204: The Science of Stuck, with Britt Frank

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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“A brain that feels safe will not get stuck.” That’s how Britt Frank, author of “The Science of Stuck,” explains the connection between a sense of psychological safety and being stuck. In this episode, she not only shares that understanding of why we get stuck, but she outlines her step-by-step process to move through stuckness, something we’re all too often trying to help our neurodivergent kids do. Listen in and learn about the power of choice as well.


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My Guest

Britt Frank, MSW, LSCSW, SEP is a clinician, educator and trauma  specialist. She speaks and writes widely about the mental health myths that  keep us stuck and stressed. Britt received her BA from Duke University and  her MSW from the University of Kansas, where she later became an award winning adjunct professor. She is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and  Level 3 trained in the Internal Family Systems therapeutic model. Britt was  a primary therapist at a drug and alcohol treatment center, an inpatient  therapist at a children’s psychiatric hospital, and now owns a private  practice. You can find Britt on Instagram @brittfrank or on her website www.ScienceOfStuck.com.



Britt Frank 0:03

Validating a child doesn't mean you're cosigning on a bad behavior, a bad choice or somehow further instilling this as a belief system, you're just saying, Hey, I see you, you're struggling. I don't agree with why you're struggling. I don't get why you're struggling. But I see you're struggling is going to work so much faster than stop struggling? Or why are you struggling?

Penny Williams 0:26

Welcome to the beautifully complex podcast, where I share insights and strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids straight from the trenches. I'm your host, Penny Williams. I'm a parenting coach, author and mindset mama, honored to guide you on the journey of raising your atypical kid. Let's get started. Welcome back to the beautifully complex Podcast. Today, I am thrilled to be talking to Britt Frank, who is the author of the science of stuck, and we're going to talk all things stuckness to make up a new word maybe, and how that relates both to the struggles that we see in our kids, but also in ourselves as adults and in our own parenting. And just that journey in and of itself can often raise these times where we just get bogged down with the negativity and the hard stuff. And so I'm so excited to have this conversation with Brett and to really give you guys some tools to help you to figure out how to get unstuck, right. So thanks for being here. Brett. Can you start by letting everyone know who you are and what you do?

Britt Frank 1:39

Yeah, and thanks so much for having me. So my name is Britt Frank, and I'm a trauma therapist. And I also had a play therapy practice. So when I was early in my career, I started with child development and kids and figuring out how kids do human being. I'm a recovering hot mess myself. So not that kids are hot messes, but I was and you know, drug addiction, relational dysfunction, just a whole host of things. And somehow I managed to cobble together recovery. And now I specialize in really the neuroscience of mental health and how we do and why we do I'm not a neuroscientist by any stretch. But when we know just a few things about our brains, and how attachment works, and just some basic brain science 101 It's really amazing how much things can actually change for the better.

Penny Williams 2:25

Yeah, that understanding of kind of the interconnectedness of our biology and our feelings, and our emotions, and our behavior and all these things is so powerful. I want to start just by talking about what do we mean by being stuck?

Britt Frank 2:44

I love that question. Because stuck could mean so many different things for so many different people, for me stuck meant my mental health challenges. For parents duck could mean trying every single tool trick tip under the sun and it not working. Stuck could mean I feel like I'm crazy. And I don't know why things are happening. And there's no such thing as a crazy person stuck can feel like there's this giant gap between the things I know I'm supposed to do. And the choices I'm actually making what's wrong with me. So I don't want us stuck in situations where there's abuse or oppression or you know, a lack of choices. But assuming that you have your basic needs met, assuming you have access to basic resources, stuck means I don't understand why this thing is happening. It must be me. And by and large, it isn't. Hmm.

Penny Williams 3:32

Can you expand on that?

Britt Frank 3:35

Sure. And again, I liken it to Driver's Ed, you know, like, you don't need to be an auto mechanic to drive your car, you just need to know enough to know where the things are, so you can get around. But if I put a six year old behind the wheel of a car, they're not going to know what to do, they're going to make a giant mess. And we don't blame the six year olds, we don't blame the car, we say, you know, developmentally, you don't have the skill level to drive. And for adults, we were never taught, hey, you have a brain and you have a central nervous system. And here's the brain's brake. And here's the brain's gas pedal. And so we're constantly driving off the road and blaming ourselves. And it's just not. So again, if we know, Hey, your brain does this, when this kind of stress happens. And procrastination is a stress response. It's not a moral failing. Again, we can take the shame off, we can't take the complexity of our lives away or the pain of our realities away. But we can certainly take the shame off and the confusion off, which makes a huge difference when you're feeling stuck.

Penny Williams 4:33

Yeah. And I feel like we are going toward a conversation about our autonomic nervous system, and maybe linking in polyvagal theory, which we know well here, beautifully complex and in the work that I do. And I'm just wondering, is that kind of the foundation for understanding our brains that you use as well?

Britt Frank 4:55

Yes, and I love polyvagal theory and my problem with it And I have no problem with Dr. Porges. He's amazing and brilliant is that it's so hard to learn. Yeah, because it's so technical. And so in my book, I just created a cartoon playground. It's like, okay, if your swing is swinging up and around the poles like that sympathetic over activation, if you've fallen off the swing set, and you're lying face down in the dirt, that's dorsal vagal shutdown. And so I'm really big on taking these very, very complex mechanical neuroscience the jargon and making it accessible and understandable. So we can actually implement it because polyvagal is genius. But it's not useful if we don't know how it works and practical ways to implement it.

Penny Williams 5:39

Yeah, yeah, the science of it can be very complicated and overwhelming, and all the specific terms and learning them. And I love that you're simplifying it for people, because I feel like for me, it explains so much when I learned about polyvagal theory and the autonomic nervous system, and how it's sort of guiding the ship. Yes, right. Yes, yes. Yes, yeah. And so when we understand that, my goodness, how much more do we understand ourselves? Or as parents? How much more do we understand what's going on with our kids, and I love your analogies for the different states of the nervous system. It's something that people can really visualize, right? Because that's what we need, we need to understand that if we're super activated, that's because our nervous system is activated, right. And our nervous system is in overdrive. And it needs something I always talk about, you know, the, the different mistakes of the nervous system are really signals their messages, what are they trying to tell us?

Britt Frank 6:38

Yes. And as a child, oh, my God, if I could have learned at eight at nine at seven at four, hey, this is what your brain is doing, I wouldn't have felt like such a crazy person, I wouldn't have felt like a bad kid. It's like, and when I did play therapy, you can teach the stuff in a very age appropriate way. Kids are so relieved when they're like, Oh, my brain is doing a thing, which means I have choice power. And regardless of what a child is struggling with, anywhere, they're aware of choices, they're going to be less dysregulated. And so, you know, let's make polyvagal appropriate and teach it to the kiddos to you know, with colors. Hey, do you feel red today, red would be you know, sympathetic over activation, or dark green, like slimy sludgy green might be dorsal vagal. But like you can teach them hey, when you feel like a big noodle, that's all wet, that's green. When you feel like you're a volcano that's about to explode, that's red. And then instead of saying, Hey, how was your day? Because most kids are like, I don't know. Ask them what color are you today? Or what colors did you feel today? There's so many beautiful ways of looping in the neuroscience to kids so that they understand what's going on?

Penny Williams 7:49

Yeah, what color are you today, I love that so much. That's a great conversation starter to to connect with our kids, which is also so important. Because we know that our nervous system is sort of firing on all cylinders. Everything's going really well when we're connected. And we're feeling that connection.

Britt Frank 8:08

Right. And what we know is, you know, when our nervous system is dysregulated words are really tricky. I know very capable grownups who can't find their words when they're dysregulated. Yeah, so for a child cutting out different colored circles. And when they can't talk, just have them put outside their door, what colors they're feeling. And it's a great way to create more language besides words, which largely become unavailable when our neocortex goes offline. So let's like, make our language and our words and our vocabulary bigger so that we have more tools to communicate, because I know when I don't have words, because I'm panicking or depressed or whatever, it feels really isolating and lonely. And for a child, they just think there's something wrong with me. And there isn't.

Penny Williams 8:51

Yeah. And I'm imagining that we can use those what color are you today with even adolescents and young adults?

Britt Frank 9:00

Oh, they love it because they don't have to talk? Right?

Penny Williams 9:04

Yeah, put the color on your door. I will not bother you. We don't need to talk or see you. Yeah, I love it. I'm going to implement that right away. That's amazing.

Britt Frank 9:13

And for teenagers who are struggling with severe mental health challenges, I get concerned parents want to make sure they're safe. But as someone who's treated teens, it's really annoying for teens to be asked 20 times a day. Are you safe? Are you safe? Are you safe, but if purple is your I'm not in a great place, but I'm safe color, then you can just send a purple emoji or put purple on your door. And again, that's a nonverbal way of communicating. I'm safe and that way the parent and child can connect without having to go through the Are you okay, what's going on? You know, you flinch. Does that mean this does that mean this, so let's simplify it. Yeah.

Penny Williams 9:47

And I'm glad that you brought up the feeling of safety. Because that's so important in this conversation when we're talking about our nervous system and why we feel certain ways it's really boils down to do you feel safe, or do you feel unsafe. Right. And that's, of course, part of polyvagal theory and neuroception. But also, in general, it's such a powerful focus for us, because it removes that judgment, right, just as you were talking about earlier. So often we label things with judgment and shame. And when we look at it through that different lens, we're not going there, we're taking a different, more hopeful path.

Britt Frank 10:26

Exactly. And you know, self compassion isn't just Oh, be nice to yourself. And, you know, excuse all of the things for your children to self compassion will prevent a flood of cortisol. And we know that if you're flooded with cortisol, you're gonna have more of the thing you don't want, whether that's a behavior or a state of dysregulation in yourself. So I mean, there's a lot of science to back up, why shame is not an efficient way to get from A to B.

Penny Williams 10:52

Yeah, yeah. Let's talk about getting unstuck. Now, what sort of strategies and tools are there? I know, there's a lot of different ways that we get stuck. And our brains and our nervous systems are all different. But I bet there's some sort of common general strategies or ideas there.

Britt Frank 11:09

It really starts with the story that we're telling ourselves about whatever the state of stuck is, of whatever topic, if you can start by saying and say this out loud to yourself, Okay, I'm not crazy. This makes sense. I don't know why this makes sense. I don't know how this makes sense. But I just because I don't know why it makes sense doesn't mean that it doesn't that's wordy. So you can shorten that to tell yourself this makes sense. Like somewhere, someone could decode this, I don't have time to decode it. But this makes sense. Because if we start with the assumption that there is a reason for everything, even if we don't know what it is, that's going to at least point us in the right direction. So step one, remind yourself, I have no idea why this is happening. But it makes sense. I'm not crazy, because there's no such thing as crazy. Then step two, don't ask why ask what are three choices available to me right now, that can help me feel safer, a little less threatened, a little more resourced? Have those three, pick one and do it and if the three are too big and too hard, make them smaller, we need to get to a choice point. Because trying to, you know, analyze our state of stuckness just creates, you know, the whole analysis paralysis thing. You know, in order to get from stuck to go, we need to make a choice. So instead of asking, Why am I stuck, just affirm that it makes sense. And we'll figure out why later. And then step two, what are three choices? Not next week, not after I buy the day planner? Not next year? What are three choices right now, have those pick one and go? Because stuck turns in to go, the second you do anything, like stuck becomes unstuck, the minute you make any choice of any size in any direction, even if it's the wrong one? If it's a small choice, and it's wrong, then you can course correct as you go.

