Category: Independent Living

Episode 89 | Motivation

Episode 89 | Motivation

In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild, we are joined again by Becky Gardner, Executive Function Coach at: A Life of My Own to discuss motivation.  Finding and maintaining motivation is a tricky task in a nuerotypical brain–so for our loved ones on the autism spectrum we have to really dial in to determine which means of motivation will be successful.  It is a process and can be discouraging, however the benefits to finding a sustainable intrinsic motivation can be life changing.

References:

Self-Determination Theory of Motivation: Why Intrinsic Motivation Matters

Courtney E. Ackerman, MA., 2-15-2021 (Synopsis of Ryan and Deci’s work on Self-Determination Theory and Intrinsic Motivation)

https://positivepsychology.com/self-determination-theory/#:~:text=It%20posits%20that%20there%20are,in%20the%201970s%20and%201980s.

 

Drive. By Daniel Pink (book)

Key Concepts-

– Autonomy: “Control leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.” Control is by others, from outside (extrinsic motivators) – in some situations this leads to compliance but does not lead to desire. Autonomy is from within (intrinsic) – by definition it leads to a true desire to engage with the activity.

– Mastery: “One source of frustration … is the frequent mismatch between what people must do and what people can do. When what they must do exceeds their capabilities, the result is anxiety. When what they must do falls short of their capabilities, the result is boredom. But when the match is just right, the results can be glorious.”

– Purpose: “Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self‐determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.”

 

TED Talk: “The Puzzle of Motivation” By Dan Pink

Although used in a different context, the science is valid and the research applies.

https://youtu.be/rrkrvAUbU9Y

 

Executive Functioning  –

Smarts: Are We Hardwired for Success? (Book) by Chuck Martin , Peg Dawson, Richard Guare

Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (Book) by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

 

Collaborative Problem Solving –

> Rethinking Challenging Kids: Where There’s a Skill There’s a Way, Stuart Ablon https://youtu.be/wgNpGThLl2U

Changeable: How Collaborative Problem Solving Changes Lives at Home, at School, and at Work (Book) by J. Stuart Ablon

Episode 88 | Things we wish everyone knew about autism

Episode 88 | Things we wish everyone knew about autism

In this episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild we discuss thing’s we wish EVERYONE knew about autism. In our day-to-day as autism parents we are frequently coming in contact with people that just don’t understand our children. Often times a stranger will witness our child’s moment of anxiety-driven meltdown and make the assumption that the child is simply choosing to misbehave. On the flip side, a person may meet a child with high functioning autism and ask “What is his/her special talent?”  No matter how well intentioned there is a true lack of understanding regarding autism that directly impacts societies view on their abilities.  Listen in as we discuss the main issues these moms wish everyone understood about autism.

Reference:

Beyond Behaviors by Monda Delahooke, Phd

Episode #74 | Station Visits

Episode #74 | Station Visits

On today’s episode we discuss the ISAAC Foundation Station Visit program.  We are joined by Lt. Matt Cowles of the Spokane Police Department, and Lt. John Goodman of the Spokane Fire Department. Joined by Holly of the The ISAAC Foundation, this group helped to create the Station Visit program that generally takes place every other month at both a Spokane, and Spokane Valley fire station (big thanks to the Spokane AMR first responders for their contributions as well!).

We discuss why the program was invented, the curriculum that is covered, and we share some fun anecdotes from past visits. If you have a loved one impacted with autism or other special needs this program is pivotal in creating safe perceptions of emergency personnel in case the day comes where they need to interact.

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 #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 #54 | Executive Function: A Life of My Own

Episode #54 | Executive Function: A Life of My Own

In this podcast, executive function extraordinaire, Becky Gardner, joins us to talk about the challenges that executive function deficits can pose for our children; and I don’t just mean our kids with autism. If you have felt concern about any of your kids’ ability to focus, initiate tasks, plan and prioritize tasks, manage time, define and achieve goals, then you DEFINITELY need to listen to this podcast.  Executive function challenges affects just as many neuro-typical kids as those with special needs.

Becky shares about her professional background as an Occupational Therapist and how this lead her down the road to becoming an executive function coach.

Interested in learning more about Executive Function and how Becky can help your child use their strengths to over come their challenging areas of executive function?

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 #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 Piehldouglas@gmail.com for specific college planning questions.