Tag: Autism communication

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


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: “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 https://youtu.be/wgNpGThLl2U

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

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.


Beyond Behaviors by Monda Delahooke, Phd

Episode 80 | Receptive, Expressive, and Body Language

Episode 80 | Receptive, Expressive, and Body Language

On todays episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild Podcast we are joined again by Alecia Weeks of Niche Therapy.  She is the current speech therapist for Holly’s son Caleb.  Alecia brings a wealth of knowledge to the table as we discuss Receptive, Expressive, and Body language and what barriers may be keeping your child from reaching their communication goals.  We discuss the semantics of language disorders, and how therapy can benefit your child and help them to reach those communication goals.
  • Here is a link to the social thinking website. It is a great resource for providers and parents for helping build pragmatics. https://www.socialthinking.com/
  • Duffy, J. R. (2013). Motor speech disorders: Substrates, differential diagnosis, and management. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
  • The Out of Sync Child: available anywhere books are sold: AMAZON LINK
About Alecia with Niche Therapy:
Insta@ nichetherapyllc 
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.


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


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

Episode #71 | Speech & Feeding Therapy Part 1

Episode #71 | Speech & Feeding Therapy Part 1

In this two-part episode we talk with Alecia, a speech language pathologist with Niche Therapy in Spokane WA and Camille, also a SLP with KidsCare Home Health in Colorado about speech and feeding therapy.  We discuss what they do, how they do it, and why it may be a good therapy modality for your child with autism or other special needs.  Be sure to follow up this episode with Part 2 to hear the end of our conversation!
About Alecia with Niche Therapy:
nichetherapyllc on instagram

About Camille with KidsCare Home Health Therapy:

Camille Farris M.S. CCC-SLP, based in Denver, Colorado

Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist with KidsCare Home Health specializing in speech, language, and feeding therapy

KidsCare has operations in Texas, Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon



Employment Settings for SLPs. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://www.asha.org/students/employment-settings-for-slps

Gleason, J. B., & Bernstein, N. E. (2013). The development of language. Boston,, MA: Pearson.

Grandbios, Kate & Wonkka, Amy, host Callahan, Tracey guest. “Feeding and Swallowing in Schools: Foundational Knowledge.” SLP  Nerdcast, SLP Nerdcast 20, April 2020 https://www.slpnerdcast.com/episodes/feeding-and-swallowing-in-schools
Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology. (1970, January 01). Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://www.asha.org/policy/sp2016-00343/
Shaywitz, S. E., & Shaywitz, J. (2020). Overcoming dyslexia. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
Speech-Language Pathology Pathway to Certification. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://www.asha.org/Certification/Speech-Language-Pathology-Pathway-To-Certification/
Episode #65 | Music Therapy with Carla Carnegie, MT-BC

Episode #65 | Music Therapy with Carla Carnegie, MT-BC

There are so many therapy options available for our children with autism. Over the next few months we are will be interviewing local providers that offer each of these services to give you a better understanding of what each of these therapy options are and how they can benefit your children.

In this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild we are delving in to Music Therapy with Carla Carnegie of Willow Song Music Therapy in Otis Orchards, WA.

About Carla

Carla is the primary manager and therapist for Willow Song Music Therapy Services. She is an experienced board-certified music therapist as well as a musician. She is trained on the violin, accordion, guitar, piano, percussive instruments, as well as vocals.

She has extensive experience working with older adults, individuals with neurologic disorders, individuals with mental illness, and military veterans. Carla holds high standards for the practice of music therapy and has based her work on the latest evidence-based techniques.

Carla received her degree from Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon with her Bachelor’s of Music in music therapy. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Music & Composition degree from Whitworth University in Spokane WA. She completed her 7 month clinical internship with Earthtones Music Therapy Services of Portland.  She has recently completed her Neurologic Music Therapy training. Carla, wife and mother of 4 grown children, resides in Otis Orchards, WA and is dedicated to providing Music Therapy services to individuals and organizations in the Inland Empire area.

Beyond her experience as a Music Therapist, Carla is an active composer and is dedicated to her community. She serves as a pianist at two local churches as well as at the Brighton Court Assisted Living facility. She volunteers for VASA Lodge and is an active member of St. Andrew’s Society and Spokane Folklore Society. She is also a member of the band Crooked Kilt, a celtic band, where she lends her violin and accordion playing talents.

Willow Song Music Therapy

E. 21101 Wellesley, #102-103, Otis Orchards WA 99027

Phone: 509.592.7875


In addition to Music Therapy Services Willow Song Music Therapy offers:
  • Adaptive music lessons including: piano, drum, guitar, voice
  • Family drumming experiences/ general music experiences
  • Drums Alive! a unique full body workout using drumsticks on large body balls to music

Please check out this video detailing a functional mri that shows just how much your brain responds to music to understand visually the impact of music on your brain. https://youtu.be/jkMlOrxYqWA

Episode #10 | AAC Speech Output Devices for Communication

Episode #10 | AAC Speech Output Devices for Communication

My special guest this week is Lauren Swineford, research professor at Washington State University. Dr. Laurie (as we like to call her) is a speech-language pathologist and assistant professor at Washington State University. She earned her PhD at Florida State University and completed her post-doctoral training in the Pediatric and Developmental Neuroscience Branch at the National Institute of Health. She has conducted extensive, longitudinal studies with children with ASD and her clinical and research interests involve the prelinguistic and language development for individuals with ASD.

Dr. Laurie and I dived into the confusing world of AAC communication and what this means for our kids with language disorders.  You’ll learn:

  • What exactly AAC stands for.
  • Why AAC is such a hot topic.
  • The difference between “unaided” systems vs. “aided” systems.
  • Deep discussion on the messy state of research with regard to effectiveness of AAC (specifically with regard to technology based communication programs.)
  • Importance of early intervention and emphasis on functional use of spontaneous communication.
  • Discussion of the National Autism Center report (2015) that evaluated the state of treatment research for individuals with autism and it’s assessment of AAC.
  • Recommendations to parents for what to look for when seeking an AAC assessment.
  • Myths about who would benefit from AAC.
  • Takeaways recommendations for parents on how to view AAC.

***The second half of this podcast is dedicated to specific information regarding Dr. Laurie’s current research projects at WSU. Families with young children starting as early as 9 months of age (with and without concerns of ASD) can be part of her program to help further research on language development in young children. The second project focuses on developing a screen process for assessing language in young children, once it it is present.  This program is for children ages 2 to 12 years of age.

This post will be updated with contact information for research program participation as soon as it is available.