Alison Schmeerwas born in Vero Beach, Florida. As a volunteer at local elementary schools, Alison found that she had an interest in helping students labeled as “difficult” or “hyper.” She was drawn, in particular, to children with special needs. In May 2012, Alison received her Bachelor of Science degree in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences from the University of Florida with honors. As an undergraduate, Alison minored in Education and specialized in Certified Family Life Education. Alison completed her Master of Science degree in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences at the University of Florida in 2014. In addition to her master’s coursework, she also completed the Autism Competencies for Endorsement courses through the College of Education which included Evaluation of Special Education, Nature of Autism, Intervention for communication and Social Development, and Behavior Management and Positive Behavior Support. These courses, along with her masters thesis, allowed Alison to gain experience in working with children with special needs, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and their families. Her research focused on exploring the impact that ASD has on the sibling relationship when one sibling is typically developing and the other sibling has ASD.