Category: Communication

Episode #110 | Gender Identity & the LGBTQIA+ Community

Episode #110 | Gender Identity & the LGBTQIA+ Community

In this episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild we talk to parents that all are raising both children on the spectrum and children that identify with the LGBTQIA+ community in some way.  We have seen a large number of our kiddos with autism questioning their own identity or genders as well as several of the neuro-typical siblings exploring their identities as well. We discuss this connection and determine if we feel these are attention seeking behaviors or simply valid self exploration. We also discuss the challenges of parenting these children-the process of switching pronouns/names, and dealing with the critical views of extended family or communities that are less accepting.

Episode #108 | The ABA Debate with Self-Advocate John Lemus

Episode #108 | The ABA Debate with Self-Advocate John Lemus

In this episode our host, Holly is joined by Self-Advocate John Lemus. John is an experienced Outreach Coordinator and has worked extensively in the non-profit industry, specifically in disability relations. John is a strong community and social services professional and a 2015 Graduate of Leadership Spokane. We are excited to have him, and his friend/ally/advocate, Katrina Boik on our show today to discuss the highly debated topic of ABA Therapy.
Over the past few years stories of abusive practices in ABA therapies have gained attention on social media, and as a result, a percentage of the Self-Advocate community are now fierce opponents to this and other therapies/interventions used to aid in behavior modification in children with autism and related conditions. Admittedly our panel has fallen on different sides of this argument over years as they have deciphered through stories/articles, learned about the current delivery of therapy methods, and determined if their sources were based on fact or misinformation.
Listen in to hear the evolution of beliefs for John as a self-advocate; Katrina as an advocate and disabilities professional, and Holly as the parent to children on alternate sides of the spectrum as well as a disabilities professional.
References from John:
These two books are responsible for changing me from a bulldog advocate to a  more compassionate and empathic person who can see things from multiple viewpoints not just within my work but in life.
I think your wrong but I’m listening (a guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations)
by Sarah Steward Holland and Beth Silvers
These amazing ladies also run https://www.pantsuitpoliticsshow.com/
I believe I mentioned 12 steps to a compassionate life
by Karen Armstrong.

One last book that I’ve been pushing is: Divergent mind thriving in a world that wasn’t designed for you

by Jenara Nerenbeg who is a female autistic author

(this book is currently $1.99 on iBooks)
A really great blog post from my amazingly incredible BFF Katrina Boik https://soarbehaviorwa.com/inclusive-language/
Lastly I’ve been sharing this video from Simon Sinek with some autistics that talks about stop championing blunt honesty. It talks about how to adapt  and how to still be honest without being an asshole https://fb.watch/7udTXgeBNU/
Episode #107 | Autism & Siblings-Kelly’s Story

Episode #107 | Autism & Siblings-Kelly’s Story

This week on ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild our host Holly is joined by a VERY special guest, her daughter Kelly.  Kelly is 11 years old and has been raised in an “autism house” since day one.  Her older brother Caleb (13yrs) has ASD 1 and now through Holly’s recent marriage she has gained an 18 year old step-brother, Cooper, who is more significantly impacted.

On this episode we discuss what life is like as a neuro-typical kid in a home where autism is present.  As Kelly will divulge it is not all roses and sunshine, despite that, Kelly has a very optimistic view of her life and the challenges autism presents in general.  Kelly is a very kind, empathetic young woman that is a fierce advocate for her brothers.  She discusses the issues that have arisen as a result of autism, how she has dealt with those issues, as well as what she sees in the future for herself and her brothers with autism.

Episode #106 What NOT to say to a special needs parent

Episode #106 What NOT to say to a special needs parent

In this episode we discuss the cringe-worthy compliments we have received over the years.  Sentiments like “God gives special children to special people” and “You are such a great advocate for your child” are meant to be confidence boosters, but over time can grate the nerves of a special needs parent.  So listen in and hear some of the well meaning comments that have irked our parents over the years!

Episode 103 | Self Advocate: Sydney

Episode 103 | Self Advocate: Sydney

This week on ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild our host Holly is joined by Sydney. Sydney is a 27 year old self advocate that just relocated to Spokane from Alaska.  We cover it all in this episode: from her diagnosis as a child, to her career in Alaska, and now how she is settling in to life in Spokane. Sydney is an ambitious young woman with a strong sense of self and will be a great ambassador for self advocates in Spokane, we are happy to have met with her and look forward to collaborating with her again soon!

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”

References:

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 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 88 | Things we wish everyone knew about autism

Episode 88 | Things we wish everyone knew about autism

In this episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild we discuss thing’s we wish EVERYONE knew about autism. In our day-to-day as autism parents we are frequently coming in contact with people that just don’t understand our children. Often times a stranger will witness our child’s moment of anxiety-driven meltdown and make the assumption that the child is simply choosing to misbehave. On the flip side, a person may meet a child with high functioning autism and ask “What is his/her special talent?”  No matter how well intentioned there is a true lack of understanding regarding autism that directly impacts societies view on their abilities.  Listen in as we discuss the main issues these moms wish everyone understood about autism.

Reference:

Beyond Behaviors by Monda Delahooke, Phd