Author Kayce Hughlett’s Shares the Journey of Her ADHD Son’s Drug Use

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​This episode features is a powerful, heartfelt conversation that I’m honored to share with you. My guest is Kayce Stevens Hughlett, a psychotherapist, life coach, spiritual director, and speaker, and the author of three books: As I Lay Pondering: Daily Invitations To Live a Transformed Life, her novel Blue, and her journey memoir, SoulStroller: Experiencing the Weight, Whispers, & Wings of the World. Kayce and I have been friends for many years, and she was a compassionate listener and empathetic friend as I was going through some of my most challenging years with Asher. At the time, Kayce was a few years ahead in her journey with her own differently wired son, who was in his early twenties.

I wanted to bring Kayce onto the show to talk about what she and her family went through when her son, as a young teen with an ADHD diagnosis, got involved with drugs. I know that this is a possibility many parents with atypical kids fear, and in fact some listeners may be in this very situation today. Hearing Kayce tell her story and share how she not only got through it, but how her family emerged on the other side more engaged and connected, is incredibly powerful. I hope you find her story as inspiring as I do.


About Kayce Hughlett

Kayce Stevens Hughlett started her writing career as a blogger in the early 2000’s and found her voice as a contributor to several collections and online publications. Now she is the author of three varied yet beautifully intertwined and popular books. Her 2012 nonfiction book, As I Lay Pondering: Daily Invitations To Live a Transformed Life, is a lyrical and lucid treasure that invites readers to new awakenings throughout the year. Blue: a novel, an award-winning study of three women in the Pacific Northwest, released September 10, 2015. Her journey memoir, SoulStroller: experiencing the weight, whispers, & wings of the world, was published in November 2018. A native of Oklahoma, Kayce and her family relocated to the Pacific Northwest more than twenty-five years ago. Her first career was as a posh accountant in a downtown high-rise, now she’s an artist of being alive and speaker practicing creative lifestyle coaching around the world.


Things you’ll learn from this episode

  • Kayce’s story of being the mom of “that kid” in a time when being differently wired was less acceptable
  • The importance of listening to our gut in conjunction with “experts”
  • Why we want to always choose from a place of love (and not fear) when making parenting decisions
  • The power of community to get through difficult times with our children
  • Why Kayce says that parenting Jonathan through their challenges saved her life


Resources mentioned for ADHD and drug use


Episode Transcript

Kayce Hughlett  0:00

He was looking for, he was looking for real connection. And it looks weird that you think it’s real connection while he was disconnecting with drugs and alcohol and that what he was really looking for was real connection, I think. And we were giving him this parental mumbo jumbo that he couldn’t connect with.

Debbie Reber  0:29

Welcome to Tilt Parenting, a podcast featuring interviews and conversations aimed at inspiring and forming and supporting parents raising differently wired kids. My name is Debbie Reber and today’s episode is a powerful, heartfelt conversation that I am honored to share with you. I’m talking with my friend Kayce Hughlett, a psychotherapist, life coach, spiritual director and speaker and the author of three books As I Lay Pondering Daily: Invitations to Live a Transformed Life, her novel Blue, and her journey memoir, Soul Stroller: Experiencing the Weight Whispers and Wings of the World. Kayce and I have been friends for many years and she was a compassionate listener and empathetic friend as I was going through some of my most challenging years with Asher. Kayce was a few years ahead in her journey with their own differently wired son who was in his early 20s. When we first met, I wanted to bring Kayce onto the show to talk about what she and her family went through when her son, as a young teenager with an ADHD diagnosis, got involved with drugs. I know that this is something many parents with atypical kids fear may happen with their kids. And some listeners may be dealing with this very situation even now as they’re listening to this. And so to hear Kayce tell her story and share intimately about how she not only got through it, but how her family emerged on the other side more engaged and connected than any generations before them, is incredibly powerful. And I hope all to of you listening, inspiring. And a little public service announcement before I get to our conversation, I would like to just come right out and ask you to consider supporting this show until parenting by joining my Patreon campaign. Patreon is a platform that allows people to support artists, they like musicians, or in my case, a podcaster by signing up to make a regular contribution. I’m working on coming up with some fun exclusive perks for Patreon supporters as well, which I’ll be revealing in the next few weeks. But for now, I’m just going to say that If you enjoy these conversations, and they’re beneficial to you and your family, please consider supporting this show at the 2010 or even $5 a month level. That money goes directly toward covering the production costs for the show and also just the costs associated with running till parenting. Thank you so much for considering and if you want to learn more, or sign up, just go to and Patreon is spelled PATREON. Lastly, I wanted to share that there are some new tilt together groups getting started this month around the US. We’ve got a live parent Tilt Together group starting up in Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, San Jose, California, South Orange County, California, Abilene, Texas, Moundsville, West Virginia and more. So if you’re interested in learning more about one of these groups, or any of the other groups forming throughout the US and in Canada and the UK, or maybe you’d like to start one yourself, you can find out more at Thanks again, that’s the end of the PSA portion of this episode. And now, here is my conversation with Kayce. Hey, Kayce, welcome to the podcast.

