6 years ago, Kelsey General’s oldest son, Brentley was diagnosed with autism at 25 months old. Not long after that, her youngest son Lincoln was diagnosed at 13 months old. If you want to hear all about their backstory and how they got started in our community, be sure to listen to last week’s episode where we recapped Kelsey’s original story on her two boys from episode 3 recorded in late 2018.
At the time of the first recording, Brentley and Lincoln were 3 and 5 years old, now they are 6 and 8. Brentley, who was suffering from repeated self-injurious head banging at the time, through one on one therapy with Kelsey using my techniques has been able to get the behavior down to zero. Kelsey reports that they have been 9 months, the longest time ever, without any major problem or self-injurious behavior. She credits this with working hard with him at table time, through homeschooling, and constantly teaching him new language. Kelsey previously struggled with taking her boys out into the community, which as a single mom is not an option. Just to go to the grocery store, Kelsey needed to use a harness and leash. Now Kelsey and her two boys are out in the wild enjoying the outdoors as a family, skiing, hiking, kayaking, and really loving it! She mentions that from the get go, Lincoln’s signs and symptoms were very different from Brentley’s and she was able to start therapy using my techniques as early as 13 months, now Lincoln attends Grade 1 full time in a public setting with no aids or supports, functioning as a seemingly typical child.
Autism and Future Outlooks
3 years ago at the recording of her last update, Kelsey’s life was a rollercoaster and she was taking progress and future ideas day by day. I try to remind parents that for any family typical or non-typical, there is no crystal ball, ANYTHING can happen. You can hope but do not expect. Kelsey says her personality really jives with taking it day by day and she continues, however now she’s able to have hopes for the future. Because Lincoln functions very typically and thrives in his public setting, she has full hopes to see him progress independently to college, a career, and an independent living situation. For Brentley, she has also seen so much progress. Brentley is capable of being in a public setting among typical children, he has significant self-care skills, and no intellectual disabilities. She hopes with continued support and progress to see Brentley live a semi-independent adult life. These hopes are made possible by the intensive work that Kelsey does every day to make sure she is teaching her boys with the right techniques and skills using the Turn Autism Around Approach.
Kelsey’s Lessons Learned
As our community manager, a repeat podcast guest, and actively involved with the community and courses over the last 6 years, Kelsey has gained great insight. She shares a few of her lessons she’s learned along the way. Number one being, Don’t Automatically Trust Professionals. You are your child’s advocate and teacher for life, you know them best. Listen and learn from professionals but they don’t ALWAYS know best and it’s important to know that and advocate for the best for your child, even if that means doing it yourself. Another lesson I loved is, Just Go Anyway, this goes right along with Kelsey’s lifestyle of exploring the outdoors. She learns a lot of skills she needs to work on with the boys but just taking them out with her. It may be hard, it may not go right but if you go anyway it might be better next time.
Kelsey shares a lot of great lessons and some of her favorite episodes as great resources for our community. Kelsey will be back next week for a third episode, this time to talk about our top 5 questions about table time. I know that’s going to be a great one! If you haven’t please make sure to leave a review wherever you listen to this podcast!
Kelsey General on the Turn Autism Around Podcast
Kelsey is a single mom to two boys, living in BC, Canada. In 2016 her oldest son was diagnosed with autism at 25 months old. After learning he would not qualify for the support he needed, Kelsey began her journey of learning how to help him. Since then, Kelsey has continued her education in the field in order to provide her children and others in the community the direct intervention they needed. Now, Kelsey homeschools both her kids with support from a team of consulting professionals, while also working with other families providing behavior analytic services and parent coaching services. Kelsey and her boys enjoy spending their free time exploring and in nature hiking, biking, camping, and snowboarding. You can follow her adventures and learn more about getting children with autism outside safely on her Instagram page, www.instagram.com/littleadventurefamily.
- What does self-injury progress in autism look like over time?
- Homeschooling vs school setting, what’s right for your family?
- Real results and progress of applying my course materials and techniques.
- Kelsey General’s lessons learned across her 6 years in the Turn Autism Around community.
- How life can change when you become the captain of the ship.
- What does the future outlook look like for an autism family?
