106: What We’ve Learned from 35 Expert Interviews, with Penny Williams & Sarah Wayland, PhD

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hosted by Penny Williams

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Each year, my friend and colleague, Sarah Wayland, PhD and I gather experts in ADHD, autism, and parenting to share their top insights and strategies on raising kids with ADHD and/or autism in our parenting summits.

In this episode, we are sharing the best insights we learned from this year’s 35 experts, as well as an overview of the Summits and how you can participate in them free. We’re covering diagnosis, emotions, behavior, creating calm, school, life during a pandemic and so much more.


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Penny Williams (00:03): So many of our talks are helping you to identify and define who your child is, where your child is and what their strengths and weaknesses are, and then how to take those and use them to improve their daily experience and improve family life.

Penny Williams (00:29): Welcome to the Parenting ADHD Podcast, where I share insights and strategies on raising kids with ADHD, straight from the trenches. I'm your host, Penny Williams. I'm a parenting coach, author, ADHD-aholic and Mindset Mama, honored to guide you on the journey of raising your atypical kid. Let's get started.

Penny Williams (00:57): Welcome back to the parenting ADHD podcast. In this episode, my good friend, Sarah Wayland, and I are going to be talking about the upcoming parenting ADHD summit and the upcoming parenting autism summit. We have collaborated on both summits this year and are bringing those to you October 19th through October the 22nd. And for those of you who don't know about our parenting summits, there are free and online event completely virtual and online during that time, so that you can learn from many experts in the fields of ADHD, autism, and parenting. And again, you can participate absolutely free, which is amazing. And we'll get a little bit into how to register and what the differences are between the free access and the all access pass. And we're going to talk some about all of the sessions that we have. Some of our speakers, we have some really amazing experts in the summits for 2020, and just give you a really good overview of what to expect and how to register.

Penny Williams (02:04): And also we're going to highlight some of the big ahas and takeaways and tips and strategies that we have learned that the experts are sharing within these summits. So, Sarah, do you want to say a little bit about who you are and what you do really quick for everybody, anybody who hasn't heard you on the podcast before?

Sarah Wayland (02:25): Sure. I am a parenting coach and special needs care navigator, and also a certified RDI consultant that stands for relationship development intervention, which is actually an intervention for parents of kids with autism. I'm helping restore the guiding relationship and then helping your kid learn the skills they need to navigate the world independently. I have my own business, which is called guiding exceptional parents. And you can find [email protected]. I'm located outside of the Washington DC area, but I see most of my clients through zoom. So a little bit about me.

Penny Williams (03:08): Awesome. Yeah. And so many of the principles of RDI really apply to ADHD as well. You bet. Yeah. let's start, I think, with what it is and how it works. So I mentioned a little bit, it's an online conference. Really. We have 30 speakers in the ADHD summit and 30 speakers in the autism summit and you can participate free. So each day during the 19th, through the 22nd of October, there will be eight sessions posted on Monday eight posted on Tuesday, six posted on Wednesday and eight posted on Thursday and you have 36 hours each day to watch those sessions absolutely free. We have participants all over the world every year and there are people who watch every session absolutely free. So it's totally possible for you to do that. And then if you can't do that, or if you want to have access to the sessions forever, you can purchase an all access pass, which we have at the super low sales price of $87 early bird up through October 18th.

Penny Williams (04:17): And then during the event, week the 19th through the 23rd, it's at $97. The value there is tremendous. And I don't know if you want to talk a little bit about this, Sarah too, but to go to a conference like this with 30 experts in person, all of the cost just of attendance of that would be in several hundred dollars. Beverly I usually estimate 700, $800 for 30 experts, and then you've got travel, which isn't even possible right now. And being away from your family and the overwhelm of coming back after being away, you know, you, this is a way to circumvent all of that and have people really be able to access this expert information. And Sarah and I really spend a lot of time curating the information that we provide, right? Sarah.

Sarah Wayland (05:07): Yeah, well we, every year when we start working on the summits, we think about what do we think parents really need to know that will help them to help their kids. So this year we took a slightly different tack than we had last year. And we're actually talking a little bit about the diagnostic process, but, you know, we have talks on a whole lot of different areas that we think parents of kids with ADHD and parents of kids with autism really need to know to help their kids and also help their family function more effectively. Yeah. In a lot

Penny Williams (05:44): Of what we look for, as well as feedback that we've gotten from other parents that we've gotten from our clients, from our social media groups, you know, things that you guys have reached out and said, help me with this, or what do I need to know about this? We look at all of those questions and concerns to map out who we want to have participate in the summit and what we want them to talk about. So a lot of this is, has things that are top of mind for you who are listening right now, things that you are struggling with today, we do dive into the pandemic and virtual schooling and how different life is right now in several of these sessions. We're touching on that as well, because we want it to be really relevant to you right now, but also to carry you through.

Penny Williams (06:34): So many of the principles that we interview these experts on are things that are kind of foundational principles of raising a kid with ADHD and or autism. And so you're learning information. That's going to empower you throughout that journey with your kid and through your family. I think that's a really important piece to know as well. And, and as this, a lot of what I do here on the podcast is trained to give you that foundational stuff, you know, the parenting approaches at work, the strategies that work shifting your mindset, you know, and we keep all of that in mind, too, in what we talk about within these summits. And I think, you know, we should talk about some of our exciting guests. Sarah had the privilege of interviewing Temple Grandin for the autism summit. We have people like Dr. Mona Dellahooke, who wrote the recent book Beyond Behaviors and the authors of the self-driven child, William Stixrud, and Ned Johnson. Anybody else really exciting you want to mention Sarah?

Sarah Wayland (07:40): Yeah. I mean, we have so many people exciting. Yeah. Well, Carol Kranowitz, the author of the out of sync child and a collaborator of hers, Joye Newman. I interviewed about vision and visual issues. And actually that came up during an interview. I did with Kim Clairy, who is an autistic adult, who's talking about eating issues and how they inter autism and eating disorders, how those interact, but vision came up in that discussion. So it's, you know, sometimes there are themes that come through these talks that we don't expect, but they're, they, you know, they keep popping up, you know? So like one of the big themes is how do we keep ourselves as parents calm, you know? And you know, Debbie Reber talked about that, how to, how to stay calm as did Carol and Mona, that's a huge, huge theme of her work too. And Laura Sibbald. So yeah, there's these themes that come up and it's because this is what people have learned really works for helping your child stay calm. You've got to stay calm,

Penny Williams (08:49): Right? There are several kind of themes that people brought up over and over again, experts on different topics even would sort of boil down to a lot of the same handful of themes throughout the summit. And a lot of those are the things that you and I teach parents. You know, we, we both focus on kind of this foundational mind, body connection, seeing behaviors, communication, you know, we have that same approach. That's very sort of boiling it down to the basics because that then drives how everything else goes. You know, you really need those basics of the way that you have to shift for this parenting before you can do really well in other aspects. And that's what a lot of our experts are talking about too. And that's why we have so many of these themes that keep coming up in multiple conversations on the summit, I think is because it's the piece that you need to get first. And then other things go better and sometimes just fall into place even. Well, let's talk a little bit about behavior and how much we've talked about it in the summit. Of course there's Dr. Dellahooke. There's who else on behavior with a flexibility talk with Monica Adler Werner.

Sarah Wayland (10:10): Yes. She talks a lot about how sometimes when your kids are having trouble being flexible, she has ideas for how to communicate with them about recognizing that they're feeling stuck and then some, some nice strategies for how to get through being stuck. So you can get unstuck, you know, things like how to get them to brainstorm about alternative approaches and things like that. Very practical talk that Monica, you know, gave us lots of tips in there.

Penny Williams (10:42): Yeah. And that brings me back to Mona because she talks a lot about bottom up, which I think is what I'm trying to communicate with this foundational strategy is, you know, we have to get to the root of what's causing behavior of what's causing intensity of what's causing a lack of self regulation in order to be able to address specific behaviors of specific, you know, emotional regulation struggles, things like that. Right. That just reminded me that she talks a lot about bottom up. And that's really, I think what most of our experts and you and I would also sort of teach and, and advise parents on,

Sarah Wayland (11:28): For sure. I do love her distinction between behavior that is top down where you think, Oh, I want to do this. And then you make yourself do it. That's a top down behavior, but a bottom up behaviors when you're having a reaction to something. And it's not something that you are willfully trying to control. And what Dr. Dellahooke does that I think is so wonderful is she helps understand that we've been trying to treat a flare up of a bottom up behavior as if it's something that our children can control, you know, and very often they really, you know, they don't have to be violent about it or something like that. Like we can teach them different ways to express their frustration, but sometimes it's really important to understand when something is a reaction to a situation as opposed to a decision to behave in a particular way to gain a certain outcome.

