Enhancing the lives of your friends and family touched by autism and other special needs through educational, emotional and financial support programs.
On February 8, 2007, Holly Lytle suffered a tremendous loss when her son Isaac, diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, unexpectedly passed away just 6 weeks short of celebrating his fourth birthday. Determined to turn her personal tragedy into an opportunity to help families similar to her own who were struggling with the hardships of having a loved one affected by autism, Holly channeled her grief and founded the ISAAC Foundation in July of 2007. This was no easy task as the year following Isaac’s death Holly gave birth to her youngest son, Caleb, who was later diagnosed with high functioning autism.
In the years that followed, Holly never allowed personal hardship to derail her desire to provide services for families in need. The ISAAC Foundation provided financial support to hundreds of children in the region diagnosed with autism so that they could receive critical therapy interventions that were not covered by their insurance. She later broadened the scope of ISAAC Foundation’s mission to include emotional support programs for parents and siblings, educational programs for parents, teachers, employers and regional first responders, and a weighted blanket program that generates over 200 weighted blankets and lap pads per year to individuals in need in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.
In her free time, Holly enjoys comedically capturing the day-to-day adventures of raising her typical and special needs children that rivals the writings of Erma Bombeck. While her laugh-out-loud social media posts cleverly capture the humor and personality of each of her children, the real life challenges of raising her special needs family is ever present throughout her posts. In 2015, her Facebook posts gained the interest of a Spokane magazine editor and Holly was offered the opportunity to voice a regular column titled: Sockpants and Super Heroes, a common theme among her writing.
Despite various hardships, Holly and her family continue to be active community advocates as they honor Isaac’s memory with one of the most successful autism organizations in the region. Even more inspiring is that despite her tremendous loss and personal struggles raising her own children with special needs, she can keep on laughing and bringing hope and inspiration to thousands of people in the region touched by autism.
March 28, 2003 - February 8, 2008
Isaac Lytle was born on March 28, 2003 and was a happy boy. Life became even happier when Isaac welcomed his “Irish Twin” brother Tyler to the family just two weeks before celebrating his first birthday. At 15-months of age, Isaac began becoming withdrawn, stopped responding to sound, and began exhibiting symptoms of anxiety. Knowing that it was more than just transitioning to life with a new brother, his parents immediately sought help and were advised that Isaac exhibited “red flags” for autism. Isaac immediately began receiving intensive early intervention therapies from amazing local providers. At the age of 18-months old, Isaac received his first diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). Shortly thereafter, he received the diagnosis of Autism.
The months and years following Isaac’s diagnosis was a mixture of joyous progress and frustrating setbacks. Isaac’s family quickly discovered that not all health insurance plans provided therapy intervention benefits to children diagnosed with autism. Because of insurance limitations, Isaac’s mother Holly began working from home and paid therapists to teach her the therapy techniques needed to help Isaac. Having his younger brother for a play partner became a critical piece of Isaac’s daily therapy. After months of hard work and hours of home therapy, Isaac began to show improvement. Eye contact emerged, he began initiating play with his two brothers, and he even started to enjoy school and interact with his classmates. Most importantly, Isaac was finally finding words.
Not realizing that her time with Isaac would be cut short, Isaac’s mother Holly kissed her beautiful, bright-eyed boy goodnight and in the wee hours of the morning on February 8, 2007, Isaac passed away in his sleep, just six weeks from celebrating his fourth birthday.
Looking back, Holly and his brothers Jared and Tyler prefer to remember all of the good times they shared with him. They fondly recall Isaac’s passion for music. His favorite artists were The Wiggles, who he saw in concert TWICE, and Johnny Cash. His most favorite song was “Ring of Fire” which was one of the only songs that he was known to sing.
In his free time, Isaac enjoyed reading the phone book and watching Jeopardy. Holly also finds it fitting that one of Isaac's favorite movies of all times was the Incredibles, which is a common theme among her writing (Sockpants & Super Heroes). Isaac was also a huge fan of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and was often seen dragging around a stuffed Mickey. It is their hope that Isaac's stuffed Mickey can make the trip to Disneyland when the family visits Disneyland someday. Isaac also left behind an extensive car and train collection which his mom cherishes still to this day.
His most favorite food of all time was McDonald’s fries. His mom could get Isaac to tolerate just about anything with the bribe of McDonald’s fries. Isaac had an instinctual gift for knowing the location of every McDonald’s location in Spokane – and he paid close attention anytime he was in the car! If you passed a McDonald’s without stopping for fries, he would protest loudly from the back seat.
After Isaac’s death, his mother formed The ISAAC Foundation. It is her belief that Isaac's spirit lives in the hearts of the children the foundation serves.