My beautiful family which includes my two sons and my husband reside in the South Suburbs of Chicago. My son, William (age 20) was diagnosed with Persuasive Development Disorder (PDD), Speech Delay, and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at the age of six. In the early 90’s, resources and services for children with Autism were extremely limited, especially in my area. I was determined that our son would live up to his full potential and that is when the seed was planted for me to become my child’s voice and advocate. William currently attends Lincoln College in Lincoln, Illinois where he lives on campus with a school sponsored support program called “ACCESS”.
During my journey I realized that many other families in my area were impacted by ASD with no information and no idea where to get help. I continued my advocacy as a volunteer parent advocate with Chicagoland Autism Connection (formerly Chicago Southside) Support Group providing families with information and resources to help support their family members. Several years ago, I implemented the “A Team” Social and Recreation Club for teens and young adults with ASD to encourage social interaction with peers through planned outings and life skills workshops.
I am excited and look forward to working as a LIGAS Family Support Advocate to continue to bring families together and provide them with information. Working with LIGAS Class members will allow me to continue my outreach as a professional advocate for a program that I am truly passionate about. It is important to me that every person who has an intellectual or developmental disability is able to build a successful life within their own communities and reach their full potential.
We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” -Gwendolyn Brooks
Kimberly L. Johnson-Evans