Category: Therapy

#131 | About Imagine by Northpoint

#131 | About Imagine by Northpoint

Imagine Spokane offers evidence-based, integrated treatment for mental health and co-occurring substance use issues in teens. Their outpatient center offers support for teens and their families during the road to recovery. Their specialized teen treatment programs are designed to support the whole family.

Contact Imagine at: 509.800.5738

Learn more about their outpatient programs:

About Us

Mark your calendar for a family outdoor concert awareness event at the Spokane Pavilion on October 29, 2023 with performance by country music entertainer Chris Young along with local.

Episode #111 Soar Behavioral

Episode #111 Soar Behavioral

In this episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild Podcast Holly was joined by Jim Matthews, Executive Director of SOAR Behavior Services. SOAR is a prominent ABA provider in Spokane with locations across the state of Washington, in Idaho, and Nevada.  We discuss how SOAR was founded and the services they provide. We also delve into issues concerning wait lists, staff turnover, and the politics involved in home vs school ABA settings.

About Jim Matthews





Jim Matthews holds four Bachelor’s degrees from the University of California, Irvine and two Masters degrees in Educational Psychology and School Psychology from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. Jim is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). Throughout his two decades of working in ABA, he has worked with thousands of children and families both in schools and in private practice. Jim lives in Spokane WA. Professionally, Jim has dedicated his life to helping all people with disabilities. He is deeply passionate about helping people who are most in need during the time when they most need it. He feels strongly that ABA can confer meaningful lifelong skills that both enrich and enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.







Episode #109 | Autism & Siblings -Tyler’s Story

Episode #109 | Autism & Siblings -Tyler’s Story

This week on ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild our host Holly is joined by another VERY special guest, her son Tyler. Tyler is 17 years old and was the only child in the family to have spent time with Isaac as they were only 11 months apart in age.

Tyler is an aggressive advocate for those with autism and other special needs. He is very close to his brother Caleb and acts as a mentor to him which, as a 17 year old young man, comes with its pros and cons 🙂 We joke, but you will hear throughout this episode, what a passionate and kind young man Tyler is.

We discuss Tyler’s early memories of Isaac, how the ISAAC Foundation has impacted him throughout the years, and the struggles that he has experienced. Take a listen, we are sure you will be inspired by some of the charismatic gems of wisdom Tyler shares in-between the curse words.

Episode #108 | The ABA Debate with Self-Advocate John Lemus

Episode #108 | The ABA Debate with Self-Advocate John Lemus

In this episode our host, Holly is joined by Self-Advocate John Lemus. John is an experienced Outreach Coordinator and has worked extensively in the non-profit industry, specifically in disability relations. John is a strong community and social services professional and a 2015 Graduate of Leadership Spokane. We are excited to have him, and his friend/ally/advocate, Katrina Boik on our show today to discuss the highly debated topic of ABA Therapy.
Over the past few years stories of abusive practices in ABA therapies have gained attention on social media, and as a result, a percentage of the Self-Advocate community are now fierce opponents to this and other therapies/interventions used to aid in behavior modification in children with autism and related conditions. Admittedly our panel has fallen on different sides of this argument over years as they have deciphered through stories/articles, learned about the current delivery of therapy methods, and determined if their sources were based on fact or misinformation.
Listen in to hear the evolution of beliefs for John as a self-advocate; Katrina as an advocate and disabilities professional, and Holly as the parent to children on alternate sides of the spectrum as well as a disabilities professional.
References from John:
These two books are responsible for changing me from a bulldog advocate to a  more compassionate and empathic person who can see things from multiple viewpoints not just within my work but in life.
I think your wrong but I’m listening (a guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations)
by Sarah Steward Holland and Beth Silvers
These amazing ladies also run
I believe I mentioned 12 steps to a compassionate life
by Karen Armstrong.

One last book that I’ve been pushing is: Divergent mind thriving in a world that wasn’t designed for you

by Jenara Nerenbeg who is a female autistic author

(this book is currently $1.99 on iBooks)
A really great blog post from my amazingly incredible BFF Katrina Boik
Lastly I’ve been sharing this video from Simon Sinek with some autistics that talks about stop championing blunt honesty. It talks about how to adapt  and how to still be honest without being an asshole
Episode #105 | Executive Function Q&A with Becky Gardner

Episode #105 | Executive Function Q&A with Becky Gardner

In this episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild we are joined again by our friend Becky Gardner of “A Life of My Own” Executive Function Coaching. Several parents have also joined us to ask her questions about executive function as it relates to their own children.  Listen in and learn along with our parents, some strategies to help launch our children successfully!

Episode 99 | Lack of Motivation

Episode 99 | Lack of Motivation

This week we are joined again by Becky Gardner, Executive Function Coach at A Life of My Own. We previously discussed finding and maintaining motivation for your loved ones with autism or other special needs (See Episode 89-Motivation)to help them set and achieve goals.  In this episode we take the conversation a bit deeper and discuss the reasons they may be getting stuck and how that is not a reflection of their motivation, and more so a manifestation of their frustration. Listen in to learn strategies for determining what is holding them back from making progress and how to get “un-stuck”


Episode 94 | Sabita Finds Her Voice: Advocacy for the nonverbal

Episode 94 | Sabita Finds Her Voice: Advocacy for the nonverbal

This week on ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild podcast Holly is joined by an amazing mother, entrepreneur, and advocate for the nonverbal community, Dr Stephanie Vavilala.  We were honored to zoom chat with Dr Stephanie about the amazing facility she is opening as well as the services she is currently offering in St. Augustine Florida through her LMH practice Therapeutic Expressions and her nonprofit organization Sabita Speaks. Listen in as we discuss important programs that have been created to fill the many gaps in special needs care across the country and the release of Dr. Stephanie’s book, Sabita Finds Her Voice which serves as a flagship for educating the youth about AAC Speech Devices and how they can better bridge the gap between the verbal and non-verbal populations.
Dr. Stephanie Vavilala, Ed.D, LMHC, BCBA, RPT-S is the CEO and founder of Therapeutic Expressions and Awetism Wonderland (an autism therapy center), as well as the author of the children’s book Sabita Finds Her Voice. She is the mother of a daughter who has autism and is non verbal, Sabita. Stephanie’s daughter inspired her to become a leader in the space of special needs. Her therapeutic style is holistic, empowering, and action-oriented. She and her daughter reside in St. Augustine, Florida.
Episode 93 | Therapy Interventions, a self advocate’s take

Episode 93 | Therapy Interventions, a self advocate’s take

Welcome to another episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild.  This week we are discussing therapy interventions.  While we have discussed many of these interventions at length in the past we have a unique viewpoint we would love to share.  Gillis Williams, aka “GW” is joining Holly again to discuss his view of the therapy interventions he received as a child. They discuss which interventions his family sought out and which were the most beneficial and enjoyable from his viewpoint.


Follow GW on social media at: Autism Chose Me,

FB/Insta/Youtube/Twitter/TikTok @autismchoseme

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