Tag: Self-Advocating

#139 | Understanding the World of Special Education

#139 | Understanding the World of Special Education

Maria and Holly talk about the confusing world of special education. In this episode, we share our own IEP experiences (the good and not so good), and why it’s acceptable and encouraged to advocate for goals that are meaningful for your child – not necessarily settle for goals that are proposed by your teacher.

To connect with Maria for further questions about your child’s IEP, email: Maria@theisaacfoundation.org

#137 | Tracks to Success by Skils’ kin

#137 | Tracks to Success by Skils’ kin

Saturday, March 11

9am -1pm | Open House

4004 E Boone Ave. Spokane, WA 99202

Are you or someone you know living with a disability?

Are you confused about employment options, benefits, or finances?

Attend this event for answers! We will have on-site solutions from:

  • DDA and DVR Case Managers (Service sign-up and Q&A)
  • Mary McDirmid of Special Abilities Network (ABLE accounts and financial planning)
  • Community Work Incentive Counselors (how work will impact benefits)
  • Skils’kin Staff (job opportunities, resume building, and post-graduation concerns)

visit this link to learn more and register!


Also, referenced in this podcast is Deb Skalabrin and her amazing online group called Parenting Beyond Defiance. Go check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/3095960987308432

#119 | Sibling Independence with guest Maria Jennings

#119 | Sibling Independence with guest Maria Jennings

On this week’s episode, Maria Jennings joins me to discuss the dynamic that having a child with a disability has made on our neurotypical children and how we have each noticed a higher level of independence and self-advocacy skills.

Show resources

Holly shares her experience using combination door knobs in her home which increases safety and provides a means for neurotypical siblings to have their own secure space. https://www.amazon.com/Signstek-Keyless-Digital-Electronic-Security/dp/B00KS3JC30?pd_rd_w=c3bUq&pf_rd_p=07da9b2f-52f3-4fa6-b605-4458a1e54cf1&pf_rd_r=6R7D68GAYSBMFW69TFMK&pd_rd_r=6e8a228e-37d3-478b-833f-4e7d1cf0cd97&pd_rd_wg=7uwUR&pd_rd_i=B00KS3JC30&psc=1&ref_=pd_bap_d_rp_36_i

Holly also explains the benefit of registering an ISAAC Alert (911 dispatch note linked to your home address) if you have locking interior doors and window at your home: https://theisaacfoundation.configio.com/page/programsisaacalert

Families who are interested in accessing ISAAC Foundation’s Sibling Spotlight program can find the registration link here: https://theisaacfoundation.configio.com/page/siblingspotlight

#115 | The Arc of Spokane

#115 | The Arc of Spokane

In this episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild Holly is joined by the Executive Director of the Arc of Spokane, Sima Thorpe. Sima is here to tell us all about The Arc of Spokane and introduces us to two of her most recent hires, Jennifer and Maria. Together this group discusses the different programs available to families in our area and how we plan to work together to help meet the needs of the developmentally disabled populations in Spokane and extending into our rural areas.

The Arc of Spokane:

Questions on resources and services:



For Spokane Parent to Parent Resources:

Maria Jennings



Facebook:  Parent to Parent of Spokane County | Facebook


For Pend Orielle and Stevens County Parent to Parent Resources:

Micaela Herman



Parent to Parent of Stevens and Pend Oreille Counties | Facebook


Sexual Abuse Prevention Training

Jim Lane



#114 Self-Advocate & Son, Caleb

#114 Self-Advocate & Son, Caleb

In this special episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild, Holly is joined by her very own son, Caleb. Caleb is 13 years old and was diagnosed with autism when he was very young, in fact during this episode he reveals that he does not remember a time when he was not in therapy. Listen is as Holly discusses with Caleb; what autism means to him, what he notices in his day to day life as a child with autism, his likes/dislikes and specifically where some of them stem from, and so much more!

#113 Self-Advocate RoundTable–LIVE!

#113 Self-Advocate RoundTable–LIVE!

On this very special episode of ISAAC’S Autism in the Wild Podcast we are joined by two of our favorite self-advocates, Tracey Cohen & John Lemus.  Tracey is an author of three books, two about autism and one about her passion for running.  We had featured Tracey in an episode earlier this year and were so excited to meet her in person when she came to Spokane to visit at the end of the summer.  While Tracey was visiting we introduced her to John Lemus, a Spokane based disabilities professional who advocates for the disability community through his various positions in local and state leadership.

Please take a listen and excuse the background noise as we are recording LIVE on the stage at Pitotti Coffee  as we discuss several topics regarding advocacy.


Full Spectrum Agency for Autistic Adults
Author, Autism Advocate
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 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 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