Featured Author of the Day: Jean Winegardner

Today, our Featured Author Series returns with Jean Winegardner. 

Jean is a writer, autism advocate, and mother living in the Washington, DC metro area with her husband, Alex. She has three children, Sam, born October 2001; Jack, born May 2003; and Quinn, born May 2005.

Commonly known by her online nom de plume, Stimey, Jean writes about her life at her personal blog, Stimeyland, where she writes humorous stories about her life with her children and houseful of pets.

Jean started writing her blog shortly before she started to suspect that her her middle son, Jack, was autistic. She shares her and Jack’s journey along the autism path at Stimeyland, as well as at Autism Unexpected, a column located in the Washington Times Communities. She is a contributor at Hopeful Parents and founded an autism events and information website for Montgomery County, Maryland called AutMont.

Jean is passionate about creating a positive view of special needs individuals and hopes that her writing will help to dispel the idea that autism is a terrifying tragedy.

In addition to her special needs-related writing, Jean writes a decluttering blog called The Junk Pyramid and a review blog called Things. And Stuff. You can find her on Twitter as @Stimey.

In addition to writing, Jean enjoys reading, videography, zombies, Bob Dylan, most things pop culture, and small rodents, particularly gerbils and mice—of which her family has five. She firmly believes that when you are given a choice between laughing and crying, you should always try to laugh. Although sometimes you have to do both.

Jean says that she has always loved writing, especially memoir-style writing. She has a master’s degree in print journalism, but really found her groove and niche in blogging. She loves the community, the freedom, and the opportunities for self-expression that blogging has given her. With three young children, she has a never-ending source material for new stories every day.

“One of my main goals in writing is to reach as many people as possible with a positive message about autism and autistic individuals. My son with autism will grow up into a world that might judge him harshly. I hope to make that world a little bit more autism-friendly through my writing, so I am thrilled to be able to reach the people who will read this wonderful anthology. The fact that proceeds [from this project] benefit children’s charities is icing on the cake.”

Jean will continue writing on her blogs and the others to which she contribute. Her work will also be published in the upcoming Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. She is also looking forward to sending her youngest child to kindergarten in the fall, which should free up a big chunk of time during the day for her to nap.

We thank Jean and all of the other wonderful contributors!

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