Advocacy, Activism, & Resources for Autism
Monica turns more than 25 years of autism activism, genetics, education and advocacy into evidence-based, proven resources for parents, direct support providers, and healthcare professionals. Find out more today.
My consulting is multifaceted! I tap into a lifetime of experiences that gives me insight and experience to tap into. I provide consulting services to employers who have or are considering hiring a person with Autism or an Intellectual Disability. I also provide employer disability training on how to help their business become more inclusive and focus on employee customer service for people with disabilities. As a parent of an adult with Autism and an Intellectual Disability, I have extensive experience and knowledge that I can share with families and guardians to navigate the service system and plan for the future. I also have years of experience facilitating Person-Centered Plans with the focus person front and center to the process. My consulting services are person-focused, inclusive, and find ways to break down community barriers.
Monica Meyer, Autism Activist, Keynote Speaker, Mother to Adult Son, Michael
Since her son’s birth, Monica has had to discover or develop techniques for connecting Michael to the community and to the resources that have helped him lead a happy and fulfilling life. Speaking, providing training, and meeting with parents, caregivers, and professionals let her share her valuable insight and experiences. This has and will continue to be a lifelong investment into Michael’s quality of life because it is necessary.
Whole Life Community Living Consultant
Monica began with compassion for adults who have ASD (autism spectrum disorder), and a desire for them to lead happy, fulfilled lives, completely integrated onto the community. She shares her years of experience through the practical, evidence-based resources that parents and professional care staff need.
Monica’s credibility comes from raising a child with autism into adulthood, which gave Monica the real life experience of finding—and often times developing—community resources necessary for her son. Her trainings share the specific strategies parents and professional care staff need to be successful in supporting their adult child’s autism.
Finding that being a member of the community was key to a happy and fulfilling life for her son, Monica has created ways of integrating adults with autism into their community, promoting their communication, independence, and decision making.
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What’s new with Michael?
As I mentioned before, life is never dull. A friend, colleague, and parent of two adults with disabilities and I are working on a futures plan process or product that will incorporate more than what our sons and daughters will need after we have gone. Last week we started talking more about what we as parents need to do for ourselves to protect our assets and set aside for their future. Facing the future is not an easy thing to do but is necessary.
Some of the necessary things we talked about included how to set up a trust fund so our personal assets will forgo a probate process and how to move assets into his Special Needs Trust.
The things to remember, research, and start is another level of complications when you have a child (adult or otherwise) with a disability. It’s also a complex discussion when you have a blended family and other children to consider. My hope is to continue to share this journey with you and express my fear, relief, and gratitude as we continue this process.
In the meantime, Michael has finally gotten over some major health conditions that started in October 2021 with an embedded kidney stone in the ureter. After the process to remove it and placement of a stent, he (and I) contracted COVID-19 and were quarantined for almost two weeks. Fortunately, our symptoms were mild, but this prevented him from having the stent removed.
Michael also was scheduled for an endoscopy to try and find out why he continues to have stomach pain. Although it had been one month since had had Covid-19, the surgical team at OHSU said that they wanted to wait 8 weeks post Covid-19 symptoms because of the assault Covid-19 has on the respiratory system. While waiting for the endoscopy, he was able to get into Legacy Hospital to have his kidney stent removed. Michael happily tolerated that procedure well and helped eliminate the kidney pain he was experiencing with the stent.
When the eight-week waiting period was over, Michael was scheduled for his endoscopy under General Anesthesia. The procedure was quick and Michael tolerated that procedure well, except for a sudden onset of coughing and gagging that went on for over a week. I became distressed after talking with the surgeon and an appointment with his PCP but neither could find anything was wrong. One even suggested this could be a long-term Covid-19 effect but I wasn’t buying it. After some research, I discovered that General Anesthesia and the process of intubation can irritate the Vagal Nerve. This gave me pause for thought because Michael has a Vagus Nerve stimulator (VNS) connected to his Vagal Nerve already for seizure control. My research began after I noticed on our car ride that when I swiped the magnet over his VNS, within 5-10 seconds he would start coughing and gagging. To me, this was an indication that the Vagal Nerve was irritated. I sent a MyChart question to his neurologist and did not receive a response for two days, which was very unusual. So, I call and left a message. The triage nurse contacted me to let me know that Michael’s neurologist was out on vacation and would not return for two weeks. I knew he could not wait that long, so I got him an appointment with the on-call neurologist who could download the VNS device data and readjust the current to the VNS. Within the day, Michael’s coughing and gagging were reduced significantly, not gone, but reduced.
So here we are, it’s now the end of April and I still need to get him in for dental care and have his eyes checked. Heaven only knows what lies ahead for Michael and his continued presence to move and shape how community providers include and engage in the care and support of a person with Autism, Intellectual Disability, Intractable Seizure Disorder, and all the rest of his health needs. For heavens sakes, wish us luck!
Monica is a tireless advocate for individuals with autism across the lifespan and has a special interest in adults with classic autism.
She strongly believes that adults with classic autism should be active members of their community, participating at the level they are comfortable with.
Monica does this through designing structured opportunities in “real-life” settings that open up experiences for the individual with autism to make true choices for residential and work prospects.
Monica has raised Michael from birth to adult. Early in her journey she realized how difficult it was to get services and help from government programs, health care professionals, etc.
For more than twenty five years Monica has focused on developing the support and techniques to help Michael become a active member of the community with a happy comfortable lifestyle.
Her focus is on sharing these resources with other parents and guardians, freeing their time from having to hunt for help and solutions to spending it where it counts.
Monica turned her personal and professional experiences into useful, practical resources for parents and professional care staff.
In addition to her experience raising her son Michael, professional affiliations include appointment by the Governor of Washington to the State Autism Task Force.
Monica Meyer Consulting offers training, consultation, and a wide range of evidence-based ASD resources and strategies to support parents and care professionals.