April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day! And did you know the month of April is Autism Awareness Month? If you’re wondering why, it’s because the Autism Society recognizes that the prevalence of autism in the United States has risen from 1 in 125 children in 2010 to 1 in 54 in 2020. As mother’s, we are likely to either have a child with autism, or know someone who does. There is a huge need for resources and support with this unique and challenging diagnosis. For this reason I am so happy to be able to share with our community a local business that does just this! AAPC Publishing is located in Shawnee and run by one of our very own Shawee Area Moms, Nihan Marun. I was able to interview Nihan and learn more about this organization and what they are doing to support the autism community. Here’s what she said!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Shawnee?
My husband and I are originally from Turkey. He has been living in Kansas City for over ten years now. We met in Kansas City in 2019 and married in Turkey, then moved to Shawnee in 2020. So, I am a new resident in town.
When was the AAPC started and what was the inspiration behind it?
AAPC Publishing was founded in 1999 by Keith Myles to publish a book on the topic of high-functioning autism and difficult moments, and since then it has been a cutting edge contributor of the best autism resources on the market to educational professionals, families and individuals on the Autism Spectrum Disorder Spectrum and other disabilities. In 2010, Serdar Marun (my husband) started to work for AAPC and after eight years, in 2018, he became owner of the company. Currently we manage the company together and are excited to grow it. Together we have more than twenty years of experience, background and have created a new, fresh structure.
What makes AAPC so unique?
AAPC Publishing is the first “autism related materials” publisher, and currently one of the best in the market. We have hundreds of books for different individuals from inspiring stories that promote empathy and understanding of autism, to tips and advice for parents on common issues and struggles. We also have tools and curricula for use in the classroom or other educational settings.
Tell us about your mission to help the Autism community.
AAPC Publishing’s mission is to be the first source for practical solutions for the autism spectrum and related disorders. Every year we are donating hundreds of books to schools, educators, universities, parents, and individuals with ASD.
What’s your favorite thing about being a business owner in the Shawnee area?
As a business owner, we are investing in our family company both financially and emotionally. And when you invest in something that you care about, you want to see it last. We decided to live in Shawnee because of the nice neighborhood and good schools. We were also aware that Shawnee would be a perfect fit for our business. Everyone we have met or communicated with has become a great addition to our family and to our company. I believe Shawnee has its own unique energy that collects everybody under a colorful and pretty umbrella.
Where do you get your products from and how do you find them?
Every year, we receive hundreds of book submissions and get a chance to work with incredible individuals from across the spectrum. Having the opportunity to help give others a platform to share their voices and knowledge has been our privilege and we are in awe of our authors and all they have worked to accomplish! A committee in AAPC Publishing picks the high-quality contents to publish. We are publishing around 20 new books each year. Many of these individual’s books have gone on to become best-sellers or have helped spread cutting-edge information on how we think about autism. As one of our amazing little authors said, “as long as one life has been changed, it will have been worth it.” We agree with that!
What is your hope for AAPC? Future plans for your business?
We want to reach out to more individuals in the community and help more!
How can people get your products now?
What’s the discount code our Shawnee Moms can look out for?
20% off with the coupon code: MY20
You’re a mama, as well! How has motherhood shaped your life?
Motherhood has taught me multiple new skills and allowed me to reconnect with myself. I have realized my “limitless” capacity. If you have children, you can have the power to change the world for them! Also, I have become more emotional and positive. Motherhood helped me in my career as well. I have learned a lot and am still learning!
When things get hard, what’s one thing you tell yourself to keep going when running a business?
It may sound funny but I just “SMILE” and advise everybody around me to smile. I really believe that a smile can change so many things, I experienced this a lot!
How do you balance working and family life?
For the last seven years I have been working from home which requires a real balanced life. Sometimes it can be so difficult because you find yourself planning the meeting details while you are cooking or find the lost milk bottle in your laptop bag! After a few short years I learned to schedule my time for “work” and “family” but most important I’ve learned how to multitask and switch when required.