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Autistic Voices (feat. Sam Mitchell of Autism Rocks and Rolls) S5E8
Episode 818th April 2022 • The Autism Dad Podcast • Rob Gorski
00:00:00 00:24:08

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My guest today is Sam Mitchell. Sam is a 19-year-old young man who is college bound, majoring in media and entrepreneurship. He found his niche and love in podcasting in high school when he joined his high school's media club. Podcasting became his passion and he started his own, Autism Rocks and Rolls.

Sam and I have a great conversation about all of the amazing things he's doing with Autism Rocks and Rolls.

You can find Sam at:

https://autismrocksandrolls.com

Mentioned in this episode:

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Transcripts

Rob:

Welcome to the autism dead podcast.

Rob:

I'm Rob Gorski and it's been a couple of weeks, right?

Rob:

I've been off for the last two weeks.

Rob:

Uh, everything is great.

Rob:

Just upgrading the studio space that I was in and, uh, had some equipment issues.

Rob:

I had to replace my computer and some software changes and things like that and took a minute to get acclimated to that.

Rob:

But we're back.

Rob:

And today my guest is Sam Mitchell and he is the creator owner hosts, voice editor and CEO of.

Rob:

You're 19 now, Sam.

Rob:

Yep.

Rob:

Yep.

Rob:

Uh, it's really nice to meet you.

Rob:

I'm excited to, uh, to learn all about what you're doing and all of your accomplishments and the cool things that you're doing for the community.

Rob:

So thank you for taking the time to come on the show.

Sam:

Of course, man.

Sam:

Thanks for allowing me to come on.

Sam:

I mean, I know we kind of connected, you were on one of the you're one of the top podcasts on a feed spot blog.

Rob:

Oh, I knew that.

Sam:

I didn't know that either.

Sam:

Believe it or not.

Sam:

I, I just found like that I like the mental health and then I'm sure enough.

Sam:

I find myself on there too.

Rob:

Oh, congratulations.

Rob:

That's good.

Rob:

Right?

Sam:

I was unbeknownst

Rob:

to you.

Rob:

Yeah.

Rob:

Yeah.

Rob:

I hope to check that out.

Sam:

It was a number 45.

Sam:

Cool.

Rob:

Nicely done.

Rob:

So, um, tell me a little bit about autism rocks and rules.

Rob:

Like, what is that about?

Rob:

What are you trying to do?

Rob:

And, uh, Let everybody kind of know what that is.

Rob:

Yeah,

Sam:

no problem.

Sam:

I was.

Sam:

So what, what it is to me is really it's about autism obviously, and how we cope with daily struggles.

Sam:

You may or may not understand.

Sam:

And I'll just read you the review, the full mission to tell you what it's about.

Sam:

Sure.

Sam:

The mission of autism rocks and roles is to take the stigma off of autism and other conditions that may think or disabilities people on the spectrum are not broken.

Sam:

They're not needing to be fixed.

Sam:

Those who have conditions are build.

Sam:

Do not need to be pity.

Sam:

There's nothing to be sorry about, but it also wants to help parents understand that the diagnosis of autism does not have to be the dreaded.

Sam:

And you can find understand from a parent's perspective show, the positive side of autism and the world as they've excluded stereotyping and masking assumptions is all bad.

Sam:

We need to accept, see, and tap into abilities rather than point out what people cannot do and celebrate and showcase the success of all people.

Sam:

Every human being has something to offer.

Sam:

We also want to assist other entrepreneurs in and out of podcasts and world to take the step, to start their own business.

Sam:

And the show is heart recommend innovation at anything.

Sam:

And recognize that there is no normal and as simply not fair to society or for society or rather anybody

Rob:

to determine that that's very cool, man.

Rob:

How, how long have you been doing

Sam:

that?

Sam:

Uh, since October, 2019.

Rob:

All right.

Rob:

Cool.

Rob:

So what inspired you to get that started?

Sam:

Um, after I joined my high school, a media club and I decided that.

Sam:

The only way to continue my media skills was to start my own podcast.

Sam:

And that's what happened.

