Unbabbled: Social-Emotional Learning
Social-Emotional Learning: Practical Activities Parents Can Implement at Home
Social-emotional learning is a vital part of education and development. Self-awareness, self-control and interpersonal skills are necessary for school, work and life success, but these skills may require direct teaching for children who have disabilities.
In this episode, we chat with Elizabeth Sautter, who provides practical strategies parents can use to build their child’s executive functioning skills, and help them to manage emotions and navigate social situations. Elizabeth also provides resources that parents can use to support their children’s goals at home. Throughout the episode, she doesn’t just focus on children, Elizabeth frequently stresses the importance of self-care for adults and gives realistic ideas beyond just bubble baths!
About Our Guest
Elizabeth Sautter, MA, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist, author and presenter specializing in social and emotional learning for families. She is the founder of Make Social Learning Stick which provides consultation, training and resources to help children, teens and their families build skills and strategies to manage emotions, navigate social situations, and achieve their goals. She is author of Make Social and Emotional Learning Stick!, which provides parents with practical activities to help children manage emotions, navigate social situations and reduce anxiety. She is also co-owner of Communication Works, which provides speech therapy to schools and individual clients. Elizabeth has completed a mentorship with Michelle Garcia Winner for Social Thinking® and has co-authored two popular children's books, Whole Listening Larry at Home and Whole Body Listening Larry at School. Elizabeth is a collaborative trainer for Zones of Regulation and co-author of its game and storybooks. On a personal note, she has two teenage sons, a sister and cousin with additional needs related to social communication, self-regulation and executive functioning challenges. This makes her work not just a career, but a life endeavor.
- Make Learning Stick Website
- Making Learning Stick Parent Trainings
- Making Learning Stick Book
- Follow Elizabeth on Instagram
Hello, and welcome to Unbabbled a podcast that navigates the world of special education, communication, delays, and learning differences. We are your hosts, Stephanie Landis and Meredith Krimmel, and we're certified speech-language pathologist who spend our days at The Parish School of Houston, helping children find their voices and connect with the world around them. In this episode, we chat with Elizabeth Sautter about social emotional learning at home. Elizabeth is a speech-language pathologist specializing in social and emotional learning for families. She's the founder of Make Social Learning Stick, which provides consultation, trainings, and resources for families and professionals. Elizabeth has extensive training in the Social Thinking methodology and is a collaborative trainer for the zones of regulation. The revised edition of Elizabeth's book, Make Social-Emotional Learning Stick: Practical Activities to Help Your Child Manage Emotions, Navigate Social Situations and Reduce Anxiety is being released in November 2020. During the episode, Elizabeth provides practical strategies that parents can use today to help build their child's executive functioning, manage emotions and navigate social situations. Elizabeth also provides resources from her book that parents can use to support their child's goals at home throughout the episode, she doesn't just focus on children. Elizabeth frequently stresses the importance of self care for adults and gives realistic ideas beyond bubble baths. On a personal note, Elizabeth has two teenage sons and a sister with additional needs related to social communication self-regulation and executive functioning challenges. Elizabeth thinks of her work, not as just a career, but a life endeavor.
Welcome. We're so excited to be talking with Elizabeth Sautter today. She's a speech-language pathologist, specializing in social emotional and mental health. And she's here to give us a bunch of really practical strategies that you can all use at home, which everyone needs right now. So welcome Elizabeth. We're so happy to have you.
Thank you. I'm so happy to be here.
New Speaker (02:00):
Speech-language pathology is such a wide field. We've talked about articulation and phonology and language and social emotional. What drove you to specializing in social emotional?
