35 episodes

A podcast about traveling the special needs road and discovering the hidden gems and unique finds of a place you didn't think you would be. We share how families are doing amazing things as a result of a diagnosis, and give you a glimpse into the realities of raising children with differing needs.

Embracing Holland Angie Auldridge and Megan Barrett, Moms of Special Needs Kiddos

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

A podcast about traveling the special needs road and discovering the hidden gems and unique finds of a place you didn't think you would be. We share how families are doing amazing things as a result of a diagnosis, and give you a glimpse into the realities of raising children with differing needs.

    Smearing 101: What to do about Poo

    Smearing 101: What to do about Poo

    Fecal smearing and ingesting are taboo topics that often elicit a considerable amount of shame for families. We felt like it was time to give this topic some attention to those who are struggling in the dark and aren't comfortable reaching out for suggestions in the online support groups. In response to very little information openly available to families struggling with smearing and consuming feces (scatolia and coprophagia), Genevieve Engleman, The Remote OT, shares with us the background behind the behavior, information to reduce the stigma, and ways we can try to prevent and address this issue.  

    We talk about:

    Why mammals may consume their own fecesHistory and incidence of these behaviorsReducing the stigma and shame associatedWhat the behavior may be communicatingHow to address any potential medical problems that could lead to these behaviorsWhat do do if and when it happensWays to use OT, and sensory play to meet the needs currently served by poop play
    Genevieve’s Website
    The Remote OT

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Creating a Game Plan with Joya Van Der Laan

    Creating a Game Plan with Joya Van Der Laan

    This week we chat with Joya Van Der Laan, a functional medicine family nurse practitioner whose curiosity and her own daughter’s autism diagnosis lead her down the biomedical path. We learn how she has used her personal and professional experience to create videos to teach parents how to create their own autism game plan, focused on helping parents address common symptoms and challenges associated with an autism diagnosis. Her videos cover everything from sleep, meltdowns, constipation and seizures to PANS and PANDAS. Tune in to learn about Joya and how her website could help your family!

    We talk about:
    How overwhelming it was to face an autism diagnosis even as a medical professionalFeeling the pressure to “fix” her childUsing functional medicine to find the root cause of symptomsDeciphering between “voodoo” and scienceCreating a resource to quell the overwhelm and ease the burden on parents Testing to determine deficiencies and starting with basics like dietThe importance of sleep for everyone!Healing is an artform not an end gameWatching other children improve while her daughter struggled which led to learningHow the desperation to help our kids can sometimes cloud our judgement with interventionsBeing methodical with trying new things to determine what’s working and what’s notHow functional medicine can help parents too!

    Joya’s Website

    Your Autism Game Plan


    How to End the Autism Epidemic

    The Explosive Child

    The Autism Revolution

    Healing the New Childhood Epidemics - Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies

    Nutrient Power

    Doctors to follow
    Dr. Mark Hyman
    Dr. Jeffrey Bland

    • 49 min
    Holistic Healing with Megan Martin

    Holistic Healing with Megan Martin

    For this episode we speak with Megan Martin, personal trainer, health coach and purveyor of holistic wellness who used lessons learned from her own health journey to help her son with autism. She shares with us what the biomedical approach means and how she used it to address her son’s symptoms, including how she did an at home fecal transplant. 

    We talk about:
    Personal illness and disease that led to path of holistic healingExploring functional medicineLifestyle factors and diet being the foundation for disease prevention and treatmentSupporting the entire body to help with brain functionAddressing GI dysfunction as not just another symptom of autismUsing diet to address autism symptoms, including eczema Naturopathic doctors and what they doAll about fecal microbiota transplants (currently only FDA approved for C-Diff but many clinical trials in patients with autism)Using the AMD Ion Cleanse foot bath for detox and she get her son to sit stillOther alternative treatments to try


    Autism Research Institute - Gi webinar 

    Arizona State University Uses Bacteria to Improve Autism Symptoms 

    Stanford University - Microbiome studies

    AMD - Ion Cleanse

    The Autism Community in Action

    Recovering Kids Facebook Group

    Detoxing Kids - A Parent Guide to Safe Metal Detox

    Autism Effective Biomedical Treatments: Have We Done Everything We Can?

    ATEC - Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist

    Personalized Vitamins and Minerals

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Travel Tips with Kristy Kargel

    Travel Tips with Kristy Kargel

    Does the thought of traveling with your children and family members with disabilities and complex medical needs intimidate you and make you shy away from leaving the house? This is the episode for you! Join our friend of the show and fellow complex medical needs mom Kristy Kargel, as we chat about how to navigate airports, long trips, and making it from point A to point B without excessive stress. 

