Category: Emotional Health

Episode 86 | Birthday Parties During A Pandemic

Episode 86 | Birthday Parties During A Pandemic

It has officially been one year since Covid-19 restrictions have been part of our lives.  This means every single person has experienced a “Lockdown Birthday Party.”

Today our panel of special-needs parents are discussing hosting birthday parties when the traditional idea of a party is not allowed. What did they do for their kiddos on their special day?  What do they wish they had done? What has the pandemic forced us to learn about the traditional idea of a party?

Episode 85 | Building and Maintaining Self Esteem

Episode 85 | Building and Maintaining Self Esteem

We know that on the whole, our children on the spectrum receive many more corrections each day than a nuero-typical child. In a world of “don’t do that” and “it is better if you do it this way” it is hard to achieve a high sense of self esteem and maintain confidence in yourself.  We have discussed building self esteem in passing while recording other episodes but wanted a chance to discuss this topic as a whole.  So, we invited a panel of parents that discuss the challenges their children-on all ends of the spectrum have faced regarding growing and maintaining self esteem.

Episode 79 | Self Care During a Pandemic

Episode 79 | Self Care During a Pandemic

This week ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild checks in with a few parents to see how they are keeping sane during these insane times.  We are now over 9 months into the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss how our own self care looks as we have settled into the new normal.  We discuss alone time, sleep, hobbies, social media and more. We also explore how our thoughts on self care have changed as we’ve adjusted to the decline in social interaction.


Episode 78 | De-stigmatizing Group Homes

Episode 78 | De-stigmatizing Group Homes

On this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild we discuss group homes.  Over the years we have heard many polarized conversations regarding the care of those with disabilities.  Often times a group setting is the most beneficial placement for a child with behavioral issues. We are happy to talk with Judi, from Visions for a New Beginning, who has started group home facilities in the Spokane area that find that happy medium between structured group home and a happy loving family home.  Visions for a New Beginning has 5 locations in the Spokane area, all housing children that needed more support to address their behavioral and emotional needs. Judi is there with open arms to take in these children and help them find the structure and comfort they need to excel.

Listen in as we discuss some of the stigmas surrounding group care facilities and learn how Judi has seen these obstacles and worked to provide loving caring support teams to assist these children.

Visions For A New Beginning

Episode 77 | Parent Support

Episode 77 | Parent Support

In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild we discuss support options for parents with children on the spectrum. Thanks to technology there are many more outlets for parents than there were in the years past. We discuss these opportunities with a couple of autism parents; Phara, mother to a young adult male, and David, father to a school-aged girl. We talk about the emergence of facebook support groups, programs through local non-profits (including The ISAAC Foundation’s Parent Nights Out), and focus on the emotional aspects of parenting a child with special needs.


The ISAAC Foundation Parent Support Opportunities

Arc of Spokane: Parent to Parent Program

DADS Move: Support Groups


Facebook Groups: There are a ton of specialty groups out there, just search by keywords (autism/asd/special needs/neurodiverse/etc. local to your area.

*tip*If your child is diagnosed as ASD 1 be sure to look up “asperger” as many of these groups were formed when asperger was still a clinical diagnosis.

Asperger Experts

Asperger Parents

Special Kids of Spokane

You Too? Support in Spokane for Parents with Special Kids

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 #73 | Parent Check-In Episode

Episode #73 | Parent Check-In Episode

In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild Podcast Holly has a conversation with a few of our local moms to check in during the quarantine to see how they are holding up. We began with episode with no plan, just a chance to share their successes and epic fails while parenting their special needs child during this unique time.  We discuss Covid infections, social media, self care, virtual learning and more.

Join us for some laughs, woes and tips for surviving during this next round of quarantine.

Episode #72 | Speech & Feeding Therapy Part 2

Episode #72 | Speech & Feeding Therapy Part 2

This is Part 2 of our conversation with Alecia, a speech language pathologist with Niche Therapy in Spokane WA, and Camille, a SLP with KidsCare Home Health in Colorado about speech and feeding therapy.  We discuss what they do, how they do it, and why it may be a good therapy modality for your child with autism or other special needs.  In this section of the conversation we delve into medical coverage for these services, so make sure you have listened to part one and then jump back in!
About Alecia with Niche Therapy:
nichetherapyllc on instagram

About Camille with KidsCare Home Health Therapy:

Camille Farris M.S. CCC-SLP, based in Denver, Colorado

Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist with KidsCare Home Health specializing in speech, language, and feeding therapy

KidsCare has operations in Texas, Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon



Employment Settings for SLPs. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2020, from

Gleason, J. B., & Bernstein, N. E. (2013). The development of language. Boston,, MA: Pearson.

Grandbios, Kate & Wonkka, Amy, host Callahan, Tracey guest. “Feeding and Swallowing in Schools: Foundational Knowledge.” SLP  Nerdcast, SLP Nerdcast 20, April 2020
Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology. (1970, January 01). Retrieved November 13, 2020, from
Shaywitz, S. E., & Shaywitz, J. (2020). Overcoming dyslexia. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
Speech-Language Pathology Pathway to Certification. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2020, from
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.

Episode #64 | Autism & Friendship

Episode #64 | Autism & Friendship

This week we have a great panel of parents discussing the ins and outs of friendship as it relates to their kiddos with autism.  There is a common myth that children with autism generally do not crave the attention of peers and will not seek out friendship.  Although that may be true to some capacity for some of our children, it is most definitely not the case for all children with autism.  Many of our children still enjoy and seek meaningful friendship with their peers, it just may not always look the same as it does with our neurotypical children.

Listen in to hear us discuss the Friendship Algorithm which was brought to us through the TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” Although this algorithm was written to be comical, it is actually a great tool to approach friendship and learning the boundaries and intent of your actions to make and maintain friends.

Finally we share stories of friendships gone well…and not so well, and how these particular parents handled these situations.