Episode 9- Do Not Go Gentle

Dual Paralympian Braedan Jason talks to hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos the significance of his tattoo “Do not go gentle into that good night” and growing up with cone dystrophy.

Speaker 1 (00:08):

Welcome to Loop Me In, the podcast community for parents and carers on raising children with disabilities. Join presenters, Dr. Lisa Interligi and Christine Christopoulos and their guests on sharing experiences, information and support ideas to help children with disabilities flourish. Loop Me In is brought to you weekly on platforms like Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher. To name a few, you can learn more, connect with the Loop me In community, and listen to more episodes on our website loop-me-in.com.au.

Christine Christopoulos (00:38):

Braedan Jason, it’s so great to have you on our next podcast. You’re an Australian Paralympic swimmer, 23, just came back from Tokyo at the Paralympics. And you were also at the Rio Olympics in 2016. Welcome to our show.

Braedan Jason (01:01):

No, thank you very much for having me. Really excited.

Christine Christopoulos (01:05):

Now you’re 23. You’re living on the coast so I can imagine how beautiful it is there today. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Braedan Jason (01:13):

Yeah. Looking at my window. It’s a pretty cloudy day, but it’s still very warm, but last week we’ve had some beautiful weather up here, so it’s been nice hitting the beach after getting out of hotel quarantine. I’ve finally gotten my tan back. So, I’m Braedan Jason. I’m a two time Paralympian, which I’m very, very proud to say. I think my goal going into the spot was to call myself a dual Paralympian. I thought that sounded pretty cool. I thought three times sounds a bit try hard. So dual sounds pretty good for the moment.

Christine Christopoulos (01:40):

It certainly does.

Braedan Jason (01:42):

Yeah, that’s it. It’ll take it. But I’ve been on the Australian swim team since 2015, competed at multiple world championships, and obviously two Paralympic games. So anytime we’re wearing the green and gold as an absolute honor. I love doing what I do.

Christine Christopoulos (01:55):

And I can imagine the Tokyo games were difficult because you had sort of thinking you were going in 2020, and then you obviously had the delay then going into 21.

Braedan Jason (02:07):

Yeah, it was, it was pretty topsy-turvy. I think once we got the news last year that the games were postponed, we weren’t sure if they were going to go ahead. It was really hard, especially we lockdown alongside everybody else in lockdown as well. It was really difficult. We didn’t know what we’re preparing for, what kind of the future held for us. And I think even in our staging camp, up in Cannes, before we flew into Tokyo, we were all kind of like holding our breath, being like, okay, until we land in Tokyo, we’re not sure if the games are going ahead. But obviously went ahead, had a lot of steps in place to make sure we were all safe. But it was really, really good and an awesome experience to look back on in future years.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (02:40):

And what were the testing regimes like Braedan? Were they really tough?

Braedan Jason (02:46):

Yeah. So we had to do a temperature and a saliva test every single day. And then interspersed every couple days with do the old nose swab. So I’m pretty immune to the brain swab. I’m pretty good at them now. By the end of hotel quarantine, I could talk to the nurses whilst they had to swab up my nose. So I’m pretty used to the old COVID test by now.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (03:06):

Gosh, they are pretty horrendous. Aren’t they though?

Braedan Jason (03:09):

Yeah. They really get those real deep brain itches though, that I never thought I had, so they did a good job. So I was diagnosed pretty late with cone rod dystrophy. It affects my visual acuity. So I essentially have around 8% vision. So it affects my visual acuity. So pretty much, for the average Joe who has 2020 vision, my eyesight’s very blurry and has lots of nice little, pretty sparkles. So for me, I don’t know what foresight looks like, but I seem to deal with it really well.

But I was diagnosed quite late. So it’s kindergarten in Sydney, I think Melbourne as well, but it’s prep up here in sunny Queensland. So you have to do eye tests. And my parents always thought I was a little bit of a space cadet. Not sure if I was just on another planet, running into poles and whatnot. But when I did my first eye test in kindergarten, I obviously couldn’t see the chart. And then that’s when they go, okay, maybe we should get Braedan tested. And then a couple years later, I was diagnosed with my condition, which was really good because then my younger brother, who’s four years younger than me, got diagnosed nice and early. So we got onto him nice and early, which has been really good for his progression with the disease.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (04:15):

You’ve got four boys in your family?

Braedan Jason (04:17):

Yes. Four brothers. So I’m the second oldest and Nathan, who also has cone rod dystrophy, is the third. So the oldest and the youngest are the ones that rough us around, but we give them a good run for their money. The middle two blind boys.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (04:30):

Yeah. Look, I hope you give them carry. It doesn’t seem really fair.

Braedan Jason (04:35):

Oh, [inaudible 00:04:35].

Dr. Lisa Interligi (04:36):

Do they treat you any differently when you were growing up?

Braedan Jason (04:40):

No, I think that’s the beauty of the Jason family. We’re extremely competitive. And I think that kind of has led me in good stead throughout my life to never let my vision hold me back. And I think my brothers are a testament to that. And also my parents. They, I’d say, let me go out and six foot surf, not even knowing I was blind at the time. I’d go out paddle at the back and catch the big waves, which they thought I was just brave, but I probably just couldn’t see how big the wave was until I was on it. [inaudible 00:05:09]

Christine Christopoulos (05:07):

Yeah. Or under it.

Braedan Jason (05:09):

[inaudible 00:05:10] playing footie in the back in the backyard, cricket in the backyard, and no, the vision never came an issue. If there was an issue, we’d find a way around it. And we love that about our family.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (05:20):

Yeah. I saw that you started your love for swimming in surf life saving. So that was, as you said, it’s pretty brave going out into waves and in Queensland and when you’ve got low vision.

Braedan Jason (05:34):

Yeah. That’s it. Well, I grew up in Cronulla. So, we moved to Queensland in 2008. So I was living in Sydney for the first 10 years of my life, which kind of started my surf life saving career, going out in ridiculous surf. But I absolutely loved it, but obviously as the vision deteriorated, I tended to go to more safe waters following the black line, which is my best mate.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (05:56):

Yeah. It’s something we like talk a little bit about. We have been with previous guests and it certainly is a concern that I’ve had with my son, who has autism and an intellectual disability, is putting caps on our kids. As a parent, you kind of try and protect them when they’re growing up. All kids actually. But particularly those who’ve got additional needs. And, I have this fear that it kind of limits their capability or their opportunities, but it sounds like your mum and dad really had it down pat.

Braedan Jason (06:37):

Yeah, I think they were in a sense, quite lucky that we have two boys that is the one in a billion genetic chance that it was that two of us ended up with the disease. So I was kind of the, I wouldn’t call it a test run, but we kind of found my feet with me, which then really set Nathan out really well.

But I think the way my parents kind of dealt with it was finding things that I was really good at. And just focusing on those things, not focusing on things that I couldn’t do, like bird watching, so we wouldn’t go bird watching. But if I really wanted to go for a surf, they’d take me for a surf.

If the surf was too big and they knew I couldn’t see that it was big, they go, oh, maybe we’ll just go for a body surf today, Braedan. So focusing on the things that I was really good at, my brother’s really good at, and my eldest and youngest brother, he’s eight years younger than me. So he was a little bit younger when I was growing up. Well probably not even born yet, but so we kind of focused on the things I was really good at. And my eldest brother Jordan was very, very supportive and he always looks after us.

Christine Christopoulos (07:35):

That’s amazing. And your parents sound like they knew what they were doing too, and just encouraged you along the way.

Braedan Jason (07:41):

Yeah, they definitely had to learn very fast because, as I said before, they thought I just a little bit of a space cadet. So one game, I kind of tell when I do similar things to this is, my mum used to be a flight attendant back in the day. So she’d get me and my older brother, Jordan, and we’d look up the planes and they’d be like, oh, okay. Jordan and Braedan, what brand of plane is that? Is that mummy’s plane? And I was like, what planes? They’re like, oh Braedan. Head in the clouds.

