About the Authorr
Donna's twins are currently 11 (photo is age 9) and also have autism, in addition to a rare anxiety disorder, selective mutism. She has a book titled Suffering in Silence; Breaking Through Selective Mutism. For more info on selective mutism (SM), please see her website:
I have an undergraduate degree, with honors, from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, where I was the section leader of the Marching Illini, in addition to Vice President of Mu Phi Epsilon, a professional fraternity. I earned type 03 and type 09 teaching certifications. I have a master's degree in both clinical mental health counseling and school counseling from National-Louis University and earned an LCPC and a type 73.
My husband, Jason MacDonald, and I live in the Chicagoland area with our three daughters and two Puggles. I have worked professionally since 1999, as a nature-based summer camp director for 9 years, as teacher working with early childhood students in special education for 6 years, and currently as a licensed clinical therapist in a therapeutic day school for 14
years. I also coached Special Olympics track and swimming for 2 years. Finally, I am a spiritual ambassador at my work to help guide my fellow staff members spiritually.
I am not just some teacher or some therapist offering advice. Even more important, I am also a mom of identical twin girls diagnosed with ADHD when they were 3-years-old. Armed with personal experience, my aim is to offer hope and provide relief. I live the life every day and can empathize with you.
This book is written in honor of my three little girls, Makenzie, Katie, and Jordyn Hailey. Every day, these three teach me about unconditional love, meaning and purpose in life, self-control, patience, and, of course, time management! Makenzie and Katie help me to be a better clinician daily; I now not only see the children I treat in therapy as “children I treat,” but I see them through the eyes of their desperate parents as well. This experience of getting to be their mom has given me new perspective on parenting, my career, spirituality, and life in general. I never thought God would have blessed with me two children with ADHD to teach me my lessons in life, but I am glad this is how He chose to do it, because I wouldn’t change them for the world. Their ADHD is a gift, and all three of them are loving girls, with a zest for life, passion about everything they do, and highly contagious energy. These girls are meant to climb high!
Jason, Donna, Katie, Jordyn Hailey, & Katie