Mary Susan is the host of the popular Mama Bear Podcast, a writer, a nearly textbook Tauras, and a firm believer in (basically) doing whatever you want. Welcome.

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Mary Susan is a native Tennessean who has been having a helluva good time since her arrival at Baptist Hospital in the late Spring of ‘84. She is the host of the popular Mama Bear Podcast- a space she created for fellow women raising kids with special needs. She is married to singer/songwriter Sean McConnell and is the mother to their 8 year old Ghanaian beauty, The Magical Abiella. As a former middle school teacher, she has her Master's in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment and her Doctorate in Special Education. In her spare time she likes to work in her pottery studio, stalk the Carter Family on Instagram, and dance like everybody's watching.

Mary Susan’s mission in both her writing and her podcast is to help women around the world hear other people say the things they are already feeling. As the mom to a child with profound special needs, she knows the power of connecting with other people who get it. The world of special needs parenting can be both isolating and overwhelming. It is Mary Susan’s mission to help women feel seen, breathe deeper, acknowledge their innate badassery, and approach their lives with a sense of bravery, excitement, and perhaps a little bit of humor.



The Mama Bear Podcast is a place Mary Susan created for women who are (also) raising kids with special needs, to come together, chat about their lives, and share the behind the scenes of their very unique worlds. Conversations are fun, exceptionally honest, and may require headphones (adult content warning.)

“Mary Susan, her guests, they are the people I’ve (you’ve) been searching for. The level of authenticity has given me such a push to get through these often isolating days as a special needs parent.” iTunes Review.



The Dream Team Coloring Book is a free resource that aims to celebrate the magic of all children and the joy of inclusion. When Mary Susan’s daughter was in preschool, it suddenly dawned on her there were no activity books in the house that represented life in the way she experienced it. Wanting her daughter to see herself in literature, she began making this book (with the help of an illustrator). She hopes your kids will love it, see themselves in it (regardless of whether they have special needs or not), and have a fun jumping off place to ask questions if they see something that feels unfamiliar. It is a free download, so people can print it as many times as they want or even (depending on the device) upload it into an assistive technology device.  


“I want listeners to feel like they’re hanging out on my back porch, having a beverage of their choice with some good girlfriends.”

mary susan mcconnell