A lot has happened since my son Tom was diagnosed with autism almost 20 years ago. Having a son with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) changed my life in so many ways. I found myself doing things I never imagined doing and took on many unexpected roles. My plan was to be a stay-at-home mom but instead I became an autism professional. I worked as advocate for several hundred families over the course of a decade. My clients included more than ten teachers who asked me to help them navigate the IEP process for their own children!
My unexpected journey also led me to become a community leader, inclusion specialist, author, film-maker, presenter and police trainer. While Tom was getting his college degree, I got a Master’s Degree at the same university. This led to a position as an adjunct professor of Special Education, teaching teachers of students with ASD. Who knew?!?
And Tom? He has overcome many obstacles to accomplish so many things. He graduated from college, became a certified public accountant and worked in the field for many years as an intern, a temp, and a full-time employee with benefits. Now he works full-time as a presenter and motivational speaker. Tom is the co-author of our upcoming book on the transition to adulthood and joins me to co-facilitate presentations and training events.
Information is Power. Tom and I want to share more than our story. We want empower others with information, skills and determination they need to make a difference in the life of a person with ASD, whether it is your child (of any age) your student, someone you assist, or yourself.