What I love about journalism is the ability to really connect with people from all walks of life—learning what they do and how they do it.
There was a very strong sense of that over the past weeks as we worked on our Special Needs Issue. The people I had the opportunity to meet and learn from inspired me deeply. And a few of these people even contributed as writers for this issue, talking about their own experiences with their special needs children.
One of these contributors is Debora Smith, founder of Autism Resource Mom, which provides support to those with autism and their families. She tells her story and that of her son, Drew, who is on the autism spectrum—and we get to see how far they’ve come. A student film he directed has been accepted into the Newport Beach Film Festival.
There’s also Karen Cervantes Jimenez, who wrote about the best ways to approach parents of autistic children in public settings. She writes about a personal experience she had in a restaurant while with her autistic son.
Another feature this month highlights the inspirational story behind popular coffee brand, Portola Coffee Roasters, which resulted after a couple learned their baby had special needs.
As we enter summer camp season, we pondered an important topic for parents of kids with special needs: Is it a good idea for them to attend traditional summer camps? Find out what experts say in our story in the features section.
In addition to special needs topics, April is a time for spring activities, including hiking. The Pause Button shares a great hike on the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve near Murrieta for families. Another fun, family activity returns in April with America’s Family Pet Expo. Read about some new things, as well as returning favorites, and how this event offers major support for rescues and shelters looking for homes for the many animals they care for.
After all the activity, we’ll surely be hungry. Food Jr. (and Sr.) takes us on a culinary egg hunt in search of deviled eggs in and around Orange County restaurants.
There’s a lot to do and see this month. As spring keeps us busy with family activities, make sure to stop and take in all the amazing people that live in our county, making the world better for everyone.