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Get a head start with my researched and field tested tool kit so that your child can thrive too.


Parenting Neurodiverse Children: The Parent Perspective

Parenting Neurodiverse Children: The Parent Perspective

Parenting neurodiverse children  can be frustrating when you have done almost everything you know but nothing seems to work, like trying to unlock a door with the wrong key. Turns out that the conventional parenting wisdom and old-fashioned discipline techniques are just… old. And no longer applicable in today’s environment and culture. 

The Expert in Parenting Neurodiverse children

Andrea Pollack, a former lawyer turned parenting coach, who specializes in parenting neurodiverse children, knows what it’s like to be in your shoes. She tried everything to help him, but nothing worked. She was feeling hopeless and helpless. But then, she discovered the one thing that changed everything for her and her son – the right key for his door and opened it.

She found a way to connect with him, to understand him, and to support him in a way that he responded to. 

Proven Process For You And Your Child

In this interview, Andrea reveals her process to turn things around and have a better relationship with her child. She also shares the lessons she learned along the way that she wishes she knew at the beginning of her parenting journey.

Things You Will Learn
  • Examples of ‘conventional parenting wisdom’ and ‘old-fashioned' discipline techniques, why they don’t work, and how they “backfire”. 
  • An in depth look into Andrea’s process to parenting neurodiverse children. 
  • Bridging the gap of being a therapist and a mother. 
  • Is punishment ever appropriate and does it ever work?
  • How coaching helps parents end power struggles, feel successful, and build family harmony.
  • How to reduce parent stress and increase impact of therapies for better child and family outcomes with ‘parenting confidence’.
  • The process to get from where you are to where you want to be.
  • And much more…

Show Notes for this Podcast 

    • Why getting advice from therapists isn’t helping with your ‘parenting’. (06:15)
    • Do’s and Don'ts' to have the best parent-therapist relationship. (14:10)
    • How to manage your child’s challenging behaviors. (17:33) 
    • How to avoid the trial and error of a painful and expensive parenting with Andrea’s process.  (21:35)

Resources and Links


Facebook group: Autism Parent Solutions Community

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More about Andrea Pollack, the Parenting Neurodiverse Children Expert:

Andrea Pollack is a mom of two young adult children, a former lawyer in New York City, and an advocate for parents of autistic and other developmentally challenged children. When her autistic son was not thriving at school, Andrea left her 19-year law career to homeschool him. 

She later went on to earn her Master’s in Education  so that she could most effectively help parents get swift and lasting results without years of trial and error. Now, with years of experience and research under her belt, Andrea is sharing her wisdom with the world through Autism Parent Solutions.

Tara Hunkin:
This is the My Child Will Thrive podcast. And I'm your host, Tara Hunkin, certified Functional Nutritional Therapy practitioner and mother. I am here to share with you the latest research expert advice, parent perspectives, resources, and tools to help you on your path to optimizing the health and development for your child with ADHD, autism, sensory processing disorder, learning disabilities, or other neurodevelopmental disorders.

My own experiences with my daughter, combined with as much training as I can get my hands on, research I can dig into, and conferences I can attend have helped me to develop systems and tools for parents like you who feel overwhelmed trying to help their children. So, sit back as I share another great topic to help you on your journey.

A quick disclaimer, please keep in mind that the information provided is for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat your child. It is not a substitute for working with a qualified practitioner. This episode of the My Child Will Thrive podcast is brought to you by the Autism, ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder Summit. You can sign up for free to watch 10 days of expert interviews and masterclass at mychildwillthrive.com/summit.

Now on with the show. Hi everyone, welcome back to the My Child Will Thrive podcast. I am excited to have with me today Andrea Pollack. Andrea is a mom of two young adult children, a former lawyer in New York City, and an advocate for parents of autistic and other developmentally challenged children. When her autistic son was not thriving in school, Andrea left her 19 year law career to homeschool him.

She later went on to earn her Master’s in Education so she could most effectively help parents get swift and lasting results without years of trial and error. Now with years of experience and research under her belt, Andrea is sharing her wisdom with the world through Autism Parent Solutions.

And I'm really happy to have you here today on another episode of what we like to call The Parent Perspective because as we know, parents that have been through these challenges with their children are hearing everybody's perspective on that journey with their child. It can be so helpful to others that are going through it right now. So you've been at this for quite a while, so you have quite a journey I'm sure to share with everybody here today. And so I thank you for taking the time to do that.

02:34 Andrea Pollack:
Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.

02:36 Tara Hunkin:
So let's, let's start with that. You are, you've been at this now for quite a while, so obviously with your child and, and now working with others. Can you go back to when, what it looked like for your child and when you started to realize that you were going to have to leave your, your, your career and take that big step to do that and also homeschool him when he wasn't thriving in school?

03:01 Andrea Pollack:
Sure. Well, he was diagnosed, he was just over two and I continued to pursue my career at the time and, you know, we did all the research, like all the parents and tried to find a place where he could fit in and he just was withdrawing further and further into himself.

And I could see so much potential, but I couldn't access it. And I felt like he was showing me every way that he knew how that this was not working for him. And it felt like a big risk 'cause I had no idea what I was doing. Zero. But I thought, you know what, let's pull him out.

Let's just connect and calm down. 'Cause he is a very sensitive sensory system. So being in a school full of other autistic children was very difficult for him. And I thought, let's bring him into the filter that was our home and let's figure it out together. So that's where we started.

03:53 Tara Hunkin:
Yes. So what did that, like, what, what was going through your mind? I mean, obviously you felt that that was the, the only choice, but it's a really big decision to both quit a career, which, you know, 19 years in, in law to homeschool him.

How did you come to that like, conclusion? Obviously he wasn't thriving, but but were there, was there a certain tipping point specifically that pushed you to that point?

04:20 Andrea Pollack:
Yes, it's a great question. I think part of it was when I saw what they were trying to teach him in school, they were trying to teach him, you know, academic material letters and numbers and, you know, vocabulary. And I thought this child can't relate and communicate. So I felt like I, you know, that's what I wanted.

I felt like that was the foundation that was missing and the more we tried to push into him without that foundation, the more he was withdrawing. So I felt like, you know, I had no idea that I was going to do it for eight years.

When I started, I thought, let's just take a breather, let's, you know, get, get back on our feet and then, we'll, I didn't realize it was going to be so long. But yes, I just really felt like I just needed to connect with him, that we weren't connecting, that he wasn't connecting with anybody and that it was so possible for him.

05:10 Tara Hunkin:
So, so what were your first steps, like once you, okay, so you're, you now have him home and you're homeschooling home something, whatever you want to call it. Yes. What, what, how did you decide what was the next thing you should be doing with him? It sounds like connection is that piece.

05:26 Andrea Pollack:
Yes. Well I did try to educate myself as best I could. I studied a bunch of the different therapies he had been in ABA schools and I learned about that. That wasn't really working for him, which I'm not saying that, you know, it doesn't work for anyone, but it wasn't working for him in the way that it was being done.

I did go and get and learn about the Son-Rise Program. I learned about RDI, Floortime, and I just did the best I could to take the best from each of them, but mostly the relationship-based, you know, therapies felt like what I was looking for. So I started there.

06:03 Tara Hunkin:
And how, how did that feel to like, in terms of working this? So now you've gone from like, there's the mothering and then there's the therapy part. How did you bridge that gap between being a therapist versus a mother?

06:15 Andrea Pollack:
Yes, I'm so glad you asked that because one of the big issues I do see today is that parents get advice from therapists, but therapy isn't parenting. And I decided, well he, you know, he was only four and a half at the time and I thought he needed parenting more than he needed therapy, which didn't mean he didn't need therapy.

I also, I, I got some occupational therapy for him and, and speech therapy and I had other people coming in and helping me. I wasn't doing this all alone by any means. So the therapeutic piece was important, but I felt that my piece was more focused on the parenting piece and what I could and, and creating that, you know, social-emotional foundation for him upon which all of the learning would happen.

07:02 Tara Hunkin:
Yes. And so what, what did that look like? I mean, obviously there's conventional parenting wisdom in terms of like how you interact with your child and how you structure their day or do those things. But what, what, what did you do differently that, let's say you, how you weren't raised or how you were taught to parent?

