DEANNA PICON - YAC FOUNDER
As the parent of a non-verbal, young man with autism, Deanna Picon personally understands the impact of autism on a family. She knows first-hand how heartbreaking a diagnosis of autism can be for parents and the personal struggles that often follow.
But, through her own journey with autism, Deanna also recognizes the special joys, rewarding experiences and unique life gifts which can result from raising a child with special needs.
Deanna established YOUR AUTISM COACH, LLC to help parents successfully meet the distinctive challenges of raising autistic and special needs children. Her company provides a comprehensive program of personalized guidance and support for parents, along with seminars that give parents coping strategies and proven techniques to maintain a healthy, emotional outlook.
Her personal mission is to empower parents as they advocate for their children, while balancing productive work and family lives. Deanna is the recipient of the 2020 and 2018 "Top Parental Advice Writer" and 2015 "Top Life Coach Writer" awards from Autism Parenting Magazine. She is a Contributing Writer for Autism Parenting Magazine, Exceptional Parent Magazine, Exceptional Needs Today and Parenting Special Needs Magazine.
Deanna brings over 20 years of professional coaching and management development experience to her work, including roles at major Fortune 500 companies such as McGraw-Hill, American Express and Avon Products. She has coached, trained and advised business professionals from senior executives to individual entrepreneurs and small busines owners.
Her academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University. She is a graduate of the Management Training and Development Diploma Program from New York University's Management Training Institute.
DEANNA'S PERSONAL JOURNEY
"Your son has autism!"
Who would have thought four, little words could turn my life upside down and inside out?
My world fell apart when my son was diagnosed with autism. The shock was intense. I couldn't eat, sleep or function normally. The pain I felt was heart breaking. I just knew that my little boy couldn't be autistic.
I met with several doctors and medical specialists and received second and third opinions. I was desperately hoping that someone would tell me this was an awful mistake. As I received more bad news and poor prospects for my son's future, I became very depressed. I was also completely overwhelmed with taking care of my son and his needs, while working full-time and trying to maintain my sanity.
I took my son to meet with a myriad of professionals: physical, speech, occupational and behaviorial therapists. I needed all of them because someone had to "fix" my son and get rid of his autism.
As time went on, I gradually realized what I really needed was someone to "fix" me. I was dying on the inside while trying to be strong on the outside.
I talked to friends, family and clergy. Everyone tried to be supportive and thoughtful, but it didn't help. Sometimes, it made the situation even worse. What I needed was someone who would really understand my reality and the pain I was in.
And that is why I started YOUR AUTISM COACH. My mission is to provide a personal, coaching service that addresses the "real" concerns of parents with autistic and special needs children.
Parents have to be proactive about seeking treatment for their children, but also realistic to know they need help for themselves as well.
As a parent of a non-verbal, 18 year-old man, I know firsthand the unique challenges as well as special joys that come with raising a child with special needs.
Let me help you on your journey!
Deanna Picon, Founder