Meet Ashley Robinson parent of Colton Robinson. Colton is a Diversity Model, up and coming influencer and inspiration to all! On this episode Ashley gives her unique perspective on parenting as well as navigating the adaptive modeling world with Colton.
[00:00:26] We just want to welcome Ashley. It's our first episode Everest from welcome Ashley Robinson, mother of Colton Robinson official welcome Ashley.
[00:00:37] Thanks for having me.
[00:00:38] Thank you. So tell us a little bit about, obviously we know your story because we've known you for a while, but tell our community a little bit about your story and your journey and how it kind of started with Colton.
[00:00:50] Yeah, go ahead.
[00:00:52] All right. So I was 20 weeks pregnant, had a fairly normal pregnancy with Colton. When we went to go find out his gender and we were in the room and. You know, she said it was a boy and we were all excited because, you know, Mark really wanted a boy. So then they said after all the excitement was over, they're like, Oh, well the doctor needs to speak with you.
[00:01:13] So we went into the separate room and we had my daughter with us and, he comes in and he says, how's your pregnancy being been going? You know, have you been feeling different or anything? And I was like, no, why? And he's like, well, your son has signed a bifida. And so we were like, We didn't know what spinal bifida was.
[00:01:31] So we were like, all, like just
[00:01:32] kind of like shocked and scared and, you know, we were trying to hold it together because we had had our six year old daughter with us. so I tried to get like information from him. And the only thing he really said to me was, well, you know, you can go for genetic testing or, you know, there's always the option of abortion.
[00:01:51] we went home right there at the gender ultrasound. So look how like such highs and lows. Yeah.
[00:01:57] Yeah. I was like, Oh boy. And then it's like, Oh, the doctor wants to talk to you. And then it was like, Oh, your son has this. And it was scary. So it was the day we got home. We kind of regrouped. And, I think my parents took my daughter and we started looking online.
[00:02:12]which is a really
[00:02:13] bad, exact same thing. They actually are like, our school is almost exactly the same, like gender ultrasound. They told us right then and there, it was like, this is the death sentence kind of conversation. Instead of like, Hey, this is what's going on. We'll we'll talk more. It was just maybe like, it was just like instant.
[00:02:28] And then we just went straight home and started Googling. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:02:34] The weird thing about it was, as you would think, like, you know, a doctor that deals with babies a lot and, what are they called obstetrician? Like, I can't even think of the words. you would think that they would be educated on such a common birth defect.
[00:02:47] And it just seemed like he wasn't and it was scary.
[00:02:50] Oh, well now we know it's common, right? Cause we're in this community, but I feel like at that time it seemed like I'd never heard of it. It's such an uncommon thing, that it was not something I'd ever heard of. It, it was, it was just like, it was like a foreign word, like a foreign language.
[00:03:05] When they said it, I was like, okay, I don't know what that is. And of course, like we've used the word spinal bifida, but they kept saying myeloma Ninja, see all. And I was just like, like the word is like this long and I've never, ever heard it before. And I remember thinking like, Oh God, I have to Google this.
[00:03:21] Can you write it? I remember, I think we said, can you write it down? I can't spell that. Exactly. Oh my God. How I know for like, you know, like, like I said, like my story is almost verbatim the same exact as yours. It's, you know, you did that, then you Google everything and then you start seeing all your specialists and then everything kind of starts to snowball.
[00:03:40] And from that point, until you give birth, it's kind of this whirlwind. And everything's just kind of, I think for me, it was just, I don't even remember the rest of my pregnancy.
[00:03:52] Yeah. It was a very stressful time.
[00:03:54] Yeah. So how did you react to all of that handling it? Like, did you have a good support system?
[00:04:01] During all that time.
[00:04:03] Yeah. I mean, w we're lucky, you know, my parents are extremely supportive as well as Mark's parents. and we have a really close family, a lot of really close friends. and we were also really lucky enough to speak with, kind of, not like a family friend, but someone who was my mother-in-law's doctor who, transferred to kind of get childrens.
[00:04:20] And he's a, the head neurosurgeon there. So we went to go speak with him and he's like, children with spinal bifida are the happiest people. They're so happy. Like there's nothing to be afraid. And, you know, he really just like reassured us and, you know, I left there being like, okay, we can totally handle that.
[00:04:40] you know, it just kinda like made everything feel better and I just stayed off the internet for the rest of the day
[00:04:45] we did too, until we reached out to you guys. I think that was probably the next time we got on the internet. Yeah. So like having that support system, I know for us, like having a sibling.
[00:04:58] An older sibling, because again, we have our stories probably so similar. Like, you know, this was our second child. We had an older daughter and that's about all I kept thinking to myself was I was already a little nervous to like bring in another child and because I was giving Annabella so much attention and she was just like, She was our world.
[00:05:17] And I kept thinking, and I know a lot of parents, even with typical children think like when you go to have your second child, you think how, how can I even have enough time or energy for another child, even when you're planning it? You're like, I don't know that I can do this. I don't know that I have enough energy.
[00:05:31] So then when you add anything into the mix, like going through a pregnancy like this, I think for me, me, it was water. Am I going to do now? Like, how am I going to give Annabella the attention and the energy that she needs? No. Did you have a similar experience like that? having an older sibling.
[00:05:50] Ashley:Yeah. I mean, Kayden was about she's about six years.
[00:05:53]when Colton was born and, you know, she had all that attention for all those years. Yeah. And from everyone. So, you know, I think I remember at the time my parents kind of like took, took her and watched her and then, you know, took care of her for a little bit while we were going back and forth. but I do remember like when, yeah, after he came home, she kind of like regressed and just like, was very like emotional.