- Sign up for a free workshop online for parents & professionals
- Is An Autism School the Right Fit for Your Child or Client with Autism?
- Dr. Megan Miller: Problems with Escape Extinction
- Autism Medication with Dr. Michael Murray, Psychiatrist
- Navigating Autism : Failed M-Chat Score, Toddler Headbanging, and Parent Led Therapy with Kelsey General
- Top 5 Questions: Tackling Autism Tantrums and Other Common Problem Behaviors
Kelsey General – Turn Autism Around Podcast Transcript
Transcript for Podcast Episode: 176
A Story of Hope: Reducing Autism Self Injury, Autism Homeschooling, and Lessons Learned with Kelsey General
Hosted by: Dr. Mary Barbera
Guest: Kelsey General
Mary: You're listening to the Turn Autism Podcast episode number 176. As promised last week, I am bringing back Kelsey General, who is going to give us an update on her two kids, Brentley and Lincoln, as well as her life and her work with my online course and community, her hopes and dreams for the future. We cover all of that and more in this episode. I hope you love it as much as I do.
Narrator: Welcome to the Turn Autism Around podcast for both parents and professionals in the autism world who want to turn things around, be less stressed, and lead happier lives. And now your host, autism mom, behavior analyst and bestselling author Dr. Mary Barbera.
Mary: Okay, Kelsey, well, it is so lovely to have you back on as an update from your very first podcast, which we just talked about last week. Well we just rebooted and replayed it and rebroadcast episode number three. So this is to follow up. So just in case our listeners didn't catch last week's podcast. Can you tell us when that was originally recorded and how old your kids were and that sort of thing?
Kelsey: Yeah, so that was originally recorded at the end of 2018. I think it was released, you know, when, when your podcast first released, which was early 2019. My boys then must've been four and three and it was about and I enjoyed your course back in 2016 so it was a couple of years after I had finished the courses and really made a lot of progress from my courses when that was recorded and it was a really different time than now. So.
Mary: And you had even back in late 2018, you had started to work a little bit for me and my company as a Facebook advisor. And you helped me put together some, some things for the toddler course, which launched originally in 2017. And so you were working for me as a contractor back then, and you still are. And now you're working for me lots more than you back then. You're our community manager and you're helping me with these FAQ podcast episodes and all kinds of things in the background. But back when your kids were newly turned three, we both just listened to podcast 3, just to see what we said back then. And you had described your journey early on, which we're not going to repeat that. But yeah, it really was diagnosed at two after a year of wait and started ABA therapy. And you know, you described all that in last week's podcast and then your little boy Lincoln was diagnosed also after a year long wait, but you were able to really put all the practices you had learned from my courses in place. And they were, of course, very different children and they presented with very different symptoms. And so now you are still a single mom living in Canada.
Kelsey: Still that. Yeah.
Mary: And you are still a contractor for me and a big part of the Turn Autism Around approach. And how old are your boys now and tell us about them and their ability level.
An update on Brentley and Lincoln:
Kelsey: Yeah, so Brentley who is the oldest who is kind of what threw me into the autism world as we discussed last week, he is now eight. He just turned a couple of weeks ago and Lincoln is now my youngest so I probably started your techniques with him around 13 months old then. He is now six, he'll be seven in October. So yeah they're growing up fast and Brentley is, he is still, you know, moderately affected with autism. He is, he does talk, he gets all his wants and needs met fully toilet trained major problem behaviors and minor at or near zero. He hasn't had a major problem behavior in almost nine months now. And he can read, he can do math. He loves going out in the community and snowboarding and hiking and camping and swimming is one of his favorite things. So he's although he's not conversational yet, and we're still working a lot on his language skills overall we're just over the moon with how well he's been doing lately.
Mary: Because he was when you started my courses in 2016, he was banging his head on hard surfaces up to 100 times a day. Clinic where he was going was recommending that you bring him back with a helmet. And it was a scary time for you.
