The intention of this podcast is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the opportunity to be heard in everyday scenarios. The goal of the podcast is to cover topics specific to people with disabilities by talking WITH them, not ABOUT them.

This podcast is made possible by the support from Spread The Positive, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

You can listen to our episodes on Apple or Spotify.

This Week’s Episode Of WOA – It’s A Podcast

The intention of this podcast is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the opportunity to be heard in everyday scenarios. The goal of the podcast is to cover topics specific to people with disabilities by talking WITH them, not ABOUT them. 

This podcast is made possible by the support from Spread The Positive, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Listen to Season One on AmazonApple, or Spotify.

Episode Seventeen – We are wrapping up Season One today, with this episode about the INCREDIBLE Buchholz family! We could not have asked for a better season and start to the Waves of Awareness Podcast. We are so thankful for our co-hosts Trent (Spread the Positive), Matt-Man Moore, and Eric Wilson. Our hearts are full because of the stories shared by our guests, and we couldn’t be more thankful for their willingness to contribute to this platform.
The story revealed today by the Buchholz family is truly inspiring. Lindsey and Aaron Buchholz dive deep into their past with Waves and the journey it has been. They share the heart-wrenching experience of losing their son, Toby to SIDS at just 11 months old. The Buchholz’s were able to take their loss and create a beautiful foundation in honor of Toby, the Toby Project. Listen along as Matt shares his own stories of loss and offers his condolences to Lindsey and Aaron. Please show your support for the Toby Project at https://www.thetobyproject.com/

Episode Sixteen – On this week’s episode, Matt and Trent are joined by Staci Davis of Waves and Steven Komarnitski who recently opened a new inclusive kid’s gym in Franklin, TN. Join the conversation as we learn more about We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym, the journey Steven and his family took to open the gym, and how it’s making difference in the Middle TN community. We Rock the Spectrum is an inclusive gym that welcomes children of all abilities to play, learn, and grow together. To learn more about We Rock The Spectrum Kid’s Gym, visit https://www.werockthespectrumfranklintn.com/.

Episode Fifteen – April is Autism Awareness Month, so we brought in mom, Gigi Pentar to talk about her sweet daughter, Aurora. Hosts, Matt and Trent (Spread the Positive) talk with Jenn Choate (Waves Early Interventionist) and Gigi about the services her daughter received from Waves. Gigi opens up about how beneficial Jenn was in Aurora’s progress over the last year. Matt gets clarification on what exactly it means to go through Early Childhood Development with Waves.

Episode Fourteen – On this week’s episode, Trent and Matt learn about the non-profit, Backlight Productions. The organization was founded by Melissa Smith a few years ago. Melissa brought two of Backlight’s finest friends and participants, Christie and Jackie Thompson. From Cinderella to the Wizard of OZ to the upcoming musical, Shrek; these are just a few of the shows Melissa has been a part of. Christie talks about her very own original script, “A Dream Come True,” and what it was like to watch it come to life on screen, starring her sister, Jackie. Trent and Matt ask about the newest musical and how to get involved with upcoming shows! If you are interested in watching Shrek the Musical, please purchase tickets at the following link: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/62045

Episode Thirteen – This week we are joined by our co-hosts Matt “The Man” Moore and Trent Denson (Spread the Positive), and special guests Christy Webb and Emily Layton. We got to catch up with Matt and the world of Best Buy, reminisce with Christy and the years she has spent on the board of Waves, Inc., and learn all about the incredible work Emily does with the non-profit, Williamson County CASA. Emily is the executive director of Williamson County CASA. We talk about the importance of the volunteers/advocates that work directly with the children within the program. Matt kept the conversation going by catching up with Emily and asking her questions about her new job. Christy, Emily, and Matt went down memory lane and talked about when Emily worked for Waves!

Episode Twelve – In the studio this week, co-host Eric Wilson, Adam Finlan, and Trent Denson are joined by Craig, Kelly, and Samantha Campbell to talk about Cerebral palsy. March is Cerebral palsy awareness month.

Episode Eleven – On this week’s episode, we are joined by Kate Harris, an early interventionist at Waves, and her son, Hayden. Listen along as she tells her story about raising a child with Down syndrome, her family’s adoption process, and how she envisions a future for Hayden. Hayden participates a little early in the conversation. Co-hosts Matt, Eric, and Trent keep the conversation as they all get to know Kate and her story better.

Episode Ten – Today is World Down Syndrome Day! In celebration, we have a special release two-part episode! This episode starts with a conversation between Trent Denson (Spread the Positive), Ryan Rotundo (National Down Syndrome Society), Gina Wilson, Marci Cohen, and Staci Davis (Waves, Inc.). The group talks about the importance of World Down Syndrome Day, how you can get involved and shares some personal reflections of growing up with a child or sibling with down syndrome. Part two is the party! We have six individuals supported at Waves who have down syndrome come to the recording table to talk. You’ve met Matt, Eric, and Norris. Today you are introduced to Adam, Celia, and Ryan. They are a fun, sometimes rowdy, crew. Sit back and enjoy the special two-part hour-long episode. Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

Episode Nine – This week co-hosts Trent Denson (Spread the Positive) and Matt “the Man” Moore welcome a special guest– Matt’s mom, Sheila Moore! Sheila is the Executive Director of The Arc of Davidson County and Greater Nashville area. She shares the resources that are available to families, caregivers, and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Gina Wilson of Waves also joins the conversation as she and Sheila share their experience of having adult children with disabilities. Sheila and Gina shed light on the technological advancements in prenatal care over the last 30 years and how that has changed the trajectory of families welcoming a child with disabilities into the world. Spoiler, the advancements are amazing and have changed how society treats individuals with disabilities.

Episode Eight – This week we learn about a nonprofit in Williamson County that is providing a really awesome service to those with I/DD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) — AbleVoices. Jen Vogus with AbleVoices joins Johnny Sunshine, Matt “Man” Moore, and Trent Denson (Spread The Positive) to share about her journey to start a nonprofit that brings photography to everyone. Johnny Sunshine recently participated in a self-expression photography class with AbleVoices and he shares his experience. Listen along to learn more and see you can get involved. This episode was recorded in late 2021, so the group also shares holiday plans they have coming up. If you’re interested in learning more about the self-expression photography display email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Seven – Johnny Sunshine joins Trent Denson (Spread the Positive) to share what’s been going on in his world while highlighting some of the services he has received and participated in at Waves, Inc. Marci Patricelli Cohen, Adult Services Director at Waves, also joins to share news about Waves. John also tells us about a movie he’s recently watched. His review is spectacular, can you guess which movie he’s talking about? What do you think about a regular movie- review segment? Email us at podcast@wavesinc.com to let us know what you think!

