Media Kit

For Media and Press Inquiries, or to Schedule an Interview with Karen Simmons, the Autism Lady:

In Canada Call:   780.417.5336   |   By Fax:   780-416-4330   |   In USA Call:   808-753-8223??  |   Email:   media <at> autismtoday.com

 

To Download Karen’s Full Press Kit in PDF Form Click Here

 

Why the Media Loves to Interview Expert Karen Simmons…

  About Karen Simmons:

  CEO & Founder of AutismToday.com

  Autism & Special Needs Expert

  Passion for Helping Children, Families, Parents,

     Educators, Teachers, and Doctors Worldwide

  Mother of 6 Children

     (1 Autistic / 1 Special Needs)

  Organizer of Over 50+ Children’s Conferences

  Speaker and Author of 7 Books

     Chicken Soup for the Soul® – Children with Special Needs

     Little Rainman – Autism Through the Eyes of a Child

     Artism™ – Art by Those with Autism

     The Official Autism 101 Manual

  ??  Surrounded By Miracles

     The Autism Experience – Stories of Hope and Love

     Autism Tomorrow – Complete Guide to Helping Your Child Thrive in the


Karen, the Autism Lady, is an autism expert who’ll show your audience successful techniques to help children with autism and Asperger syndrome get along better and be more accepted by other children. She’ll tell you how she did it and how other viewers and listeners can too.

 

 Recent Media Interviews with Karen Simmons

 

     

Click to Watch PBS Interview

Click to Watch Woman of Vision Interview

Click to Watch Fox Interview

     

 

 

 

     
   

Click to Watch Vicki Show Interview

Click to Watch Global TV Interview

 

 

 

     

 


 

 Karen Simmons is Author of Seven Books

 

See All of Karen’s Books on Amazon.com

 

         


 

Fox News Interview with Karen Simmons – Video Clip

 

 

“Talking with Karen Simmons was such a joy. She is a fountain of information and inspiration as she knows the special needs of our very special children. Karen Simmons of Autism Today has the answers to the questions we need.”

John Maer
Metro Networks News
Indianapolis, Indiana

 

PBS Special with Karen Simmons – Video Clip

   

“Karen Simmons was a fantastic guest with so much information for families dealing with Autism. Karen is a great guest and her website is a fantastic tool for Autism Awareness and Resources!”

Shawn Michaels

Ocean County Breakfast Show

92.7 WOBM-FM

Toms River, New Jersey

 

(Scroll to 20:00 watch Karen Simmons and her son Jonny’s Segment)

 

 

Women of Vision Interview with Karen Simmons

   

“Karen did a great job of not only presenting her personal story, but also giving hope to parents and grandparents of autistic children who might be listening. I learned quite a bit about autism just talking with her.”

Jeff Brucculeri
Tulsa Business Today
KAKC

Tulsa, Oklahoma

 

Global TV Interview with Karen Simmons – Video Clip

   

“Thank you for allowing us to share your stories with our readers. It was one of the most touching and unforgettable I have ever worked on.”


Kathy Fitzpatrick

Writer

Woman’s World Magazine

 

Vicki Gabereau Show Interview with Karen Simmons

   

“Karen is a great interview and a tireless advocate for families dealing with autism! She is an inspiration for parents everywhere who has shown that great ideas and big things are often born out of our frustration. If you’re looking for Autism information, go to her website. If you’re looking for a great show segment or article, book her NOW!”

Tonya J. Powers
News Radio 600 WREC

Memphis, Tennessee

 

 


 

 What is Autism? – Facts and Statistics

 

Autism Facts & Stats

– As often as 1 in 150 babies develop into children with autism

– A decade ago only 1 in 2,500 were diagnosed with autism. It was 1 in 10,000 in the early 80’s. The disorder was first recognized in 1943.

– 1.5 million Americans have autism.

– As many as 4 million people could have autism by 2015.

– It is the fastest growing developmental disability.

– People with autism account for nearly one-fourth of the 6.2 million special needs Americans.

– 1 in 68 families are impacted by autism.

– The National Institute of Health will spend 102 million dollars in 2005 on autism research – a five-fold increase in six years.

– Growth comparisons during the 1990’s:
U.S. population increase: 13%
Disabilities increase: 16%
Autism increase: 172%

– $90 billion annual cost to care for those with autism

– 90% of costs are in adult services

– Cost of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3 with early diagnosis and intervention

– In 8 years, the annual cost will be over $200 billion annually

– People with autism usually appear outwardly normal, which has led it to be known as the “invisible disability.???

– Autism can transform a loving toddler into a detached and uncommunicative child. Researchers aren’t sure of its causes and say there is no cure. And the number of children with autism continues to rise dramatically.

– No one is sure what causes autism but research seems to suggest that it is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. There is even talk of environmental toxins and preservatives in vaccines may play a part.

What is Autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder affecting the way a person communicates and related to people around them. Autism has only been recognized since 1943. Another related condition is Aspergers Syndrome.

Autism occurs in about one of every 166 births. Two decades ago it was one in 10,000. Ten years ago it was 1 in 2,000. Symptoms usually begin to show when these children are between 12 and 30 months. Symptoms may change over the years and all children, including children with autism, learn as they grow.

Those with autism are often also mentally handicapped, which makes the disorder much more challenging for them. Many experience minor lack of muscle coordination.

People with autism are not physically disabled and “look” just like anybody without the disability. Due to this invisible nature it can be much harder to create awareness and understanding of the condition. People with autism can often have accompanying learning disabilities but everyone with the condition shares a difficulty in making sense of the world.

Reality to an autistic person is a confusing, interacting mass of events, people, places, sounds and sights. There seems to be no clear boundaries, order of meaning to anything. A large part of life is spent just trying to work out the pattern behind everything.

What is Aspergers Syndrome?

As soon as we meet a person we make all sorts of judgments. Just by looking we can often guess their age or status, and by the expression on their face or the tone of their voice we can tell immediately whether they are happy, angry or sad and so respond accordingly.

But not everyone does this naturally. People with Aspergers Syndrome find it difficult to read the signals which most of us take for granted. As a result they find it hard to communicate and interact with others.

Aspergers Syndrome is a form of autism, a disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to others. A number of the traits of autism are common to Aspergers Syndrome including:
– Difficulty in communicating
– Difficulty in social relationships
– A lack of imagination and creative play

However, people with Aspergers Syndrome usually have fewer problems with language than those with autism, often speaking fluently though their words can sometimes sound formal or stilted. People with Aspergers Syndrome also do not have the accompanying learning disabilities often associated with autism. In fact, people with Aspergers are often of average or above average intelligence.

Because of this many children with Aspergers Syndrome enter mainstream school and, with the right support and encouragement, can make good progress and go on to further education and employment.


Characteristics of Autism

You may know a child with autism….

Do they spin around and around?
Is their speech repetitive, like an echo?
Are they attracted to shows like Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy?
Do they like to watch the same movies over and over again?
Are they fascinated with numbers and letters?
Do they seem unafraid of things that they should be afraid of?
Is it hard for them to make eye contact?
Do they shun away from being touched?


Language:
Some never learn to use spoken language, while others will only learn the basic language specific to their needs. A child may mostly repeat what he hears (echolalia). Others develop advanced speech, but have problems if in their ability to express feelings or ideas, or in knowing the right way or time to say things.


Social:
The actions of others are confusing to these children and they may withdraw from social interactions. Many have difficulty with interactive play. They may have difficulty picking up social clues so their action may not be appropriate for the situation.


Activities:
With their difficulty understanding abstract ideas, these children usually prefer and learn best through concrete activities. Some show little imaginative play, some have imaginative play, but it tends to follow set themes or interests. Many prefer to repeat the same activities over and over. The child may even “withdraw into himself”, engaging in repetitive self-stimulation such as rocking or rhythmic moving of the hands. These children often seek out the security of routines, and can become very dependent on them. They may avoid new experiences or situations.


Perceptions:
It appears from both the observations of others and by first person accounts that these children often experience perceptions differently. Sights, sounds, textures that we easily accept can cause anxiety and even rage in a child. One child, for example, said that red hurt his eyes. Another flew into a rage when she felt the “prickle” of wool. They may find human contact stressful at times.


Emotion:
Difficulties in understanding and articulating their own emotions, or those of others, may cause your child’s response in some situation to appear to be inappropriate. Emotional outbursts are common and it may be difficult for them to regain control. These outbursts may result in a child trying to hurt themselves or others.

