Living the Sky Life - Our Autism Journey

Laurie Hellmann

This podcast comes to you from a very tired, slightly slap happy and eternally hopeful warrior mom of a young adult son with severe, non-verbal autism.  My hope is to bring together parents of special needs children and professionals so we may share stories and experience to build a worldwide village of support for one another.  Living the Sky Life offers a personal connection and understanding from those who have likely walked in your shoes. read less

S4: Episode 153 - Sparked by a desire to encourage valuable conversations around kindness & inclusion, this incredible mom created a company to assist with her mission of Raising Rebels
1w ago
S4: Episode 153 - Sparked by a desire to encourage valuable conversations around kindness & inclusion, this incredible mom created a company to assist with her mission of Raising Rebels
Lauren Emmett is a proud mom of two adorable kids, her son Wilson and daughter Charlie. Her oldest, Wilson, was diagnosed with autism when he was three years old.  After those first few years of motherhood, especially the long, isolating road to a diagnosis, she was determined to try and help others who were beginning a similar journey. She knew the more understanding and acceptance of differences there is in the world, the easier it may be for her boy, and so many others, to navigate through it. She began blogging about her son’s journey at Wilsonsclimb.com and eventually launched Little Rebels with a Cause, an apparel brand to create conversations through clothing that donates a portion of sales to incredible nonprofits that work in the field of disability services and advocacy. You can connect with Lauren via FB: @wilsonsclimb and @littlerebelswithacause or IG: @wilsonsclimb_an_autism_journey and @littlerebelscause ***************************************** To purchase my book “Welcome to My Life – A Personal Parenting Journey Through Autism” click HERE or visit Amazon.com! You can easily stay connected to the Living the Sky Life podcast and me in various ways.  Please visit my website www.lauriehellmann.com for all the links. I'd love to hear what you think, so if listening on the Apple platform, please leave a written review and rating of the podcast!  If you are interested in being a guest on an episode of Living the Sky Life, please contact me!
S4: Episode 150 -  This outspoken dad and his autistic adult son have made it their mission to ensure every non-speaker in the world has access to Spelling to Communicate (S2C)... the revolution has begun
May 4 2023
S4: Episode 150 - This outspoken dad and his autistic adult son have made it their mission to ensure every non-speaker in the world has access to Spelling to Communicate (S2C)... the revolution has begun
J.B. Handley is the best-selling author of How to End the Autism Epidemic and the co-author of Underestimated: An Autism Miracle which he wrote with his now 21-year-old autistic son, Jaime. Their book, Underestimated inspired the new full length documentary, SPELLERS, which challenges the conventional wisdom of 'experts' that non-speakers with autism are cognitively disabled.  The film blends beautiful cinematography with heart-wrenching stories of eight spellers and provides a strong message for every parent of a non-speaker: your child can do this, too. SPELLERS also demands that teachers, schools, and therapists wake up to the reality that we may have underestimated the abilities of more than 50 million people worldwide. J.B. is an honors graduate of Stanford University and lives in Portland, OR with his wife Lisa and their 3 children. ***************************************** To purchase my book “Welcome to My Life – A Personal Parenting Journey Through Autism” click HERE or visit Amazon.com! You can easily stay connected to the Living the Sky Life podcast and me in various ways.  Please visit my website www.lauriehellmann.com for all the links. I'd love to hear what you think, so if listening on the Apple platform, please leave a written review and rating of the podcast!  If you are interested in being a guest on an episode of Living the Sky Life, please contact me!