Penny Williams (12:25): Yeah. It goes back to the intention.

Sarah Wayland (12:28): Absolutely. And, you know, penny, something else you were talking about just this mind, body connection I think it's so important and it comes up over and over and over again this awareness of what you are feeling, and then, you know, how can I deal with these big feelings? That's just, you know, everywhere throughout these talks. And one of the things I wanted to mention is we're teaching a live master class to kick the conference off on the 18th, about setting the foundation for that that mind body connection and how that comes to play in kids' behaviors and your own behaviors too.

Penny Williams (13:09): Yeah. The polyvagal theory and bringing in the nervous system and what those physiological kind of symptoms mean for how they are expressed, how emotions and behavior is expressed. And Dr. Dellahooke talked about that here on the parenting ADHD podcast. Back in episode 96, we talked a lot about polyvagal and activation and fight flight or freeze. And I know that she's touched on that here in the summit conversation as well. I also wanted to mention Jackie Flynn's conversation with you about behavior, you know, is your child giving you a hard time or having a hard time. That really is again, it's boiling down. What's the intention, what is happening? What is triggering the intensity or the outbursts that makes you feel like they're giving you a hard time?

Sarah Wayland (14:02): I have to tell you my favorite thing I learned during that interview was that when, when a kid rolls their eyes, it's actually a self-regulation strategy. So this thing that we take is hugely disrespectful. It turns out it's a biological response that when we're distressed, we often look up while we're trying to think of a solution and it's interpreted as rolling your eyes. That really knocked my socks off. When she said that I was like, I had never thought that was a thing yeah.

Penny Williams (14:38): To illustrate how much of the societal norm and assumption is out there. That isn't really true here. We use these things as our guiding principles in parenting. If your kid, their eyes at you, they're being disrespectful and kids can't be disrespectful to their parents. And yet here we're, we're learning that it's a biological response to having a hard time.

Sarah Wayland (15:03): Exactly. I mean, another example of that is like biting, you know, biting, activates your job muscles, right? So we think a kid's a biter. And I mean, I don't want to be bitten, right. But at the same time, this biting and chewing is actually a self regulation strategy because it activates that 10th cranial nerve from polyvagal theory. So, you know, Jackie talked about that and, and, you know, you'll, you'll just see that theme through all these talks, that a lot of the things our kids do that we interpret as sort of trying to inflict harm or something when actually what it is, is a self regulation strategy.

Penny Williams (15:45): Yeah. And I'm sure there's sensory things coming into that to you. You know, my, my own son was never a biter, but as I look back at some of his sensory needs, he has had an intense

Sarah Wayland (15:56): Oral motor need

Penny Williams (15:59): Use everything, and it's gotten better as he's gotten older, but I was a really big issue because he was showing a lot of things that aren't safe for consumption and, you know, showing the ends of pencils until the little metal thing that holds the racers or razor in his mouth. You know, it was a really big issue and, and, you know, he needed that sensory input to focus and, you know, the things that were causing him challenges. So I see biting as kind of can go into that same vein.

Sarah Wayland (16:33): Oh yeah. The chewing thing, my goodness, my, one of my sons literally like he chewed the collar off of every single shirt he ever owned for years. And I would have to, like, if I just started getting stuff at Goodwill, because it wasn't worth it. Like he could wear a shirt or two or three times before he chewed the collar off. So yeah. It collars and sleeves,

Penny Williams (17:00): Like the bottom third of his sleeve would just be wet and big and, you know, stretched out and disgusting and falling apart. Yeah. There's definitely a big link with sensory and behavior and regulation. And so many things boil down to that sensory input and the way we process it, it comes up again and again,

Sarah Wayland (17:22): Yeah. You're talking about sensory stuff. You know, we've got a lot of talks in here about sensory issues. So, you know, certainly Carol Kranowitz is talking about sensory issues, but it also comes up in Kim Clairy's talk for the autism summit. She talked about sensory issues and how those play into eating disorders. But then, you know, it also comes up in Mona Dellahooke's interview, where she talks about, you know, sensory things we do. And it's just what you were just talking about, how our kids are employing these sensory strategies to help them stay calm. And, you know, they do it sort of intuitively or it's like biologically driven, but so much of behavior. I think we're really starting to understand how much of behavior is actually sensory regulation stuff. And it's all about balancing, like balancing the stress. So some stress is good because otherwise your kid just, you know, doesn't do anything all day, but too much stress requires you to downgrade that stress so that you can actually focus instead of freaking out.

