WHO I AM AND WHAT I DO
A Passionate Advocate
My name is Dr. Nicole Anthony, and I am a mother, educator, advocate, researcher, and author. For over 19 years, I've advocated for and educated children with different abilities starting with my own son, Elijah, who is diagnosed with autism.
Elijah is a former preemie who weighed in at 1 lb 6 oz at birth! He was born at 24 weeks and faced many challenges. Elijah bled on both sides of his brain, his lungs collapsed twice, and he had multiple organisms attacking his whole body all at once. One of the organisms took off all of Elijah's skin, and he had to be bandaged like a burn victim. Based on all the medical complications Elijah experienced while in the NICU, doctors informed me that he might not be able to talk, walk, or learn like most children. Elijah’s prognosis was pretty grim. Faith, family, and determination allowed Elijah to leave the NICU after three months and three weeks and he hasn’t looked back since.
Leaving the NICU with Elijah filled me with anxiety and worry. How was I going to care for a little person with so many needs? Many questions filled my head during that time, so I decided to turn my fears into an opportunity to learn more about children born with developmental disabilities. Once I graduated from Norfolk State University with my B.A. in Political Science, I moved to New York where I obtained a position as a teacher with the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). In addition to teaching public school, I also worked with families and infants as an early intervention provider and ABA specialist. While teaching, I pursued my MSED in Education with a dual licensure in special education from Touro College.
After seven years with NYCDOE, I decided to move back to Virginia. I worked as a Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports specialist for middle school students with emotional disabilities and a 5th-grade inclusion teacher/ I.E.P case manager for students with high incidence disabilities. As an inclusion teacher, I designed and implemented an intensive morning tutorial program geared towards enhancing the reading comprehension and decoding skills of students with disabilities. I also decided to pursue my advanced certificate in educational leadership from Cambridge College and my doctoral degree in education with a concentration in special education from Old Dominion University.
During my doctoral studies, I had the opportunity to collaborate with several organizations like the Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities Project, Council for Exceptional Children, and the Autism Society of America. Additionally, I participated in a highly successful research group which garnered numerous presentation and publishing opportunities in the area of Deaf education, specifically children with cochlear implants.
Currently, I am a staunch advocate for children with special needs and their families. I also develop programs to aid in the social development of adolescents and adults with ASD.