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Parent Perspectives: Accepting an Autism Diagnosis & Managing Expectations

  • Thursday, April 18, 2024
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Online via Zoom



Parent Perspectives: Accepting an Autism Diagnosis & Managing Expectations

Join us for "AutismTN Parent Perspectives: Navigating Life After an Autism Diagnosis." This discussion will explore life after an autism diagnosis, focusing on managing expectations and fostering a supportive environment for your child. Our panel of experienced parents will share their personal narratives, practical tips, and insights. Don't miss this opportunity to learn and connect with a community that truly understands your journey

Panelists Include:

Tonya Bowman, is the mother of three, two young adults and one in high school, which provides her with the lived experience of special healthcare needs and disabilities. Tonya loves working alongside other people who are passionate about serving children and families. She utilizes her voice to share the parent perspective across various councils, committees and boards. Tonya and family live in Nashville TN.

Leisa Hammett has navigated the "known/diagnosed" autism journey for 27 years since her soon-to-be 30 year-old daughter was diagnosed at age three. She did all the recommended therapies and services recommended for her daughter who also has an intellectual disability and limited conversational skills. When her daughter, Grace Goad was four, Leisa branched out into arts therapies and discovered her daughter's visual art ability, which has been featured nationally and internationally in various media, books, and exhibitions. Grace's school years in Metro Nashville were a combination of inclusion and special education classroom supports. Grace continues to paint, works part-time at TJ Maxx with a job coach for seven-plus years, and enjoys her single mother's many hard-earned supports through the ECF CHOICES Medicaid waiver-program. 

Janet and John Shouse, are the parents of three children, a daughter, who is 35, and twin sons, who are 28. One of the twins, Evan, has autism, an intellectual disability, ADHD, a lack of functional communication skills, and intermittent distressing behavior. He was diagnosed at age 2, and Janet and her husband, John, began to advocate for him almost immediately. They continue to advocate for him now that he is in the 1915c Medicaid Waiver, and receiving 24/7 community living support.

Mischa Rowland is a wife and mother of two beautiful children, a son and a daughter.  As a 17 year Human Resources professional, she has understood the importance of people achieving their best self and reaching their full potential. When her son was diagnosed with autism at 4 years old, she decided that she would take a sabbatical from her career and focus on his needs. She has taken that same passion she had for helping employees to advocating for the services that her son needs. She is dedicated to ensuring that her son develops the skills and self assurance necessary for him to reach his full potential.  As she has grown in knowledge of what her son needs, she has been honored to be able to share her education and journey with others.

Including Cory Moore.

If you have specific questions or topics you would like our panelist to address, email outreach@autismtn.org

    (615) 270-2077
    955 Woodland Street,
    Nashville, TN 37206

    Click Here for Crisis Chat Now
    (service provided by Family and Children's

    Autism Tennessee, legal name ASMT, Inc. is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and donations are tax deductible. This statement is not intended to be tax advice.
    100% of donations stay in Middle Tennessee to provide Support, Education, and Advocacy for the autism community. 
    Tax ID # 27-1003749
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