S4: Episode 149 - Frustrated by the lack of clean, supplement options on the market, a passionate mom set out to change that and partnered with a medical professional to create Simple Spectrum Supplements
Apr 27 2023
S4: Episode 149 - Frustrated by the lack of clean, supplement options on the market, a passionate mom set out to change that and partnered with a medical professional to create Simple Spectrum Supplements
Heather Grimaldi, MS is the Founder of Proof Positive ABA Therapies. As a behavior analyst and Clinical Director, Heather’s focus was on supporting families and team members tasked with implementing behavior-analytic interventions. In late 2016, the long-running Autism Learning Partners created one of the largest Autism therapy platforms in the U.S. with its acquisition of Proof Positive. Heather knows the benefits of high-end supplements from her firsthand experience in the Autism space. Dr. Kristin Shay, DC, MS, Functional Medicine, is an experienced healthcare professional and educator who carries a deeply personal passion for functional medicine and the latest developments in the science behind “nutraceuticals” – dietary supplements demonstrated to have physiological benefits. Dr. Shay holds a Doctor of Chiropractic from Southern California University of Health Sciences; a Masters of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology, and a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. Simple Spectrum was designed with our kids with sensory needs in mind and is an unflavored dissolvable powder without gluten, casein, added sugar, soy, binding agents, artificial colors, preservatives, GMOs and dairy. The highest quality vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the most bioavailable forms - It really is quite simple. Our mission was to create the kind of nutraceutical supplement we wanted to see available, based on the latest scientific research and free from the extraneous additives packed into so many similar products on the market. As a parent of one child with sensory processing disorders and another with ketotic hypoglycemia, responsible for implementing food programs her self Heather knows how hard it can be to get kids to eat the right foods and that includes her own. **Be sure to listen closely for the generous discount code SS provided to my listeners!** ***************************************** To purchase my book “Welcome to My Life – A Personal Parenting Journey Through Autism” click HERE or visit Amazon.com! You can easily stay connected to the Living the Sky Life podcast and me in various ways.  Please visit my website www.lauriehellmann.com for all the links. I'd love to hear what you think, so if listening on the Apple or Audible platforms, please leave a written review and rating of the podcast!  If you are interested in being a guest on an episode of Living the Sky Life, please contact me!
S4: Episode 145 (Re-Release) - At 25, Emily typed her first words "I have been buried under years of dust."  Those words would become the title of her memoir co-written with her mom
Mar 30 2023
S4: Episode 145 (Re-Release) - At 25, Emily typed her first words "I have been buried under years of dust." Those words would become the title of her memoir co-written with her mom
Valerie Gilpeer is an attorney who has been practicing law for forty years. She shifted her civil law practice twenty years ago in favor of representing families of disabled children trying to obtain educational services from local school districts. She has continued to focus on disability rights law through her volunteer work with several nonprofit organizations in the Los Angeles area. Emily Grodin is a college student studying journalism, psychology, and creative writing and has been recognized for her academic achievement. She has been featured in Leaders Around Me and published in Amuse-Bouche. Emily is an advocate for herself and members of her community in an effort to dispel the misconceptions and nonacceptance of those with autism. Valerie and Emily live with Tom Grodin, her husband and Emily’s dad, in Encino, California. You can purchase their memoir "I Have Been Buried Under Years of Dust" on Amazon. ***************************************** To purchase my book “Welcome to My Life – A Personal Parenting Journey Through Autism” click HERE or visit Amazon.com! You can easily stay connected to the Living the Sky Life podcast and me in various ways.  Please visit my website www.lauriehellmann.com for all the links. I'd love to hear what you think, so if listening on the Apple platform, please leave a written review and rating of the podcast!  If you are interested in being a guest on an episode of Living the Sky Life, please contact me!
S4: Episode 143 - (Re-release from 12/2021) Spreading joy throughout the world with their adult son's love of drawing, these parents share how they managed their expectations while navigating the tough side of autism
Mar 16 2023
S4: Episode 143 - (Re-release from 12/2021) Spreading joy throughout the world with their adult son's love of drawing, these parents share how they managed their expectations while navigating the tough side of autism
Corey and Andrea Landreth are the parents of 4 grown children. They moved to El Dorado, Kansas to begin Real Life Christian Church in 2006 where Corey is the lead pastor. Andrea is a school psychologist in the public school system. They began the Drawings by Trent business in 2015 for their son with the goals of encouraging families, educating communities and inspiring everyone through Trent's art and their story.  There were many difficult years, but seeing Trent's raw joy and incredible ability brings hope to families going through the struggles of raising a child on the spectrum.  You can connect with the Landreth family in the following ways: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpWxUJiR8QP1AXDX-jWWwgA (just under Drawings by Trent) Linktr.ee: https://linktr.ee/drawingsbytrent Website: drawingsbytrent.com. (you will find information about Trent, our family, the business, and be able to visit our store!)   ***************************************** To purchase my book “Welcome to My Life – A Personal Parenting Journey Through Autism” click HERE or visit Amazon.com! You can easily stay connected to the Living the Sky Life podcast and me in various ways.  Please visit my website www.lauriehellmann.com for all the links. I'd love to hear what you think, so if listening on the Apple platform, please leave a written review and rating of the podcast!  If you are interested in being a guest on an episode of Living the Sky Life, please contact me!
S4: Episode 141 - Letting go of personal guilt & control to allow your child to thrive, become independent and enjoy life in a group home
Mar 2 2023
S4: Episode 141 - Letting go of personal guilt & control to allow your child to thrive, become independent and enjoy life in a group home
Gina Schaal and her husband Dan have been married for 21 years & live in Chaska, a SW suburb of Minneapolis. They have two sons, 18-year-old Carter & 16-year-old Casey.     Gina holds a BS degree in Medical Laboratory Science & works for a large healthcare system in the Twin Cities. Lab people are known for their type A personalities which she believes has been one of her biggest assets to raising a special needs child. Organization is key as is her love of research & analyzing that research.    Her son Carter was diagnosed with ASD at 2 1/2, which is his only ‘formal’ diagnosis but he also deals with ADHD, sensory processing disorder & absent seizures with a sprinkle of anxiety and mild OCD thrown in there too.     Her son Casey is a typical 16-year-old who loves science & math, is a cross county & track athlete & holds a part time job.     Gina and Dan have worked opposite shifts throughout most of their kid's lives, as they were never able to put Carter in traditional day care.  Although they each processed Carter’s diagnosis differently & went through some hard times, Gina considers herself blessed to have a husband who is very involved and is always there for both his boys.  Through it all she's proud of the incredibly close family unit they've built. ***************************************** To purchase my book “Welcome to My Life – A Personal Parenting Journey Through Autism” click HERE or visit Amazon.com! You can easily stay connected to the Living the Sky Life podcast and me in various ways.  Please visit my website www.lauriehellmann.com for all the links. I'd love to hear what you think, so if listening on the Apple platform, please leave a written review and rating of the podcast!  If you are interested in being a guest on an episode of Living the Sky Life, please contact me!
S4: Episode 140 - Choosing to live in the present and not sweat the small stuff, this UK mom learned from her son that joy can be found in the smallest things
Feb 23 2023
S4: Episode 140 - Choosing to live in the present and not sweat the small stuff, this UK mom learned from her son that joy can be found in the smallest things
Kelly and her husband Rob live in Kent, UK and have two children, Carson (14) and Kendra (11). Carson is nonverbal and autistic with severe learning disabilities. Kendra is also on the autism spectrum. Kelly started her FB blog "This is Carson, his autism journey and our family" almost 4 years ago with the goal of reaching out to families like her own. Before starting her page, she hadn't seen many bloggers with children like Carson and wondered if those parent caregivers often felt isolated too? Kelly uses her blog to advocate and create awareness by sharing the highs and lows of her family's life. Although Carson is the main focus of the page, she does highlight her entire family dynamic.   You can connect with Kelly via her FB page: @This is Carson, his autism journey and our family. ***************************************** To purchase my book “Welcome to My Life – A Personal Parenting Journey Through Autism” click HERE or visit Amazon.com! You can easily stay connected to the Living the Sky Life podcast and me in various ways.  Please visit my website www.lauriehellmann.com for all the links. I'd love to hear what you think, so if listening on the Apple platform, please leave a written review and rating of the podcast!  If you are interested in being a guest on an episode of Living the Sky Life, please contact me!
S4: Episode 138 - A strong believer in finding joy along your journey, this triathlon loving mom has helped her adult sons uncover their love of running while advocating about inclusion for the masses.
Feb 9 2023
S4: Episode 138 - A strong believer in finding joy along your journey, this triathlon loving mom has helped her adult sons uncover their love of running while advocating about inclusion for the masses.
Julie Bockey is a Veteran, a registered nurse, a Type 1 diabetic and a dedicated triathlon competitor. She and her husband Shawn, who is also a triathlete, are the parents of two adult sons, Christian (26) and Jake (23) who were both diagnosed with ASD as toddlers. Both Christian, who is nonverbal, and Jake who is partially verbal and also a Type 1 diabetic, have joined their parents and found the joy in running/cycling and have achieved some incredible racing milestones in their own right. Christian completed his first full marathon in 2021 & is training for his second this coming April while Jake has completed several sprint triathlons as well as the 56 mile portion of TWO 70.3 relays with his parents as a team. Julie’s eternal optimism comes from two life philosophies. The first is the classic Type A mindset that you should always push yourself— both to try new things and to be better at what you’re doing. The second comes from a place of emotional intelligence: Life can be rough, and everyone has their own struggles; it’s your choice how you handle them. You can connect with Julie on FB: @Julie Bockey or IG: Bockeylife or @AutismActivityProject.  ***************************************** To purchase my book “Welcome to My Life – A Personal Parenting Journey Through Autism” click HERE or visit Amazon.com! You can easily stay connected to the Living the Sky Life podcast and me in various ways.  Please visit my website www.lauriehellmann.com for all the links. I'd love to hear what you think, so if listening on the Apple platform, please leave a written review and rating of the podcast!  If you are interested in being a guest on an episode of Living the Sky Life, please contact me!