So in grad school, actually it was before grad school back in the nineties. Well, I'm dating myself, but we had clinic. And, um, my first client back in 1990, like three, he was undiagnosed autism. So it was a process of parents asking questions and me doing research. And my professor who was supervising me was actually a specialist in autism at the time. And so she was kind of coaching me on how to dive deeper and I was just so fascinated. And so that just became a interest area of mine. And then after grad school, I worked at a school for severely impaired children with autism and behaviors. So these were the students that were actually institutionalized back in the days. And so now they have schools that are self-contained, but they have, you know, a lot of behavior consultants and they have speech therapists too, because the model and philosophy was that behavior is communication. And so, you know, we use our hand gestures, our voices, our facial expressions, that's all behavior to communicate, but sometimes we use maladaptive behavior as well, like hitting, pushing tantrums, whatever it might be. So when you don't have the verbal skills, it's sign language or augmented communication to, you know, get your wants and needs across, then you might have these big behaviors. So these are the students that were in that school. And I just found it fascinating. I was there for eight years and I loved it and I learned so much actually. And then I started learning about the work of Michelle Garcia Winner, Social Thinking. And so I got trained in that a little bit and I went through her internship and mentorship. However, the students at that school were more cognitively impaired, so it was harder to infuse that curriculum there. So I started doing social groups, just renting classroom space out of the trunk of my car, with the bins and everything. And that, that just grew into more families hearing about us in the San Francisco Bay area and therapists wanting to work with this in this type of work. And that just started our multi-disciplinary team. We got office space and we said only two days a week. And then it turned into three days a week. And then it's like, full-time like 200 clients coming a week for social groups and occupational therapy. And that's where I met Leah Kuypers who wrote the zones of regulation. She was writing it there when she was working with me and whatnot and us there. And just a lot of creative work came out of there. So that was a long story, but it's just been a huge passion of mine. You know, as speech pathologists have a huge part of what we do is communication. And a huge part of communication is social, emotional learning.
So tell us about make social learning stick and what makes it different and unique and what it brings to families and educators and therapists.
So make social learning stick as the title of my first edition of my book and it's the title of my website. So let's make socialemotionalstick.com. And I've mentioned that I started a center that it turned into this multi disciplinary center and we did a lot of social groups. And obviously the parents would be in the waiting room. You know, unlike when you're working in the school is you get access to the teachers and all the collaborative team, but at a private center, you get access you bill you're there training the parents. And so they would be in the waiting room and then we would always pull them into sessions to teach them what we were doing, because you know, you see these kids and students, and we had teens and young adults as well, but like for a half an hour, hour, maybe if you're lucky twice a week, but it really can't be left on the shoulders of the kids. So we pulled them in to do the training and taught them how to embed this into their natural routines and activities outside of the therapy settings. So a parent said to me, you should blog about this stuff. And I would do trainings, know the parents and the center with just them sometimes. And then they said, you should write a book. And I'm like, Oh my gosh, I don't even know how to do that. But then I started doing it especially also too when I was having some concerns about my own son. So I started blogging a little bit, but the writing of make social learning stick just came out of the work of wanting to train the parents at the center of like how to make this super, super practical and simple. And so the book is divided up what you asked, what makes it different. It's divided, there's a little bit of introduction and some learning strategies at the end simple things that parents can do. And some user-friendly appendixes or handouts, but the bulk of the book is divided into four sections, home community holidays and special events and bridging home in school, which is basically what we're doing all the time as parents. And so my whole mission is to not add on like, extra-curriculum like go out and learn how to do this new technique or go out and, you know, go to a conference and learn how to do all this framework and whatnot. It's more of what can you actually do when you're sitting at the dinner table? What can you do when you're reading stories with your child? What can you do when you're driving to, or from somewhere to infuse social, emotional learning. And I call that embracing teachable moments. And so that's what makes it different. It's context based. I can share some activities with you. We can talk about some of the specific areas and there's a huge grid in the front. I can show you that, um, where it has the different areas that a child might be struggling in, like sensory processing, emotional regulation, executive functioning, um, joint attention, and all the speech and language receptive, expressive, pragmatic, and perspective taking those are all very jargony words. I know, but they all have to do with social, emotional learning. And then I have the activities that address those areas, where the child might be having lagging skills so they can look, Oh yeah, my child does have sensory processing challenges. So let's look at page 84, it's called feel good breaks being proactive. So they can go there and say, what is that? Oh, um, that's actually a activity that was sprinkled in by Kelly Mahler, who's an occupational therapist and it's coming up with a menu of activities for stretching and yoga and poses and drinking water that your child can do throughout the day. Um, because sprinkling in those things, when they're calm can help when they're not calm and building those neuropathways to retrieve them when they're not. And one other thing too, I wanted to mention that I've learned so much from other leading professionals in the field. And so I've, and I love collaborating. So I've asked a bunch of the leading experts in the field to just sprinkle in a couple of practical activities for parents. So Rebecca Brand Setters, psychologist and expert in executive functioning, Carrie den Baran who wrote the five point incredible scale, Leah Kuypers who wrote the zones of regulation, Kelly Mahler. I mentioned as an occupational therapist, Emily Rubin who's part of the certs model, Sarah awards, uh, speech pathologists, who specialize in executive functioning, Michelle Garcia Winner, who did social thinking. Pamela Wolford, an expert in play and Ruth Price stash, who is an autism specialist as well. So they all have sprinkled in ideas that to share with the parents who read that's one.
We know that parents are the kids' best teachers. When you're seeing them individually as a therapist, you only see them in that one setting, or if you're in a school-based setting, you see them just in that one school-based setting for a short period of time. And parents see the kids everywhere. Like you mentioned, they see them in the community at holidays. That's a fantastic addition because holidays can be such a tricky thing that is so hard to plan for just in an individual therapy session to actually be able to have parents plan for that and prepare for that and get it ahead of time. I think that's an incredibly smart and practical.
Thanks. And at the bottom of each of the pages, I have listed out the hidden rules because we all know that some of our kids miss out on those implicit and we want to make them more explicit rules of social. We call them the hidden social rules. So parents can go over those or they can adapt them for what is for their families. And I also just wanted to mention what you said is parents are a child's number one social emotional coach, and there's no handbook. There's no guidebook for us parenting period. There's no handbook and guide book. Then you get a child with some additional needs, complex needs differently wired, and there's really no handbook or guidebook. So it's, you know, this is what my mission has been it's us parents who have children, who I haven't mentioned that yet, but my children have additional needs. We need tools and strategies and to know what to say and what to do in these challenging situations and to feel good at the end of the night, you know, when we go to bed to feel like we know how to support them in these different ways, especially when we're comparing to all these other kids. The holidays coming up, like there's so much to unpack there, but even like Halloween and Thanksgiving, that's coming up. There's so much that can be done in a simple way to involve your children. And just simple ways to change your wording or interactions that can build social emotional learning.
I really want to jump in and get some more practical ideas. But before we do that, what types of parents and families and special learners do you think would benefit from this program? I heard you mentioned autism, uh, ADHD who would benefit from this.
I mean, I think that it's geared pretty much for school, age children. However, there's a lot in here on play for the younger ages, and then there's also activities that can their executive functioning. So that's middle school and high school. So it's kind of like, you know, adapted for your age and the level of your child. I did mention autism and ADHD and, you know, things like that, cause that's just in my world, but I, I really try to get away from the diagnosis and think about more of lagging skills. So that's why on the chart, I've put in these lagging skills related to sensory overwhelm or underwhelm whether they need more or less, there's tons of activities that you can do, emotional regulation. So that's whether there, and building emotional intelligence, being aware of other people's facial expressions and building emotions, vocabulary, and, and then also just managing their own emotions and various situations. Executive functioning is all the thinking, managing planning ahead, storing information from the past, initiating during detention is like, you know, the shared attention between two people, which is huge for social. And we forget about that skill, the social referencing a lot, and the shared imagination. Receptive and expressive language receptive is, you know, understanding what's being said, or following directions and expressive is verbal language or any way that we're getting our needs or want expressed, whether that's sign language or unlimited communication, alternative communication gestures. And then there's pragmatic language, which the rules of language and then perspective taking rules of language and social skills, and then perspective taking, which is like thinking about others and realizing that they have different thoughts than ours, stepping into the shoes of others. So instead of thinking about like the type of diagnoses, it's more of like the areas that there might be lagging skills. Does that make sense and answer your question?
