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Bringing Up Betty: True Tales of Special Needs Parenting

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Bringing Up Betty is a podcast about the unique experiences that come with raising special needs kids. The podcast is a collection of narrative interviews with parents who are raising children with disabilities, developmental delays, diseases and other challenges.

Bringing Up Betty is a podcast about the unique experiences that come with raising special needs kids. The podcast is a collection of narrative interviews with parents who are raising children with disabilities, developmental delays, diseases and other challenges.
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Bringing Up Betty is a podcast about the unique experiences that come with raising special needs kids. The podcast is a collection of narrative interviews with parents who are raising children with disabilities, developmental delays, diseases and other challenges.




Loving Can Hurt with Kathy Hooven (BUB #21)

We're kicking off summer with a special mini episode! Kathy Hooven's 14 year old son Ryan has autism. Last summer he attended a choral camp and at the final concert Kathy had some surprising realizations. Tune in to hear her story.

Finding Matthew with Donna Kirk (BUB #20)

Donna Kirk's son Matthew was born in 1970. Due to oxygen deprivation during delivery he was born with severe brain damage and doctors advised Donna and her husband Ed to do the unthinkable - put him in an institution, have another baby as soon as possible, and get on with their lives. They called him a vegetable with a heartbeat. In this episode, you'll hear what happened with the Kirks rejected the advice of their doctors and took Matthew home to care for and love him as their son....


The New Meaning of Mom Guilt with Mary Evelyn Smith (BUB #19)

Today we're doing something a little different. Betty's been sick and I didn't want to wait yet another week to put a new episode out, so instead I'm sharing a few uncut chunks of my chat with Mary Evelyn Smith that didn't make it into her story in episode #17. I had such a great time chatting with Mary Evelyn and found her so relatable. I think you'll really enjoy this unedited discussion on a few different topics. To sum it up, we chat about: The new (intense) forms of mom guilt that...

Expectations and IEPs (BUB #16)

In "Expectations and IEPs," Sarah tells the story of Betty's transition out of Early Intervention and into the public education system. How they made the first round of tough decisions about Betty's future, plus bidding farewell to the first round of Betty's wonderful helpers. Episode 16 Show Notes

How to Support Your Friends in Their Challenges (BUB #15)

Parents and individuals living with disabilities and special needs share the kindest things people have done to show love and support.

Making Mealtimes Easier: From Feeding Disorders to Picky Eaters with Dawn Winkelmann (BUB #14)

Dawn offers tips and information for parents of kids with feeding struggles, swallowing disorders and general pickiness.

Changing the World, One Cape at a Time with Robyn Rosenberger (BUB #13)

Above and Beyond It's sonice to have supportive people around me who feel like I'm doing something exceptional by being Betty's mom. But I'll let you in on a little secret: I don't feel exceptional.I feel like a regular mom who is doing what I need to for my daughter to have the best chance at a good, happy, fulfilling life. I feel like I'm doing what any other mom would do in my position. And often I feel like I'm not doing enough. Even though I feel like raising Betty is a great...

Talking to Your Kids About Disabilites and Differences with Courtney Westlake (BUB #12)

Episode #12 Courtney is the mom to Connor and Brenna. Brenna has a rare skin disorder called Harlequin Ichthyosis. Courtney shares her story of Brenna's birth, diagnosis, and the ins and outs of Brenna's condition. We chat about balancing special needs with regular needs, celebrating beauty and how to respectfully approach a stranger who is different. Because of Brenna's conditionher skin appears red and dry - kind of like she has a really bad sunburn.She has to stay lathered in Aquaphor...

Adjusting Expectations: Special Needs on Halloween (BUB #11)

Today Megan Goates is back to share her how special needs have changed Halloween for her family. Megan's oldest and youngest sons aretypically developing, and her middle two sons are on the autism spectrum.Tune in to hear how her expectations for the holiday have changed. Afew other parents share their experiences of special needs on Halloweenas well! If you'd like to be on a future episode, please record your answer to the question of the month. Even though Betty has only been in our...


Checking All The Boxes Part 2: An International Adoption Story with Beth Anne Schwamberger (BUB #10)

Fifteen months after finding Holden on Holt International's website, Beth Anne and Chris finally got to bring him home. Beth Anne thought that by going into this adoption with eyes wide open, well aware of Holden's disability, that she would bypass the difficult grieving process that can accompany this journey. But she found that she was in for a bit of a surprise. Tune in to hear what challenges and blessings have come with raising her sweet little boy with arthrogryposis.

Checking All the Boxes Part 1: An International Adoption Story with Beth Anne Schwamberger (BUB #9)

When Beth Anne spent a summer abroad at 20 years old, she wasn't sure she ever wanted kids. But after falling in love with the children in an orphanage in India where she worked that summer, she knew she wanted to be a mom. And not only that, she felt strongly that she wanted to adopt a child from another country who had special needs. International adoption can be a long, gut-wrenching process. In today's episode, Beth Anne shares the process she and her husband Chris went through to find...

A Chance Meeting with Marica Sottile and Angela VanDerwerken (BUB #8)

Marica and her husband were expecting their first baby when they got a diagnosis that would change their lives forever. Before they even had a chance to process the news, they were on a plane to Florida for a work conference. They mourned and researched from their hotel room until they finally decided to head to the pool to try to cheer up. The mom and son they met there would change everything again. Tune in to hear their touching story.

Finding Purpose in Grief and Uncertainty with Jeannie Ewing (BUB #7)

Jeannie Ewing is a writer, speaker and grief recovery coach. She's also the mother of two girls with special needs. Felicity is four and Sarah is two. Felicity has SPD, ADD and anxiety. Sarah has Apert syndrome. Jeannie talks about her journey as a mother and how she came to help others who are in a dark place. Love Alone Creates Jeannie's Article on The Mighty The Out of Sync Child The Out of Sync Child Has Fun

His Own Kind of Miracles with Cami Barney (BUB #6)

Cami talks about her son Calvin who was diagnosed prenatally with spina-bifida. At 25 weeks gestation, a fetal surgery was performed to close Calvin's back. Cami discusses her hopes and fears as a mom, some of the awkward and wonderful conversations she's had with strangers, and the common ground she finds with other parents facing all kinds of challenges with their kids. Photos and notes can be found at

Reinventing Hope - The Special Reds with Kera Washburn (BUB #5)

Kera has three red-headed children, each with their own set of special needs. Julianna has autism, Tourettes, anxiety, sensory processing disorder, stereotypic movement disorder, and OCD. Blake has mastocytosis. Nathan was born with a cleft palate. Each mile of Kera's parenting journey has taught her something she never expected to have to learn. When Julianna decided she wanted to join a softball team, Kera and her husband were nervous, but encouraged their daughter. In the end, they all...

The Power of a Prenatal Diagnosis with Angela VanDerwerken (BUB #4)

Angela and her husband have had two babies with prenatal diagnoses. Their daughter Grace had hypoplastic left heart syndrome and the diagnosis helped them prepare for all necessary interventions including fetal surgery and open heart surgery at 3 days old. Their son William also had a prenatal diagnosis. He has Down Syndrome. Tune in to find out why Angela and her husband opted to keep the news to themselves until William was born. Angela describes William as a magical child with a gift to...

The Friends You'd Never Have Otherwise with Annie Zawada (BUB #3)

Annie and Jonathan were told that they wouldn't be able to have children so they moved half way across the world, bought a two-seater convertible and... found out they were pregnant. Lots of other surprises followed, including some special friendships that developed after discovering their son's disabilities. Have any special relationships developed because of your child's condition? Leave a comment with your storyon the blog!

High or Low Functioning, It's All Hard with Megan Goates (BUB #2)

Megan is raising four boys. Two of them have special needs. She talks about the challenges that parents face regardless of the child's diagnosis. She also talks about the sweet relationships that develop among siblings of special needs kids.

A Diagnosis Means Everything...Or Does It? - Betty's Story (BUB #1)

Host Sarah Evans tells the story of her daughter Betty and how they arrived at her diagnosis of Potocki-Shaffer Syndrome, an extremely rare genetic disorder.

An Introduction - Why I Created Bringing Up Betty

Bringing Up Betty is a podcast about the struggles and stories of parenting children with special needs. Every other week host Sarah Evans will interview a parent raising a child with special needs about their unique experiences. For more information