Sam:

I had to start my own podcast, autism rocks and rolls because I use this.

Sam:

I want to use this platform to help in some way, shape or form.

Sam:

And that's why I'm trying to do it to this day.

Sam:

Very

Rob:

cool.

Rob:

Well, I appreciate that because as a parent, I do my best to try and guide my three autistic kids, uh, through life.

Rob:

And a lot of times it's guesswork for me because I don't know what it's like personally.

Rob:

And.

Rob:

Incredibly helpful for, uh, people in your position to, to openly discuss and talk about and help us to better understand our kids.

Rob:

So as a parent, I really, really, really appreciate what you do.

Rob:

Thank you.

Rob:

I

Sam:

mean, I try, I'm thinking I'm doing all right myself, or at least the best I can.

Sam:

Well, let me see, you know them on the right track at

Rob:

least.

Rob:

Yeah.

Rob:

I think you're doing really well, man.

Rob:

Like you've you've got, how, how, um, how many episodes have you recorded?

Sam:

Uh, well the new one just came out today.

Sam:

Um,

Rob:

53.

Rob:

Very cool.

Rob:

How long, how long have you been, um, doing that?

Rob:

That's

Sam:

also since October, 2019.

Sam:

I mean, I can't give you the exact date when the first episode came.

Sam:

I didn't have to look on it yourself, but when I started it was like October 20,

Rob:

19.

Rob:

Okay.

Rob:

Have you had any really favorite guests that have come on or like your favorite interviews?

Rob:

Oh

Sam:

yeah.

Sam:

Oh, I can tell you that.

Sam:

Um, my mother isn't fortunately cannot make it.

Sam:

She is a teacher, but one of her favorites and she loves his person.

Sam:

We always joke around.

Sam:

It's kind of funny.

Sam:

I mean, I like her, I think she is an amazing.

Sam:

But I think mom's a little obsessed with her sometimes.

Sam:

Um, she loves temple Grandin, uh, biggest autistic advocate alive.

Sam:

And she has changed the agricultural role in so many ways.

Sam:

Then you

Rob:

had her, you had her on as a guest?

Rob:

Yes, sir.

Rob:

Wow.

Rob:

That's awesome.

Rob:

What were you going to say for you though?

Rob:

You're

Sam:

um, my favorite, I it's a tie, honestly, between two.

Sam:

Okay.

Sam:

Um, my, the first one is one of my favorite pro wrestlers.

Sam:

Mick Foley.

Sam:

I've had the honor of having him with a sock puppet and that guy, one of the most humble people alive.

Sam:

And he's pretty cool.

Sam:

I mean, he has a son, the spectrum, and he's still so humble.

Sam:

I mean, he played mankind, all these wackadoodle characters, but there's a great guy under there.

Sam:

I didn't really have also had James dirt.

Sam:

Who's the fourth runner up of the 2011 season.

Sam:

He has autism, but also.

Rob:

Yeah.

Rob:

I remember him.

Rob:

Nick Fu.

Rob:

That's really cool man.

Rob:

Like, yeah, Nick Foley.

Rob:

When I was in college, we used to have parties where we would watch wrestling like a WrestleMania or like Monday night raw back when I don't know it's changed a lot since then, but, uh, Nick Foley was one of my favorites.

Rob:

That's really cool.

Sam:

Oh, yeah, Eva.

Sam:

You're the old guy.

Sam:

I love wrestling.

Sam:

I've studied that.

Sam:

Like, I'm a big, like, I like the attitude era.

Sam:

That's probably one of my favorite areas, like from the 19.

Sam:

Uh, and then, uh, I would say 97 to like the two thousands.

Sam:

That's why my favorite era, but I still watch it.

Sam:

I mean, I loved wrestling since I was six, man.

Sam:

I promise you.

Rob:

I have, I believe you.

Rob:

So what does being autistic like?

Sam:

What it's like to be autistic, you know, I've asked that people on my podcast, do I like, what does having autism, what does having your disability mean to you?

Sam:

So this is the first time you answered one of my own questions.