[00:06:16] And I think it was like a lot of stress and I think. Our, our attention was so much on like Colton and like his surgeries and like him, you know, his like getting cast in for his legs and stuff. All the attention was there. We were giving Caden attention, but, you know, I didn't really think, Oh, this is probably really stressful on her.
[00:06:33] So, you know,
[00:06:35] You're not really thinking about that. Yeah.
[00:06:37] You don't really have the energy to, I think that that's like, it's okay. Okay. Yeah. As much as it feels like I know now, like that was older and now I look back and I think like, did, yeah, we make a mistake. And did we drop any of her needs? Like, did anything drop off in that way?
[00:06:52] But sometimes I have to remember, like, I think that even as a typical parent, that just happens when you have a second child. Yeah, that first child is just not going to get the full attention anymore. And that's okay. Yeah. There's a reason why, you know, first is that first child syndrome and the second job, they were like, you just all get your own different needs and it's okay.
[00:07:11] That, that happens. I think it happens a little more obviously when, when there's a need with a second child, but. I think it just makes them stronger. I think it makes her more compassionate. I definitely see that with Bella. She has, she's so much more compassionate with younger kids. And I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that her brother, you know, she grew up with watching a younger sibling.
[00:07:31] Just need more in the beginning.
[00:07:34] Well, her, she, you know, when she's like a natural like mother figure.
[00:07:38] I'm like very maternal,
[00:07:40] but even in that, you can, you kind of see this transition now where, when she was younger, she was vocal about it. You know, you give any more attention and she would say it.
[00:07:49] And so, I know a lot of my concentration was to try to make it not equal, but make sure we are. Yeah, giving them their own respective attention. but now it's kind of funny because you know, with, we've been in this lifestyle for eight years with Eddie. so every, you know, every day is a typical day.
[00:08:08]and there's not a lot of, you know, new developments and stuff like that. So we have typical lives. But now it's kind of like the roles are reversed where it's like, Bella can stay up later. It's like, why can't I do that? It's like, you can do that when you are that age. And, you know, we gave you a lot of attention, you know, like all this fun stuff.
[00:08:23] It's like, cause we always use that to rationale, you know, rationalized Abella she'd be like, Oh, why do you do that? Well, when you, you know, it was just you, we did all of this stuff with you too. So it's kind of funny now. It's like, okay,
[00:08:33] I know we almost never do something. That's like just Eddie. It's usually like now we're giving so much more attention to Annabella and I think there's all the time.
[00:08:44] He's like you do this all the time for Bella. And I'm thinking there's so many years we did everything just for you or do a little bit for Bella. And just the other day we said, when things calm down, we're going to take Eddie to New York city. Cause we did that for Bella when she was younger and Bella was like up in arms.
[00:08:58] I can't believe you're taking Eddie to New York without me. Okay. Oh, dare, dare. Wait. do you, I mean, I know that now your older sibling was, is, you know, there's a bigger age gap between your two. do you find it easier or harder to find, to prioritize their needs?
[00:09:19] they definitely have different needs.
[00:09:21]right now my daughter doesn't really want to be around a
[00:09:23] STEM teacher in high school. So,
[00:09:26] you know, every once in a while,
[00:09:27] before this, I know,
[00:09:30] I know this whole COVID thing started like every once in a while she'd be like, want to go get a coffee or, you know, so we would take our drive or something like that.
[00:09:38] And Colin goes and carries just like playing Fortnite
[00:09:40] with his cousins or family. So
[00:09:42] it's a little bit easier now. He doesn't really seem to care that much about that kind of stuff. but I, I feel like my daughter does
[00:09:48] more than him. Yeah. That's funny. Yeah. It's funny how that changes. I feel like I go, they go through like waves.
[00:09:53] Like one of them cares about being around us and the other one doesn't and then vice versa. And I'm always like who, who, and then there's times where both of them. Want nothing to do with us or both of them want, I'm like, Oh, all of a sudden, everybody cares about hanging out with us today. It's so funny.
[00:10:10] I'm like, they just didn't wait
[00:10:11] that long ago. It will be with you in a couple of years.
[00:10:13] She already does it. She spends all her time in her room. We're like, Oh, hi, we're here. Did you want to get up today and hang out with us? And she's like, get away from me.
[00:10:21] I try to make myself relevant, like as much as possible.
[00:10:24] You're not, she, he thinks he's relevant. No, no. I
[00:10:26] feel like, cause no she'll do that. She'll act like she's embarrassed by me, but she'll always just take the phone around and like she'll literally set it up where like I'm there to be like, okay,
[00:10:36] hardened, do you think she's because now that we're like so orientated, she just FaceTimes with everybody like her friends, but it's on FaceTime 24 seven.
[00:10:45] So I'm learning that we have to be very cautious. Like we are fighting and screaming at each other. And then I'm like, are you FaceTiming with your, like, they're definitely your friends. Parents are hearing us the background and bickering
[00:11:00] the other day too. We were having a disagreement about something and quilting was on FaceTime and I was like, they can hear us.
[00:11:06] Oh. Cause it's just like, it's like, I'm so over the whole FaceTime thing and we have no privacy.
[00:11:12] I'm like, can you just, or she'll do something and I'm yelling at her.
[00:11:15] You said a disagreement. That's the cutest. Way to say we're having an argument. No, we weren't. We weren't. Yeah. Okay.
[00:11:26] Looking at each other, we were just like going back and forth.
[00:11:30] bickering. Yeah.
[00:11:33] The banter
[00:11:34] we call it, bickering anyone on the outside. It's probably like, what is wrong with them? Are they okay?
[00:11:40] have allowed volume in this house at all times. It's never quiet
[00:11:44] if there was a director. To direct our lives be Quinn. Turntine
[00:11:51] just cause of the good grief. It's
[00:11:52] a little aggressive kind
[00:11:55] like our dogs last night, they almost murdered each other. They caught a bunny and then they all over it.
[00:12:02] Yeah. They're trying to let know
[00:12:03] they were fighting when the dad yeah. Oh yeah. I had to help Eddie cause it was like. He was a little sad over it.
[00:12:10] He's a man and a rabbit. I mean, Colton's older now. I mean, he for, Oh, well I should start with saying how we met. We kind of found each other in a support group right on Facebook kind of reached out. We reached out cause we went through the same transition you went through. We started Googling everything under the sun, which was a huge mistake.
[00:12:31]and then for me, I'm such a type a personality. I have to like, know everything about everything. And the best way to do that was to find a support group. Cause I was learning that. Yeah. Just Googling was only getting me in trouble. And yeah, I found the support group online, which was a great community.
[00:12:55]but I also was fighting that. And actually I think Eddie was the one that said to me, you, the people that are going to be on the super, but the people that are looking for support, like the, most of the people you're gonna talk to, are people looking for support? So you're probably. You're not finding the exact balance and it's true.
[00:13:11] Like I, I'm still part of those support groups now and we're living in such a typical life. I feel like Eddie's doing so well and everything's going great that we're not speaking up on those support groups. Now, when. Someone might have just gotten pregnant or just had a baby. And I'm realizing that, like, they're not seeing our life.
[00:13:31] They're not seeing how Eddie's doing now at eight. but you kind of were doing that at that time. So I had noticed Colton on there and you just posting things and realizing, Oh, okay. Eddie could have this more typical life. And it's not this like death sentence that these doctors were giving us, told you.
[00:13:53] And I think that was a little bit easier for me to kind of say, Oh, okay. I think I just going to reach out and then finding out that you were also local to where we were was huge for us. Cause I think we also were thinking like, it just wasn't as real when there, when no one was in our area. and so we went, I think we went to, was it ice cream or frozen?
[00:14:14] Frozen yogurt? I
[00:14:15] was just thinking about that. I
[00:14:16] was like, where, where do we come?
[00:14:17] Mostly, it was like, when can we go for frozen yogurt? I'm like, I don't think there's frozen yogurt places anymore. Is it really. I don't think we've been there since that day.
[00:14:27] Wait, pause. I thought we went to mountain view.
[00:14:30] No, we went to that frozen place right by their house.
[00:14:32] I forget the name of it. Yogurt city.
[00:14:34] Yeah. I didn't know that place is still open. That's so crazy. Right? You don't need some so into the frozen yogurt place. And that was the coolest thing I think for us to see. I mean, Eddie was really small. I think he was only like two at the time, but for us as parents.
[00:14:50] I mean, it's cool to see Eddie. And it was cool for Eddie to see Eddie interact with someone else who had the same. And still it is when we still run into people who have the same disability as Eddie. It's exciting. but yeah. Even. So at that point was the first other family we had spoken to that gone to the same experience.
[00:15:09] And your guests is exciting. It was so similar to ours, which was really exciting because they do call it the snowflake disorder. Cause every urn disease, I don't know why they call it a disease, but, yeah, cause everybody's is so different, but it was, it was nice to kind of talk to someone that's been through the same thing and know.
[00:15:24] Okay. There's, you know, I think the other thing that I remember, like Mark saying, like. Life has kind of calm. Now it does get easier. You're going to have less doctor's appointments. That was like the most key thing to hear. Because at that point we were in the deck of OTP teeth deal all the time therapies, all the doctor's appointments every week wasn't even working yet because there just was no time in the day.
[00:15:46]so do you hear that, like there was a lid at the end of the tunnel where your days just get normal again was really nice to hear. Told you. Yeah.
[00:15:55] Yeah. The first couple of years, all I remember it was just like going to the hospital and all these appointments. It was like, so crazy.
[00:16:02] Not knowing if we're going to have another surgery.
[00:16:03] And I remember also someone saying like, there's going to be a day where you'll not be wondering, are we going to have to have a surgery tomorrow? Like. Or be scared of a shunt revision or be scared. Like I'm not scared every day anymore. Like, yeah. I, you know, if he gets a fever, I'm like, Oh, you might have a cold.
[00:16:23] Whereas before I'm like, if you have a fever, I have to call the hospital right now.
[00:16:25] Yeah. Well that would be like, wait, the 24 hours go through all the same things. Like
[00:16:30] very typical the child. Yeah. Typical child,
[00:16:32] more water.
[00:16:34] Yeah, let's get some cranberry juice for this kid so we can flush this out.
[00:16:40] so with Colton transitioning and he's older now he's transitioned to like middle school.
[00:16:44] I'm assuming, is he at middle school age? Which is crazy. You know how, for us, we're a little bit behind you, but I know that I know milestones are big and the special needs world. And for any parent, it's a big transition to move to middle school. I know with like even our daughter, it was a big transition.
[00:17:01] What. You know, w how does, what are your thoughts on that? Like transitioning Colton into like the middle school world or the older kid world?
[00:17:10] I'm a little nervous currently only because our situation, we had a neuropsycho gal, at the clinic in the beginning of the year, and there was all these, things that they're stating to have him do, like have a visit, see what's accessible, you know, I don't think the doors, a lot of them have a handicap button that presses to open.
[00:17:30] So like I'm a little bit nervous about him getting around accessibly.
[00:17:33] Huh? How's that? How are we at a point in 2020 that schools don't have doors that open accessibly at this point? Like, that's just crazy. It's
[00:17:43] crazy because his school he's in now, I'm going to fifth grade, there was a door and they had to put in something for him.
[00:17:50]so it's not like they can go to a different school.
