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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, July 25, 2016—It’s estimated that there are 4.5 million people in the United States alone with autism today. An even more staggering fact that Jeanne Beard points out in her new bestseller, How to Sustain a Healthy, Functional and Satisfying Relationship with a Person on the Autism Spectrum, is that there are (at a minimum) an average of three or four others who love each one of those people, who care about them in a personal or intimate way, and possibly another five or six who work with them, and who need to functionally interact with them on a day-to-day basis. That means there are at least ten people who are invested in the lives of every individual on the autism spectrum, which equates to 45 million people in the United States living in the wake of autism.

The ‘rest of us’ are the people who are in a relationship with someone on the spectrum, whether it’s a family relationship such as a parent, spouse, sibling or child, or a less intimate relationship such as a boss or coworker, or a patient if one is a therapist or doctor, or a student if one is a teacher. The truth is that many people are probably in relationships with people on the spectrum, whether they know it or not. At some point autism touches all of our lives.

Autism spectrum disorder needs to be researched and understood, certainly, but honoring, accommodating and incorporating into our social landscape, individuals who are currently living with ASD is even more pressing than finding a magic bullet to obliterate autism.  The efforts of the “rest of us” are well spent in finding ways to create and sustain healthy relationships, and improve the life experience of both the person on the spectrum and their loved ones as well.

Jeanne Beard has decades of experience in the trenches with Asperger’s Syndrome and autism spectrum disorders, and the people diagnosed with them. In addition to her essential life experience creating functional, nurturing and balanced relationships with those on the spectrum, Jeanne was mentored by clinical expert Timothy Wahlberg, PhD during the writing of his clinical guide, Finding the Gray: Understanding and Thriving in the Black and White World of Autism and Asperger’s. Through her incredible insight into the thoughts, experiences and challenges of those on the spectrum AND of the rest of us, Jeanne builds a bridge to hope and a better future for us all.

Jeanne is the devoted mother of 2 sons, one diagnosed with Asperger’s, one with ADHD. As the founder of the National Autism Academy (, Jeanne has dedicated her life to encouraging, educating and supporting those who love someone with autism. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and a successful Vice President of Sales for a Chicago-based printing company with a 25-year tenure. Jeanne Beard is available for interviews.

Autism & the Rest of Us – How to Sustain a Healthy, Functional and Satisfying Relationship with a Person on the Autism Spectrum is available on

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