Penny Williams 12:50

Yeah, that's so powerful the idea of choice in here. And it's not necessarily something I've related to this, but I talked about it all the time with parents, like, we have to give kids some sense of control. Otherwise, when there's no control, it's very just regulating, if I don't know what's gonna happen to me, I don't know when it's coming, I'm afraid of what might be coming. I'm completely dysregulated. And then I am not functioning optimally, right? So as a kid, and adults, too, is true for adults too. But in the conversation about parenting, we've got to find ways to give kids a sense of control. And that choice is typically how we do it, right? Because we also need to keep them safe boundaries, and all of these things. So by giving choices, were sort of tackling both sides of that.

Britt Frank 13:42

Exactly. And giving kids choices. This is the whole like, love and logic theory takes the need for us to freak out and argue and get in the dirt scrapping off the table. It's okay, you can choose this, or you can see when I did play therapy, I didn't have very many roles. But one was, there are no hurts, and you know, we don't hurt ourselves or each other, or the toys. And it's like, well, if you choose this, then you're choosing to end our session. And then it's on the sprayer. So mean, and I didn't need to get defensive or mad. It's just well, you know, like, it's a bummer that we have to unsession. And then I could and again, this is not as a parent's this is as a therapist, which is a whole different ballgame. But the concepts the same. It's if the child is making a choice, the parent doesn't have to be defensive, and then the parent can stay connected and be that CO regulating resource for the child, instead of it being a power struggle all the time.

Penny Williams 14:31

Yeah, yeah. And we get in so many power struggles, oh, my gosh, so many power struggles, because I think it's partly societal. But I think it's partly also just our nature. And maybe it's our own fear and anxiety, actually, as I'm saying, as you control our kids right to control what they're doing. We feel like we're supposed to be doing that. And so understanding that number one, you have to throw that out. That that's not what it means. Everything is about, it's about helping guide this kiddo to whatever their destination is not what our idea of where they should go, then we're relinquishing a little bit of control ourselves to, I think, help not stay so stuck in the things that aren't coming to fruition. For our neuro divergent families, some of the things that we dreamed about parenthood or about what childhood would be like for our kids aren't necessarily reality, or at least not at the same sort of stage of development. And so we can get really stuck in the fact that our kids aren't where the kids around them are. Or we can, you know, relinquish the fact that we have no control over that, and focus on what we can do. Right?

Britt Frank 15:53

Which includes grieving. And I know so many parents who feel guilty for feeling sad that the childhood that they dreamed of is not an available option. And then it's oh, I should be just grateful that you know, that I have this, and I have this, you know, well, at least I can and all of the 1000s of ways we minimize our reality, you know, perspective on access and resources and privileges useful, like yes, it's great that you can have five specialists for X, Y, and Z. And and here's the big and you get to grieve the things that you were hoping for, you get to grieve not just the things that happen, but you get to grieve the things that don't get to happen. And not only do you get to grieve, it's essential for nervous system regulation, that if you're in pain, that you name it, own it, and let yourself have that experience. Because nothing is going to spin out an adult person or a child faster, and trying to gaslight themselves out of how they feel. If you're grieving, and you feel guilty for grieving, the guilt is not helpful, nor does it take away the grief now you just have a double dose to deal with. So let's go straight to the heart of the matter. You're allowed to grieve that this was not what you expected that this was not what you planned, you're allowed to grieve that certain things are going to be harder for your child, for your family for you as a parent, and we need to extend that kind of permission. Otherwise, you know, I see this behind closed doors every day. I don't work with children anymore. But when I work with parents, there's so much guilt and shame for having any feelings other than delighted blissful. I love my child. And we need to give permission for all the feelings to exist.

Penny Williams 17:26

Yeah, something you just said really struck me and I want to talk more about it, which was talking ourselves out of how we feel. I have anxiety. And I've struggled with it a lot over the years, especially as a teenager, and young adult. And, you know, I think we try to say okay, well, the anxiety isn't real, like I can't be anxious right now. I shouldn't be anxious right now. Or, you know, we try to will it away doesn't work, and it doesn't work. So what does work.

