Family Matters | The Harvie Family

Airdate: March 2024

A time for scraped knees, giggles, and friendships forged in PlayStation battles and shared bags of Doritos. But for some children, that Norman Rockwell portrait of connection can feel like an out-of-focus selfie. That’s because neurodivergent youth, those with autism, ADHD, dyslexia or other learning differences, can experience loneliness at a higher rate than their peers. For them, social cues can be confounding, interaction can feel like navigating a maze, and fitting in can be a square peg- round hole conundrum.

While loneliness isn’t an inherent part of neurodivergence, it can prove a formidable foe. And for kids who learn differently, it can present unique challenges. Yet, the good news is that parents and caregivers can become the architects of connection by employing practical strategies for building social bridges, fostering understanding, and creating a world where their child feels seen, valued, and deeply connected.

On this episode, we meet a Massachusetts teenager whose parents are working to keep their autistic son ahead of the loneliness curve. We begin with the Harvie family and 13-year-old Teddy, whose parents have invested in equipping him with the social skills he needs to steer away from Lonely Street.