Kelsey: It was a really scary time. Yeah. And actually and then we started implementing your courses and his head banging went down to zero or almost zero. However, over the years from that time when that happened and now as he gained more language and then more frustration that he grew up anyway, his head banging would come back. It was like kind of like a roller coaster. It went way down and then it kept coming back. And, you know, we had a lot of professionals involved, psychiatrists. I mean, they were always wanting him in helmets, medication, all kinds of things. But I just continued to work with the techniques and the behavioral techniques that I learned and continued to build his language using the techniques that I had learned. And now, like I said, this is our longest stretch ever in his life without any head banging. So it's really come a long way.
Mary: And you also, even before COVID, you made the decision to homeschool him and to really take not just be the captain of a ship, being the only person on the ship to really do his daily lessons, which is the daily practice. And yeah, so.
Homeschooling and Autism;
Kelsey: What I decided in late 2019 was when his head banging kind of came back really badly and I decided there were two choices for me. There was either trying medication or nothing against medication. I think that works for a lot of families. I just wasn't, it just felt like it wasn't something that needed to be medically controlled to me at that point. But I felt like there were a lot of variables at play. We talk about this like, what is this place where he was going? Because at that time he was going to daycare some of the day. And is this place positive enough? Are they using the interventions like I would use, you know, are they delivering reinforcement at the right rate? And even though he had a 1 to 1, I was going in and training. It just wasn't working and there were too many variables. And I decided I was going to bring him home and limit the variables so that there weren't a lot of things and just really hammer down and teach him language skills, teach him, you know, frustration tolerance, teach him everything I could. And when it came time to go into kindergarten, it was only a couple of months after bringing him home. And I just decided it was going to be best to get everything. You know, as you talk about the top big three skills, toilet training problem behaviors that are near zero all at once need. I decided it was going to be best to keep them home and get all those because the advocating for people to do things, how I had been taught by you wasn't really always working. It was working like people were listening, but not to the level Brentley needed them to listen at.
Mary: Right. And there are so many variables when you think about them, you know, even in your house there's variables like electricity or there, you know, you need to be isolated, you need a COVID test, you know, even with COVID, all those extra variables. But when you're out in the community and you really just throw in so many different things, and then you train staff, new staff, and to train two staff members to be consistent and deliver the reinforcement at the right time and know the cues that are going to prevent it, it becomes really difficult.
Kelsey: Yeah. Yeah. And it was becoming either a full time job to advocate or a full time job to just do it. And at some point it was better for my mental health, honestly. You know, a lot of people say, how do you do it but it was better for my mental health to just to just take control of it at that point. Yeah.
Mary: So then when COVID hit, you really had no choice. And I know, I know a lot of the members in our online courses, you know, when COVID hit, I was like, Are you guys okay? Are you super stressed? What are you struggling the most with now that COVID hit. And we had few comments, several actually that were like, you know, thank God I know what I'm doing with my son or my daughter or thank God, you know, I have the techniques that are working that I can see, like this whole idea of leaving it to the professionals kind of went out the window with COVID was a tough time for you and Brentley.
Kelsey: So for me and really, no, because he was already home. We already had a good schedule going on when I worked and when he did school and we had a bounce off. So it wasn't all that different. The big change was that even though Brentley was homeschooled, Lincoln continued to go to daycare full time. And so the big change when COVID hit was Lincoln also came home.
Mary: And so let's talk about Lincoln. And he saw he was 13 months old when you started the technique, just showing some maybe signs, but it's hard to tell, especially the signs were really different. Which you talk about a little bit in last week's podcast, but he is now six and a half and tell our listeners what happened between last week's episode of when he was three and and six and a half.
Kelsey: Yeah. So Lincoln has always presented a lot differently than Brentley, even though he could pretty much always like he was a little delayed and talking at the very beginning. But he began speaking in monologues mostly about dinosaurs or. But he still wasn't communicating with people. And he. Since between three and six. That's when he mostly struggled with it, even though he seemed conversational and acted conversational. He often wouldn't actually request his wants and needs to the point where you just kind of expect a child with that level of language to tell you if they want to eat or if they're thirsty. But he wouldn't. Until we were in pretty major problem behavior zones. So he's really struggled over the years with emotional regulation and just kind of knowing what he needs and advocating for what he needs when he needs it. However, we worked on a lot of that. We continue to teach him language surrounding that. And although it was different from teaching, Brentley's behaviors is the same. We have a behavior we want to see, which is him telling me when he's hungry, and then we can reinforce that. And now he goes. So like I said, he was in a daycare when COVID hit full time daycare. No one, two ones. Just a typical daycare. He did have some behavior issues there, but it was a really small daycare with only five or six kids at a time. So it worked for him. But when he came home, he stayed home and was homeschooled for his kindergarten year with Brentley and that was a challenging time. They don't get along that great and so it was just a lot of managing different needs. But now Lincoln Post COVID in Grade One has now gone to a full time public school with no aides, no support. I mean, he is seemingly totally typical to his peers. Yeah. So he's doing extremely well. He doesn't have any more instances of problem behaviors either at home. Well, not at school anyway. Sometimes he's still six years old and you know.
