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Joann Marotta Nellis

I am a busy mother of three. My oldest son has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (his diagnosis was formerly Asperger's Syndrome) which has become a full time job. I spend a great deal of my time educating people about Autism and making sure that his services are in place. For many years we battled the Department of Education in order for our son's education to be handled properly. Now he is attending college and state funded programs and therefore so are we. Much of what I write or post will be about issues of special needs parents/children and adults. I am proud to announce that my son has graduated High School, receiving 5 awards, including a medal for Chorus and a scholarship award. As a part time college student, he maintains a GPA of 3.7. He continues to sing in a group composed mostly of teenagers on the spectrum. They have performed in many venues and are making a name for themselves in our area.

I have been a teacher for over 28 years. I am currently employed as a part time Museum educator, which is interesting and a lot of fun. I have two other children, both are very bright and keep me just as busy as the oldest child. I am a well known Chili chef. I have published two articles in my local newspaper about raising a child with Aspergers and I am currently working on a novel about the same subject. I have published a children's book, Spenser's Pencil, which took place while I was a third grade teacher. I never have enough hours in the day to get everything done, so I am like most moms, I love to write, I have several open novels, children's books and articles that I need finish, but I keep getting interrupted by life! My second son is a Nursing student. He is also an Eagle Scout, He also plays basketball in addition to soccer and is an excellent coach in both sports. My daughter, loves to draw, sing and is very creative. She is a High School student, currently in 3 bands, plays Tenor Sax and the clarinet. She has performed in her school musical as well as being a member of a local theater group. She is a Varsity soccer goalie and Junior Varsity basketball player. She is a Girl Scout and has recently earned the Silver award and is working towards Gold. I live with my three children and my husband, who is a very busy dad, coaching basketball and soccer as well as serving as a Vice President in our local soccer league and working for a major sports corporation in one of the best cities in the world. I love to read and I am always looking for new authors so I can devour everything they have written. I want to go everywhere and see everything, but with three children, one with special needs and a tight pocketbook, I have to be content to research and read at this time, thank goodness for the internet!