So, a little about myself! I am 43, married to Jammie, and father to Andrew (Andy), Tyler (TJ), and Austin (still waiting on a nickname). Andrew is my oldest son (19) and a freshman at George Mason in Fairfax, VA. He is an incredible song writer and musician. www.andygeels.com He is also gifted at acting and has an amazing sense of humor. After my ex-wife remarried she and Andrew moved out to Virginia Beach, VA and I followed a year later. Eight years ago I remarried Jammie. Jammie and I were blessed with Tyler 5 years ago. After missing some of his developmental markers we brought him to a developmental pediatrician. Three years ago we found out Tyler has Fragile X Syndrome. I am sure I will have many posts in the months to come about that journey. He is such a great kid and a huge blessing in the lives of all he meets. Though he comes with some special needs he makes up for it and than some with such a special ability to make people smile. He is pure joy! Austin was born 19 months ago and is a neuro-typical child. NO delays there!! He forces Tyler to be a big brother. He also forces mom and dad to have to work out simply so we can keep up with him. We recently moved back to the mid-west where Jammie and I both were born and raised. We live in Dakota Dunes, SD.
A tad on my work history. I started working with individuals impacted by Traumatic Brain Injury in 1987. I served adults with Traumatic Brain Injury for 14 years in the capacities of direct care, manager, and administrator. Since 2001 I have worked for The Mandt System, Inc. and serve as Director of Operational Sustainability. I am a sought after conference speaker, trainer, keynote presenter, and behavior consultant. As a parent of a child with special needs, as well as a professional in the field, I am able to bring a unique blend of personal and professional insights into my presentations. Over the past decade I have traveled the United States and Canada with the main goal of helping to create and sustain safe working environments. When it comes to the history of caring for individuals with developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, mental health concerns, and overall challenging behaviors, environments have been non-inclusive, coercive, and inhumane in many ways. Though in recent decades things have improved, they still have a long way to go. Little did I know when I started this journey so many years ago that it would become personal in a very real way. My goal is to make the world a better place for all people but my focus is on those who often lack their own voice to make that world a possibility. It's no longer about a professional duty...it is a personal calling.
Okay, that is about it for now. I am sure that I will be adding things in the days, weeks, and months to come! Please check back and see what I have to say. Did I mention I am not a writer?