This is a unique episode as it’s a mother / son conversation about what it’s like to grow up with Tourette’s and autism. My guests are Gwen Vogelgang and her son, Rylan. Gwen and Rylan have teamed up to write a one-of-a-kind picture book called If I Squeeze Your Head I’m Sorry. They wrote the book to uplift, educate, create dialogue, entertain, and allow readers to enter the brain of a child who sees, feels, and understands the world from a refreshingly unique perspective. Their book reminds us how important it is to listen to each other in an effort to truly understand and to assume immense value in one another. Gwen and Rylan let me have a sneak peek at their book and I absolutely loved it, so I was excited to share their story and vision with you today. I hope you enjoy our conversation.

 

About Gwen: Gwen is a writer, creator of intentional space and a gatherer of community. She advocates like a mother for our misunderstood neighbors and adoptive and special needs parents. Gwen left a 15 year career in non-profit marketing to journey through leadership in the world of special needs advocacy and found nothing but grace through the process. She rather adores Jesus, trees, wine, and gauc. Her other day job is owning and operating Four Birds (Airstream Gathering Spaces). Gwen is wife to a handsome Dutchman and mom to Rylan, his independent and kind-spirited younger sister, Reagan, and Mini-Goldendoodle of her dreams, Enzo. They clumsily navigate life in a log cabin in their 5 acre woods in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

About Rylan: Rylan owns his Autism and Tourette Syndrome like a boss. He’s an imaginative kid with passions for Pokemon, Minecraft, things that morph, all animals bigger than a baby chick, magic, squeezing things, art, video games, making cricket sounds, graphic novels, supportive friends, complicated Lego sets, telekinesis, polished and cut emeralds, God, and his adventurous family. Rylan believes that we all have special needs in our own ways and notices the color of your eyes first! He’s epically stoked to become a famous author. 

 

THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:

  • Why Gwen and Rylan decided to write their book
  • What Rylan thinks people don’t understand about autism and Tourette’s
  • How screen’s help Rylan feel calm
  • How Gwen has stepped into her role as an advocate
  • What Rylan wishes parents of kids like him knew 
  • What Ryan means when he says it feels like he has a tornado inside his brain

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED: 

 

Sample page from Rylan and Gwen’s new book, “If I squeeze Your Head I’m Sorry”

 

 

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