07:23 Andrea Pollack:
Right. Well the biggest change was I realized I needed to let him set the agenda, right? Parenting, you know, the way I was raised, the way, you know, generations of children were raised where the parents controlled the children. And it became abundantly clear to me that no one was controlling this child. And nor was it the right idea. I needed to understand him.

I needed to like, part of connecting was allowing myself to connect, right? When, if you're always trying to control someone, their odds of them connecting are pretty small, right? So it was really about allowing him to set the agenda, following him, learning about him, understanding him, seeing where his needs were instead of forcing our agenda on him.

Right. Kindergarten curriculum, you know, I bought all the curricula out there to try to figure out what I should be teaching him and you know, it said this is what you should teach him, but if he wasn't interested, forcing him to try to learn something was not, was not going to work out. So really following his lead, which was really so opposite of the way I had been raised,

and really just checking in with myself about that all the time because sometimes our tendency is to go back to habits, right? To try to make him do stuff. But that was, that, that didn't work. It didn't create the bond that I wanted or that I thought would be most beneficial for his learning.

08:44 Tara Hunkin:
Yes. And so what, what did, what changes did you see in him when you started to let him set the agenda with you?

08:52 Andrea Pollack:
You know, it started, it took a while. Like initially he, he really was sort of repelling all intervention. It was, you know, but he started to open up, he started to notice people in the room, you know, he started to connect a little bit.

One thing I remember like you're, when you're talking about this, it, it raised this memory for me. He would walk over and he'd like, touch you with his elbow, right? And so it wasn't like a full on connection, but it was like, I'll give you my elbow. You know, he was a cuddly son, but it was a, that was different.

But this was more like connecting, making some eye contact, showing interest in something that I was doing, allowing me to show interest in something he was doing. So little by little those windows opened up and we took advantage of those to try to build connection and interaction 'cause it was really the interaction that was missing.

09:48 Tara Hunkin:
So how old would he have been at that, that stage when you started to see those changes?

09:54 Andrea Pollack:
It took a good six months. We started, he was about four and a half. By five, he was starting to, you know, connect with humans. I mean that, that's, that's overstating it. He was, again, he was a cuddly child, but, but he was very protective of his own bubble I think I would say, because he was so sensitive and he's sensitive to everybody's feelings and he's sensitive to scent and he's sensitive to noise.

So I understand why he was protecting himself. And so the, the message we had to share, me and everybody else who helped me with the homeschooling and therapist and whoever else came into his life was, we're safe. You can trust us. Come play.

10:38 Tara Hunkin:
That's really interesting. It would, it would be so much harder to accomplish that, especially in a, in a group format at least initially until you can have that kind of connection with the kids. So I can see how being at home one-on-one would make a big difference that way. You mentioned that you had other therapies and therapists that you worked with during that period of time.

Can you just mention which, which ones you did and how you felt they helped in that part of that process as well?

11:07 Andrea Pollack:
Sure. I had occupational therapy, which, you know, I knew he had a very sensitive sensory system and I knew I had to learn about how to help him with that, what a sensory diet was, things like that, you know. And also remember, this is 20 years ago, he's 24 now. So, you know, the, the, the internet wasn't such a thing at the time.

There wasn't that much available. So, you know, it was as much to work with him but also to help me educate myself about his needs and, and what was going on. Why he was, you know, the way he was, why he behaved the way he did. I had speech therapy and they helped me with a lot of different areas.

One of the therapies that was very helpful was prompt therapy, where they actually like touched his face to help him form the sounds. And he liked it. He would actually take her hand sometimes and put them up to his face 'cause he enjoyed that feeling of success when he was able to do it better.

And just other, you know, understanding how speech was built. Right. That helped me understand that as well. I had a Floortime person who was amazing and I learned a lot from her too. So, again, she worked with him, but it was one hour a week. The, the greatest benefit was what I could learn from her as well and then carry through.

12:27 Tara Hunkin:
Yes, it's, it's really interesting when, when my daughter was young, she had a lot of speech therapy, but the best program that we were involved in was what they do with the very young ones, which is teach the parents. Actually parents go through a classroom program and then they also then have the therapist come into your home and videotape what you're doing and then review it with the class so that everybody learns how to work with their children.

