Episode 10: How Can I Help?

Episode 10: How Can I Help?

Meet Catherine Hughes. Hailing from a small town southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, dubbed “the most boring town in Pennsylvania,” Catherine Hughes is the daughter of two English professors. She is a passionate advocate, innovative storyteller, and community strategist.

Catherine is an international best-selling author and/or editor of multiple books including It’s Going to be AUlright: Testimonies from Ausome Women Raising Ausome People, You Are Not Alone: Stories, Resources and Hope from Autism Moms, several books in the Made to Overcome series, Becoming an Exceptional Leader: Inspiration from 14 Accomplished Disability Changemakers, Mental Health DisABILITY: Perception vs. Reality (by Louis Bianco), From the Inside Out: An Autistic Person’s Journey to Creating Inclusive Employment Opportunities (by Mary Nixon Hahn), and We All Belong: Musings on Inclusion, Acceptance, and Kindness.

Her long-awaited memoir, Imprisoned No More: A Mother and Son Embrace Autism and Journey to Freedom released in August 2020. She presented her father’s poetry (Seeking Utopia: The Art, Poems, and Passages of John J. Tomko) on what would have been his 77th birthday (1/16/21). The release of both of these books (and all of her other projects) fulfill the promise she made to her father in his final days.

Catherine has managed a blog and social media platforms as The Caffeinated Advocate since 2018. If you were wondering about her caffeine of choice, she’s always loved her Dunkin’ but is now a sponsored “barista babe” for Coffee Over Cardio. Birthday Cake is her CoC java of choice. Who doesn’t need a little caffeine and cake in their life, right?

In August 2020, Catherine not only released her memoir, but also founded The Caffeinated Advocate, LLC. She is the Chief Inspirational Officer (CIO), and offers a wide array of services as an author, editor, coach, consultant, speaker, and trainer. She is a Certified Master Life Coach, with certifications endorsed by Transformation Academy of Clearwater, Florida.

For over seventeen years, she has provided comprehensive support and passionate advocacy to individuals and self-advocates, their families, and surrounding natural supports throughout their communities. She considers herself a servant leader, one who cultivates, develops, and maintains relationships with grace and grit in order to create, enhance, and promote services and programs that transform lives. On a personal level, her calling (not a career) allows her to give back some of what has so graciously been given to her family. She proudly serves as the Director of Family Support and Community Engagement at Achieving True Self, supporting families across the Northeastern U.S. Living with her in that “boring” (ok, it’s not actually boring) town and very much not boring household are Mama Betty, Christian, and their pets Callie, Cookie, Candie, Hannah, Maddie, and Raven the Cats — yes six cats — and the one and only Abby Dog.

Episode 10: How Can I Help?

Episode 9: A Grammie’s Perspective

Beth Irtz is more than just a special guest on this podcast; she is Amanda’s mother and grandmother to her children. Beth Irtz spent her entire professional career as a nursing home administrator, dedicating her service to improving the lives of elders. She truly understands what it means to care for and understand the human being first – and the diagnosis second. Beth Irtz is the President and Chief Guide of Focus Consultation, Inc. where she continues to be the voice for the elder care experience. You can learn more about Beth Irtz on her LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

Episode 10: How Can I Help?

Episode 8: Inspiring Hope

Get ready to hear about the importance of mental health for moms and why asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Christina Abernethy is a two-time best-selling co-author, most recently including You Are Not Alone: Stories, Resources, and Hope From Autism Moms; a book that is filled with inspiring stories, helpful resources, and hope for families to let them know that they are not alone in their journey. Her first co-authored book is Made to Overcome: Chronic Illness. She is the founder of Love, Hope and Autism and is proud to be the coordinator for Changing Spaces Pennsylvania, a movement to build accessible restrooms with powered height adjustable adult-sized changing tables across communities to promote inclusion.

Contact information and resources shared in this episode are listed here:

Love, Hope & Autism

Changing Spaces Pennsylvania

Original Recording Date: January 24, 2021

Episode 10: How Can I Help?

Episode 7: You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup

Victoria Wilkins knows that for life to be full then your cup must also be full. Victoria will share the moment when her daughter’s echolalia stopped, just momentarily, and the moments that continue to inspire her. She is a mother, wife, and owner of a small business. You can learn more about Victoria at https://rosecolouredglasses.us.

Original Recording Date: December 28, 2020

Episode 10: How Can I Help?

Episode 6: Room for Grace

ShonNicole believes in sitting in stillness, exercising with her son, and asking for help. Why? ShonNicole gives herself grace because she knows that raising a child on the autism spectrum is about accepting YOURSELF for you. It is about recognizing where YOU are in life and being okay with that. Whether it is exercising with your child, because it is better than nothing at all, or simply sitting in stillness when the moment finds you, ShonNicole reminds us all about holistic wellness. More information about ShonNicole can be found at https://essenceofaqueen.net and on social media.

Original Recording Date: 01-06-2021

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