Having a toddler and working full time, I don’t get much alone time. I sometimes crave that car ride to work. It is one of the few times I can have a sip of warm coffee and have some sense of personal space. I also love listening to podcasts! Anyone else dislikes radio commercials and talk radio? Below are some of my favorite special education podcasts!
I can’t say enough good things about this podcast. It has changed the way I practice occupational therapy and my overall views and perspectives, especially in regards to ABA therapy. It has made me question special education norms and the importance of using identity-first language.
Meg Proctor, who also developed the Learn Play Thrive program, created the podcast. Though the podcast is geared towards occupational therapy practitioners, her guests come from all different professional backgrounds and across the country and world. The goal of the podcast is to “explore research, amplify autistic voices, and change the way we think about autism”
Recently she had an episode about Family Centered Approach to PDA, Authenticity & Gender Expression, and Pro-Neurodiversity Practices in Action.
She also frequently features one of my favorite dynamic duos; Dr. Amy Laurent and Dr. Jacquelyn Fede.
Some of my favorite podcast episodes:
- Promoting Positive Autistic Self-Identify w/ Sarah Selvaggi Hernandez
- Self-Advocacy, Work, & Autistic Girls and Women w/ Emily Lees
- A Strength-Based Approach to Autism w/ Kristie Patten
I’ve recently come across Dr. Aliza’s podcast Raising Good Humans and I love it!! Dr. Aliza Pressman, is a developmental psychologist, parent educator, and co-founder of both Mount Sinai Parenting Center and SeedlingsGroup. Though the podcast is directed at parents, I found some of her concepts I could directly relate to my practice and incorporate with my students. She interviews a wide range of guests and the goal of the podcast is to “go deep (but brief)…to share the most effective approaches and tools and talk about the important bigger picture of raising good humans”. Another aspect I love about the podcast is the guests on the show address all different age ranges from toddlers to adolescents. And at the end of the day, educators and practitioners’ main goal is to help raise and educate good humans.
Some of my favorite episodes:
- How to Talk to Middle Schoolers about Thorny Topics w/ Michele Icard
- Puberty: How to Talk About it and What to Say w/ Vanessa Kroll Bennett
- Executive Function Skills are the Air Traffic Control System of the Brain’ w/ Professor Phil Zelazo
- Big Little Feelings Toddler Experts are Talking Toddlers w/ Big Little Feeling creators Kristin and Denna
- I listened to this episode last week and not only found some great tips to use with my toddler but also some strategies and language I can use with the preschool students I serve.
You know I couldn’t share my favorite podcasts without mentioning The Lucky Few! If you have read previous blogs I have written, you know I have a sister, Marina, with Down syndrome. Three amazing, motivational, and inspiring women “take on conversations in the Down Syndrome Community that not only we want to hear, but need to hear and share”. The podcast celebrates people with Down syndrome! In recent episodes, the podcast interviewed a model and motivational speaker, an Ironman, a chef, and a self-advocate/open-water swimmer who all have a medical diagnosis of Down Syndrome and are taking the world by storm.
Recent guest, Karen Gaffney was quoted saying “Down syndrome is a life meant to be lived” and I think that quote sums up this podcast! They also dive into topics regarding Race, Disability and Advocacy, puberty and building friendships, and how to build success and independence post-high school! This podcast is a great resource for educators, parents, and different therapy practitioners!
Some of my favorite recent podcast episodes:
- Disability Representation in the Media w/ Gail Williamson
- Cookies & Confidence w/ Collette Divitto
- An Important Conversation About the Black Disabled Lives Matter Movement w/ Elena Fong
I love this podcast because it is “dedicated to women on the autism spectrum”. When working with the neurodiverse community, I think it is so important to use evidence-based information and personal accounts from autistic people. Spectrumly Speaking is produced by Different Brains and it is hosted by Haley Moss, an autism self-advocate, artist, and author, and Dr. Lori Butts, a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist and licensed attorney. They “discuss topics and news stories, share personal stories, and interview some of the most fascinating voices from the autism community”
Some great episodes include:
- The Autistic OT w/ Sarah Selvaggi Hernandez (She is such an amazing and inspirational woman! I learn so much from listening to her)
- A Chat with Dr. Temple Grandin
- Self-Advocacy: Catina’s Way w/ Catina Burkett
One of my favorite special education podcasts is Catherine Whitchler’s, Special Education Inner Circle podcast! Catherine Whitchler, M.Ed. is an educator with over 20+ years of experience and her mission is to help everyone work together to create IEPS with less stress and more results. Catherine has a brother with Down Syndrome and looks at IEPS from both sides of the table. She states that “Teachers and Parents have not been encouraged to work together proactively to avoid crisis and prepare a child for long-term success”. That statement really made me reflect! Sometimes there is this tension when parents walk into the IEP meeting space (or log onto the virtual link). But that doesn’t have to be the norm! Here slogan “Less Conflict +More Results = Better student experiences and results without unnecessary delays,” I think you guys will really enjoy this special education podcast!
Here are some of my favorite recent episodes:
- Reducing Stress and Anxiety in Special ed w/ Dr. Roseann
- Best Practice Strategies for Writing an IEP
- How to Get Aide Support, ESY, and Accommodations
I recently asked the Simply Special Ed Community their favorite special education podcasts and Sasha Long BCBA, The Autism Helper, came out a crowd favorite! The mission of the podcast is to give educators and therapy practitioners different strategies to “improve the lives of individuals with autism”. The podcast has over 125 episodes and 227 five-star ratings on Apple Podcasts!
Some recent podcast episodes include:
- Teaching and Promoting Body Autonomy w/ Dr. Rachel Schwartz (episode 124)
- Inclusion in the Virtual, In-Person, and Socially Distant Classroom w/ Paula Kluth
- 5 Sensory Friendly Tips for Distance Learning with Occupational Therapist Katie McKenna (episode 86)
Truth for Teachers was created by Angela Watson! She is a teacher with over 10 years of classroom teaching and even more experience as an instructional coach. Her mission is to help teachers “build a positive mindset so they can truly enjoy their work”. She also has published and created printable curriculum resources, online courses, and five books! She is a wealth of knowledge. I think the reason I love this podcast so much is the message is just all about lifting up educators and tips on how we can keep ‘our glass full’. Truth for Teachers has over 5 million downloads and is consistently rated the top three k-12 podcasts.
Some great podcast episodes include:
- You are not alone: An honest, healing conversation about processing pandemic teaching
- Good Things are happening: How to find thoughts that feel better
- When no one’s showing YOU grace…Make space instead
I also want to instill in our SSE blog readers, don’t feel pressured to listen to podcasts that directly correlate to your job! Listen to something that brings you happiness! If that is a special education podcast then great but if it’s a murder/mystery podcast that awesome too! I hope you find one of the above-listed podcasts enjoyable and learn tips/strategies you can integrate into your classroom/practice! Share your favorite podcast in the comments below! Also, check out Andrea’s Blog on her favorite Ted Talks!