Magazine publisher Amy KD Tobik is an award-winning editor with more than 30 years of publishing experience. After successfully producing an autism magazine for over six years, Amy branched out a few years ago to create Exceptional Needs Today on her own. This resource reaches all people at no cost to them. In September 2021, Exceptional Needs Today received the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Award, honoring excellence. Amy is a graduate of Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Her special interests include advocating for children with different abilities and education. She lives in the Carolinas with her husband, and they have two adult children. She is CEO of Lone Heron Publishing which publishes Exceptional Needs Today.
You are the founder and editor of a fabulous magazine to support families, self-advocates, educators, and other professionals called Exceptional Needs Today. What sparked your passion for this role?
People often ask me why I advocate so passionately; my list is long. First, I credit my parents and grandparents for igniting a fire in me to generate change as they championed on behalf of families through their numerous volunteer positions in our community. I grew up seeing the rewards of their efforts. And then, when I became a parent, I worked directly with children of all ages and abilities in public schools as a volunteer. Those years fueled my passion as an advocate as I witnessed firsthand the challenges and frustration children, families, and educators encounter when they don’t receive all the guidance, support, and tools they deserve.
My enthusiasm for this role is also inspired by the incredible group of writers, editors, and publishers in my life. My mother managed newspapers, and my grandmother was a syndicated columnist and playwright. Through them, I witnessed the mighty power of the pen to quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, become the catalyst for change.
And lastly, I have personal connections to the exceptional needs community as many of my friends care for someone with different abilities or have a diagnosis of their own, including myself. So I understand the value of understanding, acceptance, and community support. Publishing Exceptional Needs Today has given me a unique chance to use my skills and experiences to offer opportunities for people to learn from one another while establishing a community of voices.
Who are your target audiences, and what do you offer them?
Exceptional Needs Today serves all individuals in need of special services, including but not limited to autism, Down syndrome, intellectual disability, visual or hearing impairment, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, learning disabilities, orthopedic impairment, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and gifted/talented. In addition, we promote awareness, acceptance, and inclusiveness for ALL people.
We are sure you are working with a fantastic team. How do you prepare the content for each issue?
I am incredibly proud of our team as they are committed to creating a top resource while promoting change. We depend on dedicated doctors, educators, parents, and self-advocates for our content as we aim to showcase different voices and perspectives. We also feature regular columnists, including Kate C. Wilde; Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC, CFBS; Amy Wagenfeld, Ph.D., OTR/L, SCEM, EDAC, FAOTA; Meshell Baylor, MHS; Nicole Moehring; and Tammy Flynn. It’s our goal to provide individuals with the opportunity to learn from one another and encourage all voices to be heard.
What is the best way to subscribe and follow Exceptional Needs Today?
People can subscribe to the magazine on our website FOR FREE at exceptionalneedstoday.com.
Be sure to also connect with us on social media.
Any word about AAPC Publishing?
I was introduced to the AAPC Publishing family in 2012 when the company focused primarily on publishing books focused on autism spectrum disorder. I am delighted with Serdar and Nihan Marun’s recent announcement to broaden their reach to support other neurological differences. We look forward to continuing to partner with one another while providing outstanding resources.