Testimonials from my recent Keynote (January 12th, 2018) at the 25th annual CARD conference in Florida:
“I sat listening to Chantal’s presentation as though I was seeing a great movie. Her stories were woven together into a colorful fabric that covered the spectrum of life experiences and emotions that resonated with everyone. She was engaging, funny and a warrior for everyone who needs to find their voice.”
Dr. Karen Berkman, Executive Director, CARD-USF
Chantal, it was a pleasure to listen to your presentation. People like you inspire us to be the best we can be as SpED teachers and SpED advocates. Thank you for helping us grow; we’ve learned so much from YOU! – Educator
I was able to see both of your presentations today and I was fully inspired. I am a caregiver for a young man with CP and autism. We have struggled for years to find his voice and we are slowly getting there. Your talk today gave me ideas and motivation to try new ways to help him and his family transition into his young adult life. I just wanted to say thank you for everything you do. – Caregiver
Your keynote this morning brought memories of my role as a mother of a special needs son. You are an inspiration. God bless you and give you the opportunity to continue advocating for the most amazing human beings placed in this world . In my experiences working with the autistic I not only have been blessed but also had come to realized that this amazing humans are very close to what is really pure. Autistic human beings are the real and true meaning of love and Innocence. You touched my heart . Getting to know Jeremy through your experiences as a mother is an inspiration that I will use in my work. God bless him. – Parent
New Keynotes :
Greatly I Dream… Keeping Sight of the Dream Even When Daylight Comes
This 1.5 hr keynote is appropriate for an audience of k-12 educators and parents. In this at times funny, at times heartbreaking personal account, Chantal describes how she helped Jeremy to make sense of the world around him as a young child with the help of educators and other professionals who shared their vision. Chantal humorously and lovingly wrestles with the trials and tribulations of her family’s successful attempt to change the prognosis given to her son when he was first diagnosed at age three: life in an institution. Some of the treatments and therapies that helped him are discussed, along with what Jeremy had to say about them later in life when he could effectively communicate. Twenty-six years later, Jeremy is living a life close to the dreams and hopes of his teenage self, with needed supports. Along the way, Chantal explores how she developed the grit and resiliency she needed as Jeremy’s mother and strongest advocate. Life-changing gifts are discovered, affirming the family’s belief that being “not like the others” means being different, but not less.
Love, Sex, God, & Autism
This 1.5 hr Keynote was developed and is more appropriate for an adult crowd, including the general public or more specialized conferences discussing the inclusion of and support of adults with differences. Love, Sex, God & Autism, is a universal and inspirational story about resiliency and adapting to change. In her 70-minute storytelling event, Chantal humorously and lovingly wrestles with the trials and tribulations of her family’s successful attempt to change the prognosis given to her child – life in an institution. It’s the hysterical and heartbreaking personal account of a young man’s quest for love, and a family’s search for normalcy – or at least inclusion! Along the way, Chantal explores how her upbringing provided her with the grit and resiliency she would need as Jeremy’s mother. Life-changing gifts are discovered, affirming the family’s belief that being “not like the others” means being different, but not less.