So I think it was a bit of a learning curve for them. Once they learned that I did have this disability and they go, okay, how are we going to deal with this? I think once they came to terms with the fact that, hey, we didn’t know Braedan had this for eight years to nine years of his life. Look, it hasn’t changed. And just having a diagnosis, doesn’t change who I am and what I am good at. So I think that they really focused on that, which is a testament to their parenting.

Christine Christopoulos (08:26):

Mm. And what was it like at school, Braedan?

Braedan Jason (08:29):

Yeah, school’s hard for any kid, but especially a kid with a disability. So this is one my partner definitely, definitely laughs at. So I was a Tubby kid. I did love my food. Probably couldn’t see how big the portions were. So I would just eat and eat. And I also had to wear an eye patch, which is part of my therapy early on. They thought it might help even my eyes. And I also had a black tooth at the time. So I fell down the stairs as a kid, so my baby teeth came out at the front. I had two black teeth. So you could see that the kids would call me pirate. And I think I was like, oh, that sucks, as a kid. But I think the way I dealt with that was through my humor. And I think I’ve kind of always grown with that.

And I think every kid goes with bullying and the way I fought that bullying was through my humor. My nickname’s The Bat. I have a bat tattoo on me. So I was named The Bat throughout high school by one of my coaches. They called me Bat, because I’m as blind as the bat. And I thought that was hilarious. That wasn’t through bullying. He just thought he just knew I was a funny kid. And he said, oh, your name’s Bat. That’s been my name on the Australian swim team for the last eight years. And I love it. I think my humor is the way that I deal with people like that. And even the other day, I had a kid, I did a school talk with a kid through the University of the Sunshine Coast, and he didn’t quite get to the grips of that I had no vision.

And we’re playing volleyball. And then I missed one of the shots. He’s like, oh, you didn’t see no one coming. I’m like, ah, well, I’ve hit my shots than you, mate. So I don’t know what you’re talking about. And you’ve got full vision. And that’s when they go, oh, damn. All the other kids laugh. And I think that’s kind of how I deal, even though it was a kid and you did a silly mistake, but I think going with humor is the way that I kind of dealt through my schooling with those kind of bullying.

But in terms of education wise, I did all of my education on my iPad. So I would have lots of tools that I used, which we can discuss later if you’re interested. But the iPad was what I used throughout my schooling. So like text to talk, taking pictures of the whiteboard with maths equations on it. So a bit of an iPad wiz that’s coming from someone who’s currently using a Surface Pro.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (10:30):

Yeah, I think that’s fantastic. Isn’t it? I think technology is really going to break down barriers for people with disabilities like never before. Even just like, I’m thinking, driverless cars. You know? Not being able to drive, but being able to get places, or for people who don’t have literacy skills, like my son, Louie, that he doesn’t really need them if he can have voice to text and those sorts of technologies.

Braedan Jason (11:03):

Yeah, that’s it. And there’s so many technologies out there. I lived with a fellow with autism, so he was in the Australian swim team for many, many years, recently retired. He’s a very good looking rooster. He’s a good looking dude. He likes getting on Tinder, he really struggled with talking. So we do a lot of text to talk and we would discuss ways he could talk to girls. So lots of technologies he used to get him to get girls because that was something he was really interested in. And I think that text to talk was something that was really useful for him on those long, long nights sitting on the couch and he wanted to impress this girl and he’d do text to talk and delete it and go again. But it was really good. And I think that really helped him.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (11:45):

Yeah. I think hopefully companies will invest more in those technologies to help people with disabilities.

Braedan Jason (11:53):

Yeah, definitely. It’s really helpful.

Christine Christopoulos (11:55):

And Braedan, how did you get into swimming? Who encouraged you to get into the swimming?

Braedan Jason (12:01):

Well, I started doing surf life saving and growing up Cronulla in the Southernland Shire, obviously there’s water right there only five minutes away from my house on Cainborough Road. So I just loved going down to the beach and doing surf life saving. But as my vision deteriorated, I tended to go back into the pool swimming because pool swimming was something you obviously had to do to train for surf life saving, being in a water sport.

