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Mitchell P. Siegel
Founder and Parent Advocate
The Autism Community of Hope
When my son Ryan was born, 26 years ago, we became one the millions of families living with Autism. At that time, little was known and the guidance and support that we so needed was too hard to find.
Fortunately, I was not alone. Ryan’s mother was driven to navigate this journey with me. Through perseverance and determination, we learned a great deal and had the good fortune to work with some of the best minds in the field. Among our advocates and medical physicians were a team of psychiatrists, behavioral therapists, occupational therapists specializing in sensory integration and speech and language professionals. We also worked with professionals who used therapies such as “floor-time” (a form of play therapy), music therapy, and exercise to help Ryan learn to become more focused and engaged.
Our successes, however small, were triumphs we felt compelled to share with local community. We started with our public school system where I helped create an in-school appropriate Autism program with an adjunctive home component, something that was unheard of at the time. I then reached out further, acting as my own advocate, and evaluated private school programs in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
“Over twenty years ago, before autism related information was readily available, Mitchell was able to put together a well-crafted program that served his son, Ryan, very well. His ability to comprehensively investigate options, review all resources, and advocate for crucial services was impressive.”
Dr. Tara J. Glennon
Professor, Occupational Therapy at Quinnipiac University,
Founder and President, Center for Pediatric Therapy,
My education in Autism Spectrum Disorders is ongoing and recently attended the Young Child Expo 2014 in New York City. I have been immersed in the Wrightslaw Advocacy training and am a current member of both the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
“The Autism Community of Hope” is the beginning of a new chapter in my family’s journey.
My background also includes 25 successful years as a Creative Director at several New York advertising agencies. In my spare time, I am an artist and a painter of abstracts. Some of my work can be found at: artsicle.com/Mitch-Siegel
Ancient Artifact, 2013
Mixed media on canvas
For information on how The Autism Community of Hope can help you, contact Mitchell Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org.