Sam:

And I would say for me, it just means living life, like, or trying to live like any other average, male or female, just in a different way.

Sam:

Yeah.

Sam:

That's

Rob:

great answer, man.

Rob:

It's a great answer.

Rob:

What do you feel is the most important thing that parents of newly diagnosed?

Rob:

Um, what is the most important thing that you, you feel they should know?

Rob:

Easy.

Sam:

It's not a death sentence.

Sam:

It doesn't mean that your child will not succeed.

Sam:

That doesn't mean autism.

Sam:

Oh, well the succeed is going down the toilet.

Sam:

Uh, that's not true.

Sam:

Not true at all there.

Sam:

They can't succeed.

Sam:

I mean, granted, they may have to live.

Sam:

You've read a lot of, you have had to cook their mutual rest of life.

Sam:

I don't know.

Sam:

But if you find the right thing for them, they will become the best.

Sam:

I mean, he may not be able to cook up sausage Patty, but he may be the best player at baseball.

Sam:

Very

Rob:

cool.

Rob:

Yeah.

Rob:

When I, um, one of the things that I learned early on my oldest is 21.

Rob:

Uh, so he's a little bit older than you.

Rob:

He was diagnosed in 2005.

Rob:

It was really scary for me because back then there wasn't as much, um, education and awareness that was going on.

Rob:

And so I had to learn.

Rob:

That you're absolutely right.

Rob:

It isn't a death sentence.

Rob:

Um, you know, he has, he has some challenges that he deals with, uh, but he deals with them and he contributes to the world.

Rob:

He is amazing and brilliant.

Rob:

And, um, he just, he brings so much light into my life.

Rob:

I wouldn't change him for anything.

Rob:

My other two, I became, I was more prepared.

Rob:

I think I had a better understanding, but I think it's important that everybody understands.

Rob:

Everybody who's diagnosed with autism is different and they're unique and they're not, uh, it's not like a cookie cutter diagnosis.

Rob:

It's not all, all people who are on the autistic, uh, autism spectrum are not the same.

Rob:

They're just as unique as everybody else.

Rob:

And they have their likes, their dislikes.

Rob:

Oh yeah.

Rob:

Yeah.

Rob:

That's so true, man.

Rob:

Like there, there are kids.

Rob:

Uh, who have more challenges than others and it can be overwhelming as a parent.

Rob:

It can be scary as a parent cause we worry about, um, our kid's future.

Rob:

But when we have someone like you advocating and being supportive and helping us to better understand what our kids are going through and how we can help them.

Rob:

And how we can have a more positive outlook on things that's that makes such a difference.

Rob:

Have you found that that, uh, parents have been very receptive to your message?

Sam:

I would say yet, actually, yes, big time.

Sam:

I would say that my community has very supportive, even though you're not on the spectrum, but what I find kind of fascinating about this is part of this podcast that I make is sometimes it gets to help people that even not on the spectrum.

Sam:

You know, for example, I tackled an episode about anxiety.

Sam:

Oh my goodness.

Sam:

I couldn't believe it.

Sam:

Someone who interviewed me for the IDs, which stands for the Indiana daily.

Sam:

She does have autism, but she said she has really bad anxiety.

Sam:

And that really helped her.

Sam:

So that really like popped my mind up, like, whoa, Nelly, I'm helping someone else who isn't even on the spectrum.

Sam:

Cause I'm trying to, I want this to be a podcast for everyone.

Sam:

Not just, you know, autistics only you're out of the club basically.

Sam:

No, not that it's not that to me at all.

Sam:

It's like, you're in, you're in.

Rob:

Yeah.

Rob:

And I, and I think it's important that we, we recognize that.

Rob:

Everybody brings something to the table, even if like for myself who I'm not autistic, um, I can help to bridge those gaps between the autistic community and parents.

Rob:

Right.

Rob:

Like I can help, uh, my kids to grow up happy and healthy and reach whatever potential they can be and, and do positive things for the world.

Rob:

Right.

Rob:

And, and, and just because.

Rob:

We're neurologically different or we see things differently or we think differently doesn't mean we can't be teammates.

