Debbie Frick is a retired educator with certification in the areas of general, special, and gifted education. In 1994, knowing nothing about autism, she was introduced to her first student with autism spectrum disorder. She was frustrated by her inability to reach him, so she began searching for information on her own. Studying autism became a lifelong pursuit as more children on the spectrum entered her classroom door. Over the next twenty years, she read many books and professional articles about the topic and wrote two graduate papers about autism spectrum disorder.
She eventually became involved in a special needs ministry at her church and helped initiate a religious education program for children with special needs. Most of those children had autism. While children were in classes with their teachers, Debbie spent much of her time listening to parents as they talked to one another about their parenting experiences.
After retiring, Debbie felt that there would be value in asking parents of children with autism to share their experiences with other families. She shares the heartfelt words of thirteen families in her book Conversations About Autism: Real-life Experiences of Struggle, Acceptance, and Hope.
Debbie lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her husband and their dog, Cookie. In her spare time, Debbie can be found sipping tea, searching for blooms on her finicky African violets, crocheting, or knitting.