Episode 98 | My Life on the Autism Spectrum, Tracey Cohen

Episode 98 | My Life on the Autism Spectrum, Tracey Cohen

Today we are very excited to introduce our listeners to a truly inspirational self advocate, Tracey Cohen.  Tracey reached out to us to share her resources with the intent to educate and inspire individuals, families, professionals, and anyone willing to learn about Asperger syndrome/autism. She wants to share her story to prevent others from the hardships and pitfalls of her past. We asked her to be on our podcast and share her story and we are so glad to have made this connection. Listen in, and we are sure you will be just as captivated with her and her story as we are!

About Tracey:

There have been many misunderstandings in Tracey’s life. The most impactful misunderstanding was learning she was on the Autism Spectrum at the age of 39. A lifetime of feeling unheard and misunderstood suddenly had a name and a reason. Since her diagnosis Tracey has continued to study and learn about her diagnosis and how it influenced the choices that were made for her growing up.

Tracey currently helps facilitate a non-profit meetup group for adults on the spectrum, this group is based out of Michigan, however, all events are currently online so are available for anyone on the spectrum to take part in.

She has also written and published three books, all which can be purchased in print or audio/kindle.

Finally she is featured on the website: Growing Up Autistic where she shares her story, accolades, and links to her work.

To reach Tracey directly please email: tracey@growingupautistic.com

Episode 97 | Launching Adult Children

Episode 97 | Launching Adult Children

In this episode we are joined by two moms that both have young-adult children that are preparing to launch towards independence. Phara has a 23 year year old son and is currently preparing for their second-attempt at launching her son into independent living. Gerriann has an 18 year old son who is just graduating high school and will be continuing in the school system through a transition program.

We discuss with each parent the issues they are facing, the barriers to employment/living situations they are encountering, and the programs they have been utilizing to make positive progress. We also have a conversation about the needs of the parents and the importance of finding a support network and planning for the future.

If you have questions for any of our guests, please feel free to email us at hello@theisaacfoundation.org and we would be happy to get you in contact with them!

Episode 96 | Creative Ways to Administer Meds

Episode 96 | Creative Ways to Administer Meds

Do you have a child that just hates taking their medication? Then this is the episode for you!  We are joined by Amanda Hansen, a local special needs mom and friend to the ISAAC Foundation, to discuss the creative avenues she has found to administer medication to her son Trevin.  Listen in to learn some of the tricks she and Holly have learned over the years and laugh along with these mom’s as they discuss the trials that did not end so well.

Episode 95 | Vaccination Schedules

Episode 95 | Vaccination Schedules

Did you vaccinate your child along a traditional vaccination schedule? We chat with a few special needs moms in this episode that have varying views regarding vaccination. We discuss how they worked with their doctors to protect their children from disease in a way that was most comfortable for them and their children. We also dissect information from both sides of the vaccine debate and dip a toe into the controversial topic of Covid-19 vaccines. Listen in to hear the decisions these parents made to ensure their children meet public school vaccine regulations, stay safe from disease, and how they handle the criticism of others with differing views.

Episode 94 | Sabita Finds Her Voice: Advocacy for the nonverbal

Episode 94 | Sabita Finds Her Voice: Advocacy for the nonverbal

This week on ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild podcast Holly is joined by an amazing mother, entrepreneur, and advocate for the nonverbal community, Dr Stephanie Vavilala.  We were honored to zoom chat with Dr Stephanie about the amazing facility she is opening as well as the services she is currently offering in St. Augustine Florida through her LMH practice Therapeutic Expressions and her nonprofit organization Sabita Speaks. Listen in as we discuss important programs that have been created to fill the many gaps in special needs care across the country and the release of Dr. Stephanie’s book, Sabita Finds Her Voice which serves as a flagship for educating the youth about AAC Speech Devices and how they can better bridge the gap between the verbal and non-verbal populations.
Dr. Stephanie Vavilala, Ed.D, LMHC, BCBA, RPT-S is the CEO and founder of Therapeutic Expressions and Awetism Wonderland (an autism therapy center), as well as the author of the children’s book Sabita Finds Her Voice. She is the mother of a daughter who has autism and is non verbal, Sabita. Stephanie’s daughter inspired her to become a leader in the space of special needs. Her therapeutic style is holistic, empowering, and action-oriented. She and her daughter reside in St. Augustine, Florida.
Episode 93 | Therapy Interventions, a self advocate’s take

Episode 93 | Therapy Interventions, a self advocate’s take

Welcome to another episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild.  This week we are discussing therapy interventions.  While we have discussed many of these interventions at length in the past we have a unique viewpoint we would love to share.  Gillis Williams, aka “GW” is joining Holly again to discuss his view of the therapy interventions he received as a child. They discuss which interventions his family sought out and which were the most beneficial and enjoyable from his viewpoint.

