Welcome. My name is Joanne De Simone. I am a graduate of Hunter College in New York with degrees in Dance and Special Education.
I left dance to teach children with disabilities. Then I had two boys. My older son has a rare brain malformation called Lissencephaly. He has spastic quad cerebral palsy, doesn’t walk, talk, or use his hands. He has a seizure disorder, and sports a feeding tube for supplemental nutrition. My younger son is on the autistic spectrum.
Special Education is my life.
Currently I work as the Outreach Coordinator for The Alliance of Private Special Education Schools of North Jersey.
My essays have appeared in several publications including Mamalode, The Mighty, Literary Mama, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and Brain, Child Magazine’s Blog. My essay, “Benjamin is Benjamin” can be found in Barriers and Belongings: Personal Narratives of Disability.
I am working on a memoir about how the struggle to balance my sons’ medical and educational challenges drove me to reconnect to the lessons I learned as a modern dancer. I live in New Jersey with my boys and husband John, a film production professional.