Kayce Hughlett  4:01

Hey, Debbie. So good to be here. So good to be here.

Debbie Reber  4:05

Feel like this is a conversation a long time in the making, because you and I have talked about what we’re going to talk about today, many, many years ago before tilt was even in my mind, and when I was kind of in the throes of it with Asher when he was a little guy. So they said I’m looking forward to bringing your perspective onto the show.

Kayce Hughlett  4:24

Thank you. Me too. I remember I remember. He was nine when we met. And or even younger, I think and younger, maybe.

Debbie Reber  4:35

Yeah. So I guess it’s a way to get into our conversation because this is going to be more of a parent chat. And really, I’m just happy to share your personal journey with our audience because you’re kind of you’ve been through this. You’re definitely wired son has grown and launched and it’s just so helpful to hear kind of your journey. So tell us a little bit about who you are as a woman as a mom, and then we’ll use that to lead into telling us your story.

Kayce Hughlett  5:04

Okay, gosh, such a big question, right? So, you know, when I describe myself to people, it’s, I say, I went from accountant, to author and good girl to risk taker, and from Oklahoma to Seattle. And now I’m this person who explores the world. And I have a background, I have a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, so I practiced for several years as a psychotherapist, you and I met when we were in coaching, training. So I’m a certified life coach. But really how I got to all those things was by being a mom, and by especially, by being a mom of this young man, who is now almost 30 years old, who broke open every paradigm I had in my life, through his being him, and really, me trying to make him be something else. And in the process, though, I found that I wasn’t being true to who I was, either.

Debbie Reber  6:33

Why don’t you tell us about your son, then tell us what, you know, you probably know that most people listening to this podcast, well, you know, kids are all over the the age range, a lot of parents who are listening to this, have kids who are in those elementary school years, where things are just really, really becoming challenging, and they’re getting more information about what’s going on. And you know, the choices that they may feel that they have are looking more and more limited. So can you tell us a little bit about your journey back in those years?

Kayce Hughlett  7:07

Yes, yes. So my son, I call him Jonathan, now that he’s a grown man, he goes by John. But I still he’s like, Mom, it would be weird for you to call me anything else. And so Jonathan came along. And he was very artistic. Like he could draw from the moment, he could hold a pencil. And I was from this family that was very structured, like, you know, you color within the lines, and art wasn’t a part of our life. And so from the beginning, there was this frustration, because he was messy. He was wild. He was creative. And I’m trying to keep the kitchen counters clean. And I didn’t know anything else. And so I think about some of your calls with the calls you’ve had with Derin, and this idea that well, this is how we were raised, and it worked for us. We’re just like, oh, it didn’t work. You know, I mean, it was how it was. But so we found that he was pushing these boundaries. And like we wouldn’t when we would ask him to do something. He pushed back. And we were frustrated with what to do. And so we didn’t we weren’t impressed with the public school system, close to us. And so we were in a church community. And they said, Oh, he needed, he needs structure, he needs structure. And so everybody kept telling us that he needed structure. And so what we realized was that it was probably fourth grade, he got an add diagnosis. I’m still, you know, I still don’t even really know what to do with that diagnosis. But it was helpful for us. And I remember when I was reading, differently wired, and I came to this section, and it was these kids that they just don’t quite fit in the classroom. And the teachers are calling we’re getting the teacher called and he’s that kid, you know, he’s that kid. And then the parents start to look at me sideways, like, Oh, she’s the moment that kid Yeah. And so he started to get this label. And, you know, when I read Asher’s story, it brought so much back to me because I was still so unaware at that time of what was what was going on and what was probably going on in his little body where he just wants to create and and then the other thing was he doesn’t transit question well, and so if he’s into something, he’s really into it, right? And then somebody says, Okay, time to stop cleaning up, put the stuff away. And so we were just meeting these battles all the time, and it was happening at school, and then it came home because we didn’t understand what was going on. And so things began to escalate. And this anger from him and then from us, and, and there were times that I was just like, who, who am I? I’m like, Who is this person because as he got bigger, you know, I couldn’t just pick him up and put him in timeout. And I don’t know how you know how much further to go into the story. But ultimately, long story short, he ended up turning to drugs and alcohol, to, to kind of soothe his discord with the world, and with himself. And that was when he probably started when he was 13. We found out right after he turned 14.

