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Podcast Series on Covid-19 and Special Needs Kids

Podcast Series on Covid-19 and Special Needs Kids

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected most all Mississippi families, as parents have often had to be in “lockdown” with their children in unexpected ways. For families with special needs kids, these times of disruption may be even more difficult, and might require extra tips for successfully navigating these unprecedented days.

Children’s charity, Variety — which operates in the U.S., the UK and other countries — has created podcasts that specifically address the impact of Covid-19 social distancing on children with special needs. The “Pod-Ability” podcasts give tips to help parents make these times less stressful.

Guests on the first podcast include Michael and Paul Atwal-Brice, parents to twins Levi and Lucas, both of whom have autism, among other conditions; Zoe Mailloux, an internationally renowned expert in the subject of sensory integration; and Tamsin Cottis, an Integrative Child Psychotherapist, author and the UK’s leading provider of psychotherapy to children and adults with learning disabilities. 

The second episode includes Rosalind Grainger, a psychotherapist and mother to 13-year-old Esja, who has a learning disability.

Along with the podcasts, the charity has created a closed, moderated Facebook group designed for parents of kids with special needs to discuss the podcast episodes with a feeling of “privacy and confidentiality, building a safe and supportive community.”

Variety also provided 500 free home Sensory Starter Kits, but was inundated with requests, leading to an initiative that gives advice and tips regarding household items that can be used to create DIY Home Sensory Kits. 

“We wanted to create a tool that was practical and offered not only good advice, but also emotional support and community,” said Pod-Ability host Dave King, via written comment. “Parents and families of disabled children are time poor, so creating podcasts with world-class guests that can be downloaded and listened to at the most convenient time is something we are very proud of. We are determined to keep on delivering the same level of support for those that need it at each step of the Covid-19 crisis, whatever twists and turns it may take.”

Pod-Ability is available to download now from and from iTunes.

About The Author

Kara Bachman

Kara Bachman is a Managing Editor for Parents & Kids. She's also a book editor, former newspaper reporter, and is author of the humor essay collection, "Kissing the Crisis," which deals with the zanier aspects of parenting, relationships and turning 40. She's read her work on NPR radio and over 1,500 items have appeared in dozens of literary and commercial publications, including The Writer, The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and, Dogster, Mississippi Magazine, American Fitness and many more. She's a New Orleans native, but lived for over a dozen years on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including during 2005 when her house was flooded by Hurricane Katrina. She's a mom to two teenagers.

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