Meet our people

Founder and Executive Director S. Lucia Kanter St. Amour is an attorney, law professor, mediator, special education advocate, dog lover, and mother of 4 boys (2 human and 2 canine). Starting as early as law school she began her special education advocacy, which she then continued as part of her pro bono law practice as an attorney, eventually becoming President of the Board of Directors of the Community Alliance for Special Education.

In 2003, she adopted Bravo, a 4-year old Black Labrador Retriever who had been found on the street and bounced around to at least 3 different shelters including a kill shelter with a ruthlessly short 5-day holding period. Immediately after adopting Bravo, she noticed that he was an exceptional dog: gentle, intelligent, and keenly connected to people. Lucia trained and certified Bravo as a Therapy Animal and she and Bravo visited hospices, children's hospitals, and senior citizens centers as part of their volunteer work together. In 2004, Lucia gave birth to her first (human) baby, who ended up being diagnosed with Autism 2 years later. Thus, Bravo became the therapy dog for her own son as Lucia launched into a grueling set of early intervention therapy years to help her son make progress. In the meantime, human baby number 2 came along in 2005. With two sons and only one dog, Lucia endeavored to "even the score" in 2008 by adopting Sandler, another Black Labrador Retriever, from another shelter. Thus, her four boys grew up together and were inseparable until Thanksgiving of 2013 when Bravo, at age 15, passed away. Sandler, having apprenticed under Bravo's fine tutelage, has now been trained as an Autism dog for Lucia's eldest son; and her astonishingly mature younger son serves as a tremendously compassionate and patient "older brother" to his older brother with Autism. It's easy to see why the Spectrum Siblings project and the "Bravo" Program are near and dear to Lucia's heart and to her own life experience. She has witnessed first hand how the neurotypical child in a family with a child with Autism also has his or her own unique set of struggles; and on many days over the past 10 plus years she has felt that her dogs (both who had been shelter animals who turned out to be exceptional contributors to the family constellation) provided her family solace, silliness, sanity, and plenty of snuggles. To learn more about Lucia's background, visit her Pactum Factum mediation website.