Debbie Reber  11:11

Wow. Wow. So is my you know, I can imagine this is these are painful things to be talking about. But I also know that this is something that I think so many of us listening to this conversation, including myself, you know, we’ve read the articles, we’ve read the clickbait this, you know, the headlines about that there’s a higher risk for differently where kids, specifically kids with ADHD add, you know, to have problems with drugs and alcohol. So can you tell us a little bit about just what that was that like for you? How did you move through that? And I know it’s not a, it wasn’t a quick fix. Right. Right. Right. But tell us a little bit about your journey through that.

Kayce Hughlett  12:00

Yeah, so what happened was when he was 13, he, we had tried everything school wise, and and ultimately, when he was in sixth grade, we brought him home, and I homeschooled him for a year and a half. And that was really, it was really a sweet time. And I started to learn how he learned. And then at the end of that time, he so desperately wanted to be a normal kid. And so we made a deal with him that if he finished all of his schoolwork, at a certain time, he could enroll in school at the end of the year and go to the public school. And so he was in seventh grade, this was seventh grade. And he went and it was a disaster. There was just, I mean, you know, putting a kid in at that time of year, you know, everybody’s bonded there, you know, and it’s middle school, right? So, his frustration, our frustration escalated. And so he went away for a year to a It was basically a behavior modification school. And it was like a step program where if he, if he, you know, behaved this well, and he got these rewards, and I don’t recommend it, you know, and so what happened was, we didn’t have any tools. And so when he came back, we said, well, what are we supposed to do? And they said, Oh, no, you just set boundaries, you just set guidelines. And well, he defied them. Right. But then they kept saying what they told us was, they said that you sent us a young boy, you have a teenager now. So what happened for us was we started to see these signs, but we ignored them. I didn’t trust my own internal instincts. I didn’t trust that something was bad. 

Debbie Reber  14:00

Why do you think that is?

Kayce Hughlett  14:02

You know, that’s my, that’s my bigger story, Debbie, that’s my bigger story of I was raised that everyone else had the answers, that there were the experts. And so these experts were telling me that these were normal teenage behaviors. And my gut, which I hadn’t started practicing listening to, on a consistent basis was telling me something totally different. And that’s why, you know, I hesitate even, you know, I go, Oh, I’m going to be on this call. I have this experience, and I by no means am an expert on anyone else’s child. Right. But I had this experience of believing that I believe in good too. And so I didn’t want to I didn’t want to dive into the fear of like you said the click bait for the things and I thought, no, no, no. And this example that keeps coming in my mind was like, he was very fastidious. And he loved shoes. And, you know, the Michael Jordan’s do they used to be or in all these things? And well, he was kind of obsessed with cleaning his shoes. Well, he was huffing, he was inhaling the shoe cleaner. Oh, wow. He was killing his brain. And it was happening, right under my nose, and I feel so foolish. And I, you know, I believe me, I’ve gone through hours of the what ifs if I’d done something differently. But we were in this place because he was, you know, 13-14 years old. And you know, they start to change. And so, but we didn’t have this. I think he didn’t trust us. And we didn’t trust him in a way to communicate on it on an authentic level. And so and and I think the reason for that was because I wasn’t communicating with myself on an authentic level. I was just, I kept believing that if I follow these rules, if I follow these rules, if I follow these guidelines, if I do what everybody else is telling me I should be doing, then it’s going to work out.

Debbie Reber  16:29

There’s so many pieces of this that I kind of want to dive into but I think you know, what you’re speaking to now is something that I’m certainly connecting with. And I think that it’s not even that it’s denial, it’s just, it’s kind of not knowing how our experience really fits in, it’s not trusting ourselves. It’s not even having other people to talk about who can identify with our experience. So we really are kind of operating in a vacuum in many ways. And there’s a lot of just crossing fingers and hoping, hoping that things work out.

Kayce Hughlett  17:08

Right. Right. Well, and it was a really scary time. For us. It was really scary. It was really frightening. And what we found was that we were making a lot of the decisions that we were making out of fear. We thought we were doing it out of love.

Debbie Reber  17:28

You know, that’s something I talk and write a lot about is choosing out of love rather than fear. Can you give me an example of a decision you made out of fear? 

Kayce Hughlett  17:39

Yeah, okay, I have one that I use a lot. Because this is what this was the one that someone gave to me that finally made sense. So ultimately, Jonathan ended up going, he was in several different programs, we tried everything, because that was where the fear was coming to keep him safe. Because he became a danger to himself and to other people. Because he was very erratic. So we sent him, we found a wonderful therapeutic boarding school. And they required that the parents be involved in the parents’ own work, and that, that they weren’t there to fix our boys, that our boys aren’t broken. And I think if that’s what I can say to your listeners is our kids aren’t broken. They don’t need to be fixed. They need to know that we love them. But what happened was we sent him to this school. And sadly it was because we love Him because we wanted him to be safe. And you know, we’re doing this because we love you. But Mom and Dad, I don’t understand. I don’t want to go, but we love you. And we’re doing this because we love you. And we were in training with this very wise woman. And she said yes, I know you love your son. But I think you did this because you are terrified. And she was right. And it doesn’t mitigate that doesn’t mean we don’t love him. It doesn’t mean it didn’t come from a loving place. But the deep-rooted thing was from fear. And what we learned from that was that he could sense that fear. And we weren’t. We weren’t owning it. And and so he could feel that incongruence in what we were saying and what we were doing. And he’s very sensitive to that. So.

Debbie Reber  19:48

So it sounds like if I’m understanding you correctly, the decision would have been the same but it was the way in which you were presenting the decision that was inauthentic. And that’s Yeah, yeah,

Kayce Hughlett  20:01

we would have made this, I think we would have made that same decision. Yes. But he was looking for real connection. And it looks weird that you think it’s a real connection while he was disconnecting with drugs and alcohol, and that what he was really looking for was real connection, I think. And we were giving him this parental mumbo jumbo that he couldn’t connect with. I mean, and I’ll tell you a flip side story, Debbie. Because it, I mean, it got really, it got really ugly at times. And we were later on, I mean, this was a mini year. I mean, we still take it one day at a time he’s doing well. Now, let me just say he’s doing very well now. But you know, a few years later, he was a little bit older. He was probably 18 by this time, and he was in another, like, inpatient treatment center here locally. And we were in a session and he started to scream at me and he said, Mommy, the only thing you’re all about fear you, you know, and he’s cursing at me. And he’s like, you just live in fear. And, you know, we’re in there, and we’re with a counselor, my daughter’s there and my husband’s there. And there’s an intern who is either like, Oh, my God, they don’t know what to do with us, right? And so I got up and I left the room, I just had to leave. I was just like, Oh, I couldn’t breathe. And I went, and I went into the restroom, and I like cried and the ladies room. And I’m just like, Oh, my God, how, you know, how is this my life? Butall of a sudden, I got this calm because I understood this, this sense of, of love and fear. And I thought, okay, he’s sensing something, right. He’s sensing something. And so I went back in. And I looked at him, I said, You are absolutely right. But I said, my biggest fear is that I’m going to stop loving you. And for a brief moment, I saw immense clarity and relief in his eyes. Because he felt that was true. It was this terrifying, absolutely terrifying. Truth. And, I feel like something shifted for us that day. Because our relationship now he knows I will be honest with him, even when it doesn’t necessarily look pretty. Or, you know, he knows. He knows my actions and words. My intent at least I don’t always say I fail. Absolutely. Absolutely. I fail. But my intent is always to be truthful with him. And so that love and fear. They’re tricky in there, right? Because they’re, they’re connected. Because if we don’t fear, I mean, if we don’t love, who cares?

Debbie Reber  23:35

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, it’s tricky. And it’s, it can be really hard to know what’s what. It often takes a lot of soul searching and reflection to really get honest with yourself about what’s really going on here. Yeah. So would you say, you know, was that moment where you share that with him? You know, in that honest way, was that a turning point for you? Or, you know, how did you come to terms with what was happening and be able to make this shift? So you could have a more honest relationship with him and with yourself?

Kayce Hughlett  24:13

Right? Well, lots of therapy. Therapy? Yes, yes. Well, and, and I mean, I was training it. What’s funny is I was in the midst of my training to be a therapist when all this was happening. And so I was, you know, he was immersed, he was immersed in these programs and how to get healthy. And so what I ultimately did was, I immersed myself, but from a life-giving viewpoint for myself, which was different than this running around with my hair on fire. Like, oh my gosh, I have to do something for him. I have to do everything for him. This was this sense of As I do this for myself, it is going to benefit others. And so you’re asked how I did, I mean, it was this conscious constant and is this conscious constant decision of how, how I’m going to be in the world, and who I’m going to be in the world. And one of what I realized was that I grew up with this kind of disingenuous in this kind of disingenuous environment where I grew up in the South, and it was all about being nice. And so I grew up with people that would say one thing to your face, and my mother was my prime example of this. And she, I would see her in the grocery store, and she would be so nice to someone that she’d be so kind. And then she would turn around, and she would say, Oh, my goodness, I can’t believe she doesn’t have her lipstick on. And, I was kind of left reeling from that. And what I realized is one of my core values is truth, and integrity. And so when I make decisions on how, and when I’m going to speak to, you know, to my son, my hope is that I come from that place. And, you know, I can give you example after example. I mean, one of the examples is, we decided a long time ago that he cannot, he cannot live with us. He can’t live in this house with us. It’s crazy making, it’s crazy making for him, and he knows it. It’s crazy making for us, and we know it. But he realized that it wasn’t that we were being mean. But it was just like, No, it’s not good for our relationship. And so we think, you know, I think as parents, we think, Oh, my gosh, we’re supposed to do everything, and it’s supposed to look a certain way, like support is supposed to look a certain way. And what I found sometimes with Jonathan, my best support, is not being in his physical presence. My best support comes from sitting by the ocean and offering prayers out onto the waves. And so I think with our children, it’s what happened for me in that moment, when I stated my fear was that it was my greatest fear that I would stop loving this child. And I said it out loud. And we all survived. And I think that was a turning point for me. And I would say, we not only survived, but we have thrived as a family. It was very,

Debbie Reber  28:06

I can’t imagine I mean, I, when we first met, you were still very much going through a lot of these things. And, it’s big. I mean, this is big stuff. This is the stuff that I get emails from parents, or if I’m doing conversations with parents, and we talk about this, you know, getting real about your deepest fears, getting it all out on the table, and the fears are big, their self-harm, their suicide, their drug addiction, you know, there are these really big issues. So, you know, just knowing that there are people listening to this conversation, who have those kinds of fears about their, you know, maybe their kids are much younger, maybe their kids are in those years, where they’re, they’re starting to think that while this is happening, or they’re dabbling, or they’re using negative, you know, they’re talking about self harm or doing it What thoughts do you have for them? Or what advice from your experience can you share with them, to help them wrap their head around how they can move through this in a way that supports them and their family?

