Show cover of The Autism and Sensory Parenting Podcast

The Autism and Sensory Parenting Podcast

Welcome to The Autism & Sensory Parenting Podcast! Join our host, Candice Curtis, an Occupational Therapist, Autism & sensory specialist, and a parent of an Autistic child as we chat about all things Autism and sensory, including developmental activities, strategies, and how to make it all happen in your day while still keeping your sanity!


Ep. 36: How to “Dance in the Rain” with Stephanie Weiderstrand, creator of the Empowering Autism Summit
Welcome to another great episode where I get the pleasure of interviewing a guest that started on her journey with so many different emotions and has been successful at figuring out what she can do to make tomorrow better.  You are about to hear how she has reframed what success looks like for her family, let go of expectations, and she is now helping others do the same through her Autism Summit.  I was given the pleasure and honor of meeting our guest while being interviewed for the Empowering Autism Summit that is October 27-29th.  Definitely make sure to click on the link in the show notes to grab a seat to that 3 day amazing experience by clicking here!  It is full of fantastic information from 10, yes 10 different speakers, that share their personal journeys and expertise in the area of Autism and helping families thrive and be empowered. Enjoy the show and also, just a reminder to make sure to follow me on Instagram at Integrate Family and check out my website for some free trainings and handouts to help your child and family. Connect with Stephanie at: Event Page: Web: Instagram: Facebook:
43:45 10/11/21
Ep. 35: How to Plan Your Day for Success with Amanda Cunningham
Keeping everything organized and being proactive can make a huge difference.  It can be the difference between just surviving and feeling like everything is out of control versus feeling like you are accomplishing your goals.  Sometimes just taking the time to plan can feel overwhelming, but it can be possible! That is why I invited Amanda, creator of a special needs planner, to the podcast.  I just know that she is going to give you encouragement and inspiration. She will also give you tips and tools for how to plan for success and tell you more about The Glory Days planner. Check out the show notes here: 
46:44 4/5/21
Ep. 34: Self Care Strategies that are Possible for any Mama with Michelle Lach
So often, parents of Autistic children end up dealing with chronic stress and it is so important to learn how to get out of the stress cycle. That is why I was super excited to bring you our guest today.  Michelle is a certified mindset and mindfulness coach.  During her journey, she started to learn about self-care practices and realized how she had been neglecting her self-care.  She learned how to become intentional about making sure that she was taking care of herself to create long-term solutions. There are truly nuggets in this interview for everyone and you are not going to want to miss it!  Check out the rest of the show notes here:  
57:06 3/29/21
Ep. 33: How I Approach Helping a Child to Get the Best Results!
It dawned on me recently that I was trained to think in a different way as an Occupational Therapist.....that this way of thinking is what helps a child gain confidence, motivation, and skills.  Not only do I use it as an Occupational Therapist, but I use it as a parent ALL....THE.....TIME!  This is huge people!!  I am super passionate about this because it makes a huge difference for a child!  Listen in to learn how you can help your child have better behaviors, have a better connection with you, and more confidence and skills that will help them throughout their lifetime!! Make sure to follow me on Instagram @integratefamily or on Facebook.  
25:58 3/22/21
Ep 32: Your Child Has Autism....Now What????
Recently, I had someone tell me that their child was just diagnosed with Autism. They just felt like, ok..., now what? I started to think about it and realized this was something really important to think about and talk about. How are you supposed to know what to do when your child is diagnosed with Autism? Especially when you are feeling a bagillion emotions. So I stopped and put some thought into this....This is what I came up with. Make sure to get My FREE Simple 3 Step Process to Improve Your Child's Development  Get the rest of the show notes by clicking here.
23:47 3/15/21
Ep. 31: Learning How to Celebrate Our Children’s Characteristics with Kayla Monville
Our perspective on how we see our situation and how we see our children makes a huge difference in the actions that we take.  Kayla’s perspective will totally light that fire for you to see your child through new eyes.  The way that she talks about the importance of celebrating all the amazing things about your child is just what so many other parents need to hear. The book that she wrote is an amazing book to celebrate the amazing things about your child, so make sure to check it out! Get the links and the rest of the show notes here:
41:19 3/8/21
Ep. 30: Parenting a Sensory Kiddo In a Nutshell
This episode was originally an interview that I did with Natalia Rodriquez in her Facebook group and today I’m going to bring it to you!  I love the easy conversational style of this interview and we talk about how to make it work when you are a busy parent and having a child that has more needs than many of their peers.   We have such a great conversation about taking care of yourself, different seasons of our life, and giving ourselves grace!  I even talk about how to make it possible to work on things our child needs to work on in a very doable way, the importance of play, and sensory processing.  And that's just the beginning!! Don't forget to check out episode 2 to hear the interview that I did with Natalia on this podcast!!