I was really good at surf life saving, but as I got a little bit older, I was a little bit torn between the two sports and decided to go for the pool swimming route, which was probably good call because I’m definitely not as visually accurate when it comes to waves, as I learned over the weekend, surfing some big waves over [inaudible 00:12:46] Island. So that’s kind of how I got into swimming.

So my parents never really pushed me. They were really supportive of what sport I wanted to do. I also played soccer, which was quite humorous for them. And I love playing all ball sports. I think if I had full vision, I’d probably be a cricketer as much as they’d be pretty bored watching that, but swimming was obviously the way that I went. And I’ve been really successful with it. And I’ve loved the journey that I’ve been through is so far.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (13:13):

How important is sport, do you think, for people with disabilities?

Braedan Jason (13:18):

I think sport’s great for me and people that are interested in it, but I honestly think just anyone with disability, find the one thing that you really, really love. And I think that’s what brings happiness. Sport is great. It’s inclusive. I think from London, the London Paralympic Games, to the Rio Games, the Tokyo Games, I think the Paralympic movement is just steam rolling down a fast hill the moment. And it’s awesome. It’s great to see.

I think come 2032, and the next Australian Olympics, I think the Paralympic sport is going to absolutely boom. And I think it saves people’s lives, as funny and as generic as that sounds, but it genuinely saves lives. But just I think finding that one thing that they love doing and they can get a career out of it. And I’ve been lucky that I love swimming and I’ve made a career out of it. And I also love journalism. I did my journalism degree, finished it last year, and I love doing that. And that’s something that I had to adapt to and find ways to do, to pursue the thing that I love doing. So I think that’s the one thing for me is following the thing you love, because that’s what brings you the most happiness at the end of the day.

Christine Christopoulos (14:22):

Yeah, absolutely. And journalism as well. Wow, you’re a busy guy.

Braedan Jason (14:28):

Yeah. I’m a little bit busy. So I got through my degree in four years, which I’m quite proud of. Technically full time, but it was three subjects. Not four. But yeah, so I’m based in the radio field of journalism. So alongside you guys. But so I’m currently in between jobs trying to find a casual part-time job while swimming, which is quite difficult, but fingers across I can get behind the mic because I love it. I couldn’t think of anything better than waking up and my job is talking smack and listening to music for a living. It sounds absolutely sensational.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (15:00):

That sounds great too. And I love your Dylan Thomas quote. Tell us about that.

Braedan Jason (15:07):

Yeah. Wow. I’m glad you found that one. Yeah. I got that tattooed on my ribs. I was doing a subject at Uni. I’d never heard this poem and it’s a [inaudible 00:15:17] by Dylan Thomas, and the title is, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night. And basically the poem is Dylan writing to his dad who was going blind. So the main lines that keep coming back in the quote are, “Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

And so pretty much the crux of that is like, do not go gentle into death and fight against being blind. And I think that just sums me up. As soon as I heard that, I’m like, wow, that’s me. I don’t want my sight to hold me back and ruin my life. I just want to fight against it, find any way to live my life to the optimal and not let my vision hold me back. So I think as soon as I heard that line, I just fell in love with it. So now it’s on my ribs for the rest of my life.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (16:05):

Does it help having a brother in the same position as you that you can support each other?

Braedan Jason (16:13):

I think it’s definitely helpful. I think especially Nathan definitely struggles a little bit more with the vision, especially growing up. He’s very, very good now. He’s in the Headland Surf Club. Love the black and gold. That’s my surf club. So he works down there, but I think growing up it was really handy for him having someone to look up to and teach in technologies and ways to help him through school, making friends, doing sport. He’s also a swimmer as well. So I think whether I influenced him to do that, or he’s found that love for it as well. And that means to translate his athletic ability that he has, but obviously limited vision. So we can translate that into the pool.

And he’s also quite successful. He’s not quite yet cracked the Australian team, but he’s made a lot of Australian development teams and fingers cross he can make com games this year. He’s sitting fourth. The tape top three. So fingers crossed he can get on there, but I think it is been really helpful just to brainstorm, bounce things off each other. And just even if it’s just nonverbal, just like he actually got me onto the voice to text. I use Siri a lot, but he does the whole text mom. What do you want to say? Well, what are we having for dinner, question mark? You ready to send? Send.

