243: A Difference-Maker in the World of Neurodivergence

Celebrating Neurodivergence

Today’s show introduces you to a difference-maker in the world of neurodivergence. Her collective endeavors to advocate for kids, parents, and families are truly making a difference. Join us to learn more!

Debbie Reber is an author, speaker, and parenting activist. In 2016, she founded Tilt Parenting, a website, top podcast, and online community aimed at helping parents raise differently wired kids from a place of confidence, connection, and joy. Debbie’s most recent book is Differently Wired: A Parent’s Guide to Raising an Atypical Child with Confidence and Hope.

In this episode:

  • Get to know Debbie, who lives in Brooklyn with her husband and 17-year-old neurodivergent child; they lived in the Netherlands for several years prior to moving back to the US
  • Why Debbie is intensely passionate about learning, being curious about everything, writing, helping kids and families, and running
  • How Debbie’s personal brand of intensity comes through in her inability to stop doing things and not being able to stop or rest
  • She grew up as a misunderstood child and class clown who channeled her energy into sports because it was the one area in which she was competent
  • As a high school student, she worked just hard enough to get by and didn’t care about applying herself
  • Cultural factors that affected Debbie: her family didn’t prioritize academics and didn’t teach her to value herself; there were strict religious rules that she wasn’t allowed to question
  • Debbie’s best friend’s family were the ones who introduced her to museums, travel, and a world outside her small Pennsylvania town
  • How Debbie learned to tone herself down during her college years because she wanted to be perceived in a certain way to achieve her “means to an end”
  • Why Debbie felt close to burnout during COVID and learned to prioritize what’s really important to her
  • She has learned to enjoy her life more and not work so much
  • Debbie uses her fire and drive to help people and make a difference
  • Making things sparks her and fulfills her
  • She has learned to be really organized from her beginning with poor executive functioning skills and is constantly hacking her own systems and processes
  • Debbie’s discipline around exercise and fitness is the key to mental and emotional health for her
  • How Debbie helps others use their fire by helping them create the lives they want
  • Why Debbie began Tilt Parenting almost six years ago because there were so few resources for parents of neurodivergent kids
  • More and more adults talking about their neurodivergence is helping to “fuel the movement

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