Jan. 4, 2021

Episode 43 - Autism with Landon Hughes

The Wolf AND The Shepherd sit down with Landon Hughes, a speech therapist specializing in treating autistic children and discuss the ins and outs of the mystery behind autism


welcome to this episode of the wolf and

the shepherd today we're going to talk


a world of their own and today joining

us is

landon hughes landon glad you could join


thanks for having me absolutely and

you know thanks for taking some time out

of your day to

uh come here and talk to us about uh


gonna be an interesting topic and it's

gonna be one of those

where the wolf typically tries to talk

over me

and not let me ask questions but you

know what i'm going to try to interject

a little bit more than i normally do

well having said that i just got there's

a low

air quality alert oh so there is i might

actually have to pause the breathe in

more often than normal so just take

those chances and well you're going to

jump in

that that's something that's obviously

wrong with you but

that's topic for another podcast 14

months a year

is yeah so um landon he's a speech


supervisor and director of clinical


at uh organization called therapedia

here in tarrant county in north texas uh

my son worked with landon or the other

way around probably

um for a number of years and was

incredibly blessed during that time

with landon's devotion and

professionalism with the whole

of the staff of therapeutia i know

xander always

uh loved to come in see you that's great

um and as most of our regular listeners

know my son is seven years old

you know he does have autism and you

know we are enrolled in various

um therapy programs and today we really

wanted to kind of discuss

some of the approaches to that therapy

um and really you know how you develop


from different facets of those therapies

such as speech

food therapy uh all the different type


i guess uh what would you call it like

when you talk about certain behaviors

associated with autism

on autism spectrum so i kind of think of

you know different

treatments as um you know

almost like a modality like different

approaches um different methods

for how you can treat children with


but as you kind of touched on um

it's pervasive in all of

the the areas that it touches i mean it

doesn't just impact speech it doesn't

just impact behavior

it doesn't just impact feeding um


play i mean it it originally was a

pervasive developmental disorder pdd-nos


in early name for autism

what what does pdd and os stand for so

pervasive developmental this uh

oh pervasive developmental disorder not

otherwise specified okay

um early on it was it was

kind of a seesaw between is this a

psychological issue

is it an emotional disorder um

and so there's been different iterations


what autism is from a strictly like

psychological level based on the

different editions of like the dsm you


and what is the the diagnostic

statistical manual of psychology okay um

i don't know what number they're on

right now if it's the four

or the five um but

that's that's how you ended up with this

idea of the autism

spectrum and so the most

recent version of it has actually um

it's gotten it's it's interesting


it has really just isolated

autism by itself um to where you have

different levels of autism um

and so you know that it really has gone

into almost giving

a severity rating um you know from the

very beginning

of like a one or a two or three

and it's my understanding that that's

based on the expected

level of intervention that the child

will require

based on their level of function at the

time of

diagnosis so a one a level one

is a is a little bit more um

severe and then it moves up to um

higher higher levels now obviously those

levels of diagnosis

have you know improved over the year

when i

was maybe three or four i got

diagnosed as having a certain form of

autism and two of my other brothers did

as well and i did the classical

you know things you associate with

autism you know i had these

repetitive you know patterns of behavior

um you know i didn't do the hand


thing but i would lay in bed and rock my

head i would rock to

throw in a chair um you know very sings

you to associate it with it i had speech


up into a certain age well that was

because you were born in well

yeah yeah we didn't understand each

other across the street there so i mean

that's one thing but

um you know and then

you kind of grow up learning nothing

about autism whatsoever unless you know

somebody person

who's affected by it you know even

you know with my own son when you talk

to people who don't really know

or haven't researched anything about it

everything's lumped into this

they're on the spectrum and the problem

is now the spectrum is

so wide that it's like even if you have


you have a kid who has difficulty paying

attention for long periods of time that

they get thrown on the spectrum and

everybody you know say

as you were saying london that you know

you really do have to with a scalpel

divide up

what you know kids need what approach

and what types of therapy there's not a

one-size-fits-all therapy there's not

even a 20

sizes fix-all approach to it you really

have to almost

tail and make different therapies for

everything absolutely

yeah um that's something that we talk

about a lot

um there's definitely a saying that

probably a lot of people use when you're


in pediatrics and working with kids who

have autism

we always say like if you've seen one

child with autism

you've seen one child with autism


none of them are the same um

and so the therapy has to be different


the approaches have to be different and

unique and

creative and if you attempt

i mean you can attempt to try certain


for sure with multiple kids um

especially early on when you're trying

to figure out what you're

going to be doing in therapy um

you know you have to kind of try

different strategies to see what's going

to work for each particular child

well that that sounds to me like it it


very difficult to try to

figure out what kind of process that you

have to provide to this child of

well this this process worked for this


but it might not work for this child so

now we've got to just kind of

punt and try to figure out what's going

to work for the next child but

there's not this set deal of oh i've got

a cold

so i just get under a blanket i take

some vitamins i

eat some chicken noodle soup and next

thing you know

i'm over the cold is that there there's


set way to quote unquote cure it

no um and i would even venture

to say that people should be cautious

about the idea

of curing autism

um i think that you can significantly


the you know the the

outward you know kind of expressions of

autism but

i think if you were to ask a lot of

parents of kids with autism

that's not something that they're really

interested in in doing

every time yeah um our goal is not to

change the who the child is uh

either we're we're trying to facilitate

a skill

that we believe that they

are capable of um even though

maybe when we first see them you may

have other people that would say i don't

know if this child can communicate i

don't know if this child can play in a

functional way

um i don't know if this child is going

to be able to

interact with peers or with parents or


but that's our that's our goal sure

and so you know i tell people regardless

of the autism diagnosis

my role as a speech therapist is to help

your child communicate

so you know a lot of times i have kids

that come in

without an autism diagnosis but maybe

it's suspected

based on the initial evaluation um

and over a period of time maybe that

discussion starts

to happen about the potential that a

child may have autism

and that's something i always tell

parents like my goal is not to treat

autism my goal is to treat a language

disorder or or a communication disorder

or a language delay

and my goal is still the same is to have

your child

communicate in a way that can be

functional and productive

yeah and that you know with my own son

you know his mother and i

when we first got the diagnosis

it does kind of change your entire world


i guess it's like with anything you go

through this worst case scenario

like you know will he ever

be able to you know communicate

effectively be

functional and play will it be able to

dress himself will it be able to

you know even things such as be toilet

trained or

anything like that because you're never

sure right at the beginning the severity

or you know how long certain hurdles

will take

you know to overcome and i think you

know our biggest worry was because

you know we had sandra a little bit

later in life than a lot of parents was


we knew we're not going to be around

