Tag: Autism Parenting

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 #62 | Anxiety and its relationship to Executive Function (part 2)

Episode #62 | Anxiety and its relationship to Executive Function (part 2)

There was just so much more to cover on the topic of anxiety and its relationship to Executive Function that we decided to record a part 2 to this topic.  In this episode, we dive into the 12-areas of executive function and talk about how anxiety manifests where struggles exist.

 

Becky Gardner comes to A Life of my Own with a holistic, collaborative approach created from a unique and varied background.

  • With a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, which has its roots in purposeful, meaningful work to increase independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), she brings a student-focus and student-driven approach to this work.

  • Having a deep Social justice / Neurodiversity core belief system brings a focus of self-determination and self-advocacy. This was further developed during work at Bellevue College’s Disability Resource Center, determining individualized college accommodations for students with disabilities so that they may have equal access to course materials.

  • Operating from a strengths-based educational model brings emphasis in student empowerment and nurturing their belief in their own self-efficacy. This was developed / enhanced while working with Sara Gardner (no relation, autistic creator of the current Neurodiversity Navigators program), and from working in and around the Autism Spectrum Navigators program at Bellevue College since its conception, Becky was the adjunct faculty for the Executive Functioning course, and co-taught other courses including Self-Advocacy.

  • Having experience working through her own disability / executive functioning deficits, and having two neurodiverse adult children, brings an understanding of the day-to-day events and efforts that go with these experiences.

  • Working with college, high school, and middle school students at varying stages on the continuum of independence, brings rich and varied experience to this work.

A Life of my Own is the natural culmination of this prior work and life experience.

Becky is excited to offer her skills and experience to a wider group of young adults to improve their understanding of what ”adulting” / independent living looks like, and to assist with increasing abilities in necessary areas leading to independence – and their feeling of A Life of my Own.

A Life of My Own

Episode #59 | Sibling Spotlight

Episode #59 | Sibling Spotlight

This week we are talking with Roni, our Sibling Spotlight Facilitator at the ISAAC Foundation. Sibling Spotlight is a specially designed program for kids of all ages who all have one thing in common. They each have a sibling touched by autism or other special needs. The goal of the program is to provide a healthy support system and coping skills through fun and engaging activities that ultimately help them navigate this complicated journey. This is a monthly program, offered exclusively by the ISAAC Foundation, where young people come together in a fun and safe environment to interact with peers, mentors and program facilitators.

We are discussing the importance of sibling support and how to determine if your neuro-typical children are struggling with living  in an autism household.

To view details about our Sibling Spotlight program or to register your child for the 2020-2021 session visit the ISAAC Foundation’s site here: https://theisaacfoundation.configio.com/page/siblingspotlight

Episode #58 | Do parents have a reason to fear CPS? (Part 2)

Episode #58 | Do parents have a reason to fear CPS? (Part 2)

This week I had the pleasure of talking to a few parents that were willing to share their experiences with a CPS investigation into their own families.  We discuss the events leading up to their reports, their experiences while being investigated, and how both of their cases eventually were closed.

This is a scary and sometimes embarrassing situation that special needs families often find themselves in. Our hope is that by sharing these stories we can help to support each other, as well as urge more intensive training for mandated reporters so that these unfounded reports are less common in our community.

Watch for PT 3 where we will discuss this topic with John, a first responder and an autism dad, who has been involved on both sides of a CPS investigation.

If you have questions for Holly or our CPS contact, Meg please reach out to: hello@theisaacfoundation.org

Episode #56 | Do parents have a reason to fear CPS (Part 1)

Episode #56 | Do parents have a reason to fear CPS (Part 1)

My long-time friend, Meg, joins me to share her knowledge as a social worker within the system of Child Protective Services (CPS). She shed a lot of light on:

  • What constitutes a mandatory report
  • Who are mandatory reporters
  • How do mandatory reporters determine whether abuse or neglect is taking place
  • The difference between the types of actions taken by CPS
  • Factors that CPS considers when following up on reports
  • How parents can help to prepare for the potential of a mandatory report in the future
  • What happens to a mandatory reporter if they report too often and reports are found to be unfounded/unsubstantiated
  • Training for CPS social workers
Episode #55 | Twelve areas of Executive Function (Part 2)

Episode #55 | Twelve areas of Executive Function (Part 2)

Becky Gardner joins us for another episode to walk us through all twelve areas of executive function and how they impact the success of our children.

As Becky shares, Executive Functions are complex, higher level of thought processes that allow a person to accomplish higher level tasks throughout their day. Everyone has them and everyone has executive functioning strengths and weaknesses. The different combinations of these make us unique and different in how we go about things.

In this podcast, we learn about all twelve executive function areas and how they impact our kids.

  • Self-Restraint
  • Working Memory
  • Emotional Control
  • Focus
  • Task Initiation
  • Planning/Prioritizing
  • Organization
  • Time Management
  • Defining and Achieving Goals
  • Flexibility
  • Observation/Metacongition
  • Stress Tolerance

Becky Gardner comes to A Life of my Own with a holistic, collaborative approach created from a unique and varied background.

  • With a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, which has its roots in purposeful, meaningful work to increase independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), she brings a student-focus and student-driven approach to this work.