S4: Episode 137 - Helping her son turn his passion for drawing into a fun family business, this NJ mom advocates and educates on the vast autism spectrum
Feb 2 2023
S4: Episode 137 - Helping her son turn his passion for drawing into a fun family business, this NJ mom advocates and educates on the vast autism spectrum
Jodi is a New Yorker currently residing in Northern New Jersey with her Gaffer husband Frank and two incredibly kind and creative children, Emily (21) and Liam (15). At the age of 14 months, Liam was diagnosed with ASD and began early intervention (OT, PT and Speech) in the spring of 2009. While Liam could only say a few words and had to learn the simplest of tasks, he miraculously learned quickly and retained the information allowing him to progress year after year. Liam's cognitive skills have always been quite high yet he's consistently caught between two worlds, taking all inclusion (mainstream) classes, but needing a self-contained setting during the day to decompress and calm his anxious mind.  Early on Liam’s family knew he would draw to disconnect from a stressful situation or school day. In an effort to find a creative outlet for Liam (and teach him about entrepreneurship), in 2020 Jodi launched The Sticker Spectrum, an online sticker business, with Liam as their artist and creative mind and Emily as their social media guru and web designer. The Sticker Spectrum has helped Liam with self-confidence as he is so proud to share his whimsical art with the world! Jodi, Liam and Emily look forward to celebrating their shop's three-year anniversary during Autism Acceptance Month in April. When they aren’t eating, breathing and dreaming about stickers, you can find them at a Broadway musical, seeing a movie, rocking out at a concert or constantly obsessing over their adorable Boston Terrier, Harley Quinn! You can connect with The Sticker Spectrum on Facebook and IG: @thestickerspectrum and visit their website at www.thestickerspectrum.com. ***************************************** To purchase my book “Welcome to My Life – A Personal Parenting Journey Through Autism” click HERE or visit Amazon.com! You can easily stay connected to the Living the Sky Life podcast and me in various ways.  Please visit my website www.lauriehellmann.com for all the links. I'd love to hear what you think, so if listening on the Apple platform, please leave a written review and rating of the podcast!  If you are interested in being a guest on an episode of Living the Sky Life, please contact me!
S4: Episode 135 - Keep the focus on overall mental health! Finding a balance between inclusion, oversharing on social media and placing your loved one in an uncomfortable environment.
Jan 19 2023
S4: Episode 135 - Keep the focus on overall mental health! Finding a balance between inclusion, oversharing on social media and placing your loved one in an uncomfortable environment.
Cindy and Justin are mother and son duo advocates. Justin is 18 and has a dual diagnosis of Autism/ADHD, he was diagnosed at 18 months old. Aside from the role of mom, Cindy serves as Justin's full time carer/respite worker. She has dedicated the last 17 years to sharing their stories and experiences regarding autism, disability and most recently, Mental Health advocacy. In 2020, at the age of 49, Cindy was diagnosed with ADHD. She also has co-morbid diagnoses that include generalized anxiety disorder and depression.    In 2019 Justin was unschooled at 16 due to ongoing years of crisis in the education system. As a response to meltdowns Justin was restrained, which resulted in extreme fear and anxiety. Due to Justin's limited ability to communicate his fear came out in severe behaviors, which in turn increased his meltdowns and progressed to aggression and blind rage. Within weeks of being removed from school, Justin's aggression stopped and he is currently thriving.   As a result, Cindy and Justin both have C-PTSD from years of fighting broken systems. Cindy openly advocates about the dire need for services, supports, programming and funding for Disabilities and Mental Health as well as the need for Crisis and Trauma informed care for individuals and families as a whole.   Their FB page advocates through the lens of empathy, validation and respect for all lived experiences. We are a strength based page and concentrate heavily on coping strategies, co-regulation between carer/parent and child/teens/adults.    Cindy has changed everything she was taught through therapies back in 2006. Her mindset is one of radical acceptance, despite what professionals have told her about Justin in his younger years, their current strategies are working in Justin's favor. Justin is labelled as complex, high needs but with the proper supports he is the complete opposite of who he was pre-crisis.   You can follow Cindy & Justin's journey on FB: @looking at life through different lenses or IG / TikTok: @lookingatlifewithjustin ***************************************** To purchase my book “Welcome to My Life – A Personal Parenting Journey Through Autism” click HERE or visit Amazon.com! You can easily stay connected to the Living the Sky Life podcast and me in various ways.  Please visit my website www.lauriehellmann.com for all the links. I'd love to hear what you think, so if listening on the Apple platform, please leave a written review and rating of the podcast!  If you are interested in being a guest on an episode of Living the Sky Life, please contact me!