Join us on our podcast journey to learn from conversations with OUR kinds of celebrities - caregivers living this life honestly and making an impact for our children and others. We’ll also be talking to the other experts, those who help us and fight for us in education and the medical field, for disability rights and so on.
Monika Jones - Changing the Way the World Looks at Our Children
We had a great conversation in today's episode with Monika Jones, a mom who abandoned her legal career after her first son was born with a massive unilateral brain malformation, which caused him to have hundreds of seizures a day and led to a surgery to remove half his brain. Monika has dedicated herself to serving the community of children who need brain surgery to stop seizures that medications cannot control. She is a staunch advocate for the educational rights of children with disabilities and believes that every child - no matter how complex their support needs - has the capacity to learn. Monika lives in Altadena with her husband, Brad, her boys Henry and Thomas, and two very spoiled dogs.
In 2011, she and her husband founded the Brain Recovery Project to help children reach their full potential after epilepsy surgery. They were both frustrated with the lack of direction after surgery and wanted to help other parents navigate similar paths. “We didn't know what to do with our child [after surgery] to help him learn how to walk and learn how to talk. And was he ever going to read? What was his life going to be like? There was no roadmap, because research wasn't really focusing on what the effects of these surgeries are and how to improve the outcomes.” The Brain Recovery Project offers special education advocacy and parent education, in addition to family and professional conferences and other education initiatives.
Anat Baniel and the Unlimited Potential of the Human Brain
We are so excited that we had the opportunity to speak with Anat Baniel, a woman whose work continues to be at the forefront of the emerging brain plasticity field, as well as the understanding of the role of movement in child development, health and vitality.
Anat is the founder of the Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement®,a holistic approach that utilizes movement in all its forms. This approach helps upgrade the functioning of your brain, which in turn helps you learn and think better, overcome pain and move better, and achieve new levels of performance. Over the past 30 plus years, Anat has worked with athletes, musicians, and other high performers as well as thousands of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, genetic disorders and more. She developed Anat Baniel Method NeuroMovement that provides both practice and theory supported by current brain science. She is the author of the highly acclaimed book Kids Beyond Limits and the bestselling Move Into Life: NeuroMovement for Lifelong Vitality.
Rounding Out the Trio with Ilene Chazan
It is our great privilege to have Ilene Chazan on the podcast today, particularly as she has rounded out the trio -- her husband, Chris Gabbard, and daughter, Clio Chazan-Gabbard were also guests, and Jason and I had the unique privilege of interviewing each member of their family about their lives as caregivers. They are terrific individuals and provide personal perspectives on their life with the late August Chazan-Gabbard, Ilene and Chris' son and Clio's older brother.
Ilene describes herself as a mother, wife, physical therapist and Pilates instructor. She grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles and went to college in Santa Barbara, near the ocean, which she loves. In 1990, her love of science and physical activity brought her to Boston where she became a physical therapist. She began her career in San Francisco, where she met Chris. The couple married in 1992, and in August of 1999, she gave birth to their first child, August Chazan-Gabbard who was the subject of prior podcasts with her husband and daughter. In 2001, the small family moved to Jacksonville, Florida for Chris' work and later that year, Ilene gave birth to Clio. Currently, Ilene owns a small business in Jacksonville, where she practices as a physical therapist and Pilates instructor. She still loves nature, physical activity, being a mother and cooking.
Elizabeth and Jason are fantastic co-hosts and each bring something rich to their show. This show brings awareness of so many super-star parents caring hard for their children with special health-care needs. As a fellow special needs parent, I so appreciate this podcast and resource!
This is a place, listening here, that I feel my heart relax. I feel relief at hearing other people’s journeys. I am so grateful for the sense of community, and for the knowledge shared.
Thank you Elizabeth and Jason
Thank you for this amazing podcast. New mom to a disabled son and I find it so very therapeutic to hear from you all. I especially liked the recent episode with Ben the school administrator. It gave me a lot to think about. We live in a small remote community that doesn’t have many disabled children and I often find myself wondering if we will stay or go somewhere else. Bens perspective on inclusion really spoke to those ideas and I am thankful I heard them.