Neurodivergent Mom, Zoe Martin, Talks About Embracing Motherhood and Neurodiversity, Episode 117

This is a special conversation between two moms: one is at the helm of a neurodivergent family. Every single person in Zoe Martin’s has been touched by autism, including Zoe herself; and on the other hand, me, a neurotypical who doesn’t know the realities of a neurodivergent family. 

Zoe Martin is a coach and mentor to parents across the world who are leading neurodivergent children. Zoe awakens the sovereign hearts inside the parents, which then brings forth radical healing, connection, and inner and outer freedom that often gets lost when diagnosis hits the family unit. 

Zoe wrote the book Making Peace With Autism. If you are a parent of a neurodivergent child, this is the book for you. And even if you aren’t a parent of a neurodivergent child, but your child is in a classroom with neurodivergent kids, then you’ve got to read this book, because your children will be experiencing a world where people have many differences and abilities that may be hard to see on the surface. And this is a wonderful conversation to bring to your family dinner table.

In this conversation, Zoe also provides an explanation about what a neurodivergent child is and how her “mess” became her message to walk away from her career in finance. She talks about what it’s like to co-parent and be in a marriage of a neurodivergent couple. She talks about compassion as well as the language that is used in the neurodivergent community. 

Zoe provides an important perspective on the struggle that we all have as moms to be perfect and that it’s possible to show one another compassion. It’s possible to have a conversation, even if your life experiences are wildly different.

There’s so much uncertainty, both as a mom and a business owner. So you want to be sure that you have the courage tools that you need to step out of your comfort zone and enjoy every single step of the process as a new mompreneur. Download the Courage Makerspace(™) playbook here

Zoe Martin’s Biography

Within the circle of her work, Zoe gets to call upon an extensive range of modalities grounded in both science and energetic frequency (the seen and unseen). Zoe’s love of learning has resulted in her holding certifications in:

  • Coaching (Optimize Coach)
  • Epigenetics (ph360 Health Coach & ph360 Parenting Facilitator)
  • Communication (Parent Talk System – PTS)
  • Fitness (Certificate 3 & 4 in Personal Training)

Zoe Martin is autistic, diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/attention deficit disorder (ADHD/ADD combined), and identifies as Pathological Demand Avoidant (PDA). Zoe is a mother to two autistic children who are also diagnosed with ADHD/ADD and Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), and her husband is autistic, too.

Parents often come to Zoe Martin after years of seeking professional help. They recognize that working with someone that has lived and experienced it, “gets it.” And this has been the key to getting the outcome they so desperately need and deserve.

Share this with your entire mom circles both those who have children who are neurodivergent and neurotypical. All moms need to hear this conversation seeing how our kids will be in the same schools and classrooms.


Curiosity: Be open to learning from moms who have children with different abilities…be curious, not scared. As long as you ask questions, with a clear intention, it will be safe to have that conversation. 

Creativity: Look at your mess because that’s where you might find your message.

Courage: It takes courage to forgive and love unconditionally.

How are you: Asking “How are you” is a big question for a neurodivergent person. Saying you’re good is just that lukewarm answer that covers from the absolute brilliant to the absolute crap. And we’re conditioned to say those things, but what’s the frequency behind that?

Difference: Neurodiverse people interpret things differently and their brain sends different messages. A neurodivergent person may smell something 10 times stronger than other people would. Neurodiverse people have different ways of experiencing life whether that’s following directions, reading, playing, or interacting.

Bombardment: An autistic person is feeling all the people. They could, at the moment, love the lights and love all the loud noise. Yet, there is an effect on their central nervous system and there’s a price to pay for that. 

Motherhood: Zoe initially struggled during the early years of motherhood. She didn’t like the uncertainty of having children because she lacked the routine.

Diagnosis: It’s our sovereign right as mothers whether to pursue things or not. Either way, there’s a price to pay. “Not knowing” however, makes you feel like you’re not doing enough or that you’re doing something wrong. And for some people “not knowing” could be worse than knowing.

Fatherhood: Many dads are so heavily embedded in that old way that does not work for most neurodivergent children.

Spectrum: Pathological Demand Avoidance is part of the autism spectrum and there are three levels of autism. Level 1 is a little bit autistic and Lever 3 is extremely autistic. All levels have different support needs and those needs can change in a day.

Safety: The amygdala of a neurodivergent person is scanning for threats most of the time.

Impact: The impact that we have on our children, whether it’s intentional or unintentional, is huge.

Forgiveness: Motherhood was never meant to be done alone. Being autistic and being a mother, you are pioneering a new way that hasn’t been done before. There is a new way where there are more moments of connection and the frequency is forgiveness.

Empathy: Continue to show up and hold the space for another mother, and let them say what they say without a need for us to fix them or to judge.

Two episodes that tackle conversations similar to this one:

Neurodiverse Creator Joe Biel – A Perfect Example of Curiosity, Courage, and Creativity for Someone with Autism, Episode 81

Senator Martha Hennessey Speaks About What it Takes to Change Policies, Mid-life Career Transitions, and Why We Must Stop Parent Shaming, Episode 35

Links to continue to learn from:


Want to grab your free copy of the Courage Makerspace (™) Playbook?

Download the Courage Makerspace(™) here  

Boost your courage in 7-days using the exact courage design tools that have worked for both me and my clients. Grab your free playbook instantly so that you can discover how to:  

  • Figure out what makes you tick
  • Be more accountable and not procrastinate
  • Overcome imposter syndrome
  • Stop caring about what others think
  • Progress despite self-doubt
  • Manage anxiety
  • Ask for help

You will have a step-by-step playbook to help you finally fulfill your life purpose! Do not miss out on this free opportunity as it will not be available for long.

Love An Interview With Melissa Llarena podcast? You can now support my time in producing the show with Patreon

If you find that the podcast inspires you and you’d like to help support this labor of love, please consider supporting me on Patreon for a couple of dollars per month. You’ll get early access to my video-recorded episodes featuring unreleased guest insights; your name and/or business will be mentioned during an episode.

You’ll also see how I have connected with powerful world leaders so that you can network more effectively in any field or help you pitch hard-to-reach guests on your own platform. Then if you are feeling extra generous for only $10/a month, you’ll get everything previously mentioned plus be invited to my monthly LIVE 30-Minute “Ball Juggling” Group Calls where I’ll field your business or work-life questions, podcast/guest questions, and share with you courage hacks and imaginative tips so you can feel sane, level-headed, and stay on track pertaining to your upcoming goals.

Want to continue the conversation?

Find me on Instagram.

You can read my daily mini-blogs centered on the same three topics that my podcast features: creativity, courage, and curiosity. I believe that without all three it would be impossible to solve the challenges we were each uniquely made to solve. Wouldn’t you agree? I’m easy to find on Instagram @melissallarena

Rather keep it professional?

Let’s connect on LinkedIn.

I encourage every single podcast listener to connect with me.


"Fertile Imagination" a practical guide for working moms!

Interested in supporting this podcast? Visit my Patreon page for juicy insider details.

Connect With Me

Posted in

Melissa Llarena

Melissa helps movers and shakers up to those in the corner office rediscover what makes them unique so that they can land their dream job in a forward-thinking company where their ideas are listened to, valued, and supported.

She brings insights from having worked in 16-business units (including Human Resources) in NY, Paris, and London. Additionally, in her former corporate career, she worked on billion-dollar brands for P&G and on IBM for Ogilvy & Mather. Later, as the founder and CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, Melissa created a 3-step “sellable strengths” process which has been the centerpiece of her clients' results.

Melissa applies this method consistently to support mid-level professionals up to the c-suite to get into Fortune Global 500 organizations and agencies. She studied Psychology at NYU and earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Leave a Comment


Get your FREE 2023 back-to-work eBook for moms

Do you want to know EXACTLY how to think about returning to work?

Want to uncover what's changed?

What if you'll need new training?

Grab this book in April for FREE for these answers and more!