I am very excited to have  Sandra Pearson as a guest  blogger on this post.  She is a true example of a mother who has mastered Autism on her own terms! She embraces the diagnosis with her website   http://ourspecialfamiliesvillage.org/by helping other special needs parents everyday! My hat goes off to you Sandra and it is my pleasure to feature you here. You are an inspiration to all of us! Here is her story.
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Who you are and what you do today?

I'm Matthew' Mom.

According to my Driver License, I am also Sandra Pearson.

Professionally speaking, I am an Internet/Online Marketing Consultant and Copywriter. I own ePro Virtual Assistance. I specialize in helping Special Needs Service Providers with their online marketing so they can help more People with Special Needs.

I also wrote an eBook to help Moms with Special Needs Kids work from home as Virtual Assistants. It's free and you can get a copy here: http://www.eprovirtualassistance.com/the-va-biz-101-free-ebook/

Some information about your child with ASD

Matthew is now 20 years old and is diagnosed as having "high functioning" Autism. He is in an independent living skills program that is administered through our local high school. He also has epilepsy. He cannot make legal, medical or financial decisions for himself so he is conserved. In other words, we remain his legal guardian even though he is over 18.

Matthew is a "gentle soul"; he likes everyone and doesn't seem to care if they don't like him. He loves to run and ran Cross Country and Track in High School. His is a huge Sponge Bob fan, is an incredible artist and his dream is to be a policeman. I'm hoping that someday he can work for a private security firm.

How did you "Evolve" from going against Autism to embracing it in your own terms by doing social media for special needs families?

Matthew was diagnosed just before his 3rd birthday. We knew he was behind with his speech but thought his developmental delays were just because he's a boy. So we had him work with a Speech Therapist. She was the one who raised the question of a "bigger problem." This was way back in 1995.

 I don't feel I was ever "against" Autism. The label meant nothing to me. I already knew Matthew and what he was capable of at that point. So I just started looking for information and resources to help Matthew be the Matthew he wants to be.

At the time, the Internet was really in it's infancy. We were one of the few families who had it. Matthew's Dad is a computer geek so we had a computer and Prodigy internet before most people even knew what the "information superhighway" was.

I started searching for Autism related information but all I found was stuff written for doctors and research scientists. It wasn't written in any English I understood and there was nothing I could use with Matthew. But I knew there could be. So as the Internet evolved, I started a blogspot site, eventually I moved it over to OurSpecialFamiliesVillage.org and just started sharing the information I was finding. I didn't focus just on Autism but on all Special Needs. My local network consisted of families whose kids had all kinds of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and many of our challenges were similar - dealing with Special Ed and IEP's, behavioral challenges, health issues, etc.

As my site and network grew, my Virtual Assistance business evolved to where I was specializing in marketing support for special needs services. So now I focus Our Special Families Village on sharing information and resources from service providers I "meet" through my ePro Virtual Assistance network.

I'm not really sure how it all happened, most of it wasn't planned. I was just trying to find help for Matthew and myself and make a living at the same time. And as I went, the next step was revealed. Not much of a business plan but it works for me!You can visit Sandra at http://www.eprovirtualassistance.com


 

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