The ISAAC Foundation
28 W. Third Ave, Suite B1
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 325-1515

Contact: Holly Lytle

Jess Silvernail, Development Director, 509-325-1515
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Enhancing the lives of your friends and family touched by autism through educational, emotional and financial support programs.  

About The ISAAC Foundation

The ISAAC Foundation's beginning is a powerful story of love, loss and a mother's unbridled passion to turn her personal tragedy into an opportunity to help families, similar to her own, struggling with the social, emotional and financial hardships of having a loved one affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Channeling her grief, Holly Lytle founded the ISAAC Foundation in memory of her son, Isaac, who passed away unexpectedly on February 8, 2007. The organization is a grass-roots 501c3 nonprofit located in Spokane, Washington whose mission is to enhance the lives of its region's autism community through educational, emotional and financial support programs so that individuals with autism and their families are given the tools needed to be active, secure and engaged members of our community.

With the leadership of Holly Lytle, passionate staff and board members, and dedicated community partners, The ISAAC Foundation currently supports the educational, emotional, therapeutic needs of thousands of individuals and families in the Inland Northwest. 

What it Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorders, sometimes called Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), are a range of neurological disorders that most markedly involve some degree of difficulty with (1) communication, (2) interpersonal relationships, and (3) obsessions and repetitive behaviors. As the term "spectrum" indicates, there can be a wide range of effects. Those at the lower-functioning end of the spectrum may be profoundly unable to relate or interact with their surroundings or loved ones. Those at the higher-functioning end, sometimes diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (AS), may be able to lead independent lives but still be awkward in their social interactions. Pervasive Developmental Disorder may be diagnosed when a child has a deficit in two of the three categories.

As many as 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Autism is 5 times more likely in boys with the national statistic indicating that 1 in 54 boys is affected.

Red Flags

  • Does not respond to his/her name
  • Cannot explain what he/she wants
  • Language skills are delayed or child loses language skills at ANY point
  • Doesn't follow directions, acts deaf or seems to hear sometimes, but not others
  • Does not point or wave
  • Repeats words he or she hears but does not use spontaneous language
  • Throws intense or violent tantrums, is hyperactive, uncooperative or oppositional
  • Has odd or uncoordinated body movements
  • Cannot sequence steps to accomplish a task
  • Uses the same toys repeatedly and obsessively and never varies game, play pattern or activity with toys
  • Does not smile when smiled at and lacks emotional affect
  • Poor eye contact
  • Has difficulty transitioning between activities
  • Seems to prefer to play alone and is not interested or aware of activities going on around him or her
  • Does not share "Look at this!!" moments
  • Walks on his/her toes
  • Restrictively eats only a few favorite foods
  • Avoids or seeks messy activities involving hands or body
  • Avoids activities where feet leave the ground
  • Child shows unusual attachments to toys, objects, or schedules
  • Child spends excessive amounts of time lining things up or placing items in certain order.

Programs The ISAAC Foundation Offers:

Weighted blankets are a comfort to individuals with autism, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, Tourette's syndrome, ADHD and can enhance sleep and calm anxiety and stress. Weighted blankets and lap pads are made from synthetic, machine washable pellets that provides the body with a deep pressure experience.

Weighted Lap Pads are an excellent tool for classroom environments. They are an excellent tool to help children stay seated and focused during seated activities.

While ISAAC Foundation has been able to provide FREE weighted blankets and lap pads in the past, due to overwhelming demand and extremely tight budget constraints, we will be moving to a LOW COST weighted blankets and lap pads program beginning November 1, 2016.

Weighted Blanket: $20
Weighted Lap Pad: $10
FREE when returning a weighted blanket and/or weighted lap pad. 

*Individual does not need to be under the age of 18
*Individual does not need to have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis.
*Individual MUST live in Spokane, Stevens, Whitman, Lincoln and Kootenai Counties to receive weighted blanket item.
*ISAAC Foundation does not ship items. Item must be picked up at designated drop location. *Only 20 weighted blanket/lap pad items are available each month for purchase.

Weighted Blanket Application Process

  • Applicant must complete Weighted Blanket or Lap Pad Application.  See below.
  • ISAAC Foundation will review application to determine if it meets the conditions of its weighted blanket/lap pad program.
  • If the weighted blanket/lap pad request meets the foundation's program criteria, an email containing an invoice will be forwarded to the applicant with payment options.  
  • Once payment is received from the applicant, the weighted blanket/lap pad will be made by a foundation volunteer based on the child's weighted provided on the application.
  • Applicant will be notified via email with date/time/location where weighted blanket/lap pad can be picked up.  ISAAC Foundation does not ship weighted blankets or lap pads. 
Parent Support:

Dad's Only Trivia Night

This is an opportunity for dads to get out and meet other dads who have children touched by autism. There will be no set  "structure" to this parent connect group. Rather, it will be a casual opportunity for dads to unwind, hang out, and watch sports on the big screen and play Bent trivia while getting to know other dads who understand the unique circumstances of raising a child with special needs. Grab a friend and come on down!

Complimentary pizza provided by The ISAAC Foundation
Location: The Bar @ Pizza Pipeline | 1403 N. Division, Spokane, WA
Meeting Schedule: First Wednesday of every month | Table reserved at 6pm | Trivia game begins at 7pm

Mom's Night Out

Moms will enjoy a glass of wine, beer, soda or water and socialize with good company. It's a great opportunity for moms to get out, unwind and connect with other moms who have children touched by special needs. The evening has the light feel of a comfortable book club among friends, but without the pressure of needing to read a book!! The group loves to meet new moms. Please consider coming, even if it's your first time. We hope to see you there.

Location: Black Label Brewing Company | 19 W. Main, Spokane, Washington
Meeting Schedule: Third Thursday of every month | Table reserved at 5pm

Sibling Spotlight

Having a brother or sister touched by an autism spectrum disorder can be like a roller coaster ride. ISAAC's Sibling Spotlight events are designed specifically for neuro-typical children who have a sibling touched by autism. It is a chance for these kids to connect with peers who can relate to these circumstances.

The first session of every month is facilitated by Roni Gross.

The second session of every month is a fun activity day where we facilitate interactive games and activities while they have fun with their peers in the Sibling Spotlight program.

These events are free for kids ages 6 through 12 but are limited to 20 children per event. Each child registered will receive a free weighted blanket.

Children who are 13+ are encouraged to participate as mentors for the younger children who are enrolled in the program. This is a great volunteer opportunity for young adults in High School and college.

Autism in The Wild, First Responder Program

First Responder Training

Through the collaboration efforts of professional first responders, autism experts, and pediatric therapy providers, The ISAAC Foundation has developed the Autism in the Wild: Community-Based First Responder Program that is a multi-faceted program that strives to do more than simply identify the inherent challenges first responders face when interacting with members of our community touched by autism and other special needs. Its objectives are to provide training for first responders on effective interaction techniques with individuals touched by autism, to provide parents with tangible solutions to 911 emergencies, and to help individuals with autism develop interaction skills, that when learned in advance of a 911 encounter, help to improve the quality of care and elicits positive outcomes between first responders and individuals touched by autism.

The First Responders Training Program is for fire, law enforcement and EMT/paramedics that focuses on the following objectives:

  • Assist First Responders in understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and learn how to recognize ASD characteristics.
  • Give First Responders tools that will help them communicate and interact with individuals with ASD in an emergency situation
  • Provide coaching on how to reduce or eliminate dangerous behaviors that could lead to harm to the responder or individual with ASD.
  • Instruct First Responders (Fire/EMS) about how to best restrain an individual with ASD, if necessary.

Topics covered in training:

  • Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders and different classifications and severities.
  • Discussion of frequently used terms regarding Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • Introduction to the sensory system and integration of these bodily systems.
  • Discussion of sensory integration dysfunctions.
  • Overview of sensory challenges for individuals with ASD.
  • Discussion of the various forms of communication and challenges individuals with ASD face when communicating. 
  • Overview of various ASD characteristics.
  • Use and implementation of weighted blankets as a tool for first responders.
  • Overview of encounter strategies for both medical and fire scenarios.
  • Missing child considerations.
  • Use of ISAAC Alert information and Emergency Medical Information Form.
  • Instruction on effectively using verbal instructions with individuals with ASD.
  • Visual instruction on use of escorting strategies and therapeutic holds.

Additional training opportunities available to municipalities:

  • Use of ISAAC Alert: 911 dispatch address registration system (caution note).
  • Training on municipality facilitated special needs station visits.
  • Implementation and use of weighted blankets in emergency 911 scenarios

The Autism in the Wild First Responders Training program can be implemented via server ready training video or by in-person training on site.
Contact Holly Bahme-Lytle for onsite training rate schedule.

The ISAAC Alert

The Isaac Alert Program is a collaboration between multiple regional dispatch agencies and The ISAAC Foundation along with Spokane Firefighters Local Union 29.  TEMPORARY CAUTION NOTES are for individuals affected by autism and other developmental disabilities with addresses in Spokane County.

