Amanda Whitebread knows a lot of things about a lot of things.
First, she runs a car repair business with her husband Kenny.
“I was told, being a female, that I would never succeed in the automotive business, and I graduated at the top of my class and at 20 years old signed on the mortgage to a business so we always push to succeed,” she said. “That’s our family.”
She’s a fearless certified firefighter and a dynamo EMT in Halifax.
But none of that effort compares to her primary mission.
“When Logan, our son, was diagnosed with his autism at 15 months, it was our mission at that point to make sure he got all the services he needed,” Kenny Whitebread said.
Amanda and Kenny were told Logan probably wouldn’t talk. Just as Amanda didn’t listen when people told her she couldn’t be in the automotive business, she refused to accept that her son would not speak.
“I took a three-day intensive class that’s actually for teachers who are not just starting, and I got to learn a lot about how they do things so we can follow through at home,” she said.
She made sure he got extra help in daycare and later speech and occupational therapy at school and more after school. It worked.
Did she ever think about quitting?
“Of course,” she said. “But it’s my kid, so you can’t quit.”
She certainly hasn’t quit. In January, Amanda testified in front of the state House of Representatives in support of licensing behavioral analysts. She raises money to support children with autism.
When her mother-in-law nominated Amanda, she said, “she is the most remarkable woman I know. I am honored and proud to call her my daughter-in-law.”