Penny Williams (18:32): Yeah. In my conversation with Carol was really all about strategies and games and activities to help your child calm and regulate. So it's packed full of really fun stuff because she has such a heart for kids. And so she describes so many, just really fun, little activities and games where kids, again, they don't know that we're helping them with regulating or with their emotions. They're just playing a game and they're learning, you know, their body is remembering that when I blow the cotton balls across the four to send the little sheep into the pen, it made me calm. And, you know, there were just a lot of those little activities that she talked about and shared that parents can implement right away and really not spend any money. You know, we, weren't talking about getting OT and, you know, I'm sure it came up in the conversation, but we were really focused on what you can do as a parent at home right now, based on kind of your child's sensory profile and what their needs are and what's happening and just really, really helpful information that you can take and immediately start to work with your kid and see some improvements in some areas that are, that are connected to that sensory input and sensory processing.

Sarah Wayland (19:51): Yeah. And Carol is so much fun because she just loves coming up with these creative ideas that are just really fun. I've actually heard her speak in person and she has the whole room like up and moving and doing fun things. It's just like, she's such a delightful person with so many practical, truly fun strategies. I just love her.

Penny Williams (20:14): Yeah. And we talked a little bit about intensity, you know, my conversation with Dr. Sharon Saline as the same, we talked about managing big feelings. How do we help our kids through big feelings? And how do we help ourselves through big feelings is really important, right? We can't help our kids through big feelings if we are not regulating and calming ourselves. And that, again, it ties in, you know, so much of this is just weaving together and creating kind of this big picture of a better approach, a more successful approach to these neuro atypical kids.

Sarah Wayland (20:50): I actually want to just drive home the point that that is true for many of the presentations that this, this idea of the parent and the child like you staying regulated is how your, you create a sense of safety for your child. And then your child feels like they can become calmer because you're being calm. I always say, they're borrowing your calm. And if you're having trouble staying calm, then that means they start feeling, they borrow your you're not calm. And so this, this idea of creating a sense of safety, that's another one that's just, it shows up in many of the talks is how, how can we help our children feel safe, which is just a fundamental prerequisite for good behavior.

Penny Williams (21:42): Yeah, for sure. And co-regulating, you know, a lot of what we're talking about is really co-regulating. And we, we tend to only use that phrase when we're talking about positive co-regulating we stay calm or child can attune to the calm, you know, and we're helping them regulate toward the positive end of the spectrum. But if we're not regulating well, then they're still co-regulating with us toward the negative, you know, making things worse, spiraling out of control and everything in the world, you know, all of human interaction. There's some co-regulation, you know, there's studies that talk about when you're around someone who maybe has a Southern accent, like for my own husband, well, he grew up in the country in Kentucky. He's pretty much lost that you sort of twang, you might describe it as, but when we go visit his family who still lives there, he starts talking that way again, you know, he's kind of mirroring a little bit and that's some of that co-regulation I think, you know, in science shows that we do that. We, I think as part of how we connect with other people and it can be part of how we connect with our kids. It is part, you know?

Sarah Wayland (23:03): Yeah. And you know what, that, that phenomenon you just talked about with your husband, there's actually a term for it, which is called entrainment. So psycho linguists, talk about this, this phenomenon of adapting, your own behavior to match the behavior of the people you are with. And that's part of helping them feel safe around you. And the accent thing is classic. A lot of people do that. And so you, you know, you just sort of adapt your own behavior so that everybody feels like they're on the same wavelength. And then that helps them feel safe.

Penny Williams (23:38): Yeah. And, and we mimic like the nonverbal too, you know, a lot of times if you're talking to someone and their arms are crossed, you'll find that you subconsciously cross your arms also. So there's so much of this. That is part of the biological experience. You know, this is the way we're wired as human beings that is feeding into the behavior that we're seeing, that we want to change. So the more positive calm we can put out there, the more everyone around us in the family, even our, our spouses and our other kids, you know, the siblings can also regulate to that. You know, it's really powerful stuff. Yeah. So let's talk a little bit about day to day, because I know it was an important thing for both of us to cover in the summit because the day to day right now is so different for our kids and for all of us, including connection and social interactions school.