I’m like, ah, that was actually really smart. And now I do it all the time, just because, A, I’m lazy, but B, it’s useful. So I’m going to use that useful tool all the time. So it has been really good. Two heads are better than one at the end of the day.

Christine Christopoulos (17:42):


Dr. Lisa Interligi (17:42):

Can you tell us some of those technologies that you just referred to [inaudible 00:17:43]?

Christine Christopoulos (17:43):


Braedan Jason (17:44):

Yeah. So I work off Apple, so I’m a bit of a Apple nut, because I’ve really found that apple was really good with the visual aids. So they have really good Zoom tech. It’s like three fingers touching twice on the screen. You scroll up. And I find that really easy to maneuver, but Siri is also really good approach. I probably shouldn’t say Siri too many times, because my phone will probably start listening to me. So I use Siri all the time. I’m really into my basketball. So I asked Siri certain player statistics and what the games are doing, all that kind of stuff. Because me typing in New York Knick’s versus Chicago Bulls NBA school. That’ll take me about 30 seconds where saying it three words a second, it will only take me about four seconds to say it to Siri. So it cuts down that time for me to do that.

So Siri’s been great, but as I was saying before, I did my whole schooling at my university on an iPad. So I did a Bachelor of Journalism, minoring in creative writing and also Japanese because I thought it would be helpful for Tokyo, but with creative writing, there’s obviously a lot of reading, and some subjects, you have to read books and books and that’s going to take me days and days. So what I would do is I’d copy. So you know, copy and paste. I would copy and paste the document into my text to read, which is also how I read news bulletins. So I copy and paste that into that and I can have the speeds. So my talking speed would be like 1.3 times speed. That’s how I like to listen to it and speak when I do my news reading.

But when I’m reading a book, I’ll just chuck it on two times and it’s reading really fast so I can listen to that while I’m cooking. So just multitask. That’s how I kind of got through university. But with school, with such a bit maths equation, the teacher writing big equations on the board, and sitting at the front wasn’t quite good enough for my eyesight.

So I’d walk up in front of the whole class on my iPad and take a picture of the board and walk back. And I think my humor really helped with that because it’s pretty funny seeing a kid walk up to the whiteboard and taking pictures. So I’d make a good joke of it. And we had a bit of fun because the teacher always thought it was funny. So we’d pull a funny face in the background.

So, that was always fun. I think it’s really good when the teachers support you, teacher aids support you. So the iPad was just fantastic for me and really I’d recommend it to anyone, any parent that is struggling with their kids’ education and technologies. I think the iPad’s been great. I think braille is really good, and I think it may be a dying art and I think voice to text and text to voice is going to be the future. So I think technology is the way the world’s going. And I think we need to invest into more visual technologies onto the iPads and also Microsoft as well.

Christine Christopoulos (20:22):

Wow. It sounds like you’ve really found … haven’t let anything stop you from doing whatever you’ve wanted to do. Have you?

Braedan Jason (20:30):

Well, you have to find a way. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I hope I make it sound easy, but it’s not easy. It’s hard. It’s trial and error. So I obviously worked work on an iPad throughout, for what? The decade of schooling and undergraduate degrees that I’ve done. But then when I go into radio stations, iPads aren’t compatible to the certain like editing softwares and certain softwares that the radio stations use. So I have to transition onto now a Surface Pro, which are what I’m working now, because Microsoft, I can download all that kind of stuff I need to do for editing and audio and all that kind of jargon.

So I’ve had to relearn everything onto this, learn a new Zoom technology, new voice to text. And it’s been hard. My iPads literally sitting to the right of me right now in case you guys need me to do something and I go, it’s going to take me too long on the Surface Pro, so I’m going to go to the iPad. So it’s kind of whenever I go into a station, I’ve got two computers, which I think is a bit cuckoo, but it helps me get the job done. And that’s all that matters at the end of the day.

