Milestones 2017 Honoree Dr. Katie Krammer, PhD
Posted on 05/20/17 in Milestones Conference by Milestones
As a mother of two children on the autism spectrum, Dr. Katie Krammer is passionate about bringing people together and creating a support network for parents and families like hers. It’s why the Milestones 2017 honoree of the Parent Tribute Award helped found a grassroots community group here in Northeast Ohio. Founded just three years ago with a handful of members, the group has grown to over 200 families and caregivers.
In addition to her work with the community, Dr. Krammer is active in the field of education. As Associate Professor of Special Education and the Coordinator of the Special Education Licensure Program at Lake Erie College, her research interests include Universal Design for Learning, Differentiation, Cognitive Learning Strategies and supporting families who have children with autism.
Dr. Krammer holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in Deaf Education, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education with an emphasis in Teacher Education and a minor in Statistics from the University of Kansas. Prior to entering higher education, Dr. Krammer worked as a sign language interpreter as well as an intervention specialist for deaf and hard of hearing students for many years in public schools.
How have your efforts have impacted the autism and special needs community?
Three years ago I helped start the Lake/Geauga Autism Support Group in conjunction with the State Support Team Region 4. Since its inception the group has grown to over 50 families who attend, as well as over 200 families and caregivers who get support from the Autism of Lake County, OH Facebook support group page. This group has brought so many people together not just for those meetings, but it has truly created a network of support for the parents/caregivers and also for our kids. We have become a family who all looks out and supports one another and it is amazing!
How has helping others shaped your life?
With every step of the way through the diagnosis of both of our sons, I have constantly thought, “If it is this hard for me - someone with a PhD in special education - what must other families be going through?” Consequently, it only renews my dedication towards helping to support families. Additionally, as a professor of special education, I was always devoted to preparing great special education teachers; but now that they could be my son's teachers someday, it has only elevated my passion.
What is your message to inspire others to serve the autism and special needs community?
My message is to make connections with others. Given the prevalence being what it is, there is no reason to have to feel like you are going through this alone. It can be a challenging road sometimes, but when we walk it together we can make a bigger difference in our children's futures.