Kayce Hughlett  29:17

Well, I think the number one thing for me was that I found a community that could support me where I could actually say these things out loud. And that’s not always easy. And I was just working on a piece for another venue the other day, and it was this idea of how I started to do. I just started to write and I just put it all down and just there’s this physical act for me. Writing, I suppose writing saved my life. Because I didn’t, I had all these thoughts like, I would wake up in the morning and I have all these thoughts and all this energy, and I didn’t know what to do with it, and then I’m supposed to go down and fix breakfast for my family. And I was going to lose my mind. And so I started to write and I did, you know, the classic Julia Cameron morning pages. And so it was this act of relief. And I am a big believer in pencil and paper, like, really old school. And because there’s something of that connection. So there’s this sense in this way. And I guess the suggestion, or the thing is finding a way to expel that out of your, your body, if only for five minutes, if only for five minutes and finding that way. And I mean, I have this whole bag of tools that I mean, I still to this day, it’s like I wake up, and I’m like, What do I need, because there are things that still frustrate me. And that, you know, you don’t want to walk around saying to people, well, you know, I really hate you, or, you know, some of those hard things to say, but we need to find a way to express them. Whether that’s in a support group, whether it’s, you know, sending you an email, I mean, just the sheer act of saying, I am feeling this way, I know, I’m feeling this way, without judgment without having to decide what the next step is. to just say, I, this is how I feel, and I don’t like it. Or, gosh, it feels kind of good. Or, you know, there’s, there’s something about truth and whether it’s you speak to your cat or your dog, you know, and you you find you find a place, whether it’s a person, whether it’s a place in nature, whether it’s just between you and your notebook, a place to release some of those things. And I used to think that if, you know, if you said something, or if you wish something or if you wrote something down, it was absolutely going to come true. You know, like it was jinxing things. And, you know. And so I’m a bear believer in releasing so that we can make room for what we really want, which is really to love these, these people that are in our lives, even though in some moments, that is the last thing we want to do. Because they’re making our lives. But finding a way to support yourself, if there’s no one else that can help support you, right. 

Debbie Reber  32:50

So, so important. And let’s talk, you know, I want to just kind of bring it full circle. I know this is the case for you. And I talked about this as well that, you know, even though I’m raising the child lives unexpected, this journey is going way off course than what I thought it was going to look like. It’s also, you know, being Asher’s mom has enriched my life in ways I could never have imagined. And it’s helped me grow so tremendously. So kind of to take us where you are today. I’d love for you to share what you’ve gone through with your son and you know, all those hard years and the work that it’s forced you to do on yourself, like how has that actually enriched your life?

Kayce Hughlett  33:35

Oh, my gosh, it didn’t only enrich my life to have it saved, it saved my life. This journey saved my life. And I’ve I say this, and I say this over and over again, I would not wish this on any other person. And I cannot imagine my life without being Jonathan’s mother, and in the best in the best possible way. And so I indicated and I said, I came from this very structured, very, very narrow, very small vision of what life could look like. And I was raised to, you know, to be very practical. And there were things that I was never going to be able to do in my life. Now. I literally have to pinch myself every day to go this is my life. As I said, I went back to school in the midst of this and I study counseling psychology. And so I started to do that. And then in the midst of that I started to write and I had some other teachers and I learned this idea of being present. And then when I was 45 I got my first passport. I never had a passport. And anybody that knows me now is just like what!? Yeah, I was surprised by that. Yes. Because you and I have met in Paris and Italy. I travel the world and I write books. And I have this amazing four-year-old granddaughter. That is Jonathan’s daughter.

Debbie Reber  35:21


Kayce Hughlett  35:23

Yeah, yes. And I wasn’t ready to be a grandmother. And so I’m not I’m Yah, Yah. And Violet. And I picked it together, that we loved it, because it said more. It sounded more like Yes. It’s kind of like, Yes. And what I’ve learned through this journey with my son is ways to define Yes, in my life, and no, in my life, and really crystallizing each moment. And I laugh as I say that because some of my moments are filled with binge watching Netflix, but And so and then there’s this idea of grace and offering myself grace, and saying, Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe that when he was nine years old, I had to sit on him and hold his shoulders down, and I screamed in his face. I’m like, who does that? And I go bet. Here we are. Yeah. And I just, I just wrote this book that you know, and, and it starts with the moment we found out, he had overdosed on drugs. And it’s, it’s his story, but it’s really my story. And I’ve watched him and I’ve talked to him about I’m like, I’m writing the story. I’m writing this and he’s like, that’s okay. Mom, I trust you. It’s good. And, and so to see him, send me like on Instagram, or Facebook and things, and he writes, he writes me these notes. He says, I’m so proud of your mom. And when he was in the midst, the beginning, kind of the beginning of the drug piece of it. And he was at this school where we were still untangling, love and fear, you know, all of those things. And which we’re still entangling. But he looked at me and he’s just like, Mom, you’re a firecracker. And I remember looking at him, and I was going, No, I’m not, you know, no, I’m not. And, and so he saw something in me. Before I did, that I couldn’t see in myself. Wow. And and I think that some of the inauthenticity he was bumping up against

Debbie Reber  38:12

So interesting, right, what our kids, you know, the mirror they are to us and what they show us about ourselves. It’s incredible.