54:29 3/1/21
Ep. 29: The Importance of Outdoor Play with Angela Hanscom
The importance of outdoor play is so so very important!  Listen in to hear all of the benefits of outdoor play.  When it comes to our children with Autism and sensory difficulties, I honestly think that getting them outside is even more important! Meet Angela Angela J. Hanscom is a pediatric occupational therapist and founder of TimberNook—an award-winning developmental and nature-based program that has gained international popularity. She is also the author of Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children. Hanscom has also been a frequent contributor to The Washington Post and was the recent recipient of the SBA Small Business of the Year award in 2019. Check out all the show notes (click here)
54:15 2/22/21
Ep. 28: Time To Turn from Doubt to Encouragement, Validation, & Empowerment
Have you ever doubted that you know how to help your child?  Have you ever been told that your child needs hours and hours of intervention time with someone else?  Have you ever been exhausted from driving your child to appointments?  Well, today I am speaking from my heart.  I want you to know that you don't need to doubt that you are capable because you are!  I want you to know that you know more than you think and you are capable of learning so much more.  I am here to help you get rid of the guilt and exhaustion.  I am here to hopefully inspire you and empower you to be kind to yourself and embrace this journey with your child!!
16:31 2/15/21
Ep. 27: Raising a Well-Rounded Autistic Child with Cindy Rinna
Today I get to interview Cindy Rinna.  She is an amazing mother of 2 autistic children and 1 child with ADHD/dyslexia.  She is also a writer, podcaster, and outside of the box homeschooler.  Listen in to hear her journey in realizing she needed to find a system that fit her children instead of trying to get her children to fit into "the system".   Click here for all the show notes and recommendations.
51:11 2/8/21
Ep. 26: Interoception: Is This the Missing Link to Understanding Your Child
Ever wonder what feeling hungry and being rigid and inflexible have in common?  How about meltdowns and having empathy for other people?  Well, today we are going to talk about those connections.  Specifically, what interoception is, how it can affect our children, and what we can do to help improve their interoceptive system.   Check out all of the show notes and link here.
25:14 2/1/21
Ep. 25: Sensory Diets: Why I Don't Use One & What I Do Instead
Sensory diets are a term that has started to get used a lot with kids that have sensory processing difficulties, including those with Autism.  A lot of Occupational Therapists help set up sensory diets for families, but actually being a parent myself helped me to realize what I could do to still support my child in a way that was totally doable.  Listen in to learn what a sensory diet is, what they are used for, and what we have done instead. Check out the show notes here:
30:11 1/25/21
Ep. 24: Stress Management Activities for Parents You Can Use Today
Having stress as a parent is a very real thing.  As a parent, we have so many more responsibilities, but as a parent of a child that has more needs than other children, the amount on a parent’s shoulders are compounded.  Everything can take more time.  The amount of mental problem solving and having to think more about everything can be exhausting and really overwhelming. We definitely all need stress management strategies and activities to make everything that we need to do possible!  Listen in as Shannon shares some strategies on just how to do that! Check out the rest of the show notes here.
49:38 1/18/21
Ep. 23: Backward Chaining: A Simple Strategy to Teach Life Skills
Is your child still working on learning how to do life skills like dressing, making their bed, or cooking meals (just to name a few)? We all need tools in our toolbox to help our children gain these skills!  This is a simple strategy that can be used in a lot of ways! Check out all of the show notes here!
18:33 1/11/21
Ep. 22: Parenting Your Autistic or Sensory Child
Parenting a child that is Autistic or has sensory needs can be hard! What is a parent supposed to do when their child experiences the world in a way that is different from yours? It's time to find out! Listen in to hear the whole interview with Dr. Laura Froyen. Check out the rest of the show notes here.
50:25 1/4/21
Ep. 21: Top 10 Strategies to Help Your Autistic Child Sleep
I say these are the top 10 strategies to help your Autistic child sleep; however, in actuality, there are way way more than 10 strategies in this episode!  In this episode, I will talk about why sleep is so important, why your child might be struggling with sleep, and strategies to support your child and their sleep (and in turn, your sleep!) Check out all of the show notes here!
