Interview with Autism Mom Kelsey General

I just got done interviewing autism mom Kelsey, who is a single mom of two young boys, both diagnosed with autism. It was a great interview, and you can listen to the full interview on MaryBarbera.com/3, which is my third podcast.

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Autism mom Kelsey General has been in my online courses and community for a while now. In fact, she now serves as a community manager for my online community. She has been with us for about two years, since her son Brentley was diagnosed with autism, and she was on a mission to try to learn how to help him. She, in the podcast, told us that when Brentley was young, he had severe problem behaviors like banging his head on hard surfaces, and out in the community she’d need a leash and a harness. She also had a new baby when Brentley was 18 months old, and so, she was really trying to keep both her babies safe and she was having a very difficult time. She talked about how the week after the diagnosis of Brentley, she was in Alaska and she moved back to Canada where she was from. That’s so many stressors all at the same time.

After she waited a year for that diagnosis, she had to wait some more for therapy to start, and for funding to be approved for three months. Once funding was approved, she had to drive Brentley an hour each way for therapy. Unfortunately, the clinic that he was going to had goals that were too high and too different from what he needed, he wasn’t learning. They were trying to teach him things like colors and he didn’t even know how to request things or how to match or do imitation, some prerequisite skills. He also was, like I said, banging his head on hard surfaces and just really exhibiting dangerous behaviors.

Kelsey also, in the interview, shared with us that when she started to notice that her younger son Lincoln might have a diagnosis or might have autism too, she put him on a waiting list and that took a full year for him to be diagnosed as well.

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Through my online courses in the beginning, and then a hired behavior analyst and a small team in her local area, she’s been able to learn how to be her sons’ best teacher and the best advocate of them. Since she’s single, she needed to go back to work, so she went back to work as a behavior interventionist, working with kids that are older than her sons with different needs. She has a lot of insight about crossing that parent to professional bridge, and she hopes to one day become a behavior analyst as well, which I am sure she will do and I’m sure she’ll be great at that, just as she’s been a fantastic autism mom to her two boys.

I think overall, it just shows us that parents can learn how to help their kids, and that no matter where you’re from in the world or where you’re living or what kind of funding you have or don’t have, you can learn different strategies to really help make your situation better. Kelsey’s a lot more hopeful now for the future for her kids and herself, and she’s just putting one foot in front of the other. She knows that she’s the captain of the ship and if everyone else disappears, she will still be able to persevere and to help her boys.

Brentley and Lincoln are now doing well, they’re four and a half and three years old. Brentley no longer requires a harness or a leash, he’s in canoes, sitting in the front, leaning over, he’s climbing mountains, and is totally safe. Both boys are talking. Brentley’s talking in short phrases and Lincoln is talking … she said he went from not talking at all to talking in full sentences. She definitely still has her hands full, but she’s doing a great job, and she’s a good model to show us that autism can be turned around, can be helped, and no matter what your kid’s challenges are, there can be improvement.

It was a great interview, and if you’d like to hear the whole podcast, I would love it if you would go to MaryBarbera.com/3, and there you can listen to my interview with autism mom Kelsey. You may want to also listen to all the other podcasts that are available at the time that this video blog airs. I would really love it if you would subscribe to my podcast, share it, leave me a review and a rating, and help me spread the word that we can help kids with autism. The podcast is for both parents and professionals, and I hope you will love the information brought to you on a weekly basis.

I will see you right here next week.

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