Tag: Autism communication

Episode #110 | Gender Identity & the LGBTQIA+ Community

Episode #110 | Gender Identity & the LGBTQIA+ Community

In this episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild we talk to parents that all are raising both children on the spectrum and children that identify with the LGBTQIA+ community in some way.¬† We have seen a large number of our kiddos with autism questioning their own identity or genders as well as several of the neuro-typical siblings exploring their identities as well. We discuss this connection and determine if we feel these are attention seeking behaviors or simply valid self exploration. We also discuss the challenges of parenting these children-the process of switching pronouns/names, and dealing with the critical views of extended family or communities that are less accepting.

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 ūüôā 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 https://www.pantsuitpoliticsshow.com/
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 https://soarbehaviorwa.com/inclusive-language/
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 https://fb.watch/7udTXgeBNU/
Episode #107 | Autism & Siblings-Kelly’s Story

Episode #107 | Autism & Siblings-Kelly’s Story

This week on ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild our host Holly is joined by a VERY special guest, her daughter Kelly.¬† Kelly is 11 years old and has been raised in an “autism house” since day one.¬† Her older brother Caleb (13yrs) has ASD 1 and now through Holly’s recent marriage she has gained an 18 year old step-brother, Cooper, who is more significantly impacted.

On this episode we discuss what life is like as a neuro-typical kid in a home where autism is present.  As Kelly will divulge it is not all roses and sunshine, despite that, Kelly has a very optimistic view of her life and the challenges autism presents in general.  Kelly is a very kind, empathetic young woman that is a fierce advocate for her brothers.  She discusses the issues that have arisen as a result of autism, how she has dealt with those issues, as well as what she sees in the future for herself and her brothers with autism.

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 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 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‚Äôt understand my behaviors. Even my teachers, who tried to support me in all the ways they could, didn‚Äôt 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 ‚ÄúHELP‚ÄĚ me overcome and accomplish! As the great Mr. Fred Rogers stated, ‚ÄúLook for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.‚ÄĚ

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


FB/Insta/Youtube/Twitter/TikTok @autismchoseme

Episode 90 | Dirty Looks in Public Revisited

Episode 90 | Dirty Looks in Public Revisited

One of our most downloaded episodes of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild has been our “Dirty Looks in Public” recording.¬† It seems that no matter where you are in your autism journey, you have a story to share about that time you were in public and felt the shaming glances from strangers, judging you and your parenting abilities.¬† It is inevitable, and it is one of the worst experiences as a special needs parent. Today we are joined by a new panel of parents and talking about all of those cringey moments, how we dealt with them in the moment and how we would like other’s to respond when we are in a moment of meltdown at Target.

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)



Drive. By Daniel Pink (book)

Key Concepts-

– Autonomy: ‚ÄúControl leads to compliance; autonomy leads to engagement.‚ÄĚ 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: ‚ÄúOne source of frustration ‚Ķ 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.‚ÄĚ

– Purpose: ‚ÄúHuman beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self‚Äźdetermined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.‚ÄĚ


TED Talk: ‚ÄúThe Puzzle of Motivation‚ÄĚ 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¬†https://youtu.be/wgNpGThLl2U

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