Career Created by the True Gems in Life

So what do want to be when you grow up?

No doubt, as children, all of us have not only been asked this question but have had to live it once we “grew up”.

Are you a fireman, attorney or doctor?

How about a social worker, psychologist or nurse?

My career history includes the Air Force and after that a gemologist which led to my own jewelry store.

After moving to Canada we began our family and had many children: Kim, Matt, Christina, Jonathan, Stephen and Alex. Some are gifted and two have certain special needs, autism and ADHD (though this diagnosis has shifted a lot since birth).

While delivering my last child in 1994, I nearly died, was given my last rites and a one percent chance to live. I recovered against all odds at which time my career path shifted out of necessity from gemology to special needs after learning of my own children’s greater needs.

For most women, their wedding day is a magical event that we’ve waited for our entire lives. Some are just smitten by the sparkling new ring.

I’m grateful that the true “gems” in my life are my children. I’ve been fortunate to have been guided to my new career as special needs provided and entrepreneur. Without Jonathan and Alex, Little Rainman: Autism–Through the Eyes of a Child, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Children with Special Needs or any other collaboration within the developmentally disabled genre.

Clearly, the gem on my finger was foreshadowing what was yet to come in my life.

My children, my real “gems”, are the main focus of my life’s work.

Having been asked “What do you want to be when you grow up” as a child I never thought my answer would be a fulfilling career that directly helps my children as well as those of countless other families in need.

How has your career path been altered in response to special needs individuals?

What are the “gems” in your life?

Share your story with me by leaving a comment below.

I look forward to hearing your career story.

Karen Simmons
Mother, Wife, Author, Founder & CEO of


P.S. Check out these tips, strategies, and tools relating to your career path related to special needs individuals.

To download a video presentation that will help you cope with careers related to special needs, click this link:


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