Mary: Wow. Well, that's great that he's done so well.
Kelsey: And yeah. Yeah.
Mary: So I know in the last episode when they were young and I asked you about what your hopes were for the future for them, and you just said like, I can't think about the future like I have to just take it day by day. And I think now that they're eight and six, not that the future's crystal clear because it's not. But have your hopes and dreams for them changed or do you have more of a vision of what things may look like? Or are you still just taking it day by day?
Future Outlook for Children with Autism:
Kelsey: I mean, I think it's my personality to take it day by day because you just don't always know what's going to happen. But I do think I can think a bit more into the heck I had back when we recorded before. It was like it was like you talk about it was like a marathon on a roller coaster with your eyes closed. So like when you were up here, you were just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was like. And with Brentley, it was one thing after another was one phone call after another from daycares. And it was impossible to plan my life because I don't know if he's going to be home or if he's going to hurt himself or you know what's going to happen. But now I would say things have been stable for so long. It's almost like. In my life. I'm kind of at a point where, okay, well, what do I do now in life? Because, like, it's not a constant roller coaster. I'm not in this constant fight or flight mode, so I'm just starting to kind of think about what the future looks like. I mean, I think for Lincoln, it looks pretty typical of what you might expect your parenting path to look like with a neurotypical child. Obviously, nobody knows it, even in that world, but I expect it to look pretty similar. With Brentley. It's still hard to tell. He does not have an intellectual disability. He is very good with self-care skills. He's very good with so many skills that make me think that he could live probably semi independently. And when I think about his future and when I think about kind of his living situation, I mean, my hope is probably he can, you know, live a semi independent life, whether that's his own suite in a house that I also live in or so yeah. My hope is really that everyone just stays safe and stays happy and we continue to be able to go outside and travel and, you know, do all the things we enjoy to do as a family. Yeah.
Mary: Yeah, it is. Nobody has a crystal ball to look forward or backward for any child or adults or yourself. I mean, you can hope. But, you know, I say in my first book and the dedication Lucas has taught me to hope but not to expect.
Mary: To appreciate the small steps along the way. And, you know, and it's like nobody has the future predicted and it can change at the drop of a hat. And so, you know, and there's a lot of kids that when they were eight didn't look that great. And now, I mean, I know them because I've been in the autism world for, you know, 25 years. And there are past clients that I would not have predicted that they've been able to go to college or drive. And they are. They have. So it's not fair to, like, kind of pin any levels of ceiling levels or anything for any child.
Kelsey: But yeah.
Mary: Certainly, you know, Lincoln not having the severe delays and his language really turning around quite nicely even before the diagnosis was a great thing that happened.
Kelsey: Yeah. I mean, and that's really I mean, I, I think with Lincoln, it did have to do with how early, you know, we intervened and were able to know exactly what to do with Brentley. There was just a lot of waiting and wondering and transition time and. And then a lot of quote unquote, really probably not quality ABA, not quality services for a while. So, yeah, it's been a harder road with him, but I feel like now we're at such a good place where he can be safe. He's really making good progress now. Yeah.
Mary: So before we wrap it up, I think because you had already started working for me back in 2017 and 18, whenever that officially started, I'm not really sure you went from, you know, one of my best success stories to, hey, just together and kind of took off. And now you're a really big part of my team. So, you know, just over the years as a professional, as, you know, a big part of my team, like, do you see common themes or do you see, you know, what have you learned over the past, you know, years since you've been in our community that that you just really want to tell everybody out there listening, whether they're part of our online course and community or just listening, you know, here and there. Like what? What are your big lessons that you've learned so far?
Kelsey: Yeah, I would say my biggest lesson is to and I know people don't always like this one, but is to not trust professionals is to trust yourself as a parent and autism diagnosis doesn't mean you all of a sudden don't understand how to parent your child. You should consult with professionals and you should take what they say. But you should also put it through a lens of Is this right for my child? Is this in alignment with my values as a parent? And that no therapy and we've talked about this before, no therapy is better than bad therapy. I have no doubt. Even if I just brought Brentley home and kept him happy and played with him all day, even if I didn't know anything, I suspect he would still be in a better place than he would be hitting his head, learning his colors at a therapy center that I was paying a crazy amount of money for. So I just think it's really good to trust yourself and know that autism doesn't mean, you know, you can't teach your child. But there are obviously courses like marriage courses that can help you because obviously that changed everything for me and for Brentley and for Lincoln. I've also learned, what else have I learned? I would say that, you know, once you learn the techniques that you teach in your courses, marriage, a child can learn anything. Like nobody saw. Brentley could snowboard. Nobody thought Brantly could ride a bike or learn to swim really easily. Or when I was hiking with him on with harnesses on that he would ever listen to stop. And I think it's always about looking at what you want to do or what your child wants to do and really just breaking it down to, okay, what's the next right thing to teach? And there's it's always they maybe can't yet, but as long as you keep the mentality of they can and we can teach this, we just need to figure out a way how that's you know, you have to kind of stay in that mindset even if things are hard, if the longer you stay on, okay, well, what's the next right thing to teach? This is hard, but what's the next right thing to teach? That was a big lesson for me.
Mary: And also your boys are like so good, skiing and snowboarding and you know, they're on the river in a canoe and it's like, whoa, you know? Yeah, it is amazing to see because, you know, when you started, he wouldn't even stay at the table for 3 seconds. You had to have a leash and a harness on him to go out into the community. And I remember one of your videos that you shared with me, you know, fairly early on when you were just getting him out in the community on a leash, in a harness, like he had a potato head that he brought out in the community and he was like kind of near a bridge or something. And I'm like, oh, boy, you know, you really you have become such an advocate and a teacher. You know, you're your kids, best teachers, that you have just generalized the skills to everything and everybody. And it's not just the kids that can learn anything. Anybody out there listening can learn, you know, to do new things and learn new skills. And that's a great thing to know.
Kelsey: Yeah. So my biggest thing that I say often to parents I talked to is, is just to go anyway. Like this snowboarding trip might be horrific. We have a couple this year that were hard, that were hard, but it's like but in those moments you learn, okay, well, this is a skill that we need to teach and we're going to practice that skill more. And I just again, just keeping as positive as you can about okay, well, now that was tough, but we're going to teach the next right thing. Yeah. And it was super exciting. Last summer when I really learned to kayak, I actually put different colors on each side of the paddle and I would just yell at them, Red, blue. Okay, you got to turn now. Red, red, red, blue. And now he does it fully, independently. But yeah, it's kind of like, okay, well, we want to do this. How are we going to do it safely, plan and continue to go even when, you know, the kayack got flipped yesterday, but the next day it didn't.
Mary: And how has it been, you know, with just you and the boys primarily, has you know, as being a single mom, really added I'm sure, to the stress?
Kelsey: Yeah. I mean, at the end of the day, it's only me. It's really but because I know what to do, I'm not as stressed. I think if I lived a life where I was dependent on therapy providers, I was dependent on other people to teach them all the time. They were maybe going to clinics. And then it was just me thrown into the, Oh, now I gotta take these two kids out of the community. It would be a lot different in that sense. Like, I don't feel that much stress. Because I've been going out for so long with my kids that I just trust them. Like I know when it's when I can trust them and when I can't. But it does take with just me. It does take like we have to go to the grocery store. There's not a choice of we can't go to the grocery store. There's not a choice. And, you know, there's so both my kids have had to learn, you know, maybe in situations it's like we have to do this. We have to because there's only one of me and we just have to live life. And yeah, as we go into the future and financially and, you know, all that and it just being me and what will happen to them, you know, if, if something happens to me, that's definitely stressful for sure. But the day to day is not really that stressful. It's mostly just about scheduling and fitting it all in. Make sure everyone gets taught and then work gets done and all that stuff.
