Life’s Stepping Stones Prepare Mother to Help Those on Autistic Spectrum

Being open minded and allowing one self to investigate all possibilities is a virtue that is worth the time and effort necessary.

Not until recently did I realize the ultimate benefit of various experiences early on in my life. I’m grateful for how my past molded me into the woman I am today…a mild mannered yet hard working and strong willed Mother of two special needs children.

A short vignette of who I am and where I’ve been will help you relate, at least in some way, with me. Of course, I want to get to know you too.

Although currently residing in Canada, I was born in Oklahoma, raised in Florida, Georgia and Texas.

My Mother worked for Pan American Airlines and Dad was an Aeronautical Engineer (most definitely on the autism spectrum though I didn’t know it at the time).

We travelled quite a bit and I developed a love for gemstones. After getting out of the Air Force (stationed in Panama City, FL) I went to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in CA to become a Gemologist.  I then moved to Seattle, WA and had my own gem shop where I sold large diamonds, colored stones and custom jewelry. (I still work in our jewelry store from time to time and still sell some larger gemstones).

It’s interesting to note that, as a jeweler, one has to pay attention to details and accurately determine the value of luxurious “stones” and other jewelry.

Although I attended GIA, there were several other organizations that also determined the value of diamonds and other colored stones. Determining the value of a diamond is both a science and an art. A GIA gemologist’s opinion of a diamond’s value can differ from that of a gemologist at any other diamond grading institution, even when grading the exact same diamond.

You’d be amazed how this helped me deal with various doctors and mental health professionals involved with my two special needs children.

Opinions are just that, opinions. Accept that which works for you, whether or not someone else says otherwise. After all, my son Alex’s diagnosis shifted a lot since his birth…nothing was guaranteed.

As a Mother, I soon found what really mattered was our home life as a family and how we loved our children. Our two special needs children are my real “gems.”

1984 brought a move to Canada and life as a newlywed.

Looking back, there were certainly many changes in my life that required me to roll with the changes and adapt to new places and challenges. This certainly prepared me to handle autistic children.

It’s as if my entire life prior to marriage was preparing me for something without yet knowing what that “something” was.

My hope is that doing what I do and having been blessed with wonderful life experiences can in turn help you and your family.

Always be open minded, willing to change, continually learning, empathetic and forever loving your role in life to help others in need.

What is your background that has enabled you to help others?

How has your past prepared you for the trials of today?

Take a moment to share your story with me.

Tell your story now by leaving a comment below.

As did mine, your past can help support a fabulous future.

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


P.S. Please check out a few recommendations that will give you tips, strategies, and tools for preparing for the future with a special needs individual.

To download a video presentation that will help you prepare for life with a special needs loved one, please click this link:


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