My name is Maat van Uitert, and I’m the mother of 2 autistic children. I live in Southeast Missouri with my husband, 2 young children, and a farm full of animals.
I started this website to share information, help other families advocate for their kids, share their stories, and provide guidance from professionals who spend every day helping special needs kids and their families.
I always say “Autistic children don’t come with a handbook,” and this is the website I wish I had when my children were diagnosed.
On this blog, you’ll find articles written by me, as well as by parents, and professionals who support autistic children so they can live full, happy lives:
- Occupational therapists
- Speech therapists
- And more
I hope this website becomes YOUR handbook, no matter where you’re at in your journey.
Welcome to This Special Life! Enjoy the ride!
Courtney Gutierrez, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
Courtney Gutierrez, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA Courtney is a behavior analyst, educator, and writer in the Pacific Northwest. She has over fifteen years of experience in the field of autism services, and over ten years of master’s level experience in classroom teaching and ABA therapy. Her areas of expertise include infant and toddler development, parent coaching, ABA clinical leadership and training, P-12 special education, and case consultation for children and young adults with autism and other special needs. Courtney lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.
Elizabeth Purpero is a licensed school counselor and licensed professional counselor-in-training. She has her master’s in counseling psychology. Elizabeth has worked as an autism therapist with children and teens. During her career, she has worked in intensive at-home therapy programs utilizing ABA and play therapy along with OT and speech therapy techniques. She has also worked as a mental health therapist helping clients address their mental health issues as it relates to autism. Elizabeth’s background working with the autism community has greatly helped her work with students in schools too. She has helped teachers implement effective strategies, create goals for IEP’s and make classrooms more sensory-friendly. Mark Twain once said, “Write what you know about,” and Elizabeth enjoys writing about autism-related topics and providing additional resources to help those impacted by autism.