I graduated from Stanford University in 1995 with a Ph.D. in Sociology, specializing in small group research and the study of organizations. Upon my return to British Columbia, I spent 14 years advocating for the rights of children with autism access treatment. During this period, so many parents were desperate to access treatment programs that I created a 35 minute VHS/DVD [Autism: Now What Do I Do?] to help guide parents through setting up science-‐based treatment programs for their children. In 2002, I was awarded Queen Elizabeth’s 50th Golden Jubilee Medal for advocacy work done on behalf of children affected with autism.
My advocacy culminated in the now famous Supreme Court of Canada ruling Auton (Guardian ad litem of) v. British Columbia in 2004 and the education precedent-setting British Columbia Hewko case. During the last 15 years, I wrote several books on autism, one of which [Teach Me Language] has been subsequently translated into French, Italian and Norwegian. The next book I wrote, [Science for Sale in the Autism Wars], chronicles the struggle children with autism face against a system that does not recognize their rights to treatment. My most recent book [The Complete Guide to Autism Treatments (2011)] is an up-to‐date evaluation on the various treatments offered for children with autism. My hope is that through my scholarship, thousands of parents will not have to go through the uncertain journey of generations of parents of newly diagnosed children. Instead, parents can quickly evaluate various treatments and make sure that their child receives science-based treatment rather than treatments based on testimonials and good wishes.
How Did I Enter Coaching?
I have been informally coaching 1000s of parents over the last 15 years through parent group presentations, individual conversations about various publications I authored, and phone conversations from parents all over the world who have come across a book I’ve authored or have read my blog. With the advent of Skype, the number of individual requests for one-on-one parent and team coaching have increased exponentially. In short, I did not choose parent coaching, but rather, parent coaching chose me. In order to reach as many parents as possible to share the expertise I have amassed over the last 21 years from my own child’s diagnosis, treatment, and advocacy, I began to blog in 2011. Although I try to be as comprehensive as possible through my blog, there are speciﬁc situations where parents have asked for individualized coaching.