'Cause as you know, you need to be doing these things pretty much every day. And if you can weave it into, as opposed to therapy, weave it into just how you interact with them, it has the biggest benefit in the end. So that goes back to what you were saying about not being a therapist and, and being focusing on the parenting and that, that parent relationship. But you can do that and weave some of the, when you understand what they're trying to accomplish into the day.

13:16 Andrea Pollack:
Right, right. Well the other piece of that that is very important is because it was all so new and different for me, I didn't trust my instincts at first, but as I, as I learned these different things,

I did learn to trust my instincts, which is really important for parents to learn because not everything is going to work for every child. So you need to, as the parent be objective and say, is this working? Is this not working? Is this helping? How can we tweak it? Because the therapist, they have their way of doing it and it's not that they don't adjust it per child,

they do, you know, this is not anything against therapists. I love them. I, I'm very grateful for them. But it's more about, you know, you parents know their children best, so if a therapist is spending an hour or even three hours a week with your child, you have a different perspective on what's working and it's a really important relationship then that you develop with the therapist.

Tara Hunkin:
Yes. So then that sort of brings a point of do you have, so from this and all the years of doing it, do you have things that you can recommend to parents in terms of what to do and not to do with a therapist when they, you have that, that parent therapist relationship? Like what best practices you've developed over the years in terms of working with someone?

14:33 Andrea Pollack:
I think, I think the, the first rule of thumb is be curious, right? Really try to understand, ask questions. Don't assume you know, but don't assume you don't know, right? So try as best you can to understand, to question, you know, with the best intentions in mind, right? We don't want to come in like, you know, trying to overrule things because we may not know.

They may be doing something that really makes a lot of sense. We just can't see it 'cause we're not educated in that. At the same time, letting something go that feels wrong, that I would say that was a, one of the mistakes I made for too long. I didn't trust myself enough and I allowed things that felt wrong to persist.

And over time I, I learned how to really intervene in a way that was, you know, again, a relationship. It wasn't, I was, wasn't trying to force anything with a therapist or, but I, you know, it is about communication. It's about collaboration and being curious.

15:31 Tara Hunkin:
Yes, I, no, I really, I I'm a big supportive, you have to always know why you're doing something because if you know the why, then you can then apply some kind of critical thinking to whether or not it's appropriate and you can at least ask the right questions to determine whether it's still appropriate or the right thing for your child at that particular point in time in their, their journey.

Do you, do you have an example of one of those times when you, you realized that you left, so you let something go or that you were doing that you wished you had said, yes, no, this isn't right for my child?

16:07 Andrea Pollack:
Yes, well, you know, some of the ABA practices, again, this isn't against all ABA, this is about how it was being done at the time with him. I just kept saying, what, what this, this feels wrong. You know, one of the things, so here's this very specific example.

My son was a terrible sleeper and he'd get up at like four o'clock in the morning and the school and the therapist, they had a program where they put photographs of his toys in a, in a book. And he was supposed to turn the page, look at the photograph, go get the toy off the shelf, play with it, put it back on the shelf, turn the page, get the next toy.

We would go through the whole thing, it would be like 4:20, you'd be like, okay, that didn't feel like play. There was nothing about that, that was fun for either of us. Like, what are we doing here?

But I kept doing it because I was told to do it and it, it seemed so therapeutic because it was such a thing I never could have dreamed of in my life to put photographs of toys and call it play. I, you know. So to me it felt like, okay, this is so strange, it must be doing something good. But after a while it was like, mm, no, this is not, this is not right.

17:16 Tara Hunkin:
Yes, no, and it is one of those things that you do develop that, or you probably have the guided instinct, but it's about trusting it as as you go along. Yes.

So, I mean, a lot of our kids have a lot of challenging behaviors and I know that what, what did, what were, what did you learn along the way about how to manage those challenging behaviors with your child as they came up? Because you were doing all this at home, not by yourself, but, but direct really by yourself.

17:49 Andrea Pollack:
I would say the, the, the biggest area was, what I realized over time was that when the challenging behavior arose, it's because I created an expectation that was too far above what he could do. So I was not setting him up for success, right?

