Differently Wired Boys & TiLT Parenting (w Debbie Reber)



At least 1 in 5 people are differently wired, says Debbie Reber, founder of TiLT Parenting.

Differently wired kids are neurologically atypical. They perceive the world differently than their peers and express themselves differently as well. These differences can be subtle or glaring, and as a parent or teacher, it can be hard to know how to respond to these quirks.

Debbie and her husband noticed their son Asher’s differences early on. He was “more intense, more precocious, more challenging” than similarly aged children and was “moving through the world in a different way” than his peers. By elementary school, his differences were creating challenges. Eventually, the family learned that Asher is “twice exceptional;” he’s gifted and has some learning challenges, including ADHD and executive functioning and sensory issues.

The diagnoses confirmed Debbie’s gut instinct: Asher moves through the world differently than most boys his age. But the diagnoses didn’t unveil any magic solutions. The family still had to learn how to help Asher thrive.

“It’s tricky to figure out a path and a plan when your child doesn’t fit the box,” Debbie says. “It’s important to realize that there is no handbook for these kids. It’s really about trying to identify your child’s areas of weakness, learning what kind of support might help them right now and then taking one step at a time.”

Identifying and supporting your son’s strengths is also essential. After all, differences aren’t necessarily a bad thing.

“We value disruptors as the innovators, the people creating new products and solving the problems of the world. Disruption is a buzzword!” Debbie says. “Our kids are disruptors because they’re non-conformists, they see the world differently, they’re going to challenge authority and question everything. Isn’t that what we want?”

In this episode, Jen, Janet & Debbie discuss:
  • Identifying differently wired children
  • What to do if people dismiss your concerns about your son’s behavior
  • The link between lagging skill development and “bad behavior”
  • Respectful transparency (or, how to talk to your son about his challenges)
  • How to find help for your differently wired kid
  • Why you need to challenge your beliefs about what you (and your child) “should” do
  • Homeschooling as an option for differently wired boys
  • Why non-conformity and disruption are good things
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

tiltparenting.com — TiLT Parenting online (includes links to TiLT Parenting Podcast too)

TiLT Together FB Group

Differently Wired: A Parent’s Guide to Raising an Atypical Child with Confidence and Hope, by Debbie Reber

Twice Exceptional Boys (w Ramsey Hootman) — ON BOYS episode

ADHD with Ryan Wexelblatt the ADHD Dude — ON BOYS episode

Sensory Processing Disorder w Nancy Peske — ON BOYS episode

Snoop Dogg listening to Let It Go (Video mentioned at 29:02. Trust us & watch this video if you haven’t seen it yet!)

Why the Future Will be Differently Wired — Debbie’s 2018 TEDx Talk

The “New Normal” Kids and Why We Need to Embrace Them — Debbie’s 2019 TEDx Talk

“My Boy Can” Parenting — our first ON BOYS conversation w Sassy Harvey (mentioned at 36:33)

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