Episode Six – We’ve got a music special for you today! Recently released artist, Sam Blasko, joins Matt and Trent in studio to share some of her music. Being a huge fan of music, especially country music, Matt understood the assignment and brought his guitar too. Listen along as Matt and Sam share their musical talents. You can find more of Sam’s music at https://open.spotify.com/track/0VcXqBW75fp8rEPQV5VBHt?si=23f6c98d891841f1 and https://music.apple.com/us/album/buying-houses/1607401244?i=1607401247

Waves, Inc., Waves of Awareness and Spread The Positive do not own the rights to music by the Judds or Bill Withers.

Episode Five –Matt “The Man” Moore is back this week talking to Trent Denson with Spread The Positive and Sharon Bottorff with The Arc of Williamson County. Listen along as they talk about all the resources available through The Arc and how Matt has contributed to the organization through his time on their board of directors. Matt also talks about his favorite subjects- music and sports. He shares his thoughts about football, both college and pro. Staci Davis with Waves joins the conversation to share some updates from the organization and plans for upcoming events. For more information about The Arc of Williamson County, visit https://thearcwc.org/. Follow the podcast on instagram @waves_awareness_podcast for behind-the-scenes content. This episode was recorded in late January and contains references to sporting events around that time.

Episode Four – Introducing Matt “The Man” Moore! He’s got a passion for being on the mic and sharing his life. Matt and Trent Denson of Spread The Positive talk with Brandy Blanton of High Hopes and Gina Wilson about early learning and the importance of the early childhood development. They also get the low-down on a new inclusive playground being built in Franklin. Listen along to see how you can support this amazing project. For more information about Ellie G’s Dream World, visit https://www.friendsoffranklinparks.org/inclusive-playground

Episode Three – This week Host Eric Wilson is joined by his mom and Waves Early Learning Director, Gina Wilson, along with Lance Jordan, Executive Director of Waves. Trent Denson with Spread the Positive helps with hosting as the group talks about disability etiquette and person-first language. Eric also calls out his first request for a celebrity appearance. Listen along to hear who is favorite super hero is right now.

Episode Two – Host Eric Wilson introduces Norris on this episode. Both receive services through Waves, Inc. and share with Trent Denson (Spread The Positive) some of their favorite topics like music and sports while sharing their thoughts on COVID. Alli Beth Harris of DIDD also joins the conversation.

Episode One – Welcome to Waves of Awareness. The podcast bringing the voices and personalities of those with disabilities to the community. Join host, Eric Wilson and Trent Denson (Spread the Positive) as they talk to Lance Jordan (Executive Director) and Staci Davis (Development & Community Relations Director) about the start of this podcast and the services available at Waves, Inc.

The intention of this podcast is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the opportunity to be heard in everyday scenarios. The goal of the podcast is to cover topics specific to people with disabilities by talking WITH them, not ABOUT them.

This podcast is made possible by the support from Spread The Positive, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Listen to Season One on Amazon, Apple, or Spotify.

Episode Ten – Jimmy Parnel is a self-advocate for Waves and a graduate of the Advocacy in Motion (AIM) program. Through training, education, and advocacy, AIM transforms lives and cultivates independence for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community. Jimmy has put in the hard work to have graduated from the program and has now provided himself with opportunities to obtain meaningful employment and sustainable income with his desired level of independence. Jimmy talks about the trainings he leads for AIM and how he receives income for doing so. Listen along as Lance, Matt, and Trent learn more about AIM and about Jimmy’s celebrity status in Fairview!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on this streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Nine – We have a very exciting episode this week! Kathleen Simcoe joins the podcast from Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum! Not only does she have an extensive job title but an incredible passion for our field. Listen along as Kathleen talks about her background in Special Education and Behavioral Analysis and how it led to her current dream career with Vanderbilt, making waves! Gina Wilson, Matt Moore, and Trent Denson (Spread the Positive) join us in this exciting conversation to talk about the overlap with Waves.

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on this streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Eight– TV star, Eric Wilson joins us this week to talk about his experience at Special Olympics 2022! Eric and Norris were featured on ESPN multiple times during their time in Orlando for the Special Olympics. Sadly, Norris couldn’t join us for the recording, but we are so proud of him for bringing home several medals for powerlifting. John Wilson joins us again to recount his experiences alongside his son and the enjoyable time they had together! Matt “Man” Moore catches us up on everything going on in his life and his plans to participate in the Special Olympics 2026!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on this streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Seven – We are so excited to have Laura Berry on this week’s episode! Laura is with the Tennessee Employment Pathways Project with Vanderbilt University. Listen along to hear about the difference she is making in the disability community through this research project. Gina Wilson takes part in the conversation and discusses her involvement with the project through being a mentor. Matt and Trent (Spread the Positive) catch up and learn more about the project as well.

Want to be a mentor or get involved? Please, check out the website https://employmentpathways.org/

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on this streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Six – We are so excited about this week’s episode! We sat down with Commissioner Turner from the DIDD office to talk about what’s going on in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Eric and Matt asked hard-hitting questions about superpowers, technology, and how he became the Commissioner of DIDD. Topics such as Pubix subs and the importance of diversity in the workplace were talked about, make sure to tune in. Our podcast wouldn’t exist without the grant from DIDD, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of this opportunity!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on this streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Five – Matt and Sam are back at it, again! This time they came prepared with music to sing and an idea for a song to collaborate on. We catch up with Sam Blasko and what she’s been up to with her music career since the last time she was a guest on the podcast. As you know, Matt is a huge fan of country music – he requested a sing-along with Sam this time around. Listen along as Matt and Sam share the mic to deliver more of their musical talent.

Are you a big fan of Sam Blasko? Of course, you are! Listen to her music at https://open.spotify.com/artist/3WrPj3JigN2gPIc2hFFbYu.

