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What are the best podcasts for autism moms?
Are you a podcast person? I’ve surprised myself with how I have woven this form of media into my everyday life. I’m trying to walk more – which means a podcast. Cooking at home more (and cleaning up) – also a chance to listen. And I listen while I’m getting ready in the morning, when I used to listen to traffic and weather reports – both of much less significance with my short “commute” to my dining room office. Here are some of the best podcasts for autism moms:
1. The Lomah Podcast
Kim Albrecht is a one-woman podcast powerhouse. She has grown her podcast from musings on managing her daughter to a magnet for important, informative guests who never fail to shed light on critical topics for anyone supporting an individual with special needs. Though the target audience is those working with teens and adults, this tween parent has been listening for years.
Because when you have a high-needs child, the future looms large, and there is no time like the present to dig in and start building your toolkit to address what’s on the horizon. There are few better places to source these tools than the Lomah podcast. From fitness to finance, sleep to speech, Kim covers it all – with depth, insight and compassion. A must-listen for anyone who works with or lives with an individual with special needs.
2. Autism Grown Up
Tara Regan is both an autism professional as well as the sibling of two adults with autism. Her dual perspective is important and helpful, particularly in the areas of housing, employment and transition services. Tara has had impressive guests on her show (like Temple Grandin), but also “mines” her community for ideas that can be replicated across the country.
3. The Special Needs Travel Podcast
Autism mom and certified travel advisor Dina Farmer shines a light on a topic near and dear to my heart: special needs travel. While her personal experience, like mine, is with autism, she seeks guests from a variety of perspectives within the special needs travel niche. We were fortunate to have The Piece of Mind Retreat highlighted on an episode. Click here to listen if you missed it.
4. The Happiness Lab
While not a special-needs specific podcast, The Happiness Lab podcast has become an essential one for me. Yale professor and researcher on the subject of the science of happiness Laurie Santos shares practical, approachable ideas to actually increase your happiness. And happier parents are better able to care for their children – with or without special needs.
5. Unlocking Us
Brene Brown’s work is good for the soul. And if your soul is caring for an individual with special needs, then all the more reason to settle in and learn from Brene and her guests. She calls herself a shame researcher, but I think that title sells her short. Indeed, as you will learn from Unlocking Us, shame is inextricably tied to courage and vulnerability, two things special needs parents tend to have in spades.
Yet it’s not enough to just have those characteristics, but to understand how they can transform your life. Brene will help you take stock of your own life to better appreciate what you’ve got, and identify areas of growth. All with her utterly approachable Southern charm that reminds me of some of my favorites from my college years in Houston.
Bonus: The Scoop
This list would not be complete without including the irreverent, no-holds-barred take on autism and autism services from Sarah Trautman, BCBA, and the late Feda Almaliti. Feda’s tragic death brought this podcast to a halt after just a few episodes, but those few are a raw, unfiltered look inside the world of severe autism, in the midst of the chaos that is 2020. While there is no question the handful of episodes will leave you wanting more, if you are a parent of an individual with severe autism you will most definitely relate to Feda’s and Sarah’s perspectives.
And the last “episode” is actually a full-length sound file from a video interview Sarah conducted with Feda in her home. Her words in that episode reflect just the place where I have arrived in addressing Mr. Diggy’s future – her wish for her late son Mu was for him to have “a home, a friend, and something to do.” Isn’t that what we all wish for our children?