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Chantal Sicile-Kira
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Chantal is the founder of Autism College an on-line resource where people can get educated about autism. Chantal has recently been named a Top Ten Autism Blogger and Social HealthMaker by Sharecare.

Chantal has combined her passion for empowering others, her love of writing, and a her personal interest in autism those with disabilities to become an award-winning author and speaker. A Full Life with Autism : From Learning to Forming Relationships to Achieving Independence (Macmillan, March 2012) about the transition to adulthood was co-authored with her son Jeremy.

Chantal is the author of four other books : Autism Spectrum Disorders, Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum, Autism Life Skills: From Communication and Safety to Self-Esteem and More – 10 Essential Abilities Your Child with Autism Needs and Deserves to Learn; 41 Things to Know About Autism, published by Turner.

Before turning to writing, Chantal lived in Paris and was a dialogue coach for French actors in English-language productions, a researcher on BBC documentaries, a location manager for TV movies, and a line producer on a multinational daily drama (ie, a soap opera).

A well-known advocate in the field of autism, Chantal has been appointed by the California Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders to co-chair the South Counties Autism Regional Taskforce, mandated to identify effective solutions to the most pressing issues facing those with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the state of California. Chantal also served on the Taskforce on Transitional Services & Supports reporting to the California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.

Chantal’s son, Jeremy, was featured in the MTV documentary True Life series, in the episode "I Have Autism," recipient of a 2007 Voice Award. Chantal’s family was highlighted in the Newsweek November 27, 2006 cover article "Growing Up With Autism." For more information visit www.chantalsicile-kira.com. In 2006, both Chantal and Jeremy were honored with a Local Autism Hero Award from Cure Autism Now (now Autism Speaks). Jeremy recently graduated from Torrey Pines High School with a full academic diploma, and gave a commencement speech at his graduation.

For more information, visit www.chantalsicile-kira.com. or AutismCollege.com.

Entries by Chantal Sicile-Kira

President Obama's State of the Union: One Autistic's Perspective

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2014 | 11:32 AM

Tuesday night our family watched President Obama's State of the Union speech. Here is what our 25-year-old autistic son, Jeremy, had to say about the president's message:

I truly dreamt I saw the president of the United States and I told him my thoughts about his State of the Union...
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It's Not Easy Being Green: Living With Autism and Synesthesia

(19) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 10:22 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

The recent discovery that my son Jeremy sees and feels emotions as colors has been a life changer. Until now, I only saw the difficulties associated...

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Thoughts on World Autism Awareness Day

(12) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 10:07 AM

When I was first given a diagnosis for my autistic son Jeremy, I was told to find a good institution for him. I don't think the French doctor meant the United Nations, but that is where Jeremy now serves as one of the youth representatives for the Autism...

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The Story of Luke Premieres at San Diego Film Festival

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 1:06 PM

Coming of age is never easy. When we first see Luke in The Story of Luke, he is getting ready to attend his Grandma's funeral and to leave the only home he has ever known. His suitcase is packed. Now that Grandma is gone, Luke and Grandpa, who...

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The Power of Women

(6) Comments | Posted June 8, 2012 | 3:41 PM

The American cultural anthropologist, Margaret Mead, once said that a small group of thoughtful people could change the world. During the month of May, I had intended to write a good number of blogs honoring mothers who are making a difference in today's world. Time-constrained, I only managed to get...

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A Miracle Mom: Elaine Hall

(3) Comments | Posted May 24, 2012 | 2:45 PM

Becoming a mom changes your life, and sometimes as a result you are propelled to change the world. Elaine Hall is one of those mothers who has made an impact in her community while raising her child.

Elaine Hall is a mom who rocks -- rocks and rolls, to be...

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Mother's Day Tribute: Areva Martin, Founder of Special Needs Network

(1) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 11:18 PM

"Mother is a verb, not a noun," says an old proverb, and this month I'll be honoring a few mothers in my blog posts who are verbs personified: mothers who are making an impact in their communities while raising their children.

Today's honoree is Areva Martin, Esq., mother...

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A Full Life with Autism for 1 in 88 Children in the U.S.

(6) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 11:04 AM

New figures have just been released by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just in time for Autism Awareness month: one in 88 children and one in 54 boys in the U.S. has an autism spectrum disorder. We'll be hearing about the need for services for...

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Autism Forecast: Mostly Green With a Chance of Red

(8) Comments | Posted February 8, 2012 | 11:04 AM

Recently I discovered that my 23-year-old autistic son, Jeremy, has synesthesia. He sees numbers and letters in colors. He also sees people's names based on the color of their personality. Green represents calm, red represents anxiety. Last week I was his support person for a full day and...

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French Psychoanalysts Take Legal Action to Ban Film 'The Wall' About Autism

(81) Comments | Posted December 5, 2011 | 5:57 PM

On Dec. 8, a French judge in the Lille Regional Court in France must decide whether or not to ban a documentary by Sophie Robert, "The Wall: Psychoanalysis Put to the Test for Autism," that highlights the treatment -- psychoanalysis -- that families are offered in France when seeking help...

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Following Ezra: Lessons on Raising a Child with Autism

(4) Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 6:36 PM

Recently one of my publishers sent me a book, Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love from His Extraordinary Son. Having just emerged from many months of researching and writing book number five on autism, I was not predisposed to read anything associated...

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Dear Governor Brown: Is There a Future for the Disabled -- Including Adults With Autism -- In the Golden State?

(8) Comments | Posted May 18, 2011 | 6:31 PM

Dear Governor Brown,

Recently, I read a an article in Disability Scoop discussing a 50-state analysis from United Cerebral Palsy that compared services to the disabled offered across the country, giving preference to states where more individuals are served in the community as opposed to institutions.

California ranked...

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Open Letter to Governor Jerry Brown: On Budget Cuts and the Lanterman Act

(17) Comments | Posted February 1, 2011 | 12:29 PM

Dear Governor Brown,

As I write this, both the Assembly and the Senate Budget Subcommittees on Health and Human Services are preparing for hearings on proposed cuts to Developmental Services.

When I voted for you in 1978, I was working at Fairview State Hospital and was preparing young adults with...

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Happy Thanksgiving: All I Can Handle in this Age of Autism

(39) Comments | Posted November 24, 2010 | 8:17 PM

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Ten days ago, I attended the National Autism Association's (NAA) annual conference in Florida and was thrilled to be able to spend a...

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Non-Verbal Autistic Teen Gives Commencement Address (VIDEO)

(28) Comments | Posted June 24, 2010 | 1:51 PM

Today as we toured the local community college, my son (who is severely impacted by autism and has little verbal skills) turned to me and spelled out on his letter board, "Mom, you are nice to help my dreams come true."

How could I do any less than to help...

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Autism and Education in France

(10) Comments | Posted June 14, 2010 | 2:03 PM

Recently I was invited to Paris to present at a prestigious international colloquium on autism and education, which was organized by the INS HEA, the French Ministry of Education's training institute for special education teachers. Seventeen years earlier, I had left France because in those days, children with autism did...

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The Horse Boy: Looking for Answers to Autism With Horses in Mongolia

(5) Comments | Posted May 9, 2010 | 12:12 PM

On Tuesday, May 11, The Horse Boy airs nationally 10pm EDT on the PBS series Independent Lens.

The Horse Boy is a film about a dad (Rupert Isaacson) and a mom (Kristin Neff ) who are trying to do what hundreds of thousands of families in America do...

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Autism Awareness -- Spring: Tis the Season for Autism Awareness

(11) Comments | Posted April 13, 2010 | 10:32 AM

Spring is here and with Spring comes April, and with April comes Autism Awareness month, a mixed blessing as far as I'm concerned. The advocate in me wants to get out there and increase the general public's knowledge base on this topic (thus my recent book 41 Things...

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HBO: A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2010 | 4:13 PM

International Autism Awareness Day is on Friday, April 2nd and what better way to celebrate than by watching an HBO documentary about a family from Iceland that travels to the United Kingdom, Denmark, and many different states in the US to find ways to help their child with autism?

Producer...

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Temple Grandin: The HBO Movie Starring Claire Danes

(14) Comments | Posted January 13, 2010 | 3:09 PM

Temple Grandin, a world-renowned designer of livestock handling facilities and a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, is arguably the world's most famous person with autism. Temple has written many books about autism, others about animals, and even more about both. Last week I called Temple (who wrote...

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