There’s Nothing to “Fix” Here

With Featured Guest

Ali Goodman

Intuitive • Raw • Resilient

Top Takeaways From This Episode

  • The child you imagine will likely never be the one you get, but you have to accept your child for all they are.
  • Autism is not something you have to fix, it’s just the brain working differently.
  • Navigating motherhood will never be easy, but it will be rewarding.
  • You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of the people around you.

A Mother’s Intuition

When Ali Goodman was pregnant, she had so many ideas about who her child would be. She and her husband were excited and filled with ideas and plans. One thing that was very true to the plan was love. Ali was immediately filled with love for her son, Jackson. That has been the steady constant throughout their journey with Autism. It took them a little while to recognize that Jackson was different from other children, but there was never a lack of love.

When Jackson was a year old, Ali realized Jackson wasn’t hitting traditional milestones. Something felt “off.” As a first-time mom, she already had lots of anxiety, but when Jackson was fifteen months old, she was certain something was wrong and took him to the doctor.

And then it came … The official diagnosis of Autism. While there was some comfort in having a diagnosis Ali was unsure of how to navigate this new world.

Nothing to ‘Fix’

Ali and her husband made a pact the night of the diagnosis to never hide Jackson’s autism. They didn’t want him to feel like they were hiding part of him, or ashamed of his autism. So the day after they got confirmation, they went on Facebook live and announced it. 

Information overload, helpful loved ones who were not always “helpful” and a lot of learning later, Ali realized Jackon was exactly who he was always destined to be. There was nothing to fix about him. It was time to fully embrace who he was and instead of trying to change him. In order to do this, she changed her way of thinking and ‘recalibrated’ herself. 

Stop Labeling Kids!

Labels like ‘high-functioning and ‘low-functioning when referring to people with Autism are demeaning and frankly, incorrect. Different people will mask in different ways, but none of that makes them less than others. Autism is just the brain working differently. And her job, as a parent, was to learn how Jackson’s brain worked and do her best to work alongside him.

You Cannot Pour From an Empty Cup

Ali has a history of mental health challenges, mainly depression and anxiety. She is still working to take care of herself throughout the journey of motherhood.

She found herself in a deep depression and postpartum anxiety a year after giving birth to her second son, Jordan. Some days even get out of bed is challenging. She was filled with shame and guilt throughout.

Forcing herself through the darkness Ali learned to embrace survival on the most basic level. And she continues to care for herself in order to be the parent she wants to be for her children. There’s nothing to “fix” in herself either.

Get to know Ali

Ali is a mother to two boys, Jackson and Jordan. She is constantly navigating motherhood, with the extra challenge of Jackson having autism. Though an actor at heart, she is currently in grad school to become a licensed therapist. She also has a podcast on being a parent to an autistic child, called ‘The Acting Up Podcast

Giving is Good

Planned Parenthood is a cornerstone organization in women’s health. Ali personally received care from them when she had to terminate two non-viable pregnancies. Ali believes strongly in the pro-choice mindset, given recent US events, she has chosen Planned Parenthood as her charity of choice, in order to help women of all walks of life get the help and medical treatment they need and deserve.

"The autism diagnosis was both the biggest relief and the biggest fear."

- Ali Goodman

Meet your Host, <em style="color:teal">Heather Vickery<em>

Meet your Host, Heather Vickery

Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.

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