PAP 003:

What Your Child’s Behavior Is Actually Telling You

with Sarah Wayland, PhD

On this episode of the Parenting ADHD Podcast, I talk with Sarah Wayland, PhD, a Consultant and Special Needs Care Navigator, of Guiding Exceptional Parents. Sarah and I have known each other for several years, after meeting at the Happy Mama Retreat. She truly understands kids with ADHD and autism and always offers great insights in informed and compassionate parenting.

When my son was struggling with some serious increased anxiety and crisis behaviors about two years ago, Sarah introduced me to the concept of “behavior is communication.” It is a profoundly powerful parenting perspective.

On this show, Sarah and I discuss what “behavior is communication” means, what behaviors parents see that are actually communicating something else, and how to let this knowledge guide you to more effective parenting for your child with behavioral and/or developmental disorders.

Resources in this Episode

NOTE: Some of the resources below may be affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission (at no cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

Ross Greene: and The Explosive Child

Ross Greene’s ALSUP to identify problem areas and lagging skills:

Brenda Smith Myles Rumble Rage Cycle: her book: High-Functioning Autism & Difficult Moments

Martin Seligman’s The Optimistic Child

Dr. Dan Shapiro’s website:

Sarah also outlines the “STEPS” process to problem solving:

“STEPS” to problem solving

  1. Say what the problem is.
  2. Think about all possible solutions.
  3. Examine each possible solution.
  4. Pick the best solution.
  5. See how it works.

(more details here:

My Guest


Sarah Wayland, Ph.D. founded her company, Guiding Exceptional Parents, to help parents learn how to confidently and effectively help their children with ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, and other brain-based differences at home, at school, and in the community.

In addition to hosting trainings, lecturing, and working with individual clients, Sarah is co-editor of the book “Technology Tools for Students with Autism”, and has written articles for the 2e Newsletter, Washington Parent Magazine, and the Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. You can learn more at

Thanks for joining me!

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