38:26 12/28/20
Ep. 20: Autism & School: A Mom's Journey
In today’s interview I had the opportunity to talk with a mother about her journey with her Autistic son and his schooling. Honestly, I love talking with other moms, because I know how much we can learn from each other! I really wanted to interview a mom that had placed her kids in the public school system and then later chose to homeschool, because I wanted for parents to know that there are options.   Check out the rest of the show notes here.
58:02 12/21/20
Ep. 19: Bilateral Coordination: Why It's Important and Simple Ways to Improve It!
What is bilateral coordination & why is it important? Learn from an Occupational Therapist how you can help your child's coordination! Get Your Free Audio Training (My Simple 3 Step Process to Improve Your Child's Development) Click here for the rest of the show notes.
29:32 12/14/20
Ep 18: How to Decrease Sensory Sensitivities with the OT Butterfly
Welcome to another episode of the Autism and Sensory Parenting Podcast.  This is some information that you really need to know as a parent if you have a child that is really sensitive to sensory information. Today you will be hearing an interview with an Occupational Therapist.  We will be discussing lots of great information about sensory sensitivities and what to do if your child is sensitive to certain types of sensory input.  We will even delve into the question is it sensory or is it behavior and how it is different. Our guest today is Laura.  Laura is a Pediatric Occupational Therapist from California who specializes in sensory integration. With a daughter of her own who has sensory sensitivities, Laura loves connecting with other parents of sensory sensitive children to provide support and insight. She loves talking about the impact of sensory processing on learning and behavior and how they can support their child with their sensory needs. Check out additional show notes by clicking here.
58:51 12/7/20
Ep. 17: Clever Ways to Do School with your Autistic Child
So many of us are doing school with our Autistic Child a little different this year. Maybe our child is struggling with the changes at school. Perhaps, you are trying to manage a hybrid type of situation. Or, maybe you have taken the pludge with homeschool. Today, I am going to share our story with school and the many positive changes that have happened for my son in such a crazy stressful year! Learn strategies and hear recommendations on how to help your Autistic Child complete school in a way that works for your family! Check out the show notes at:
45:16 11/30/20
Ep. 16: Interview with Chantal, Founder of Fun Sensory Play
We have a great guest today and you are in for a treat.  Our guest today is the founder and owner of Fun Sensory Play and a mother of an Autistic child.  Fun Sensory Play is a fantastic website with lots of sensory ideas and activities.  She has sensory floor decals on her webpage that I absolutely love!  They are decals that you place on your floor that kids love, not to mention they are great to work on all sorts of skills, including gross motor skills, coordination, balance, sensory processing and they are a great way to encourage engagement with your child.  She even has lots of different varieties of decals that make it even more fun!  She also just came out with some sensory stocking stuffers which are perfect for your sensory kiddos and just in time for Christmas!!  So definitely check it out at or on her Facebook page. During the interview, you will get the chance to hear Chantal’s journey following the birth of her child and the journey to diagnosis and treatment.  She has done a tremendous job learning about sensory processing with her child and was able to find a great outlet with her business. Find all the show notes at:  
55:32 11/23/20
Ep. 15: 5 Ways to Intentionally Observe Your Child to Get the Answers You are Looking For
Life is busy.  It's hectic and sometimes it is downright hard.  I am sometimes amazed at how hard it is to respond to someone's question when they ask me how my week was.  Too often, I honestly don't even remember many details of the day.  I've come to realize how important it is to prioritize what really is important to me.  For me, that's connection with my loved ones.  But, I'm a task driven mama and have had to learn how to pay attention to all of the small things, in addition to the big things, that my child does.  Their behavior is the window into my child's "world".  But, I have to pay attention to learn what that world is like.  In today's episode, I give you 5 different things to observe.  The amazing thing is, when you pay attention to these things you will often times naturally know exactly what you can do to support your Autistic child...because you will have a better understanding of how they "tick" in a nonjudgmental and loving way.  Check out the show notes at:
29:51 11/16/20
Ep. 14: Increasing Communication with Autistic Children from a Speech Therapist Perspective
In today’s interview I get a chance to chat with a great Speech Therapist.  We met about 7 or so years ago at a clinic we both worked at.  I have always enjoyed talking with Jennifer and we have now found ourselves on similar journeys of starting our own businesses.  Jennifer is a speech-language pathologist (aka speech therapist) and owner of Agave Speech and Language Teletherapy Services. Her passion is to help busy parents eliminate their children's speech difficulties through online resources so that their children can grow in confidence to be their best self. When she is not providing therapy through her private practice, she contracts with local school districts to provide speech-language services. These experiences have given her extensive knowledge of BOTH private practice and school-based services…which are very different environments. Through the years as a speech pathologist, she has also worked in early intervention (birth to three years), adult rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, and other private practices in both California and Idaho. This summer, she began a Facebook Group called "Speech Development Q&A for Parents" so that she could begin reaching parents all over the globe and helping them with their speech and language development questions. When she is not “working”, Jennifer loves trail running, playing and teaching classical violin, adventuring, gardening, and baking (hopeless addict of the British Baking Show 🍰). She lives with her wonderful husband and an overbearing dog (Bella thinks she rules the home). She lives in the Boise area and loves to be outside whenever possible. Check out additional show notes here. 