Penny Williams (24:37): And also some of the day to day challenges of functioning with ADHD and or autism. One of the big sessions that we have on just kind of managing and navigating the day to day successfully was my conversation with Seth Perler is an executive functioning coach and talking about, you know, what do we need to understand about our kids? Again, we're going back to that root of what's going on. What do we need to understand about our kids that then helps us know how to help them with their struggles and kind of the day to day functioning. So if you have a really visual kid who has slow processing and maybe some auditory processing struggles, and you're only giving verbal commands or instructions, or you're giving really long instructions, then understanding that part of the way that they are able to function to act on something, to execute, then gives you the ability to create successful strategies that work for your child for the ways that they struggle. And that's not just executive functioning. Of course we can apply them to anything but executive functioning is every part of our day, right? Like we can't manage anything. There's a reason the word function is in that title, executive functioning. It's the way we get things done. It's the way we move through the world. It's the way we interact with other people. It's so much of the day to day. So that was a really, really helpful conversation with Seth as well. Yeah. And, you know, Monica Werner talked a lot about that,

Sarah Wayland (26:24): You know and, and something people don't realize is that self regulation is actually an executive function. And so if an and something we learned during last year's summit that is relevant here too, is that we learn these skills actually through. And so, you know, it's, it's in playing with other kids and interacting with other kids and being social that we learn things like, you know, how to plan or how to be flexible. Monica Werner definitely talks about that and you're, you are so right. That it just permeates every aspect of your being. And so, you know, actually Adam Pletter is talking about regulating yourself in a digital world and how do we teach our kids how to manage electronics exposure and in, in a pandemic, like it's all electronics all the time. Right? And so somehow we have to regulate that and our kids have to learn how to regulate that.

Sarah Wayland (27:30): And so, you know, a lot of this executive functioning stuff is, is just such a critical part of every aspect of how you function and, you know, teaching kids. I mean, I love what you said about the visual information. I think a lot of people, you know, as adults, we're so good at talking and listening and we forget that that's a skill or kids are still still developing. And so it's for them writing it out is often so helpful because then there's kind of a, a thing, a physical thing you can look back at as opposed to it going in one ear and out the other. Yeah.

Penny Williams (28:09): And opposed to them getting lost in a process which so often happens with poor working memory, which is another piece of executive functioning. And, and I know that we've touched on executive functioning in a lot of these conversations, but we had a really in depth conversation with Seth about executive functioning specifically, and how to create the right strategies specific to our kids. So he's not saying, Oh, every kid needs to color code their books and their folders for squall. You know, he's saying, this is what you need to be looking at and deciding where your child is with these different skills and then creating strategies that work with their strengths to help them in those areas. That's a really good overview of executive functioning, which is often really kind of convoluted. I think we make it more complex and more of this kind of high level idea than it really is. And Seth has a great way of really simplifying executive functioning for all of us parents and kids alike,

Sarah Wayland (29:21): You know Dr. Susan Hopkins also talks about how to structure the learning environment so that kids can be successful with definitely with an eye to how to do this at home, during a pandemic. And again, getting to these, you know, these ideas about just how to make it, you know, and it it's, none of this is rocket science. A lot of it is have, have a distraction free environment, or, you know, have one place where your kid goes to do their schoolwork. So understanding what is hard for your kids. So for some kids like paying attention is easier if they have music playing and for other kids that would be really distracting. And so you want to make sure they have a quiet environment. So, you know, just thinking about the individual kids sitting in your house and how to help that child does require understanding who that child is.

Penny Williams (30:15): Exactly. And so many of our talks is helping you to identify and define who your child is, where your child is and what their strengths and weaknesses are, and then how to take those and use them to improve their daily experience and improve family life. You know, I always talk about families with kids, with ADHD or autism. The whole family has it. It's not just your child. The whole family is super impacted, right. And to deny that is, you know, some people think, well, it's not fair to say that we're all struggling. Your child's the one who's super struggling. They're the one who has this different neurology that makes it really hard to navigate the world and the way they're expected, but the hat affects everybody around them. And in a really powerful way, you know, it's not just this little thing, it's a shift that everyone has to make for them as well.

