Jeniece Dortch is a mom of six, her children ranging in age from 4-16 years. She has a passion for the special needs community that was born when her second-eldest son, Christian Garcia, was diagnosed with autism and epilepsy. She not only saw the need to advocate for these communities, but for the entire family unit (even those who are able-bodied) as inclusive members of the special needs community. With this idea in mind, she formed Special Needs Siblings, Inc. — a nonprofit committed to raising awareness, support and resources for the siblings of disabled individuals. Now a public speaker, writer, and blogger who fights for both the special needs and minority communities, Jeniece has also founded JLQ Marketing, an organization that focuses on helping non-profits grow. She created this company along with her loving husband, Thomas Dortch III (and they were recently married, so send them some extra celebratory love!). Jeniece and Thomas continue this mission to give underserved communities and organizations a voice.
Tune in as Jeniece shares:
- that she knew her son, Christian, had a seizure disorder around age 2, when he had a grand mal
- that it took more than one doctor to diagnose Christian — and Jeniece was empowered to seek second opinions because her mother is an anesthetist, an “insider” in the medical industry
- that Christian was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at the age of 3
- that Christian is largely non-verbal, but clearly engaged with the world around him
- why she founded Special Needs Siblings
- the role of caregiving and the importance of support for siblings and parents of individuals living with disabilities and/or special needs
- how she’s tackling home school during the pandemic — with 6 kids at home!
- experiences of discrimination she’s faced in medical and community settings, and how she’s had to stand up for Christian’s needs against pushback
- what makes a good medical provider
- what’s next for Special Needs Siblings and for Christian’s care
Transcript coming soon!
In the meantime, check out these past episodes about autism and epilepsy: