Episode #71 Interview with Champions For Our Children with Michelle Rogers (Autism Mom, Life Coach, & Registered Behavior Technician)

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  Michelle B. Rogers is an Autism Mom & Life Coach & Registered Behavior Technician

Michelle helps Autism Parents of Toddlers who are Non-Verbal to start Communicating AND Potty Train – GUARANTEED!

Learn more at michellebrogers.com

Michelle is a mother of a daughter with Autism. She was diagnosed at 2 and was non-verbal. She learned sign language, then word approximations then started to speak. She was in the more restrictive special education preschool class 6:1:4 and today as an 8yr old, she is in a 2nd Grade Integrated Class in General Education School. Michelle is a coach and Autism Mom who helps empower parents to get the best outcome for their children. She offers Group and 1:1 Coaching Programs as well as a self-study course, a Potty Guide, and a Non-Verbal to Communication Guide Coming Soon. She is also working on a new book about her journey.

Automatic Transcription from Otter.ai

children, parents, talk, started, thinking, michelle, give, change, call, bargaining, stages, awesome, rogers, champions, sign language, autism, aba, mindset, oxygen chambers, part

Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of the autism and action podcast today we've got another information packed episode with another special guest, we've got Miss Miss Michelle Rogers, all the way from Long Island, New York. Michelle, welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me.

Well, I am so excited to learn all about what it is that you're doing with champions for our children, and can't wait to get that information out to our listeners.

Perfect. Um, so go ahead. What do you guys say?

Oh, yeah, sorry. Can you tell us maybe a little bit about how you got into champions for our children, and maybe some a little bit about your background?

Sure. So we were kind of thrust into the world of autism Actually, it's kind of ironic the way everything happens, my sister happens to be a bcba. And I remember going with her to, you know, I guess they had some type of like convention, where like, all of these people kind of came together, and they were selling supplements, they were selling the, you know, the oxygen chambers, all these things. And she had a mentor that was going to be speaking on ABA there. And I had knew nothing I didn't even I wasn't married at the time, I had no kids nothing. And I remember going just thinking like, Oh, my gosh, these parents are just so desperate to help their children. And there was just so many different things that were kind of being thrown at them. And I think they were just kind of clinging to everything that they could to help their kids. And then you know, fast forward three or four years later, I get married, I have my first child and December of 2014, she was diagnosed on the spectrum. So I had no idea that this was going to be my life. And I was going to be one of these parents that were clamoring for a solution to try and help her. those first couple of months, were probably, you know, nothing short of a nightmare. For me, I was kind of, I always call it like I was cast into outer darkness because I had no idea what to expect. And I didn't know you know what this meant for her future. Any plans, I had my mind what I thought it was going to be like we're just completely shattered. And I was just kind of left, you know, feeling very alone with this. Because you know, my family and friends even though my sisters in the industry, it's one thing to be a teacher, it's another thing to be a parent living with us. And I felt really even with her, I felt very alone. And I remember thinking, you know, if there was somebody out there who could kind of give me a roadmap or tell me what I needed to do to help her I would just I would have jumped on it. And there was nothing at the time. And I remember thinking my head, I'm like, really just going into a spiral about everything. And then one night, I kind of right before bed, I just kind of looked at myself in the mirror, and I said, you know, I'm going to die one day, and who's going to take care of her like her mother, when I'm gone. And there was just something about that thought, same thinking in my head, I said, You know, I don't know what's going to happen to her. And I said, I don't know what I can even help her do. But I need to get out of this state of like just kind of feeling really bad for us, and just start to take action and be the mother I always promised I was going to be to her when I was pregnant with her, I was so grateful to have her. And I remember thinking to myself, you know, nothing's really changed here, you know, I'm still her mother. And my guidance for her is more important now than ever. And you know, whether or not she live an independent life, or she you know, or she didn't, I wanted to know that when I left this earth that I could leave saying I gave her everything I had. So that really kind of just changed, changed the trajectory for her. And for me, it's in the beginning, I was in such a state of despair. I mean, and her progress, you know, mirrored that. So she was you know, not doing well with anything that we were presenting to her. And then once I started to change the way that I thought about it, and change the my actions and my emotions around it, oh my gosh, her progress started to go in the opposite direction, she started to follow that as well. And next thing you know, she went from sign language to word approximations to speaking she was she was in the most restrictive preschool environment. She was in 614. She was moderate to severe on the spectrum 614. And then she went from that class to an integrated class two, then I pulled her and put her in a special ed with a private placement with a private with an RBT. And then she's now eight years old and integrated second grade class with typical peers. So we've had the journey.

