Autism is often compared to a puzzle. And if your child has it, finding all the pieces – let alone putting them together – is a daunting task.
This is why Jamesena Ingram, a Plymouth mom of three and former special ed teacher with 20 years experience in the autism arena, created Autism Compass Consulting. “There was a gap,” says Ingram, a Certified Autism Specialist. “I felt for them and wanted to help. I wanted to be that missing link.” Since 2010, she’s been a mobile liaison, providing family advocacy and consulting in homes, schools and treatment clinics, from diagnosis to adulthood.
“Most families come to me for guidance. They’re confused, overwhelmed, stuck. And they need someone who can help them sort things out.” After a free consultation, Ingram is quick to collaborate. Early on, she can ID “red flags” and refer parents for an official diagnosis. Then, she helps map out a “course for success,” from creating visual schedules and behavior plans to providing family training and counseling. “I try to bring some peace to their lives.
Ingram works with health care providers and educators, too. “I provide training, teach them what to expect and help them develop high-quality services,” she says.
Teaching comes easy to Ingram, who spent 10 years in the education field. From her experience, she says most parents are unaware of where to turn for guidance.
“They don’t realize there is a path,” she says. “They’re lost and need help.”
This is where she steps in. “I do whatever it takes to ensure progress. I try to provide renewed hope and peace of mind by making sense of the often-complicated world of autism, which is so new to many of them.”
Ingram’s top 5 tips
1. Learn about autism.
Especially treatment options. Ask questions.
2. Know your insurance or medicaid.
Including the MIChild Autism Benefit.
3. Start treatment.
“Early behavioral intervention has shown great outcomes.”
4. Understand your child’s behavior.
Discover triggers. Work with your child.
5. Care for yourself.
“Take time. Read a book, go for a walk, call a friend.”
More about Autism Compass Consulting
Where: Serves southeast Michigan
Costs: Hourly and flat-free; can vary based on need
Contact: 844-273-4273, firstname.lastname@example.org