At this time, the service area is restricted to the following areas:

Airway Heights, Cheney, City of Spokane, Deer Park, Fairfield, Fairchild AFB, Latah, Liberty Lake, Medical Lake, Millwood, Rockford, Spangle, Spokane Valley and Waverly. 

The importance of registering your address through this program is to alert first responders in an event of a 911 emergency of pertinent information regarding a developmentally impaired individual living at your registered address.

A TEMPORARY CAUTION NOTE should be utilized if an individual residing at the registered address is: non or minimally verbal, potentially combative in highly stressful circumstances, considered a wandering risk if not adequately supervised, and if interior doors and/or windows could be locked causing potential access issues for the fire department.

The TEMPORARY CAUTION NOTE will be seen by any first responder affiliated with the fire department dispatched to the registered address by the regional dispatch office. The content of the TEMPORARY CAUTION NOTE then gets paged to the First Responders that are enroute to the emergency.

The TEMPORARY CAUTION NOTE can only be in place for twelve months because residents frequently relocate and risk factors pertaining to an individual with special needs could change over time. Therefore, TEMPORARY CAUTION NOTES will need to be resubmitted every twelve months by the address occupant.

Residents who choose to submit a TEMPORARY CAUTION NOTE should set a calendar reminder at least 30 days prior to the 12 month renewal date. The ISAAC Foundation will also send an annual reminder via email that your TEMPORARY CAUTION NOTE is set to expire.

Special Needs Station Visits

Autism in the Wild Station days are for first responders, parents, caregivers, and individuals with developmental and/or cognitive impairments.


  • Desensitize and prepare special needs individuals to appropriately interact with First Responders in a fun and stress free environment.
  • Give First Responders an opportunity to gain experience interacting with individuals affected by ASD and other disorders in a real-time environment.

Autism in the Wild Station Days are held monthly geared for children of all ages and all abilities.

Each session is limited to 10 special needs individuals. Neuro-typical siblings are encouraged to attend as well. RSVP is required when attending one of these sessions. If you RSVP, please be sure to attend as other families are placed on a wait list once the station visit reaches maximum capacity.

Families are encouraged to utilize these Autism in the Wild Special Needs Station Visit Days as often as necessary to effectively acclimate their special needs family member to first responders and department vehicles.

Fire department, law enforcement and ambulance personnel attend each station monthly station visit.


**DISCLOSURE: Community staffing must remain a top priority. Therefore, law enforcement personnel may be called away due to a city emergency.


1 in 68 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Many organizations currently have individuals touched by autism enrolled in their community-based programs but staff and volunteers often lack the knowledge or training that allows these individuals with autism to flourish within these programs.

ISAAC Foundation provides workshops for organizations wishing to learn strategies to help individuals touched by autism become successful in their program.

Objectives include:
        Understand ASD & learn how to recognize ASD characteristics
        Learn tools that will help volunteers/staff communicate and interact with individuals with ASD
        Receive coaching on how to reduce or eliminate challenging behaviors
Sliding training fee schedule based on need.  

The ISAAC Foundation
is a tribute and lasting legacy to Isaac Lytle. It's continued work will help to improve the lives of children in our community touched by autism for a lifetime.

Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Volunteers make a huge difference within the ISAAC Foundation. Each year they serve hundreds of hours assisting with outreach, awareness and fundraising. Most significantly, they demonstrate love, understanding and hope to children and their families touched by autism.
  • If you're interested in reaching out to these families touched by autism, bring your heart and your talents and come prepared to receive as well as to give. We have many annual family events as well as host a variety of annual fundraising events that require dozens of volunteers.
  • We currently have volunteer opportunities on our Development Committee. We are adding more fundraising events, big and small and have multiple openings on our Committee and to help with these events so we can support more families living with Autism.  Being on the Committee would entail meeting in person, or via teleconference twice a month, and outreach to potential sponsors/businesses to give to The ISAAC Foundation.  Email Jess Silvernail, Development Director at to be a part of this amazing team!

  • We take used SPIO compression clothing, and used weighted blankets for recycling. 
  • Ready to dive in and become an ISAAC Volunteer?  Contact us to get plugged in for our next event!

    To start the process
    contact us at
Annual Events:
10th Anniversary Celebration: Saturday, July 29th
Taste of Hope Auction Benefit: Held annually on the Friday before Valentines Day
ISAAC Tribute Music Festival:  Middle of April each year
Steps for Autism, 5K Walk/Run: Middle of April each year  

*** This Organization is listed under the following TOPICS ***