About AWEnest Advocacy
I started a blog in January, 2013 entitled The AWEnesty of Autism to share our experiences about the way autism has touched our family. I used the word AWE to spell AWEnesty, because most days I am in AWE of my son and his amazing abilities and the unique way he views the world. The definition of AWE is: "A mixed emotion of reverence, respect, dread and wonder inspired by authority, genius, great beauty, sublimity or might". Yep, someone should have consulted with a parent of an AWEsome Kid before spelling the word AWEtism.
At AWEnest Advocacy, we believe first and foremost that regardless of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) label, each child is unique and AWEsome! If you know one child with an ASD, then you know ONE child with an ASD. Each AWEsome Kid with an Autism Spectrum Disorder is as unique as any neurotypical kid with their own strengths and weaknesses. AWEnest Advocacy wants to help you advocate for your child and provide you with the resources and information necessary to enable you, the parent, to teach others to look beyond the designer ASD label, to the AWEsome Kid who lies beneath it.
As a parent of an AWEsome Kid I know as well as anyone that YOU are your child's best advocate and cheerleader. Sometimes it's hard to advocate and cheer when you find yourself navigating uncharted territories in a maze-like atmosphere where you feel overwhelmed, confused, and your heart often overrides your brain. As the mother of an AWEsome 12 year old son with an ASD, (www.awenestyofautism.com) I may not have walked a mile or even ten steps in your shoes, but I have traveled a similar path. I believe passionately that, regardless of a child's diagnosis or different abilities, each child is unique, and with the right supports, resources, and education, each AWEsome Kid can be successful in reaching their full potential.
As a graduate from Penn State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's Degree in Juvenile Justice from Shippensburg University, Kate Hooven has spent many years advocating for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Using her communication, writing and advocacy skills as a Juvenile Probation Officer, a Home and School Visitor in a large school district and as a Juvenile Court Consultant for the Pennsylvania Juvenile Court Judges Commission, Kate gained valuable experience working with parents of youth involved in the juvenile justice system. However, after having a son diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Kate discovered that her true passion lies in helping families living with autism and who are struggling to support their AWEsome Kids. Between her professional experience and her experience as a mom, Kate has learned how to navigate the often confusing educational system as well as become very knowledgeable in various local resources for kids on the autism spectrum. Kate has attended numerous national Autism Conferences as well as The Wrights Law Advocacy Training and has built a network of contacts with individuals who are equally as passionate about helping and advocating for children and their families with an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis.