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Oxygen Mask Episode 20: LifeCourse Tools for Planning & Advocacy

Jamie O’Connor of Family Voices of Minnesota shares how envisioning a good life for her daughter helped Jamie move from overwhelm and “overtherapy-ing” to advocacy informed by her daughter’s interests and strengths. In our podcast conversation, we discuss two favorite LifeCourse tools (links below). Jamie’s stories and our reflections illustrate how simple tools and visuals can spur conversation and inspire courage and clarity.

Show Notes:

LifeCourse Tools from the University of Missouri

Fillable PDFs of the tools discussed: Integrated Support Star; Life Trajectory

Disability Hub MN has accessible information and links on Charting the LifeCourse.

New Date June 22, 2021 Family Voices of Minnesota webinar: Using the Trajectory Tool: Charting the LifeCourse

Favorite quote from Jamie on benefits of using planning tools centered on the disabled person: “It’s the difference between showing up and asking what’s available and showing up and saying these are my wants and needs. How can we work together to meet them?”

Oxygen Mask Episode 19: Neurodiversity with Milena and Jules, Part 2

We entered April, autism acceptance month, with Milena and Jules. As these two neurodiverse mothers raise autistic children, they are living out and advocating for autism acceptance in their families and communities. Our conversation began with the founding and growth of MN Autistics and Allies and meandered through autistic community, masking, splinter skills, language, and how talking about autism with kids can help them advocate for themselves. This conversation shifted our thinking and we hope it does the same for you!

Show Notes: 

– A recent article on the shift in language from autism awareness month to autism acceptance month
MN Autistics and Allies is the Facebook group that Milena and Jules co-administer.
– Writing from Jules (@AutisticTyping):
– Milena is a Pacer Parent Advocate and member of the MN Department of Education’s Special Education Advisory Panel.
– Jules is a Parent Advocate with the Multicultural Autism Action Network and current University of Minnesota LEND fellow.


This Oxygen Mask Episode was made possible by an Family Connections Innovation Grant from the MN Department of Human Services. Communities Engaging Autism is grateful for this financial support.

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