Yes, absolutely. Y'all went through a whole lot already. And you're still in the early early education.

Yes. And it which is really interesting because a lot of our children I've I've I've coached some parents of older children on specific goals, but a lot of the children in the channel beans for our children masterclass are between the ages of like, you know, 15 months up to about eight or nine. So it is it's kind of nice because we're all kind of going on this journey together.

When you talk about changing your mindset, and that really kind of being a catalyst for for big change for your daughter, can you tell us a little bit about like, what specific things maybe you change and sort of what you coach parents through and in terms of changing their mindset as well?

Yeah. So when I started this program, I was always thinking about the practical like I said, Okay, listen, I'm just going to show these parents what I did, they're going to do what I did, and they're going to see the results. But we were at the beginning, when I started doing this, I start coaching one on one, I wasn't seeing that, and I'm like, what's the what's the difference here, and then I almost had to reverse engineer what I had done, innately not even thinking about it, which was changing my thoughts around this. And then I had to teach them to do that the same. So like, if I was in a situation where I, you know, I always call it getting the diagnosis is like the grieving process. And there's five stages of grief, you know, there's the denial at first, then there's the anger, there's the bargaining, like, you know, what can I do to make this go away pleading with God, almost even. And I was always doing some bargaining with my tip, I always call them tip moms are typical friends of moms of typical children trying to say, you know, right, that she doesn't look like she has it right. So you're kind of like bargaining, like you're trying to find somebody who has no experience to tell you otherwise, that you don't think she has ever I looked at earlier, she seems fine. Right? So I went through this bargaining stage, then I went through this depression. And then I got to one of the most important stages, which is I think, where we, most of my families kind of get stuck until we can help bring them forward, which is acceptance. Yeah. And they don't talk about acceptance. They talk about the five stages of grief as five stages, but actually think there's a sixth stage. And that's creation. And creation can happen until acceptance is a part of the package. And I tried to you know, in the beginning, when I was doing this, I was always trying to work on the practical and I said, you know what the practical is garbage without the the minds and the heart in this. And we have to kind of understand that we can create whatever we want. With this, we actually have a lot more of a say and power on how this goes just by the way we think about it. Yeah. So you know what I mean? And I think one of the things that happens is you hear an autism diagnosis, or somebody who has no idea what this is like they see it as cancer. And Autism is not cancer. No, it is not.

It is not awesome.

Such a good message.

For sure. And so when I think about mindset, it's one of the first things that I work, we used to work on the practical first, and then the mindset, I completely fit switched, I said, they come to me, they're like, great, she's gonna tell me exactly what I need to do to make my child like her child. And it's like, Okay, great. You came now we're going to work on you first. Absolutely, you have to work on you, I was called the invisible umbilical cord, whatever you're thinking and feeling. That's exactly what the kid is gonna, gonna output.

So, your website is chock chock full of awesome resources on I spent a good deal of time looking through some of them, and one that really stood out to me was the advocating like the boss on I love the title. It's Can you talk a little bit about that?

