In the fall of 2014 I attended the RTC staff retreat. I felt like very much the outcast, their video person in a beach house full of writers, written word editors, operations people, etc… when everyone broke into their teams or discussed their processes, I was completely left out. The final night of the retreat we all sat around the table to discuss how to, as a company, tackle a large project for a client of theirs, Oconomowoc Residential Programs.
Somewhere in the conversation it dawned on me that the writers record their calls(/research) with clients (and why wouldn’t they?!), and that RTC has permission to use those calls in whatever capacity, and like a strike of lightning… I knew I had to do audio pieces. The content already existed, it just needed to be lovingly crafted into a narrative!
I was given several interviews each for two disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Prader-Willi Syndrome, and created two downloadable content pieces to compliment upcoming articles. I got to work with a writer (new for me) and craft pieces that were meant to speak to parents of children with the aforementioned disorders. After a lot of listening, highlighting, Google-ing, talking to the writers, talking to friends in psychology fields… I finished two very specific pieces.
The first piece to be published, on ASD, focuses on extremely violent child behavior and exists behind a paywall of sorts.
You’ll need to enter your e-mail to listen to it. The parents go through heart-wrenching situations and I’m still haunted by some of their anecdotes at times.
- Read the wonderful article by Amanda Ronan and click through to the podcast by yours truly: The Emotional Turmoil Surrounding Extremely Aggressive and Violent Behavior in Your Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Now the second piece, on Prader-Willi, is a true emotional roller coaster. It took so long to gain approval from ORP that I stopped receiving updates from RTC on the project and only found it today when updating my project list on LinkedIn (true story). My name isn’t even on the page, but I remember all 13 minutes and 10 seconds of that finished piece, and that’s my voice introducing it, my voice warning you halfway through that you’re about to hear something awful, my taste that decided just how much hysterical sobbing was enough… I’m proud of this audio piece because I included the toughest topics and fought to keep them included. I’ll be blunt with you here: a kid chokes a puppy to death in this story. It’s awful, and it’s a really good reason why people with Prader-Willi need very precise care. If including that rough/controversial anecdote convinces just one parent to push for better services & care for their child, then it’s well worth it my book.
- Read Alison Hennssee’s story and listen to my piece embedded on the page: Finding the Right Out-of-Home Placement for Your Child with Prader-Willi Syndrome