Jennifer Allen had a career in television before she learned her son, Sam, had autism/Asperger syndrome. She left that career to become a stay-at-home-mother to both Sam and younger son, Charlie. As she began her journey into the world of autism, she sought answers for Sam. Sharing those answers with others became her passion.
She first offered a children’s animated series titled, Ameriquest Kids. The lead character in Ameriquest Kids is based on son Sam. After several episodes of the series, Sam asked that the superhero Sam talk about his autism label. The series is now distributed by Landmark Media.
Jennifer knew that families, schools, and the rest of the public needed to learn about autism/Asperger syndrome. She wrote the script and book for a new documentary on raising a child with autism. The film is titled, Coping to Excelling: Solutions for School-age Children Diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism or Aspergers Syndrome. Jennifer, husband Herb and the boys were very involved in the creation of a very helpful film.
“Aspergers 101” is Jennifer’s latest venture. She formed a non-profit organization to help fund the lively website. It is a source for lots of information on Asperger syndrome and autism. Blog and video (Top of the Spectrum News) are added daily. Topics include K-12 education, college education and employment. Other topics share family, medical and social development information. AS101 is looking for stories to tell. Writers interested in getting stories on AS101 may email the senior editor, Gabriela Lemos.
AS101 is growing. Celebrating the Uniqueness of Autism will air on stations WOAI, KABB and KRRT (Sinclair Broadcasting). The public service announcements celebrate and educate the viewers on autism. They allow the viewer to see past the label of autism and to see the amazing person inside. Sinclair Regional General Manager, John Seabers, is the man behind the partnership and the upcoming public service campaigns will be hosted by WOAI veteran anchor, Randy Beamer.
Jennifer Allen left a career, created an animated TV series, wrote and produced a documentary, formed a non-profit and started a website. She did all these things because she loved her son and knew she could find answers. For more information on autism, take a look at our page on Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Living with a child who has mental health issues can come with a lot of unknowns just like having a child with physical health issues. But society can treat both children very differently.
I have two boys. One is 10 and the other is 8. Both of my kids have disability labels. One has a physical disability and the other has emotional and behavioral issues. One disability you can see, the other you don’t – but it is there.