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7 Special Education Podcasts You Should Listen to

November 13, 2020 13 min read

On this episode of the “Help for Special Educators” podcast you will hear about 7 special education podcasts you should listen to.

  • “Be the Exception” Podcast, hosted by Dawn Ellis
  • “Different Ability” Podcast, hosted by Katey Fortun
  • “SLP Coffee Talk” Podcast, hosted by Hallie Sherman
  • “That Special Educator” Podcast, hosted by Braelan Martin
  • “Teaching Autism and Special Education Community Podcast,” hosted by Nikki Robertson
  • “Adaptation Station” Podcast, hosted by Nichole Morris
  • “The Autism Helper” Podcast, hosted by Sasha Long

And I have a bonus one I hope you are already listening to: Don’t forget my podcast, “Help for Special Educators!” LOL

Episode 23 Show Notes

Map of the world showing countries that have heard the podcast
The Help for Special Educators podcast has been listened to in over 50 countries around the world. Thank you to all my listeners!!

Resources and Links




Episode 23: Seven Special Education Podcasts You Should Listen to

Do you ever find yourself barely able to hold your head above water? Waves of IEPs, data collection, assessments, parent conferences, not to mention lesson plans and seasonal activities are all crashing around you. You need help but not just from anybody. Grab the lifeline that is the Help for Special Educators Podcast. We will equip you with creative solutions and teacher-tested strategies so you can navigate the rewarding but difficult job as a special ed teacher. This is Lisa Goodell, your host.


Hey there everyone, welcome to Episode 23. After I finished my podcast last week (which was episode 22 on World Kindness Day and kindness challenges you can do in the classroom) I got to thinking that I need to challenge myself to do the same. One of my goals with this podcast is to bring the worldwide special ed community together so we can support each other in this difficult field.

So for my random act of kindness, today I’m going to introduce you to some phenomenal ladies who all have their own podcasts, that I am sure you will love to listen to. Some were even able to respond with a recording that I’ll share in this episode. It was totally a last-minute thing on my part. So not everyone was able to send something in, but all are amazing humans and I really hope you will look them up on your favorite podcast platform or go to the show notes where I will have links to each one of their podcasts. And then at the end of this episode, I’ll share a story from my own classroom regarding kids being kind to each other spontaneously.

First up is my friend, Dawn Ellis, who was also a guest on my show for episode four. Her podcast is called, “Be the Exception,” and it gives tangible and simple solutions to help busy, special education teachers be the best versions of themselves personally and professionally. She’s going to share a quick tip that we can do anytime for our coworkers.



Hey there. My name is Dawn Ellis and I am the host of “Be the Exception” podcast. And I just wanted to take a minute to talk about random acts of kindness. I know that as a special education teacher, sometimes we can be forgotten or overlooked as a part of the special ed staff. But one thing that I have done and found so much success in, as a random act of kindness, is to type on sticky notes using a post-it note template some things that you appreciate or admire about different staff members…

Especially those other special education teachers, related service providers, or even those general education teachers who work so well with your students, but also administration. And just leave it for them to find on their desk, just as a little pep talk for the week, a little surprise to let them know that what they are doing matters, and it makes a big impact on not only the students, but other professionals around them. I hope that you use this tip in your school and if you do, I would love to hear about it over on Instagram. You can find me at @cultivatingexceptionalminds.


Thank you, Dawn. Next is Katey Fortun, who hosts the “Different Ability” podcast. You may want to share some of her episodes with your students. Katey, who has dyslexia, shares her personal different ability stories to show you that being different is a gift, being different is amazing, and using your different abilities, you too can create the life that you’ve always dreamed about. She is an inspiration to adults and students alike.



Hey, this is Katey Fortun, the host of the “Different Ability” podcast. I am so honored to share a random act of kindness story. I mean, really? I have a lot, but I’ll keep it to one or two. One of my random act of kindness stories was actually just very recent. I was in the grocery store and we all have to wear masks of course, but I still smile and say hi to people. I am that girl. Yes. I’m the girl that walks around smiling and saying hi to random strangers. But I smiled to this man and said, “hi,” and he did this double-take and looked at me, and was like, wait, are you, are you talking to me, kind of, like that look on his face. And when he realized I was talking to him, he’s like, “Oh, wow, well, hi, how are you?” And we just chatted for a few seconds and went on our days. And that has really brought me a lot of joy to be able to just do something so simple. It cost nothing. And you can do that to. Random acts of kindness don’t have to cost anything.