Absolutely. So if I'm a parent who notices my child is struggling in any of those areas you just described your program would probably be a good fit.
Absolutely. And so that's what I like to think about because kids might not have a diagnosis. I'm a speech pathologist. So I think about it in terms of these diagnosis, but some parents might not, and some kids might not meet a diagnosis criteria, but they still might need support in these areas. I mean, at this point in time, we all need support in these areas with all the stress in the world right now.
You talk about things at home being, um, embracing teachable moments. Can you explain what you mean by teachable moments?
Yeah. So we're in these situations with our children all day, every day, whether that's, you know, you have younger kids, you're helping them get ready or, you know, helping them brush their teeth. If you have older kids, you're turning on the lights and like opening the windows to get them out of bed and get them off screens or, you know, whatever it might be, sibling rivalries, starting homework and just all of that, you know, and then we're cooking where, you know, doing the chores around the house, all of those are moments that we are engaging in throughout our everyday life. And when we're with our kids, which we are with our kids a lot, we can use those moments to infuse, um, language and just intentionality is what we call it. We talk about our, we have a course called naked stick parenting that I developed with record brand center, who I mentioned, and we have the wise model, which stands for wisdom, intentionality, self care because parents have to take care of themselves first, and then everyday strategies. So we have to have the intentionality in that situation to embed the everday strategies. So it's really just thinking about situations that you're in with your child and making them teachable, whether that's modeling, priming them for success and something that's going to come later. Like if you're driving and you're thinking, oh my gosh, I forgot to tell them that I need to go run an errand before we get home. And so it's like, I better prime them really quickly, uh, before, um, I stop and they're like, why are we parked here? I thought we were going home. It's my screen time. You know, then that's a teachable moment or in the car as well. Like when you're noticing that somebody might be in a suit and standing on the edge of a, of a, of a sidewalk and they're hailing a cab or whatever. And um, you're like, Oh, well, what do you think they're doing? So do you think they're going to a baseball game? Probably not. You know, that's a teachable moment. You're being a social detective. So just embracing those and thinking about how we can teach our children and practice these skills in everyday routines and activities.
I think that's really great as a parent, I don't have therapy materials at home to use with my child. You know, I might not have all the stuff, but we forget that we can take everyday interactions while we're just watching TV. Or like you said, driving down the street and turn them into teachable moments. Because especially with social things, social is happening all around us all the time, we can't turn it off. So it was always, always an option for something teachable in that moment.
100%. And it's surprising to think about all the situations that can be profound and even more impactful because it's, it's real time and you can prime ahead of time and do briefing and debriefing like you would if you, before your court case or something. But, um, you can also do, it's also called priming setting, priming them for success, but even things like taking care of yourself and modeling and whatnot, that's all, those are all teachable moments because your kids are watching, they have mirror, neurons are firing their it's contagious. You know, they're seeing and absorbing whether we like it or not. So,
Yeah, I realized the other day that my three-year-old when he gets frustrated, he goes, "ahhh." And then the other day I, something dropped and I, was like, "ahh."
He's picking up on anything when I react to things. A little parrot!
And I want to just jump in and say, and it's really healthy for letting off steam. And so you can say like, Oh, you can then verbalize it because you're self regulating when you're assigning like that. So you can say, mommy needs a deep breath. Anybody else need one too? Can we breathe together and take a mindful moment? And then you can make it more overt and just embrace it. And then when you see him doing it, you can say like, Oh, doesn't that feel good? Let it out, you know, validate his feelings and the fact that he's using self-regulation strategies. It's awesome.
