Tag: Autism Inclusion

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 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 #106 What NOT to say to a special needs parent

Episode #106 What NOT to say to a special needs parent

In this episode we discuss the cringe-worthy compliments we have received over the years.  Sentiments like “God gives special children to special people” and “You are such a great advocate for your child” are meant to be confidence boosters, but over time can grate the nerves of a special needs parent.  So listen in and hear some of the well meaning comments that have irked our parents over the years!

Episode #104 | Housing Options for Adults

Episode #104 | Housing Options for Adults

In this episode we are joined by Desiree Kameka Galloway of The Autism Housing Network. Holly had first learned of their work as well as the Madison House Autism Foundation a few years back while attending a conference about “Life After High School.” Holly was so impressed with Desiree’s presentation and has used their site as a reference to our families for years.  The ISAAC Foundation has been receiving more and more calls from parents regarding concerns for long term living situations for their adult children in recent years so we reached out to Desiree to see if she could explain some of the housing options that exist and what the Autism Housing Network can do to help families as they determine the long term plans for their loved ones.

Contact Info:

Desiree Kameka Galloway
National Coordinator, Coalition for Community Choice
Episode 103 | Self Advocate: Sydney

Episode 103 | Self Advocate: Sydney

This week on ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild our host Holly is joined by Sydney. Sydney is a 27 year old self advocate that just relocated to Spokane from Alaska.  We cover it all in this episode: from her diagnosis as a child, to her career in Alaska, and now how she is settling in to life in Spokane. Sydney is an ambitious young woman with a strong sense of self and will be a great ambassador for self advocates in Spokane, we are happy to have met with her and look forward to collaborating with her again soon!

Episode 102 | Bullying

Episode 102 | Bullying

In this episode we discuss bullying, we have talked about this in the past in other episodes but felt that we had enough content to re-visit and dedicate an entire episode.  We have three moms joining our host Holly and all of them have dealt with bullying to some extent when raising their children.  Each of the parents recount the situations and share how the issues were resolved. We also discuss how the world has changed and cover how the bullying of 2021 compares to the “bully standards” of the 1990s when we were living the middle/high school experience.

UPDATE: Be sure to listen after the closing statements, we get a little update from Holly regarding Caleb’s rocket project in school

References:

Power of words: TikTok video by _iamdiosa_

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 97 | Launching Adult Children

Episode 97 | Launching Adult Children

In this episode we are joined by two moms that both have young-adult children that are preparing to launch towards independence. Phara has a 23 year year old son and is currently preparing for their second-attempt at launching her son into independent living. Gerriann has an 18 year old son who is just graduating high school and will be continuing in the school system through a transition program.

We discuss with each parent the issues they are facing, the barriers to employment/living situations they are encountering, and the programs they have been utilizing to make positive progress. We also have a conversation about the needs of the parents and the importance of finding a support network and planning for the future.

If you have questions for any of our guests, please feel free to email us at hello@theisaacfoundation.org and we would be happy to get you in contact with them!

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.