[00:17:55] I know it's really made his elementary school kind of opened their eyes as far as accessibility. they actually installed a, accessible playground
[00:18:04] too. Well, that's it. And that's not something that's required. That's just an extra, yeah, that wasn't all, although it should just me.
[00:18:11] I mean, I feel, I feel like families should be getting like, Awards for this. I mean, unfortunately like you, you're the, you're the Guinea pig family for this town to understand how their eyes opened to this whole, you know, the whole situation itself. And it's just like,
[00:18:27] well, the crazy thing is too, he's not the first child to be using a wheelchair.
[00:18:32] There's no way. Yeah. Going into a school system. You're not in a small town,
[00:18:38] you know, and I had that conversation and I was like, maybe he's the first kid in a wheelchair with a manual wheelchair. You know what I mean?
[00:18:46] Which seems even easier to move around. Versus someone with a power wheelchair?
[00:18:51] Well, no.
[00:18:52] Or you can take it to the, the only other people that have been at that disability level where they were, you know, bound to a wheelchair are like more deeply into special education where they have a personal care.
[00:19:04] My guess is that they just weren't in school.
[00:19:09] Yeah. And
[00:19:10] that's been a huge thing
[00:19:11] as far as like fifth grade, fourth grade and fifth grade, they've kind of taken away his para as far as being with them the entire time and getting them a little bit more independent.
[00:19:18] So when he goes to middle school, he has that independence. He doesn't need someone hovering over him.
[00:19:23] Now that's been like the biggest thing. How do you feel about that? Like, was that something that, so I know that's like a big deal with parenting. Like we have talked to other parents and I think this is something that we've, I've noticed I've come up to.
[00:19:36] Head with other parents, not headed, not like an argument wise, but like a head with when it comes to IEP is I think there's two sides of the coin where some people think get everything you can get from resources and services. And then the other side is like, I know our view is I want to strive for independence.
[00:19:53] So not that I don't want him to be able to get services if he needs services, but I also want him to be able to use the least amount possible so that he can. I want a balance. So if he does it, if he, if he needs services, let's get them services. But also wanted me to be able to work on his own throughout the day.
[00:20:12] Without those services, because when he gets out of school and he's got to work in the real world there, isn't going to be a one to one at his job. Yeah. Yes. So, yeah. Do you ever, like, you know, how involved have you been in that process and how much of it has been like your direction versus the school's direction?
[00:20:27] Have you had come up to any fights with that?
[00:20:30] Yeah. I mean, the school has been really good. Like IPS are never really stressful for us. they never really have been there. they've always been really willing to work with us and what his needs are, you know, we've taken away like OT. He only gets like PT once a week.
[00:20:42]you know, as far as like educational wise, he gets pulled to like a math group. Cause like, I mean, math is hard.
[00:20:47] Yeah. So unless
[00:20:49] about this hard
[00:20:51] call me in a math group,
[00:20:53] I'll be in the bathroom
[00:20:54] real quick for the dads that are listening. What's IP stand for.
[00:20:57] In individual individualized. Education plan.
[00:21:02] All right, you're welcome. Got me.
[00:21:12] yeah, so,
[00:21:13] Sorry, sorry.
[00:21:14] I'm sorry.
[00:21:19] like, as far as like middle school and, you know, middle school years are really tough, I'm just concerned about him, you know, the whole stuff that you normally go through and during the middle school years and have kids can be such jerks. Yeah. I'm concerned about that. So,
[00:21:31] yeah, I think that's any parent's concern really like, yeah.
[00:21:34] Moving into that transition. You know, if you have it, if you have any disability or needs or anything that you're coming into, the any, that's a struggle at all. I think moving into middle school is scary, especially nowadays. I mean, not to sound like an old person, but I definitely feel like middle school is more like high school was when I was younger.
[00:21:53] Like just watching. Or my daughter go through it. I'm like what is happening? I don't feel like it was like this when I was there. I feel like I was, or I was just much more naive and innocent in middle school then. And I got, and I was like a troublemaker, but I feel like what my awareness was of things what's most more innocent and like naive in what they're aware of is just like way beyond.
[00:22:17] Where I was,
[00:22:17] I just think, you know, the internet and like, you know, all the technology and that has a huge thing to do with it because kids in middle school now do not look like whey kids in middle school, or when I was in middle school, like they they're so much older looking. It's
[00:22:33] like what? I know it's like he had some photos of myself from like middle school and high school.
[00:22:37] And I was like, I was like a baby. I mean, I still feel like I look like a baby, but I looked so young. And then I was just like, look how I throw in there that I still like a baby.
[00:22:49] I thought it was like in the mirror this morning. Like all my wrinkles, what wrinkles. Oh, that was, Oh, great job.
[00:23:00]Well, let's not one thing let's let, let's not forget. Like, we're kind of a society that. 200 years ago, or like 150 years ago, you were 16 years old. You were married, married off, you had a family, you were independent. And here we are like, look at these 14 year olds. It's like, yeah. And in two years they would have their own family.
[00:23:18] Actually, if you go back in time,
[00:23:21] there are 16 year old, 10 families.
[00:23:23] Yeah, I know. I know.
[00:23:26] Bella. Won't be that one can tell you that right now.
[00:23:31]okay. So transition a little bit and chat about the big things that. Colton's a dine and what he's doing and what you guys have kind of done with him. so if everyone doesn't already know, we allow that, you know, the big topic kind of, of today that we wanted to kind of transition today's show into is inclusive modeling and what Colton does with that.
[00:23:53]so how did you get called in is an, I guess, would you call it inclusive model? Is that what you call it?
[00:24:00] Yeah, like a diversity
[00:24:01] dot on the bottle. I like that.
[00:24:03] She said that's what she said first. Oh, you said that first? Yeah. You were like, I think they're called diversity models and I was like, we'll look that up or better
[00:24:10] Save that question for the interview. She's a model who models. Yeah. Diversity clothing. Right? He's a model like everybody else, but how did you get Colton? He gets to hang out with the models. Okay. You're out. How did you get coated into modeling to start.
[00:24:30] Yeah. So I think when he was three, he did some stuff for Shriners for their later Dunkin donuts thing to raise money for free coffee.
[00:24:37] Yeah. And so he really enjoyed it and liked it. So, the funny thing is, is, I don't remember. It was during one of my surgeries. I had entered him into a parent
[00:24:50] So while I was recovering, I, Got a phone call from someone from parents magazine. And they were like, Oh, your son won one of the 10, 10, most cutest kids.
[00:24:59] And we're going to bring you to New York. I like almost hung up on that mean
[00:25:02] one of the 10, most curious kids, I haven't even talked to him yet. They just looked at it. Yeah,
[00:25:09] it was best in show though. It was best in show.
[00:25:12] If you have a conversation with him, he'd be number one for sure. Yeah. He
[00:25:17] was still kinda young and, So I was like, okay.
[00:25:20] I gave my email address so I could like check out their email address and stuff, make sure it's legit. And
[00:25:24] it was, I know, cause those things are, and those things are everywhere. I feel like, like
[00:25:28] they are. And it just like, at the time, I just like, I don't remember if signing them up. It must've just been like, I was drugged up after my surgery or something.
[00:25:35] I'm constantly getting a model offers and then yeah. You know, I just put them away or burn them. So you don't have to even worry about that.
[00:25:49] So you went to New York and, you kind of like, you know, he did that. He wasn't one of the, the copper person, but, we, met some people and kept in touch with them. And then a couple of years later, I had actually, or actually maybe that year I emailed an agency in Boston and they pretty much wrote back to me saying they don't need children.
[00:26:06] Like Colton. Oh,
[00:26:08] so that was fun. So they don't want to keep it, but they were like,
[00:26:12] there's like people that really use
[00:26:15] they're like people don't really use kids, in chairs, you know, for their ads. So that was interesting.
[00:26:21] Yeah. Obviously it's not true.
[00:26:23] I kept the, I kept the email cause it just like totally pissed me off.
[00:26:26] So you should keep it. I feel like that's a big, I feel like that's so important to keep it too though, just to show like, yeah.
[00:26:33] Yeah. Not that I want to blow up your spot, but who is it from
[00:26:36] everything Holden's been doing too, and just be like, yeah, F you,
[00:26:41] I don't want to be petty. I was going to do that one day, but then I was like, no,
[00:26:45] there are, they're already watching them.
[00:26:46] Let's be honest.
[00:26:47] Yeah, and they probably fought. But, then, I was online on Facebook and I saw runway of dreams. And so I had, reached out and it was when they first started and, the owner, the founder invited us to New Jersey. And then, he did a little runway show there, which turned into, being in their first gala runway show.
[00:27:07] And so he did that. And then, from there he did like the Tommy Hilfiger ad. And, after he did that,
[00:27:14] one of the ladies from
[00:27:15] parent magazine reached out and she's like, there's this lady who wants to start a diversity division. She was like, why don't you start, you know, working with her. So we did
[00:27:26] I did. Were they already doing, clothing? Targeted like disability type clothing or wear, or was this before that? No, it was, it
[00:27:36] was probably like their second, season. So there was a first season and then he did like spring. So the early winter season. Yeah. So they had already started that. And that was like in 2017.
[00:27:47]and since then, you know, there's been a lot of like places like Target's doing at Zappos.
[00:27:51] admin admin. I just saw yeah.
[00:27:53] Yeah. Active lines of clothing. No, no, no, no, no. For our listeners, you have to help
[00:27:59] the people. I know. I forget. Or a tool, not eight.
[00:28:04] She's been really interesting. See that like, you know, not all places, but you know, a lot of people are picking up that.
[00:28:09] This is like a need for the disability community.
[00:28:12] Yeah. So, I mean, so Colton now has been kind of, we've seen him everywhere. he's been on the runway for New York fashion week. Right? Eddie lost his mind. He so excited. We were watching Netflix and then the movie happy and Colton was on for like a brief second.
[00:28:27] And he was like, that's cool. So excited. We had to play it back like 10 times.
[00:28:33] Okay. And so then I did the same thing when we went up to the cabin and we were watching, I was like, Oh, we got to watch this series. And so I made everybody watch that
[00:28:41] scene for that 10 minutes. I thought
[00:28:43] it was it's the first episode.
[00:28:45] So everybody had to see it. And I was like, I know that kid.
[00:28:48] Yeah. Second, we
[00:28:49] were there for like eight hours,
[00:28:51] Nicole. He looked adorable. And then obviously the famous right now, famous. Target ad, which you know, for us is exciting. Obviously it's exciting for kids. I mean, if anyone doesn't know at this point, you've been everywhere.
[00:29:07] You've been on the Kelly Clarkson show. I feel like it's been, it's gone viral all over Facebook. that Colton was in a target ad. and that, well, he's been in a few target ads. He's on the website. He's everywhere, but he was. In the target store ad. which now no one can go see because targets are closed, but if you can go back target.
[00:29:30] Yeah. I have been doing
[00:29:32] curbside pickup though.
[00:29:33] Oh really? Yeah. I haven't left my house, so we don't know where we don't know anything. You just wonder it's brutal, Eddie. so it went viral because. A little, you know, Ali saw and it made quite an impression, which I think it did on a lot of kids. Probably not just Ali.
[00:29:55]it definitely did for us as well. even that second level, because we know Colton, every time little Eddie sees Colton, he like freaks out and gets super excited. but I think I know that the, you know, conversations have been a lot around. Well, obviously kids getting to see other kids represented out there, but I also want to kind of mention or talk about how big it is for parents to see.
[00:30:22] They're kids represented out there. I don't think that gets talked about as much. And I think it's a really big deal. I know for myself and he's just a kid for a second. He's like, Oh my God, that's Colton. That's so exciting. Oh, he has a wheelchair like me, and then he's moving on with his day. I mean, like he's noticing something.
[00:30:38] And so that's making an impression for me as a parent. have you. Gotcha. And you know, like what does that feel like for you as well, parents to see colds represented and making such an impression to kids and parents alike.
[00:30:53] I think it's been pretty cool because, when I first looked at the picture, you know, obviously I saw like the expression on all over his face, looking up at Colton, but what really got me was what the mom said.
[00:31:04] And she said, it's the first time. I've seen that he. Notice that he is different because he never saw someone in a chair like him. And so I could be,
[00:31:14] put myself in her shoes and I was like, Oh, that must have
[00:31:16] been like really an
[00:31:17] emotional moment for her because, you know, he was almost two. He was still, you know, you know, he was, my chair uses a chair, but, you know, he was he's.
[00:31:27] Not he's like two and he's just like,
[00:31:30] he doesn't know any different. Yeah. So
[00:31:33] like for him to realize that someone like
[00:31:36] you know, is up on a target ad, you know, I, I just thought it was like really emotional that the mom was able to capture that moment.
[00:31:44] I think that's actually really important to say.
[00:31:46] I think we, I think a lot of people on the outside of our world forget that there is a moment that happens where, you know, For a while our kids, their life is their life. So they don't know any different, you know, I think that for years, any people would say, Oh, you know, this already does so brave. Right?
[00:32:06] I'm like Eddie doesn't know any different Eddie, the way that he goes to the bathroom is the way I had to go to the bathroom. Cause he doesn't know that there's a, a different way. There's no
[00:32:12] frame of reference
[00:32:13] to say. Yeah. And then there's just some point. Every once in a while where something happens at school or something happens in life that just snap clicks.
[00:32:23] And, you know, that reminds either us as a parent or Eddie, that he's different in some way, you know, maybe not hugely different, but something's different. And then there's a conversation that happens. And every time it kind of does break your heart a little bit, the fear that you have for them, that they are hurting a little bit.
[00:32:41] And it's like a. Too far, like it's, it's uplifting that he got to see someone like himself, but at the same time, it's like, it does, it is emotional that you're like, Oh, there's that moment that he realized that he's not, that he's a little bit different in a way that's different than everybody else. It's you want?
[00:33:01] I think that seeing Colton in these ads is only gonna make everything more normal for everybody. Outside of our world, where if we can have more inclusion, you know, in ads and on TV and everything, then yeah. It, isn't going to be that where, where if we're walking through the mall, we're just walking through the mall because they've seen that on ads.
[00:33:23] I've seen that on TV. They've seen that everywhere.
[00:33:25] It becomes this societal norm and things like that.
[00:33:28] Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So, you know, I think for all of us that are not famous, like Colton, we're kind of, I'd be curious.
[00:33:39] We call you people normies.
[00:33:41] Oh, I like that. Yeah. I don't know how normal we are though.
[00:33:45] What I'm. You know, I know like there's a lot of TV shows about like, you know, what is that one where they all would have said the pug, all the models, what's it called? Project runway, project runway, all those ones. And they show like the
[00:34:02] dance you're looking at me. Like I would know that
[00:34:04] I don't know. It's like a day in the light, you know, you can kind of see.
[00:34:07] I see a day in the life of a model and what they do and all the things, you know, what's the day life of a diversity model. Is it different? Is there a different reserve roadblocks when it comes to that? Have you seen any challenges for Colton when he's, you know, setting up for a New York fashion week? has he been on the runway with people models that are not diversity models?
[00:34:28] And have there been any difficulties or have you seen like, it worked really, really well.
[00:34:35] Yeah. I mean, when he wasn't, both times when he was in the New York fashion week, there was, you know, it was inclusive. There was, you know, children who had. Some disabilities and others that didn't. So it was like a mix.
[00:34:45] It wasn't just, you know, all diversity models on the road. and I think that's fine. Like, you know, whenever he has like a shoot or something like that, I think people are really like good at making sure that you know, is accessible. So, I mean, we've never really hit any roadblocks as far as like that.
[00:35:05]maybe the biggest one is getting a wheelchair taxi in new, your city flagging went down. That's like the biggest roadblock. Cause I don't want to drive too far in
[00:35:14] like, I'll go only so far. That makes sense. Actually, we were like, I think about that all the time. Like when we went, we went to Boston once and Eddie wasn't, we didn't have his wheelchair yet.
[00:35:25] We just had a stroller and just thinking about bathrooms. Yeah. And like trying to there's no change anywhere in Boston, like that's like impossible. And so we're thinking like, how would we ever do this? If we had a wheelchair and like trying to find places to go to the bathroom. Cause of like, as you know, like we go to the bathroom like a million times a day and we need to go when we need to go.
[00:35:45] There's not like we need a public restroom now. And so, you know, do you like we were, he wants to go to New York so bad. He's begging. Cause you think he's convinced that Spiderman is in New York. And we need to find him. and so he asked everyday, like, what, where do you think in New York we'll find him like, yeah.
[00:36:03] What corner of the street? Like he's literally asked me, like, what street corner, what buildings do you think will faint? I'm like, I don't know. Well, first of all, you
[00:36:10] just hang out in times square times square,
[00:36:13] right? It's $30 to pay the guy
[00:36:15] at some point he'll swing by.
[00:36:18] Yeah, him and 40 of his others
[00:36:19] friends, we just take them and we go, there he goes right where he's not looking and him be like, dude, you missed him.
