My husband and I have 3 children: two daughters aged 20 and 12 and our son (with autism) who is 18 years old. Teaching in Ontario, Canada for 23 years has equipped me with vast experience in all kinds of learning differences and challenging learning difficulties. But none would compare with teaching my own son both in the general classroom (for two years) and in private therapy at home. It was these experiences that both drained me emotionally and inspired me professionally. Being the teacher and the mom brought me face to face with my own teaching philosophy and my teaching practices. Living on both sides of a child’s education taught me many lessons in advocacy. The critical role of building relationships, compromise and empathy became crystal clear as I sat in both the teacher and parent role. I am thrilled to be the owner of Autism Aspirations, a company that is passionate about empowering families and educators to collaborate effectively to help individuals with autism to reach their full potential. I am also the the author of four books: Been There. Done That. Finally Getting it Right. A Guide to Educational Planning for Students with Autism One Step at a Time: ABA and Autism in the Classroom; Practical Strategies for Implementing Applied Behaviour Analysis for Student with Autism Autism and the Grandparent Connection: Practical Ways to Understand and Help your Grandchild with Autism Spectrum Disorder Une étape à la fois : ACA et autisme en classe (ABA and Autism in the Classroom) Stratégies pratiques pour implanter l'Analyse Comportementale Appliquée pour élèves autistes (translated by Judith Rioulx Wilson)
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I achieved my undergrad degree in Psychology and History at Queen's University and then an Education degree at Lakehead University. I earned Masters of Education in Human Development and Applied Psychology at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Raising a son with autism motivated me to obtain a Special Education Specialist and to train extensively in Special Education and Autism at Queen’s University, Nipissing University and the Geneva Centre for Autism in Toronto, Ontario.
I have been blessed with a family and a career that have enriched my life and made me who I am today. I want to share what I have learned and do my part to open the doors for students that have autism, their teachers and their parents. I want to facilitate collaboration, teamwork and mutual understanding in the education of our children. It is my belief that Autism has the potential to create more compassionate communities and families if we accept the challenge of working together to recognize the strengths, develop weaknesses and celebrate the diversity of autistic minds.