Tag: Parenting

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 #75 | Holiday Gifting

Episode #75 | Holiday Gifting

The holidays are only a few weeks away so gift buying is in full swing.  Today we are joined by a few special needs parents that are discussing gift giving.  Which toys are a hit with their kiddos, which are a miss, and how to make the holidays special on a budget.


Famous Joe’s Vendor Emporium, 9126 E Sprague Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99206

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 #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 #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 #57 | Trusting Your Gut When Your Child Has No Words

Episode #57 | Trusting Your Gut When Your Child Has No Words

This week we talk about ways parents have trusted their gut instincts when it comes to understanding problems and  needs related to their child with special needs. You might think this only relates to families who have children who lack functional communication. This isn’t the case. This week you will learn from my guests that even when your child is highly verbal, parents must still trust their gut when it comes to many different situations involving their special needs child and their ability to adequately self-advocate for themselves.

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 #52 | Wandering and Eloping (Part 1)

Episode #52 | Wandering and Eloping (Part 1)

In this week’s podcast a group of parents joined me to talk about their experiences when their children have wandered from home and required the assistance of first responders to bring them safely home. Tune in to hear:

  • How long parents wait before calling 911 for help
  • Strategies parents use to help keep their children safe in their home and play areas
  • Phone tree strategies
  • Angel Sense GPS tracking
  • Lessons learned from these terrifying experiences

Stay tuned for Part 2  interview with first responder interviews with:  911 dispatcher Raegan Hays, Lt. Matt Cowles of the Spokane Police Department and Lt. John Goodman of the Spokane Fire Department.

Episode #49 | Descalation Strategies with Jeff Kalles (Lilac City Behavioral Services)

Episode #49 | Descalation Strategies with Jeff Kalles (Lilac City Behavioral Services)

Ever wonder why things seem to escalate so quickly at home right now? With routines and structure changing so radically during our Stay Home, Stay Safe order, I asked my friend Jeff Kalles (BCBA) from Lilac City Behavioral Services to join me to discuss some general concepts that might help parents navigate escalation at home.

You can find Jeff Kalles at Lilac City Behavioral Services. His clinic is located on the north side of Spokane at 318 E. Rowan Avenue. If you are interested in getting on LCBS’s wait list for ABA services, please click here.

If you enjoyed this podcast, check out our LIVE @ Lunch interview that Jeff Kalles on YouTube.