Helping Special Needs Kids Understand Complex Social Situations

In this episode of POP Parenting with Jenni and Jody we are talking about helping special needs kids understand complex social situations using illustrated storybooks. On the line with us are authors Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky, who have recently published a book to help children with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs cope with death.

This show is part of a series on Special Needs. Be sure to check out the other episodes in the series.

Episode #1 — What is Early Intervention and Is It Right for My Child? with Jenni and Jody

Episode #2 — Advocating for Kids with Special Needs with Jenni and Jody

Episode #3 —Helping Special Needs Kids Understand Complex Social Situations with authors Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky

Episode #4 —Helping Kids Befriend Peers with Special Needs with author Gillian Marchenko

This Week’s Show Topic

Preschool Teacher Reading To Kids


In this episode, we’re talking to authors Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky about how illustrated storybooks can help special needs children cope with complex social situations. They have recently published a book called I Have a Question about Death: A Book for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Other Special Needs.

During our discussion, Arlen and Meredith talk about how parents can use tools similar to their book to navigate a wide range of complicated subjects and situations. They even share some tools, including SymbolStix, to help parents create their own custom illustrated storybooks.



Although Arlen and Meredith are sharing tools that were specifically created for special needs children, they share how these tools can be useful for all children.

Tune in to learn more, and be sure to check out a recent guest blog from Arlen and Meredith.

Caught in the Act

This week’s “Caught in the Act” is a mom who has found one way to improve her family’s health and well being. Ashley Axtell is the mother of four young children; all under the age of eight. She and her husband of ten years are living, and enjoying life on Florida’s West Coast. They have been essential oil users for three years and feel that they have reached full health freedom by using quality oils. 

In this episode, Ashley shares a few of her go to oils and tells us how she uses them.

Axtell Family

Axtell Family

Brother, Brother Music

brother brother

Hey, if you dig the sound of POP Parenting, we encourage you to check out Brother Brother! They are a super fun two-man Indie Americana band comprised of brothers Bradley and Brett Anderson. They have a new album coming out soon, and we have had the chance to hear some of it — it’s awesome! So go visit them, like them on Facebook and check out their music.

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody

Jenni and Jody are Christian, homeschooling moms with ten kids between them (ages 1 to 30), including one on the autism spectrum, plus one baby grandchild. Together they host a weekly syndicated parenting radio show, write a weekly newspaper column, freelance for a variety of publications, teach parenting and homeschooling workshops and seminars, speak at conventions and conferences and coach individual families. They are passionate about encouraging and equipping families to Parent On Purpose (POP) with the end result in mind.

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