forever for him so we want him to be as

functional as possible

you know but both in terms of um you

know communication

being able to be you know as

self-sufficient as possible and be able

to perform

not just basic tasks but tasks with

you know i you know i hate the work but

you know

kind of normal you know neurotypical

type lifestyle

and you know that for us has always been

the focus that we want to get into that

point where

we can see constant i don't know if you

really want to call it development but i

guess progress and meeting goals

improvement yeah it's hard because you

know that the whole diagnosis that comes

about to begin with is when they don't

meet those kind of milestones and so

those milestones

are met later on and we want him to meet

all of those milestones which he maybe

should have met or

you know years earlier but to actually

at some point hit those milestones

right you know so he can be functional

because every everybody wants to

see their kid walk at a certain age or

talk at a certain age it's kind of the

same thing yeah

and um actually uh going back a little

bit on them how did you get into

this whole thing because i mean that's i

know that you know

obviously i know a few things about you

because i've known you for a number of


and um you know i know you played select

soccer and

probably i think you're the same age as

my very my very first soccer team i

coached in texas because you're about 35


yeah yeah um is it was it eighty-five

boys yeah

texas lightning yeah yeah i remember

that and we must

play against you i don't know how many

times as well but um

how was this something you

set your eyes on or was this just

something which kind of

as you got closer to having to choose

what grill what you wanted to do

just kind of suddenly stood out and

spoke to you sure um

well i i did my undergrad

i got a bachelor of science in

psychology uh from texas a

m and um

you know the trouble with psychology is

that you can't do much with a bachelor's


so you i mean and you pretty much need a


in order to do anything that will get

you a living

with psychology so my initial thought

was that i would get a masters in

psychology and do

uh family and marriage counseling sorry

um and then uh it was almost time for me

to graduate and my sister is a


in san antonio and she asked me if i had

ever thought

about speech therapy um because they

you know have kids that need speech

therapy all the time it's a job that was

in demand and

if i was interested in that so

you know the thing i liked about

psychology was

how people learn new skills

how that happens and so you know i was

really interested in that

and so that fit right into that category

you know where you're basically teaching

kids how to

learn to talk how to acquire new skills


i went and got um my master's degree

from the university of north texas oh

the unt that's where i went to school oh

yeah the old main green

yeah the main green yeah and so um

after that well i've been practicing as

a speech therapist

uh for this is my 10th year so wow

yeah um but yeah without that

recommendation from my sister

i don't know if i would have landed on

speech therapy

um as a career but i'm

really really glad that i did because i

mean the variety of things

that we see the variety of settings that

you can work in

is i don't i mean i think it's unlike

a lot of careers i mean the only other

thing i can think of

that might compare to it is like if

you're if you are a physician

you know the idea of a physician that

was once a

cardiologist and now you're a

radiologist and maybe you

uh go into family practice or something

i don't know

um it just lets you have a lot of

variety yeah

well i i always thought if i was gonna

be a doctor

i was gonna be a radiologist because

x-rays are black and white and i'm


so i always thought well that's the

perfect job for me

because it's all black and white so i

don't have to worry about the colors

well and radiologists just get to sit in

in a

dark room and look at pictures by

themselves most of the day that's pretty

much what it does yeah that's all i do

anyway so why why am i not a radiologist

perfect there's still time it's still

time now why did you do it online


so it's one of those things with all our

podcasts that i'm going to look this up

and then never do it right yeah i mean i

you know i've got a degree in

psychosocial kinesiology and i'm still

not entirely sure what it was about

you can't even spell that you know i do

have issues sometimes with the

kinesiology yeah

before he except yeah and then i had a

my degree before that was business and

marketing and i probably only did about

anything maybe about two years worth of

that yeah kind of a

career house so both of my degrees have

proven to be absolutely useless

yeah if that business marketing degree

worked out so well

we'd be just like number two under joe


right now yeah swimming in a sea of gold


no clue whatsoever

unlike i guess a lot of traditional

therapies where benchmarks

may be pretty similar to most of the

kind of

people you see

is it is it difficult sometimes to


or see progress when somebody can't

communicate with you their

understanding even though they might

fully understand it because i remember

when sanders used to come to you and

you would very barely

even you know say any words whatsoever

now it'll sing like full lines

songs and stuff but but when somebody

can't really communicate to you or is

just so interested in something else

which is presented to them how do you

kind of

get over that of just well i don't know

if they're getting what i'm trying

right you know right i think um

the thing about i mean in in


you know staying with kids with autism


it is unlike working with some of our


kids that we see um when you're working

on a kid

on for articulation you know

it's almost like you're going down a

checklist of these are the sounds that


needing to work on they master a sound

you knock that off the list you know

let's move to the next sound let's

let's progress in this direction but it

is much more

subtle and intricate when it comes to

kids with autism

um you know i think going back to

even the evaluation

i think there is a realization as a


and like you talked about being a parent

um where you you realize that this is

going to be a long-term

relationship and so

you just kind of settle in and you start


especially in at our clinic we start to

look at the entire

child so we have an aspect of speech

where like you said he's he initially

was not using any words

um and there was a lot of

frustration a lot of behavior going on


and so you just start to notice some


yeah and for me it always starts with


how is the attention um

is it is it getting more consistent are

we finding activities that will hold

attention for a little bit longer each


we not we may not get any words for a

good amount of time

but is he imitating something i'm doing


a toy uh are there motor movements

that the child is willing to imitate

um are they taking turns with me in play

are they taking my hand

and putting it on top of a toy and

asking me

to push that button again or to

make it play that song another time you

know um

it's subtle things but the tricky part

is that you have these standardized

assessments that pop up and so the thing

about standardized assessments is that

they don't

make standardized assessments on

using children with autism to form

the the sample the normative sample to

make these scores

so we're using tests that were basically

made using children that were

fairly typically developing to measure

children that are you know not

as typically developing now why do you

think it is that

given that a lot of kids with autism

have a level of high functionality that

we don't necessarily pick on

pick up on very quickly i mean in

xander's case it was with technology you

saw you do one thing one time

he knew how to do it um and it's

you know a common thing among parents

that you know we've got to put this uh

repetition thing to use sure you know

and uh

you know i mean just like with this

podcast you know the moment xander wants

to watch something repetitively he's

gonna we're gonna

make him watch like a million times a

week the youtube videos so uh

we get paid through google adsense but

um perfect it's uh

it's it's kind of hard because you know

they kind of understand it is it

just some sound or just something which

triggers because i mean standard

i mean you won't watch a whole episode

repeatedly it will just be

rewinded or listened to three or four

seconds and there's some

trigger in there and sometimes it's

visual and not sure

you know acoustic that

he just gets hooked on and his latest