All right. Another quick story. I really love to pay it forward when I’m going through a coffee line. So I was going through the coffee drive through one day and I decided I was going to pay for the person behind me. And when I drove up to the window to pay, I told the barista that I wanted to pay for the car behind me.  And just the look on her face was like, wait, what you want to do that for someone else? That is so kind. And I’m like, No, it just I’d like to pay it forward today and do something kind. And she’s like, Oh my gosh. And I paid for it. And then before I left, I said, “Just please tell the person to have a great day and pay it forward. And you have a great day, too.”

And you know what, that cost me $5. And when you can just do those random acts of kindness, whenever you’re able, it really could change someone’s life. It really could, it could be as simple as a smile. It could be as simple as opening the door for someone that has their hands full, or you could pay for someone’s coffee, or dinner, or anything you want to do, but it really could change that person’s life. That’s what’s so important.

Why it’s so important to me is because I really love positivity and I strive to be as positive as possible. And something that I decided to do very recently was create a five-day positivity challenge. It’s something that will push you to be as positive as you can in your life and give you the tools and tips of simple things you can do to create a more positive and uplifting life. And one of those days, is random acts of kindness. I love them. So here I am, I’m going to challenge you, go out and make someone’s day, and it can be as simple as smiling and saying hi to a stranger.


Thanks for sharing your stories, Katey! Anybody young or old can try those. Next is Hallie Sherman, who is a speech therapist and host of “SLP Coffee Talk.” Her podcast will provide you with a jolt of inspiration to help you plan with ease and confidence, but without a lot of prep.



Hi, I am Hallie Sherman from Speech Time Fun and the “SLP Coffee Talk” podcast. And I’m so excited to share with you an idea for incorporating random acts of kindness in your classroom or a speech therapy room. So I love using YouTube videos to work on just any goal I have with my students. So of course, I love using the Kid President video, “All about Changing the World and Kindness.” He has a Ed.Ted video  if you go to, you can search for “Kid President, how to change the world  (A work in progress).” And I love using this video to work on cause and effect, how with a little bit of change, we can see great results.

We can work on, main idea, comprehension questions, just narrative storytelling, problem/solution… So many speech goals you can do while incorporating the theme of random acts of kindness and teaching our students that it’s not just a one time. It is always that we want to be as kind as possible and be the best human beings that we can be. So there you have it. There is my idea for random acts of kindness, and I hope you can incorporate it in your classrooms and speech therapy rooms.


Thanks Hallie, for a great tip on turning a YouTube video into an engaging lesson.


Now there’s some other podcasts that I want to recommend, too.

The first one is “That Special Educator” podcast. And the host of that is Braelin Martin. I just recently found this podcast and I’m really enjoying it. Her podcast discusses special ed specific tips, she does interviews with teachers and more.

The next podcast I want to recommend is the “Teaching Autism and Special Education Community” podcast. This is hosted by Nikki Robinson, who was a guest on my show back on episode three. Her podcast gives information, support and new ideas for teachers therapists and family members of students with autism.

The next podcaster I want to tell you about is Nicole Morris, who hosts the “Adaptation Station” podcast. She’s taught special ed and is now an ABA therapist. Her podcast will help you balance the life of a special ed professional and being your own person outside of work.

And finally, if you haven’t listened to it already, you really need to listen to “The Autism Helper” podcast. Sasha Long provides strategies and ideas for teachers, parents, and clinicians supporting individuals with autism. And I have to throw in a fast fact, her resources literally saved my life the year I had 20 kids in my special day class from first to fifth grade. Sasha really helped me stay sane that year.


And now the last thing I’m going to do before I end today’s podcast is share my own random act of kindness story from my classroom. It didn’t come from a lesson or a random act of kindness challenge. It just happened. And sometimes those stories or the best.

This happened many years ago, but I’ve always remembered it. At the time I was teaching a mild, moderate self-contained class that included first through fourth graders. One day, a student that I will call Daniel was refusing to do his touch math, single-digit addition, math page. He had only been in our school for a couple of weeks, so he was still adjusting to everything. He had some behavior issues. So I had been giving him a lower load of academics to help him get used to the class routines.

