Tag: autism tribe

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 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 79 | Self Care During a Pandemic

Episode 79 | Self Care During a Pandemic

This week ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild checks in with a few parents to see how they are keeping sane during these insane times.  We are now over 9 months into the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss how our own self care looks as we have settled into the new normal.  We discuss alone time, sleep, hobbies, social media and more. We also explore how our thoughts on self care have changed as we’ve adjusted to the decline in social interaction.


Episode 78 | De-stigmatizing Group Homes

Episode 78 | De-stigmatizing Group Homes

On this episode of ISAAC’s Autism in the Wild we discuss group homes.  Over the years we have heard many polarized conversations regarding the care of those with disabilities.  Often times a group setting is the most beneficial placement for a child with behavioral issues. We are happy to talk with Judi, from Visions for a New Beginning, who has started group home facilities in the Spokane area that find that happy medium between structured group home and a happy loving family home.  Visions for a New Beginning has 5 locations in the Spokane area, all housing children that needed more support to address their behavioral and emotional needs. Judi is there with open arms to take in these children and help them find the structure and comfort they need to excel.

Listen in as we discuss some of the stigmas surrounding group care facilities and learn how Judi has seen these obstacles and worked to provide loving caring support teams to assist these children.

Visions For A New Beginning

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.


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 #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?
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