Rob:

It doesn't mean that we can't all be fighting the same fight and trying to bring positive things to the world.

Rob:

I agree with that.

Rob:

What, uh, I'm just curious is, is, is somebody else who, who does podcasts?

Rob:

Like what, what is your favorite part about podcasting?

Sam:

Probably the least favorite thing for podcasters.

Sam:

Favorite thing is the editing.

Sam:

I'm the odd duck out, I guess, but you can call it and, um, On the editor.

Sam:

I mean, I love that any, I mean, it makes so much sense to me and you know, I'm going to learn more about the editing process and the little sliding up the road caster and all that jazz.

Sam:

I have the honor, a privilege of doing that.

Sam:

I'm going to do an internship with someone named skip daily and he, my friend during a rival do urinate pro local pro wrestling.

Sam:

I got to help with like, raise it with the music, with the theme songs of that local pro wrestling show.

Sam:

Eli was there.

Sam:

I had the honor of meeting and interviewing the latest episode that came out today, which was Al snow.

Sam:

Wow.

Rob:

So what do you use, uh, what do you use to record?

Sam:

I use audacity and it's like a little record tab record.

Rob:

Cool.

Rob:

Do you edit no deputy

Sam:

to, yep.

Sam:

I do the INL the arms, the.

Sam:

The dead spaces.

Sam:

Can you, just, to me, they sound better.

Sam:

Sounds much more better than mine.

Sam:

You just leaving that dead space nasty.

Sam:

Yeah.

Rob:

You got to kind of kinda, um, help it flow a little bit.

Rob:

I do all my own editing as well, and it took me a while to kind of wrap my head around it.

Rob:

I use a Adobe audition, uh, because I just had it available and.

Rob:

I try and I do the same thing I go through, like, I'll, I'll listen to it and as I'm listening to it, and yet her I'll I'll make the edits that I need to do.

Rob:

And then once I get all the way through it again, then I'll listen to it after I've edited it and make sure that it sounds.

Rob:

Good.

Rob:

You know, and like, I'm happy with it.

Rob:

I'm really weird when it comes to audio.

Rob:

I like it to be as good as I can possibly get it.

Rob:

But that's cool that you liked the editing thing.

Rob:

A lot of people don't like the editing I happen to like the editing part.

Rob:

That's one of my favorite parts.

Rob:

I don't know a lot of people outsource it,

Sam:

so they makes me feel better that there's someone else

Rob:

out there.

Rob:

Yeah.

Rob:

Yeah.

Rob:

Well, we'll yeah, we're, we're, uh, we're on the same page that I, I.

Rob:

I like kind of having control over the outcome of what it sounds like.

Rob:

So I can like be proud of whatever I'm putting out there.

Rob:

Cause I know that I, I put the work in and I, and I did it.

Rob:

How long does it take you?

Rob:

Like when you record an episode, like how long are your episodes normally and then how long does it take you to edit them?

Sam:

It depends on the variety.

Sam:

It depends on the circumstances.

Sam:

I mean, sometimes Mick Foley had to give us like a deadline.

Sam:

He said we have 30 minutes.

Sam:

Bam.

Sam:

And I was like, okay, we can work with that.

Sam:

And Al snow came out today, say we only have 45 minutes.

Sam:

That's the deadline.

Sam:

I was like, okay, we can work with that.

Sam:

And it's, um, said, you know, I just want to watch the Superbowl.

Sam:

So it all depends on that, but some will stay and I, you, if you start trying to make it at a little over an hour, but not too much, that's just how I roll.

Sam:

But they usually go from 30 minutes to a little bit over an

Rob:

hour.

Rob:

If you were having an hour episode recorded, how long does that take you to edit to where you're happy with.

Sam:

30 minutes to an hour.

Sam:

Also, I would, that would be my gas.

Sam:

I mean, I can't really tell you that cause I, I don't time myself cause I'm so you could probably understand this from a, as a parent.

Sam:

Sometimes we ask these to get so focused on something and we're not thinking about something else, so I'm not time to make the time.

