Hi my friends, I'm Shannon.
I am 52 years young and the mother of two amazing children. I am a Master Certified Parent Coach working exclusively with moms raising a child diagnosed with autism.
Jordan is 25 and was diagnosed with autism when he was five. He is MY WHY and the reason I am here with you today. I also have an incredibly smart, beautiful, and athletic 23-year-old daughter, Maddie. She graduated college in May of 2021 with a Major in Communications and a double Minor in Sports & Business studies. She was a student-athlete playing collegiate softball and is now working in the Athletic Department at her alma mater. Being their MOM is my greatest blessing.
The final piece of our family puzzle is Dave. Dave is my person and the man I chose to spend forever with. You will hear many stories about Dave and I inside the Sisterhood and on our Podcast, but he is nothing short of remarkable. He knew nothing about autism when he came into our lives. He has learned autism from joining our family and has traveled this road with us. Despite our many autism challenges along the way, leaving was never an option for him, he was all in and for that, I am so grateful. He chose us.
Jordan was my firstborn child so trust me when I say, I had NO IDEA what was or should be “normal/typical”.
He did not meet his typical milestones and had ear infection after ear infection beginning at 6 months of age. By 3 years old, he was diagnosed PDD-NOS. I knew something wasn’t right, but I had no idea where to go for help.
I remember hearing the words "kids like him" for the very first time when he had a major meltdown in the middle of the hallway in kindergarten. I remember the day I was told that he would not be able to be in a regular kindergarten class and that he couldn't ride the bus the other kids in our neighborhood rode. He would have to ride the "special bus". Then he wouldn't stay in his seat and was taking his clothes off so they were going to put him in a harness. It was those moments and so many more when I felt so sad, so alone & scared.
It was all so overwhelming and no one I knew had a child with autism. I had no idea where to turn. This is WHY I founded Not Your Average Autism Mom SISTERHOOD Community.
How or why Jordan had autism never mattered. I focused on how I was going to make his life the best it could be. We do not discuss any of the controversies around the HOW and/or WHY of autism here at Not Your Average Autism Mom.
In the next few years, I went through a divorce, which as you know divorce rates amongst parents of children on the spectrum are very high, so yes, I am part of that statistic. Following my divorce, a few very difficult years followed for me. After putting that behind me, I became the most committed and dedicated single mother that I could be. Their father and I co-parented for many years but they always lived with me. We made a not-so-good situation the best it could be.
I went on to become an Educational Advocate and a Certified Parent Coach and spent the next 10 years building an Advocacy company and working with the most amazing families and Advocates anywhere.
Jordan always had significant social deficits and behavior struggles. He has never been easy to figure out. He had the BEST teachers and educational teams throughout his education & graduated High School in 2015 with a special diploma.
In 2016 when Maddie graduated High School and was on her way to college, we moved from Florida to the mountains of North Georgia. Jordan attends a Day Program for Adults with different abilities with an amazing staff who work very closely with Dave and I. I can't even begin to explain how grateful I am that we chose to move.
I founded Not Your Average Autism Mom for one reason because I want YOU to have a place where you can BE HONEST and OPEN and know that you will not be judged. A place to learn and grow and to have that safe place where you can get guidance and direction on whatever you are personally going through.
When you join our SISTERHOOD, you will get to know me and my family, our team, and be part of our big extended family. We are here for you, and we show up for you on good days and sometimes maybe not so good days, but I can promise you one thing for sure, we are here for YOU!