Founder and Executive Director
Feeling strongly that no family should struggle accessing services for their child touched by autism, Holly formed The ISAAC Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that enhances the lives of families touched by autism through educational, emotional and financial support programs.
Holly works tirelessly in her role as Executive Director of The ISAAC Foundation focusing a great deal of her time personally getting to know the families the ISAAC Foundation serves so that she can better assist them with the programs and services she develops and The ISAAC Foundation maintains. The purpose of these programs is to improve the quality of life for the entire family because she personally has one of these special families herself. Holly’s son Tyler lives with PTSD/Tourette’s Syndrome and her son Caleb has high functioning autism.
Despite all of the hardships, Holly and her family continue to be a beacon of inspiration 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 children with special needs, she can keep on laughing and bringing hope and inspiration to thousands of people in their region touched by autism.
Jess Silvernail has a long and diverse background in helping those in the Autism Community and other families living with developmental delays. First and foremost though she is the mother to three daughters, an 11 year old on the Autism Spectrum, a spicy and curious 3 year old and a sweet 2 year old, whom are also peer models at the Spokane Guild’s school.
Jess came from Western, WA to Eastern, WA 2 years ago to learn about the strengths and challenges families living with Autism faced day to day. She dedicated her time to specific outreach and advocacy, while developing relationships with the providers diagnosing this Mental Health condition and with the therapists and our schools treating the many needs those Autistic individuals can have. She formed partnerships with many organizations that also support those living with Autism and other developmental delays, and together has founded a Network of Champions that serve our I/DD community, and those constituents with Intellectual and Developmental Delays.
Jess is also an excellent public speaker and has presented to families on how best to advocate for your child that has been diagnosed with Autism, how to navigate your insurance after or before receiving a diagnosis and on educational seminars for parents and professionals wanting to learn more about the Special Education process. In the same scope, Jess has managed over 10 various fundraising events from auctions, luncheons, resource fairs, concerts and walks. Her experience with the development of an organization is expansive, but her passion lies with helping others, supporting families, providers and investing her time to ensure those living with ASD can succeed and thrive in life.
Isaac was born to his parents, Reed and Holly Lytle, on March 28, 2003. He was named after his two grandfathers, Isaac “Lynn” Bahme and Dennis Lytle. He was a happy baby who brought immense joy to his parents and older brother Jared. At approximately 15 months of age, Isaac began becoming withdrawn, stopped responding to sound and began exhibiting symptoms of anxiety. His parents immediately sought help and were told that Isaac exhibited “red flags” for autism. Isaac immediately began receiving intensive early intervention therapies such as speech, occupational and DIR/Floortime therapies. At approximately 18 months old, Isaac received his official diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), under the umbrella of autism spectrum disorders.
The months and years following Isaac’s diagnosis was a mixture of joyous progress and frustrating setbacks. Isaac’s parents quickly discovered that not all health insurance plans provided therapy intervention benefits to children diagnosed with autism. Because of insurance limitations for Isaac’s therapy needs, Isaac’s mother began working from home and paid therapists to teach her the therapy techniques needed to help Isaac fight autism. After months of hard work and hours of home therapy with his parents, Isaac began to improve. He began making eye contact, started to enjoy school and interact with classmates, siblings and cousins and most importantly he began to speak.
Not realizing that their time with Isaac would tragically be cut short, Isaac’s parents kissed their beautiful, bright eyed boy goodnight and in the wee hours of the morning on February 8, 2007, Isaac quietly passed away in his sleep from an undetected genetic heart defect, not related to autism. Isaac was just a few weeks from celebrating his fourth birthday.
Looking back, Isaac’s parents prefer to remember all of the good times they shared with him. His family fondly remembers Isaac’s passion for music. His favorite songs were by the Wiggles. Isaac had the pleasure of seeing the Wiggles in concert here in Spokane TWICE!!! He also enjoyed almost every song performed by Johnny Cash but was particularly fond of “Ring of Fire” and would often sing along.
His favorite movie was “Finding Nemo” but would hide in his room during the opening scene of the movie (when Nemo’s mother Coral is attacked by the Barracuda Fish). He just couldn’t watch the loss of Nemo’s mother. Isaac was also a huge fan of Mickey Mouse and had a stuffed Mickey that he would give lots and lots of hugs. Isaac also left behind an extensive car and train collection which his parents cherish to this day.
As with all children, Isaac loved his junk food. His particular favorites were popcorn, any kind of soda, milkshakes and ice cream of any flavor, popsicles, pizza and any candy he could get his hands on. His most favorite food of all time was McDonald’s French Fries. Isaac’s parents laugh as they remember his instinctual knowledge 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 french fries, he would yell in protest from the back seat.
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.