members who aren't respecting your boundaries, or even at the doctor's office. Taking a stand happens across all environments and relationships.  The key components I discuss on today’s episode will help you tremendously in being more successful when you need to stand up and be your child's voice. Sometimes parents need to do this because your child is simply too young to know what they need or want. Others need to do it because their child literally does not have the ability to speak for themselves. I want you to know I've walked this path for nine years. I know what it's like. I know what it takes, and I know how much endurance you need to have.  My goal for today's episode is that it will save you LOTS of energy so you can use it where it counts: on your own well-being. You can listen now wherever you enjoy podcasts, Apple or Stitcher.
22:33
October 07, 2021
It's Time to Support Yourself in this Process
I know that being a special needs, mom or dad is an intense job. I know it's one that can carry a lot of pressure and many people in the world can’t relate to you.  When a new client shows up on my virtual doorstep, one of their first questions is always, “Sara! How do I ground and center myself while I'm in this very strong, taxing role as a parent?” I laugh, because I've been a yoga teacher for nearly 20 years. I thought that when I opened my consulting practice for autism families I’d be kind of leaving this world behind (except for my own personal practice). I’ve found the opposite to be true. While I coach these amazing parents on how to advocate and support their children, I also teach them how to support themselves spiritually. Why? Because parenting a unique child in a world that doesn’t always support or even understand them takes endurance. A spiritual practice is the only way to strength your endurance. So with no further ado, I'm going to share with you in this episode, a guided meditation that is only 8 minutes long that you can do every day. Whether you do it in the morning or in the evening doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you do this and you support yourself in grounding, in centering, in breathing, and being present in the moment when your mind is probably full with 1,000,001 things. Are you ready? Let's get started.
13:21
September 30, 2021
A Simple Strategy To Heal and Prevent Burnout
On today's podcast episode we're diving into a simple strategy you can incorporate into your life today to heal and prevent burnout. When I say "burnout" I want to be clear that I'm not talking about it colloquially, as in you've had a busy work week, it's Friday night, and you needed tequila on the rocks to unwind. I'm talking about adrenal fatigue, as in your body is so burned out your hormonal functions have gone on strike.  How many times have you spoken to your friends at a stressful time of year (or during the pandemic) and everyone says the same thing: They're tired. They're having trouble waking up in the morning. They've got brain fog, low libido, etc. Just because it's common doesn't mean it's normal or healthy, for that matter. Are you just a tired mum or is there something deeper going on? Today we're going to address what burnout actually is, the symptoms you can look for in your life, and how can you avoid and heal burnout right now.  Come find out about more about burnout on my latest episode
21:59
September 23, 2021
When Two Worlds Collide
On today's podcast episode we have special guest Vanessa Kahlon, the founder of  YEAS Yoga and Kahlon family services. Vanessa is  a very special unicorn because she hasn’t been afraid to blaze the trail and do things differently where children with autism children are concerned. As a parent of unique child and a consultant for families, this is desperately needed because we're seeing that the traditional ways of doing things often don't work. It’s time for something different for this population, and that difference is yoga. Today, we’re diving into why Vanessa founded YEAS yoga and how she uses it to help unique children, many of whom are on the spectrum. Listen in as we talk about how you as a parent/yoga teacher/educator/therapist, can learn to teach yoga to these beautiful souls and even teach them how to practice on their own. Come find out about how this too can help your child on the spectrum on my latest episode
40:18
September 16, 2021
Three Things You Can Do To Advocate for Your Child Today
On today's podcast episode I am going to share with you how a recent meeting went for my family at my son’s school because I know someone else is going to benefit from my story.  The summer school routine was going along swimmingly and Rocco was doing very well. Then, all of a sudden, we received a phone call saying, “this school's no longer appropriate for your son.” Ummm what? We hadn’t received any reports of problematic behavior. No phone calls home, no notes with reports of situations which needed to be addressed. I smelled a rat. Come find out how I handled this situation along with 3 things that you can do to advocate for your child with Autism today on my latest episode.
13:38
September 09, 2021
The Journey I Never Wanted to Take
Today’s podcast is an encore episode that examines a topic that is not only important, but incredibly close to my heart: how to be successful as a special needs parent. It might be a surprise to you that I have two children, 18 months apart in age. My son, Rocco, who is 11 years old, is also a special needs child. He is on the autism spectrum and an incredible kid, though life with him is quite different than what I imagined life as a mother would be. I'm sharing this today even though it's something I previously kept quite private. Children with autism in the world grow as a population every single year, and as a result, more special needs parents are born every single year as well. Almost everyone who I speak to, including yoga teachers who I mentor, have children who have some type of difference, whether it be a sensory processing issue or an ADD, and beyond. There are all different kinds of special needs. What I've seen in this population is that these parents feel isolated, they feel ashamed, and they place imits around what's possible for them based on societal messages. I'm here to turn that notion on its head and show you that you can thrive, but you have to be laser-focused in how you spend your time and your energy in order to do it all. If you are close to someone who is a special needs parent, please share this episode with him or her. If you are not a special needs parent but are navigating an obstacle in whatever season of life you’re in, this episode will be incredibly supportive of you. I encourage you to listen because this episode uncovers how to be laser-focused with your time and find the *right* supports for yourself in the form of habits, people, and practices that allow you to thrive, even in the midst of challenge.
