Parent Perspectives: Relationships, Play, and Growth
On this edition of Parent Perspectives from Affect Autism, we have another parent panel! Parent Perspectives is an addition to the usual podcasts.
This Week’s Guests
This edition of Parent Perspectives features four mothers of autistic children, including one who is now a grandmother of an autistic child. We discuss their journeys, finding DIR/Floortime, the power of relationships and play, and the growth they and their families have experienced.
Rebekah is in North Carolina. Her Occupational Therapist’s suggestion of Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s work is what led her to ICDL’s weekly parent support calls that I facilitate and taking DIR 101: An Introduction to DIR and DIRFloortime–two places where she first experienced some hope for her family’s journey. Her DIR Home Program with Kasheena Holder and Dr. Karen Levine‘s play-based approach to fears and phobias were tremendous supports for her family. She has the wisdom of all of her years in public school teaching and administration, and the experience of parenting multiple children. This applies to many listeners as well. She also wrote a lovely newsflash for the International Council on Development and Learning recently entitled I WISH: A PARENT’S THANK YOU. Rebekah is an incredible advocate!
Maria is located in Toronto and took the initiative to find services for her child and family during Covid when nothing else was available and found ICDL’s DIR Home Program . She had the courage to film herself playing with her child and to be coached and watch the changes happen. English is her second language and she is in Canada without any extended family. This is also the experience of many parents who listen. Maria, has helped discover her child’s cues and supports him every day. Maria is an incredible mother!
Amanda is not only a mother of two young autistic boys who attended Dr. Joleen Fernald’s DIRFloortime school in Florida, but she is also a breast-cancer survivor who homeschooled her sons before finding the Developmental, Individual differences, Relationship-based (DIR) school, and is currently homeschooling again, all while in a graduate program to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and DIR provider. She is a self-proclaimed huge fan of my podcast, Affect Autism, and DIRFloortime has been life-changing for her family. Amanda is a real powerhouse!
Michele Abraham-Montgomery, known as ‘Chele’, has the wisdom of a mother whose child is now a grown adult self-advocate and her experiences described in our past podcast. She advocated for her son because she rejected the negative narratives she was receiving. She is a warrior! She also represents the voice of someone underrepresented in the world of autism professionals (yes, you don’t need the letters to be a professional–her work in advocacy for the city of Philadelphia and all she does is beyond professional). Chele now is the supportive ‘glam’ mother of an autistic grandchild as well!
Resources from this week’s edition of Parent Perspectives:
- DIR 101: An Introduction to DIR and DIRFloortime
- ICDL’s DIR Home Program
- Kasheena Holder
- Emerge Pediatric Therapy in Durham, NC
- The Out of Synch Child book
- Engaging Autism book
- Colette Ryan
- Dr. Joleen Fernald
- Chele on Affect Autism podcast
- Gabriela Michaca’s podcast on Parenting Styles
- Peaceful Parenting
- ICDL’s Weekly Parent Support Meetings
Thank you to Maria, Rebekah, Amanda, and Michele for sharing their experiences! Please feel free to share it on Facebook or Twitter and feel free to share relevant experiences, questions, or comments in the Comments section below. Stay tuned for the next Parent Perspectives parent panel podcast with a new group of parents in a month! In the meantime, Affect Autism’s regular podcast will be back in two weeks!
Until next time, here’s to choosing play and experiencing joy everyday!