Listen to Cowboys Don’t Change at https://open.spotify.com/album/5I3F5XrX1yh9bLDVlG1B6K.

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on this streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Waves, Inc., Waves of Awareness and Spread the Positive do not own the rights to music by Lady A or Rachel LaRen.

Episode Four – This week we are joined by Graham Honeycutt from Tucker’s House. Matt, Trent (Spread the Positive), and Staci learned more about this incredible non-profit and Graham’s backstory that led him to this passionate career. Listen along to learn about the start of the non-profit and how it’s grown to be what it is today!


Tucker’s House is hosting a golf tournament on August 1st, at the Governors Club. If you’d like to support, please click on the following link to register!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on this streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Three – This week Trent (Spread the Positive) sits down with a couple of Waves board members. Christy Webb and Rebekah Zeitlin talk with Trent and Staci about their experience of serving on Waves board. We couldn’t be more thankful for their support and effort. Listen along to hear what it’s like to serve on a board for a non-profit!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on this streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Two – This week we catch up with Eric and his father, John Nelson. These two have qualified to participate on the Special Olympics Golf team, accompanied by another person supported by Waves, Norris! The boys talk with Matt about what they’ve been doing to prepare for the 10-day tournament in Orlando, FL. We also hear about what they are most looking forward to at the tournament! Matt reminisces with John about the times they trained together when Matt participated in the Special Olympics.

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on this streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode One– Waves of Awareness is back with Season Two! We are so excited for this season and what’s to come. We will have even more co-hosts and guest speakers this time around! Listen in as Eric and Matt talk about their favorite moments of Season One. Gina, Staci, Chris, and Trent (Spread the Positive) sit alongside Eric and Matt to discuss their favorite moments and what they are excited about, this coming season. Tune in and enjoy!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on this streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


The intention of this podcast is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the opportunity to be heard in everyday scenarios. The goal of the podcast is to cover topics specific to people with disabilities by talking WITH them, not ABOUT them. 

This podcast is made possible by the support from Spread The Positive, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Listen to Season One on AmazonApple, or Spotify.


Episode Eight – Rachel LaRen makes a surprise appearance on WOA this week to collaborate with Matt on another musical episode! We talk about all the exciting things happening in her life and the success of her recent EP, Cowboy’s Don’t Change. You’ll be able to stream her newest EP, the Cotton Candy Sky Sessions, on November 11th through any streaming service. Listen along as Matt & Rachel sing some of their favorite songs together!

Episode Seven – This week Waves of Awareness had the pleasure of sitting down with Matt “Man” Moore and his Best Buddy, Mason Shank! If you have been following along with WOA, you know the familiar voice of Matt Moore and you also know he is very involved with Best Buddies. We invited Mason on to talk about his 7-year friendship with Matt and how Best Buddies TN brought them together. Chris and Trent go down memory lane with these two best buddies and hear some incredible stories about their adventures together. Matt tells a story about the time he shared the stage with Brett Eldredge (see link below) through a Best Buddies event. If you’re interested in getting involved with Best Buddies, like Mason mentioned, please click the link below to learn more!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Video Footage of Matt and Brett Eldredge: https://www.facebook.com/bestbuddiestn/videos/10155013297856098/


Get involved with Best Buddies TN: https://www.bestbuddies.org/tennessee/

Episode Six – This week we have a surprise guest, invited by Beth herself! Meet Vera, roommate, and close friend to Beth. Chris and Trent sit down with Beth and Vera to talk about their longtime friendship and their time together at Waves. Chris and Trent talk more about Waves Residential Program and what that entails.

WOW – Chris sits down with one of Waves founding family members and longtime Waves participant, Roger Sullivan. Roger has been with Waves from the very beginning in 1973. As Waves approaches its 50th anniversary in 2023, we thought it would be fun to reflect with Roger! Listen along to learn more about him!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Five – This week we have a very exciting guest on WOA! Waves is happy to introduce you to Amber Ferguson from Camp Southern Ground! Amber is the Inclusion Director for this incredible non-profit organization. Chris, Staci, and Trent had the pleasure of learning more about Amber and her journey to becoming such an important part of such an important non-profit. Camp Southern Ground was started by Zac Brown with the intention that children of all abilities could grow and learn from each other while experiencing the magic of the outdoors. CSG is so much more than an all-inclusive summer camp, they are also a haven for children of family members serving in the military, as was as a respite for active and veteran service members. Listen along to hear more about everything happening with CSG and how to get involved.

WOW – Eric Part 2. This week we learn more about Eric and his passion for music. He tells the unbelievable story of how Johnny Cash taught him how to play the guitar!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Four – This week’s episode is all things early learning. This episode is full of pertinent information for any parent/caregiver looking for information on how to best support their child. Early Interventionists Gina Wilson, Jenn Choate, and Kate Harris join Eric Wilson, Johnny Sunshine, and Trent Denson to share more in-depth information about Early Learning and how developmental therapy works. The team discusses different developmental milestones parents/caregivers should look out for at different ages and how to seek support from TN Early Intervention System (TEIS). At Waves, developmental therapy (DT) can start as early as birth depending on the child. Services start with a referral through TEIS. Referrals can be made by doctors or caregivers. The team talks about what to look for in your child’s developmental progress, how to talk to your doctor, and how to approach the TEIS referral process. If a doctor decides to “wait and see”, our team suggests to “check and see”. Getting into the TEIS process and developmental therapy are free to the family.

In addition to discussing milestones and the referral process, the team also shares the progression of developmental therapy and how it has changed over the last 35 years. From a classroom setting to receiving services in natural environments, developmental therapy has become a support tool for parents/caregivers as much as it is for the children being supported.

This week on Waves on Wheels you get to meet Eric! Eric is a longtime participant of Waves and has incredible stories to share. This will be Part One of Two segments diving into Eric’s world and his love for country music!

