Michele Pierce Burns is a consultant, fundraiser, writer, and public speaker focusing on autism awareness and acceptance. She is the proud mother of Danson Mandela Wambua, age 9, and has recently co- written a book with him entitled DANSON: The Extraordinary Discovery of an Autistic Child's Innermost Thoughts and Feelings (St. Lynn's Press, March 2009). Michele is currently collaborating with Illustrator Louis Henry Mitchell (Senior Character Designer and Creative Director at Sesame Workshop) on a second book for Danson entitled I Love Everything About You which affirms the belief that every child with autism is a perfect blessing exactly as he or she is.
Michele and Danson have been featured on OPRAH, The Today Show, Larry King Live, and in the documentary Autism Every Day which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007. Michele volunteers and consults at: Sesame Workshop Healthy Habits for Life and Autism Awareness Project, as a member of the family services committee at Autism Speaks, HALO (Helping Autism through Learning and Outreach), Seeds of Hope Outreach in Southern Africa (dedicated to bringing services and hope to orphans due to AIDS), and at Connor's House, a home-like community for family-centered care for children with complex health needs.
Previously, Michele was a high school English teacher and co-founded two college preparatory-based charter schools and a summer academy. She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University (English/Afro-American Studies), a M.A. from Stanford University (Education), and a M.Ed. from Harvard University (Administration, Planning, and Social Policy).She is a certified Yoga and Yoga for the Special Child teacher and a Reiki Master. She is so grateful to share her daily life with Danson and her beautiful husband Michael.
The first book I ever completed with complete interest was Toni Morrison's Tar Baby when I was in 11th grade. She is a major influence in my life, along with writers like Susan L. Taylor, Maya Angelou, Ben and Roz Zander, and of course my greatest influence Danson Mandela Wambua.
I Love Everything About You! Illustrated by Louis Henry Mitchell, Senior Character Designer and Creative Director at Sesame Workshop.
Spoken Word CD "Awakening Intimacy" with Michael Burns.
St. Lynn's Press
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