one is uh

he listens to this um youtube video

about this woman who's going shopping

with a kid and they're buying healthy


and he's been hooked on this for about

two or three weeks

and you know i'm not sure what the

attraction is sometimes i can tell what

the attraction is with some stuff

but you know i don't dissuade him

because he does get to the point where

he can repeat the whole sentence or

something is watching and actually use

it appropriately okay

and so i don't dissuade him from doing

that um

the stuff where it might be garbled a

little bit like i

try and not have him watch rabbit's

invasion anymore

you know because she can't understand

that i mean

he's been watching that show for like

five years and i still can't really

understand anything in it

so i tried to dissuade him from watching

that but something which has basic

educational value in there

i don't mind him absorbing you know

repetitively but

again i just don't understand

why i guess that level of repetition

just continues again

and again and again when i know full

well he understands

well in that you know i think you you

kind of touched on something

that i i mean

you some people may see that as like a

as a negative thing yeah um

so maybe initially for xander it started

out as something that looked interesting

but like you said there there are


we all have these sensory inputs yeah

that we're receiving all the time

um and it's giving you some sort of

you know neurotransmitter hit of some

some you know kind um and so there's

something appealing

about the sound the visual effect um

maybe it's a motor movement i mean we

have a lot of kids that like

spinning they like jumping they like all

kinds of things they'll clap their hands


you know uh stomping and stomping their

feet and

jumping uh but stomping their feet

really hard when they walk they they

like that sensory input that they're


but you know i i think that like you


it early on especially whenever i'm

seeing a child

if i can find a pattern of play

i mean that's that's kind of xander's

play yeah

it's it's not structured he knows that

you're not going to tell him

not to do that so it's like this is my

free time

i can do what i want you know this is my

ipad and i can watch my video

and i can watch it however i want this

isn't dad's movie

but if he you know but

what we can do is identify those

patterns and then use it

to our advantage yeah in order to

facilitate something

functional like you said like is he

picking up on the language

and using it in a way that can be

appropriate yeah

now there been many studies that you

know of where

i don't know maybe the release of

dopamine is different

in kids with autism as supposed to

regulate that i mean

how they get back to your reward system

you know

i mean the the way that i describe it is

that we

all we all have little bits

of obsessive-compulsive disorder we all

have a little bit of

sensory processing issues

um but we

we can part is impulse control

um we can kind of control our impulse

to not do a certain thing at a certain


because it may because we are worried


perception and you know worried that we

might look a certain way or that we know

it's not appropriate to do

a certain thing yeah in a certain

setting but if you take

those concerns away you know

what what are some of the i mean what

are some of the things that people would


i mean would you cover your ears in a

loud situation

would you cover your eyes if it was too

bright in a room

um would you get up and walk around more

often at your job

if you didn't think people would kind of

say like what is what are you doing

right now why aren't you actually why do

you think that's such a hot potato in

the world of autism therapy is the whole

spd sensory processing disorder because

some people kind of

are absolutely against it so it doesn't

exist whereas in neurotypical kids it's

a big thing you know they do things to

sensory input

and again i don't know what the dopamine

level reward system is when you're a kid

yeah to those extents on those things

but you know you'll find kids just like

whether they're bouncing a ball against

a wall or something there's something

which they fixate on

which is either calming stemming or

something which gives

you know it's just sometimes it's just

the sound of the ball

sure you know but it seems to be a very

controversial issue in the world

and i think you know that's

we're delving in a little bit into more

of an occupational therapy

realm but we i mean i work closely with

occupational therapists at work um

and the trouble is is that it's not

really recognized by

many medical professionals from what i

understand um and it's been a struggle


occupational therapy to get it


as a diagnosis yeah because

um again we are looking for

underlying issues and this is

kind of where you can get into

is this behavior or is this

something else yeah so you can view

these outward signs of attempts to

self-regulate as behavior yeah or you

can view them

as attempts to regulate your body

sure and so especially if you're talking

about an occupational therapist

whose goal is to help a child

regulate their behavior um and to

improve their attention improve their

ability to

um interact appropriately with other


um then that's where the sensory

processing comes into effect

so i mean i we


in my therapy i i take that into account

on a daily basis

i look at what what is the child sitting


what is their posture looking like what

is their

um level of arousal you know are they

very energetic that day if a child is

really energetic on a certain day

i can tell from the get-go we're i'm not

gonna ask them to sit down at the table

that's just not gonna happen yeah and

you know so if you take that to an

educational level

there are many kids i think

where that's not being accounted for

and they are just looked at as


with poor attention and with difficulty

learning when it could be that they are

having trouble

regulating their this excess energy

and it could be it could be excess

mental energy excess physical energy

um but we're receiving so much sensory


all the time and if you don't know what

to do with that extra energy

it could erupt yeah right so

it kind of reminds me of a south park

episode where

they were talking about you know kids

with add

okay and and they just said you know oh

this kid has attention deficit disorder

and they were trying to do all of these

little therapies or whatever but they

realized if they would just smack the

kid up

side of the head and say it sit in your


and pay attention which i mean that's

what i was told yeah when i was your kid

that's what we got

yeah it's you know it's like oh oh

you're bouncing around

you're doing this you're not listening

to your parents you're not doing this

then you get a smack upside the head and

you say you know

straighten up and fly right so

you're saying that was bad

i i'm saying that it is viewed

in a different light nowadays because


well well i i know that it's viewed in a

different light

nowadays but i mean it is not is there

not part of you that just wants to smack

a kid upside the head and say straighten

up and fly right

and and see if it works well it's no

but that's that would not uh

that wouldn't go over well yeah you'd

probably get a lawsuit

yes but also i think again

it depends on your approach if you think

that this is

strictly behavior then you might try


you might try that and see how far it

gets you but i will say

that sensory seeking behavior

evolves over time okay so it's a

it's almost like um your body habituates

to a certain input so maybe you find a

new video

or maybe you find a new song um because

that other one

is just not the same as or maybe

you know maybe something else has

triggered an interest

and so you a child will stick with that

for a while so maybe

maybe the smack upside the head works

for a little while sure

until it doesn't until the child gets


or until the behaviors start to become


towards you yeah and then what and then

you know so

yeah i mean it i think

that goes back to another thing that we

see in therapy is that

activities that were successful one week

you set it up the exact same way the

exact same time

day everything you try it again the next


they want to touch it yeah no i mean

it's just like no i mean i kind of


why the ship brought that up because we

did grow up in school with that

kind of method of aversion therapy you

know based upon

the i guess that there was this uh

not well studied thought that kids react

just as well as

to punishment as reward and

yeah i can't tell you how many times you

know teachers would smack kids upside

their head in

class i mean and it wasn't it's a form

of aversion therapy or just like even

raising the voice and shouting at you so

you're so scared to kind of talk

i mean and it was a very you know it's a

very popular method and there was almost


controversy around that approach for a

long long time

absolutely you know you also have to get

whether something

is being done willingly and can't be


as opposed to something which somebody

is doing because

you know they're bored or being british

and it's hard to kind of measure that

because i'm not saying that

you know xander does something which is

wrong that

oh it's never his fault because he's

just as capable of being headstrong

and stubborn as anybody else if he wants

to do something

doesn't want to do something and it will

pull the exact same trick

um as any neurotypical kid but

you know um there's always a thing of


dogs are easy to train them cats and

it's because

well cats are evil cats are from canada

yeah yeah

that's the fact that you know cats don't


punishment with the they don't have the

cause and effect thing that dogs do

dogs will relate um certain trigger

words and certain

you know rewards with specific sex of

behavior whereas cats do not they

completely disassociate

um you know why they got powered for the

you know like peeing on the kitchen


or whatever and or they're just evil

they're just

but it could be that one it it just cats

are not nobody's everybody's gonna give

you a fifty thousand dollar grant to

just come out

exactly cats are from canada cats are

evil yeah

let's just admit that and move on but

you know you do find

you know i've read a lot about kids with

autism sometimes you know correcting

behavior can be difficult because they

do associate

disassociate rather cause and effect at


that can be terrible yeah it can be

tough um

i mean call me crazy but as a therapist

you're crazy yeah i get to be i get to

well you told me to call it crazy i can

we can kind of

um we can push the boundaries for 30


um and we get into some situations where

there can be like some

some standoffs of you know i really want

you to do this activity and i know that

you really want to do

that activity um but i

i'm wanting to try to see what this

boundary is kind of what your


threshold may be um

a lot of times kids will avoid things

that have

a lot of structure um so in our therapy

we try to be very child led because

again i want

the child's attention so if i notice

i mean but the way i set up a therapy

session is i will have kind of a

a buffet of activities maybe maybe four


and i'll see what a child gravitates to

towards uh

that day um it may not be what i

want them to do um but

i i want to have the attention i need to

have the attention in order to

repeat vocabulary and to to get some

therapeutic activities in my sessions

um i don't want it to be a constant

battle between me and the child

and so but along those lines you know i

kind of

see it as a a moment of progress

when a child does do something where

you're like

you just did that on purpose you just

you just

uh you know threw that across the room

so that i would go get it

so that you could go run and grab that

toy over there

right like you that was on purpose yeah


that's that cause effect relationship

you just did that

they don't they planned that they

planned that so so

in this example i'm kind of interested


uh in these four things that you're

laying out for a kid right

do you have some kind of pre-knowledge

of those four things you're going to lay

out or

do you just make up these four things

for that kid to walk into

either either or either depends on how


so so block blind study kid walking in

you know nothing what what four things

are you gonna lay in front of that kid

to try to you know start

manufacturing this idea of what's going


what would be those four things what's

an age range

that we're talking about oh gosh yeah

see what happened there i thought i had


i thought i had a great question

okay okay okay uh we're gonna go

with uh

seven years old is that fair enough or

do we need a range

yeah let's go six to nine years old

six to nine years old okay so i know

nothing about the child

um it's mail

okay let's go mail i don't know if that


it is sometimes it doesn't it and

identifies as male 1 believes it's a boy

he doesn't have those problems so i'm

definitely going with

some cars okay so cars is number one

number one like hot wheels like like hot

wheels matchbox cars

i i don't know if that's aging us right

now i don't know if those are a thing


it was always hot wheels in matchbox you

know that there was that

you know version you either had hot

wheels or you had matchbox cars

yeah yeah okay so so you guys you got

the cars

okay so cars are number one probably

some sort of building activity legos

legos mega bloks legos duplos

something along those lines um a board


maybe candyland okay trouble

classic it's got the upper dice in the

middle right and i love that

um and then um

i will shoot for something old school

like a like a book

you might be perfect um so

i i'm not a huge fan of a lot of toys

that have sound

lights things like that because i

want to do the talking i want to i want

to interject the vocabulary into

the activity i don't want the activity


talk over me um that is the one thing


i try to have some control you know i

can introduce what vocabulary words


talking about if the toy itself is not

doing it

for me makes sense yeah and a lot of

toys are just

overwhelming and certainly with the age

range you gave i mean that would be a

very light

diagnosis for a child to actually come

to a therapist because

in in terms of introducing the car

that's more about seeing if there's

appropriate plays so

they're using the car appropriately

rather than throwing it like a softball

and makes sense how important is the

early diagnosis i mean xander was very

blessed at his mother the moment you

know we found out

you know he's diagnosed with autism that

she immediately sought out

you know as many different you know

therapies as possible and he got

you know very very early intervention


you know at the beginning it wasn't

necessarily showing much appropriate

play in terms of some things but

i know there are kids who for whatever

reason be it whether it be financial

just a lack of access to information do


get you know those services early on and

so that intervention

you know comes a bit of a late point and

so you're almost having to

reverse engineer with a child you can't

necessarily communicate that well with

and kind of try and scrub that

whiteboard as clean as possible

to kind of rebuild you know almost like

roblox type

you know approach to you know yeah i

mean they're

you know there are there are behaviors


with autism um and as age

progresses as you get older those things

can become like you said very

ingrained um habits um

ways of getting what you want um

can result in some some poor

routines poor habits um that can be

you know that that can really affect the

quality of life

of the child and the family and the

dynamics and things like that

um so yeah the earlier

you can access therapy the better

because you can start to um

build the the pre-language skills the


um the attention the turn-taking

invitation things like that at an early


but the the hard part you know is the

communication aspect

with the family right a lot of times


i mean this is one of the hardest

conversations that we have

in our field i mean i can't think of one


is more difficult and so

why is it so hard because

you're laying something on a family that

is going to affect a lot of things it's

going to affect

you know potentially long-term aspects

of their life

and it's not just the child you know

it's the

siblings it's the parents it's

grandparents i mean

it's uh it gets a lot of things involved

and so

i think families should know that it's

not something that

gets thrown around lightly um

there's a lot of thought that goes into


broaching that subject i mean that is

not something that

we like to do that's gotta be one of


worst parts of your job right yes

of having that conversation i mean you

know you can do

good stuff but having that initial


has to suck yeah well and it's it's hard

but it's it's something that is also one

of the most

important things that we do and i i


you know the the whole goal again is to


the child and so you know

when we meet a family you know

that isn't at a place where they want to

go down that road or hear

that as a part of a diagnosis but

but can you say nobody wants to hear


right i mean anytime you're delivering

that news

well nobody wants to hear that name just

so you know when you gotta walk into

that room

you know i'm picturing you know a

like er or something like that and

somebody's gotta deliver bad news oh

somebody's got cancer and they're gonna


whatever it's almost kind of that same

thing you know you're

walking into that room saying hey i've

got some bad news here

i mean that's gotta suck there are a

million and one

worse things you should hear as a parent

because like the example you just gave

you know it's a case of life or death

with autism

this is just going to be a different


and yeah like if both his mother and i

were in

i don't know if you want to call it

denial but we you know

search for other things it might be

causing these type of behaviors

no no denial is the right word you want

to say

well no you you got it wrong yeah he's


he'll be fine just leave him alone yeah

you know there's something like that

yeah so in your position

it's got to kind of suck to be one of

those guys to say

hey you know that there's going to be

something a little different here

sure and there's going to be a different

road you're going to have to travel down

right and i the beauty of

for us delivering that kind of


is ideally you already have some rapport

with the family yeah i mean it's

important to know

that you know there's some trust there

and that i am not just jumping to a

conclusion here

um that there there are some

some signals that have led me to even

bring this topic up

you know so um you know and

it it can be met in various ways

but again i always come back to

my goal as your speech therapist is to

focus on

communication if i have a diagnosis of


that will change a lot of things but it

won't change

my goals for your child in your therapy


and the other thing is this idea of

you know the the label um that is huge

um the the the idea of the

child being labeled with the diagnosis

and um

more and more i think people are

realizing that

it um it can

it can open some doors actually um

for your child uh especially when it

comes to

public school and to access to services

um there are a lot of things that

may not be offered to your child

because they only have a certain

diagnosis but if you

were to you know take that leap

and just get an assessment and it comes

back and it shows

that the conclusion is your child ends

up having autism

you know there are certain resources

that become available

based on that um not that you should

seek that out in order to access the


but you know if there is some sort of

silver lining that i can

say i mean you can access additional


in the school system you can access

additional therapies

what there's one in the keller

independent school district i want to

say 509

but that's probably not 504. 504. there

we go

i know it's 50 something yeah i'm

getting old man i i can't remember

all the numbers sure right but but yeah

you get a 504

on a kid and then all of a sudden they

they get these

extra abilities or extra

accommodations accommodations there you

go that's the word i was looking for

yeah that they can you know function

as a normal part of society

but maybe they need to you know

do everything on a computer rather than


sure which by the way i've got to admit

we shouldn't even teach cursive or

anything anymore i mean

everybody's type and everything anyways

so what so

what so why do we even care about that

right but

anyway so i i i totally get that


now you know as a parent of a child with


you try and do as much research as


into things which other than therapies


you know help your kid especially in

terms of concentration

um you know getting rid of the


thing because you know that's not just

purely linked to autism you know

the prevalence of uh you know add and

adhd there's been a lot of studies on


you know over the last 10 15 years and

what causes

hyperactivity in kids why submittable

kids are getting diagnosed with add

and again if we try and avoid the

aversion therapy that the shepherd

brought up earlier about getting smack

around their head to make pay attention

um you know there are any particular

studies you've read that

you know maybe in terms of like

gluten-free diets the introduction of


that you've seen probably have enough

standing to actually give a basis which

maybe at some point will be introduced

into treatments pretty much mainstream

well so specific studies um

that's hard i mean i can't think of one

in particular but

um what i can say is again if we go back


these sensory preferences

um and kind of a routine a

need for routine that also goes into

the diet of kids with autism so

you end up seeing kids that are kind of


grazers yeah um but there's again a

particular thing that they like about

certain foods

um it could be the way it feels in their

mouth it could be a crunch

it could be the taste and so

i mean that could be part of the reason


a lot of those snack foods are just so

low in nutrient density

that we see a lot of kids with

constipation a lot of kids with

reflux things like that but constipation


this effect of you know

impacting sleep impacting behavior um

if you're having a kid that's already

having trouble potty training

then you throw some constipation in the

mix and it's just

like they don't want to go to the

bathroom because it could be painful

um there is just a whole mix and then

the behavior

starts to disintegrate from there

um in terms of treatment

i think it could just be a matter of

awareness um i think a lot of people

think of

um you know the the outward behavior

again we're looking at outward behavior

but what is going

in to their child's body i don't know if

a lot of parents

know from an early onset of diagnosis

that that is something to watch out for

um that you need to continue to

offer variety in a child's diet

because that is something that can be

impacted um

just like they have certain preferences


toys activities clothing um

tv shows it can also it happens with

food as well

right so parents get kind of lazy

because it's

easy to drive through mcdonald's and get

chicken nuggets and just constantly feed

your kid

chicken nuggets well it again it goes a

little bit beyond that

to a point where we'll see kids that

you know will not eat they will not eat


eat food period they will not it it


a point to where it can be so specific

that um yeah these are french fries but

these are not mcdonald's french fries

and so you can offer those to me all day


and i'm not going to touch them that's

very much that's very much how xander is

i mean

yeah it pretty much has to be mcdonald's

french fries

and you know as we were discussing a

little bit before the podcast began

um you know you suffer a little bit from

you know specific foods which you prefer

so much that you will almost go without

foods a period of time if you don't have

access to those other things and i just

like that until about

12 or 13 i wouldn't eat anything with

cheese on it

texture and color would put me off and

you know xander is very picky and what

he wants to eat

you know he won't eat something like the

goldfish cracker alternative

you know there's seven things which

he will just keep eating and eating and

eating but this slight

variation comes from a different


won't have but let's be honest you and i

have talked about

curry before and you try to get me to

eat curry

all the time but my mother made curry


years ago and i got so sick eating that

and she forced me to eat curry chicken

she said

you've got to eat this you know you're

sitting at the table you're not getting

up from the table until you eat this

curry chicken and i

ate the curry chicken and i got so sick


thankfully never had to eat it again

yeah but

here we are 30 years later

and you constantly try to get me to eat


and what do i tell you all the time i'm

not eating curry i don't care

how well you prepare it i'm not eating


i am not going to touch curry it is

bad it is evil it's like a cat from


i am not going to eat curry

so it could be a little bit

psychological as well well it is i mean


when i i remember when i was about 14 15

i was

feeling sick like nauseous and i hadn't

eaten much and so i had some cocoa pops

now i loved cocoa parts at the time

oh yeah and i had them and they made me

throw up and then i didn't touch coco

pops again for 20 years

because of that association with that

one time it made me feel better

right you know and and just so we're

clear by the way i'm still not going to

eat your hurry

now skipping kind of like past things we

can't really prove or disprove in the

medical world in terms of

you know this point again like i said

there hasn't been

long-term enough studies which i guess

across a big enough sample group that

can prove one way or the other on some

things what we do know

is that the instances of child you know

children being diagnosed with autism has

been increasing

you know quite rapidly i mean in some

states i mean i think it was new jersey

i read it something like one in every 26

kids is somewhere on the spectrum but


across the scene so giant across yeah

across the united states

it's one in 54 according to the um we'll


let's be honest that's a big percentage


but and boys are four times as likely as

girls to actually get diagnosed as being

on the spectrum now

at that point you start thinking well

in terms of neurology what

you know what difference is there

because if we're talking about

or are they over diagnosing well

that that's also difficult one i mean

landing you can probably

intersect on that one way better than we

can guesstimate on

diagnosis i think

in terms of the idea of whether it's

being over

under diagnosed um

i i think it's it's a lot like

anything where there's a trend that is

um you know it you can try to say

is this something that was under

identified for a very long time

and now we've defined the criteria a

little more clearly

and we can identify these things um

you know kind of like crime statistics

or something like that

um is it being reported more often i


it you know it's there's so many factors

in it the education and early warning


in physicians and pediatricians um

is is definitely higher i think than

it's probably ever been

um but i don't think that it is turning

into something that's kind of a

catch-all diagnosis

um i don't i don't feel that way um

but i can tell you that in any day

that i go to work i see that full


and so that it is a broad umbrella

i will i will say that but i do think


the kids that i have that i see that

have autism

i i would not disagree with the

diagnosis um

now i will say i mean one of my

co-workers um uh laura

laura eisengren with keller isd

she did a nice presentation

about girls specifically with autism and

how they can be

under diagnosed or misdiagnosed and you


it it comes down to kind of almost

masking with really great social skills

um so a lot of times girls will present


and they have these social skills that

can be intact

and so it leads diagnosticians down a


pathway to something like emotionally


or um even with anxiety

or add adhd but

you know they could actually be on the

spectrum um and so

you know but if you take one aspect like


like if you gave a child who has autism

but you gave them a little bit better

social skills

they may not look like a child that has


um well i i look back at when i got

diagnosed with colorblindness so

you know that's a legitimate

medical condition sure but i still had

to go through

this test with an ophthalmologist

and i went to do that test and

he said okay here's these 15 little dots

arrange them from blue to green

said okay so they shut the door and i've

got these dots in front of me

they checked on me 30 minutes later


are you done i'm like no i'm almost done

i mean

if if a normal person

in that's a terrible way to put it but

you know a person without color

blindness right

it would take you and i didn't even ask

you are you colorblind

no okay so it'd take you like a minute

and a half

it and you'd be done i'm 30 minutes in

and i'm thinking

i'm gonna get this you know but you

not being colorblind would take you a

minute and a half and you'd say oh here

we go

right so they come in 30 minutes later

i'm almost done 45 minutes it took me to

do the first test

and i'm like okay here it is

they come in they look at it they dumped

all the dots out they said do it again

and i'm thinking that took me 45 minutes

now i've got to do it again but after

the second time i realized on the back

of the dots was a number system

that was 1 through 15 if

i would have just flipped the dots over


put them in order i'd have been out of

there in a minute and a half

just like you and they would have said

well you're not colorblind

so there's always some kind of a a weird

aspect where you can't just

bleed somebody out and say oh i tested

your blood

and you got covered sure especially in

the age of coping right now

you know you can bleed somebody out and

take a little

blood test or a swab test or whatever

and say you've got cobin right

for something like that it's got to be

so bizarre because of all the tests that

are going on

right now and you're trying to figure

out hey what's going on here

because there's there's ways to fool the


well yeah i mean

i i think that that would be

kind of i think that's hard for

a lot of our kids to do and especially

at a young age

um i agree that it's hard to it's hard

to find

concrete evidence

of autism uh i think a lot of

diagnosticians are recommending

this is kind of a trend that i've seen

in some of my patients

um some families will go and get like a

brain mri um they want to see if there's

something that's

underdeveloped or over developed or you

know something

that is structurally abnormal but

but you're not finding that not not


from what i've done it's got to be

difficult and so you

are kind of grasping for something


um and you're trying to make it

objective as well

so we're trying to take some any type of

bias that we have

we're trying to take that out we're

trying to be

as objective as we can and that's why we


our standard assessments those are the

tools that we have the resources we have

right um and i mean

you know it there are families that

you know even with a certain diagnosis


they will not typically um they they

don't want to

use that um as a label

i mean the there there are people that

are not forthcoming

with the information that their child

has been diagnosed for autism

or with autism or has even been assessed

um yeah yeah it's it's

very stigmatized

extremely surprising stat which was more

surprising than the last ones that said


one in six which is roughly 17 of


aged between three and 17 are diagnosed

with some form of development disability

now it can be something such as extreme

levels of color blindness where they do

almost see

purely in a two-tone or you know


system but i mean it can be obviously on

the other end of the spectrum

something more severe but

you know my problem is that you know the

medical industry itself

does not have a history of purity in

terms of its approach to something when

they see something being epidemic not


they want to come out with treatments

you know like the over prescription of

you know

drugs for addi and adhd you know give

all these gifts

and it's just like thrill this stuff you

know they all you know opioid crisis we

have is because of doctors just throw in

drugs that well

it's less scientists yeah now let's also


what was it maybe 40 50 years ago there

were certain kinds of

cigarettes that were okay for

pregnant women to smoke right because if

if you were going to be pregnant you

should smoke this cigarette

because this wouldn't harm your baby

yeah so you go ahead and you smoke

this cigarette because these doctors

tell you

this cigarette's okay to smoke when

you're pregnant

no other cigarette just this cigarette

well i remember seeing historically a


i can't remember what brand of cigarette

it was for but the guy was like

they taste good and by goodness they do

you good

yeah this was in a time when they didn't

regulate any of the chemicals you know

which would govern right

i mean it is formaldehyde absolutely you

know going into these things and

it's you know i do i do think that like

i said

it's especially hard as a parent when

you try and do as much research as

possible as i mentioned earlier and

you get down these little little rabbit

holes of you know consensus of opinion

from some groups that they believe this

causes autism or you know this is the

cure for autism and stuff and

you know because you want to search for

every little bit of hope you can that

something will help your child or kind


you know accelerate or act as a catalyst

to you know increase

the speed of development you find

yourself reading these things

and it's hard like i said to kind of

i guess pull the plug on some of the

rabbit holes some of these things go

down because some of them do have a

little bit of essence in truth but

those are the most dangerous lies those

ones which are mixed in with the truth

right you know um and as you know landon

i mean sanders had

you know two rounds of stem cell surgery

in shannon you know the past couple of

years and

you know his mother and i we have

noticed you know

an effect months afterwards you know in

terms of his speech

you know his ability to be able to

concentrate his behavior now

whether that's just like a somatic on

our part and it's just us

attributing that and it would have

happened anyway there's no way to tell


