Category: Safety

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.


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),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.


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

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

Episode 82 | Indoor Activities

Episode 82 | Indoor Activities

In today’s episode we talk about ways to keep your children entertained when the weather just doesn’t allow you to go outside.  During the covid-19 lockdown we are all stuck inside, alone, and our kids are starting to climb the walls!  How are you keeping your kids busy and entertained when the outside world is closed?  We discuss this with several of our autism parents and discuss different activities that have been successful in our homes. Toward the end of the program we also dip into outdoor winter activities and found that most of the resistance to outdoor fun–actually comes from ourselves as parents. Listen in and see if you agree!

Laser Tag: (several variations available online, this is the one that we purchased)


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 #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 #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