27 episodes

Your child was just diagnosed with autism. Now what?



Like they tell you during the airline flight instructions, you need to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. If you don’t, you’ll be of no help to anyone. This podcast series is meant to be that oxygen mask: a breath of fresh air and a pause for parents who are navigating their journey with autism or other developmental differences.



Hosted by Beth Dierker, Executive Director of Communities for Engaging Autism, and Tera Girardin, author & photographer of “Faces of Autism.” Both are University of Minnesota LEND Fellows (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) and are autism parents themselves.



Themes include self-care while caring for others, becoming an advocate for your child, relationship strains, avoiding burnout and information overload, and learning to trust your internal compass. Listeners will enjoy the conversational approach and connection to resources and connection points. The Oxygen Mask is ideal for the parent of a newly diagnosed child wading through information and decisions that come along with an autism diagnosis.



Take a breath with us!

The Oxygen Mask Podcast Communities Engaging Autism - Beth Dierker and Tera Girardin

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

Your child was just diagnosed with autism. Now what?



Like they tell you during the airline flight instructions, you need to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. If you don’t, you’ll be of no help to anyone. This podcast series is meant to be that oxygen mask: a breath of fresh air and a pause for parents who are navigating their journey with autism or other developmental differences.



Hosted by Beth Dierker, Executive Director of Communities for Engaging Autism, and Tera Girardin, author & photographer of “Faces of Autism.” Both are University of Minnesota LEND Fellows (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) and are autism parents themselves.



Themes include self-care while caring for others, becoming an advocate for your child, relationship strains, avoiding burnout and information overload, and learning to trust your internal compass. Listeners will enjoy the conversational approach and connection to resources and connection points. The Oxygen Mask is ideal for the parent of a newly diagnosed child wading through information and decisions that come along with an autism diagnosis.



Take a breath with us!

    Oxygen Mask Episode 24: Insights from a care coordinator

    Oxygen Mask Episode 24: Insights from a care coordinator

    In Episode 24, Beth interviews Tara Mahin, a Care Coordinator in the pediatric practice that cares for both of Beth's kids. The two discuss ways care coordinators can help parents of medically complex kids, including parents raising kids with autism. The conversation illustrates how a little help goes a long way in helping families navigate systems more efficiently, lending continuity to care, and providing and a "warm handoff" among providers. Listen in and check out the show notes to learn more about accessing care coordination.



    Show notes:



    Find Health Care Homes at the Minnesota Department of Health's website. Health Care Homes include care coordination as part of their services.



    Tara Mahin is a Care Coordinator at South Lake Pediatrics in the Twin Cities metro area in Minnesota.

    • 30 min
    Oxygen Mask Episode 23: Letting things go is hard…and worthwhile

    Oxygen Mask Episode 23: Letting things go is hard…and worthwhile

    Beth and Tera talk about being intentional about our commitments. They share the process of Tera's decision to step away from co-hosting the Oxygen Mask Podcast. Making connections to raising children on the autism spectrum, they surface opportunities that have come from doing less. Listen in and be part of this warmhearted "goodbye and thank you" to Tera.



    Show Notes:



    Consider joining Communities Engaging Autism's monthly Parent Growth Circles where we support one another in putting our oxygen masks on first (and not swatting them away).

    • 24 min
    Oxygen Mask Episode 22: Sy & Maychee share perspectives on, hopes for autism acceptance in the Hmong-American community

    Oxygen Mask Episode 22: Sy & Maychee share perspectives on, hopes for autism acceptance in the Hmong-American community

    Listen to part two of the conversation with Sy and Maychee. Drawing from experiences and challenges they shared in Episode 21, Sy and Maychee describe their hopes, celebrations, and perspectives as members of Minnesota's Hmong-American community and the autism community.



    Sy mentioned his involvement with the Multicultural Autism Action Network (MAAN) as well as the Supporting all Abilities Welcoming All Voices (SAWV) Facebook group. Part of his work with MAAN included a rich, personal conversation he had with Maychee and shared on YouTube. Check it out here.



    Hear's a brief feature on Maychee from Hmong American Experience.



    Acknowledgements:



    This Oxygen Mask Episode was made possible by an Family Connections Innovation Grant from the MN Department of Human Services. Communities Engaging Autism is grateful for this financial support.

    • 16 min
    Oxygen Mask Episode 21: Sy & Maychee discuss autism in the Hmong-American community

    Oxygen Mask Episode 21: Sy & Maychee discuss autism in the Hmong-American community

    Beth is joined by two guests from the local Hmong-American community. Sy, reflects on his educational path and the supports he has or would like to have in order to live well as an adult with autism. Maychee, a mother of a young child with autism, describes pursuing supports for her son. She navigated her family's reservations that were rooted in stigma and lack of understanding.



    Acknowledgements:



    This Oxygen Mask Episode was made possible by an Family Connections Innovation Grant from the MN Department of Human Services. Communities Engaging Autism is grateful for this financial support.

    • 29 min
    Oxygen Mask Episode 20: LifeCourse Tools for Planning & Advocacy

    Oxygen Mask Episode 20: LifeCourse Tools for Planning & Advocacy

    Jamie O'Connor of Family Voices of Minnesota shares how envisioning a good life for her daughter helped Jamie move from overwhelm and "overtherapy-ing" to advocacy informed by her daughter's interests and strengths. In our podcast conversation, we discuss two favorite LifeCourse tools (links below). Jamie's stories and our reflections illustrate how simple tools and visuals can spur conversation and inspire courage and clarity.



    Show Notes:



    LifeCourse Tools from the University of Missouri



    Fillable PDFs of the tools discussed: Integrated Support Star; Life Trajectory



    Disability Hub MN has accessible information and links on Charting the LifeCourse.



    New Date June 22, 2021 Family Voices of Minnesota webinar: Using the Trajectory Tool: Charting the LifeCourse



    Favorite quote from Jamie on benefits of using planning tools centered on the disabled person: "It's the difference between showing up and asking what’s available and showing up and saying these are my wants and needs. How can we work together to meet them?"

    • 34 min
    Oxygen Mask Episode 19: Neurodiversity with Milena and Jules, Part 2

    Oxygen Mask Episode 19: Neurodiversity with Milena and Jules, Part 2

    We entered April, autism acceptance month, with Milena and Jules. As these two neurodiverse mothers raise autistic children, they are living out and advocating for autism acceptance in their families and communities. Our conversation began with the founding and growth of MN Autistics and Allies and meandered through autistic community, masking, splinter skills, language, and how talking about autism with kids can help them advocate for themselves. This conversation shifted our thinking and we hope it does the same for you!



    Show Notes: 



    - A recent article on the shift in language from autism awareness month to autism acceptance month







    - MN Autistics and Allies is the Facebook group that Milena and Jules co-administer.







    - Writing from Jules (@AutisticTyping):





    "Today, your child was diagnosed with autism"

    #AutismMoon in-progress series (images with bite-sized information)





    - Milena is a Pacer Parent Advocate and member of the MN Department of Education's Special Education Advisory Panel.



    - Jules is a Parent Advocate with the Multicultural Autism Action Network and current University of Minnesota LEND fellow.







    Acknowledgements:



    This Oxygen Mask Episode was made possible by an Family Connections Innovation Grant from the MN Department of Human Services. Communities Engaging Autism is grateful for this financial support.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
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8 Ratings

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