Podcast Series to Assist Families with Autism

Tue Apr 16 2019
Tera Girardin.

On April 30, MNLEND Fellow Tera Girardin (pictured) will launch her podcast series for families with children who have been recently diagnosed with autism or other developmental disabilities, as part of her Minnesota Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (MNLEND) project. The podcast will be hosted by Beth Dierker (MNLEND Fellow, 2018), Executive Director of Communities Engaging Autism. Girardin and Dierker are both parents of children with autism and the podcast series will provide useful information to families who are wading through the information and decisions that accompany a diagnosis of autism or other developmental disabilities.

Conversational in tone but grounded in research, The Oxygen Mask Podcast will have six episodes in its first season. The series title refers to airline safety procedures that advise families to put on their own masks before assisting others. “We want to provide families an oxygen mask, or a breath of fresh air and a pause, for parents who are navigating their families’ journey with autism or other developmental differences,” says Girardin, a photographer who also wrote and illustrated the book Faces of Autism. Themes for the planned podcast include self-care while caring for others, person-centered thinking, advocating for the child, relationship strains, avoiding burnout and information overload, and learning to trust one’s instincts. The podcasts will be distributed through the Communities Engaging Autism website,  Tera Photography website,  and other podcast and social media platforms.