Penny Williams (31:17): And we do touch on that a lot throughout the summit. And you were talking about the home environment for school, and we've talked about that with several of our sessions on both summits. We talk about the school environment if you're doing it at home. So if it's virtual school or even homeschool, which is the reality for a lot of us right now. So we wanted to be sure that we covered that for parents we're covering what you're actually going through right now, a conversation about keeping your kid's locker, clean their backpack clean. If they're not even going to school and using those things, isn't really helpful. It would be later. And we've had those talks. We've had those talks on prior summits. We've had those talks on other podcast episodes. We wanted to just really honor where all of you are right now, where your families are and what you're struggling with.

Penny Williams (32:12): So Brendan Mahan talks about virtual school at home and setting up structure for that so that they can be successful. He also talks a lot with me in that, in that session about the emotional toll of the pandemic, the ways that it's impacting the focus and functioning of our kids, you know, to really keep that in mind and honor it, you know, school expectations have to change during the pandemic. They just have to. And we discussed that in great detail in that conversation and how to kind of let go, how to let go of the expectation of typical school year as a parent, and really then helping to let your child off the hook a little bit to honor the fact that this is a lot harder for them. And, you know, we, we tend to look at it while now you just get to stay home and you are doing school in less amount of time each day. And this is so great. And for our kids, it's not, it's not that they're really struggling with it. And so we have to really step back from what would be my experience in this situation and really look at what is my child's experience in the situation. And nine times out of 10, maybe even more they're totally different.

Sarah Wayland (33:39): Oh yeah. And even different kids are having different experiences. You know, I have, I have two kids and one of them loves online learning and he's rocking it. He's totally doing great. He loves that. He doesn't have pressure to go outside and be sociable with other people, right. And the electronic environment helps him stay organized. So he's just doing great. And my other son is completely falling apart. And so, you know, even in the same family, you have such different kids and they need such different things.

Penny Williams (34:14): Yeah. Even with similar diagnoses, you know, two kids with ADHD are wildly different, wildly different, and that's why it's so important to really, really, really on a microscopic level, understand your child and what their experience is like. Yup. It just changes everything. I wanted to also mention the session that I did with Steph and Rachel of the Learn Smarter Podcast, Stephanie Pitts and Rachel Kapp. They are educational therapists, which the work that they're doing is with kids like ours, who have learning challenges and sitting down and really helping them with what is coming up, you know, different learning disabilities. Could it be executive functioning struggles, you know, all of those things. And so we talked specifically about homework battles in that session, because even when we're at home doing squall, there's still schoolwork to be done at home. And so that was the focus because so many of us get into these power struggles and battles with our kids over homework, over getting schoolwork done at home. And so we devoted an entire session conversation to that struggle and they had so many good insights and strategies that they've shared within that conversation. And again, the topic of changing your mindset as the parent and your expectations and letting go of some things that are just not appropriate for your own child came up in that conversation too. But that's definitely one of the common threads throughout the summit. Yeah.

Sarah Wayland (36:00): And, and, you know, there, there are also talks. We have talks on understanding what dr. Shapiro is talking about how anxiety plays off against ADHD. And it's, it's kind of like a Seesaw, you know, between doing something impulsive or you know, just being in the moment versus anxiety is like the ultimate not being in the moment. And autism, you know, he talks about anxiety and autism as being two conditions where you have really good braking system at ADHD is a system where your braking isn't so effective, but you're really good at the accelerator. And so you're trying to balance between having enough breaks, but also having enough acceleration to get stuff done. And that, that presentation that I know you interviewed Sarah Cheyette.

Penny Williams (36:54): Yeah. Dr. Cheyette. We talked about the overlap between ADHD and autism, which is also, I think, a common thread in this year's summits as well. You know, you, and I know that there are a lot of things that are very common to both and that a lot of the parenting approaches and strategies that are the most helpful are applicable to both parenting kids with ADHD or parenting kids with autism. And so dr. Shat and I devoted a session to a conversation on aware it overlaps here. So many of our kids now are getting that dual diagnosis. Now that it's been available with the latest DSM version, which came out in 2013, I think, and I just see more and more and more every day family saying, Oh, my kid with ADHD has also added the autism spectrum diagnosis or vice versa. And it's really becoming very common.