Britt Frank 17:57

And it's counterintuitive, and people get mad at me when I say you know, your anxiety is actually there to help you. I don't like it either. I've had chronic anxiety my entire life. I understand how debilitating and terrifying and uncomfortable it is. Nevertheless, metaphor alert, here we go. It's the smoke alarm of your brain. You know, anxiety is there to tell you that there is a problem. Now, when your smoke alarm is going off all day every day and there's not actually a fire. That's a problem. But the problem isn't that the smoke alarm is trying to hurt you or trying to cause chaos. It's that the smoke alarm is miswired and we need to fix it. Not that we need to fix ourselves. But you know what I mean? Like we need to rewire the smoke alarm. So it only goes off when there's a fire. Often anxiety is our smoke alarm going off unnecessarily. But more often our smoke alarm is going off. We don't think it should be that big of a fire. So we tried to pretend it's not there. And again, the fastest way to you know work our way through a symptom is to go straight forward into it.

Penny Williams 18:59

Right? Yeah. And then that would help to not be stuck there.

Britt Frank 19:04

Would also help dial down the intensity. Nothing will spin a panic episode faster than oh my god, I'm panicking about panicking. And now I'm panicking because I'm panicking, right but if you can stop and say wow, I am experiencing a panic episode. I am experiencing a I've done this where I'm like in the fetal position rocking in my bathroom and I'm saying out loud to myself. This is a panic episode. I don't like this. This is bad. This is my brain trying to help me I'm not being attacked. Okay, I need to figure out what's going to help me feel safe right now. Versus Oh my God, what's wrong with me? Stop panicking. Just stop, take a deep breath, do your box breathing. You know, all of those things are great. But Dr. Dan Siegel says Name it detainment. So if you're experiencing something and we don't always have time to work ourselves through anxiety, sometimes you have to get up and go regardless of how you feel. But even then saying to yourself as you're doing whatever needs to be done. Okay, my body is perceiving danger. That makes sense. And then going back to number one, validate it makes sense now Number two, what are three choices? And those little step one, step two hacks are appropriate no matter what you're experiencing, to whatever degree you're able, because it only takes five seconds to say this makes sense? What are my choices?

Penny Williams 20:12

Yeah, and those can be so helpful for parents and just thinking about as you're talking, the fact that it's really easy for people who don't experience anxiety to minimize Oh, my god, yeah, they just don't get it. My husband does not experience anxiety, he just doesn't get it. And sometimes he thinks, you know, you're being irrational, you're, you know, everything's fine. Just turn it off, basically. And we do that to our kids to when we don't get it when we haven't been there. And so these two steps can really help parents help kids work through some of the anxiety as well.

Britt Frank 20:52

And it doesn't mean that we're agreeing with the symptom. You know, I may not agree with why someone is having a meltdown. My husband doesn't experience the same types of things either. But I've, I've educated him, Hey, if you see me spinning, you don't need to agree with why I'm spinning and you don't need to understand it, but you can. Validating a child doesn't mean you're cosigning on a bad behavior, a bad choice. We're somehow further instilling this as a belief system, you're just saying, Hey, I see you you're struggling. I don't agree with why you're struggling. I don't get why you're struggling. But I see you're struggling, is going to work so much faster than Stop struggling, or why are you struggling?

Penny Williams 21:28

Yeah. And instead of the child or the adult, for some of us getting stuck on what's going wrong, that idea of saying, what are three things that I can do in this moment? shifts that viewpoint, that perspective that we're trying to navigate the anxiety with?