Characteristics of Aspergers Syndrome

Aspergers Syndrome shares many of the same characteristics as autism. The key characteristics are:


Difficulty with Social Relationships
Unlike people with ‘classic’ autism, who often appear to be withdrawn and uninterested in the world around them, many people with Asperger syndrome try hard to be sociable and do not dislike human contact. However, they still find it hard to understand non-verbal signals, including facial expressions.


Difficulty with Communication
People with Asperger syndrome may speak very fluently but they may not take much notice of the reaction of people listening to them; they may talk on and on regardless of the listener’s interest or may appear insensitive to their feelings.
Despite having good language skills, people with Aspergers Syndrome may sound over-precise or over-literal-jokes can cause problems as can exaggerate language and metaphors; for example, a person with Aspergers Syndrome may be confused or frightened by a statement like ???she but my head off’.


Lack of Imagination
While they often excel at learning facts and figures, people with Aspergers Syndrome find it hard to think in abstract ways. This can cause problems for children in school where they may have difficulty with certain subjects, such as literature or religious studies.


Special Interests
People with Aspergers Syndrome often develop an almost obsessive interest in a hobby or collection. Usually their interest involves arranging or memorizing facts about a specialist subject, such as train timetables, Derby winners, or the dimensions of cathedrals.


Love of Routines
For people with Aspergers Syndrome any unexpected change in routine can be upsetting. Young children may impose their own routines, such as insisting on always walking the same route to school. At school, sudden changes, such as an alteration to the timetable, may upset them. People with Aspergers Syndrome often prefer to order their day according to a set pattern. If they work set hours then any unexpected delay, such as a traffic hold-up, can make them anxious or upset.

 


 

 How Karen Simmons Can Help the News Media

 

Karen is available to the news media to discuss how:

– Chicken Soup for the Soul: Children with Special Needs offers inspiration, understanding and triumph to everyone


– Once Size Model for anything is OBSOLETE in these times


– Resiliency is the key to greatest success in the special needs world and even corporate America!


– She launched Autism Today and offers help to the special needs community


– Relentless Persistence pays big time. Carrying the torch and never saying never


– Parents, siblings, and professionals can help those with autism


– Families can cope with the devastating impact autism can have on their children and turn it around


– Early diagnosis and intervention is crucial for those with autism


– The autism epidemic needs the attention of the Federal Government


– Popular myths surrounding autism must be discarded

Autism is a biological disorder of the brain, though the exact cause has not been determined. Three main areas of development are impaired: communication, social development, and the acquisition and use of language. There is no cure available at this time. But Karen believes a lot can be done to help those diagnosed with autism and to help decrease the severity of the disorder.

She will also speak about:

– The Gift You Are: Telling groups of people with special needs all about the gift they have given us, making us better moms, members of society. Also celebrating the many teachers, parents and other caregivers for embracing our special children. A great big THANK YOU.


– Shining New Light: by celebrating the gifts…Kids and adults with autism bring to the world. They can truly survive and thrive.


– Advocate Peacefully: To be an advocate for your child and seek the best possible treatment for them.


– The Will To Life: How doing whatever it takes to do what you need to do in life. When no is absolutely not an option. Surrounded By Miracles.


– The Largest Minority: Social stigma associated with autism and special needs must be changed…now!


– Autism From The Heart: Nurturing and embracing the delicate soul within each person with ASD .


– Life as Little Rainman’s Mom: How to recognize and understand the differences your or others young child with autism have and to enhance their abilities.


– Spectral Relationships:…Tips on how to enhance and create positive relationships for those with ASD.

“I want to educate the public on possible causes, warning signs, potential treatments and therapies,” says Simmons.

“There is an enormous impact this “invisible disability” has on families. If we can spare others of this ??? or lighten the burden of those living with it, we should do all that we can in this area.”

Autism has transformed from a barely diagnosed disorder to one that impacts 1 in 68 families. An estimated one in every 150 children is affected by autism, cases of which are being diagnosed 60 times more often now than two decades ago.

 

 

 

For Media and Press Inquiries, or to Schedule an Interview with Karen Simmons:

In Canada Call:   780.417.5336   |   By Fax:   780-416-4330   |   In USA Call:   808-753-8223   |   Email:   media <at> autismtoday.com