34:53
September 02, 2021
It’s Time to Get Vulnerable
On today's podcast episode I'm going to get quite personal and vulnerable with you as I share the story of my son Rocco's Autism diagnosis. It’s a doozy and I don’t hold back. I share the first signs Rocco exhibited that made my mother’s intuition click into high gear, even as trusted friends and family told me not to worry. I share what the process of actually getting him diagnosed was like how it made me feel as a mother. But most importantly, I share how we moved forward from that as a leader for my family. YOU can be a leader for your family too. Come listen now to find out more.
23:26
August 19, 2021
How to Strengthen a Relationship with a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
On today's podcast episode, we're diving right in with a juicy topic that I know is going to help not only you as a parent, but also your child's grandparents, friends, teachers, or anyone in their life who wants to have a stronger relationship with him or her.  This episode is not just for parents of children with autism. It will benefit you if you have a neuro-diverse child in any way, a child with ADHD, sensory processing issues, language challenges, etc.  I hope you're as excited as I am, because when you have a stronger relationship with your child, everything becomes easier, including advocating for him or her strongly.
27:03
August 12, 2021
How to make the right dietary choices for your child without stressing yourself out
On today's podcast episode, where we're diving into one of the most commonly asked questions parents of children with autism have:  “What’s the right way to manage my child’s diet?” What should my child eat? What dietary program is the best? How much, or how little should she have? What should I include? What should I restrict? The nutritional world is very noisy and very confusing. I’m not a dietitian, but I have been navigating the nutritional world, both for myself and my children, for the past 18 years. I’ve studied on my own and under the care of holistic specialists. My goal for today’s episode is to cut out the nonsense and get you immediately to what will help your child, without throwing yourself under the bus. Click below to listen.
17:12
August 05, 2021
Public vs. Private services for your child? How to let your intuition guide you through making the right choice.
On today's podcast episode I have a very special guest, Ms. Brittany Bohach, SLP. She is a speech therapist that specializes in adolecents, and together we dive into a powerful conversation. Together, we examine the difference between public versus private services, when each one is appropriate, and the obstacles that often come up when navigating all the options along the way. If you’re a rebel mom or had concerns that what the experts have chosen for your child’s path aren’t truly what’s best for him or her, don’t miss this episode! Come find out why on today's episode. Click below to listen.
43:33
July 29, 2021
Your Language Matters
I don’t subscribe to labels, but the fact is we’re surrounded by them. Autism, ADHD, Special Needs, Uniquely Abled, Disabled, and beyond. There is so much terminology around unique children, it can be difficult to know which ones are acceptable to use. On today's podcast episode we are talking about why your language matters, and we’re diving into how to properly address people in your life who are different whether or not they carry a diagnosis in their life. This is an exciting topic for me to talk about because I have a child on the Autism Spectrum and many people notice that I don't call him autistic.  My reason for that is because, while I acknowledged that labels help professionals understand the children that they’re working with, labels don't define my child. Labels matter and also don't matter at all.  Come find out why on today's episode.
14:07
July 22, 2021
What happens when you stop advocating for your child alone
On today's podcast episode I am sharing a very special interview. A few months ago I was fortunate to be a guest on The Full Frontal Living Podcast with Lisa Carpenter. Together, we discussed what it means to truly advocate for your child, including how to ask the right questions and how to stand your ground when the going gets tough, REALLY tough. And we don’t just pay it lip service. Lisa shares what it was like when her son, a unique learner, was blindsided by an intense situation, one that could have changed the trajectory of his entire education experience, at his new school after just three days. She vulnerably shares her story and what it felt like as I coached her to stand in her power as a parent. Come find out how to stand up and advocate for your child starting right now.
45:52
July 15, 2021
How To Stand Up For Your Child When The "Experts" Pull The Rug Out From Beneath You
On today's podcast episode I am sharing a very important message, especially for any parent whose child is different, whether their diagnosis is Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, or a unique learner in another way completely.  Today I'm getting real and sharing with you a real story of how I recently had to step up and advocate for my son. I'll also be sharing with you how I really react when I get one of "those" emails or phone calls! You know the kind you receive out of the blue when everything is going well, and them BOOM, your district or some higher up on the food chain writes you and says, "Hey, just want you to know that we're making some changes that affect your child's programming". Come find out how to stand up and advocate for your child starting right now. Click below to listen.
