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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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Your Language Matters

The Full Potential: Thriving with Autism

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.
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.
October 7, 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.
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
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
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.
September 9, 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.
September 2, 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.
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.
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.
August 5, 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.
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.
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.
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.
July 8, 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.
July 1, 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.
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! 
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 and download my free mini- guide today.
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 and download my free mini- guide today.
June 3, 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 and download my free mini- guide today.
May 27, 2021