Links discussed in this episode:
TN Early Intervention System: https://www.tn.gov/didd/for-consumers/tennessee-early-intervention-system-teis.html
TEIS Referral Form: https://stateoftennessee-cvlyz.formstack.com/forms/teis_referral
Extended Options Information: https://www.tn.gov/didd/for-consumers/tennessee-early-intervention-system-teis/extended-services.html

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Three – We are excited to introduce you to Megan Jayroe on this week’s episode! Megan is a powerhouse in the population we serve and the Program Director for Move Inclusive Dance! She has taken her passion for dance and teaching and combined them to provide an incredibly impacting activity for all abilities! This week we get to learn about the non-profit Move Inclusive Dance, located in Nashville and Franklin. They are an inclusive dance studio that empowers individuals of all ability levels to learn life skills through dance, using movement and music to transform their students’ lives. Listen along to hear about all the incredible things going on at Move! You can follow Move Inclusive Dance on social media– Facebook: @moveinclusivedanceInstagram: @moveinclusivedanceThis podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode Two – Waves of Awareness has a special announcement! WOA will be bringing Johnny Sunshine and Beth Hughes in as rotating co-hosts for Season Three! Matt “Man” Moore is pursuing his musical talents this fall by joining Backlight Studio’s Glee Club and sadly will be unavailable for most of the season. Waves is so excited for Matt and can’t wait to see him perform in the Glee Club! WOA is excited to introduce Beth and Johnny as more frequent co-hosts this season to bring different conversations to the podcast! Listen along to catch up with Mr. Sunshine and hear exciting new stories from Beth and the bombshell she dropped on us about Keith Urban!

Waves on Wheel is thrilled to introduce Ms. Vonda in this week’s segment! Vonda lives in Fairview and is a long-time participant of Waves. Vonda has an incredible personality and was excited to share stories of her time at Waves and to share a few of her favorite activities.

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Episode One – Welcome back to Season Three! WOA is kicking this season off with one of our favorite co-hosts, Matt “Man” Moore, and special guests Dana and Brent Bythewood! Waves has a long-time relationship with the Bythewoods; it all started when their daughter, Emily Hope, went through our Early Learning Program. We are so excited to have Dana and Brent on to share a piece of their story and announce all the exciting things they are a part of!  

Mark your calendars for upcoming events! You can support two incredible organizations on September 15th. Waves is hosting our annual fall fundraiser, Brews & Grooves at Curio Brewing Co. at 6:00 pm. Join us for our first-ever writers round, featuring Sam Blasko, Rachel LaRen, and individuals supported by Waves. Penn Station will be donating 21% of its profits from September 15th to the Extra Mile being put on by the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee (DSAMT).  

DSMAT organizes The Extra Mile to celebrate and support individuals with Down syndrome and their families and to promote understanding and acceptance of those with Down syndrome. The Extra Mile will be the largest Down syndrome awareness event in the state and their primary source of funding for their programs. Make sure to support team #Emily‘sArmy. This year The Extra Mile will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2022, at 175 Peyton Road, Lebanon, TN 37087, on the grounds of the Wilson County Fairgrounds.

Make a donation or sign up for the Extra Mile at https://www.ds-stride.org/theextramile

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

Links referenced in the episode – Season One, Episode 14. https://wavesofawareness.libsyn.com/

The intention of this podcast is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the opportunity to be heard in everyday scenarios. The goal of the podcast is to cover topics specific to people with disabilities by talking WITH them, not ABOUT them. 

This podcast is made possible by the support from Spread The Positive, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Listen to Season One on AmazonApple, or Spotify.


Episode Ten – Waves Early Learning Program isn’t the only program providing services to children 5 and younger with developmental delays and disabilities. There are a lot of really great organizations providing a myriad of services and The Children’s Center for Communication and Development at USM is one that deserves a highlight. Trent, Matt “the Man” Moore, Gina, and Staci talk to Sarah Myers, the Executive Director of The Children’s Center. Sarah shares her background and experience of working with children through speech language pathology and all the services available at The Children’s Center. She also briefly describes how TCC is nestled in The University of Southern Miss serving as an excellent recruiting and training facility for students in the College of Nursing and Health Professionals. Gina and Sarah share stories of working with “itty bitties” and helping their parents assist with the developmental process. Listen to learn more and give The Children’s Center a follow on their social media channels.

Links:

The Children’s Center: https://www.usm.edu/childrens-center-communication-development/index.php
The University of Southern Miss: https://www.usm.edu/
The Children’s Center Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheChildrensCenterUSM


Episode Nine – Vision Therapy, what’s that?

Vision therapy? We aren’t making things up! This is a service available through Waves Early Learning Services and we have Cara DeLap, Vision Specialist, on the mic to share what it is! Listen along as Trent and Matt learn more about vision therapy at Waves with Cara and Gina. As a newer service offering, a lot of questions are answered about how children with low vision or vision loss are supported through intervention. Cara shares signs that parents can look for in their child, and how to talk to a pediatrician about concerns over a child’s vision. While every child is going to be different in their treatment/therapy needs, paying attention and looking for those signals is important in a child’s development.


Episode Eight – Backlight Productions returns for another episode to share even more of their programs. This week is all about dance. Listen along as Matt, Trent, and Chris talk to Elise Horecka with Backlight Productions. Elise shares the history of Backlight as well as the journey that brought her to Backlight as a dance coach. Matt is currently in the dance class that is scheduled to compete later in April. Elise also shares about the many other classes available at Backlight that includes singing, theatre, playwriting, dance, stage production, and more.

Links mentioned in this episode:
Backlight Dance: https://backlightproductions.org/
A Dream Come True: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0332mOhK8dM


Episode Seven – WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY! March 21 is a pretty special day and we are here to celebrate! It’s World Down Syndrome Day and we have Eric Wilson, Matt “the Man” Moore, Norris, Gina, and Trent at the table to talk about it. The group talks about what 3.21 means and why today is day chosen for WDSD. The guys talk about their goals in life and get into their superpowers. Gina shares how the world is different for people with Down syndrome in comparison to 30+ years ago when Eric was born. She also shares some great information about how to support people in the community with Down syndrome or who are just different from you. Norris gives Gina a hard time (in a comical way) the whole time. Matt, Eric, and Norris have been friends for 30 years and it shows in how they interact with one another.  Listen along, you won’t regret it. For more information on World Down Syndrome Day, visit https://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/  


Episode Six –  WOA, we’re turning 50! This year is Waves’ 50th Anniversary and we are here to tell you all about it. Join Trent (Spread the Positive), Matt “The Man” Moore, Beth Hughes, and Lance Jordan (Executive Director) as they talk about the festivities planned for the 50th Anniversary and how the organization has changed over the past 5 decades.