I love that you took it the next step about explaining it because it really normalizes the situation in the house. Everybody feels stress. Everybody feels disappointment. Everybody feels overwhelmed, especially now, can we sigh, but we can also go the next step and talk about why we side and how important it is and really normalizing the feelings and the reactions to those feelings.
Yeah. It's a big part of what I teach in and talk about and try to do myself in terms of self-regulation and emotional regulation for parents and teachers too, because, you know, we we're trained, our society, our culture is like, hold it in, suck it up, get over it. And that's not self-regulation, you know, we co-regulate, which means like two people helping each other get, you know, up or down with energy or emotions. And, you know, that's what we do with parenting. That's why it can be so exhausting sometimes is because that's our job, but, you know, and we forget to talk about how we're taking care of ourselves emotionally. And so we're just, you know, taking a break or maybe taking a breath, or whether we're giving ourselves positive or negative, self-talk our kids don't really see that. So when they have big emotions or are struggling in different ways, it's like, they're, they don't feel comfortable to regulate or, you know, practice strategies. And so it's super important to make it more over and, and model that.
Yeah. Do your strategies aim at practicing these situations ahead of time? Or do you have strategies that are more use it in the moment or a mixture of both?
Mixture of both? Absolutely. Because I will say right now though, that meltdowns are never teachable moments. And so don't think that like that's a time to go in with like one of the verbal strategies that I might suggest, or, um, I actually have some card decks coming out too that are more portable, that like have a lot of language that we can use with our kids. One, a deck for emotional regulation and one deck for social. But really these are like proactive strategies and some can be used in the moment if your child is receptive to it. But absolutely don't come in there with, um, I have my home room wall right here. This is a breathing ball for those who can't see it to practice breathing in, breathing out, but definitely don't come in when a child is melting down, unless they seem receptive to that because you'll get it thrown at you. And so thinking about that, it's absolutely great to be proactive in teaching these strategies when a kid is in a calm state where they're able to, um, think and practice and then they can retrieve them. Hopefully the goal is over time when they're in a dysregulated state and more in that, um, um, irrational brain, that lower brainstem.
So thinking of my own clients at, at work and then my children at home, can you give one example of some activities we can do at home to say work on some of these executive functioning skills?
Yeah. So you want to talk about executive functioning? Let's talk, let's talk executive functioning. Let's see. I'm going to go to the executive function page and I'm going to try to find a page that's really relevant to what's going on right now. Well, I can, I can tell you right now there's two full pages on chores. How about that?
Chores? Yes. I was going to say getting dressed and ready for school.
Okay. Let's talk about mornings cause there's two full days on the mornings as well. So one thing is, is to do a body check in. So executive functioning starts with getting the brainstem. It starts with a engaged and calm and self-regulated because if you are not in a state, I mean, it's all executive function is all about managing. So anything that you have to manage is your thinking brain, which is your prefrontal cortex, your executive functioning. And so you have to get engaged in that way. And so the bottom up approach to social-emotional learning and executive functioning is focusing on self-regulation, emotional regulation. So thinking about ways that you can validate your children's feelings in the morning and get them thinking in a positive, alert state is first and foremost, but actually first and foremost is actually planning the night before. Right? So getting a good night's sleep and thinking about priming them for the day that's coming the next day. Don't forget. It's so exciting. We get to do this tomorrow. And actually don't forget. We also have a dentist appointment in the morning. So I'll be waking up a little half an hour early. Um, you know, is there something special you want for breakfast? Should we get the bagels out now? So priming them ahead of time and then, you know, setting them up for a good night's sleep. But then in the morning, time is checking in and doing the body scan. So waking up five or 10 minutes earlier than usual, and doing a body scan to go through the body parts and just see how they're feeling and focusing on each body part and breathing and relaxing and some parents, myself included, just, you know, we don't have time for that, but if we