Almost Everything I Know About Autism,
I Learned From Other Parents!


Experience is the best teacher can apply to any difficult situation but none as challenging as raising a child, especially a child with developmental disabilities. The terrain families must travel is often rough in places. However, taken together, the practical advice and support from experienced parents who have walked the disability journey into adulthood can be priceless to newly diagnosed families.



  • Discover how and why a disability diagnosis challenges the traditional parenting role.
  • Learn some common pitfalls of parenting a child with a disability.
  • Hear tested approaches from experienced parents about finding appropriate services, professionals, school assistance and family-building support.
  • Realize the importance of finding a fellow parent-mentor during the autism journey.

Laurie Cramer, Executive Director, Autism Society of Greater Akron


Diane Taylor is a former foster parent for medically-fragile children for 20 years. Blessed to be the adoptive parent of three foster children, including 31-year-old twin daughters on the autism spectrum. Involved in Special Olympics as a parent, coach and chaperone.

Brett Zimmerman has an adult son, Ethan, who is 31 years old and on the spectrum. Ethan lives two blocks from his other father & I, which affords Ethan the opportunity to live independently, while we are close enough to ensure medications are administered & his daily needs are met. I have been employed by Springfield Local Schools for 25 years as an Intervention Specialist and have been involved with ASGA for 15 years.

Becky Lowe is a mom of 23 year old daughter, Katie, who has autism. Katie's mom became a strong advocate for early intervention, 1:1 behavioral therapy and inclusion. Katie socially graduated Magna Cum Laude from high school in 2017 with her twin brother. She stayed in school until her 22nd birthday so she could continue to work on her vocational goals. Katie is now employed in her community in a field of her choosing. Becky realized early on that Katie would learn and do things differently from her typical peers, but it was important to believe in her daughter's potential and to never stop advocating.

Vincent Jagodzinski is dad to twin boys that are 22 years old and on the spectrum. One son is working three jobs and has his license. He still lives with his mother. My other son lives in a small group home with three roommates and attends a day program 7 days a week.



About the Autism Society of Greater Akron

The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) is part of a nationwide network of affiliates with the Autism Society of America, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots autism organization. ASGA serves Summit, Stark, Wayne, Portage and Medina counties (OH) and works locally to achieve its mission -- to create connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources needed to live fully.

ASGA is also a proud member of the Ohio Family Network (OFN), connecting people with disabilities and their families to local information and resources within their communities.  OFN provides opportunities to share ideas, find solutions to common challenges and inspire and strengthen others.