Matt has been active in Backlight Productions with their dance team, while Beth really enjoys tuning into their masterclasses available online through Waves. You can learn more about Backlight Productions here: https://backlightproductions.org/


Episode Five – We are so excited to introduce our listeners to Talisman Summer Camp! Waves of Awareness had the pleasure of sitting down with Haley Mitchell, Admissions Director for Talisman Summer Camp. This incredible summer camp provides exceptional programming for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, and similar Neurodevelopmental Disorders in a traditional camp environment. Based in Zirconia, NC, this camp offers activities designed to increase confidence, promote responsibility, and enhance communication and social skills, teaching problem-solving and conflict resolution through group discussions, modeling, and practice.

Listen along as Chris, Matt, Staci, and Taylor from Waves, Inc. interview the impressive Haley Mitchell! WOA is so excited to have made another connection with an extraordinary nonprofit, serving a similar population.

Links mentioned in the show:

https://talismancamps.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Scholarship-Application-to-camp.pdf


Episode Four – Another awesome episode of the Waves of Awareness podcast with the new President of the Board, Rebekah Zeitlin, and Johnny Sunshine. Listen in to hear all about what Rebekah is excited about being the incoming Board President and as always Johnny Sunshine brings all the energy and greatness!


Episode Three – This week we are joined by a very special guest, Markus Jones! Markus is the Sr. Director of Development & Strategic Operations for Riverside and a long-time friend of Staci Davis! Beth, Chris, Staci, and Trent are our co-hosts this week and discuss what services Riverside offers in Massachusetts.

Riverside and Waves have very similar missions, and both serve the population with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. We were extremely lucky to sit down with Markus and hear about the similarities and some different hardships of the two non-profits. 


Episode Two – This week Katy Clouse joins us for the podcast! Katy has been with the ARC of Williamson County for 20 years, and as of April 2022, she is their newest Executive Director. Join Chris, Matt, and Staci for a conversation about all the newest happenings at the ARC.

The ARC has a few save-the-dates coming up that you won’t want to miss!

  • February 23rd – Ventures
  • March 2nd – Future Planning Workshop 5:30 pm

Episode One – Welcome back, everyone! Waves of Awareness is back with Season Four and we couldn’t be more excited. We are kicking the season off with an amazing Christmas story and the tale of a beloved Waves hero.

Over the holidays, Middle TN experienced a sudden blast of cold, resulting in a little snow and a lot of ice. Many families experienced frozen pipes during the arctic blast. One of the homes operated by Waves was part of those experiencing frozen pipes. Listen along to how the day was saved by our very own Christy Webb in the middle of a flooded home.

The intention of this podcast is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the opportunity to be heard in everyday scenarios. The goal of the podcast is to cover topics specific to people with disabilities by talking WITH them, not ABOUT them. 

This podcast is made possible by the support from Spread The Positive, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Listen to Season One on AmazonApple, or Spotify.


Episode Ten – For the final episode of the season, WOA switches modes and becomes the movie review source you didn’t know you needed. We have folks from the Fairview Day Program, Jimmy Parnell and Hannah Rose, come down to join hosts Matt Moore and Trent Denson. In addition, Waves Early Learning Program Director Regina Wilson and her son Eric Wilson, who is a part of the Waves Employment Program, join the episode. Everyone sits down and reviews the movie Champions, starring Woody Harrelson. Champions released this year and tells the story of a former minor-league basketball coach who is assigned a court order to manage a team of basketball players with intellectual disabilities. We couldn’t think of a better team to review Champions than our Waves Adults who can offer an honest opinion on whether the film accurately portrayed the community of disabilities. Listen to Hannah, Jimmy, Eric, and Matt all give their reviews, sharing their favorite and least favorite things about the movie. Gina also offers her opinions having watched it from the perspective of a mother to a son with disabilities. She shares her hesitations and worries going into the film but ultimately loved the message and conclusion of the story (barring one exception). Trent goes over the plot of the film with the table and the whole crew decides the movie was a raving success! This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode Nine – This week on WOA we have the unique pleasure of bringing together Hippie Radio 94.5 Whit Hubner and Hannah Rose, who is a part of Waves Fairview Day Program. Hannah has a personal goal of being on the radio one day and what better way to facilitate that goal than to connect her with a radio expert? Whit and Hannah are welcomed by your host Trent Denson and co-host Matt Moore to explore what it looks like to get involved with the radio and the various joys that come with it. Whit shares his journey to radio, having started in sales before his boss suggest joining Hippie Radio. He spent 4 years with Hippe Radio before joining WMOT for 6 years. Just this past February Whit returned to Hippie Radio and currently produces the Sunday Night Vinyl Series with Bill Edwards at 9 pm. Hannah doesn’t miss the opportunity to ask Whit what he loves most about radio and eagerly listens to Whit’s advice on how to pursue the career. We wouldn’t be WOA without hearing from Matt “the Man” Moore on his passion for music. Listen along as the team talks radio, The Simpsons, and what we can look forward to next from Whit. 

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode Eight – You’ve heard him mentioned, you’ve seen him on our social media (@waves_serves), and now you can hear his story. This week we welcome Mark Israel (aka Izzy) on Waves of Awareness! Izzy recently joined the Employment and Community First (ECF) program with Waves and has already made a huge impact. In this episode we have our hosts, Trent Denson, Matt Moore, and Marci Cohen join the conversation and chat with Izzy about what led him to this career path. Izzy wasn’t always working in this field, he used to be a part of the music industry- on the road and making your sound dreams come true. He even shares his favorite memory from that time of his life (we dare you not to laugh), before diving into the deeper meaning behind why he joined Waves. Don’t miss out on Izzy’s impactful words and melodic singing voice. Waves is grateful to Izzy and all of our staff who make the time to commit to a great cause and community that needs support. 

