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WCC professor earns national attention for autism work

February community forum will focus on autism in the workplace

Post Date:01/25/2019 3:12 pm

Bellingham, Wash. – Whatcom Community College biology instructor Kimberly Reeves was named the Top Personal Narrative Writer in 2018 by Autism Parenting Magazine. Reeves contributed articles to the magazine on topics such as how to help autistic children establish independence and important self-care tactics for special needs parents.

Reeves also recently co-authored the book “Raising Ryan: Living with Autism” with her son Ryan Cunningham. “Raising Ryan” is an honest, personal account of Reeves’s experience as a single mom parenting her son Ryan, now 19, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. The book chronicles the duo’s journey as they navigate everything from medical treatments and the public school system to surfing in Maui and learning how to shave for the first time. Building Blocks Magazine, a supplement of The Jewish Press, said in a recent review: “Perhaps the best and most informative parts of the book are the excerpts by Ryan, which give the reader a firsthand account of what it’s like to live with autism.”

“This book isn’t just for parents of children with autism or those who work in special education,” said Reeves. “It’s also so the general public can get some insight on people of difference. I want people to know that it’s ok to ask questions. It creates more empathy and understanding.” The authors have spoken to several community organizations about their writing experience and the importance of autism awareness. Reeves is co-hosting a community forum on Feb. 28 from 4-5:15 p.m. at the Community Building at Maritime Heritage Park (514 W. Holly). She will discuss the importance of more meaningful employment opportunities for intellectually challenged and marginalized adults. The event is free and the community is invited to attend. Learn more and follow Kim and Ryan’s adventures at “Raising Ryan” is available at Village Books,, and Amazon.

About Whatcom: Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA is regularly recognized as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. The College, a destination for cybersecurity, healthcare and business studies, offers a four-year bachelor of applied science degree, transfer degrees, career preparation, online courses and community education classes. WCC’s accomplished faculty and staff serve 11,000 students annually. For more information, visit

Contact: Marisa Ellis, Whatcom Community College PIO, 360.383.3310,

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