Welcome to my 2023 Autism Awareness & Acceptance Month Solo Episode! April is autism awareness and acceptance month. I have a 20-year-old son with autism named Kraig who can not read, write, or speak. In 2005, he was diagnosed with autism. (He was 2.5 years old.) His diagnosis changed my life. This episode will give you an opportunity to get to know me better as a person, understand how my company started (and its connection to autism), and maybe inspire you to turn pain into purpose too.
My son Kraig inspired me to use my voice, and he inspired my career transition from pharmacist to voice actor and podcast host.
Some people turn pain into purpose. 4 examples:
- A mom runs a marathon while pushing her son’s wheelchair. She runs because she appreciates her own ability to run, but she also raises awareness about her son’s disability.
- A young woman becomes a sign language interpreter because she’s a CODA – a child of a deaf adult (CODA). She recognizes her deaf father’s struggle to communicate, learns sign language, and later monetizes that second language as an interpreter.
- A middle-aged man recovers from heroin addiction and opens a series of recovery facilities so he can help others overcome their addiction to opioids too.
- A woman whose child has a developmental disability becomes a special education teacher for elementary school children. She gives young children a good start in the school system and also mentors parents who are confused by the complicated world of Individualized Education Plans, tutors, summer school, and more.
His weakness is my strength.
My son struggles to speak in a world in which almost everyone speaks. His weakness is my strength. I can talk! From my son Kraig, I learned the power of having a voice and using it.
Why did I leave clinical pharmacy practice?
Childcare issues. Kraig needs skilled caregivers. (Not skilled nursing care. Rather, caregivers who are trained to work with individuals with developmental disabilities.)
Couldn’t I just work nights and weekends?
Yes. But I chose sleep, family time, and shared experiences. Money isn’t everything.
How does a couple decide who stays at home?
It’s not any easy decision. Although I loved working in the pharmacy world, I was needed at home. Pharmacists have glass ceilings. Engineers do not. (My husband is a mechanical engineer.) We gambled that my husband’s income would exceed that of a pharmacist’s income. It was a good gamble. My husband out-earns what I would make today as a pharmacist. We also figured out how to live off one income, paid off all our debt, and achieved financial freedom so that I could start a business. These things DON’T happen overnight. It takes planning and dedication.
What was The Pharmacist’s Voice®, LLC’s original service?
In the beginning, I wanted to narrate pharmacy continuing education journals into audio format. Kraig loved it when I read to him, so I thought I could get paid to narrate something in the pharmacy world. I did not get paid to narrate pharmacy CE into audio format. However, like all entrepreneurs who fail, I pivoted. I pivoted into the voiceover industry where I now get paid to narrate a variety of content. I also teach online courses and do consulting work. NONE of this would have happened without both Kraig’s appreciation for my voice and watching him struggle to communicate.
I am Kraig’s strongest advocate.
Not only do I monetize my voice, but I also use it to advocate for Kraig. My husband and I make a great team, but I am Kraig’s strongest advocate. Helping a young man with autism navigate the world is a full-time job. So, I only work part-time on my business.
Kraig has strengths, preferences, interests, and needs. I look at the world through a lens layered with those four areas.
I hope this episode has given you an opportunity to get to know me better as a person, understand how my company started (and its connection to autism), and maybe inspire you to turn pain into purpose too. When you think your back is against the wall, look around you. Something you take for granted might be the one thing you can monetize while still using your background as a pharmacist.
There is a BONUS section to this episode. In the bonus, I share 8 pearls of wisdom for parents of children with autism who may have stumbled upon this.
- Ignore the haters at Disney World.
- What a diagnosis does for your child.
- Find people you trust, and listen to them.
- Being on Medicaid is not a mark of shame. Apply early.
- Succession planning is morbid, but it is necessary.
- Discrimination sucks. Know your child’s rights, and fight for them.
- Understand person-first labels and identity first labels.
- Think, “ABILITY” first.
Links from this episode
YFP Episode 279 (YouTube link)
🖥Check out Kim’s websites, and connect with her on social media!
✅Business website https://www.thepharmacistsvoice.com
✅The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast https://www.thepharmacistsvoice.com/podcast
✅Pronounce Drug Names Like a Pro © Online Course https://www.kimnewlove.com
✅A Behind-the-scenes look at The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast © Online Course https://www.kimnewlove.com
✅ACX (Audiobook Narrator Profile) https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A10FSORRTANJ4Z
Thank you for listening to episode 213 of The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast!