Joyriding In Autismland: Autism Podcast with Kid Gigawatt

Launched by parents of an infectiously funny and *mostly* happy boy on the spectrum, the Joyriding in Autismland podcast chats with ASD parents, kiddos, therapists, writers, and artists about the unexpected, charming, and funny moments with Autism. Because laughing? Is the best vacation. Find the show notes online at

The Podcasts

Hey guys! So summer is coming, even though you wouldn't really be feeling it yet if you are up in Maine with us, and I wanted to do an  episode about safety issues and autism. This is super important because statistically, most accidents involving people on the spectrum happen in the warmer months. I'm excited to be speaking today with Federal Law Enforcement Officer, autism parent, and autism first responder trainer Matt Brown.

We talk about why it is sooooo important to register kids with autism with the local and state police departments. <--Hint: it literally saves lives.

Check out Officer Brown's website at, and print out the registration form here:

You can find our show notes at


PS Click here to listen, subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes: Joyriding in Autismland


Direct download: 34_Matt_Brown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:34pm EST

Thrilled to be joined by my husband to discuss three things we feel have made us better autism parents people. I hope listening to these will get you thinking about how your past experiences relate to the spectrum.

Don't skip the last bit, where I list out our five favorite coping tools (spoiler alert: one of these may involve Jon Stewart, but I can neither confirm nor deny.) <--it's true!

Here is the link-o-rama mentioned on the episode:

Kid Gigawatt website:

Kid Gigawatt blog, called Thread & Wing: Navigating Autismland:

Kid Gigawatt movie teaser:

And... why are we doing this?

DSM 5: <--you can also use this as a fast-acting sleeping aid

My Autism Team: 

Jon Stewart:

Email me at with any suggestions, comments or additions to my lists- I already like you for being here! :)



PS Click here to listen, subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes: Joyriding in Autismland

Direct download: 33_Kid_Gigawatt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55pm EST

Today I'm excited to speak to author Patty Pacelli, whose young adult son has autism. She advocates for people on the spectrum to achieve their career dreams and contribute their exceptional talents to the workforce, and has just written a book entitled Six Word Lessons for Autism Friendly Workplaces.

We chat about preparing younger kiddos for the workforce, what makes some people with autism fantastic hires, some of the best and worst jobs for people with autism, and about helpful work accommodations.

In case you're thinking about picking up the book here's a chapter summary
1.  The Need for Autism Friendly Workplaces
2.  Career Preparation for Parents and Children
3.  How to Find the Best Jobs
4.  ADA Laws and Rules for Work
5.  Best Interview Practices for the Employer
6.  Interview Tips for People with Autism
7.  Reasonable Accommodations for Employers to Offer
8.  Accommodations that can Help Autistic Employees
9.  Benefits of Hiring People with Autism
10. Be Aware of Unique Autistic Traits
11. Social Expectations for Workers with Autism

And here are Patty's deets:

Fast Company article:
Entrepreneur article:


Direct download: 32_Patty_Pacelli.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:39pm EST

Kyle's work in autism spans direct services, research, and administration. He worked one-on-one with adults on the spectrum in Santa Barbara, CA, focusing on improvements in quality of life, employment, health, and social networks. For two years, while pursuing his Master's of Social Work, he worked for a multi-million dollar state and federally funded psychosocial intervention research project at the University of Pittsburgh for adults with autism that aims to be a new standard in adult autism services. And he's author to the recent book, Connect: Findings for a New Era of Autism.

Here are all the deets on Kyle:




PS Click here to listen, subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes: Joyriding in Autismland

Direct download: 31_Kyle_Crawford.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm EST

Today's episode is a bit different, because I won't be doing any interviewing - I'm flying solo. It's been a rough week for us all, because my father-in-law died on Monday afternoon, and he was just a great guy. A coach, a teacher, a veteran, a lifelong athlete, and a kind and gentle man.

I'm feeling nostalgic, so I wanted to give a look back and give you guys a quick guide to our previous episodes to help you find a good one you might have missed. 

The episodes from the parent perspective are:

Numbers 4 & 5 with Keri Bowers, fillmaker and art therapist on raising a son on the spectrum
Number 7 with Dan Korins on his son, who has an amazing voice
Number 8 with Rupert Isaacson, NYT best-selling author and filmmaker of "The Horse Boy"   
Number 12 with my husband Jeff Waites, on raising the Romanator
Number 14 with Wayne Gilpin, author, and autism book and magazine publisher
Number 18 with Kara Wilson, on raising a daughter with Asperger's
Number 21 with Margret Ericsdottir, filmmaker and mom of a nonverbal teenaged boy
Number 28 with Cynthia Lord, NYT best-selling children's author, and mom to a young adult son with autism   
Number 29 with Julie Cole, entrepreneur and mother of 6 kids, the oldest of whom has autism

Writing from the first-hand perspective of autism    

Episode 2 with Temple Grandin, autism rock star   
Episodes 9 & 10 with Jennifer McIlwee Myers, Aspie and author   
Episode 23 with Tom Angleberger, Aspie, NYT best-selling author of a series of kids books with Aspie main characters

The sibling perspective is highlighted with my own kids in episode 6

Authors- we have a bunch in the parent category (Rupert Isaacson, Wayne Gilpin, Cynthia Lord), but also:

Episode 3 with James Ball, chair of the national Autism Society and autism behavioral consultant
Episode 20 with scholar, NYT best-selling author and speaker Andrew Solomon

And then there are therapists and therapies on

Episode 13 with Alisa Anderson on adaptive ski
Episode 16 with Sarah Bronson on therapeutic horseback riding   
Episode 17 with Jill Schacht on occupational therapy
Episode 19 with Elizabeth Mortati on art therapy
Episode 25 with Rachel See on music therapy

School & Home focused:

We talk in-home support in number 11 with Lauren O'Neil
We talk school inclusion in episode 24 with Tim Villegas

Episode 22 with Eric Tivers is about how ADHD tends to co-occur with autism

And then there are two episodes not specifically related to autism, but to being different:

Episode 1 with NYT best-selling author, wine expert and social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk
Episode 27 with NYT best-selling author, magazine publisher, super nice guy, and business consultant Chris Brogan

And the last episodes I haven't mentioned are about Kid Gigawatt (that's us!)

Number 15 is about why we sell t-shirts to microfund therapies for kiddos with autism
Number 26 is about the road trip documentary movie we're making this summer

And today is episode 30, so there you have it! And after 4 planes and a funeral, what I'd really love more than anything, is to hear from you. Please email me your funny stories from Autismland, I'd love to put together an episode together just with some of the bright spots. So when we're feeling a bit blue, we can have a good laugh. Email me at I'm counting on you! :)


PS Here's a link to the blog post I mentioned on the podcast, Remembering Opa.

Direct download: 30_Kelley_Fitch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30pm EST