Category: Independent Living

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 #30 | Self-Advocate Taylor Crisp

Episode #30 | Self-Advocate Taylor Crisp

I have had the pleasure of getting to know self-advocate Taylor Crisp since the summer of 2019. Don’t let Taylor’s quiet demeanor fool you.  While timid at first, Taylor is not afraid to open up about her experiences growing up in a time where fitting in with her peers meant hiding her autism diagnosis from her friends.  Taylor is also a mother and shares some of her experiences raising her young daughter.

In this episode, Taylor and I talk more about:

  • labels and the struggles of wanting to be liked by others
  • how she came out of her shell in high school
  • fears and things she wishes she could do differently
  • recommendations for parents who are raising children with autism.
Episode #29 | Pepping Kids with ASD for College

Episode #29 | Pepping Kids with ASD for College

15 years ago, college opportunities for individuals affected by autism spectrum disorders was practically unheard of.  In the few cases I came across, the opportunity was made possible by a dedicated parent who attended each class with their loved one to help provide the one-on-one support their child needed.  Thankfully, this is no longer the case.  There are many universities within Washington and throughout the United States that are either specifically for students with special needs or universities who have added programs that support these individuals.

In this podcast episode Doug Piehl, retired national director of college planning for Thrivent Financial, joined me to discuss the options he saw in his position with Thrivent and things parents can be doing to help prepare not just their child with ASD but also their neuro-typical child for post secondary education.  Believe it or not – you can start planning as early as 8th GRADE!

Doug Piehl, while retired, may be reached at for specific college planning questions.

Episode #26 | Long-Term Care Estate Planning Discussion

Episode #26 | Long-Term Care Estate Planning Discussion

I believe that one of the most difficult conversations that a parent must have is on the topic of planning for a life-long special needs dependent upon your death. In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild, a group of parents joined me with our special guest Randi Johnson, Attorney at Law, to discuss a variety of issues such as:

  • Structuring special needs trusts for life-long dependents
  • Protecting assets for your special needs child so that they do not compromise edibility with social security.
  • The benefits of choosing an outside representative to oversee the special needs trust rather than a sibling or other family member.
  • Differences between guardianship and limited guardianship
  • Age when guardianship process should be initiated
  • When a special needs trust should be created

As promised, our guest Randi Johnson of Lilac City Law may be reached for further questions or to schedule a consultation at (509) 624-1610.

Episode #16 | Independent Living

Episode #16 | Independent Living

In this episode, I sat down with Rachael Leonard who not only is a parent to two amazing young people with an autism spectrum disorder, she also has spent the majority of her carrier working to support clients in a supported living environment.  Rachael shares with us:

  • The importance for all individuals, regardless of abilities, to have the opportunity to live independently (with supports) outside of the family home
  • Why, at times, parents can be an obstacle for young people to reach their full potential
  • Instances where supported living environments failed her pasts clients
  • Long-term consequences for not implementing a transitional living plan for your loved with one a disability