Kayce Hughlett  38:21

Yeah, and what they perceive and and we can’t even begin to try to guess that I was meditating this morning. I’ve been in this place right now with my daughter. And I’m like, I don’t know how to be with her. But I don’t know. You know, she’s 26. And that’s a whole other story. But I kept coming back to this just be, just be you don’t have to have the next step camp. Because if I had planned what my life was going to look like, No way, would any of the hardships have been included? And but more significantly, the joys and the successes, and the just sheer delight would not have been there either.

Debbie Reber  39:07

Absolutely, I mean, I was just laying in and going, you know, and really going there. As low as the lows can be, the highs can be that much higher, and, and so much more meaningful, you know, the bright spot so much brighter, and it is, it can be such a fuller experience just a fuller life. Well, Kayce, thank you so much for sharing this. I really think this is going to be one of those conversations that is going to really impact people listening to the show because it’s so inspiring to hear just where you are and what your journey has been like and what’s possible, even when it can be so hard to not live in that fear space and to just think this is all going to be bad and even if things are really dark to think there isn’t a light and you No, I encourage listeners to check out your book. Kayce’s book is Soul Stroller: Experiencing the Weight Whispers and Wings of the World. And actually, she’s written several books. So when you look her up on Amazon, or actually list all of Kayce’s books on the show notes, you can check them out. But it’s very inspiring. And it’ll give you more of the sense of peace and calm and possibility, which I feel like this whole conversation has been infused with and it makes me feel so hopeful. And so can you tell listeners the best place to connect with you and to tap into where you live online?

Kayce Hughlett  40:40

Yes, all you have to know how to do is how to spell my name. And then you can find my website, you can find me on Instagram, you can find me on Facebook, you can find me on Twitter, but I don’t really hang out there. But it’s Kayce, is my website. And that has my email address. I love getting emails. I mean, it’s, it’s my hope. And I really come back to this idea of helping people find their own best answers. I’m great at quick conversations and emojis, I’m an emoji Queen

Debbie Reber  41:27

A badge you wear proudly I assume

Kayce Hughlett  41:29

bad eyewear. And I can hold, I can hold the hard stuff. And so I have people, you know, if you need to, if you don’t have that person, and you say I’m having a really hard time, and I just need to say that right now I hate my kid, you can send it off to me. And I will hold that. And I will bless that and I will not judge that. So find me, I’m here in the world. And I think that’s why

Debbie Reber  42:01

I’m here. Awesome. Thank you so much, listeners. Again, I will leave links on the show notes you can easily if you didn’t jot down the spelling of Kayce’s name, you can easily click through to that. And thank you so much for this conversation. I think just hearing from other parents, it’s so important to all of us because we can get so you know, wrapped up in our own little silos of pain or and fear and suffering and you know, all the other and confusion and overwhelm and all those things. And it’s really powerful to hear stories from other people. So thank you for sharing yours today and for coming on the show.

Kayce Hughlett  42:42

Thank you so much, Debbie.

Debbie Reber  42:46

You’ve been listening to Tilt Parenting. For the show notes for this episode, including links to Kayce Hughlett’s website, her books, her blog, and more, you’ll find them at A quick reminder that my book differently wired is now available as an audiobook narrated by me to listen to a sample or to purchase it, just go to or If you haven’t watched my TED talk yet called Why the Future Will Be Differently Wired. You can find it on the homepage of Tilt Parenting or on YouTube. TED talks are all about ideas worth spreading. So I’m asking for your help spreading this one. I wrote the talk to challenge employers and colleagues and community members and other people in our lives who might not be raising differently wired kids to consider the importance of neuro divergence in our society. I love your help spreading the word to these audiences. Thank you so much. Lastly, don’t forget to leave a rating or review or both for Tilt Parenting on iTunes. If you haven’t done so already. Ratings and reviews help keep this podcast visible in what seems to be an ever growing sea of podcasts. Thanks so much for taking the time to support the show in that way. That’s all for this week. Thanks again for listening. And for more information on to parenting visit


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