don't do these things, then we're going to have a difficult time later. That takes up a lot of time and a lot of emotional dysregulation and emotional capacity and overwhelmed. So thinking about setting up the time and doing these things ahead of time, that's great. And then actually have a page that's referenced here in this activity that is, um, sensation words and emotion words. Um, thinking about building those sensation words, because we want children to know that, how to express that, because if they don't know when you're doing a body scan and that pit in their stomach is, well, what is it? Do I have to go to the bathroom? Or is it anxiety? Or is it excitement? So figuring out what those sensations are and being aware of Kelly Mahler, um, expert in the book that I mentioned, she talks a lot about interoception, which is part of sensory processing and how our body tells us how we're feeling, our internal organs tell us how we're feeling. And a lot of children are either hypersensitive or hyposensitive to that. And if we don't really understand what the sensations are in our body, we're going to be super confused and dysregulated. So building those sensation awareness and, um, with words, and then also building the emotional words that go along with it, because if your child only has the words happy, sad, mad, they're not going to be able to say I'm actually excited or nervous for the dentist. Another one is setting up a morning schedule. So we talked about that a little bit already. And, um, you know, having some executive function skills such as planning and sequencing, helping your child with a visual morning schedule. So you can have first this, then this, and then when they're done with it, they can turn it over. So a lot of our children are visual learners and they also like to have independence. So giving them a schedule so that they can do it on their own. And sometimes you might have choices in there, like places they can have choices, like what are they going to wear for the day? Or, you know, what are they going to eat for breakfast? And then they can feel more independent with that. And then another one is setting an intention for the day. So having a child, maybe say like, one thing I'm going to do is I will take a break when I get frustrated today or whatever they need to be working on. They can think of, I'm going to try to ask for help when I need it. Or, um, I'm going to, I'm going to chat. Um, one of my friends and say, hi, if they're having social anxiety or whatever, it might be just one little step of an intention of the day can help. So that's that either I could go on and on, but that starting the day, just for a little executive functioning.
Yeah. That's so helpful. We went back and forth for awhile of, you know, do we let her sleep that extra five or 10 minutes? Will sleep, make it better? Or do we wake her up and get her prepped? And we ended up going with, we're going to have to wake her up because the more we let her sleep, the more than we were behind and then just, you know, starting behind, it's never a good way to go. Right?
Yeah. And you can, you know, that's a trial and error, right? So you take a little data on how it's going when you wake her up or when you let her sleep or whatever, maybe she needs to go to sleep a little bit earlier, or maybe she also, when she gets older, maybe she'll have some insights on, um, what might be helpful like with our, you know, older children and teens and preteens and teens, it's great to get them to collaborate with you. It's a huge piece of social, emotional learning, asking them, you know, what they think would be helpful for them. And, you know, I notice it's hard for you to wake up in the morning. How can we make it easier? And she might say like, Oh, I liked, if you maybe turn on some music, that'll help me get out of bed. Or maybe if you open the shade, that's easier for me. And I can wake up with the light coming in, or I don't know, or you could try something and then ask her how it worked later to get her involved in some problem solving, which again is teachable moments. Cause she's problem solving with you.
How much do you have in these strategies at home built in ways for parents to talk about problem solving with their kids, especially through older children.
Yeah. So it's built in throughout this make philosophy of thinking about collaborating with your child and getting them engaged and using language that is more, um, declarative or open-ended versus imperative and telling them what to do. And then also just having family meetings as part of it and checking in and having them be part of things and following their interests and meeting them where they're at, that's all a matter of doing things together collaboratively and having special time. Um, cause that's the foundation of it, right? Is this just to have that connection so that they're then receptive to even doing these activities with us. Right?
So you've been referencing a lot of the things in your new book, which is about to come out, correct?