[00:36:25] And then we'll get a picture already put our phone and stuff. And like, you got a picture. Oh yeah. I have a lot of time on my hands.
[00:36:33] Do you just do like, you know, have you, do you just like Uber to find, a vehicle that like has a big enough trunk? Or are you like, how are you finding a taxi? Are you just handling a taxi?
[00:36:42] What. What are your,
[00:36:44] sometimes I have to make, do like his wheelchair was sometimes spit in the back of, like in a trunk if the taxi's big enough. I refuse to Uber in New York city because once some guy went in circle and I was watching him and then. It was $70 later. So I will not Uber in
[00:36:59] New York city.
[00:36:59] Oh my goodness. Yeah, I know,
[00:37:01] but I'll do a taxi, but it's like crazy because you don't, you don't, you only see so many wheelchair band taxis, and there's always someone in it, so, yeah. so. Yeah, how do I do it? I can,
[00:37:13] but it makes for a long, and that's probably
[00:37:15] like the biggest roadblock that we hit.
[00:37:18] So we should plan plan.
[00:37:20] Well, yeah, yeah, definitely
[00:37:23] plan. Well, plan
[00:37:24] ahead. Have the adults
[00:37:28] if there's more adults than kids,
[00:37:31] I think that's a parenting thing in general. Right? Learned always have the adults outnumber the kids. Like you can't have a tutor, like we've done it where there's like two adults, two kids. It's not enough adults.
[00:37:40] It's not third ear Wrangler.
[00:37:44] He needs someone to like balance it out. so Colton has, seems to have some big ideas all the time and drive to do them. how, how does he get that? Do you think? Like where does that come from? I don't know. I've always just kind of like
[00:37:59] treated him, like he's not really different.
[00:38:01] And, You know, boost his confidence and stuff he can't do and show him what he can. He does well with other things, even though he gets frustrated sometimes. But, I just think he's always been like a really happy go lucky kid. I think it's just his nature and he comes up with ideas and he's really caring and.
[00:38:19]you know, he's been a really easy kid to raise. I think I just, I just think it's nature. I don't, he gets it for me.
[00:38:29] No, don't
[00:38:31] take credit when credits to
[00:38:34] children are a
[00:38:35] product of us.
[00:38:36] Mark's good too. But
[00:38:38] I think you guys have good positive attitudes. I mean, you guys are also, I mean, like, No, we have like crazy kids and we're crazy people like we're like we have allowed households that our kids are just loud kids.
[00:38:49] I think, you know, It is a product. Like, I mean, in a way it is a product of like who you are. Like, I mean, we're okay with that. Like were so loud, messy household, loud, messy kids. I think, you know, you guys are just like calm. I always would think like, anytime we're stressed out, I'm like about what's going on with like anything else I'm like, I'm just going to text Ashley and find out like, cause I'm like, I know that I'll get like some like normal calm advice makes sense.
[00:39:13] Because I think you guys do have that like. Grounded, you guys are grounded and you guys have had, I mean, just even separate from Colton stuff, you've had your own medical, like I think you've had, you've had to be grounded just to kind of get through it all. And I think that's a great attitude to have.
[00:39:28] And it's gotten you guys really far. I think Colton's probably picked up on that and just learned that he can probably do whatever. I mean, he's doing it. I love his daily. Positive affirmations. It's like my favorite part of the day. Yeah. He,
[00:39:43] I, we had a, decorate your street contest type thing. So I was like, I'm going to put a positive, like thing in the window.
[00:39:50] So he really liked it. He was like, well, can I make videos about positive things every day? So I'm like,
[00:39:54] I love that. It's his idea. Like, can I make positive videos? I'm always like, guys, do you want to do this? They're like, no, I'm not. I'm like, you want to do this? No, like I was trying to get, she's not, I'm like, why don't you sing on Facebook every night?
[00:40:06] She's like, no. She has a beautiful boy. She don't want to do anything.
[00:40:11] She's all right. Don't, don't, you know, I believe, and you know, like you got to praise them enough to make 'em, you know, famous, but not enough, not too much to where they're like, you know, become like a pedophile or something. So you gotta find that middle ground of, you know, praise.
[00:40:29] So she's okay. She's all right.
[00:40:31] She's okay. So this is something we're gonna ask all our guests it's kind of cheesy, but if you had 30 seconds to speak to our community, what advice would you give them?
[00:40:41] my biggest advice is make sure you have, you know, a good group of friends behind you. you know, that's really important, you know, obviously family is really important, but, friends is also really important.
[00:40:52] Cause there's stuff you can talk about to them that sometimes you don't really want to talk to family about, You know, when we had both, I mean, we lost some friends that we don't really talk to as much. So that's like really common. So just, I would say make sure that you have a good group of friends and, you know, just be patient with yourself and, take one day at a time.
[00:41:12] I think that's big. I think that's actually a super important that you said that I think it happens to everybody or it seems to have happened. Everyone I've ever spoken to. I think it's happened to them in this community that like. You do, and it's okay that you do lose some friends during this process.
[00:41:27] And it's not because, and sometimes it's not because they're not good friends or it's not, because they're not, it's just this, when you get into this, it's either they don't know how to respond or handle what you're going through. And so they don't react properly and you are in the thick of it. So you don't have energy for like, what's the word like handled, like nurturing that friendship.
[00:41:53] Yeah. You don't have the energy for it. Right then it's, you know, and so you're, if you don't nurture that friendship at that point, it's gonna just drop off. And I don't, and I've, I mean, I've said this and not to be like, I just don't have the energy to kind of like continue to nurture that I've got a lot going on.
