Neurodiversity Starter Pack
Here on the Reading With Your Kids Podcast, we celebrate all kids and all families enthusiastically! That is why we have created this starter pack of podcast episodes all about neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is defined as: the range of differences in individual brain function and behavioral traits, regarded as part of normal variation in the human population. There are many common types of conditions associated with neurodiversity and each person’s experience with their neurodiversity is unique! But these episodes are a sampling of some of those experiences that Jedlie had the pleasure of hearing with these special guests!
Merriam Sarcia Saunders – My Whirling, Twirling Motor
For some families, it can be a complete shock when notes start coming home with their kids about disruptive, inattentive behavior. You know, of course, that your kid is awesome, but sometimes that doesn’t translate into the classroom. Merriam Sarcia Saunders wrote her book for those families with high energy kids. Her story is all about how much a difference it makes to tell a kid what they’re doing right sometimes instead of always what they’re doing wrong. We all know how ADHD affects behavior, but it’s something the kid often just can’t help. One of the side effects of ADHD is often a lower self esteem which can lead to depression and anxiety later in life which is why it is important to celebrate ADHD, too. Merriam also talks about the decision to medicate for ADHD as a licensed therapist and how it’s a personal choice that families can make together. All in all, a fantastic episode for learning more about this super common disorder.
Jessica Laurel Kane: “The Girl Who Was Born With Glue In Her Brain”
In this episode, Jedlie learns all about a unique picture book for all ages! Children’s author Jessica Laurel Kane wrote this earnest story in part as a memoir of her own struggles growing up. The glue in the girl’s brain are intrusive thoughts. Lots of people struggle with intrusive thoughts, but kids in particular can think that “bad” thoughts make them bad people. In reality, it’s just some glue in your brain! The girl’s intrusive thoughts have a great affect on her life and the reader gets to see how she chooses to tackle it. Jessica uses the beautiful and simple medium of the picture book to touch the heart of readers in the most effective and approachable way possible. With a sprinkle of humor, adults and kids can together tackle the scary topic of what happens when your thoughts seem out of your control. Listen in on this super important conversation if you or someone you know struggles with intrusive thoughts– or even if you just want to learn a new perspective!
Dr. Raun Melmed: “Harriet’s Monster Diary: Awfully Anxious”
Developmental and behavioral pediatrician Dr. Raun Melmed joins the Reading With Your Kids podcast with this episode about his book “Harriet’s Monster Diary: Awfully Anxious”. One book of a diverse series, this fun and furry story is all about teaching kids to cope with anxiety. One of the big things Dr. Raun Melmed encourages throughout the conversation is letting kids be involved in their learning and healing. Involving the kid in the conversation around their anxiety gives them a sense of power over their worries, which in itself helps with overcoming them! It’s a great book parents can use to start a conversation with their kids about the serious topics of mental health and mindfulness. Jedlie and Dr. Raun talk about the great methods of stress-management that kids AND adults can learn to do every day, whether you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder or not! Listen along and I’m sure you’ll learn something new!
Jessica Dawn: “My Dyslexia Is A Gift”
Originally a conversation around her new book “Stay At Home”, things took a turn after 13 minutes to Jessica’s experience with dyslexia. When she said “my dyslexia is a gift”, Jedlie had to learn more! They talk about how dyslexia, and other forms of neurodiversity, are just different, equally valid, ways of seeing the world. For example, Jessica attributes her skill with identifying patterns and connections to her dyslexia. Having grown up with certain struggles, she has lots to say about how parents and schools can celebrate dyslexia by focusing on a kid’s strengths rather than their weaknesses. Afterall, every person has a unique set of skills and abilities that they can bring to the table no matter what their struggles might be. Being such a common diagnosis in American children, it’s important to be aware of dyslexia and the role it plays in kids’ development. Join Jessica and Jedlie in this positive conversation where everyone is celebrated as valued individuals!
We hope that these episodes will help listeners understand and love their kids even more by learning about the wonderful world of neurodiversity. In addition to these episodes, you can find even more episodes about neurodiversity by going to www.ReadingWithYourKids.com , clicking “Listen Here”, going to the search bar and typing in whatever keyword you want like “ADHD” or “anxiety”! Stay tuned about everything the Reading With Your Podcast team is cooking up by following us on social media. Stay well and keep reading!
Written By Hannah Pat Oboyski