I feel like I’ve already known you for a long time… If you are like me and most parents of children with autism, I know you are your child’s biggest fan, you see the struggles they face and it breaks your heart. You wish you knew how to do more to help them but really isn’t that what the experts are for?
And if you’re super in-tune with your child and you know that they are capable of so much more progress and all the professional help isn’t getting you anywhere, you don’t know why the therapy hasn’t been working but maybe just one more therapy will be the one you need… You are in the right place!
There are so many well meaning doctors, therapists, and teachers out there who want your child to make progress but they can’t tell you what to do to make it “happen”.
I know.. I have been there! It sucked to be completely honest!
If you’re like many parents out there you are struggling to do it by the seat of your pants and all alone!
I’m Jodi LeBlanc, Autism Strategist, school counselor, parent coach, author, and most importantly momma to 3 incredibly beautiful and talented girls, the youngest of which was diagnosed with severe autism at the age of 26 months after 14 months of struggling to get help!
This is why I do what I do
I’m an autism strategist who works with parents of young children who are tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, and don’t know how to help their child. They struggle day to day, are afraid of what the future holds, and feel isolated and alone. As someone who’s been there myself, I help them make and execute a plan so they can get in tune with their child’s needs, make progress, and enjoy parenting again.
Like you, my life was dramatically changed when I suspected my youngest daughter had autism and I couldn’t get help. My daughter had quit responding to peek-a-boo, her language wasn’t developing, she stared at lights and the eye contact just wasn’t there. She didn’t even notice if we left the room!
Some days I spent hours making calls and talking to people to get help which was ridiculous with my background and position. I felt like if I couldn’t get help who could? This lit a fire to help others get started as soon as they could. No waiting for anyone!
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN?
Right out of college, I began working with adults with developmental disabilities. I set up education plans, development plans and incorporated training that helped them learn to be independent as possible.
It was an everyday fact of life that many of the parents I worked with to get their child more independent were fiercely against anything that put their child outside of their scope of control.
They loved their child, they were involved in every aspect of their child’s life, but they didn’t prepare their adult children for the day that they would no longer be there to care for them and it broke my heart.
So often our children are capable of so much more than parents can see because they worry so much that something will happen if they are able to do more, not thinking about the situation that happens when they are gone.
Other parents are so panicked and worried about what will happen to their child when they are gone they fail to live in the now and give their child what they need to make progress. It is impossible to make meaningful progress if your child is always stressed and you are always stressed because a child with autism feels your stress!
I took my education and experience and spent almost two decades planning, training and overseeing child development and instruction for thousands of children. Children with special needs, children with all kinds of backgrounds, disabilities and their caregivers.
Then the wake-up call…
Fast forward over a decade . . .
I was further frustrated by the fact that after therapy for more than 3 years she wasn’t making the progress that I thought she should be, there was no speech still, no requesting food, drink or any of the things that you would expect a 4 year old to do.
I knew there had to be more that could be done and once I learned how to move forward I knew I needed to share that with other parents who need to get their child moving in the right direction.
There is so much that parents can do to help their child make progress I was good at my job and making good money, but I knew my daughter needed more, I knew I should be doing more. I knew that there were other parents out there that were struggling in a way that was so raw and real that I could do something about so I began to figure out what it would take to reach them.
It was time for me to step up and become the type of person I needed to be so that all children would have the greatest chance at the life they deserved and every other child with autism whose parents wanted to learn to do what they could to help move their child forward…
It wasn’t easy—and there were days when I didn’t feel like I was going anywhere fast. Honestly there are days I still feel that way. I had a whole new learning curve, how to write, how to blog, how to put together an online curriculum, how to manage a website and what to do to find the people that need me. I knew there were people out there parents, just like me that needed the help and hope I could provide. I just had to learn how to go about doing all that.
I have always known that my daughter was capable of much more than she was doing…I had already learned that everything I had been taught in college and graduate school about autism was not applicable.
I knew that typical child development was not the process that children with autism go through. I had seen signs of real intelligence by 9 months but nothing correlated to her development. So I took everything I knew about child development, social development and psychological services and made a path forward.
I never would have been able to accomplish this if I was still working my corporate job.
As my daughter grows older, I want her to know that I believe she can do anything she puts her mind to, and that—while things might not always come easily to her—she is capable, with proper supports, and a community of people that will support her… a community which we are forming here … with determination of other parents like myself and self confidence I am instilling in her and the belief will take her a long way towards fulfilling her potential and dreams.
I want your child to know all of those things, too.
I want to live in a world where people understand that autism is different. It is an ability and a disability in one, it means different things to different people and that with love and support there can be less limits than what many place on a child, even children who are severe.
A world in which anything is possible.
Autism Advantages ™ is the first of its kind focusing on what children with autism need, where they are at developmentally and socially and how to use that information to make a strategic plan that encompasses all therapies, education plan and to empower parents to be their child’s most powerful therapist just by playing and relating in the way their child needs.
Everyday I work to help children with autism everywhere be understood, appreciated and loved for who they are. I do this by designing plans, training, easy to understand guides and tracking and working with parents to assess their child’s social and developmental level, make strategic plans based on their child’s likes and dislikes and what they need to move forward, make a plan that can include therapists and school and give guidance on implementing it on a schedule that is realistic and doable. Progress isn’t made overnight, progress isn’t linear but progress is possible and your child is capable no matter where they are! Every step is a step to be celebrated!
To learn more about Autism Advantages™ and how to work with me 1-1, click here.
JODI’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS INCLUDE
Author of the Amazon new bestseller “IF IT IS AUTISM, ARE YOU PREPARED?” and the Developmental Journal “The Journey”
Over two decades of experience in Child Development, Psychological Services and early childhood education.
Teaching parents and teachers, daycare owners, and their staff child development and developmentally appropriate practices.
Licensed School Counselor and Early Childhood educator