Category: Emotional Health

Episode #61 | Anxiety and its relationship to Executive Function

Episode #61 | Anxiety and its relationship to Executive Function

If you have a child with anxiety (neuro-typical or special needs), this is a podcast that you’re going to want to listen to.  Find out how challenges in executive function lead to severe anxiety.

Becky Gardner comes to A Life of my Own with a holistic, collaborative approach created from a unique and varied background.

  • With a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, which has its roots in purposeful, meaningful work to increase independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), she brings a student-focus and student-driven approach to this work.

  • Having a deep Social justice / Neurodiversity core belief system brings a focus of self-determination and self-advocacy. This was further developed during work at Bellevue College’s Disability Resource Center, determining individualized college accommodations for students with disabilities so that they may have equal access to course materials.

  • Operating from a strengths-based educational model brings emphasis in student empowerment and nurturing their belief in their own self-efficacy. This was developed / enhanced while working with Sara Gardner (no relation, autistic creator of the current Neurodiversity Navigators program), and from working in and around the Autism Spectrum Navigators program at Bellevue College since its conception, Becky was the adjunct faculty for the Executive Functioning course, and co-taught other courses including Self-Advocacy.

  • Having experience working through her own disability / executive functioning deficits, and having two neurodiverse adult children, brings an understanding of the day-to-day events and efforts that go with these experiences.

  • Working with college, high school, and middle school students at varying stages on the continuum of independence, brings rich and varied experience to this work.

A Life of my Own is the natural culmination of this prior work and life experience.

Becky is excited to offer her skills and experience to a wider group of young adults to improve their understanding of what ”adulting” / independent living looks like, and to assist with increasing abilities in necessary areas leading to independence – and their feeling of A Life of my Own.

A Life of My Own

 

Episode #59 | Sibling Spotlight

Episode #59 | Sibling Spotlight

This week we are talking with Roni, our Sibling Spotlight Facilitator at the ISAAC Foundation. Sibling Spotlight is a specially designed program for kids of all ages who all have one thing in common. They each have a sibling touched by autism or other special needs. The goal of the program is to provide a healthy support system and coping skills through fun and engaging activities that ultimately help them navigate this complicated journey. This is a monthly program, offered exclusively by the ISAAC Foundation, where young people come together in a fun and safe environment to interact with peers, mentors and program facilitators.

We are discussing the importance of sibling support and how to determine if your neuro-typical children are struggling with living  in an autism household.

To view details about our Sibling Spotlight program or to register your child for the 2020-2021 session visit the ISAAC Foundation’s site here: https://theisaacfoundation.configio.com/page/siblingspotlight

Episode #55 | Twelve areas of Executive Function (Part 2)

Episode #55 | Twelve areas of Executive Function (Part 2)

Becky Gardner joins us for another episode to walk us through all twelve areas of executive function and how they impact the success of our children.

As Becky shares, Executive Functions are complex, higher level of thought processes that allow a person to accomplish higher level tasks throughout their day. Everyone has them and everyone has executive functioning strengths and weaknesses. The different combinations of these make us unique and different in how we go about things.

In this podcast, we learn about all twelve executive function areas and how they impact our kids.

  • Self-Restraint
  • Working Memory
  • Emotional Control
  • Focus
  • Task Initiation
  • Planning/Prioritizing
  • Organization
  • Time Management
  • Defining and Achieving Goals
  • Flexibility
  • Observation/Metacongition
  • Stress Tolerance

Becky Gardner comes to A Life of my Own with a holistic, collaborative approach created from a unique and varied background.

  • With a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, which has its roots in purposeful, meaningful work to increase independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), she brings a student-focus and student-driven approach to this work.

  • Having a deep Social justice / Neurodiversity core belief system brings a focus of self-determination and self-advocacy. This was further developed during work at Bellevue College’s Disability Resource Center, determining individualized college accommodations for students with disabilities so that they may have equal access to course materials.

  • Operating from a strengths-based educational model brings emphasis in student empowerment and nurturing their belief in their own self-efficacy. This was developed / enhanced while working with Sara Gardner (no relation, autistic creator of the current Neurodiversity Navigators program), and from working in and around the Autism Spectrum Navigators program at Bellevue College since its conception, Becky was the adjunct faculty for the Executive Functioning course, and co-taught other courses including Self-Advocacy.

  • Having experience working through her own disability / executive functioning deficits, and having two neurodiverse adult children, brings an understanding of the day-to-day events and efforts that go with these experiences.

  • Working with college, high school, and middle school students at varying stages on the continuum of independence, brings rich and varied experience to this work.

A Life of my Own is the natural culmination of this prior work and life experience.

Becky is excited to offer her skills and experience to a wider group of young adults to improve their understanding of what ”adulting” / independent living looks like, and to assist with increasing abilities in necessary areas leading to independence – and their feeling of A Life of my Own.

If you believe your loved one would benefit from the expertise of Becky Gardner, she can be reached at

A Life of Your Own

 

Episode #49 | Descalation Strategies with Jeff Kalles (Lilac City Behavioral Services)

Episode #49 | Descalation Strategies with Jeff Kalles (Lilac City Behavioral Services)

Ever wonder why things seem to escalate so quickly at home right now? With routines and structure changing so radically during our Stay Home, Stay Safe order, I asked my friend Jeff Kalles (BCBA) from Lilac City Behavioral Services to join me to discuss some general concepts that might help parents navigate escalation at home.

You can find Jeff Kalles at Lilac City Behavioral Services. His clinic is located on the north side of Spokane at 318 E. Rowan Avenue. If you are interested in getting on LCBS’s wait list for ABA services, please click here.

If you enjoyed this podcast, check out our LIVE @ Lunch interview that Jeff Kalles on YouTube.

Episode #48 | If autism was curable, would you?

Episode #48 | If autism was curable, would you?

In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild, a group of autism parents join me to discuss this very emotionally charged topic: if you could cure your child from autism, would you? It was a fantastic discussion of parents respectfully sharing their thoughts and feelings on this sensitive topic. Our hope is that this podcast sheds light on both sides of this discussion and may help individuals who sit at one end of these two extremes to hopefully see the perspectives of those who live in the middle or even the other end of this debate. Our hope is that we can all grow in empathy and compassion of others within our autism tribe.

*This podcast is intended to be a respectful discussion. Rude and hurtful comments will be removed out of respect for our guests who were brave enough to openly share their perspective in this podcast.

Episode #46 | Dealing with explosive language and behavior

Episode #46 | Dealing with explosive language and behavior

This is a jam packed episode filled with amazing content. The first half is a group of parents who joined me to tell us how they deal with explosive language and behavior as well as ways we use self-care to decompress.

For the second-half of the episode, Roni Gross, special education teacher and Sibling Spotlight extraordinaire, shares with us:

Episode #39 | Should Parent’s Participate in Weekly Therapy

Episode #39 | Should Parent’s Participate in Weekly Therapy

In this unique episode, we virtually connected our guests (due to the need for social distancing) to discuss the pros and cons of participating in weekly therapy visits. In this episode, we talk about:

  • the benefits and potential gains when parents participate in weekly therapy;
  • the challenges associated with participating in weekly therapy;
  • how to keep partners/spouses involved in therapy when they work outside the home;
  • Using therapy time as self-care time;
  • What to do if your provider prevents you from participating in therapy.
Episode #37 | Loss of Adult Relationships After the Diagnosis

Episode #37 | Loss of Adult Relationships After the Diagnosis

The loss of adult relationships after an autism or other diagnosis is really not that uncommon. Since friendships are often forged based on common interests, hobbies, and kids, these connections can become fractured when our paths take a different turn after a diagnosis. In this podcast we talk about situations where friendships have ended and where new friendships have been formed. We also talk about defense mechanisms that might be in place to protect our hearts from hurt and rejection.

Episode #34 | Guilt of Working Parents

Episode #34 | Guilt of Working Parents

For years I have struggled with complicated emotions of whether to work outside the home to earn an income to help support my family and the added expense of raising a child with special needs versus staying home to be able to dedicate more time to my children and pursue additional interventions for my struggling child.  It was no surprise that there was a tremendous amount of parent interest in participating in this topic discussion. In this podcast you will hear different parent pro and con perspectives related to working outside the home as well as perspectives from parents who staying home to focus their attention on raising their children.

*this episode contains adult language.