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Episode #008: Autism Early Signs and Intervention with Dr. Mary Barbera

The day before his 3rd birthday, Dr. Mary Barbera’s son Lucas was diagnosed with moderate-to-severe autism, and she felt like she’d fallen into a hole. Even though she had a nursing background, she still felt completely unprepared to help her son. Lucas wouldn’t keep his clothes on, he only spoke pop-out words, and she had no idea how to even start helping him.

Like many other parents, Mary took on the role as the lead therapist as she worked to find proven therapies and techniques that would help Lucas. In the early 2000s, it was like the wild West in the ABA world. Inspired by her work trying to find solutions for Lucas, Mary went on to get a BCBA-D, and wrote her dissertation on The Effects of Fluency-Based Autism Training on Emerging Educational Leaders.

Mary is passionate about helping families help their young children. She believes that the sooner we can get to the parents and teach them how to help their children, the better their families will be. Today, 1 in 6 children have some kind of developmental disorder. The increase in this population puts a stress on the medical community that hasn’t quite caught to the demand. Many of these parents are sitting on a waitlist because therapy places are backlogged.

The information that Mary shares helps parents get a headstart on how to help their children, and it puts tools into their hands that help them become their child’s best advocate. Her newest book Turn Autism Around: An Action Guide for Parents of Young Children with Early Signs of Autism will be published on March 30th, and if you sign up now, you can join her book launch team.

What’s Inside:

  • Mary shares the early signs of autism that parents and professionals should be prepared to identify.
  • Why Mary chooses to focus on the age 1-5 year old age group, and why she stopped giving lectures to focus on other means of getting her message out.
  • Mary shares some of her most influential mentors, and how she’s been able to collaborate with some of them.

Today’s Guest

Mary Lynch Barbera, Ph.D., RN, BCBA-D, “fell” into the autism world in the late 1990s when her first-born son Lucas started showing signs of autism. Over the past two decades, Mary has transformed from an overwhelmed and confused parent to a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and the author of The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders.

Mary is an award-winning international speaker, podcaster, and online course creator. Her mission is to help parents and professionals turn autism (or signs of autism) around for millions of children around the world.

Mary’s second book, Turn Autism Around: An Action Guide for Parents of Young Children with Early Signs of Autism will be published on March 30, 2021 with Hay House. This book with the foreword by Dr. Temple Grandin, will empower and help parents turn things around for young children with language and social delays, or who have difficulty with excessive tantrums, sleeping, eating a variety of foods and potty training. With 1:6 children having developmental disorders and approximately 1:50 being diagnosed with autism, this new book will help millions of parents, grandparents, caregivers and early intervention professionals with step-by-step strategies.

For more information search “Mary Autism + (topic you’re struggling with)” or go to

Mentioned In This Episode

The Verbal Behavior Approach
Mary Barbera’s Dissertation
Turn Autism Around: An Action Guide for Parents of Young Children with Early Signs of Autism
Dr. Keith Williams: Tackling Selective Eating in Children with Autism
Free Online Autism Training Workshops
Mary Barbera on Facebook
Mary Barbera on Twitter
Turn Autism Around on YouTube
Mary Barbera on LinkedIn
Mary Barbera on Instagram
Turn Autism Around on Pinterest

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