Judy Winter

McShane Photography © 2018

Nationally Recognized Voice on Special Needs Parenting Issues

Meet Judy Winter

Judy Winter is the author of Breakthrough Parenting for Children with Special Needs: Raising the Bar of Expectations and co-founder of the Eric 'RicStar' Winter Music Therapy Camp at Michigan State University (MSU).

She is recipient of an Outstanding Alumni Award from the College of Communication Arts & Sciences at MSU, Advocate Award recipient from the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), Chief Everything Officer Award for Community Outreach from AOL and Dove, and the Exceptional Parent Award from the Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC). Ms. Winter has also been named to the Conductive Learning Center Hall of Fame in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a center than maximizes independence for children with motor challenges.

Ms. Winter's words also appear in the books "Easy to Love but Hard to Raise," (Marner/Bashista), "A Special Kind of Love: For those that Love Children with Special Needs," (Osborn/Mitchell), "Enabled in Words: The Real Lives. Real Victories of People with Disabilities," (Landry/Lopez), and "Hey! Take a Look at My Life," (Tuduri/Leung).

Ms. Winter is a regular contributing columnist and photographer (Winter Ramblings) for the Ludington Daily News in Ludington, Michigan. She has been an associate of Therapy Dogs International (TDI) since 2009 and with certified therapy dog, Jack, spreads volunteer canine magic in Michigan Public Schools and at Michigan State University, experiences shared in her 2014 TEDx Talk: Schooled by a Dog.

The award-winning writer, national speaker and activist has shared her special needs expertise and parenting tips in a documentary about special needs siblings entitled "The Sandwich Kid," in a Great Start Early Childhood PSA for WKAR-TV (PBS), and several parentings spots on the PBS program "A Wider World."

Ms. Winter has been profiled as one of Michigan's Leading Women by the White House Project and has published dozens of feature articles about special needs, including for Cesar's Way, Writer's Digest, the Lansing State Journal, and various publications for the Michigan Department of Education.

Ms. Winter's work has been recognized by the Association of Educational Publishers with "Distinguished Achievement Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing." She has been interviewed by major media across the country, including ABC, AOL, Fox Radio News, CBN, NBC, WGN-Chicago, and KPBS-Radio.

Recipient 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award / 2017 Certificate of Graduation East Lansing Emerging Leaders Program / 2017 Points of Light Volunteerism Award-George W. Bush, founder / 2016 Recognized Change Agent by The White House United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C. / 2016 Top 30 Honoree Women of Worth Recognition L'Oréal Paris / 2013 American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) Advocate Award / 2012 City of East Lansing Crystal Award for RicStar's Camp / 2007 Outstanding Alumni-Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences / 2006 Chief Everything Officer Award-Community Outreach from AOL and Dove / Honorary Membership Golden Key National Honor Society / 2002 Michigan Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC) Exceptional Parent Award.

Ms. Winter holds a B.A. in Communication Arts & Sciences from Michigan State University, and several advance degrees in real-life experiences. She parented a musically talented child with cerebral palsy for nearly thirteen years.

Judy Winter brings passion—and a healthy dose of humor—to everything she undertakes.