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About Me
My name is Carol Jimenez, and I am the mom of twin boys with ASD.  They are very different from each other, with different abilities, talents and needs.  

My background...
I left my professional life "temporarily" (Hah!) to become a stay-at-home-mom.  I considered my professional job to be challenging with lots of pressure.  Little did I know...

I never really considered special needs a possibility in my 'in-control' life, and I knew basically nothing. I was a real know-it-all until I became mom to these boys. I was the best mother in the world... until these two boys came along. 

My first two years as a parent of not yet diagnosed twins with special needs were disastrous - oh, I did everything I was supposed to do, but none of it was turning out as expected. 

Diagnosis...
Following diagnosis, my introduction to the world of autism parenting was just "wrong".  Based on what I know now, what I really needed was hands-on parent training and emotional support - quickly.  Unfortunately, the first real training I received came months later when I discovered, "More Than Words" parent training.  After months on the waiting list, I was given a slot.

Finally, some real training...
The More Than Words training changed my autism parenting life and sent me off in a completely different direction.  I learned strategies for communication and more.  I no longer felt helpless and became obsessed with the idea that I could really help my kids, during the hours and hours we were together without a therapist.  Based on that training, and hundreds of hours of subsequent training, I felt driven to give other families access to what I've learned, including what was missing in my own experience.  
More training and Red Circle Rainbow...
In 2008, I started Red Circle Rainbow. At the same time I was recruited by an integrated special needs public school and received three years of continuous on-the-job training.  I specialized in creating visual supports and parent training.  So began my passion for the use of communication supports for all children with communication challenges, regardless of diagnosis.  I was then recruited as a presenter at the "More Than Words" parent training program, which as you can imagine I am particularly proud of - having transitioned from student to teacher.

Today...
Today, I am a private consultant and trainer for families, parent training groups and schools.  My personalized training sessions include basic parent training, as well as filling in the training holes I think need to be filled. The biggest hole being that most parent training is done by people who don't deal with ASD 24/7.  Their perspective and experience is different, and to me, that matters.  I see children in the home and community environment - not just in the classroom, so the training is geared toward home and community life, with lots of academics thrown in.  I write about and speak from my own experience, and the influence of the many other children and families I've had the privilege to work with.  

Autism today...
In the autism community today, the variety of services for children with special needs, and particularly ASD increases daily. Everyone seems to know what you should do.  But what is real and what is quackery?  It can be hard to tell, with everyone claiming success, using everything from acupuncture therapy to, well, the list is just too long to list.  Desperate parents equals opportunities for the unscrupulous. Some providers may not be unscrupulous, but promote unproven methods.  You will need to educate yourself before investing your time and money in the unproven.

I've spent seven years sorting through the anecdotal and the science.  I won't address each and every therapy out there, but I will tell you about the therapies and strategies that have the scientific community's support, and the therapies I have used successfully with my own children and confidently recommend to others.  Fair warning, I stick to the basics and the scientifically supported therapies, which are improving daily.

So where is the best place to put your efforts, your time and your money?  I give you my opinion based on what I know today. I always keep an open mind, and a healthy sense of skepticism - ready for the next scientific discovery.


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"Most parent training is done by people who don't deal with ASD 24/7. Their perspective and experience is different, and to me, that matters."
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