Perkins School for the Blind Transition Center

“It’s Special” Podcast with Tracey Spencer Walsh, Esq. and Cecelia McCarton, MD

On their episode of "It's Special," Tracey and Dr. McCarton offer the following perspective to those who are connected to a child with autism: "You have been given a gift."

Tracey Spencer Walsh is the Founder and Chief Litigation Strategist of Spencer Walsh Law, PLLC and is also the creator and host of the podcast, “It’s Special.” The “It’s Special” podcast takes a vast amount of information in the realm of special needs – sometimes too overwhelming to sift through on one’s own – and breaks it down into bite-size, easily understandable, and relatable pieces for all to enjoy.

Over her last 25 years in the legal industry, Tracey has learned the litigation ropes in New York City “big law” law firms, honed her skills, and found success in Federal Courts litigating IDEA cases in her own practice; assisting families with special needs children to get the education they need and deserve.

Her passion for Special Education Law stems from her own personal connection to the field, having family members with autism and ADHD, allowing her to truly understand the struggles families experience. Tracey has dedicated her career to sharpening her vast expertise and successfully representing hundreds of families with children with autism, ADHD, mental health challenges, and a variety of learning disabilities. For her, there is nothing better than making a difference in a child’s life and helping families in need.

Dr. Cecelia McCarton, a developmental pediatrician, was a featured guest on the “It’s Special” podcast. In 1998, Dr. McCarton founded the McCarton Center for Developmental Pediatrics, a diagnostic and treatment center dedicated to childhood developmental disorders. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of The McCarton Foundation for Children with Developmental Disabilities, The McCarton School for children with autism, and the Children’s Academy for children with speech and language delays. Dr. McCarton serves as a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics (1988) and is a member of many professional societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Behavioral Pediatrics, Society for Research in Child Development, the International Neuropsychology Society, and the American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. A New York City native, Dr. McCarton received her BA from the college of New Rochelle and her Medical Degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

During Dr. McCarton’s episode of “It’s Special,” Dr. McCarton and Tracey discuss:

  • The criticalness of early intervention for children with autism;
  • How, culturally, people are more accepting of various paths to development and how that may push autism diagnoses under the radar;
  • The growing recognition of the prevalence of autism along with the tension surrounding whether autism is being overly diagnosed;
  • Why singing “Happy Birthday” may be a painful experience for a child with autism;
  • How “dysregulated” behaviors can be a form of self-protection;
  • The impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on children with special needs; and much more.

This episode of “It’s Special” illuminates how autism is a puzzle that has not yet been pieced together. But, despite all of the unknown that still surrounds the diagnosis of autism, Tracey and Dr. McCarton – two professionals exceptionally well-versed in the field of autism – discuss the ever-evolving autism diagnosis and the future of autism interventions.

For more information, please contact Tracey at and visit

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