Sam:

Honestly, I'm focusing on that editing.

Sam:

That's

Rob:

cool.

Rob:

Yeah, I guess I get that.

Rob:

Mine takes me.

Rob:

Gosh, I can spend way too much time editing.

Rob:

I can get lost in editing cause I can get.

Rob:

Uh, picky about things and I'll, and I'll go through until I'm happy with it.

Rob:

And I'm trying to let go of that a little bit so that I can expedite the process and make it a little more, uh, fun for me rather than, you know, overwhelming and frustrating.

Rob:

What are your plans for the future?

Rob:

Like what do you see yourself doing, going forward?

Rob:

Where do you want to see autism rocks and rolls go?

Rob:

Is there like an ultimate goal?

Sam:

Well, I guess you could say for personal future plans, I'll just tell you both make it easier.

Sam:

I'm going to Ivy tech right now for media or entrepreneurship.

Sam:

And the second thing, um, for pocket goals is you really need to ask me in a five years.

Sam:

I always tell people this, because the way I'm approaching this podcast is I decide to take it one day at a time.

Sam:

And I'll honestly, this could lead me to something big.

Sam:

Let's go back to a hobby.

Sam:

I mean, now it's a business, obviously.

Sam:

But I don't know where it's going to take me.

Sam:

I mean, you'll just have to talk to me in five years and we'll, we'll, we'll see where we are.

Rob:

So do you have any advice for other people, whether they're autistic or not, who want to maybe get a podcast started?

Sam:

If you have an idea for a podcast, go for it.

Sam:

I mean, that's the first thing, because your idea may stand out and it may be the right time.

Sam:

I mean, here's a perfect example.

Sam:

I didn't, when COVID struck, heck I'll be honest with.

Sam:

I couldn't believe the ideas that podcast came out, there were some ideas are pretty darn well, and they got a lot of hits because it was the right time, I think, in my opinion.

Sam:

So they probably had the idea and it worked well.

Sam:

So also figure out the timing a little bit.

Sam:

If it's your idea, go for it and make it your own.

Rob:

Very cool.

Rob:

That's really good advice, man.

Rob:

Do you have a.

Rob:

Any advice for other autistic people out there who may be just maybe having a difficult time or maybe frustrated with all of this insanity that's going on around us right now with COVID and, and everything else?

Sam:

Um, well, sure.

Sam:

There's a couple of things, I guess you can go with, first of all, you're not going to die hopefully from your struggles, but second, you know, embrace the struggle a little bit because at the end of the day, it kind of makes you a stronger and better person.

Rob:

That's really good advice, kind of lean into it and kind of the, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger kind of thing.

Rob:

Yep.

Rob:

So, uh, you mentioned that your mom is a teacher.

Rob:

Does she, do you guys kind of work as a team on this?

Rob:

And she, she sounds like she's very supportive.

Sam:

Oh yeah.

Sam:

She's a very supportive mother.

Sam:

I mean, like every family, we all have our shows and we do clashes.

Sam:

I mean, every family does sometimes.

Sam:

Yeah.

Sam:

At the end of the day, we do have it.

Sam:

We do definitely support each other and we definitely are hard workers as well.

Sam:

I will definitely

Rob:

say that.

Rob:

Um, I've yeah, I've seen that already.

Rob:

Uh, you're a very hard worker and you have accomplished so much in such a short period of time.

Rob:

I am thrilled to have had you as a guest.

Rob:

Um, I'm so grateful that you were willing to share as freely and openly as you want.

Rob:

Uh, you're a positive role model.

Rob:

You do motor G you do motivational speaking to,

Sam:

well, I did a Ted talk called soul struck.

Sam:

However, the good news is I am taken a public speaking course as of right now in Ivy tech and I'm reading a book also, and that leads me to do some, uh, mock speeches.

Rob:

Cool.

Rob:

What are you going to do next?

Rob:

Like you're doing so much.

Rob:

Is there something else that you want to try out or.

Rob:

The speaking

Sam:

a lot, really.

Sam:

I mean, I have a couple in, um, I have one next month.