Britt Frank 21:49

And we're not practiced? You know, when you get on airplanes, we all hear the spiel 100 times, and they know that they need to give us that Spiel 100 times because in case of an emergency, we all need to have that information ingrained in our heads. Yep. But we don't do fire drills for anxiety. Yeah. And as adults, this was a play therapy technique, but it's useful for adults, too, is like, let's practice resourcing when you're not on fire. Okay? What are three places in the house that we can go if we're feeling red, or if we're feeling achy, you know, whatever words you want to use, ready, set, go, turn on the song, go to the snuggly blanket, grab the whatever, but we don't practice these skills. And then we wonder why when things are emergencies, we can't remember what we're supposed to do.

Penny Williams 22:34

And love practicing it like a fire drill. visuals, yes. And I'm just like seeing us running around the house practicing that's fine.

Britt Frank 22:44

Doing that is also regulating, like it's inherently regulating to play games. And so having anxiety fire drills, besides being a good preventative measure for when it happens is also just a naturally regulating activity.

Penny Williams 22:59

Yeah. And it does have to be ingrained to be able to call on it when you are exactly enrolling. Because we know again, the biology is that the more dysregulated we are, the less access to our thinking brain, we really have, we're not able to rationalize to sometimes process language, all of these things. And so understanding that helps us to know that okay, I need to call these skills first, because I can't really think through this thing right now I can't problem solve in that moment.

Britt Frank 23:35

Yes. And with neuro divergence, we need an again, an expanded vocabulary besides words. So maybe there's a favorite song that a kiddo has that, you know, when they put it on, it always makes them feel regulated doesn't mean they have to feel happy. We're not trying to get we're not trying to take feelings and make them go away. We're trying to take a dysregulated nervous system, create enough regulation, so that feeling isn't flooding and creating a chaotic environment. So use music, use senses use, you know, pillows, use whatever makes sense. You know, every parent knows the language of their child. Like when I was a kid, I had this weird thing where I carried pillowcases around 24/7 That was my stem. And that would have been my fire drill. You know, go get the pillowcase. And that's my thing. Like that's not going to be in any textbook anywhere because that was my thing. But figure out what the things are. What are the things that create regulation? What are the things that promote the conditions for a safer experience of an uncomfortable feeling and practice?

Penny Williams 24:34

Yeah, lots of practice. When things are calm. Yeah, I think were always sort of putting out fires. And especially before we learn how to navigate parenting with neurodivergent kids, we are more like in crisis mode. Just trying to get through the day, right? And this switch to being proactive, can make all of that so much better. but it's sometimes it's really hard to find those moments of calm, where you can teach skills where you can practice what to do to help in all of those more elevated and intense situations.

Britt Frank 25:15

It's tough because life is busy and carving out the time to build these skills isn't an on, you know, it's not a crisis the what is it? The four quadrants, I think this was Stephen Covey's thing, like, we forget what's important in service of what's urgent, and we have to consciously carve out time to do these important things, so that when the crisis hits, which it inevitably will, and that's when it's for a parent, what are my three choices for cutting corners in a way that doesn't compromise my integrity? You know, like, do you have to have the perfectly home cooked meal? Or can you do like DoorDash pizza, and that's the night you practice the skills?

Penny Williams 25:51

Yeah, I love that. And really, we're talking five or 10 minutes, right? You can do just little fire drills that aren't fire drills that are regulation drills.

Britt Frank 26:01

We're talking like 30 minutes, these don't take very long.

Penny Williams 26:04

Yeah, just practicing in between two different activities, or, you know, each night right after dinner or something. Like there's all kinds of ways to squeeze it in.

Britt Frank 26:15

And giving the kids the choices, if they're able to say, Well, what do you want, and I have a family I know where they have like a big box, and the kids decorated the box. And inside the box are the things that they want when things feel icky. And so their practice and Okay, let's go to the box, grab something out of the box, and they get to make the choice, which again, is going to create more autonomy, a more sense of regulation, like all the things we want, are not pie in the sky conceptual like this is easy to do put a stuffy in a box, put a fidget spinner in a box or whatever the kid wants, or bubbles or whatever, and then practice use and it's so it sounds so easy, like just do this and everything will be great. I'm not saying that. I'm not saying that at all. I am saying there's some low hanging fruit that we don't get because we think it's stupid or silly or waste of time. And it really isn't just because it's low hanging fruit doesn't make it any less useful than the bigger things.