So on this day, he had been refusing to do pretty much any work all morning. He had lots of excuses, but finally he decided that he needed to go to the restroom. He had about five or six problems left on his math page, which would take him probably one minute to do since his actual math level was a lot higher. I told him he could go to the bathroom after he finished his problems, but instead he just kept whining. He kept saying, “I have to go, I have to go now!” referring to the bathroom. I gave him a “first math, then bathroom” visual and planned ignored him for a while.

However, the whole class got tired of Daniels whining. So a student that I’ll call Alex came up to me and said, “let me try.” And I said, “Okay.” But I thought to myself that this will be interesting since Alex was a couple of years younger than Daniel and Alex had been the king of whining and tantrums the year before, but he had really improved this year. So anyway, Alex went over and started to help Daniel by going through the touch math steps out loud.

Now Daniel already knew the math, but he was really listening to Alex. He even had a kind of look on him that said, wow, here’s a kid that’s helping me out. So Alex told Daniel to do a problem. And Daniel actually did it. He followed exactly what Alex said. And then Alex told him good job when he got finished.

I told Daniel, you go ahead and finish this page on your own, but Alex can watch you do it. And so Daniel finished the page. Staying true to my end of the bargain. I told him, okay, you can go to the restroom now, which of course he had forgotten about. And at that point he didn’t even want to go.

So that is a cute enough story in and of itself. However, fast forward to later that same day and our class went to the cafeteria to vote in the school’s mock presidential election. (This story happened on election day for one of the presidential elections that Obama was in.) Anyway, when it was Daniel’s turn to vote, he looked at the options, and then he wrote out “Alex” on the “write-in” line. And then he called me over to spell Alex’s last name. It was so sweet because these boys were not friends at all. Daniel voted for Alex because of the kindness Alex showed him earlier in the day.

And here’s the icing on the cake… during the mock election, Alex also voted for himself. So when the principal got on the loudspeaker to announce the results, she also told everyone that someone from our school came in third place for the president of the United States with two votes. And it was my student, Alex. He was so proud!


So that’s it. I’m going to recap all the podcasts one more time, so you can look them up:

“Be the Exception” Podcast

“Different Ability” Podcast

“SLP Coffee Talk” Podcast

“That Special Educator” Podcast

“Teaching Autism and Special Education Community Podcast”

“Adaptation Station” Podcast

“The Autism Helper” Podcast

And of course the one you’re listening to right now is “Help for Special Educators.” Be sure to go to my show notes so you get links to every single one of these awesome podcasts.

(Goodell is spelled G O O D E L L)

Thank you for listening and I will talk to you next time.


Now, when I start to get stressed or overwhelmed about school stuff, I find it helps to take a moment to slow down, stop, and focus on my breathing. Sometimes I also might say the Serenity Prayer aloud or in my head, here it is: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I might also add a few of my own words. Here’s the sample for us special educators: Help us to listen and truly understand our students. Please give us words, actions, and solutions, which will help in difficult situations. May our classrooms be peaceful places where teachers, staff, and students learn and thrive. After that, I try to go out and find someone else to help because helping others keeps me from selfishly dwelling on my own problems.

Thank you so much for listening and I hope you heard something helpful during this episode that you can implement in your teaching. Remember, you are amazing! What you do makes a difference and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Go find someone else to encourage because they probably need to be reminded that they are amazing, too.

Lisa Goodell, host of "Help for Special Educators" podcast

Podcast Host

Lisa Goodell, M.A., launched the “Help for Special Educators” Podcast on April 1, 2019. She has taught for over 24 years, including third grade, resource/inclusion (RSP), and mild/moderate self-contained (SDC). Currently, she is an itinerant orthopedic impairment (OI) specialist/teacher for students birth to 21 years old in all general ed and special ed settings.

Lisa has a master’s degree in special education and six special ed and general ed teaching credentials. She has been honored as “Teacher of the Year” at both the elementary (2014) and secondary level (1994). She lives in rural Central California with her family and a bunch of cats. Connect with Lisa here.

Check out her TeachersPayTeachers store, “Lisa Goodell.” You can also get more information by listening to the beginning of Episode 1.

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