The Advocate Blog

Real Look Autism with Mary Beth Marsden

The Special Needs Connection

Mary Beth Marsden:

"Who am I? Well, I guess the most relevant fact is that I have a daughter with an ASD. She was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD) when she was 3 years old. During that time, and for more than 20 years, I was a local television news anchor/reporter at WMAR-TV in Baltimore. If you want to check it out…You can find my YouTube Channel. Now, I’m basically producing stories in very much the same way as any broadcast news organization…Except these stories are all about wonderful kids who have Autism. I like to call them “SPECtacular Kids” on the spectrum!

Real Look Autism is, first and foremost, a visual resource. RLA will be funded through sponsorships and contributions. We are not directly fundraising or selling a particular product. Real Look Autism is a non-profit organization and we are open to many avenues of support.

Please contact us at and sign up for our e-mails…that way you’ll know when we post a new video. We look forward to your comments and mostly look forward to hearing your stories. Real Look Autism-growing up on the spectrum…you tell us something that’s working for you…and we’ll show everyone else."

Financial Divorce Planning with Steven Bryant, CDFA®

The Special Needs Connection & Caring For Aging Parents 

Here is the focus of what Mr. Bryant, CDFA® at SYNERGY DIVORCE SOLUTIONS can help you with:


Divorcing spouses usually have plenty to disagree about; money shouldn't be one of them. Divorce settlement agreements come down to numbers, and the numbers don’t lie. They can be analyzed to determine how fair or unfair any settlement offer would be.

That’s why divorcing spouses should seek the guidance of a financial professional experienced in divorce settlements. While attorneys are essential to the process, they generally do not possess the financial skills to assess the short & long-term consequences of the divorce settlements they help negotiate."

Learn more about the company and how they can help you on their website below!

Team Up For 1 with Charlie Levine

The Special Needs Connection Podcast

"Illness has no off season, no matter the outcome we know the game is never over. The Team Up For 1 Foundation (TU41) mission is to enhance the quality of life for children (and their families) with developmental disabilities, chronic and life threatening illnesses. TU41 engages the sports world by matching children with teams from every competitive level – college, high school and professional. Through MVP Ceremonies, team activities and endless TU41 programs – children and families leave behind their heavy burden and receive support and compassion to improve their quality of life. TU41 offers programs supporting parents and siblings as part of caring for the child."

Check out more great information and resources on their website below. See what this amazing non-profit is doing to make a strong impact in the special needs community!

Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding with Cathy Schmidt

Special Needs Connection Podcast


Cathy Schmidt
Founder andExecutive Director

PATH International Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor
and Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning


"Established in 2003, CTR’s mission is to “encourage healing and celebrate life with individuals and groups whose minds, bodies and spirits will benefit from the transformative connection between people and horses.” CTR’s certified staff and trained volunteers are dedicated to serving individuals and groups through customized, innovative programming that occurs year-round."

Check out more about Cathy and her team on their website!

The Medicare Map with Joanne Giardini-Russel

Caring for Aging Parents Podcast 

Check out Joanne and the rest of the team over at The Boomer Health Group as well as their blog that answers a lot of frequently asked Medicare questions. Medicare can be tricky and Joanne does a great job and breaking down the details and making it easy to understand.

Oak Crest Village: Importance of Community

Caring for Aging Parents Podcast

Read more about Oak Crest on their website: and you may contact Cara Miranda using the information below!

Relationships mean everything to us. Oak Crest is in the business of cultivating meaningful relationships with residents, staff, and family members. We value a diverse and caring workforce and strive to create an environment of teamwork and communication in all that we do.

Here are the values we live and work by:

  • Integrity, so that we may continue to be the most trusted and respected name in retirement living.
  • Responsibility and ownership of the work we create.
  • Diversity of thought, experience, and background.
  • Excellence in everything we do.
  • Respect and caring for our co-workers, our residents, and our community.
  • Teamwork to promote great thinking and extraordinary growth opportunities.
  • Friendliness and enthusiasm in the way we work and interact with each other and those we serve.

Veterans (VA) Benefits with Britt Stouffer

Caring For Aging Parents Podcast

This is Britt's second time on our podcast! She runs an excellent practice focusing on estate planning. Check out her podcast on gun trusts below as well as a link to her webiste at the bottom when you get done learning about VA Benefits.

Podcast: The basics of gun trusts 

Britt L. Stouffer is a Maryland attorney experienced in Estates, Trusts, and Elder Law. With over 10 years of experience in Estates and Trusts, she has learned to appreciate how unique each client truly is. On a typical day, you will find her working on Wills, Revocable Living Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives, Tax Planning cases, Estate Administration filings, Petitions for Guardianships, Special Needs Planning, and Asset Protection.

Check out more about Britt on her website where you can also request a free consultation:

Getting Out of Credit Card Debt / Budgeting

This video is for anyone who overspends using their credit card. Getting out of credit card debt 💳 isn't easy. A few tips: be Selfish , Disciplined 😐 and Determined 😠 when it comes to your debt. Really buckle down 🗜️ and make some changes. It is just how you have to be for now. Make a schedule 📆 so you can see the light 🔦 at the end of the tunnel and know its not the train 🚂..

College Savings (529) Plans

College Savings (529) Plans 📚 🎓 - Start Investing Early!

The biggest benefit of using a College Savings 529 Plan is the tax-free growth which is why it is so important to start investing early. The combination of compounding and tax-free growth has your money 💲 working really hard for you. As long as you spend the money on qualified education expenses the withdrawals are not taxed. Below you can find the link that leads to the IRS' Q&A page for 529 Plans to get some more of your questions answered. If you have an additional questions just message me or comment below.