About Us

Nesting Guide’s Story

The Nesting Guide initiative was created to raise awareness and provide up-to-date research from leading national organizations on the causes of intellectual disabilities and adverse childhood experiences. The Nesting Guide equips maternal healthcare providers with a platform to help better inform their patients of current prevention resources to keep pregnancies, infants, and children safer and healthier. The Nesting Guide is a directory that categorizes and disseminates comprehensive preconception, prenatal, and cradle-to-kindergarten data under one online portal.

Environmental risks account for 25% of the disease burden in children under five.


About 61% of adults surveyed across 25 states reported they had experienced at least one type of ACE before age 18.


The risk of ASDs increased by 62% among diabetic mothers compared with non-diabetic mothers.


Our Journey So Far

  • 2022

  • May

    Project enhancements with TargetMarket

  • April

    Nesting guide discovers the Arc’s article

    Research for Bachelor Essay leads Mindy to discover the ARC’s article and position statement, “Addressing the Causes and Effects of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

  • August

    Mindy and Collaboration with College of Charleston School of Business and Information Management

  • August

    Returned to data collection

  • October

    Attended the I Care 4 Autism National Conference

  • August

    Funded to research data points in intellectual disabilities community

  • May

    LETTER OF support from retired Environmental Specialist and Unit Coordinator for the State of Georgia

    Retired Environmental Specialist and Unit Coordinator for the State of Georgia Environmental Protection Agency writes letter in support of lead poisoning exposure and prevention during gestation

  • March

    The same developmental agency that diagnosed son - drops diagnosis

  • October

    Environmental Medical Doctor diagnosis of lead poisoning in gestation due to renovation work on 1925 year old home - mimicking ASD symptoms

  • August

    Son’s diagnosis of ASD

  • 2002

    Our son is born

Our Full Story

Our story begins in 2002, in Wilmington, North Carolina, with the birth of Mindy’s son. Her vision for the Nesting Guide and the development of her distinct skill set for preconception health was conceived through her son’s misdiagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at 23 months of age. The endless questions that flooded Mindy’s mind and the lack of known support for what to do next after hearing the word “autism” were overwhelming. She was not given any relevant data or any pertinent information to assist her in processing this life-changing news.

Fortunately, Mindy was undeterred and persevered in her quest for answers and options for treatment, which ultimately led her family to a physician specializing in environmental medicine. After in-depth analysis, the doctor determined that her son’s autistic-like symptoms were due to her ingesting lead paint airborne particles during their 1925-year-old home’s renovation while pregnant. The doctor, however, created a comprehensive protocol and environmental plan for her son’s detoxification and the road to recovery that she and her husband implemented and followed for the next four years.

By the time Mindy’s son entered Kindergarten at age 6, he did so without the need for an Individual Education Plan (IEP), and his ASD misdiagnosis was reversed, all due to the determination of his mother and the ingenuity of an innovative physician with knowledge of environmental factors that cause developmental delays in early childhood development. After the agency’s evaluation and hearing the overwhelming news that her son no longer had his diagnosis or any remaining autistic symptoms, Mindy vowed to find a way to make this journey easier for other families in a similar situation. She contemplated how she could create a roadmap with current data and available resources to support families and improve connection and access with these specific organizations.
Mindy wanted to present valuable, time-sensitive information that could help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that occur before, during, and after diagnosis. The experience with her son created Mindy’s unparalleled passion and detailed understanding of early childhood development, CDC Developmental Milestones, and the importance of early intervention/detection in the critical window of time for Kindergarten Readiness.

In August of 2021, Mindy continued the development of her long-term vision by collaborating with a College of Charleston Honors student, Elise Courtney, and Dr. Iris Junglas, Noah T. Leask Distinguished Professorship at the College of Charleston School of Business and Information Management. Their first iteration of the initiative disseminates data from new diagnoses through kindergarten and into adulthood. This data initiative supports families with an existing diagnosis and provides easier navigation and a uniform system for each state to follow.

During this collaboration, Mindy had the honor and privilege to serve as the secondary reader and a Bachelor Essay Advisor for Elise, which provided the opportunity and the precise timing to locate and research statistics in the intellectual disabilities community. Ironically and relating to the distinct purpose of Nesting Guide, Mindy discovered the ARC’s article and position statement, “Addressing the Causes and Effects of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities,” which emphasized that “Knowledge about biomedical causes of disability, preventive health care options and the consequence of exposure to environmental hazards is increasing rapidly, yet practical application of this information is lacking.”

The Download statement for Mindy’s next steps: Supporting the prevention of IDD and valuing the lives, diversity, and contributions of persons with IDD are compatible positions.’

The ARC’s article provided the final catalyst for the Nesting Guide’s mission to support prevention and promote early childhood development. In addition and when needed, the Nesting Guide can segue into ID Guide for new diagnosis and/or through the transition into adulthood data.

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