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Unapologetically Sensitive

We explore how sensitivity weaves itself into our lives; the richness that it adds, and the strengths we have BECAUSE of our sensitivity--and some of the challenges it poses as well. You may learn to live a bolder, brighter life.

Jul 16, 2019

Episode 33


Parenting Differently Wired Kids


Deborah Reber



Podcast host, and parent to a neurodivergent son who is twice exceptional, gifted, has ADHD, and experiences challenges with Executive Functioning and Sensory Issues, Debbie talks about how parents can support their differently wired kids.  Is authoritarian parenting effective? What is attachment parenting, and how does our culture view nurturing vs. coddling? What is executive functioning? Are kids really being manipulative or is it due to lagging skills? How can we help our kids have a sense of agency, control and self-direction? What is scaffolding, and how do we teach this to our kids? Debbie gives a special message to kids who are differently wired, and a message to their parents.



  • Why self-care is imperative as parents
  • Why vulnerability and open communication with our kids is crucial
  • How parents can support their differently wired kids
  • A message for parents who have kids who are differently wired
  • A message for the kids who are differently wired
  • Our expectations before we have a child (children), and the shifts we have an opportunity to make once we have a child who is wired differently than we are.
  • We can choose to be authoritative parents, or parent the way we had planned, or we have an opportunity to really learn from our child and change how we parent
  • Scaffolding—what is it and why is it important
  • Authoritative parenting—is it effective?
  • Our culture typically doesn’t want us to coddle or spoil our children, when in fact, we may be meeting their needs for attachment and learning in really healthy and adaptive ways (but feeling guilty because we’re not being strict or structured enough)
  • Executive functioning and lagging skills—what is it and why is it important to know about this
  • Kids do the best they can—Ross Greene
  • ADHD (and other neurodiversities) are consistently inconsistent. It can look like manipulation or stubbornness or willfulness, but it’s about lagging skills
  • Where compassion comes in to play with parenting neurodivergent kids (for the parents and the child)



Deborah Reber is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, and speaker who moved her career in a more personal direction in 2016 when she founded TiLT Parenting, a website, weekly podcast, and social media community for parents like her who are raising differently wired children. The TiLT Parenting Podcast has grown to be a top podcast in iTunes’ Kids and Family category, with more than 1 million downloads and a slate of guests that includes high-profile thought leaders across the parenting and education space. A regular contributor to Psychology Today and ADDitude Magazine, Debbie’s newest book is Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World. In November 2018, she spoke at TEDxAmsterdam, delivering a talk entitled Why the Future Will Be Differently Wired.


Prior to launching TiLT, Debbie spent more than fifteen years writing inspiring books for women and teens. Before embarking on her own path as a solopreneur, Debbie worked in TV and video production, producing documentaries and PSAs for CARE and UNICEF, working on Blue’s Clues for Nickelodeon in New York, and developing original series for Cartoon Network in Los Angeles. She has an MA in Media Studies from the New School for Social Research and a BA in Communications from Pennsylvania State University.

In December 2018, Debbie and her family relocated back to the NYC area after living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands for the past five years.




Patricia Young works with Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) helping them in understanding their HSP traits, and turning their perceived shortcomings into superpowers. Patricia is passionate about providing education to help HSPs and non-HSPs understand and truly appreciate the amazing gifts they have to offer. Patricia works globally online with HSPs providing coaching. Patricia also facilitates online groups for HSPs that focus on building community and developing skills (identifying your superpowers, boundaries, perfectionism, dealing with conflict, mindfulness, embracing emotions, creating a lifestyle that supports the HSP, communication and more).




Debbie Reber Website--

Tilt Parenting Podcast--

Differently Wired—Raising Exceptional Kids in a Conventional World by Deborah Reber

TedXAmsterdam--Why the future will be differently wired


The Explosive Child : A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross W. Greene


The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives Hardcover by William Stixrud PhD (Author), Ned Johnson (Author)

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential by Peg Dawson EdDRichard Guare PhD



Dr. Elaine Aron’s website—


Dr. Ted Zeff’s website—


HSP Self-test--

HSP Child self-test--


Introversion, Extroversion and the Highly Sensitive Person by Jaquelyn Strickland, LPC--


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Music-- Gravel Dance by Andy Robinson