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode Seven – As if WOA couldn’t be lucky with even more influential guests, this week we welcome one of our Tennessee State Representative’s, Sam Whitson onto the show. Whitson joins the table with Matt Moore, Christy Webb, and Lance Jordan to speak on his history and current journey as State Representative. Matt and Christy take the lead in asking Whitson questions covering his past jobs and what he loves about his position now. Having served in the army for 26 years prior to his role as State Representative, Whitson is passionate about the importance of serving your community and doing everything in your power to make a positive impact. We also get to hear from Lance Jordan and his experience in working with Whitson to help families in need of support for disabilities. Lance and Whitson speak on their own individual experiences with the Katie Becket wavier, having personally known families who were refused support prior to its establishment. Listen in to this impactful conversation and even hear the team speak about superpowers and Whitson’s own nickname for the House of Representatives.

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode Six – This week we have a special WOA edition you won’t want to miss. With part of the WOA team on vacation, we couldn’t think of a better host to take the lead and the mic than Matt “the Man” Moore! Matt hits us with life updates and takes us back to his personal favorite episode with WOA, Season 2 Episode 6 with Tennessee’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Brad Turner. This episode shares information on the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities and Turner’s personal journey to Commissioner. Join us in hearing from Brad Turner and don’t forget to share Matt’s Take Over with everyone you know!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode Five– Ever wonder what a parent’s experience is with Early Intervention? In this week’s episode of Waves of Awareness, you find out what that process is like with special guest Chelsey Herron! We are also joined by Waves Early Learning Interventionists Jen Choate and Kate Harris, as well as WOA regulars Christy Webb and Staci Davis. Christy and Staci come fully equipped with questions and allow Chelsey, Kate, and Jen to educate us on what Early Intervention truly entails. As a parent of a daughter with Down Syndrome, Chelsey shares what her journey has been like and how having Waves Early Interventionists has fostered growth for her daughter. Jen first began supporting Chelsey’s daughter and eventually passed the baton over to Kate Harris, who is currently supporting Chelsey’s daughter and cheering her on every step of the way. The two Interventionists share what Early Intervention means to them as they are given the honor of being let into homes and trusted with loved ones. Kate personally lets us in on how having a child with Down syndrome herself has strengthened her skills in the field. Early Intervention can often have a daunting experience but, as Chelsey shares, that fear has turned into overwhelming joy and fostered her desire to help others going along a similar journey. 

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode Four -This week is a special episode for Waves of Awareness as we invite Diane Giddens to share her history with Waves. Diane’s brother Jimmy Dean started receiving services from Waves in the 1980s. Before Jimmy passed away he was a force to be reckoned with, both with Waves and in his community. Beth also returns this episode and shares her own memories with Jimmy, having connected with him through Waves and gone through rehabilitation together. Diane reflects on how Waves allowed Jimmy to exceed expectations and foster connections. With Waves providing support, Diane remembers how her mother was able to have the time and space to care for herself, knowing Jimmy was safe and cared for by Waves. We also welcome back Christy and listen to her reconnect with Diane Giddens, the two were both on the Board of Directors with Waves. Listen in as Diane, Beth, Matt, Christy, and Trent go on a journey into Waves’ past and eventually find themselves in a celebrity standoff!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode Three – This week our hosts Trent, Gina, Matt and Christy welcome a special guest! Jim Littlefield is a fellow podcast connoisseur who most recently welcomed our Early Learning Program Director Gina Wilson on his own show.

This time he’s the one answering questions, as he dives into how being the parent of a child with special needs has shaped not only his home life but inspired his career focus today. Having a daughter born 1.5 pounds placed Jim and his wife in the world of Early Intervention and the support network that comes with that. Jim leads the @seeingabilitypodcast on Spotify and Facebook where he holds a conversation with people with disabilities and those who support them. Not only that, Jim is also currently working on a book centered around adults who have grown up with that disability and the parents that supported them.

With 63 interviews and counting, all this supports his main focus of getting people to see the ability and not the disability. We also get the chance to hear about Matt the Man Moore’s upcoming Fall production, Gina’s plans to keep her job this summer, and Christy’s position on the summer heat. Be sure to give us a rating on your podcast app if you haven’t already and share the show with a friend! Links mentioned in the show: SeeingAbility Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/7aT8LcGl6ndoo9ZnagP6ou?si=d5c93635f88e483a Podcast Cross-over- Gina visits

SeeingAbility Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/episode/12yV2VPCedTPxzNnAzqM7N?si=UAfmB1PtTGm4-onV04gAIg

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode Two -This week we welcome Hannah Rose to Waves of Awareness! It’s a full house on WOA this episode as Hannah speaks with Misty Bowker, the Program Manager for the Waves Residential and Day Services at Fairview. As well as our OG Matt the Man Moore and Marci Cohen, the Adult Service Director at Waves. WOA has the honor of being Hannah’s first experience behind the mic as she makes moves towards her goal of being on the radio one day! Listen in as the crew chats about Hannah’s love of the band KISS, Disney movies, and her time with the Day Program and Residential Services in Fairview. WOA may even be the birthplace of songwriting by Matt featured on the Hannah Rose radio. A future sensation? Listen to the full podcast to find out!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode One – Season Five has arrived! Welcome back to Waves of Awareness, your favorite Wednesday podcast. Our first episode of the season features Matt, Beth, and Christy as they kick things off with their summer plans. Matt shares details on his summer musical debut, Beth lets us in on her travel plans, and Christy inspires us all with her amazing work ethic. The WOA crew is excited to announce a few major Waves, Inc. events coming up this year with its 50th Anniversary celebration. Join us in listening as the team gives a sneak peek to what Season Five will bring you!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

The intention of this podcast is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the opportunity to be heard in everyday scenarios. The goal of the podcast is to cover topics specific to people with disabilities by talking WITH them, not ABOUT them. 

This podcast is made possible by the support from Spread The Positive, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Listen to Season One on AmazonApple, or Spotify.


Episode Ten – For WOA’s final episode, guests from the Residential Program, Day Program, and ECF Program gather around the mic to talk all things Thanksgiving. Trent, Matt Moore, Christy Webb, John Lynch, Beth Hughes, Waves Executive Director Lance Jordan, and Waves Development and Community Relations Director Stavi Davis start the show with Thanksgiving traditions. Listen to the group share who invested in the food and who’s there for the Thanksgiving parade. The group dives into past Thanksgivings together, having known each other for years through Waves. As the conversation goes through what everyone has planned for the holiday season, we also hear the table share what they’re most thankful for this year. Everyone has a special thanks for Waves and the 50 years that have been committed to providing inclusive and quality care to the individuals receiving services. Enjoy this week’s episode as family and community are at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.



