Episode #84 Interview with Shannon Urquiola “Not Your Average Autism Mom”

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Shannon Urquiola, Not Your Average Autism Mom:
 I am mom to two amazing young adults. My son Jordan is 25 and was diagnosed with autism when he was 5-years old. He also has a younger sister Madison who is 23. My journey to today really began on the day I got Jordan’s diagnosis. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Being so confused, not being able to stop the tears, asking WHY ME? Those feelings of being alone when no one in my family had a child with autism, all my friends who had their children before me, none of them had a child with autism? When you have a child with autism you find yourself feeling isolated and alone. I spent 10 years building an Educational Advocacy company and working with special needs families and advocates across the US when Jordan was in middle and high school. During those years, the realization that Jordan would be living with me forever became noticeably clear. That was my reality, so I knew I had to figure out how I was going to embark on that journey showing up every day as the best version of myself. It was at that time I began working with a Life Coach, and through that coaching and training, I began to really understand how I needed to think differently to feel differently and it was truly a turning point in my life. I went on to become a certified Life Coach and today, inside of our private membership, not only do we have an array of autism training and resources that they need along this unique parenting journey, but we include an entire coaching program as well. I am coaching our moms on becoming more confident and courageous throughout their parenting journey. I am extremely passionate about the world of autism and more specifically the challenges that moms raising a child with autism have along the way. We are a place for them to learn and grow forming friendships along the way with other moms traveling the same journey. It is truly an amazing place to be.

Learn more by visiting: https://www.facebook.com/NotYourAverageAutismMom2020 or https://www.notyouraverageautismmom.com/
Free Downloadable Guide To Getting Through A Meltdown: https://www.notyouraverageautismmom.com/opt-in

Automatic Transcription from Otter.ai

autism, parenting, talk, membership, coaching, podcast, mom, dina, kimmel, members, special education, listen, spectrum, incorporate, coaching program, absolutely, journey, create, sisterhood, dad

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the autism in action podcast today we have another very special guest. We've got Miss Shannon, your keel I know I'm not gonna say that right?

We should have talked about that. Yeah, that's okay. It's urquiola urquiola. I was very

close. And she is with not your average autism mom, podcast, and she has some great services out there for you guys. Perfect. Yeah.

Thanks so much for being here. Shannon. Yeah, I'm really curious if you could talk a little bit about what not your average autism mom is all about. And kind of like what your services include?

Sure, absolutely. So let me just start by saying I have a 25 year old adult son named Jordan, who was diagnosed with autism when he was five years old. And he will I have complete guardianship of him, he will live with me forever. And I just decided, in 2020, that I wanted to create what I wished that I would have had when I was raising Jordan, and so became not your average autism mom, which is a we have several things that we do, we have a weekly podcast that you can find on any of your local podcast platforms, where I talk, I talk all things from a parenting aspect. So I don't. That's where I come from. So that's where my background and knowledge and skill is, is in this unique parenting journey that we're on. And so that's what the podcast is all about. It's focused on the parenting aspect of it, and helping parents moms specifically, to be more confident to give them strategies and tips and techniques that will help them we also have a let's talk autism weekly newsletter that we send out on Thursdays to people on our mailing list that basically has the same things it has, you know, tips and techniques and tricks for your parenting journey. And then our highlight of what we do we have a private sisterhood community, which is a monthly membership program, where they get access to a just an array of resources. It's a it's a membership portal that has everything from getting the diet, diagnosis, everything educational that they want to know regarding special education, because prior to starting, not your average autism mom, I spent over a decade in special education advocacy, working with 1000s appearance, I am also a certified parent coach. So we've incorporated that into our membership. Even though that wasn't a part of the original plan, we figured out very quickly after we opened our membership, that coaching a coaching program would be very beneficial to them inside. So we do live coaching calls every month with our members, we do two coffee talks every month, that are at different times. So that where we all come together and just talk about things, we have a we do a happy hour, once a month, which we had our happy hour last night and we had a pajama party. So everyone comes in their pajamas. It's very casual. It's just very unfiltered conversation. Last night, we talked about, you know, what is something that you've had success with in your parenting recently, and what's something that you're working on. And I think that when you're with a group of amazing women who are all raising a child with autism, we have them from two years old to 18 years old. So you know, they're everywhere on the spectrum and in between, but it's just everyone gained something from somebody else. You know, we were definitely better together. And I always tell them, Listen, I'm not the be all end all for all the answers. That's why collaboratively as a group as a sisterhood. We are we're learning from each other. That was pretty amazing.

That sounds absolutely amazing. And I know it's very needed in our community. You know, any special needs parent needs support. And it sounds like you are definitely incorporating that support system in place. Absolutely throughout the membership and the coaching opportunity. So that's great, for sure. Now, is there anything else that you would like to share with our listeners today?