Penny Williams 27:07

And teaching kids to regulate. Oh my gosh, it's so gosh, heard of all of life, right? Like this is a foundational skill that should be taught everywhere. Yeah, yes, totally. And it does help with a lot of other things. Yes, that's part of what we teach under the behavior revolution is that regulating is foundational, like teaching our kids about their feelings and emotions, what their bodies are telling them about their nervous system and how their brain works. That's foundational for everything that happens day to day. Yeah, right. And so doing these little drills is actually building in solidifying that foundation, I think.

Britt Frank 27:47

Which I wasn't taught how to do, I don't know if you were but I certainly didn't know behavior revolution, or emotionally fluid parents or any of these things. And think about the transformative power of teaching this to kids when they're young. So they're not coming into therapy at 30, 40, 50, 60 going What the hell is going on? Yeah, I didn't know I had a nervous system until I was like, 30.

Penny Williams 28:09

Mm hmm. I didn't understand the autonomic nervous system. It's mid 40s. It's only been a few years. Like, we so shouldn't be teaching this stuff in school, we should really be talking about feelings and emotions, and interoception, and the nervous system of the brain, all these things, because understanding them that sort of unlocks this power within ourselves, that helps us just navigate life, and make more room for moments of joy. It's so so important.

Britt Frank 28:41

I have a dream of like, an 11 year old saying to their parent, like I am feeling dysregulated right now I need to get my coping skills box. Maybe not quite so academic language, but just imagine a family that has this language available to that again, doesn't excuse you know, I can also see a teenager being like, sorry, Mom, I'm not turning in my homework. Because I'm stuck in a dorsal vagal shutdown state. It's like, yeah, kid. No, that's, that's what's going on. But that's not an excuse, but to have this information for families, for children, for parents of little humans, it really is transformative.

Penny Williams 29:18

It is. And I'm so thankful that you gave us a little bit of your time and a whole lot of your wisdom here for the listeners. And I've gotten so many great ideas about how to really help our kids to learn more about their bodies and the signals and helping them to be less stuck and ourselves to be less stuck. Because we matter to as parents, you know, we're taught to sacrifice ourselves, for the good of our kids and our families we matter to and taking care of ourselves actually is taking care of our kids. That's exactly right. I just want to point that out to you as we close to connect with Brett and to access the book this time. ants have stuck, and her website and social media and all these good things where you can learn more. Go to the show notes for this episode, which are at parentingADHDandautism.com/204. For Episode 204, any last words for us, Brett before we close?

Unknown Speaker 30:19

There's no such thing as crazy. Everything makes sense in context. They're like, you're not if you're listening to this, I promise you, you are not crazy.

Penny Williams 30:27

I love that. Thank you. We need that reminder.

Britt Frank 30:31

I do often.

Penny Williams 30:32

Yes, yes, so often. Well, thanks again. It's been a pleasure. And I will see everyone on the next episode.

Britt Frank 30:39

Thanks for having me.

Penny Williams 30:42

Thanks for joining me on the beautifully complex podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share. And don't forget to check out my online courses and parent coaching at parentingADHDandautism.com and at thebehaviorrevolution.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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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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Quick Start: 3 High-Impact Actions to Transform Behavior

Transforming negative or unwanted behavior is a long and complex process. HOWEVER, there are a few actions you can take right now that will provide a big impact. These 3 high-impact strategies address foundational aspects of behavior, empowering you to help your child feel better so they can do better.



Makes time visual for those with time blindness.


Blends gaming with off-screen activities to teach coping skills through play.


Manage chores and routines while building self-confidence and independence.


A chair that gives kids a sensory hug.

About the show...

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.

Listen on Apple Podcasts  |  Google Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  iHeart Radio

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