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Thriving in the Midst of Chaos: Parenting With Special Needs Kids

Apr 1, 2021

Episode 83: Momming With Autism With Guest Alicia Trautwein

In this episode, we discuss raising children with special needs and different diagnoses. Alicia Trautwein has 4 children, 3 of whom are autistic. Alicia was diagnosed with autism at age 33, after her children were formally diagnosed. She knew that something was different about herself but doctors provided her with numerous incorrect diagnoses. However, for 3 years prior to her official diagnosis, she started to suspect that she had autism, due to similarities between her and her children. She found it very challenging to find someone to assess and evaluate her for autism. Her brother was also diagnosed with autism, but Alicia was an adult by the time he was diagnosed. Regarding parent, she learned from her brother to take things with a grain of salt. Benefits of having autism and raising children who have autism is understanding where they are coming from and understanding what they don’t quite understand, seeing and comprehending the bigger picture of what is happening with her children, figuring out her children’s triggers, knowing how to balance everyone’ sensory needs, figuring out how to navigate everyone’s general needs, seeing things from a different perspective, celebrating the small things, and slowing down.

To parent children with special needs, she recommends developing and establishing routines, having predictable routines, reducing unnecessary surprises, using visual schedules, blaming the schedule rather than yourself, and giving transition warnings. For resources, she recommends using tiktok for educational information about diagnoses and support, using fidget toys, and using social stories.


She knew her son had a special need upon his birth as he did not make eye contact and lost all language at age 19 months, and then she got him involved with early intervention. He had his autism evaluation and received his diagnosis at 2 years old. He immediately started speech therapy. Her daughter was always advanced in her milestones, but Alicia still knew that something was going on. Her daughter was misdiagnosed for a long time. Her other daughter had speech delays and went through speech therapy as a young child. After her son was diagnosed, her daughters were both diagnosed. It was at the appointment when her oldest daughter with autism was diagnosed that the doctor brought up to Alicia that she might be autistic. Her older children got involved with Horse therapy and psychotherapy.


To bolster relationships, communication is key. Ask for breaks, rely on your social support, take advantage of help, and use respite care. To manage everything, only book what needs to be scheduled, space things out, don’t overschedule, focus on what works best, use a family/shared calendar, put everything in the calendar, have older kids help out if they can, consider also keeping a paper calendar, and put things on the calendar as soon as they are scheduled.








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Show Music:

Intro Outro: Intro Outro 2 by Mattias Lahoud under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Theme Song: 90s rock style by monkeyman535 under CC-BY 3.0 License (

Self Care Song: Green and Orange No Water by Duncan Alex under CC-BY 3.0 License (


Hosted by: Jessica Temple 


Disclaimer: Our show is not designed to provide listeners with specific or personal legal, medical, or professional services or advice. Parents of children with health issues should always consult their health care provider for medical advice, medication, or treatment.

Copyright 2021 Jessica Temple