on the other end of it we still want to

keep doing it if we keep seeing progress

regardless of whether that is actually

you know the cause and effect of that

development right you know

and the the thing that i would say

is you know you kind of have to be your


scientists a little bit um

you know you have to figure out how to


the system um how to navigate

uh getting access to therapies um

finding treatments that are effective

um and that can be beneficial

but i would say that the main thing

that i could recommend is just don't

have too many variables

going at the same time um meaning what

if you're going to try

speech therapy um give it a

real shot if you're going to try

occupational therapy

give it a real shot and work at it

um before you say

this is not effective um let's try this

over here

what what's a real shot though i would

say a minimum

of six months um okay you know

you like like we discussed earlier


can be hard to see

but the beauty of my job is that i get

to see kids

um for just 30 minutes

once twice a week and i think

you can kind of have tunnel vision um

when you see your child every single day

you think to yourself that he's doing

the same thing

every single day she's doing this over

and over and over again

but then i come in and i see them for

that 30 minutes and i say

when did they start doing this when did

they start

putting puzzle pieces into the bright


when did they start identifying letters

of the alphabet

oh well that that happened this week you

know and

it's like there can be little things

but it's our job to identify

and expand on those little things and so

give it it might take a little bit of


um but there are so many things out


that i think you can get too many things

going on at the same time with

diet modifications therapies um

sometimes medications i will say

i don't know a real testament to a lot

of the parents that i

work with that have kids with autism

is that from what i see there is a real


to jump to medication and i

i think that that is just i i don't know

i think it's great

because it indicates that like i said

before you're not

wanting to change who your child is

a lot of those medications are very very


um can can take a child that is very

energetic and easily excitable with a

lot of facial expressions and

it can change their words yeah but you


a lot of those like uh what rivlin

i mean it's a methamphetamine yeah i


it it is literally a drug that

some drug seekers want to take right and

so why is that a good thing to give a


right well and i mean i i won't

uh i'm i wouldn't say and i'm not trying

to put you down yeah

i'm not trying to put you out here i

but some of those drugs are are very

bad for even adults sure

and we feed them to kids because it's


oh my kid can't pay attention in class

so i'm going to give them

ridlin which is a methamphetamine just


i'm too lazy to be a good parent so i

want to

go ahead and beam a drug and let them

you know pay attention in class and drug

them down

where they'll you know settle down they

like that south park episode where you

just smack them upside the head and say

no you gotta sit here and pay attention

because i'm too lazy

to be a parent and try to control my kid

i just want to give them a drug or i

want to say hey

you know that there's this problem over


well and i think again you know this

kind of goes beyond

you know we're talking about

um the the cases where i see medication

being beneficial

um in the kids that i work with and

specifically the kids with autism

is when we are talking about they're

they're a little bit older

and they have progressed to a point

where they are now

in like a general regular uh education


things are going well but they just

needed a little bit of a boost

in order to maintain a little bit of

attention so

sure maybe just a low dose of a


and that's all it takes and this child

gets to interact with

their age-based peers they get to stay

in their in their classroom that they're

used to with the teacher that they're

used to

and they're making good progress um but

i guess

what what i was also getting at

is that a lot of my parents don't just

jump to a conclusion like that's

that's not what i see a lot of my

families doing they they don't want a

quick fix

they want help um but they want it to be

something long-term and i think a lot of

them do view

medication as just kind of a just

like you said like a little bit of a


you know um we're still not getting to

the root

of what's going on and how to

really implement change in

behavior and language and development in


i mean giving medication to a child

will probably improve their behavior

but right will it improve

other aspects of their life i i don't

know it's like that a meme with the

benadryl about why it's so effective at

combating allergies and it's like well

you can't sneeze when you're unconscious

yeah yeah yeah absolutely yeah

yeah i mean and that's not that's not


oh wait my wife takes benadryl

a lot to go to sleep i'm like that's not


sleep drug that's supposed to be for

allergies like well it helps me sleep

i'm like

yeah you can take something else besides

benadryl yeah to sleep now one thing i

did specifically when i asked you landon

was because

you know one of the big buzz phrases i

guess there has been

over the i don't know maybe last five


with the whole kind of lighting up blue

for autism and

you know the phrase autism awareness is

that there hasn't

traditionally been a great or very

accurate portrayal of what autism has

either in movies and on tv shows and

even now

it focuses on the very higher high-end

you know

functioning kids with autism you take

like a show like the good doctor

or you know where it has i don't know i

will have a news article somewhere about

this kid with autism who's you know gone

to stanford and he's doing this

but you know that's not the outcome for

the majority

of people so if you had to explain to


who had heard the word autism but

literally it had no education whatsoever

you know rather than this

misrepresentation what would you

probably in a nutshell describe

autism um i would i would

probably describe it as a

individualized unique

i would still go with the pervasive um


diagnosis that um can have an

impact on almost any aspect of your life

that you can think of

um and i think i would just

you know advise people

especially someone that you know in the

scenario that someone had

not heard of autism before um

is to just um

take it case by case i mean it's

individualized the experience

of autism for each

child each individual with autism is


to them and to their family um

i think we like to put things into


and into groups um and

you think by seeing something like that

that you have an idea of this is what


is but that's one

one face of autism that's one aspect of

autism and that is that person's

experience well we all like to put

things into boxes

right and it's so easy to do that but

with this it's not so easy no it's not

and um you know

the thing about my job like i said i get

to see the whole

spectrum so i see kids that are

not in the public light at all

um they are kind of isolated at times

their families

are isolated um and it can be

you know kind of lonely um and so

you know we we treat kids that are not

in public school we treat kids that

um can't go to daycare um because

they are a safety risk to themselves and

to staff members and to other children

right um they you know can't

can't really go on field trips because

they may run from the group or

you know they if there are so many


that go into this diagnosis

um but you know i do think

that it's the the campaigns about

raising awareness of autism can also

raise the awareness i wish they would

expose and show more of

the the reality um as well

well like i said that's always like

those inspirational news articles you

have where

you know maybe this girl has lost both

the legs but climbs a mountain or runs a

half marathon but

there's 99.99 of other people out there

lost those never get to that

point and like i said i think the way

autism is portrayed

sometimes misrepresented in almost


where like oh against all odds this but

without telling somebody the odds

they think oh well maybe all of them

will someday reach

that type of summit when the reality


that at all and again as a parent that's

one thing you have to accept

and you know obviously you want

them to be that one who reaches that

summit but you have to be realistic

sure you know that may never happen

you know well in it it's about those


victories you know the the idea of a

child that

wasn't talking using single words

a child that's using single words going

to phrases and sentences

um you know it's it's little things

like that um the other thing that

i think we're finding and i don't have

statistics but it would be interesting

to know

the percentage of children that are in


programs gifted and talented programs um

that may be on the spectrum yeah because

we're finding

you know a lot of kids that um

they have specific interests they're

they're very interested in

certain you know science technology

engineering mathematic

fields um but their social skills are

not the greatest

that a lot of times they can end up

being on the spectrum

and so you know it's just interesting

how that can kind of evolve over time

and the way the diagnosis

is is changing sure um i don't think

it's changing to try to

know like i said the goal is not to

include more people

but those kids you look at you see

someone and you say well

they are gifted and talented


um but their social skills may be so


that if you were to do an assessment

i mean they may end up you know on the

autism spectrum yeah i mean

um it's it's

a diagnosis that we come in contact so


you know come into contact with it every

single day

but yet it is um i it's

it's so confusing at times yeah what are

your plans for your future

do you think this is something you're

going to keep in and like for the rest

of your life to retire and

you know kind of just branch off deeper

and deeper i guess into the therapy

fields because i'm sure that

you know methods of therapy and

everything is going to change

you know decade to decade as more

research is done

and obviously with the numbers of kids

being diagnosed on the spectrum

increases there will be

you think more funding into you know

perhaps some of the alternative

treatments like i said with diet you

know looking at

maybe some of the more um

i guess genesis and neurology that maybe

certain chemicals in the brain

do automatically you know cause

something you just don't know until that

research is done on a large scale

um and probably internationally because

again there's always political and

economical reasons why some studies

aren't done in certain countries

sure um and so hopefully you know across


next 20 years there will be more and

more effective research done where

you know people like yourself can really

i guess kind of

not not have to do this trial and error

thing because

it's not like you've been inherited a


you know working plan you know it's

still a work in progress

you get all the different therapies like

aba which is still has a certain amount

of controversy about it

and other you know therapies so you know

i do hope that you know people like

yourself you know you've been a great

blessing to my son and

you know to my son's mother and to me

and therapedia

you know i mean we've got nothing but

fantastically positive things to say

about that now i did want to give you a

chance to kind of

again just revisit about therapeutic a

little bit and let people know

you know how they can get in touch with

you because we do have a lot of

listeners kind of

in the area who may know somebody family

member or a friend somebody they work

with kid who

you know might benefit from sure i mean

you know kids with autism and on the

autism spectrum

um that's a that's got to be a passion

of any pediatric

therapist um because you're going to see

it so

so often um in terms of my own

personal goals i i mean i'm extremely


with where i am right now

and i'm very proud of what therapedia

has done our leadership group

i mean they're awesome deborah kitchins

is a physical therapist

she's our owner tara brown is our

occupational therapy supervisor they're

awesome when we say that the clinic is

therapist owned and operated i mean we

we mean that at a i mean uh everyone

sees patients the the goal of the clinic

itself is just to provide

exceptional therapy for the kids

if anyone has had concerns

about their child's development in

physical aspects

behavior regulation fine motor skills

speech um or if it's something that your

pediatrician has brought up as a concern

i mean same thing with us

they don't they don't throw those things

around lightly

just to prescribe something else you

know to to have something else on your

to-do list to go

get a physical therapy evaluation for

your child

um you know we our goal is not for

quantity at all we value

the quality of therapy that we are able

to provide and

we're a small clinic so if you have any

concerns we always just recommend that

just come in and have have an evaluation


for physical therapy speech therapy

occupational therapy and

even if you don't qualify for services

we can

give you things um resources activities

um things that you can focus on at home

to try to facilitate some development of

new skills

in an area that you're concerned about

you can always visit

our website at therapediacenter.com

we have also started a youtube page


um because of covid um

we haven't had parents coming into the

clinic the age of coverage

um so we're trying to find ways to

communicate with our families

and so we're trying all different

modalities again

you know so different ways to

communicate um so we're developing a

youtube page that is going to be kind of

a resource

library for our parents if you go to


just go in the search bar on youtube and

look up therapedia

comma llc it should pop up

we've got some videos on there about

doing heavy work for sensory regulation

how to facilitate

functional play with kids um

you know a brushing program that our

occupational therapists

can use um and so it's just a way to get


a more in-depth view of some of the

techniques that we do

in therapy and can serve as a reference

for our families to go back and

watch again and again and again if they

want to so

now it makes sense so before we close uh

we kind of joked about this before so

you talked about food therapy you talked


you know when you have to eat and

the wolf always gets on me all the time


i don't eat that much and so

even today the last time i ate

was uh more than 24 hours ago

so can you get me to

eat more now how are you going to give

me some therapy

i mean make me eat more because i i


i don't want to eat what he brings me

because he goes

to the gas station he gives me this bag

of chips he's like hey eat this bag of


so so how do you convert me into

actually eating like a normal human

being oh man

that i mean i don't we don't have to

divulge your age but

we can go you know how old am i i'm

41. i'm i'm 41.

so 41 years old so i'm so we have my age

those habits are pretty ingrained

okay um so so talk me into eating

correctly oh

i correctly is a is a subjective

term as well but i would say if you're


i it's if you're happy

with where you're at in terms of your

caloric intake you're not falling asleep

at your desk

and uh well i do having trouble uh

you know staying awake especially when

the wolf tries to

tell me stories about the you know

everything going on with him

then i fall asleep he bores me to death

so i mean you know we

we are dealing with situations where


have had an experience like you

described earlier with the uh

curry um to where they've developed

aversions to foods

um they have developed these preferences

for textures tastes

colors temperatures flavors do

do they have aversions to people

trying to get them to eat yes yeah yeah

that's what that's what i've got going

on with the wolf because the wolf

tries to make me eat all the time you

still eat those ghost pepper chips

well they are good they are good but he

tries to get me eat

to eat all the time that that's just bad

i bought you a bag of bacon the other

day you like that

i did bacon i did eat the bacon

oh i'm sorry no that was before you

showed up

there there was no bacon huh yeah

i ate all the baby yeah there's two

things that i can't force kids to do

and it's the two things that i have to

work on and it's i can't force them to

talk and i can't force them to eat

but those are those are a lot of the

things that we work on in speech therapy

so you have to just take it slow but

maybe you can solve that with bacon you

just maybe you need to

you just need to handle bacon in front

of them

everybody loves bacon

we all love that well landon thank you

very much for

joining us we certainly appreciate this


uh i learned a lot uh

i don't think tristan or the wolf did

you know hey wait we've given up and

hiding our names

you know i i think we did that i think

most of our listeners get knife from

each other

well how we forget our own names

but anyway thank you landon we

we certainly appreciate it and all of


uh links and everything will be on the

end of the podcast

and we'll catch you on the next one


Landon Hughes

Speech Therapist