Some Info About Little Ol’ Me
My name is Jon Gilbert and I live in the beautiful, culturally rich city of Rutland, Vermont. For some reason, you decided to stop by here. I’m not sure what could have compelled you but, since you’re here, you’d might as well enjoy yourself — in a platonic way, for sure. Either way, though, thank you for visiting my site and taking the time to learn a little a little more about me.
For most of my life I have been a writer, and since 2008, I have been an autism advocate. I started out advocating for my son, who was diagnosed in 2007. This led me to start supporting other children, adults and families affected by autism, and then our son’s older sister was diagnosed.
Since then, I have been sharing awareness with those in various special needs and other vulnerable populations, too. As I said, my oldest love is writing, and I do most of my best work using that medium. I have also come to enjoy social media and see this as a fantastic avenue for reaching a wide range of diverse people. It is a powerful and far-reaching tool that, when tracked and implemented successfully, has the strength to reach your targets around the world.
As an extension of the written word, I use public speaking to advocate, as well. Sometimes there is no substitute for face-to-face, and experience has taught me that it’s harder to say “no” to a smile one can see.
I currently work in an autism education program as a one-to-one instruction assistant to a young person with autism, and also continue to offer guidance, direction, support and consultation when called upon by the autism and special needs communities. I believe in “people first,” and that everyone deserves a fair shake. While there is a difference between “equal” and “equitable,” both are important and each has a specific purpose.
When I’m not writing or advocating, I spend my time taking college classes toward my BA in Communications. I am also a stage actor, comedy improvisationist, and will soon have the good fortune to direct my first production.
I’m currently immersed in the follow-up to Same Child, Different Day: One family’s experiences during the first year after a child’s autism diagnosis. For as long as the title is, it wound up being merely a booklet that is only 50 or so pages long. The ensuing book, however, goes by the slightly shorter title, Same Child, Different Day: Several years louder (SCDD2), but looks to be a much larger, full-length book. With the passing of five years since our son’s diagnosis, the subtitle was going to be “Five Years Louder.” However, with school, work, kids and all the other obligations, it will take a while longer; hopefully taking summer off from classes will give me some time to catch up.
I also have And this is What You Get (ATYWIG) simmering on the back burner. While SCDD2 is a true and anecdotal account of our life, ATIWYG is a fictional novel with true-to-life elements compiled from our life and experiences working with autism. It’s projected for some time in 2016, and I’ll keep you in the loop. For now, you can read about it here.
For now, please LIKE my Facebook page for SCDD2, and see more about my autism exploits on my “Same Child, Different Day” blog. Hopefully, you can find some diversion on my original blog “Peanut Butter and Mustard,” too.
Then again, maybe not.