February 28th, 2020

Episode 15 - Debbie Reber

Differently Wired

If you are a parent of a child who is differently wired, whether of an intense temperament and more emotional than other kids, or is neurologically atypical, you will want to listen to this episode. If your child is in an environment where he or she gets into trouble a lot and feels as if they are a bad person or if you feel that you are failing as a parent the wisdom contained in this conversation between Elaine and Debbie Reber is just what you need. When Elaine’s book My Child’s Different came out we wondered if it was a bit niche but at The Parent Practice we have been amazed at just how commonplace Elaine’s son’s experiences were. (I don’t know why we were surprised since each of the facilitators on the TPP team has a child who has been labelled ‘atypical’ – not that atypical then!)

Debbie is a parenting activist and the author of DIFFERENTLY WIRED: Raising an Extraordinary Child in a Conventional World (2018), amongst other books, and she’s a mother to a son who has been diagnosed with ADHD and being on the autistic spectrum and is also highly gifted. She founded TiLT Parenting in 2016 as a podcast and online community aimed at helping parents raise differently-wired kids with confidence, connection, and joy. Debbie is passionate about the idea that being differently wired isn’t a deficit —it’s a difference. She hopes to change the way difference is perceived and experienced in the world so that these exceptional young people and their parents, can thrive.

Listen to this episode with Debbie Reber if you want to learn: 

  • That you are not crazy for thinking that there is something different about your child
  • How to accept the child you’ve got, understanding their temperament, getting fluent in the language of that child and adapting our responses to help to unlock their potential (see module 3 of our positive parenting course and module 6 of our online course)
  • How to reframe what appears as ‘difficult’ behaviour as a child whose needs are not being met and who may be highly stressed (we look at this in our modules on temperament and positive discipline and in our Calmer Parent workshop)
  • How big changes can open up big possibilities
  • Whether home-schooling is an option for your family
  • About the possibilities and limits of diagnoses
  • About the toll on a couple relationship of living with a child with different needs, the different ways individuals deal with the stresses involved and how you can resolve underlying resentments
  • How to recognise your own parenting style which will be exacerbated in dealing with a child with different needs
  • About various therapies or activities which can make a real difference
  • How to plan for potentially stressful situations and tune out the judgments of bystanders to focus on getting the child back to calm
  • About the techniques that Debbie learnt to get herself and her child to calm down
  • How ‘tilting’ helps us to shift our thinking and challenge our beliefs about raising differently wired children including respecting the individual child’s timeline of development
  • How important it is to find ‘your people’ who allow you to parent authentically and lovingly and ditch the rest
  • Why self-care for parents of differently wired kids is not optional or indulgent and can be redefined in ways that make it easier to achieve. 

In our celebration of vulnerability and perfect imperfection Debbie shares with us a Low Parenting Moment of her own. Like Debbie we encourage you to ‘shed the should’s’  if you find yourself losing it and saying the things you know don’t help but you can’t stop yourself. She gives a great example of how to repair when things go wrong which is such great modelling for our kids. 

And Debbie also shares her top tip for raising children to be confident, happy and successful.  


To get in touch with Debbie:







Posted in: ADHD , Atypical child , My child's different , Temperament




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