We are delighted to announce that this year’s very deserving Honorary Encourage Leader is Stephanie Coleman.
Stephanie is the Autism and Family Educator for the division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She supports families after an autism diagnosis while working with community partners in understanding and developing ways to support individuals and their families in the disability community. Stephanie is also the Kansas LEND Family Faculty mentoring and supporting family trainees as the grow their leadership and advocacy skills.
Her passion to do more in the autism community started with her son, Matthew, a senior at the University of the Ozarks who was diagnosed relatively late in 2010 as being on the spectrum. Stephanie has worked since that time to advocate for him in every way to have the good life he envisions.
In 2016, Matthew’s psychologist encouraged her to expand her advocacy and leadership knowledge to grow her reach and help other families in similar situations. From that day she has wanted to support and educate families to understand their child’s rights and the supports and resources that are there to assist them to attain the good life they envision as well.
Two programs that Stephanie has developed is the Kansas LEND Family Education Series where she finds presenters on current relevant topics offering the sessions virtually so those outside the Kansas City metro area can attend. The Kansas LEND Childcare Provider webinar trainings focus on autism and related developmental disabilities will hopefully assist in getting more kids identified early, diagnosed, and provided with the proper supports. While also providing childcare workers the tools to feel successful in caring for an individual with a developmental disability.
In her free time, Stephanie enjoys traveling to visit family and friends, watching Matthew play sports, walking outdoors and cheering on her beloved Buffalo Bills with her rescue dog Murray. Stephanie was a LEND trainee, a recruiter in her previous career and holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Middle Tennessee State University.
We look forward to honoring Stephanie Coleman at S’Mores and Pours on Friday, October 22, 2021 and hope that you can join us!