Yes. Actually, I'm not sure when this is going to air, but it's coming out November 10th.
That's so exciting. Can you tell us a little bit about the differences between your first book and your second book?
Yeah, so I published the first book in 2014 and I had a publisher then and I had these ideas to do a card supplementary card decks. And I said, why don't I do a little guide book to go along with the card decks? And they said, why don't you just do a second edition of the book? And I was like, Oh really? But then I realized that I have been trained in mindfulness and I've been practicing mindfulness and I've embedded that. And I wanted to embed that in the book. I've also, um, worked with some leading experts and I wanted to have them contributed some ideas. I mentioned the Wise Model from our online parenting course, which we do have a free parenting training that talks a little bit about this, um, on our website, but there's the Wise Model is put in here as well. And so it's got new activities, new contributors, the Wise Model, mindfulness throughout. And then I, um, added a whole new section on bridging home in school because as I it's just important, I worked in the schools a ton, but now I also have a son since I've written this, his who has been diagnosed and has an IEP, individual education plan himself. And so I've been collaborating a lot with the schools. And so I know what it's like to wear that hat as a therapist and a mom, I call myself a mama-thist. And so, you know, just giving that insight of what we can do as parents to bridge that because it's, you know, I said, I worked at the center with a lot of parents, which was great and now I, but I also have a company where we're speech therapists in the schools, which is great too. And we always talk about supporting the whole child. That's the whole family. Right. And the whole family is the parent. And, but then the whole child is the school as well. It's, you know, as my sons are here doing Zoom right now. So we have to figure out a way to bridge that. And so I've added that to it as well.
And the parent resource, you said it's free and how do people find that?
Yeah. So my, my there's a on my website, which is make social learning, stick.com. There's a book page where you can find out about the new edition of my book. There's also a, on the homepage of my website, there's a free training, um, which is all about how to parent your anxious, sensitive, reactive child, and still feel good at the end of the day. It's actually a brand new training that Rebecca and I just did. And so, and there's, downloadables in there and, um, I have tons of free stuff on my website. So there's, you can give a calendar out a month and, um, I'll be doing calendar for 2021, one activity a day of social, emotional learning. So yeah, just hop on over there. I just like to provide a lot of resources because I do often feel like the parents are left out of the conversation and there's so much that can be done in such a simple, simple way that can make us feel inspired and it can be really fun. And so that's just my mission to share. And I'm grateful for the work that you're doing as well. And as you're sharing this with a lot of the parents that you support as well. So thank you.
Yeah. We wanted to do the podcast is to try and reach parents directly and more frequently and give them as many resources as we can. So I will definitely be putting a link to your website in the show notes. People can click on it directly and find you there and be checking it out myself as a therapist and parent - a mama-thist!
I like that term. And it's so unique, you know, your perspective being on the mom's side and on the treating therapist side of, of these kiddos. So you, you really understand how important the home piece is and the parent piece is.
You even get into it. But my sister has developmental delays. And so she's older than I am. I'm actually dedicating the book to her, um, on her birthday. So I did November 10th because her birthday is November 12th. And so she's two years older than I am. And she was in special ed throughout our whole Oakland public schools. And she was in the portables, you know, they didn't have inclusion really back then. And so, um, I know what that hat is like too, to be a sibling. So families out there listening, there's a lot that it could be a whole nother job, right. As supporting siblings with, but I definitely know what that's like. So, um, yeah, we wear a lot of hats when it comes to that. That's why I'm super passionate about helping. And I'm glad that I'm more of a purpose than a life endeavor for me.
Yeah, sure. Do we have a lot of parents tell us that they wish they had more support for the other children, the siblings.
Maybe we should create a group online. Yeah.
I also really love that you have an understanding of what is feasible for parents to do at home. I know as a young, new grad, I often had really great ideas that these parents could do at home. And then when I became a parent, I was like, Oh, I got to change the way I talk to the parents and, Oh my gosh, it's your perspective.