 

Follow GW on social media at: Autism Chose Me, info@autismchoseme.com

autismchoseme.com

FB/Insta/Youtube/Twitter/TikTok @autismchoseme

Episode 92 | Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Episode 92 | Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

This week on ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild, Holly is joined by three special needs parents and they are discussing the fights that just aren’t worth fighting. These are the tasks that at one point in their life were worth an argument, but now in hindsight, were not worth the time/energy invested.  We discuss topics like wearing appropriate footwear, screen-time, and dinner table etiquette.

Huge thanks to our new podcast voice, Nicole, who shared a gem of wisdom with us “Don’t accept criticism from someone you wouldn’t ask for advice” this sentiment was a great voice of reason while discussing the constant criticisms special needs parent’s tend to find themself surrounded by.

Episode 91 | Self Advocate, GW of Autism Chose Me

Episode 91 | Self Advocate, GW of Autism Chose Me

Today we are joined by Gillis Williams or GW of “Autism Chose Me.”  GW is an incredible self- advocate for persons affected by autism spectrum disorder.  Listen in as we discuss the controversy between the “light it up blue” and “red instead” movements and discuss how both missions have impactful goals that are beneficial to the autism community.

About GW:

When I was five years old, I was diagnosed with autism. From grade school to high school issues I had included listening problems, struggles following directions in class, and repetitive behaviors such as flapping my hands and repeating random words or sentences. I also struggled making friends because kids in school didn’t understand my behaviors. Even my teachers, who tried to support me in all the ways they could, didn’t understand me either. However, with my supportive family at my side, we worked TOGETHER to get me help. They placed me in occupational and music therapies in grade school that assisted kids with disabilities, and also with hard work and dedication, I have become a successful speaker and entrepreneur, something that scientific research 15 years ago stated that hardly any autistic individual would have been able to accomplish. Most importantly, I have made friends along the way that understand me and support me. Without my family and friends for support, I would not have had any helpers throughout my life to “HELP” me overcome and accomplish! As the great Mr. Fred Rogers stated, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Social Media Advocates to look up:   @paigelayle   @reberrabon_bon @blackautisticking   @raincloud.heart   @resident_cryptid   @autistic.alex @evelyn.jeans   @lafilledani   @autienelle

Follow GW on social media at: Autism Chose Me, info@autismchoseme.com

autismchoseme.com

FB/Insta/Youtube/Twitter/TikTok @autismchoseme

Episode 90 | Dirty Looks in Public Revisited

Episode 90 | Dirty Looks in Public Revisited

One of our most downloaded episodes of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild has been our “Dirty Looks in Public” recording.  It seems that no matter where you are in your autism journey, you have a story to share about that time you were in public and felt the shaming glances from strangers, judging you and your parenting abilities.  It is inevitable, and it is one of the worst experiences as a special needs parent. Today we are joined by a new panel of parents and talking about all of those cringey moments, how we dealt with them in the moment and how we would like other’s to respond when we are in a moment of meltdown at Target.

Episode 89 | Motivation

Episode 89 | Motivation

In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild, we are joined again by Becky Gardner, Executive Function Coach at: A Life of My Own to discuss motivation.  Finding and maintaining motivation is a tricky task in a nuerotypical brain–so for our loved ones on the autism spectrum we have to really dial in to determine which means of motivation will be successful.  It is a process and can be discouraging, however the benefits to finding a sustainable intrinsic motivation can be life changing.

References:

Self-Determination Theory of Motivation: Why Intrinsic Motivation Matters

Courtney E. Ackerman, MA., 2-15-2021 (Synopsis of Ryan and Deci’s work on Self-Determination Theory and Intrinsic Motivation)

https://positivepsychology.com/self-determination-theory/#:~:text=It%20posits%20that%20there%20are,in%20the%201970s%20and%201980s.

 

Drive. By Daniel Pink (book)

Key Concepts-

– Autonomy: “Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” Control is by others, from outside (extrinsic motivators) – in some situations this leads to compliance but does not lead to desire. Autonomy is from within (intrinsic) – by definition it leads to a true desire to engage with the activity.

– Mastery: “One source of frustration … is the frequent mismatch between what people must do and what people can do. When what they must do exceeds their capabilities, the result is anxiety. When what they must do falls short of their capabilities, the result is boredom. But when the match is just right, the results can be glorious.”

– Purpose: “Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self‐determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”

 

TED Talk: “The Puzzle of Motivation” By Dan Pink

Although used in a different context, the science is valid and the research applies.

https://youtu.be/rrkrvAUbU9Y

 

Executive Functioning  –

Smarts: Are We Hardwired for Success? (Book) by Chuck Martin , Peg Dawson, Richard Guare

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (Book) by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

 

Collaborative Problem Solving –

> Rethinking Challenging Kids: Where There’s a Skill There’s a Way, Stuart Ablon https://youtu.be/wgNpGThLl2U

Changeable: How Collaborative Problem Solving Changes Lives at Home, at School, and at Work (Book) by J. Stuart Ablon