    We talk about:
    Finding accessible changing facilitiesBringing medically necessary items as carry-on itemsCalling the airline two weeks prior to discuss specific travel needsRenting a modified vanWriting into a waiver plan to justify funds to be utilized to cover travel needsShipping supplies ahead of time from a durable medical equipment providerPre-ordering groceries and having them delivered to your destinationRenting a shower carePacking day by day for items necessary for each dayProviding packets and information for fellow passengersBoarding the planeFAA approved seat harness available to keep passengers uprightNoise-canceling headphones (for kids & adults)Video and photo social storiesBathroom locator apps for accessible restroomsThe courage to give it a goBed tentsFree passes to national and state parksBeach wheelchairsDrive through zoos and safarisAccessible parking passesEasing into traveling and prepping the whole familyLowering expectations


    TSA Cares
    Accessible Travel in Florida 
    FAA Approved Harness

    Autism on the Seas (For autism, Down syndrome and other disabilities) 

    Best Bathroom Locator Apps

    Best Autism Bed Tents

    Wheelchair Friendly Lodging in National Parks 
    FREE Lifetime Pass for National Parks 

    Facebook page for travel tips 
    Great travel tips for wheelchair users

    • 35 min
    Sleep Matters with Andrea Faris Roberts

    Sleep Matters with Andrea Faris Roberts

    Andrea Faris Roberts, renaissance woman, innkeeper, two-time non-profit starter, and mother of two children, including a son with Down's Syndrome. She graciously invited us to her flagship inn called the Terrace Guest House to tell us the story of its inception and discuss the importance of getting away. Join us as we discover how she created a beautiful way for parents and caregivers to experience true rest, what it took to create multiple sanctuaries for parents to recharge and how important it is to put ourselves on our own to-do list. #getinthecar

    We talk about:
    The deep need for sleepCreating an organization from personal painReese’s Rainbow - international adoptions for children with Down's SyndromeThe significant impact of caregiving and the unmet need for restCreating a network of partner Inns (B&Bs) to serve families (40+)Curating the nation’s first year-round respite innThe unique thing about this sanctuary experience that meets unrealized needsRecuperative rest, not a vacationPutting yourself on your own to-do listWishing that our kids didn’t have to struggleThe trauma and challenges of raising a child with a disabilityNot “Embracing Holland” Her annual “Mommy & Me” trip for parents to get away with their child without a disability, or their own mom, or other special needs mom friend, or by yourselfAndrea’s advice for new parents

    A Mother's Rest

    Angie's Blog Post About Staying at the Inn 

    Brick Fundraiser 

    Social Media

    FB - A Mother's Rest - public page

    • 54 min
    Still Standing with Shelley Kramm

    Still Standing with Shelley Kramm

    Shelley Kramm went from designer to special needs mom, to advocate then to non profit organization founder, then blogger, and she shares with us how she made her way through each of those roles as she focused on inclusive play and empowering women. 

    We talk about:
    Finding out her daughter has cerebral palsyHer transformation from mom to special needs momDiscovering the need for inclusive play spacesPutting her landscape design and architecture degree to useDeciding to start a non profit so all kids could have a place to playMaking the connections to make her dream a realityRaising a million dollars for her parkThe birth of Hadley’s ParkHow over 50 parks were built in the mid atlantic area to serve everyoneWhat exactly an inclusive park is and how it caters to all, no matter the disabilityPivoting from one organization to another project, The DC LadiesDeriving joy from empowering womenThe shock of becoming a single parentCreating an online community for special needs moms


    Shane's Inspiration - Inclusive Play

    Becoming Shelley

    Washington Post Article - A Playground for Hadley

    I am Able - How Sarah Kramm advocated for her sister

    Social Media

    IG - @SEKramm
    FB - Becoming Shelley

    Hadley’s Park - Facebook Page

    Special Needs Moms of Montgomery County - Facebook Page

    Special Needs Moms of Montgomery County - Private Facebook Page

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

JenJeraci ,


Discusses topic in a “take it or leave it” fashion. No judgement or “you should do this, or you should do that...” here the way other special needs podcasts or books do.

shujoylala ,

Embracing Holland is a must for all who love a person with special needs!

Proud to share with all my family and friends: Embracing Holland podcast is AMAZING. Do you have family members or friends who are parents of children with special needs? Have a listen and then share with them. You may be able to relate or you may find a nugget of wisdom to help that friend or family member.

These two young moms have experience themselves and let you know you are NOT alone on this journey. They have resources and tricks up their sleeves that I never heard of before, and my son is 26 years old!

Listen, share, listen, share. (Those, plus love, make the world go round.) 💕

scn2a grandparent ,

Great podcast

Interviews are personal and real. Life hacks and living with the Coronavirus is insightful for families that are living with a child with autism and the special challenges. That brings. While listening I found myself picking up on little hacks that I had never thought . Keep it up

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