14:27
July 08, 2021
If you want to change your child's path to success, change your inner stories, featuring Katie Soy
On today's podcast episode we have a very special guest, Katie Soy.  Katie is a brilliant writer who recently created a powerful children's book, The Firefly and the Storm. Katie is both an author and a powerful coach. In addition to both writing and publishing stories, Katie also empowers you to deeply examine and change the stories that you tell yourself about yourself every single day. Ever felt not good enough? You can change that story. Are you wondering if you're really strong enough to make a difference for your child? You can rewrite that story too. As you begin to take a closer look at your self talk, you're going to uncover SO MANY STORIES that are hindering your journey. The good news is you don't need to judge yourself for having them, you can simply start to create something new. Today's episode powerfully highlights stories that you may be telling yourself about your children. Mic drop! And how to rewrite them in a positive way that is supportive of your family's future. It all starts with you.
31:45
July 01, 2021
Are You Showing up for Everyone but Yourself
On today's podcast episode we're diving into how you can create time for yourself when you are the parent of a child on the autism spectrum. This is no small task, and I'll be the first person to tell you that taking time for yourself is rarely convenient or easy.  When you have a child that's unique, whether it be through autism or any type of disability, it’s crucial that you take time for yourself even MORE than the average parent. Why? Because you have to give more of yourself than the average parent does, every single day. Thinking your can pour ALL your energy into your child and save none for yourself is a broken strategy. Expecting your child to thrive while you’re barely surviving in the background is like expecting an Olympic athlete to make it to the podium without a strong coach by their side.
24:39
June 24, 2021
The Crucial Piece Your Child Needs to Thrive, and How You’re Probably Missing It.
On today's podcast episode I have a very special guest, Caspar Szulc, who’s super power, in my humble opinion, is being disruptive without being rude It’s an art form, and one that is deeply needed in the medical and neuro diversity spaces. Caspar Szulc is an expert on both topics. He’s the President and Co-Founder of Innovative Medicine, a company dedicated to transforming healthcare through an advanced and truly comprehensive form of personalized integrative medicine. His work in medicine has garnered attention from top medical minds across six continents (which he's traveled to by the way), including Nobel laureates, top CEOs, Hollywood royalty, and bestselling authors. Together, we took a deep dive into what it REALLY takes for a child to thrive, especially one with developmental challenges, and how parents often miss this critical component. This was one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve ever done. We could have talked for hours! Caspar is both a sharp mind and a deeply caring human. Don’t miss this powerful conversation! 
48:50
June 17, 2021
My son's autism diagnosis was a traumatic event in my life
On today's podcast we are getting personal. I am sharing with you what it was like when my son was first diagnosed on the spectrum eight and a half years ago. I was a young mom. I had two kids in 18 months and all of a sudden it felt like you took me and flipped me upside down and shook me around and then flipped me right tied up. I couldn't make sense of anything. It really felt like my world had come crashing down today. I don't feel that way anymore. I love the life that we have. I love my child's uniqueness. He is thriving. We're all thriving, but it wasn't always the case. Come check out my latest episode to hear my story. Want more info on how to advocate for your child in the midst of a pandemic? Head over to sarayoga.com/journey and download my free mini- guide today.
17:49
June 10, 2021
Slapped in the face by "experts?" Here's how to take your power back
On today's podcast I'm here to share something very important. It’s a sad fact that most parents of kids with autism wait until they have an “oh s&!t” moment in order to do an assessment around what needs to change so their child can thrive.  What’s an “oh s&!t” moment? It’s when your unique child is being kicked out of school. It’s when you get a letter that your child’s services are being stopped, or that there was an outburst in classroom I’m here to tell you it doesn't have to be this way. Come check out my latest episode to find out what you can start doing now. Want more info on how to advocate for your child in the midst of a pandemic? Head over to sarayoga.com/journey and download my free mini- guide today.
05:42
June 03, 2021
Are the siblings of your special needs child getting what they need?
Today we are talking about siblings of special needs children. So many times I have special needs parents that are concerned about the siblings. They are worried that their neuro-typical child is not receiving the attention that they need or that they won't feel loved. I am here to bust that thought. I have a daughter that is 18 months younger than my son that has autism. When she was a small child I made sure that I focused on giving her more attention. Now that she is older I see that she is more loving and has a better understanding and appreciation for the world around her. She sees the world from a whole other view. Join me today as I dive deeper into this topic and help you release that feeling that you are not doing enough for your other child. Want more info on how to advocate for your child in the midst of a pandemic? Head over to sarayoga.com/journey and download my free mini- guide today.
07:24
May 27, 2021