Category: Family

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 #66 | Navigating Wait Lists

Episode #66 | Navigating Wait Lists

Join us as we talk with a fellow autism mama that has made her way through the sometimes disheartening game of waitlist navigation. We discuss strategies for getting therapy while waiting for the “perfect” therapy regimen to fall in to place.  We also cover ways to work your way up the list, how COVID-19 has affected the local wait lists, share stories of our experiences, and find the humor in our missteps.


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 #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:

Episode #58 | Do parents have a reason to fear CPS? (Part 2)

Episode #58 | Do parents have a reason to fear CPS? (Part 2)

This week I had the pleasure of talking to a few parents that were willing to share their experiences with a CPS investigation into their own families.  We discuss the events leading up to their reports, their experiences while being investigated, and how both of their cases eventually were closed.

This is a scary and sometimes embarrassing situation that special needs families often find themselves in. Our hope is that by sharing these stories we can help to support each other, as well as urge more intensive training for mandated reporters so that these unfounded reports are less common in our community.

Watch for PT 3 where we will discuss this topic with John, a first responder and an autism dad, who has been involved on both sides of a CPS investigation.

If you have questions for Holly or our CPS contact, Meg please reach out to:

Episode #56 | Do parents have a reason to fear CPS (Part 1)

Episode #56 | Do parents have a reason to fear CPS (Part 1)

My long-time friend, Meg, joins me to share her knowledge as a social worker within the system of Child Protective Services (CPS). She shed a lot of light on:

  • What constitutes a mandatory report
  • Who are mandatory reporters
  • How do mandatory reporters determine whether abuse or neglect is taking place
  • The difference between the types of actions taken by CPS
  • Factors that CPS considers when following up on reports
  • How parents can help to prepare for the potential of a mandatory report in the future
  • What happens to a mandatory reporter if they report too often and reports are found to be unfounded/unsubstantiated
  • Training for CPS social workers
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 #44 | Protecting Your Child from Leaches and Bad Influences

Episode #44 | Protecting Your Child from Leaches and Bad Influences

In these complicated times, it’s easy to be taken advantage of with out without a disability. Family members join me to share examples of times their loved one has been socially prayed upon by those who lack good intentions. These families share:

  • Successful ways to deal with friends who are taking advantage of their family member
  • Silver lining experiences
  • Lessons learned and steps to take to protect your child
Episode #41 | A is for Autism… and sometimes …

Episode #41 | A is for Autism… and sometimes …

This week’s podcast may not be what you expected.  Just because our loved ones are affected by an autism spectrum disorder, doesn’t mean that they aren’t capable of being naughty like every other kid. This week, a group of autism parents join me to share their laugh-out-loud stories we hope will improve your mood.