Parent to Parent (feat. Melissa Winchell) S3E16 -

Parent to Parent (feat. Melissa Winchell) S3E16

This is a very special episode. I speak parent to parent with Melissa Winchell about the struggles our families are facing on COVID19 lockdown. Melissa’s family was featured on ABC News recently, along with mine and few others. ABC News were exploring the impact COVID19 lockdown is having on special needs families like ours.

I speak with Melissa about the challenges she’s facing as a special needs parent, while on lockdown. We both talk very openly about our fears, concerns and the many struggles our kids are currently facing, as we get used to our new normal. This is a very emotional episode and it provides amazing insight into special needs parenting under these lockdown conditions.

We discuss some very difficult things that special needs parents are worrying about as a result of the current crisis.

About Melissa Winchell:

Melissa Winchell, Ed.D., is a disabled parent of kids with disabilities, including a 10-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, ASD, medical complexity, and multiple behavior diagnoses. She is a lifelong public educator and a current assistant professor of secondary education at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA. She is president of Inclusion Matters, Inc., a non-profit advocating for and educating disabled families.

You can find Melissa:


Follow Inclusion Matters on


I wanted to provide you with a list of reliable sources for information regarding COVID19. Facts, science medicine and accurate, truthful information matter now more than ever. These are some of the people and medical facilities that I trust and rely on for information about this pandemic. Please give them a follow.

Dr. Tara C. Smith

Professor, infectious disease epidemiologist



Cleveland Clinic



Mayo Clinic





Support This Podcast

You can find me:


This episode is sponsored by Mightier. Mightier is an amazing program out of Harvard Medical and Boston Children’s. It uses video games to teach kids to emotionally self-regulate. Visit and find out more information, including how to get a free 30 day trial.

This episode is brought to you by Probably Genetic. Probably Genetics is helping me with my oldest, who suffers from multiple rare genetic diseases. Probably Genetic is helping me to find the answers to questions that have long gone unanswered. Probably Genetic specializes in identifying rare genetic diseases that often go undiagnosed, especially in children already diagnosed with Autism. They are on a mission to make full genetic sequencing accessible to those who need it. They significantly reduced the cost and drastically reduced the wait time as well. If you are one of the countless people in need of genetic testing, please visit to find out more and use the discount code “theautismdad400” to get $400 off. If you already had a whole exome or whole genome test done but didn’t get an answer, they can re-analyze your existing data. If you don’t have the data available, they’ll help you get it from your lab free of charge. You can join their re-analysis waitlist at”

Please take a minute and answer a few survey questions. This helps Probably Genetic better understand how best to help families like mine. Click Here

This episode is brought to you by AngelSense. Wandering is a huge problem in the Autism community and it’s reached epidemic levels. AngelSense is working to save the lives of Autistic kids who wander, by empowering parents with GPS tracking tools that helps them to immediately intervene should an episode of elopement occur. Visit for more information.

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