About Me

My own personal experience with autism started when when my son, Jacob, was diagnosed at age 3.

It has been an interesting and sometimes challenging journey, but today it's going fairly well.  Jacob recently graduated with a diploma from public high school.  He has friends and occasionally ventures out into the community, but imaging what he'll do next is a huge challenge for him. My current focus for Jacob is helping him to find a job & enroll the local community college.  I just helped him secure an internship at a local doggie daycare and if all goes well, the owner will consider him for a full-time position.  I'll be supporting Jacob to make social connections at work and educating his supervisors about Jacob so they'll have an understanding of what will work best while training Jacob during this first few weeks on the job.

Jacob has been a huge influence on my career direction.  As the single working mom of a child with autism, the typical 9 to 5 job was not possible.  Employers don't want employees that need to take time off or leave early which was the reality when he was in elementary and middle school.  Through one of his service providers, I found employment as a Behavioral Consultant for preschool and elementary aged students in the classroom and implementing ABA programs in the home.  Supplementing this income by selling on Ebay and doing part-time personal assistant work, this worked out well because the time-off schedule mirrored Jacob's and I could be available to take care of him after school and on weekends.  Starting in high school, he could stay on his own a bit so this allowed me to return to work full-time.  For two years, I ran a small private school that incorporated the Relationship Development Intervention program into its curriculum.  When the school closed, I took a job as Program Director of a residential support program for young adults with autism and Asperger's Syndrome that supported students in college, internships, social thinking, executive functioning, and life skills.  I left that job a couple years ago, and now I'm back in the classroom with elementary-aged children as an educational interventionalist and as a teacher in an after school program that teaching live action and Lego animation.  

I'm also in the beginning stages of developing a home-based support employment/social mentoring program for young adults with autism.  With Jacob as my first client, I just found him the job that I mentioned above, then I'll be finding community-based activities that I'll be helping to share with his co-workers and plan activities after hours and during the weekends.  I'll also giving him support so he can manage a class or two at community college.  The program will also offer parent training and coaching so parents can learn to adjust to the "letting go" process and interact and communicate with their adult child in ways that best foster independence.

If you are a parent or caregiver of an individual with autism have any questions or need advice on what's worked for me and Jacob, please be in contact.  I also have a lot referrals of professionals in the West Los Angeles area.

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