As we enter the beginning of the school year, I want to go over my 20...
Episode #127: An Inspiring Autism Journey with Sandy and Ben Hartranft
What a pleasure it was to have Sandy and Ben Hartranft on the show! Sandy is the proud mom of three sons, one of whom is Ben. Ben is 24 years old and was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2.
20+ years ago, Sandy knew something was off, limited speech and no response to his name led her to pursue check-ins with her son’s doctors and an official appointment with a developmental pediatrician. Soon, it all came together, and the signs began to make sense with his new-found diagnosis. Ben found support through early intervention and through the rest of his school years with OTs, SLPs, The Talk Institute, and even his bus driver, who helped him make a plan to get on the regular education bus.
When you hear what Ben is up to now, you will be amazed! He has been on the Ellen show, worked extensively with the Philadelphia Eagles and their autism advocacy events, and gone on solo trips, including cross country to California to win big on The Price is Right! He even owns his own company, Benergy. In which he provides presentations and public speeches for organizations to spread awareness and advocacy for autism.
This duo is full of inspiration, kindness, and positivity. You can check out Sandy’s book, Swinging From the Chandelier: Finding Joy in the Journey through Autism, for more of the story of this incredible family.
Sandy Hartranft has been an RN for over 39 years and a CDCES (Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist) for the past 28 years. She now works at the very hospital that diagnosed Ben with autism at the age of 2. She is the proud mom of three wonderful grown sons, an avid reader, and loves to cross stitch and travel with her family. Sandy is always willing to talk to other families about their experiences and hopes to encourage others the same way she was encouraged on her journey. Sandy’s first book, “Swinging From the Chandelier: Finding Joy in the Journey through Autism,” is a memoir taken from the many journals she kept over the years raising her three boys and the wild ride it has been.
Ben Hartranft is a 24-year-old young man who was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2. At that time, he knew only 20 words, and everything was a safety issue. Ben has exceeded all expectations and is strengthened by his faith in God and the people He has placed in his life. He received his diploma, has several part-time jobs (Eagles Game Day Staff, Dorney Park), earned his driver’s license, and treats everyone he meets like a rock star. Ben has had the amazing experience of carrying the Lombardi trophy to start the ring ceremony for the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Ben’s dream came true in October 2018 when he was invited to be a guest on the Ellen show and promote Autism Awareness and funding for research. He recently traveled solo to California and won big on The Price is Right! Ben loves being an advocate for Autism Awareness and wants to take awareness into action.
- Sandy and Ben’s journey through autism.
- A story of inspiration, kindness, and positivity.
- Getting an autism diagnosis in the 90s.
- Benergy; Ben’s public speaking company for autism awareness.
- Opportunities and possibilities for adults with autism.
Mentioned In This Episode
Rate, Review & Subscribe
If you found this podcast helpful, please consider rating and reviewing my show! This helps me to support more people — just like you!
If you have not done so already, subscribe to the podcast. This ensures that you do not miss an episode!
You Might Also Like…
Working in this field, whether as an SLP, BCBA, or both, can be...
Today I am talking to a “unicorn”. Ashley Whitaker is one of the...