And I think that, you know, we can all, that's a whole nother podcast topic that we could get into, which, you know, I've mentioned in the Wise Model, the S is self care. Um, and it's not just about taking bubble baths at the end of the day. It's about self-compassion and treating ourselves with the self-talk of, you know, feeling good at the end of the day. And so it's, it's a lot and, um, but there's a lot of support and, uh, there's a lot of fun things that you can do in terms of acceptance and, uh, and you know, understanding what your child needs and meeting them where they're at and cherishing them for who they are, because they need their neuro-diversity in this world. And so embracing that as a big one too, but yeah, we'll have to get on and talk about self-care. That's a passion of mine too.
I think we all use a little more self-care in our lives more than bubble baths, but I'll take one of those, but I could use.
You should talk to yourself like you would your own best friend. As Kristin Neff would say, she's an expert in self-compassion.
You know, I just saw a thing on Instagram about that too, and was like, ah, I feel like they're looking right at me.
Yes. Yeah. You both are doing amazing work. So thank you.
Well, you are, you are doing amazing work and we really, really appreciate you sharing it with us. Yeah. It's my pleasure.
Especially with it being so easy for parents to find and get out there and grab it so that we don't fall down the rabbit hole of Googling.
That that's so funny that you mentioned that. In module two of our course where that's, what the title is, get out of the Google rabbit hole, because I mean, look, it, I mean, all the books that parents read and they're flagged and whatever else, so that's what we've done is we've condensed it all because there's no one magic bullet, but there is a pathway and there really are things that you can do to make it easier with support and we have group calls and it's just been wonderful. So, um, our community is great. So there there's a lot to be had. And there's a reason, you know, that we have these children and we have to embrace that and, and support each other so greatly.
Well, at the end of every podcast, we ask our guests and if they had one piece of advice that they would give to our listeners and it can be about this specific topic, or it can be just general life advice. If you had one piece of advice, what would you give?
Oh my gosh, there's so many things coming to me. Um, we've mentioned self-care already, so I'll let that go cause that would have been one of them. Um, and we've talked all about how passionate I am about the embracing teachable moments and not feeling overwhelmed. I let's just end with acceptance. I think of, um, what is, and, and loving what is, and really trying to accept and sprinkle love into how we're treating ourselves, how we're treating our partners and communities, support team members and our children. Um, because really, you know, right now, especially it's good enough parenting, you know, we have to really let some expectations go and just if we can embrace and love and accept and, and have that special time together, that is so much, you know, without putting the extra pressure on our shoulders and needing to do more and don't buy my book, don't watch the webinar. I mean, it's out there if you want it. Absolutely. It's great information, but just give yourself a big hug, give your kids a big hug and take a deep breath, acceptance, love, and letting go.
I love that easier said than done, but I love it. I think we should all try really hard to take that advice.
Yeah. Love our kids as they are right now.
Yes. You can't have negative thoughts and gratitude at the same time. And so, you know, thinking about all the reasons why you love somebody or while you're grateful for them, the negative thoughts go away immediately. So just coming back, trying to that's the mindfulness, right. Catching yourself, going to that negative bias that we do. It's what our mind is trained to do. But if we can bring it back to the kind, loving, gratitude thoughts, then we can ultimately feel better and be more connected, which is what is so important.
Yeah. Thank you. We appreciate this so much.
Thank you. I really enjoyed myself. It was nice to be here and I'm glad to share information, so I hope to stay connected as well.
Yeah. Thank you.
Thank you for listening to the Unbabbled podcast. For more information on today's episode, please see our episode description for more information on the parish school, visit parishschool.org. If you're not already, don't forget to subscribe to the Unbabel podcast on your app of choice. And if you like what you're hearing, be sure to leave a rating and review a special thank you to Stig Daniels, Amanda Arnold and Stella Limuel for all their hard work behind the scenes. Thanks again for listening.