46:03 11/10/20
Ep 13: How To Understand and Support Your Autistic Child
Ever wonder what to do when your child has certain behaviors?  Today we are going to discuss 2 very specific strategies to help you understand your Autistic child that will help you to better support your child! For additional show notes check out:
44:56 11/2/20
Ep. 12: Using Connection to Make Breakthroughs in Autistic Children's Development
Improving the development of our Autistic Children is a huge desire for so many of us.  But, where do we start when there are so many conflicting messages out there?  My guest today decided to make the conscious choice of connecting with her child over countless behavioral strategies and "expert"  recommendations.  Her optimistic attitude and realization that she needed to become empowered since she was the constant in her son's life was a dynamic and unmovable force that allowed this mother to catapult her son's development.   Find the show notes here:  
65:22 10/26/20
Ep. 11: Sensory Processing from a Child’s Point of View
This is a very special episode indeed!  In this episode I had the opportunity to interview my son that has Autism and sensory processing difficulties. When he first approached me and said that it would be very important for parents to hear about sensory processing from a child’s point of view I really couldn’t argue.  He was right!!  I enjoyed this interview so much and am so glad he asked. In this episode, I take a little bit of time to explain the journey that Caiden has been on and then we have fun asking each other questions.  From Caiden’s point of view, we talk about what he is thinking when he is “stimming” or in his case squeezing and what he has done to help relax his body when his muscles feel tight and his stomach warm (his words, not mine). If you are interested in reading his blog you can find it here.  It’s pretty cute if I say so myself😊
38:18 10/19/20
Ep. 10: A Mother’s Initiative to Give Her Autistic Child a Voice
A Mother's Initiative A mother's initiative and desire to help their child can have ripple effects for their child's life. I am excited for you to listen to the podcast episode today and hear about all of the ways Vidya took initiative to help her child and the many things that they have done to support his ability to communicate with others. Our guest, Vidya Banerjee She is a mom of a 15-year-old boy who is on the Autism Spectrum, who was first diagnosed at 3 years of age.  He does not communicate verbally and uses an AAC device to communicate. He has a secondary diagnosis of seizures which is called Landau Kleffner Syndrome. When he was diagnosed at 3, his parents were told he wouldn’t be able to do a lot of things, but he has come such a long way and they feel extremely blessed to have him. When her son was first diagnosed, she didn’t know what Autism even was and says that it felt very overwhelming.  She took huge initiatives and went back to school.  She finished her Autism Graduation certificate and never looked back after that.  In addition to educating herself, she has been involved in her son’s therapies that have included, ABA, speech, OT and many others right from the beginning.  She recently completed Registered Behavior Technician training as well. Recently, she started a blog called to help other parents who are on a similar journey.  She also has an Instagram and Facebook account called autismfamilystory where I share information to help other parents. Recommended books: The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism & Related Disorders by Mary Barbera Top 3 takeaways Take the initiative to learn and seek out what your child would benefit from.  Don’t just wait for all of the “systems” to start to help your child.  The consistency with your child is so important. 2.  Try your best to involve yourself in learning from the different therapies that your child is in so you can be consistent at home. Don't forget to take it one day at a time! Set up a communication system for your child if needed.  If your child uses an AAC device, find ways to work it into things you do and model how to communicate for your child.  Also, take time to learn the device so you can make changes with the device.  You can find Vidya at: Her blog at: Instagram and Facebook: autismfamilystory
37:24 10/12/20
Ep. 9: The Vestibular System: A Foundation to Development
Listen in for a hard core, quick and dirty, lesson on the Vestibular System!  Why you ask!?!?  Because, the Vestibular System is a foundational sensory system that makes a HUGE difference in how your child gains new skills!  Learn: What is the Vestibular System? Why is the Vestibular System so important for our child’s development? Connections between the Vestibular System and our brain and body Some simple activities you can do with your child to support better development! Make sure that you get my free audio training: My Simple 3 Step Process to Improve your Child’s Development
