11 Autism Superstars You Need to Know
What better month than April to show our love for some of our favorite autism advocates? Whether you’re looking for resources, information, tips, empathy, understanding, validation, community, or just a good laugh, these autism superstars have you covered!
Frank Campagna. You all probably know him as Autism Daddy, Frank tells it like it is with no sugar-coating, the good, the bad and the ugly. I think we can all appreciate an autism parent who freely talks about poop.
Our favorite quote from Frank: “I just try to live in the moment and not look too far ahead and too far behind.”
Eileen Shaklee – Autism With a Side of Fries. Isn’t everything better with a side of fries? Eileen’s down-to-earth, humorous, quirky and honest posts strike a chord with autism parents. Plus, we love a few choice off-colored words when we’re ticked off, as well.
Our favorite quote from Eileen: It’s better to laugh than to cry. Mainly because I got distracted by the free samples at Costco and forgot to buy tissues.
Deb Peralta. A dynamo of a powerhouse, wrapped in a firecracker topped with a can-do-attitude, Deb became an advocate for children with autism when her boys were diagnosed. As VP of Special Education on San Francisco’s PTA board, she has implemented inclusive practices and tools in the area’s schools. With all she’s done for special needs families in the bay area, it was no surprise to those who know her when Deb, nominated by Mayor Lee, won an award during Women’s History Month.
Our favorite quote from Deb: “Everything makes a difference, no matter how big or small. I want to inspire other parents to find a way to make a difference!”
Amy Carter – Through Our Lives. If we had to pick one word to describe Amy, it would be Survivor. Amy is the survivor of domestic abuse and cancer. You just can’t keep her down, and she keeps her positive attitude through it all. She’s an advocate for her son with Autism and closely involved with the Special Olympics.
Our favorite quote from Amy: “People with special needs can offer more than you would ever begin to know. All you have to do is be patient and just give them the opportunity.”
Lisa Quinones-Fontzane – Atypical Familia. As far as we can tell, Lisa never sleeps. Between work, writing, and being a special needs mom, she still found the time to get her masters degree in creative writing. She is a champion in bringing autism awareness to the Latino community.
Our favorite quote from Lisa: “Tempting as it might be, stop trying to read the child’s mind. Consider what the next level of communication might be and expect that.”
Margalit Francus – Autistic Globetrotting. She had us at “autism travel made easy.” Margalit was a trailblazer in the world of special needs travel and continues to share resources, advice, information and day-dream worthy stories of her family’s travels all around the globe.
Our favorite quote from Margalit: “ If we can correctly pinpoint why [special needs] parents frequently avoid travel, everyone involved in the travel process would be able to help these families travel better and more often.”
Kate Swenson – Finding Cooper’s Voice. Kate shares with us her family’s sad, funny, hopeful and heartbreaking journey in the secret world of nonverbal autism. Kate bares all, including the isolation so many special needs families experience.
Our favorite quote from Kate: “My advice to parents is to give yourself time to accept your child’s diagnosis. You are human. Cut yourself some slack. And then you will be able to love the child that you have in an even stronger way.”
Kori Tomelden – Kori at Home. From printables, to wellness tips for moms, to inspiration, Kori’s made her blog a one-stop-shop for special needs parents. She offers encouragement, understanding, acceptance and many resources.
Our favorite quote from Kori: “It does get better. Some days, it may not seem like it and some days, yes – there will be setbacks. But take that in stride. The good and the bad, the ugly and the beautiful; take it all in stride.”
Shanell Mouland – Go Team Kate. A potty-mouthed Canadian (yes- really!), Shanell is a true bad-a$$ autism mom. She’s wonderfully talented at showing the other side of a narrative through her funny, thought provoking journey.
Our favorite quote from Shanell: “The vast majority of us don’t raise our children to be mean. So, if you suspect your child is dabbling in being a class A jerk, don’t beat yourself up about it.”
Tulika Prasad – Brain Droplets. An optimist at heart who acknowledges her inner pessimist, Tulika invites autism parents to come together in a non-judgmental space to share their feelings and experiences.
Our favorite quote from Tulika: “Apparently a lot of the challenges that Autism poses to families are not because of what their child is but because what the world is not.”
Penny Rogers – Our Crazy Adventures in Autism Land. Penny shares her family’s struggles and successes, along with resources for special needs homeschooling, gluten-free cooking, travel and religion in her well-rounded blog.
Our favorite quote from Penny: “No one does better research than a mother whose child is suffering.”
Who’s your autism superstar? Share with us in the comments!