Christine Christopoulos (21:38):

And what’s next for you, Braedan? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

Braedan Jason (21:43):

It’s a big question. I think a lot of people have been asking me since I’ve gotten back from Tokyo. [inaudible 00:21:49] going to Paris, and it’s really, it’s a really hard question because I’ve just kind of got out of hotel quarantine. I was a little bit disappointed with my results over in Tokyo, but I’ve come to terms with it. Gotten home. Seen all my loved ones. Everyone’s oh, are you going to Paris?

And I was like, oh, I’ve just kind of closed the chapter on Tokyo. I haven’t thought that far ahead, but next year’s Commonwealth Games, which I’m super, super excited. The there’s been no vision sports. Well, no vision swimming events at any Commonwealth Games before. This is our first time, which I’m just super thrilled. I think as a kid, obviously the Olympics and Paralympics was the pinnacle, but I secretly did love the Commonwealth Games because Australia does so well and gets all the medals.

And I think that’s something I always loved as a kid. I think every kid wants to win a medal. So that’s why I’ve been so drawn to Commonwealth Games. So that’s what I’m really excited for next year, but that’s in terms of swimming, but in terms of my career outside, I would just love to be working in the journalism industry, whether that’s working at a radio station or doing a podcast. The university, I had an idea of starting one, but then stopped and then was working somewhere else. And the university was thinking of doing a sporting podcast. I was like, oh, I could be interested in helping you guys out with that. So hopefully I can just be working in the industry. It’s what I love doing. And I love talking as hopefully you guys can tell, so I’m just really excited to keep it going.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (23:13):

And anyway, you’re going to have to learn French now. So how did the Japanese go in Tokyo?

Braedan Jason (23:18):

Yeah. So I just learned Japanese and now it’s over and I used a little bit of it and now I’ve got to learn French. So maybe that’s a reason not to go to Paris. Oui, oui. Baguette. I’m pretty close.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (23:32):

What advice would you give to parents? If they were starting out their journey, Braedan, and they found out that their child had something that was going to be a lifelong impact to them, like your cone dystrophy, what advice would you give them about how to raise their kid?

Braedan Jason (23:55):

I think one thing is not be afraid to fail and don’t be disheartened or upset if their child fails or they fail. Not so much fail their kid, but an idea that they had just doesn’t work because everyone’s different. There’s no one way to raise someone with this disability. Everyone’s different. You can pick and choose certain things that work, but I’m sure as you guys have experience, it’s very different on every single kid that has a disability. So I think it’s just trial and error. Just finding the one thing that seems to work for them.

I think that’s one thing I give advice to. I’m working with a young blind girl at the moment and the mum, she’s really good. She’s really upfront with it, trying to get everything into braille, but I sat down with her the other day and she’s like, oh, should I do it?

I’m like, oh look, I think you’re doing such a great job with the braille thing. I love how you’re getting all the books in braille, but we’re going into a technological world. So I think we really need to get her onto the iPad and get her onto computers. And she’s like, oh, she’s doing touch typing. I’m like, that’s really good. The touch typing is great and that’s something they need to learn. But I think getting her to go onto the iPad is going to be a really good idea, because she’s in grade three at the moment. So she’s still very, very young and early in a disability journey. But I think like giving her that advice was really handy. Oh, sorry. My cat is just being the pest. It’s been really handy. So I think I’m going to go and help her and go into their place and teach a few things.

So I think it’s finding a good support network as well, is also really handy. And there’s plenty of support groups out there. I’m sure you guys know plenty in your local area. So I would get all your listeners to write in. Ask if you guys know any support networks. I know plenty. Vision Australia is awesome for all things visual, which is obviously my realm. So they’re great.

So support networks are great, not being afraid to fail, and just listen to your kids, see how they react to certain things. If they’re really interested in trying something, I think listen to them, because I know parents like to think that they know their kids is the best out of everyone, but I think you know yourself better. No matter the age or severity of your disability, they know what works for them. And I think really listening to them is going to be really, really helpful through their journey.