Sam:

I'm going to speak to some nurses and doctors.

Sam:

And then, uh, February, let me think either January 20, 22 or February 20, 22.

Sam:

I can't remember which one, I think February, but I'm going to broken arrow, Oklahoma and speaking at the world national autism conference.

Sam:

Wow.

Sam:

I was invited there.

Rob:

Congratulations.

Rob:

That's really cool, man.

Rob:

Well, of course.

Rob:

Thank you.

Rob:

You're welcome.

Rob:

How can people find you if they want to connect or find your podcast?

Rob:

Uh, what's the best way they can.

Sam:

So they could find me on pod beam, Spotify, YouTube, apple podcasts, SoundCloud, LinkedIn, stitch stir.

Sam:

Wow.

Sam:

Pandora, iHeart, listen notes, LinkedIn, basically all the major media platforms.

Rob:

Okay.

Rob:

Very cool.

Rob:

Do you have a website?

Sam:

Uh, yeah, it's called autism and roles.com.

Sam:

That's probably the home-based really?

Sam:

That is everything from like my sponsorships to my episodes, to the, get to the guests.

Rob:

Cool.

Rob:

Very cool, man.

Rob:

I'm very impressed with everything that you have done for any 19 year old to, to do all.

Rob:

This is amazing, man.

Rob:

Like, I'm so glad that you were able to come on the show and, and talk about.

Rob:

All of the stuff that you're doing.

Rob:

Cause I feel like I have a lot that I can learn from you.

Rob:

There might be some guests that I've had in the past.

Rob:

That would be a really good fit for your show.

Rob:

If you're interested, I can pass some of that information along like we help each other, right?

Rob:

Like I can learn from you.

Rob:

You could learn from me.

Rob:

We can bring information to people who need information.

Sam:

Exactly.

Sam:

I would agree with that too.

Sam:

The better, the more we help each other, we just upgrade each other.

Sam:

And that's the most beautiful part of life in my

Rob:

opinion.

Rob:

I like it before we bring this to a close, I just, you know, I want to say again, thank you for, uh, all of your time and for being who you are and for, uh, being willing to come on here and talk to me like, I, I, that this, this has been a really cool experience for me.

Rob:

I'm going to, uh, check out your latest episode today.

Rob:

I'll have all of Sam's information in the show notes so that you guys, uh, it's easy to remember.

Rob:

It's just autism rocks and roll.

Rob:

And, but you can just click a link, you know, it's easier sometimes.

Rob:

Please tell your mom that I said hi.

Rob:

Uh, and thank you for being a teacher.

Rob:

Absolutely.

Rob:

Thank you for being a teacher because that's a really important job.

Rob:

Yeah.

Sam:

Okay.

Sam:

So I couldn't be a teacher that says something to you.

Rob:

All right.

Rob:

So it's Friday as we're recording this, so have a great weekend and we'll be okay.

Rob:

All

Sam:

right, man,

Rob:

take care.

Rob:

Now you too, before I close things out today, I just want to say thank you to Sam for taking the time to come on the show.

Rob:

Uh, thank you for talking to us about autism rocks and roles.

Rob:

Thank you for being such a good role model and an advocate and, uh, for sharing so openly.

Rob:

And honestly, I really appreciated a number of levels.

Rob:

I look forward to seeing all the amazing things that you're going to do.

Rob:

And, uh, anything I can ever do to help you, man, all you gotta do is call and figure something out.

Rob:

Um, you can find sam@autismrocksand.com.

Rob:

All of his links will be in the show notes below, check out his podcast, picture you subscribe.

Rob:

He's had some amazing guests on there and, uh, yeah.

Rob:

So thank you Sam.

Rob:

I really appreciate it.

Rob:

As for me, you can find me@theautismdad.com.

Rob:

All of my links are at the top of the page.

Rob:

You can listen to subscribe and review this podcast on any one of your favorite podcasts.

Rob:

So I really appreciate that.

Rob:

And, uh, outside of that, you guys have a, have a great week and I'll talk to you next Monday.

Rob:

All right.

Rob:

See you.