Category: Coaching

Episode #105 | Executive Function Q&A with Becky Gardner

Episode #105 | Executive Function Q&A with Becky Gardner

In this episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild we are joined again by our friend Becky Gardner of “A Life of My Own” Executive Function Coaching. Several parents have also joined us to ask her questions about executive function as it relates to their own children.  Listen in and learn along with our parents, some strategies to help launch our children successfully!

Episode 99 | Lack of Motivation

Episode 99 | Lack of Motivation

This week we are joined again by Becky Gardner, Executive Function Coach at A Life of My Own. We previously discussed finding and maintaining motivation for your loved ones with autism or other special needs (See Episode 89-Motivation)to help them set and achieve goals.  In this episode we take the conversation a bit deeper and discuss the reasons they may be getting stuck and how that is not a reflection of their motivation, and more so a manifestation of their frustration. Listen in to learn strategies for determining what is holding them back from making progress and how to get “un-stuck”


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 and we would be happy to get you in contact with them!

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,

FB/Insta/Youtube/Twitter/TikTok @autismchoseme

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.


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),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.


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

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

Episode 80 | Receptive, Expressive, and Body Language

Episode 80 | Receptive, Expressive, and Body Language

On todays episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild Podcast we are joined again by Alecia Weeks of Niche Therapy.  She is the current speech therapist for Holly’s son Caleb.  Alecia brings a wealth of knowledge to the table as we discuss Receptive, Expressive, and Body language and what barriers may be keeping your child from reaching their communication goals.  We discuss the semantics of language disorders, and how therapy can benefit your child and help them to reach those communication goals.
  • Here is a link to the social thinking website. It is a great resource for providers and parents for helping build pragmatics.
  • Duffy, J. R. (2013). Motor speech disorders: Substrates, differential diagnosis, and management. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
  • The Out of Sync Child: available anywhere books are sold: AMAZON LINK
About Alecia with Niche Therapy:
Insta@ nichetherapyllc 
Episode 76 | Masking & Bullying

Episode 76 | Masking & Bullying

On today’s episode we talk with executive function coach Becky Garder of “A Life of My Own.” We discuss the common defense mechanism many people (including the autistic population) use to “fit in,” known as masking.  Or the idea that if you change or “mask” your identity in order to fit in with those around you. Masking can make social interactions less painful/tense. Although this method can seem to help in short periods of time, the long term affects are disastrous to self esteem.  Today we discuss with Becky, what masking is, what it looks like, and how to redirect to avoid burnout.


Blog describing Autistic Burnout that was read part of in the podcast:
Autistic Exhaustion”
by Rhi (July, 17, 2019)
All posts found here:
This article showcases how autism can be seen through another, strengths-based/neurodiversity, lens

Uniquely Human (A Different Way of Seeing Autism) – July 1, 2016

by Barry M. Prizant

And, btw, this book is a great Xmas gift for people!! Just saying…..😏

Episode #74 | Station Visits

Episode #74 | Station Visits

On today’s episode we discuss the ISAAC Foundation Station Visit program.  We are joined by Lt. Matt Cowles of the Spokane Police Department, and Lt. John Goodman of the Spokane Fire Department. Joined by Holly of the The ISAAC Foundation, this group helped to create the Station Visit program that generally takes place every other month at both a Spokane, and Spokane Valley fire station (big thanks to the Spokane AMR first responders for their contributions as well!).

We discuss why the program was invented, the curriculum that is covered, and we share some fun anecdotes from past visits. If you have a loved one impacted with autism or other special needs this program is pivotal in creating safe perceptions of emergency personnel in case the day comes where they need to interact.

Episode #70 | Unexpected Wins in Virtual Learning

Episode #70 | Unexpected Wins in Virtual Learning

In this COVID-19 world we live in we are forced to accept a lot of “new-normals.” One of the challenges that affects a lot of our families is online schooling.  Online school has been tough for a lot of us, but despite the issues we are looking to discuss hidden little gems of wisdom we have learned over the past few months.  Hidden inside the uprooted schedules, changes in scenery, and endless questions presented to the parents who are now teacher aides…we have found MANY unexpected “WINNING” moments.  Listen in as Holly, of the ISAAC Foundation, discusses these bright points with a few parents of children with special needs.


Healthy Body Solutions

509-724-8980, Hours: 7:00am-5:30pm Monday – Friday

Healthy Body Solutions Spokane – Home Page

Episode #65 | Music Therapy with Carla Carnegie, MT-BC

Episode #65 | Music Therapy with Carla Carnegie, MT-BC

There are so many therapy options available for our children with autism. Over the next few months we are will be interviewing local providers that offer each of these services to give you a better understanding of what each of these therapy options are and how they can benefit your children.

In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild we are delving in to Music Therapy with Carla Carnegie of Willow Song Music Therapy in Otis Orchards, WA.

About Carla

Carla is the primary manager and therapist for Willow Song Music Therapy Services. She is an experienced board-certified music therapist as well as a musician. She is trained on the violin, accordion, guitar, piano, percussive instruments, as well as vocals.

She has extensive experience working with older adults, individuals with neurologic disorders, individuals with mental illness, and military veterans. Carla holds high standards for the practice of music therapy and has based her work on the latest evidence-based techniques.

Carla received her degree from Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon with her Bachelor’s of Music in music therapy. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Music & Composition degree from Whitworth University in Spokane WA. She completed her 7 month clinical internship with Earthtones Music Therapy Services of Portland.  She has recently completed her Neurologic Music Therapy training. Carla, wife and mother of 4 grown children, resides in Otis Orchards, WA and is dedicated to providing Music Therapy services to individuals and organizations in the Inland Empire area.

Beyond her experience as a Music Therapist, Carla is an active composer and is dedicated to her community. She serves as a pianist at two local churches as well as at the Brighton Court Assisted Living facility. She volunteers for VASA Lodge and is an active member of St. Andrew’s Society and Spokane Folklore Society. She is also a member of the band Crooked Kilt, a celtic band, where she lends her violin and accordion playing talents.

Willow Song Music Therapy

E. 21101 Wellesley, #102-103, Otis Orchards WA 99027

Phone: 509.592.7875

In addition to Music Therapy Services Willow Song Music Therapy offers:
  • Adaptive music lessons including: piano, drum, guitar, voice
  • Family drumming experiences/ general music experiences
  • Drums Alive! a unique full body workout using drumsticks on large body balls to music

Please check out this video detailing a functional mri that shows just how much your brain responds to music to understand visually the impact of music on your brain.