So instead of it being a challenging behavior that initiated with him that he was somehow choosing to misbehave in a way I realized that when I set the boundaries in the wrong place, he, this is where things would break down because everything that fell between what he could accomplish and the boundary I set that was too high was dysregulation. Everything between those two spots.

18:34 Tara Hunkin:
Yes, it's, it is, you know, it's that frustration that they're not able to always articulate, even at older ages, some of our kids, it's, it's really hard for them to express themselves so in an inappropriate way.

So if we do set those high expectations and they, they feel like they're failing all the time, it is, is really tough.

18:55 Andrea Pollack:
Right. And again, it's not about not having high hopes in the end it's about building up the abilities in increments that they can tolerate, right? Having a high expectation when they're nowhere near that is just, it's just bound to fail and everybody's going to end up frustrated.

And my, my son had very little language, so he really couldn't express himself in ways that I understood at first. But once I paid closer attention, I really did understand everything. It was really, you could see it, I, and then I started to see, oh wait, hold on. I think, I think that's on me.

I think I, you know, I required too much of him and he burnt out before he got to the finish line and that's where the behavior came in.

19:36 Tara Hunkin:
So your progress, so with your son over time, so you've gotten to the point where that he's around five, you started to crack the code in terms of how to, how to connect with him. Where did you go from there?

19:48 Andrea Pollack:
It was a very slow process. It was a tremendous amount of trial and error. Like I said, we did it for eight years, which is why ultimately I, I decided to, to do this with other parents because I realized you figure it out in the end. But I, you know, I could spare people a lot of that trial and error.

So we, we just, we did try then to introduce academic curriculum but in a very play, play-based way and let him again lead the way, which doesn't mean that we, you know, I always tried to draw the line right outside of his comfort zone, right? I wanted to keep him growing. This wasn't about, you know, keeping him from ever being uncomfortable, but it was about trying to learn how to build it again, like I said, in increments that he could tolerate, which I wasn't always successful at.

And, you know, we would have, and then he would have periods of either regression or slow growth and there were things going on in his body at the time that we also had to pay attention to. And so, I know this is a very long and whiney answer too. We just took it one step at a time and tried to build on on what we had.

21:02 Tara Hunkin:
Yes. So what, what did you, like you said you, over time you figured it out. So what, where, what does that look like? Well there's, I have two questions, but the first one is, so what, what does that look like now?

So once, because you went through all these different trials and errors now when you work with parents, what do you, what do you tell them about in terms of do, do you, I believe you have a framework that you help them with in terms of how to make those decisions so they don't have to go through all those trials and errors with their, their kids. So how do you do that with parents?

21:37 Andrea Pollack:
So the first thing I do is I just teach them a set of strategies and perspectives. A very, just a very small group of those. And what, 'cause what I realized when I studied all the different therapies, as different as they all were, they had certain fundamental commonalities, right?

So for example, you have to pay attention to regulation, right? And self-regulation is a skill we need to build, but we also have to model self-regulation. So that's like the first thing we start with, right? We talk about how to set them up for success, this whole process of how to figure out where the, where their boundary is and how to set the next boundary just above that so that we're not setting them up for failure.

We talk about how to, we pay attention to the sensory needs and issues. We talk about getting their buy-in, right? Not forcing our agenda on them how to, how to get their buy-in so that it, it makes things easier, right? It makes things more smooth. And we talk about modeling and teaching flexibility, which is a big issue with our kids.

And so it's a very few things, but those things crop up in every instance of challenging behavior. So it's about noticing those, it's about learning how to, how to set those boundaries. But also really importantly, it's about understanding your underlying beliefs and perspectives because those are the things that drive our behavior as parents, right?

So an example is if you believe your child is doing something on purpose, you get angry and frustrated. If you can learn to look at it as something that actually they didn't do that on purpose. There was an issue, there was a skill they were lacking in the moment. Even it was something they could do yesterday, today, there was something interfering with their ability to do it. It changes how you approach it.

You, you can approach them with more with help and support rather than frustration and criticism. Does that make sense?

23:36 Tara Hunkin:
Totally. Yes. I mean perspective is everything. When you're, you're dealing with those situations where everybody can get a little frustrated.

23:43 Andrea Pollack:
It, it's very hard to see your own blind spots. So that's how, you know, when I work with parents, so they'll tell me a story. And also, so what I'm hearing in this as we're talking is it sounds like you believe that he like pooped his pants on purpose.

Yes, well he was playing and he decided not to go and then it didn't have time. And okay, well let's look at this in a bunch of different ways and after we talk about it a while, you know, do you still want to believe that?

And you're allowed to still believe that, right? This isn't about telling you how to think or what to right, you're, and you're allowed to have all your feelings and I want you to feel all your feelings, but is your, is that belief, is it true and is it serving you? So the parents' underlying beliefs have a big part to play in how we execute the strategies.

24:28 Tara Hunkin:
That makes a lot of sense. So what in, in what ways do you, do you work with parents these days? Do you do that one-on-one or in group formats, or how do you do that?

24:39 Andrea Pollack:
It's both. I have, I do have a group format. It's 12-week program and there is some educational material and you know, that, that they have access to and they have ongoing access to. They can listen to it as long as many times as they like. Then we have small group coaching sessions, which parents really love because they not only can ask their own questions, they can ask any question, no questions are off limits, but you learn a lot from what other parents ask.

Things you didn't think to ask or things that, like you had the same issue and it cropped up in a different way with a different parent. But because, you know, we talk about how to work through the framework with that issue, they learn to apply it to themselves, right? And the more times we apply these things, the more they see them apply, the easier it is for them to learn to apply them.

And then in addition, there are some one-on-one sessions as well because there are some things that we don't want to share in a group and I totally appreciate that. So that enables people to share more intimate things if they want to, and also to set specific goals for specific children. It's, it's one program that's, it's a combination of all three of those things.

25:44 Tara Hunkin:
Oh, that's wonderful. That sounds like a very supportive way to go about doing it. Can you tell us more about how your son is doing now and what he, he's up to and how this all served him in terms of that approach?

25:56 Andrea Pollack:
Sure. He, he's 24, he, he's going, he's still going to a school-like program, but it's really job readiness and job training.

You know, he's, he's in the, in the higher needs category of, of individuals, although that's mostly because his speech is, is somewhat limited, you know, his behavior, there's, there we don't have to talk about behavior.

There's not really behavior, right. And what I will say is, you know, he is that kid who everyone falls in love with, like immediately and deeply, which I think, you know, really came from focusing on the relationship, the trust following him, that was what he needed to become that person, which is a good skill to have when you have high needs, right?

26:45 Tara Hunkin:

26:46 Andrea Pollack:
—That people really like you. So yes, he has some jobs right now he's working at the Cheesecake Factory, rolling silverware into napkins and he likes that he's, he's working, you know, the, what, you know, the tags that they apply to clothing to keep you from stealing it in department stores.

Well, turns out who thought about this, but there's a place that actually makes those, and then the stores return all the stuff and it all needs to be, you know, disconnected and sorted and all of that stuff. And he's like a genius at that. He's, I mean he's like better than, he's like, they're like, his attention is unbelievable. He's fast, he's efficient and he loves it.

So he feels good about that job and he is getting other job training as well. And, but he's happy, he's, he has friends. He, he told me he's proud of his life. That's what he told me. Those are the words he used.

27:37 Tara Hunkin:
That's, that is amazing. So he is thriving, he's doing what well, what every parent wants with, right? So happy, enjoying himself and, and being successful and that's, that's really all we're working towards doing.

So congratulations to him on that and you for, for doing all that work. And I know just as the same as you is that there was very little information out there. We were talking about it before that now there's almost too much information and making those decisions and figuring out how to pull those things together and deal with the day-to-day is so challenging for so many people now.

So it's great to have a parent like yourself who's now been able to pull us together into a framework and a program that can support parents as they're going through these challenges with their, in their children. Do you have a favorite story of someone that's in your program about how what they've, they've gained from working with you and, and going through your, your, your program that brings together all these learnings that you have?