30:30 10/5/20
Ep. 8: Sensory Processing 101
We get information for our brain to make sense of the world through our senses Touch Hearing Taste Smell Vision Vestibular System Proprioceptive System Interoceptive System The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz and Lucy Jane Miller All of our brains are wired different, but generally there are certain things that we can do to affect our brains and our bodies based on what information we give it through our senses. Some of my favorite things to do with my kids Straw in the am to drink applesauce or smoothies (crazy straws are even harder) to get more muscle work (proprioception and deep breaths) for more focus Taking regular movement breaks like go noodle during online school or going to the park and swinging, using the monkey bars or going down the slides Blanket roll ups Listening to meditations at night or taking a warm bath with relaxing Epson salts Sensory Integration is the ability of our brain to organize all of the information that we get through our senses.  Usually, as we develop, we do this automatically; however, if for whatever reason our brains have difficult time doing this the Sensory Integration framework is a specific framework or treatment approach that was developed by Dr. Jean Ayers, a neurologist and Occupational Therapist.  The treatment is based on what we know about how the brain works and how sensory motor development happens. Sensory Integration and the Child by Dr. Jean Ayers
39:17 9/28/20
Ep. 7: Building You Up To Be the Mom You Crave To Be with Brandee El-Attar
I am sure that I will say this about a lot of people I interview, but I am over the moon excited for you to listen to the interview today!  My guest and I share so many thoughts and ideas about family and life in general, but she will immediately make you feel comfortable and as if you have known her for years.  I am so so very thankful that I have had the opportunity to meet such a charismatic and caring woman.  She is one of those people that is just genuinely her warm, wonderful and positive self and is full of passion for helping others. So without further delay, meet Brandee. She is a family success coach as well as a behavioral consultant, parent-educator, volunteer extraordinaire, blogger and budding author. She loves making connections, reflecting upon life, and sharing it with others. Helping people navigate the complexities of parenting, managing a kiddo with special needs, or stepping into their own greatness, is where she SHINES.  And she always seeks the lessons from each and every experience and is one who strongly believes in owning your OWN IMPACT. To this end, she aspires to help others find the joy, meaning and deep connectedness in their innermost circles with whom they share their most intimate life  experiences~their family.   Her life’s purpose is to LOVE her people fiercely, as her children are her LEGACY to this world. She wears that responsibility like a prideful ribbon. Her secondary purpose is to be a sharer of the wisdom she gleans along the way. Providing insight and inspiration to help others UP their personal and parenting GROWTH GAME. Her greatest hope is to be a guiding light for those that are seeking clarity, connection and community as they find their own personal formula for fulfillment. To help them release the daily chaos and find their FLOW.   Brandee is thrilled to be pouring into all of you today! Enjoy the interview!   Recommended books: Raising your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown Top 3 takeaways You have to make priorities because if we are focused on everything, we are focused on nothing. That negative energy that is created will spill into all areas of your life. Instead, purposely set up your child’s day for success and it will be a win for both of you. Focus on the strengths of your child and avoid comparing your child to all the other kids. Ask yourself why you want your child to be like everyone else.  You will open up an opportunity to connect with you kids when you focus on your child’s strength, because we don’t need to “fix” our children. Trust your gut and follow through on those feelings. This flows right into the idea to never stop advocating for your child (and then down the road teach your child how to advocate for your child).  You know your child and you need to voice what you feel like your child needs by being an active member of the team, because you are the expert on your child! You can find Brandee at: where they can access information about my Surviving to Thriving and Full Circle Living Coaching Programs and a soon to be released membership program Her private Facebook Community – Purposeful Parenting for Moms with Extraordinary Children
43:27 9/21/20