Episode Nine – When it comes to treatment for Autism, WOA welcomes Jenny Baggett to share the best, current information for you to learn from. Jenny Baggett works with Vanderbilts Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD) as a Behavioral Analyst. Jenny is joined by Waves Early Learning Director Gina Wilson to talk about their many collaborations together over the years, having supported the same families and assisted their growth. Trent and Matt listen to Gina and Jenny discuss how research and treatment have evolved over the years for autism and how some of the treatments would be useful for anyone to use. Listen to Matt give life updates after his big Cinderella debut and what’s coming up down the line.

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.



Episode Eight – WOA heads to Fairview for this week’s episode and it’s a packed house! With Trent, Hannah Rose, Jimmy, Jeff, Eric, Adam, Paul and our special guest Debbie Rainey the episode is packed with conversation. Debby Rainey currently works for United Way in Fairview but first connect with Waves through Meals on Wheels, where she worked for 14 years. She regularly saw the Waves Fairview Day Program Adults volunteer there and built a bond with the group. Jimmy shares her connection with Debbie and how they’ve built a positive relationship through community outreach. The rest of the group shares there plans for Halloween with the Annual Fairview Halloween party around the corner! Hannah Rose shares her favorite shows on Disney Plus and even mentions a few pillars of society we all could take a note from. Listen to the full episode to hear everyone share the podcast spotlight!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.



Episode Seven – This week’s episode features a special event for the entire Waves family. This year marks 50 years of spreading awareness and supporting adults and children with developmental and intellectual disabilities for Waves. To celebrate the amazing community Waves supports, Waves hosted their annual Brews & Grooves Fundraiser featuring performances by Aaron Bucks and Waves Adults. Additionally, the event hosted an online auction with an amazing array of items for anyone to bid on and support Waves. During the event Waves of Awareness host Trent Denson set up and interviewed guests you’ve heard on the podcast and newcomers supporting the fundraiser. Listen to Trent enjoy conversations with everyone about their lives and their relationship with Waves!

If you would like to show your support for Waves, head to https://wavesinc.kindful.com/?campaign=1257617. Any amount goes a long way to support our adults and children and continue to serve the Waves mission to empower the individuals we support and create an inclusive community.

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.



Episode Six – Waves of Awareness can’t let October go by without a special Movie Review! This episode features The Addams Family (1991 v.) Movie Review with Trent, Matt, Christy, and Eric. Listen to the group talk about their thoughts on a classic Halloween movie. Trent asks the group who their favorite characters are, which scenes stood out, and if they’d recommend it to a friend.

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.



Episode Five – Halloween is around the corner and that means kids of every age will be out repping their best costumes. This week we welcome Waves Early Learning Director Gina Wilson and Waves Early Interventionist Jen Choate to help you prep your child for the experience! With host Trent and co-host Christy Webb, the group started off by sharing their own experience with Halloween. Gina and Jen remember prepping their kids when they were younger for talking with strangers, getting candy, and exploring the neighborhood! We hear Christy share her plans for Halloween after she finishes her shift at Goodwill, and also how she’s hit her 3 year with Goodwill this month. As we listen to the group share their stories we also hear the best way to prepare for Halloween is to practice! Gina and Jen give helpful tips on practicing scenarios with your child before the big night and going through several situations. Listen to the full podcast for details and share the episode with anyone who might find the conversation helpful! 

Want more examples of preparing for Halloween? Head to Instagram and follow the Waves Early Learning account @earlylearningwaves or follow us on Facebook at Waves, Inc. The Waves Early Learning team regularly shares helpful tips on countless topics that can be used for any child!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.



Episode Four – WOA has two celebrations to cover in this week’s episode, with Waves’ very own Matt “The Man” Moore celebrating his 34th birthday and Backlight Productions celebrating 10 years! The Executive Director of Backlight Productions, Melissa Smith, joins us and shares how Backlight has been offering opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to engage with the performing arts for 10 years now. This year they’re putting on their biggest production yet, “Cinderella”, with over 100 individuals performing and only half the time they usually have to put the show together. Matt talks about his own work on Cinderella as a dancer with 5 dance numbers throughout the play. Melissa and Matt have worked together on various shows for a while now and swap stories with WOA on their time together. Here to share her own memories with Matt, Waves Early Learning Program Director Gina Wilson joins the episode and tells us about her favorite birthday memory with Matt. Gina’s son Eric Wilson has also been a part of Backlight Productions and speaks on how Backlight brought out an entirely new side of Eric after he joined the production company. Enjoy listening to Matt, Melissa, and Gina chat about their favorite memories together and how Backlight Productions has empowered the community of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Cinderella’s first performance will be held on Oct. 22. For access to tickets head to: https://www.tpac.org/event/2023-10-22-to-2023-10-22-cinderella/
For more information on how to get involved with Backlight Productions head to: https://backlightproductions.org/

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.



Episode Three – This week WOA is providing you with the most brazen episode yet. Our host Trent welcomes coach Jason Jones to the table along with a few Williamson County Special Olympics Athletes- Norris Peterson, Eric Wilson, and Matthew Drumright. Waves provide various type of services to both Nooris and Eric and have had the pleasure of meeting Matt through their friendship. To add some more fun to the conversation, we have parent John Wilson on the mic. Listen to the group share their experience being a team that motivates each other as much as they tease each other. Jason stumbled into his role as Weightlifting Coach not knowing that it would be a life-changing experience. Now, 25 years later, Jason gets to work with an incredible community and focus on learning what motivates his team. As the conversation progresses Norris, Eric, and Matt find themselves swapping favorite stories and challenging each other to win. The trio have an unbreakable bond as they meet every Wednesday to train, take vacations together, and (even if they aren’t on the same team) find ways to push each other towards their goals. Norris shares about his own feature on ESPN, Matt talks about his upcoming game as the assistant coach, and Eric speaks on what it’s like to be a part of a team. Listen to the entire conversation and find yourself laughing with the whole room!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode Two – If you’ve ever been overwhelmed with the idea of volunteering and figuring out how to get connected, this week WOA sheds some light on the topic! Special guests from the Workman Group, Eric and Katie Workman, share their perspectives on volunteering and why it’s so important to the community. Eric and Katie are excellent examples of committing to helping their community, having volunteered with Waves in the past and continuing to set aside time for Waves. We also welcome John Lynch, aka Johnny Sunshine, onto the podcast to share what volunteering means to him. Eric and Katie have personally volunteered at John’s home a part of Waves’ Semi-Independent Living Program, helping John and his roommate William wherever assistance is needed. Eric and Katie speak on how volunteering keeps them connected with their community and allows them to actively support others without expecting anything in return. When it comes to giving back, Eric and Katie share that it doesn’t have to mean giving money- giving any time at all to help those in need of support makes an amazing impact on the community. Listen in to Eric and Katie share amazing stories and John share some life updates of his own!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.


