Category: School

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 #51 | Teacher gifts

Episode #51 | Teacher gifts

Are you a parent who religiously gives gifts to your child(ren)’s teachers each year? In this podcast, a group of parents join me to discuss how they handle Christmas, Teacher Appreciation Day, and end of the school year gift giving.  I won’t lie. This year, I felt that the only appropriate gift for these poor teachers was WINE!

I asked my guest parents:

  • How many of your child’s specialists (speech, OT, PT) do you give gifts?
  • How much do you generally gift to each teacher/specialist per year?
  • Do you gift the same amount to each person?
  • Do you gift for each specific event (Christmas, Teacher Appreciation Day, End of School)?

The best part of this episode is that two of our guest parents are also teachers so were willing to answer all of my other burning questions:

  • Am I a bad parent for gifting BOOZE?
  • Are teachers afraid to eat homemade cookies and treats from their students?
  • Do teachers compare gifts with other teachers who are also part of the special education team?
  • Do teachers roll their eyes or cringe when they receive certain types of gifts?
  • Do teachers swap gifts received with each other in the teacher lounge on the last day of school?
Episode #43 | Pros and Cons of Full General Education Integration

Episode #43 | Pros and Cons of Full General Education Integration

A group of parents joined me to discuss some of their experiences with their special needs child and integration in the general education setting. In this episode we discuss:

  • The positive experiences and advantages of time spent in the general education setting;
  • Where parents feel they had more input in the time spent in general education;
  • Challenges of time spent in general education settings;
  • Changed perspectives over time…
  • Other considerations and options for integrating special needs children with their peers.
Episode #42 | Favorite School Accommodations

Episode #42 | Favorite School Accommodations

On this episode, a group of parents joined me to talk about their favorite school accommodations and how they have helped their children over the years. The reality is that your favorite school accommodation is what works best for your particular child and this looks different person to person. However, I find that if you don’t know what options are available, it’s hard to know what to advocate to have in place for the best IEP or 504 for your kiddo.

A list of known school accommodations can be found on our website at: https://theisaacfoundation.configio.com/ShoppingCart.aspx?com=detailview&iid=478

Episode #36 | School Administration Conflict

Episode #36 | School Administration Conflict

In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild, we talk about different ways parents have experienced conflict with school administrators and ways they handled and potentially resolved these conflicts. We wrap up the episode with some words of wisdom learned through these conflicting encounters.

Episode #31 | Coffee Chat with Tanya Holmes

Episode #31 | Coffee Chat with Tanya Holmes

Tanya Holmes has been a regular guest on ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild podcast since it’s launch in 2019.  Each time she joins me, she brings her unique experience as not just a mother, but also a primary school counselor and teacher. While Tanya’s demeanor is soft and more reserved, she is not afraid to challenge her school district when it comes to advocating for the needs of her child in the classroom and fighting for the IEP she knows her child is legally entitled to have.  Tanya has taken more IEP workshops of any parent I know – which is why I refer so many of my struggling families her direction.  I call her my IEP legal eagle.

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.

Episode #8 | IEP Accommodations

Episode #8 | IEP Accommodations

We all want what’s best for our kids, especially when it comes to education. In this podcast we talk in depth about IEP accommodations and whether it’s possible to ask for too much of our teachers and schools.  In this podcast, a group of parents joined me to discuss:

  • Strategies for “how to ask” for what we need for our special needs kids.
  • Whether schools are “reactive” instead of “proactive”.
  • What an “appropriate” education looks like for kids with more needs.
  • How to step back and respect feedback from schools.
  • Differences between an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and a BIP (Behavior Intervention Plan).
  • Differences between educational IEP goals and IEP accommodations.
  • Parent’s responsibility in the IEP process.
  • Power of connecting with other parents within your district and creating/participating in a special needs PTG/PTO.