Penny Williams (37:55): And as I talked to her about the way that some of these things are intertwined, it becomes very clear why there's so much of the dual diagnosis. There's so many things that overlap and, and what we really focused on was, okay, so you're seeing this specific behavior or symptom. It could be ADHD, it could be autism and how, you know, the differences by looking at why that behavior is happening. So for social struggles, for instance, with ADHD, it could be because the child is hyper. They talk a lot and they're just really to other kids. And so the other kids aren't interacting so much with them. They're not inviting them over for parties and play dates, but if it's autism, then it could be more of nonverbal. Communication is a lost of the mechanics of that social interaction. If that's what you're looking at, then that would steer you potentially more toward the autism end of that spectrum. And really interesting. She also talked to you about anxiety weaving into that, about headaches. She's a neurologist, a pediatric neurologist. So a lot of that brain science is there, but in a way that just helps us understand our kids more really simple and digestible way of explaining some of that for all of us who are not neurologists and brain scientists, because we need that as parents.

Sarah Wayland (39:34): Yup. And you know, penny, one thing we haven't covered yet is that there are talks in here about how do you empower your child to take on what they need to take on in understanding themselves and then, you know, doing the hard work of trying to deal with whatever challenges they're dealing with and also honoring the strength that they have. And we have a number of talks.

Penny Williams (40:02): Yeah. I know dr. Kranzler his talk in the autism summit fits into that bucket, helping kids with autism, be able to power through discomfort and tackle hard things, which has been a huge challenge for my own kid. As of late me too,

Sarah Wayland (40:22): This issue of how do you help your kid face their challenges without overwhelming them and helping them feel manageable? Like, yes, this is hard, but there are ways that they can manage them and accommodate. And in some cases learn strategies for coping with them. And so, you know, just empowering our kids to feel like they have agency over their own lives. And it's not just that they, you know, they have to toe the line. Like we want them to feel empowered to do what they want to do.

Penny Williams (41:03): Yeah. And when they have that sense of control, things go so much better, so much better. It helps with anxiety, of course, but it also just helps in the day to day navigating things, having the confidence that you can navigate things, the more control you have, the more capable we tend to feel.

Sarah Wayland (41:26): Right. And this is, this is touched on a lot in the talk with the authors of a wonderful called The Self-Driven Child Bill Stixrud through to Ned Johnson, really talk about how do you, as a parent, give your kid the control. They need to be excited about building their life.

Penny Williams (41:45): Yeah. Super powerful conversation. I talk a lot with a multitude of parents and coaching about how to give your kids a sense of control in their life and nuts, not to say, go off and do whatever you want to do. I don't care. You know, we're not, we're not abandoning our parenting. We're just helping them to feel like they have some control. We can give measured options and choices for them. We can ask them what they need instead of trying to dictate to them what we think they need. And that really makes such a huge difference before we wrap up, I want to make sure that we talk about the things that are new this year to the summit. I'm sure many of the parents listening have been involved in some of our summits before in 2018 and 2019. And we've added some new stuff this year that I think both of us are really excited about.

Penny Williams (42:39): You had mentioned the kickoff masterclass on the October, the 18th, where we're going to talk all about the role of the brain, body connection and what role that plays in our child's behavior. And that is available for everyone who registers for the summit free access or all access pass. And it'll be a really great foundation for diving into the summit. The next day, we also have a live round table panel that I think is really exciting with four other mothers who all have adult kids with either ADHD or autism or both. And they're going to share some of the things that they wished they knew when their kids were younger, that can help you out there who have younger kids. They're also going to talk about some things that were helpful. I'm sure we'll talk some about the launch. I'm launching our kids and struggling with that because that's a reality for many of our kids in our population, and that is available just to those who purchase the all access pass.

Penny Williams (43:47): And that will be on Friday, October 23rd. And I think what's most exciting about that actually is that we're going to do virtual breakout groups and let you parents communicate with each other, talk about the similarities and support each other, and really just be able to have some time to chat with some people who actually get it. They get what you're going through. I think that's really going to be so powerful for so many of our families and also a great way I think, to wrap up a week of learning of the summit and because we typically leave the summit feeling empowered and kind of fired up for our kids. And, you know, it builds a lot of that energy and being able to really network and talk each other, I think is just going to add another level to that. Anything you want to add Sarah about the round table?

Sarah Wayland (44:37): Well, I'm excited about the round table, because like you said, these are parents who are further along in the journey than the rest of us. And so I do notice as my kids get older, I look back at things I did when the kids were younger. And I think why was I worried about that? I should have been worried about this. You know, I think, I think sometimes the perspective of who your kids have become and, and also looking towards the time when they aren't going to be living with you anymore. You know, what do you want to have them remember about their childhood with you and think about how to make that possible for your family? I think it's, it's, it really does give you a different perspective on what you worry about.

Penny Williams (45:23): Yeah, absolutely. Because there are many things that we worry about that we learn later. We really didn't need to, maybe they weren't as important as we thought they were. I've had a lot of those sort of ahas in the last couple of years. There's been a lot of things that I've been able to kind of let go of that. I realized just weren't as important as, as I was making them out to be, as I was stressing them and building them up to be. So I think there's going to be so much great experience shared through that. And the third thing that's really different this year is we also have some sponsors who have given us some products to give away to all of our participants. Again, this is for everyone free access or all access pass sponsors like Harkla who is giving a weighted blanket to a lucky participant of the summit time timer has given us a couple of their products and really, which is an app to help kids with routine and instructions and follow through and executive functioning. So many great products that we're going to have two items given away every day during those four days of the summit. I think it's really exciting. These are all companies and products that Sarah and I have experience with that we believe in that we know are helpful to many families with ADHD or autism. So I think that's a fun element. I'm excited to give away some stuff. That's always exciting to do that.

Sarah Wayland (46:59): So we

Penny Williams (47:01): Love for all of you to participate in these summits, of course, and we would love for you to come and learn from these experts and just get this knowledge and experience. Even if you just are able to get a little bit of it, you're going to come away with some better understanding and you're going to be empowered to help your kids more. You can find the links to register for the summits at parentingsummits.com. I will put direct links to each of the summits, the ADHD summit, and the autism summit in the show notes for this episode as well. If you want to go to parentingADHDandautism.com/106, you will find the direct links to register. So you can register for the ADHD summit, free participation, or you can upgrade and get the all access pass and the autism summit, the same you can register for free or purchase the all access pass.

Penny Williams (48:04): The one other thing that we didn't talk about is what else you get without all access pass. So I'll do that really quickly. Obviously you get access to that round table and parent networking that we were talking about on Friday night, you also get a bonus, a download from every single one of our speakers. So each summit has 30 download bonuses, and you also get a coaching call, a group coaching call with Sarah and I in November a followup to what you learned and how you're able to implement it and make change in your families and how we can help you with that. You also get with the all access pass the audio versions of all the sessions, and we have found a way for you to be able to download them into iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. As a podcast, you can listen on the go, you can be in the therapist waiting room, you can be driving down the road for an appointment, whatever it is, you can listen to you. All of these sessions on the Go, just making it really easy for you to incorporate this learning into your chaotic and busy family life. So lots of benefits, lots of value in that package. If you decide to upgrade and purchase the all access pass. So we are so excited to have this coming up soon, and we hope that you'll register again. You can go to parenting summit.com to register, and I think that's it for us about the 2020 summits we'll wrap up and end here, and I will see everyone next time.

Penny Williams (49:39): Thanks for joining me on the parenting ADHD podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share, and don't forget to check out my online courses, parent coaching and mama retreats at parentingadhdandautism.com.

Thank you!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it. Have something to say, or a question to ask? Leave a comment below. I promise to answer every single one. **Also, please leave an honest review for the Beautifully Complex Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and appreciated! That's what helps me reach and help more families like yours.

I'm Penny Williams.

I help stuck and struggling parents (educators, too) make the pivots necessary to unlock success and joy for neurodivergent kids and teens, themselves, and their families. I'm honored to be part of your journey!

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I'm your host, Penny.

Join me as I help parents, caregivers, and educators like you harness the realization that we are all beautifully complex and marvelously imperfect. Each week I deliver insights and actionable strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids — those with ADHD, autism, anxiety, learning disabilities…

My approach to decoding behavior while honoring neurodiversity and parenting the individual child you have will provide you with the tools to help you understand and transform behavior, reduce your own stress, increase parenting confidence, and create the joyful family life you crave. I am honored to have helped thousands of families worldwide to help their kids feel good so they can do good.

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