Autism Today Foundation

About Karen Simmons

About Karen Simmons

She is the face of the newly evolving special needs community, shining new light on the special needs of others.

A gemologist by trade, Karen came to the autism world through her son who was diagnosed at the
age of two-and-a-half. At the time she heard the news that he would be supposedly institutionalized, she was not going to have any part of it. She immediately set out on a path to change
things for him, his peers, family, and those that surrounded him.

Karen was born in the United States of America, and was n the U.S. Air Force, so you might say determination was her middle name. She traveled from the time she was a youngster, as her mother worked for Pan Am and made fast friends in every country. Her father was an aeronautical engineer who jumped from job to job, including companies like Lockheed, Boeing, Sweringen Aviation, and Piper Aircraft.

Karen had seven children and raised six of them. Two are neurodistinct and one happens to be autistic, so that’s what brought her to found Autism Today, the first online information and resource center for autism in 1998 being the Internet Entrepreneur of the Year through Multiple Streams of Income in 2003, a Program through Robert Allen and Mark Hansen, a Chicken Soup founder.
Karen has written 14 books, hosted 73 conferences including the most recent World Autism Summit with the intent to move the needle of understanding and support for those with autism and neurodiversity fastest way possible globally.

The LARGEST Minority – Special Needs People! With 77 of the 300 million people in North America having some type of special needs according to the US Census Bureau, how is this group missed? They cross all cultural, geographic and socio-economical borders so look around, they are everywhere. Perhaps it’s the segmentation into different types of special needs that disburses this group so easily, or the fact that its been so hard for society to openly talk and accept people with special needs that the group amongst us has been ignored. Not anymore!. Karen Simmons, “The Queen Of Resiliency” has two special needs children – one with ADHD and NLD and the other with autism, as well as four other healthy, gifted children. Rather than see herself as a victim of circumstances, she was empowered to help the millions of others who are forced to confront the challenges posed by these “invisible disabilities.” For more information, see “About Karen Simmons” below

Karen Simmons presents as a keynote speaker and offers coaching services in the following areas:

Diamonds & Colored stones

Autism & Special needs

Business structure & management

Attitudinal Healing

Internet Marketing

Who is Karen Simmons?

As a Founder

Karen is the founder of Autism Today, the nation’s leading clearinghouse of information, resources, tools, and experts designed for parents, educators, doctors, therapists, and those who service the community of those afflicted with autism or Aspergers Syndrome. She is also the mother of six children, two with special needs and all of whom are special. Karen is also the author seven widely cherished titles including “Little Rainman, Autism Through the Eyes of a Child, The Autism Experience, Stories of Hope and Love, Artism, Art By Those with Autism, Peace of Mind for Autism CD, Autism From The Soul, Surrounded By Miracles, the 2007 Independent Publisher Book Gold Metal Award Winner for “The Official Autism 101 Manual” in the health, medicine and nutrition category, is a simplistic, yet comprehensive “How To Guide” for anyone faced with a new diagnosis of autism. Most recently she has published two titles, “Artism, The Art of Autism” and “Autism Tomorrow, Helping Your Child Thrive in the Real World.”

As co-author

Now Karen is co-authoring a seventh title with Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield and Heather McNamara to be released in the fall. Karen is also an active international presenter at autism conferences and workshops and also brings in other top national experts and speakers for events that she hosts. These events attract up to 700 new and repeat attendees.

An unexpected diagnosis of autism in her two-year old son, threw Karen into an unknown world without a clue, in search of information and support to deal with the special needs of a child with autism. The journey was far from easy.

Determined to find solutions to further her son’s development she delved relentlessly into the mysterious terrain of autism, accumulating knowledge, insight and information about the unusual world of people with autism.

As a Mother

Her experience as a mother of a child with autism inspired Karen to found the Keen Education Foundation in 1996. Their mission is to provide key education for kids with special needs through equipment, therapy, services and education. They seek to help special needs children to their fullest possible individual development and to find social inclusion.

After years of personal research, trial and error, discussions with other people creating pathways through the winding maze, Karen recognized a need for an “exceptional resource” to assist those individuals and families struggling in a world where easy answers were not readily available. The company is dedicated to making autism-related books, videos, tapes and educational resources materials easily available to parents and professionals.

As a Promoter

Karen is active worldwide in promoting a deeper and more personal understanding of autism and Asperger’s Syndrome and all types of special needs. Her main goal in life is to “shine new light” on all special needs individuals. She has been featured in international publications such as Woman’s World Magazine, The Donna Seebo Show, The Vicki Gabereau Show and numerous radio talk shows and print media such as AWARE Talk Radio, Health Care News, Metro Network, ABC Radio, Powernomics, The Buffalo News, KYW-AM and WMYX-FM.

As well, Karen is an international presenter speaking to audiences on topics such as resiliency, her will to live and relentless persistence to Universities, Schools, Non-Profit Organizations, Hospital Groups, Parent groups in the special needs arena and beyond.

As a Jeweler

A former jeweler in Seattle Washington and Edmonton, Alberta, she is also related to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and former member of the U.S. Air Force and is a dual citizen of both the United States and Canada.

Karen makes her home in Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada with her husband Jim Sicoli and their six children, Kimberly, Matthew, Christina, Jonathan, Stephen and Alexander where she rounds out her motherhood experience with her families own gifts and eccentricities. Needless to say, Karen is a busy woman!

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