Bringing Up Betty | True Tales of Special Needs Parenting

Bringing Up Betty is a podcast about the unique experiences that come with raising special needs kids. The podcast is a collection of narrative interviews with parents who are raising children with disabilities, developmental delays, diseases and other challenges.
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Bringing Up Betty | True Tales of Special Needs Parenting


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Now displaying: 2016
May 31, 2016

We're kicking off summer with a special mini episode! Kathy Hooven's 14 year old son Ryan has autism. Last summer he attended a choral camp and at the final concert Kathy had some surprising realizations. Tune in to hear her story.

May 17, 2016

Donna Kirk's son Matthew was born in 1970. Due to oxygen deprivation during delivery he was born with severe brain damage and doctors advised Donna and her husband Ed to do the unthinkable - put him in an institution, have another baby as soon as possible, and get on with their lives. They called him a vegetable with a heartbeat.

In this episode, you'll hear what happened with the Kirks rejected the advice of their doctors and took Matthew home to care for and love him as their son. Spoiler alert: he surprised everyone and had a fabulous life! Matthew was a child with brain damage, a young man with mental illness and a son and brother with extraordinary spirit. I loved gaining additional perspective from a mom who has been parenting her disabled son for so many years. I hope you will too - enjoy!

Donna has written a beautiful memoir of Matthew's life and her experience as a his mother. I was surprised to read about so many experiences that felt familiar and relatable. Despite the difference in diagnosis, generation and medical advice given at the time, I saw so many parallels to to my own experiences as a mother.


Visit Donna's Website

Donna's Book Finding Matthew on Amazon

More information about Pica

Music for today’s episode from Kevin MacLeod

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Apr 26, 2016

Today we're doing something a little different. Betty's been sick and I didn't want to wait yet another week to put a new episode out, so instead I'm sharing a few uncut chunks of my chat with Mary Evelyn Smith that didn't make it into her story in episode #17. I had such a great time chatting with Mary Evelyn and found her so relatable. I think you'll really enjoy this unedited discussion on a few different topics.

To sum it up, we chat about:

The new (intense) forms of mom guilt that show up when your child's early childhood involves a lot of therapy (or maybe Mary Evelyn and I are just both really good at beating ourselves up?)
How to ruin any fun/relaxing/enjoyable activity
The terrible selection of children's books about disability and differences
How to approach and teach your child about disabilities
The connections that our kids (and their siblings) are not making about the world
The responsibility we have as parents in shaping how our kids will be viewed and treated
If you haven't had a chance, visit Mary Evelyn's blog, where she chronicles her family's beautiful (but real) life.


Today's episode is sponsored by ezpz. The silicone ezpz Happy Mat has been a game changer for our family! It means Betty can eat at the table with us - without flinging a plate or tipping a bowl. Use the promo code BETTY at checkout to save 20% on your ezpz order today!

Apr 5, 2016

Robert Thornton is the founder and CEO of Paper Clouds Apparel, a business he launched to change lives and serve the special needs and disabled communities.

Mar 22, 2016

Mary Evelyn Smith tells the story of becoming a mother to her son Simeon, who has spina bifida, and daughter Franny, who does not have a disability. She explains why constant attention can be exhausting, and how parenting a child with special needs can make you feel like you've got a big secret.

Mar 8, 2016

In "Expectations and IEPs," Sarah tells the story of Betty's transition out of Early Intervention and into the public education system. How they made the first round of tough decisions about Betty's future, plus bidding farewell to the first round of Betty's wonderful helpers.


Episode 16 Show Notes