"Don't refer to a person as their diagnosis, refer to them as a person first."
In this episode Chris and Noah interview Scott, who has a lot of experience with autism and people with disabilities. In his day job, Scott helps individuals with disabilities find meaningful employment by providing support and training for both employers and individuals. Scott is also an uncle to Noah, Isaac, and one other nephew with a disability. Scott offers some great insights, real-life stories, and asks Chris and Noah a few questions as well.
Learn more about Optimae LifeServices at www.optimaelifeservices.com.
In this episode Chris and Noah interview researchers Taylor Kalmus and Natalie Pottschmidt from the SPARK for Autism program at the University of Iowa. Taylor and Natalie provide some background on SPARK and how they got involved in the program (Hint - one of them has a sibling with autism). They also provide some insights into the potential outcomes of the research and offer some advice to other researchers in similar projects. We enjoyed the conversation and think you will, too.
Here are some helpful resources related to this episode:
"We all have something to teach each other and we all have something to learn."
In this episode Chris and Noah interview psychologist, Dr. Paul Conditt. Dr. Paul works with autistic people and their families to help them navigate the challenges and embrace the blessings of autism. In this episode, Dr. Paul shares some of his experiences working with kids and families with autism, offers some insights into his world as a psychologist, and shares some advice for parents and individuals with autism.
"Be open to adapting your playbook to help people on the struggle bus."
In this episode Chris and Noah interview Angela Wittmer, junior high school counselor. Angela shares some of her experiences working with kids and families with autism (and special needs), offers some insights into her world as a school counselor, and shares some great advice for parents and teachers.
"Connect with your kid. Build a relationship. Join in with what they like to do."
In this episode Chris and Noah interview Carrie, mother of two children with special needs. Carrie shares some of her experiences raising two kids with different abilities, offers some insights into her world, and shares some advice for parents and teachers.
In this episode, Chris and Noah interview Dr. Kevin Droe, Associate Professor of Music in Music Education at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). Our family met Kevin through his wife, Shelley, who was Noah's music teacher in elementary school. In the interview we discuss the origins of Spectrum Project, how it has evolved over the past several years, insights from Kevin, and advice to educators, parents, and students regarding this type of project.
In this episode Chris and Noah interview Kelli, who has a lot of experience with autism. She is a sibling to a younger brother, Ben, who was diagnosed with autism when she was 13. She was also a caregiver to our guys for two summers. In addition to all of that, she worked with autistic kids as a behavioral specialist. Kelli offers some great insights, fun stories, and tips that could apply to everyone.
As a bonus, we got some video of feeding applesauce to Isaac. As you can see, he thinks it is hilarious.
"Everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have".
In this episode Chris and Noah interview Andrew Voss, a teacher at River Hills School in Cedar Falls. Andrew talks about his path into teaching in special education, shares some insights from his experience as a teacher, and tells a few fun "Isaac" stories. Be prepared to be educated and entertained!
"Give us a chance. If we have everything we need, we'll do a great job for you."
In this episode Chris and Noah interview Mike Dierdorff, an autism advocate and adult with autism. Mike talks about his experience being an advocate for people with autism in the community and the workplace. Mike offers some great insights and tips that could apply to everyone.
To contact Mike, reach out to him via his email address: email@example.com
In this episode Chris and Noah interview Tyann (Wife and Mother) to get her answers to the same questions answered by Chris in episode 5. The discussion covers several topics, including the diagnosis, challenges as a parent, opportunities because of autism, and some fun stories as well. Tyann's Blog Post about Hy-Vee can be found here.