Tag: Autism Acceptance

Episode 98 | My Life on the Autism Spectrum, Tracey Cohen

Episode 98 | My Life on the Autism Spectrum, Tracey Cohen

Today we are very excited to introduce our listeners to a truly inspirational self advocate, Tracey Cohen.  Tracey reached out to us to share her resources with the intent to educate and inspire individuals, families, professionals, and anyone willing to learn about Asperger syndrome/autism. She wants to share her story to prevent others from the hardships and pitfalls of her past. We asked her to be on our podcast and share her story and we are so glad to have made this connection. Listen in, and we are sure you will be just as captivated with her and her story as we are!

About Tracey:

There have been many misunderstandings in Tracey’s life. The most impactful misunderstanding was learning she was on the Autism Spectrum at the age of 39. A lifetime of feeling unheard and misunderstood suddenly had a name and a reason. Since her diagnosis Tracey has continued to study and learn about her diagnosis and how it influenced the choices that were made for her growing up.

Tracey currently helps facilitate a non-profit meetup group for adults on the spectrum, this group is based out of Michigan, however, all events are currently online so are available for anyone on the spectrum to take part in.

She has also written and published three books, all which can be purchased in print or audio/kindle.

Finally she is featured on the website: Growing Up Autistic where she shares her story, accolades, and links to her work.

To reach Tracey directly please email: tracey@growingupautistic.com

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, info@autismchoseme.com

autismchoseme.com

FB/Insta/Youtube/Twitter/TikTok @autismchoseme

Episode 91 | Self Advocate, GW of Autism Chose Me

Episode 91 | Self Advocate, GW of Autism Chose Me

Today we are joined by Gillis Williams or GW of “Autism Chose Me.”  GW is an incredible self- advocate for persons affected by autism spectrum disorder.  Listen in as we discuss the controversy between the “light it up blue” and “red instead” movements and discuss how both missions have impactful goals that are beneficial to the autism community.

About GW:

When I was five years old, I was diagnosed with autism. From grade school to high school issues I had included listening problems, struggles following directions in class, and repetitive behaviors such as flapping my hands and repeating random words or sentences. I also struggled making friends because kids in school didn’t understand my behaviors. Even my teachers, who tried to support me in all the ways they could, didn’t understand me either. However, with my supportive family at my side, we worked TOGETHER to get me help. They placed me in occupational and music therapies in grade school that assisted kids with disabilities, and also with hard work and dedication, I have become a successful speaker and entrepreneur, something that scientific research 15 years ago stated that hardly any autistic individual would have been able to accomplish. Most importantly, I have made friends along the way that understand me and support me. Without my family and friends for support, I would not have had any helpers throughout my life to “HELP” me overcome and accomplish! As the great Mr. Fred Rogers stated, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Social Media Advocates to look up:   @paigelayle   @reberrabon_bon @blackautisticking   @raincloud.heart   @resident_cryptid   @autistic.alex @evelyn.jeans   @lafilledani   @autienelle

Follow GW on social media at: Autism Chose Me, info@autismchoseme.com

autismchoseme.com

FB/Insta/Youtube/Twitter/TikTok @autismchoseme

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 85 | Building and Maintaining Self Esteem

Episode 85 | Building and Maintaining Self Esteem

We know that on the whole, our children on the spectrum receive many more corrections each day than a nuero-typical child. In a world of “don’t do that” and “it is better if you do it this way” it is hard to achieve a high sense of self esteem and maintain confidence in yourself.  We have discussed building self esteem in passing while recording other episodes but wanted a chance to discuss this topic as a whole.  So, we invited a panel of parents that discuss the challenges their children-on all ends of the spectrum have faced regarding growing and maintaining self esteem.

Episode 77 | Parent Support

Episode 77 | Parent Support

In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild we discuss support options for parents with children on the spectrum. Thanks to technology there are many more outlets for parents than there were in the years past. We discuss these opportunities with a couple of autism parents; Phara, mother to a young adult male, and David, father to a school-aged girl. We talk about the emergence of facebook support groups, programs through local non-profits (including The ISAAC Foundation’s Parent Nights Out), and focus on the emotional aspects of parenting a child with special needs.

References:

The ISAAC Foundation Parent Support Opportunities

Arc of Spokane: Parent to Parent Program

DADS Move: Support Groups

 

Facebook Groups: There are a ton of specialty groups out there, just search by keywords (autism/asd/special needs/neurodiverse/etc. local to your area.

*tip*If your child is diagnosed as ASD 1 be sure to look up “asperger” as many of these groups were formed when asperger was still a clinical diagnosis.

Asperger Experts

Asperger Parents

Special Kids of Spokane

You Too? Support in Spokane for Parents with Special Kids

Episode 76 | Masking & Bullying

Episode 76 | Masking & Bullying

On today’s episode we talk with executive function coach Becky Garder of “A Life of My Own.” We discuss the common defense mechanism many people (including the autistic population) use to “fit in,” known as masking.  Or the idea that if you change or “mask” your identity in order to fit in with those around you. Masking can make social interactions less painful/tense. Although this method can seem to help in short periods of time, the long term affects are disastrous to self esteem.  Today we discuss with Becky, what masking is, what it looks like, and how to redirect to avoid burnout.

References:

Blog describing Autistic Burnout that was read part of in the podcast:
Autistic Exhaustion”
by Rhi (July, 17, 2019)
All posts found here: https://autistrhi.com/
This article showcases how autism can be seen through another, strengths-based/neurodiversity, lens

Uniquely Human (A Different Way of Seeing Autism) – July 1, 2016

by Barry M. Prizant

https://www.amazon.com/Uniquely-Human-Different-Seeing-Autism/dp/1476776245/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=uniquely+human&qid=1607632922&sr=8-1

And, btw, this book is a great Xmas gift for people!! Just saying…..😏

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 #50 | Autism Language Debate

Episode #50 | Autism Language Debate

In this podcast, we discuss the language and symbols most commonly used within our autism community and how it relates to our loved ones touched by autism.  We discuss why parents choose certain language and how it can help and, at times, hinder our ability to effectively communicate information about our loved ones; specifically when engaging in discussions with individuals in our community who may have less knowledge of the disorder.

We discuss:

  • Autistic vs. Person with autism (AKA people first language)
  • Heavily touched vs. low functioning
  • High functioning vs. Aspergers
  • Autistic vs. Neuro-Diverse
  • Touched by autism vs. impacted by autism
  • Disabled vs. Differently-Abled