Keynote Speaker, Author, Transition and Independent Living Coach, Creator of Autism Independence Project and mother to a forty-year-old autistic son.
Are you concerned about your child’s future? Then you have come to the right place. Amalia Starr has been a pioneer and trailblazer on the autism and special needs path for the past forty years. Discovering how she led her son, Brandon to independence when the professionals deemed it impossible is priceless information that all parents, caregivers, and professionals need to know.
No one has documented the path that lies ahead of us as Amalia has in her presentations, trainings, and books, Raising Brandon, and Left Behind, But Not Forgotten. Her candor, authenticity and uplifting courageous spirit help to empower and inform parents who are planning for their children’s future but do not know how and where to begin or what to do. She knows the importance of independence training for parents so she devotes most of her time with the parents as they are the ones who hold the key to their children’s future. Amalia shows them how to walk through their fears to assist their children to reach their full potential and gain maximum independence. One of her specialties is the art of “letting go”. It is essential for all parents to learn this technique and use it in a timely manner as they encourage and support their children to grow and to one day go and live outside the home. Independence is an ongoing process and it will take time but will work best if addressed before your children reach their teenage years. If you need additional motivation, just remember your children will live 75% of their lives as adults.
“When most people hear autism they associate it with a child,” says Starr. “But like my son, Brandon, our children grow up, and we want them to live well and learn how to survive in the world.”
Where have our autistic adults gone before? Over the next decade, hundreds of thousands of autistic children will reach adulthood. We need to have the resources in place to help them, and as parents and professionals, we need to know what to do. We must help to free the families who are trapped in the belief that their autistic adult child would not survive out in the “real world”. I too was once trapped by that belief, but I know firsthand that it does not have to be that way. This is another lesson my son, Brandon has taught me.
Amalia’s Story with Brandon
In 1973, autism was unheard of, and Amalia became a speaker and author because of her son, Brandon who has autism, epilepsy, and severe learning disorders. When having no one to talk to and nothing to read to help her through the terrible dark times, she felt sad, and all alone. Back then, the few conferences she attended for disabled children were depressing and she left there feeling much worse. She then vowed to write books and to speak at conferences to bring hope and shine a light on the future for the parents and professionals. Starr knows what it is like to be a mom and an attendee, so her presentations are always uplifting while she shares firsthand experiences and invaluable information, to educate, empower, and inspire. She loves what she does and she is now living her dream.
Most attendees are amazed when they hear Amalia say, “I did not discover Brandon had autism until he was thirty-two years old.” With Amalia’s love and support and Brandon’s hard work and amazing determination it has given him the strength and courage to live on his own for the past 16 years. Amalia’s message is not that all special needs children should live alone, but every child be given the opportunity to reach maximum independence and live the best life possible.
“Brandon and Amalia represent the leading edge of a giant wave, the new generation of men and women confronting the challenge of leaving childhood behind and succeeding on their own as adults.”
-Chris Bury, Journalist and Correspondent for America Tonight
Amalia would love to talk about speaking opportunities or working together.