Mari Nosal from Plymouth, Massachusetts, has used her own experiences of raising a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, now a young man, and her years of professional experience working with both children and parents within the autism community to help and inform others.
Mari is a published autism author and blogger with over 25 years’ experience of working with children and adults in the field of special needs. She has a Masters degree in Educational Foundations and a B.A. in psychology and has worked with children, parents, and educators within the classroom and the wider community. Mari also presents autism workshops where she shares her knowledge, experience and insights. Mari further explains.
“Most of all I share my passion with staff, management teams, and parent groups. I offer tips on curriculum development and behaviour modification within the classroom and through in-services. I have had special needs articles published in several magazines and I am certified by the Department of Early Childhood Education as a lead preschool teacher, an infant and toddler teacher, and site coordinator qualified to manage school age programs.”
Mari has been married for 28 years and has two adult sons aged 25 and 27, one of whom has Asperger’s Syndrome. Mari talks about the early years with her son.
“My son was tested and an array of hidden deficits were found. There were processing issues, receptive comprehension, motor skill issues, and more. My mindset is not to look backwards only forwards and move on with assisting my son to succeed. I was not going to let the bullying and residual self-esteem issues hold us back. I have been helping him work through the special needs maze to become the best he can despite lack of early intervention.”
These experiences encouraged and gave Mari the drive to help other parents going through similar experiences.
“I went back to school and received my bachelors degree in psychology and masters degree in Education. I had one goal, to educate myself so I could help parents feel like they do not walk in the dark, that they are not alone, empower them and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I also wanted to work with educators and society at large to become educated on the autism spectrum as I believe all parties involved need to work as a collaborative team in order to insure a special needs child’s success.”
Recently Mari published her book, the ‘Ten Commandments of Interacting with Kids on the Autism Spectrum and Related Commandments’.
Autism Daily Newscast asked Mari if she could tell us a little about the book.
“My book is a combination of useful advice for educators and society at large, yet written in a simple format intentionally. Many books are confusing for parents as they are written with academic technical terms that they do not understand. In reading my book you will notice that I use terminology like expressive and receptive language but then give immediate examples of the term I used so everyone no matter what educational level they are at is not talked down to yet given examples to comprehend the terminology.”
Mari further explains,
“I give personal examples and poetry so that parents can understand that I have and am in their position so they can connect with me as not only a professional but a plain old mom with a child on the spectrum just like them. If this book empowers individuals and creates a learning tool that can be used by all parties involved then I will have achieved my goal.”
We feel that the book is very positive and upbeat and celebrates all children on the autistic spectrum. It is very much about what children can do and giving them the information and resources to enable them to achieve. As Mari states in her Introduction.‘This book is written with the intent of inspiring, educating, uniting, and providing a tool that will hopefully assist parents, educators and society at large.’
Autism Daily Newscast asked Mari why she decided to write the book?
“Writing a book has always been my dream but I was apprehensive regarding how it would be received by the public as I have included personal information regarding bring up a son to adulthood with Asperger’s. My book was developed out of sheer passion. When my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s a decade ago it was a foreign word amongst many parents and professionals alike. I fought for help never giving up. I scoured the internet and researched groups like the’ Federation for Children with Special Needs’. When my son was in ninth grade they were the people who informed me of my rights and gave me support.”
Mari is currently working on an expanded version of The Ten Commandments and is also planning to compile her blog articles into a book.
Mari ends by saying
“As a parent of a son with Asperger’s, I want to show others how it is possible to overcome obstacles and achieve your goals”.