Christine Christopoulos (26:16):

Yeah. I think that’s a really good point, because we tend to just do everything for them and pretty much wrap them in cotton wool because we are so scared for them to go out on their own, but you are right. You just need to listen to what they want to do as well. I’m sure your mom didn’t want you fighting those waves when you are a young boy.

Braedan Jason (26:38):

Yeah, that’s it. That’s it. But I think that she’s slowly still coming to terms as a 23 year old man. She still thinks the surf’s too big, but I think she goes, look, he wouldn’t go out and he’d come in if he was, if he was seriously scared, which I do do from time to time, because I go that surf doesn’t look too big and I get out there. I’m like, this is very big. Let’s turn around Braedan.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (26:59):

Okay. Well this has been really exciting talking to you and understanding your journey because I think you’re a bit of a go-getter though Braedan. You’re putting us to shame really. And so we’re really thankful for your time and your advice and you know, Chris and I are learning through this journey and talking to different people and you certainly gave us some hot tips about managing our relationships with our own sons. So thanks so much.

Braedan Jason (27:30):

No dramas. I think what you guys are doing is an awesome idea and I think it’s going to be really helpful for people who are in our situation. So thanks to you guys, really. You don’t need to thank me. I’m helping you guys out to help even more people than that. So thank you guys. You guys are doing a great job.

Christine Christopoulos (27:45):

Thanks Braedan, and good luck in the Commonwealth Games. We’ll be rooting for you.

Braedan Jason (27:50):

Awesome. Thank you very much. Fingers crossed I can get on that podium. I’m sick of coming fourth.

Christine Christopoulos (27:54):

Oh you will.

Braedan Jason (27:56):

That’s the plan. Awesome. Thank you guys.

Christine Christopoulos (28:06):

All the best.

Dr. Lisa Interligi (28:06):


Braedan Jason (28:06):

See ya.

Speaker 1 (28:06):

Thanks for being part of the Loop Me In community today and joining our conversation on raising children with disabilities. Join us for the next episode on some of your favorite platforms like Spotify and apple podcast. If you would like to support us, please recommend the Loop Me In podcast to your network of parents, carers, and providers. If you would like us to cover a topic or invite a guest to chat, please email us at contact@loop-me-in.com.au, or go to our website at loop-me-in.com.au. If you’ve got any feedback, please let us know so we can improve and cover issues you want.

And of course, if anything in the podcast today has raised concerns for you, you can contact Beyond Blue on 1322 4636 or lifeline on 131114.

Related Posts

Season 1

Episode 5 – Skills for Life

Hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos welcome guest Nicola Millar, Occupational Therapist, to talk about helping young people with disabilities develop skills for life.

Season 1

Episode 1 – Fun and Independence

Hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos talk with Dean Cohen, CEO Flying Fox, about the importance of developing independence skills and having fun! Flying Fox provides camp experiences for young people with disabilities.

Season 4

Episode 6 – Dad Talking Dads

Rob Hale host of podcast Dad-Ability joins Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos to explore experiences of dads of children with all types of disabilities. Rob shares about his personal emotional journey with raising his son Leo, and how this brought him to a breaking point. Rob has used this to connect and support other fathers. This is a special conversation not to be missed.

Season 4

Episode 5 – Talking ADHD

Hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos chat with Professor Mark Bellgrove about ADHD – what it is, how the condition is diagnosed, gender differences and heritability. Mark is Director of Research at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, and a Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at Monash University.

Season 4

Episode 4 – Golf Glue

Darrell Dalton, ex nurse for acquired brain injury and senior PGA member, turned running the largest golf program for people with intellectual disabilities.
Not-for-profit Golf Programs Australia Inc is also an affiliate of the Special Olympics program. Darrell is joined by partner Michelle to chat about how the program works, the health and social benefits of playing golf.

Season 4

Episode 3 – Special

Hosts Dr Lisa Interligi and Kristine Christopoulos welcome Melanie Dimmitt -broadcaster, journalist and editor Melanie is a mum of two and author of her book ‘Special ‘ in which shares the raw experience of coming to terms with her son Arlo’s cerebral palsy diagnosis. Melanie also works for HireUp as an advocate and produces a magazine The Blend Lifestyle for the tube feeding community.