Absolutely. So when I started this, I said, great, I'm going to create a self study course, to give them like the need, like if I looked at my whole journey, I said, what were the things that I did that really move the needle for the for Giuliana? And I thought about and I said, You know, I came from a business background, before I started doing this, I was a multimillion dollar sales executive, for almost 20 years now I'm aging myself, but I use a lot of the professional experience I had towards getting her the things that she needed. So in that particular course, what I did was I kind of started it just kind of explaining our story, how I kind of made that change that turn in my mind and the way I the things I thought about the diagnosis. And then we get right into like, helping them to understand what their rights are. why it's so important to be this strong advocate. We talk about evaluations. Then we talk about negotiation. So one of the things that one of the first lessons I think I talked about and advocating like a boss is when I went into the early intervention, the county to ask for hours when she was diagnosed. They wanted to give her I think, like, I think 15 hours and I asked for 40 and the lady almost fell off her chair like where are you at? You know, like, I've never had a mom come in here and just be like, counter me. And I'm like, I'm like, well, this is why and I came in with the Dr. Robot study out of UCLA. He had done a study of children between the ages of I believe, I think it was like one and a half and four and over the course of a year they had 40 hours of ABA intervention. I said 48% some of those kids were severe on the spectrum. I said 47% of those children came out of that study either with indistinguishable or recovered signs of autism. And I think awesome is something that my daughter will have for the rest of her life. But the idea is that, you know, our job as parents is to give her every tool she needs for success. So I went in with that, I ended up walking out with 30, which was double what she was going to initially give me. So these are the kinds of things I think what happens, they get in that fear state, and they're just so frozen, they're just sitting there almost not even present, not even realizing that these kinds of conversations can make or break the trajectory potentially for their children.

Let less

Yes, relentless, I guess that's a good word for it.

awesome way to lead by example. Cool.

Yeah, Julian is amazing. We're so blessed, I had no idea what she was going to be able to do. Nobody could tell you, you, nobody can tell you anything. Each child is going to be individual, but I want to say to it is individual but really, I mean, please, as a parent, that you have a lot to do with what that outcome is going to look like.

Absolutely. And I think to, you know, the more that the parents have the opportunity to realize and and hone into that self confidence, like what you were talking about working on themselves first, so that they they have that self confidence in that courage to be the advocate that they want to be for their child.

Yes, yes. And that's why I said, it's funny when I did advocate like a boss, we got right into the practical. And then we talked about the mindset and those champions for our children. I reversed it because I said, you know what they they don't realize the Pratt you could do everything I did, and not get any results. But if you're not changing your mindset, then then nothing happens. You have to kind of change your beliefs about things. I This isn't my quote, but I forgot who it is. Her name is Brianna weast. I want to say it's the quote, she said, The mind is like a furnace that can warm your house or burn it down. So it's entirely up to you what you allow it to do.

What a good quote. Yeah, Michelle, where can our listeners find you online?

So we actually have a Champions for our children. It's called champions for children with Michelle Rogers Facebook group, in that group, I go live weekly, we do like a little mini training, and then I do q&a. And we also have one of the champions for our children. bcbas also goes live in that group as well once a week to answer questions. And she's actually a part of the master masterclass program. She's part one of the calls that come with that program. And she was a part of our journey with Juliana, just as Juliana was starting to get language, Stacey was a part of that. So she's a part of our family as well. So they can find us on Facebook there. They can also go to the website. If they want to watch our story, I created like a 10 minute video really just to kind of capture where we were. It's amazing because I had videos of like tantrums and videos of her first words and videos of sign language. And I never thought I would use them for something like this. I'm so grateful that I took that I'm not really a camera person too. But I happen to take these images. I'm so glad I have it to show where we were because we were where they are to where we are now.

Awesome. Our time is Michelle B. Rogers.

Shelby Rogers, r o g ers calm. Yep. Okay.

Well, we will link all of that information in the show notes. I just want to say thank you so much for taking the time to be here today. Is there anything else at all that you would like to share with our listeners, before we close? You know,

the only thing I would share is, if you don't follow me, if you don't, you know, go to the website or even join the group, if you want to walk away with something that I would say to you is that you have control over what you think. And thoughts create emotions, and emotions decide action or inaction. So it's up to you as parents, if you want to walk away with nothing, and just that to know that you can actually decide what you think that thoughts are not facts, thoughts or beliefs, those thoughts are just thoughts that our brain picks up. And then once we start thinking thoughts like that, the brain will go out and find evidence to support it. And then that becomes the thought becomes a belief. But a belief is a poor excuse for a fact in life so you can create the thoughts that you want to believe around this diagnosis, which in turn could potentially create a beautiful life for your child.

Wonderful, wonderful advice. Thank you so much, Michelle, for taking the time to be here. And I owe you guys go to her website. Michelle B. Rogers calm.

Thank you for having me.

Let's Discuss!

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Do you have questions? Do you have ideas? Do you have an opinion? Do you think we missed something?

Let's have a discussion in the comments below or head over to the Autism in Action Facebook group. We would love to hear from you!

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