Mary: Do you anticipate that Brentley will go to school at some point?
Kelsey: I'm not sure. And the reason is he is making such progress at home and is just so happy. The school system in Canada is also very different to the U.S. and IEP is not a legal document. We really have very little control over what happens there. All classroom, all special education. Kids in B.C. are put into a general ed classroom with whatever level of support they might require. So he would just go to a mainstream classroom without necessarily getting the 1 to 1 teaching that he's thriving with. So time will tell, but I really have no plans to. He still goes to an after school program every day, so he's with typical kids in the afternoon, every day with a 1 to 1 key. And actually, we just had two weeks of spring break here and he went from 9 to 3 with his 1 to 1 and a typical program with no and went on field trips bowling to the park, no one with just a 1 to 1 and no problem behavior. So he is capable of being in those settings. I'm just not sure that he will learn the skills he needs if he goes to school.
Resources and Other Episodes:
Mary: Yeah. And I did. I know some of the episodes like the last before the classic podcast, I did an interview with Grandma Tina and I swear I listed like 25 resources that are in the show notes and I just realize like we're almost to the end of this episode and we haven't listed any but one like the home versus school ABA, I think is a good one for people that are struggling. Like do I put them in X, Y, Z program? Do I keep them home? Do I have therapy? You know, either place. So we can only go in the show notes. Any other resources that you can think of off the top of your head we're going to list. Yeah. Yes. But your top resources that you think everybody should be aware of.
Kelsey: I definitely think that home versus school one is important because homeschooling is not for everybody. I'm not saying it is. I really like the episode about medication that really helped me a lot to kind of figure out which direction I wanted to go. Medication wise, that's Michael Murray. I also did another podcast with you and Amy on Precision Teaching, and we use that a lot in our home school, if anyone's interested in that.
Mary: And we also talk a lot in our program and about not using escape extinction. I know that's one of your favorites.
Kelsey: It is one of my favorite episodes. It's episode seven with Dr. Megan Miller.
Mary: It's really just how to be positive. And there's a technique, a strategy, well proven. It's called escape extinction. But it's basically like if a child's not doing something to just keep the demand on nag, you know, even if they scream for, you know, 30 minutes, 45 minutes or have more aggression because they won't do this task. And so with my approach, we don't use escape extinction. We spend 95% of our time preventing problem behavior. And, and I'm very much in alignment with Megan Miller, who's also a doctoral level BCBA. And so episode seven will link in the show notes. And I know Kelsey, you know, that's what ABA Clinic's a lot want to do is they want to teach the, you know, some skills and then when you have problem behaviors, you know, not kind of reevaluate teaching the right skills in the right order and preventing problem behavior. And instead of just throwing a helmet on a kid that's bang in their head to really analyze what's going on and how do you make them as safe as possible, as independent as possible and as happy as possible, which are the big three that we strive for, for every every child.
Kelsey: Yeah. And I think you talk about this in your problem behavior podcast as well, because all your problem behavior stuff really and in the courses and in the podcast really helped me to be able to look at situations and really analyze them. And one of my favorite things that comes up in one of the forms that's in the courses is. How do you like if you were given $1,000? Like, how do you stop this from happening? And I think about that question a lot, like, okay.