28:43 Andrea Pollack:
Ooh, It's like picking a favorite child is really hard to pick a favorite. But I, I mean I have a couple, I have, I have kids who refused to go to school, like absolutely refused. And over time we built it up, we found a good schooling situation, built it up, and now these kids are happily in school and they have friends and you know, one of the young men has his first crush.

And so that's a really, I mean it's, it sounds simple, but for that parent, it was not simple. It was, you know, a big win. I have a little one who when they started working with me, she had no language, no eye contact, no. Like, she barely recognized people and they kept telling her, oh you know, she's, she's severely autistic, she's probably never going to A, B, C, which I hate, you know, I really hate that, you know, and she started talking a little before her fourth birthday and now she's talking at sentences and she's bossing everybody around and she has attitude and she's amazing. So I love that.

I have, I have one mom who, she has four children, two of whom are autistic, and she just was like drowning and just was completely overwhelmed and both of her autistic children are doing amazing. And then she was able to get a promotion at work because it, this, the overwhelm wasn't overtaking her life. So she was able to, you know, make advances for the whole family. So those are just some examples.

30:11 Tara Hunkin:
They're pretty great examples. Yes. But like you said, it like, it, it's, it is sometimes I guess some, to some people that would seem small, but I think to the people that are listening, those all sound like really big things to them because we know how, how hard everyone works, including the kids themselves and everyone around them to get to that point.

And I think we've all been in a state of overwhelm at one point there or another. So it's really great to have a resource that can help us through that.

30:37 Andrea Pollack:
Yes, One thing I would add though is that, that is a common element that all the parents share is they enjoy parenting so much more.

And that is a big part of my goal because we should enjoy parenting and our kids can feel it when we enjoy parenting and loving the process is just, it's, it just feels so good to everybody. It's good for the whole family. And I would say that all of my, the parents I work with do you know, do definitely increase their pleasure and enjoyment of parenting.

31:06 Tara Hunkin:
Actually that is, that is also, I'm so glad that you, you said that 'cause it is because a lot of people grieve the loss of what they thought parenting would be like when they have a child that, that is neurotypical in particular because parenting can be a lot more challenging. But it's wonderful to find, again, a resource to help you find that joy and, and success and parenting because part of that joy comes from feeling like your, your child is happier and doing well. I mean, really that's all we all want.

So the frustration typically comes from feeling like you're failing and it's so when you have the right tools in place and the, and the supports, each of those little successes are huge and, and, and need to be celebrated for sure.

Thank you again, Andrea. It was really a pleasure to meet you and hear about your journey, which has been a long one with your son and how well he is doing now. It's always encouraging to hear these stories and anybody that's actually, we'll be putting links in the show notes as well, but Andrea, why don't you tell people where they can find you so that if they're looking for support in this way, that they can reach out to you themselves as well.

32:16 Andrea Pollack:
Okay, thank you so much. So the best way would be to go to my website, which is https://autismparentsolutions.com/. And if you go to the media page, so you can sit forward slash media or you could just find it on the homepage, it'll take you to a page where you have some choices. It has other, you know, places where I've appeared.

You can listen to other places where I've had conversations or podcasts and, but if you think that parenting, parent coaching is for you, just based on hearing our conversation and you want to book a call and talk to me directly, you can go to https://www.autismparentsolutions.com/apply.

But there's also a link on that media page. There's also a link to a 40 minute webinar, which you know is more training. So if you want more resources that's there. So hopefully you can find resources there that help you. And if you want to connect, feel free to book a call and I'd love to speak with you 'cause I really, I love this work. I love helping parents.

33:14 Tara Hunkin:
That's wonderful. Thank you so much for your time today and again, I encourage everybody to go to the show notes and get the links so that you can connect and follow Andrea's work as well, so you can learn more from her. We will talk to you all again very soon and I look forward to seeing you on the next episode of the My Child Will Thrive podcast.

Thanks, Andrea. Bye for now.

33:37 Andrea Pollack:
Thank you. Thanks so much.

Tara Hunkin:
Thanks for joining me today. If you've enjoyed this episode, please support us by subscribing and giving us a review on your podcast platform of choice. This is Tara Hunkin and I'll catch you on the next episode of the podcast. We're over at mychildwillthrive.com/ where you can find articles and the free My Child Will Thrive toolkit too.


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