Well, we have a we have an announcement that once this podcast airs, this will already be out there but we have Dena Kimmel who owns we rock the spectrum gym franchise, they have 98 gyms across the country and are growing in leaps and bounds. Dina actually had the same vision that I had when I was creating and not your average autism mom. And she really wanted to provide a source of place of resources and coaching and all the things. And so she created in 2018, she created rocking the spectrum with Dina Kimball. And we have decided because her plate is overflowing, and she was building, her business just didn't have the capacity to do what she dreamed of doing. So our dreams have become one. And we are merging with rocking the spectrum with Dina Kimmel. So this is October, and we're going to be announcing that at the end of October and really promoting it through November and December. So we're very excited because she brings a lot of, you know, years of connections in the autism world that will help us to reach more moms in our membership community. Wow. So we're really excited. She has a lot of training videos and resources and things that we're going to incorporate into our membership portal. So that'll be available for all of our members, her trainings as well, which to me, when I can add from someone else benefit into our membership. Like every month, we have a guest host in our membership, who trains in their area of expertise. So we have a you know, a BCBA, we have a speech and language pathologist, we have you know, we had autism fitness. So we've had a lot of guest experts come in. And so I think that adding in Dinas trainings and knowledge will just be one more benefit for our members.

Absolutely, absolutely.

I think that the more the more people we have, the more we can learn from absolutely so important because it truly does take an entire village. And especially it does, and I think that you know, one of my biggest things for, you know, it's very hard for us as a parent of a child with autism, to be vulnerable to what really goes on in our households. And there's a lot of things that go on in our household that we can't or don't feel comfortable sharing with our friends who don't experience those kinds of things. So that's really what this membership is about, it's about a safe place for these moms to come and feel comfortable sharing, knowing that it's private, knowing that we're not going to judge you, we're going to be there to lift you up and support you. I think that, you know, I've had several dads who are disappointed that the membership is not for them. But I have several dads that listen to the podcast, and I tell them listen, I if I served both parents, I couldn't be as effective as as we are just serving moms, because it's a really safe place. And we have some, you know, some of our members who we have to coach on their marital issues. And so it's a comfortable, safe place for them when they're going through difficult times, with their families even

Right, right.

Is there then like an effort to then get alignment with with dad and on some of these things? Work? In terms of?

No, Chris, it's very much about, you know, it's through the through our coaching program, we really talk about how you know, your thoughts, create your feelings. So we do a lot of work around, you know, what are you thinking about Dad? Because, you know, if you're thinking these things, that's why you're feeling that way. It's not dad's fault. You know, so we do, we do a lot of coaching on relationships with other family members. Because I mean, Tasha, you know, along this journey, as a mom, you're going to make decisions that your family may not always agree with, right? No, because you're going to do what's in the best interest of your child. And because they don't live in our day to day because they don't understand what we deal with on a day to day basis. Sometimes it's harder for them to understand why you're making the choice you are. And I always tell them, Listen, all you can do is ask them to be compassionate and understanding with your decision. Right? If they're not, that's not your problem. That's their problem. And unfortunately, you're not always going to make everyone happy. Right.

That's an impossible thing to do. Absolutely. And,

you know, like, I know, we talked about a few minutes ago, the fact that most of our members come via our podcast, and I tell them I'm so glad because obviously listening to our podcast, you get the real mean. I'm pretty unfiltered. And I can't be opinionated about that here. Okay, no, I was gonna be me so I actually feel a little bit better. And I really think that I lost my train of thought.

So sorry. That's okay. You were just talking about. I'm going to pause the recording for just a second. I'm so sorry. We'll start the recording back just a second.


So we we just really, you know, we do a lot of coaching around family dynamics, because it can be very difficult when you know, grandparents don't understand, you know why you're making the choices you're making, we had a mom in our membership who had a birthday party for her four year old daughter, and had to keep it small, because it's difficult for her. And her family really didn't understand. And they didn't understand why there couldn't be 40 people there. So, you know, a lot of what we do is around just coaching around these situations and giving them the confidence and encouragement that they are doing the right thing, and that it's okay, that, you know, my big thing is, and I say this all the time, when somebody's life has not been impacted by autism, we can't expect them to understand, right? Because if we, if our lives were not impacted by autism, we wouldn't be out reading and learning and researching autism. Right? We definitely become professional researchers in the press. Exactly, exactly. So, you know, a lot of it is about that. Because there, you know, there's a lot of guilt around, you know, holidays, we're coming into the holidays, very difficult time for a lot of our children, and in turn very difficult for the families because they're having to make hard decisions, right. This is great insight. And I think you have a wonderful platform for moms to come and really get that support that they're looking for. And the opportunity has that one on one encouragement with you as well.

Where is the best place for our listeners to find you online? So you can find us everywhere at not your average autism mom. You can that's our website, not your average autism, mom.com everywhere on social media, not your average autism mom. And again, if you happen to come across rocking the spectrum, with Dina Kimmel, that'll all be redirected to not your average autism mom as well. So we're super exciting. So exciting, will be raised. Feel free to reach out with any updates in between now and then. And is there anything else that you would like to share with our listeners, before we close today, I just want to say that if you're a mom, raising a child with autism, if you don't have support, if you don't have your tribe of people, I can promise you that none of us will make it through this journey without support. And I encourage you to just take a look at what we offer in our membership. You know, our membership is $11 a week, it's $44 a month, and the resources and coaching and community that are inside are far worth far more than that.

Thank you so much, Shannon. Absolutely. Thank you guys so much for having me. And yeah, we'll be in touch. Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you.

Let's Discuss!

Now, we would love to hear from you.

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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