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Meet Joy S., Parent Mentor at Akron Children's Hospital

Joy S.

Joy's Story

Sometimes life has a way of unexpectedly knocking you down. How you deal with it is up to you. I discovered that in my early 20s and came to realize the enjoyment you can get in helping others. Even though I was dealing with my divorce, a back injury, foster parenting and adoption, I was unknowingly being prepared for the path ahead.

While I had been involved in other non-profit groups in the past - helping those with hearing and speech impairments and advocating for women's issues - it wasn't until my own son was diagnosed in 2003 at the age of 9 with Asperger’s syndrome that I found my "mission" in life.

I started ASPIES Greater Akron in 2005 with the determination that if I could help even one family from going through some of the anguish my son and I had early on it would be worth it.

The group was incorporated in 2010 and has grown to include 2 parent support groups and an adult support group for those 18 and older on the spectrum - all of which meet monthly, as well as host activities for all ages. ASPIES sends out information weekly to over 700 individuals, families, professionals and other agencies.

In addition to these duties, I am a parent mentor for Akron Children's Hospital, actively involved with SST8's Parent Advisory Council and the Summit County Education Service Center's Tri-County Transition Council,  sat on the board of the Autism Society of Greater Akron for 5 years, helped to coordinate the Alcohol Drug, Addiction & Mental Health Services Board's 2011 Youth Resource Collaborative Conference, have been involved with the Akron-Summit County Public Library's Family Life and Parent Education Coalition as well as A.C.T. Now (a collaborative initiative amongst Akron area youth service providers), and sat on housing and transportation committees for Tri-County Independent Living Center, Inc.

My greatest accomplishment is that of being the proud parent of my now young adult son, Evan, and wife to Brad, who helps me in my endeavors.

Joy is a parent mentor for these conditions: Asperger Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Joy is a mentor for these care services: Autism

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Joy S. is a parent mentor for these conditions: Asperger Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder . Joy S. is a parent mentor for these care services: Autism .

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