Tuesday, October 15, 2013 2:03:00 PM

By Shannon Penrod


The first time I saw Nancy Alspaugh Jackson she was on a national news show talking about Autism.  I was riveted.  She was the definition of well-spoken.  She was calm, intelligent and unrelenting when someone on the panel minimized the struggle Autism parents face every day.  She let him have it and she didn’t even have to uncross her tiny little ankles.  I was impressed.  I was glad we were on the same team. But I will be honest, I didn’t think that Nancy and I could or would ever be friends.  She intimidated me. To me, she was one of “those women”; you know…the kind who always shows up in exactly the right outfit, looking like they just stepped out of a magazine article about how to live your life right?  The kind of woman who probably knows how to pack light and looks good in sleeveless dresses, the kind of woman I’ve always wanted to be, but I’m not.  That’s who I thought Nancy Alspaugh Jackson was.

Then I met Nancy, and I got to know her.  Yep, she still looks good all the time and it still confounds me how she does it, but I’ve gotten past that.  Now when I see her, I see the warrior she really is.  They say that before you can have a testimony you have to have a test.  Nancy’s had the whole exam, and passed with flying colors.  From being a sibling of a Down’s syndrome brother, to infertility, to adopting a child who was subsequently diagnosed with Autism, to dealing with her husband’s cancer, Nancy has survived, thrived and given back. 

Wouldn’t you like to know how Nancy has managed to keep it together, stay centered and be happy and productive?  Nancy has made a series of videos for Autism Live entitled, Empowering Autism Parents with Nancy Alspaugh Jackson.  In these videos Nancy shares tips for taking care of yourself, your spirit and body, so you can pick yourself up off the kitchen floor and see how your “disability can be your opportunity”.

Tune in to Autism Live this week during Ask Dr. Doreen (Oct. 16 10am-11am) to see the debut of the first in this series, then check Autism Live’s YouTube Channel each week for new episodes.

Trust me; you’ll want to be on Team Nancy too!