[00:42:09] And the friends that I've kind of created new groups of friends. Off of maybe a lot of them are part of this community and then I've just gotten new ones and sometimes they come and go. They're like chapters and this life. And I think that that's one thing that I've had to learn. Like it's gotta, I've gotta be okay.
[00:42:26] Mourning those friendships and then moving on to new ones. And it is sometimes I think people hold on to them just because they feel like they have an obligation to, and getting those new friendships and holding onto them tight and just. Being in knowing the good ones are the ones that like you don't have to nurture and they're still there six months and you can call them when you need them.
[00:42:50] Those are, I think there were the friends that you got to kind of.
[00:42:53] Really, as far as like friendships, like, you know,
[00:42:56] being in a marriage is really
[00:42:57] hard having a special needs child.
[00:43:00] And I think like, that's like
[00:43:05] in general there isn't, there's more stuff to like, you know, just more stressors.
[00:43:09] There's a reason why the divorce rate is so much higher and. Yeah, in that, in this world, I think we're okay. so, you know, just to kind of, we really, this has been awesome. Thank you for answering all of our questions. Okay.
[00:43:24] Oh, no. Hang on. I just want to say one thing in medical alarms,
[00:43:31] I was watching, we were doing, we were doing our research last night. And so we were watching a few of your other interviews and one of them like somebody's phone went off and like the middle of the interview. And I was like, that's not going to be us.
[00:43:42] We're going to be, they're pretty professional. They're going to be way, way sessional. We've had two alarms go off this whole thing and like that up.
[00:43:50] You can take it out, right?
[00:43:51] Yeah. We really appreciate you coming on. And. You know, being our first guest, we were really obviously nervous. And it is huge that you, we appreciate the fact that you were willing to be our Guinea pig.
[00:44:04] Oh, you are first.
[00:44:06] You puffed her Sherry.
[00:44:14] Everybody know if you, you know, we'd like you to let everyone know, like, what is Colton working? Are you guys and Colton, like, what's he working on next? What, what kind of is coming. Now, I know that things are probably kind of quiet right now with COVID-19, but is there anything that he's working on next that's coming out?
[00:44:30]so he has like a thing with Nickelodeon, like,
[00:44:34] Oh, just a little thing with Nickelodeon,
[00:44:37] Eddie auditions auditions.
[00:44:39] Oh, for
[00:44:39] Nickelodeon. Yeah. Yeah. But
[00:44:41] it's you got pushed out to, July.
[00:44:45] yeah. So I think everything's kind of on hold right now, which I'm okay with. I'm kind of enjoying, not. Being so like all over the place.
[00:44:53]cause you know, I, I work full time so I can only take out so much time.
[00:44:56] Yeah. Well it sounds like they must be pretty flexible with letting you guys kind of. Yeah, do all that.
[00:45:01] I mean, everything's on hold. So
[00:45:03] yeah, I don't know.
[00:45:04] We're just enjoying our time and
[00:45:06] I think everybody, you know,
[00:45:08] that's fine. I am,
[00:45:10] it's the best.
[00:45:11] I'll get so much housework done. All my Legos got bill, Oh my God. I want to be a Lego master by the end of this whole quarantine,
[00:45:18] all the activities. And where can we find you? Like I say, where can we find you? But it's really Colton, right? Where can we find Colton like social media? Stuff like that.
[00:45:29] So he has a Twitter, Colton Robinson. he has Facebook, Colton Robinson
[00:45:32] as well.
[00:45:34] And then, he has a Instagram it's Colton Robinson underscore
[00:45:38] great Colton
[00:45:39] underscore Robinson underscore.
[00:45:41] I saw him correct you.
[00:45:42] Yeah. We want to make sure we get it right. So we'll make sure everybody listening gets it right.
[00:45:47] Not about the underscores.
[00:45:49] I'll find a starch at Colton Robinson. They'll find him. Yeah,
[00:45:52] we don't want that other Colin Robinson without the underscores,
[00:45:55] the official
[00:45:56] of Robinson,
[00:45:58] the popular name,
[00:45:59] strong name, you know?
[00:46:01] Cool. Yeah.
[00:46:01] Can you run a pretty strong
[00:46:04] one day? Of
[00:46:04] course it wasn't popular. I feel like when I named them, but I felt like it went that way with my daughter too.
[00:46:09] She was like part of the Hayden Jaden. Breeden.
[00:46:17] Yeah, that was between, yeah, that was between like, Oh five and Oh eight.
[00:46:23] And then
[00:46:24] yeah. Bella came out during the prime of the Isabellas.
[00:46:27] Yeah, she was at Isabella and everyone assumes that's her name?
[00:46:31] Gotta cut that out.
[00:46:33] We've said her name a hundred times
[00:46:35] on a secret.
[00:46:36] She's all over the social media.
[00:46:38] Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Ashley. We really appreciate
[00:46:41] it. No stop. Because you messed up in the very, very beginning. Can you announce who we're interviewing today? What we're going to be like? I was crazy and he just started asking
[00:46:51] for it. We're going to say it on our intro,
[00:46:52] but you're not going to let her say hi to our guests.
[00:46:55] So now we've got to say a thing act like we're, we're just getting started and be like, and so we'd like to introduce Ashley
[00:47:03] No, no, I don't do that for, I just throw in the little jabs and little funny comments. That's it
[00:47:07] awkward? No. Okay. Fine.
[00:47:09] You make it awkward.
[00:47:11] Well, you guys stay safe and well, and
[00:47:13] we'll chat soon.
[00:47:14] All right. Thanks.
[00:47:22] thank you so much for listening. We really hope you enjoy this episode as always. Please make sure you share with a friend and leave a review.
[00:47:31] All the resources mentioned in this episode on our Facebook or Instagram on, at special about special. Thanks again. And we'll see you soon.
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