175: I’ll be me; can you be you?

In this most personal episode I’ve ever created, I’ll share with you how my autism self-diagnosis has helped me to understand the experiences I’ve had in ways that bring a great deal more clarity and insight than I’ve had up to now.


In addition to hearing from me, you’ll hear the actual voicemail the therapist who has been helping me left to explain the results of my autism screeners, as well as conversations with friends about things that are hard in our friendships.


You’ll hear from listeners who find things I do on podcast episodes to be hurtful and judgmental and also relatable and approachable, and sometimes it’s the same things I do that prompts both the ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ reactions.


And you’ll hear from a listener in my membership community who has been on a similar journey to understand how her ADHD diagnosis wasn’t really about her as much as it was about her reactions to the ways her family interacted with her – they encouraged creativity and expression in her artwork, but never never never ever related to emotional expression.


My goal with this episode is to help you draw together threads in your own life in a way that maybe you haven’t been able to do until now so you can understand yourself better, and make requests to help you meet your needs, and maybe change the situations you’re in so you can be in them with more ease and authenticity.


And I also hope it helps you to see how your child’s struggles are a reflection of their needs, and of whether those needs are being met. Just as you didn’t need fixing when you were a child (and neither did I, despite all the people who tried to fix me), your child doesn’t need fixing either. Instead, we can use the struggles to better understand our needs and our child’s needs, and work toward meeting them both.


To investigate screeners that Dr. A. has available for free on her website, visit https://spectrumservicesnyc.com/resources/



Taming Your Triggers


If you need help with your own big feelings about your child’s behavior, Taming Your Triggers will be open for enrollment soon.

We’ll help you to:

  • Understand the real causes of your triggered feelings, and begin to heal the hurts that cause them
  • Use new tools like the ones Katie describes to find ways to meet both her and her children’s needs
  • Effectively repair with your children on the fewer instances when you are still triggered

It’s a 10-week workshop with one module delivered every week, an amazing community of like-minded parents, a match with an AccountaBuddy to help you complete the workshop, and mini-mindfulness practices to re-ground yourself repeatedly during your days, so you’re less reactive and more able to collaborate with your children. Join the waitlist to be notified when doors reopen.




Jump to highlights


(02:52) My book is coming out on August 2023

(03:29) The ‘emotional intimacy’ between content creators and audiences

(05:50) I looked at my racial privilege through a series of podcast episodes

(06:09) I’ve also been exploring my recent autism self-diagnosis through the podcast

(06:57) Dr. Andalibian’s voicemail telling me about the results of my autism screeners

(10:30) I’ve always had a hard time fitting in

(11:29) My entire teenage years were marked by a huge withdrawal from everything and everyone

(12:33) School was miserable as well because I was good at learning but couldn’t figure out how to make friends

(13:04) Gemma describes what she remembers about me

(15:38) The librarian created the Library Monitor position for me

(16:30) Sarah explains how we met

(20:08) Sarah pointed out that there is much less ambiguity in our relationship than in many of her relationships

(22:50) I was surprised to hear that Sarah found the absence of ambiguity to be a helpful part of our friendship

(24:13) An example of when I’ve misstepped and didn’t know how to fix it

(26:43) A listener and I chat about imposter syndrome back in 2020

(28:50) A listener in my Learning Membership community said she has felt judged by some of the things I’ve said about schools

(30:26) One of the characteristics of autistic people is that we see things in a very black and white way

(31:35) I have some genetic autistic component that nobody knew about when I was a child

(32:47) In many areas of my life, my self-reliance served me well

(34:30) We are stuck in a comparison mindset

(35:59) I have a new series of Q&A episodes launching this year

(36:18) My parents were traumatized by their own parents’ attempts to shape them to succeed in a White supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist culture

(40:11) Don’t compare yourself with me but with the person that you might be if you weren’t held back by these old habits

(41:07) Parent Claire from my Parenting Membership community shared about reading Dr. Gabor Mate’s book on ADHD called Scattered Minds

(46:04) No one wins from negating their true selves

(48:57) I remember one kid in my high school who was ALWAYS in trouble

(50:40) Our children do things that seem like the best strategy they have to meet their needs


About the author, Jen

Jen Lumanlan (M.S., M.Ed.) hosts the Your Parenting Mojo podcast (www.YourParentingMojo.com), which examines scientific research related to child development through the lens of respectful parenting.

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