Episode One – And just like that, Waves of Awareness is back with Season 6! WOA couldn’t be more excited to welcome you back and kick things off right with one of our partners at the Williamson County Animal Center, Molly Darr. Molly leads the Pawsabilities Program at WCAC, which partners volunteers with special needs with a mentor for 1:1 interactions with the pets at WCAC. Waves has been honored to partner with WCAC for Pawsabilities and create the training that spreads awareness to mentors partnering with volunteers with special needs. Molly was able to combine her three passions, teaching, animals, and volunteer work through Pawsabilities and support her community. Not only does Molly go in-depth on explaining Pawsabilities, but she also shares about WCAC and their amazing success of 95-97% save rate for animals who come to WCAC.

We wouldn’t be able to start Season 6 off right without Trent Denson, Matt “the Man” Moore, Eric Wilson, and Christy Webb joining the table! Christy personally has been volunteering at WCAC for nearly 2 years now and couldn’t wait to share her experiences with the animals at WCAC. Eric and Matt share what they’ve been up to during this off-season and their excitement for Waves’ Brews & Grooves event on September 21. Matt and Eric will be performing exceptional music in addition to a live performance by Aaron Bucks! Listen to the full episode and hear all the best details from Trent, Molly, Matt, Eric, and Christy.

If you’re interested in volunteering for Pawsabilities with WCAC, head to https://www.adoptwcac.org/258/Become-a-Volunteer and click “Contact our Volunteer Coordinator.” In your email be sure to mention the Pawsabilities program and someone from WCAC will help get you connected!

This podcast is made possible through partnerships with Spread the Positive, TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and the Community Foundation of Middle TN. If you like what you hear, share it with a friend and leave a review on any streaming service. Got an idea for a guest, email us at podcast@wavesinc.com.

The intention of this podcast is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the opportunity to be heard in everyday scenarios. The goal of the podcast is to cover topics specific to people with disabilities by talking WITH them, not ABOUT them. 

This podcast is made possible by the support from Spread The Positive, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and TN’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Listen to Season One on AmazonApple, or Spotify.


Episode One – This episode marks the start of season 7 for Waves of Awareness! To kick start the season, we welcome guests from both Waves Early Learning and Adult Services Departments to speak on goals.

Gina Wilson and Marci P. Cohen join the table alongside our host Trent Denson. Additionally, WOA welcomes Matt “the Man” Moore, Eric Wilson, Tripp Abney, and Christy Web! With the table packed, the group dives into their goals for the year and what they hope to work on in the coming months. We hear everything from work goals to personal health, as well as a few off the mic tips from our season 6 regular Izzy! Gina and Marci also share their personal goals as well as what the Early Learning and Adult Services Departments aim to focus on this year. The group chats about the importance of goals and how setting them gives us something to look forward to and focus on.

Enjoy the first episode of the season and let us know if it inspired you to add anything to your own goals!



Episode Two – What is a Holistic Approach and how does it apply to Adult Services and Early Learning?

This week’s Waves of Awareness episode welcomes back Gina and Marci from the Waves Early Learning and Adult Services Departments to discuss how a Holistic Approach can positively impact the individuals Waves supports. Waves Development and Community Relations Director, Staci Davis, leads the table alongside Christy Webb, Eric Wilson, and Matt Moore to shed some light on Holistic Approaches and how it is incorporated into the services Waves offers.

Learn about a person-centered approach to IDD and how looking at an individual as a whole can help them achieve their goals. Christy, Eric, and Matt share their own experience with Waves and what their favorite moments have been with Waves. Finish the episode by hearing our guests dream big and answer what everyone would do with Waves if money and resources weren’t an issue!



Episode Three – The Extended Option is offered by the Tennessee Early Intervention System to families who are eligible as a resource to extend the services they are receiving for their child with disabilities or developmental delays. This episode of Waves of Awareness welcomes Chelsey Herron to better understand what this means to families.

Along with Staci Davis, Gina Wilson, Matt Moore, and Eric Wilson, the group begins by hearing Chelsey’s story. Chelsey’s daughter, Hazel, received a diagnosis of Down Syndrome during pregnancy and began receiving services from Waves Early Learning not long after Hazel was born. Because of Covid, however, Hazel’s first sessions were done through a screen (as many families were during this time). By the time Hazel was able to transition to in-person sessions, there were still many goals set for her. 

Chelsey answers questions from Matt, Eric, and Staci on how the Extended Option benefited her and why her family ultimately chose the Extended Option for Hazel. Gina Wilson also chimes in with her perspective on the Extended Option from the Director’s position and witnessing how her family who has chosen this has benefited. Learn about the Extended Option in this week’s episode and hear life updates from Matt and Eric! 



Episode Four – Do you follow Waves Early Learning (@earlylearningwaves) on Instagram? If not, you’ve been missing the Expressing Emotions series created by Waves Early Interventionists. This week’s episode welcomes these authors Jennifer Choate, Gwen Valiquette, and Cheryl Vooris to talk in depth about the Expressing Emotions series. These Interventionists share why it’s important to teach children how to properly express their emotions and tips on how families can help them do this.

Hosts Staci Davis, Matt Moore, and Christy Webb ask questions on what to do when you are frustrated and how to help others express their emotions. Hear what Christy and Matt do to express their emotions healthily and what Cheryl, Gwen, and Jen have learned over their years as Early Interventionists with Waves.