Category: Emotional Health

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.

Episode #63 | Extra-Curricular Activities

Episode #63 | Extra-Curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities are often an important outlet for all children to take part in during their school year.  These opportunities bring about the benefit of physical activity, social and emotional communication with peers, a sense of community and more.  But are all special needs extra curricular activities created equal?  And how do we find activities our kiddos are actually interested in participating in?  Today we discuss with a few autism parents what activities they have tried, which were successful, and which were duds!

Contact Info for some of the programs we discussed:

  • Bambino Buddy-Ball | bambinobballmom1@yahoo.com | (509) 251-2588
  • Adaptive Skiing & Snowboarding | Spokaneparks.org | mtspokane.com/specialty-programs
  • Spokane Powderhounds | (509) 999-8586 Downhill skiing and snowboarding program for individuals with special needs.
  • Adaptive Skiing: (509)714-7654 for individuals with mobiity challenges.
  • Blue Waxers | Cross Country Skiing | (509) 953-6062.
  • iCan Shine Bike Camp | icanshine.org/ican-bike-spokane-wa/ | (509) 999-9603 Contact Casey Traver: icanshine.spokane@comcast.net
  • Lilac City Warriors | Lilac City Warriors’ Facebook Page, A Youth Special Olympics’ track and field team
  • PASS Soccer | monaca.pass@gmail.com | (509) 862-8065 PASS (Player Adaptive Soccer Skills) is an organization that provides soccer to children and adults with physical and/or cognitive challenges.
  • Gonzaga Exceptional Bulldogs Hockey Team | gonzagaexceptionalbulldogs@gmail.com Any child, 5 years–High School who is Differently Abled. Sponsored by Gonzaga University. Coach Mark Derby: (509) 590-9926
Episode #62 | Anxiety and its relationship to Executive Function (part 2)

Episode #62 | Anxiety and its relationship to Executive Function (part 2)

There was just so much more to cover on the topic of anxiety and its relationship to Executive Function that we decided to record a part 2 to this topic.  In this episode, we dive into the 12-areas of executive function and talk about how anxiety manifests where struggles exist.

 

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 #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: