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Response to Concerned Parent
Sharon Link, Ph.D. and Jimmy Link 2012 (c)

My name is Sharon Link, Ph.D. I am Jimmy’s mom. I earned a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies, a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership, and I was a classroom teacher for several years. I started the autism learning curve when Jimmy was 3 years old and still wasn’t talking. Jimmy was diagnosed with autism when he was 7 years old. I have written extensively in the area of autism disorders, taught kids with autism, and I developed an online university program for teachers called Effective Strategies for the Autistic Student. I literally have had students from all over the world take my classes and earn the certificate.

I knew from a very early age – well 13 months, when Jimmy started to develop speech and lost it that Jimmy was atypical. He started intensive therapies 5 months later, and we plugged along. At the time Jimmy was diagnosed, autism impacted 1/200 and then 1/150 kids. This statistic soon radically increased. We are now on the threshold of Jimmy’s adulthood, and we are facing an uncertain future. Jimmy and I have a lot to share that will make autism seem less daunting for other autistic parents, because we have made it through some pretty rough challenges.

As Jimmy’s parent and primary advocate, as well as a former classroom teacher, I have been working extensively for the past few years to form the nonprofit, write, research, and develop a body of work that might outfit Jimmy to be able to share his experience as an autistic. I think the evidence of our efforts will be demonstrated this week, because Jimmy did his first presentation to a parent advocacy group on the 26 th. He shared his experience living with autism and provided helpful tips for parents just entering this often terrifying arena. Throughout Jimmy’s life, education, diagnoses, schooling, and anxieties, we have continued to maintain and build Jimmy’s strengths, and Jimmy has numerous strengths. I know I will be able to help you look for strengths in your situation, and I am sure I can offer at least some assurance that while your child is facing a lot of potential uncertainties (and will continue to do so) that there are silver linings, and your child will grow.

This particular blog is a collaborative effort between Jimmy and me. I didn’t previously mention that after Jimmy was diagnosed with autism twice and that together we just wrote a book called The Abyss of Autism. Jimmy is looking forward to the possibility of sharing his autistic voice with others as a young man on the brink of adulthood. Jimmy and I write together prolifically, and as Jimmy responds to the concerns of other parents and families and children with autism, I respond to Jimmy’s words as a parent, educator and advocate. I do this both pragmatically, but from a place of sound research.

To see the rest, please click here.

   

Archived Blogs

March 14, 2012 -Press Release

Idaho Autistic Teen Co-Authors Book about Autism

Sharon Link, Ph.D. and Jimmy Link, Dr. Link’s 16-year-old son wrote a book together called The Abyss of Autism. The book chronicles their life living with autism and offers insights into the experiences of a teen living with the disorder. Jimmy wrote much of his experience using an iPad in the book he co-authored. Diagnosed with autism by two different clinicians, including the University of Washington, Jimmy shares several insights about the diagnostic process from within his own experience, as well as other experiences as an autistic. Dr. Link and Jimmy were both previously featured on a local news broadcast about their experience entitled Living with Autism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTVKOJC87-o&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Intended for parents and educators, The Abyss of Autism (titled by Jimmy) sheds light on different elements of Jimmy’s experiences, and includes an overview of his diagnosis, early intervention, school, fears, interests, and future. Dr. Link responds to Jimmy’s words by sharing her experiences as his mom, advocate, educator, and non-profit Link Autism Leadership founder. Dr. Link also provides insights and advice for parents and educators who are parenting or teaching autistic children. “My goal now is to prepare Jimmy for the life that is ahead of him. I formed the nonprofit Link Autism Leadership to be able to provide training materials, courses and books that will help others on their journey and hopefully instill some hope. To learn more visit http://Linkautism.com. Here you will be able to also see the YouTube video Jimmy made to talk about the book.”

As a result of writing the book, Jimmy hopes that he will be able to make a living sharing his past, present and future experiences living with autism. Many young teens progressing forward with an autism diagnosis are forced to live off state and federal assistance which Jimmy is eligible to receive, or they must work in very routine driven work environment. Jimmy is hoping that he will be able to have a more productive future and is in the process of collaborating with his mom to write other books and materials about his life with autism. Just last October, Sharon and Jimmy presented together at a Vendor Fair in the Spokane area. Having presented at many previous conferences, Sharon is collaborating with Jimmy to share his story to an even bigger audience.

Dr. Sharon Link and Jimmy will be signing books at Hastings book stores March 23 (Spokane Valley), 24 (South Hill), and 25 (Coeur d’Alene) from 1 – 4 pm. For additional information, you may contact Dr. Link at Sharon.Link@live.com or visit http://Linkautism.com. Attached also please find the flyer announcing the event. http://linkautism.com/Flyer900wFinalforschoolsandnonprofits.htm

 

Abyss of Autism educational materials and other content are proprietary to Link Autism Leadership. All materials are solely for the personal use of the enrolled student. Any other use, including but not limited to reproduction or distribution in any form or medium, is strictly prohibited. © 2012 Link Autism Leadership. All rights reserved.