Mary: What's happening for people that don't remember that question about me? So if, you know, Brentley's banging his head on hard services 100 times a day, if I said to Kelsey, okay, what if I gave you $1,000 for Brentley not to bang his head? In one hour and one day and a half day or whatever period of time. If I give you $1,000, what would you have to do? And basically the answer is, I'd have to give him everything he wants and place no demands. And that's where we start. We have to clear the slate. Get him in a very happy state. And then you might be listening out there thinking, but that's not realistic, you know? There are some things that kids just have to do. Like they can't go to school naked, or they can't go out and snow without shoes on. I mean, they could, but it's you know, they can't eat unlimited candy every day and that's it. But if we start with the premise of we're going to make them super, super happy and place no or very few demands. And then once we get them into that happy state, we have the problem behavior at or near zero. Then we start to slowly ramp up demands, start to put some parameters around reinforcement so that they're not just, you know, having whatever they want and making a big mess and all the kind of things. But if we use $1,000 a day, if you're out there and you're thinking, Oh, my child or clients won't stop spitting or throwing things or aggressing or hurting themselves or, you know, even minor things, they won't stop swearing at me. They won't tip. You know, if I give you $1,000, what would you have to do to get that behavior at near zero. And then you start by just using the simple resource, the free resources in my book. My book resources we can link in the show notes start with the assessment, start with the plan, start with really preventing things and being positive and not punitive. We have a brand new mini course called No More Time Out and it's all about how to get really good behaviors without threats, bribes or punishment. And once you learn the techniques, you'll never have to use them again. So I can imagine in your household, Kelsey, that you're very positive and that you're not you know, you don't get to the ski lift and go like, if you don't stop that, we're leaving because, you know, you're not leaving. You're there for the day.
Kelsey: If I say that we are leaving. Yeah, yeah.
Mary: Right. But you know, this constant threatening, you know, your planning, your, you know, it might not go perfectly. You got to work through it. You're, you know, if you're trying to threaten Lincoln and Brentley with two different threats, I mean, you get into this bind on that. If you're using threats and bribes and punishment, it doesn't become a fun time.
Kelsey: No, no. Well, always planning and lots of reinforcement, you know, fanny packs of reinforcement, you know, always, always making a reinforcement system. And so I, I think those are probably my top resources. And I have learned so much from you and continue. I mean, how many years post? I mean, 2016. How many years was that? Six years. I still use your techniques every single day. And so, you know it really changed our life.
Kelsey General on the Turn Autism Around Podcast:
Mary: Kelsey's our community manager, and she's answering questions all day long and she's now doing some calls. Welcome calls, getting unstuck calls. We're doing this podcast with the top, top five questions in each area. So you're really just a huge asset to our course, our community now, our podcast community as well. So if you really love this episode, we're going to end so very soon. But you know, give Kelsey some love, do a podcast review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or wherever you're listening. We haven't gotten podcast reviews for months, actually, so if you can figure that out and do that, that would be awesome. So before we let you go, any self-care techniques that you've learned since last time or that you practice that you would recommend for parents and professionals listening?
Kelsey: Yeah, I think I said last time that my number one self-care was learning because that helps me and it still is. I mean, as long as I can make things go smoothly with the kids and being out, then we can do all the outdoor things I like in a place where it's enjoyable for everyone because getting outside is really my whole family's best self-care. But I have now that things have settled down behaviorally for both of them, I do now enjoy to get out once a week by myself outside. So I'll go now. I've gone snowboarding by myself like four times this season, which I don't think that's ever happened and or hike by myself. Or I'll play golf. Something outside usually is my best form of self-care. I also started in the last year, therapy weekly and I really enjoy that. Just having someone to bounce ideas off of and help me has really been just really helpful for me. So awesome.
Mary: I totally recommend to anybody, even if you're not struggling, if you. Yeah. I think therapy is great for everybody and especially if you have, you know, stress, it can only help the situation. But find a good therapist too. Yeah.
Kelsey: Yes. Yeah. You sometimes have to go through a few just like your providers for your kids' family.
Mary: Well, thank you so much for giving us an update. It's great to hear that your boys are just thriving and that your whole family is doing better and better each year. And so we are going to see you soon. Actually, next week we are going to have you on again. It's like the Kelsey Trio.
Kelsey: The month of Kelsey and Mary.
Mary: Yeah, talking about the top five questions regarding table time. So we'll catch you then. And until then, have a great week.
Mary: If you're a parent or an autism professional and enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out my online course and community where we take all of this material and we apply it. You'll learn life changing strategies to get your child or clients to reach their fullest potential. Join me for a free online workshop at MaryBarbera.com/workshop where you can learn how to avoid common mistakes. You can see videos of me working with kids with and without autism. And you can learn more about joining my online course and community at a very special discount. Once again, go to MaryBarbara.com/workshop for all the details. I hope to see you there.
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