  • Having a deep Social justice / Neurodiversity core belief system brings a focus of self-determination and self-advocacy. This was further developed during work at Bellevue College’s Disability Resource Center, determining individualized college accommodations for students with disabilities so that they may have equal access to course materials.

  • Operating from a strengths-based educational model brings emphasis in student empowerment and nurturing their belief in their own self-efficacy. This was developed / enhanced while working with Sara Gardner (no relation, autistic creator of the current Neurodiversity Navigators program), and from working in and around the Autism Spectrum Navigators program at Bellevue College since its conception, Becky was the adjunct faculty for the Executive Functioning course, and co-taught other courses including Self-Advocacy.

  • Having experience working through her own disability / executive functioning deficits, and having two neurodiverse adult children, brings an understanding of the day-to-day events and efforts that go with these experiences.

  • Working with college, high school, and middle school students at varying stages on the continuum of independence, brings rich and varied experience to this work.

A Life of my Own is the natural culmination of this prior work and life experience.

Becky is excited to offer her skills and experience to a wider group of young adults to improve their understanding of what ”adulting” / independent living looks like, and to assist with increasing abilities in necessary areas leading to independence – and their feeling of A Life of my Own.

If you believe your loved one would benefit from the expertise of Becky Gardner, she can be reached at

A Life of Your Own

 

Episode #54 | Executive Function: A Life of My Own

Episode #54 | Executive Function: A Life of My Own

In this podcast, executive function extraordinaire, Becky Gardner, joins us to talk about the challenges that executive function deficits can pose for our children; and I don’t just mean our kids with autism. If you have felt concern about any of your kids’ ability to focus, initiate tasks, plan and prioritize tasks, manage time, define and achieve goals, then you DEFINITELY need to listen to this podcast.  Executive function challenges affects just as many neuro-typical kids as those with special needs.

Becky shares about her professional background as an Occupational Therapist and how this lead her down the road to becoming an executive function coach.

Interested in learning more about Executive Function and how Becky can help your child use their strengths to over come their challenging areas of executive function?

Becky Gardner comes to A Life of my Own with a holistic, collaborative approach created from a unique and varied background.

  • With a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, which has its roots in purposeful, meaningful work to increase independence in Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), she brings a student-focus and student-driven approach to this work.

  • Having a deep Social justice / Neurodiversity core belief system brings a focus of self-determination and self-advocacy. This was further developed during work at Bellevue College’s Disability Resource Center, determining individualized college accommodations for students with disabilities so that they may have equal access to course materials.

  • Operating from a strengths-based educational model brings emphasis in student empowerment and nurturing their belief in their own self-efficacy. This was developed / enhanced while working with Sara Gardner (no relation, autistic creator of the current Neurodiversity Navigators program), and from working in and around the Autism Spectrum Navigators program at Bellevue College since its conception, Becky was the adjunct faculty for the Executive Functioning course, and co-taught other courses including Self-Advocacy.

  • Having experience working through her own disability / executive functioning deficits, and having two neurodiverse adult children, brings an understanding of the day-to-day events and efforts that go with these experiences.

  • Working with college, high school, and middle school students at varying stages on the continuum of independence, brings rich and varied experience to this work.

A Life of my Own is the natural culmination of this prior work and life experience.

Becky is excited to offer her skills and experience to a wider group of young adults to improve their understanding of what ”adulting” / independent living looks like, and to assist with increasing abilities in necessary areas leading to independence – and their feeling of A Life of my Own.

A Life of My Own

 

 

Episode #53 | Wandering and Eloping (Part 2)

Episode #53 | Wandering and Eloping (Part 2)

In this week’s episode, I was able to interview three amazing local first responders: 911 dispatcher Raegan Hays, Lt. Matt Cowles of the Spokane Police Department and Lt. John Goodman of the Spokane Fire Department.  John and Raegan are not only first responders, they are also parents of wandering children with autism. In this episode our first responders walk us through a call reporting an eloping child from the time the call is placed to the time a child is located and reunited with their family. Lt. Matt Cowles also lets us know how and when CPS becomes involved.

Episode #51 | Teacher gifts

Episode #51 | Teacher gifts

Are you a parent who religiously gives gifts to your child(ren)’s teachers each year? In this podcast, a group of parents join me to discuss how they handle Christmas, Teacher Appreciation Day, and end of the school year gift giving.  I won’t lie. This year, I felt that the only appropriate gift for these poor teachers was WINE!

I asked my guest parents:

  • How many of your child’s specialists (speech, OT, PT) do you give gifts?
  • How much do you generally gift to each teacher/specialist per year?
  • Do you gift the same amount to each person?
  • Do you gift for each specific event (Christmas, Teacher Appreciation Day, End of School)?

The best part of this episode is that two of our guest parents are also teachers so were willing to answer all of my other burning questions:

  • Am I a bad parent for gifting BOOZE?
  • Are teachers afraid to eat homemade cookies and treats from their students?
  • Do teachers compare gifts with other teachers who are also part of the special education team?
  • Do teachers roll their eyes or cringe when they receive certain types of gifts?
  • Do teachers swap gifts received with each other in the teacher lounge on the last day of school?