She began the Napa Families of ASD page about two years ago after her son Charlie was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Charlie, age 5, is a smart, smiling child who finds it easier to read a book than to interact with other children.

Chia and her husband, Jim Leiken, began to learn about special education and other resources through the local group ParentsCAN. She talked with another parent facing the same situation who had done more research than her and Charlie’s diagnosis began to seem less daunting.

“Then it became clear to me parents really had a lot of knowledge and passion and we all felt really isolated and alone,” Chia said.

Napa Families of ASD is a closed Facebook site where members can make connections. One recent post from a parent concerned haircuts.

Chia can relate, given Charlie can’t deal with going to a barber and having a flurry of scissor strokes sending shorn locks raining on his shoulders. She gives Charlie haircuts herself using electric scissors and a lot of patience. Another local parent cuts only a few locks of hair off her child each day.

Another post informs families of a “Sensitive Santa” event. This Santa avoids the loud “ho-ho-hos” and animated moves that might disconcert special needs children.

Another is from a mother with a child recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

“She was kind of shell-shocked and looking for guidance – ‘What should I think about this, what should I do?’ ” Chia said.

Children with autism spectrum disorder face a range of challenges, depending where they are on the spectrum. That leaves no one-size-fits-all handbook for parents.

“There’s a saying, ‘If you’ve met one kid on the spectrum, you’ve met one kid on the spectrum,’ ” Chia said.

American Canyon resident Teresa Silvagni is among those who use the Napa Families with ASD website and leaves posts there. She has a 6-year-old with autism spectrum disorder.

“We didn’t know who to contact, who to talk to,” she said. “It was a really nice resource to have.”

Chia has gone beyond starting the web page. She approached the Napa County Library about starting a “sensory friendly story time” for special-needs children.

Readers at the regular story times can grow too animated for Charlie and other special-needs children. The large library room allows them to wander off. The sensory friendly story time held the fourth Saturday of every month takes another approach.

“It’s a calmer story time,” Chia said.

Library Head of Children Services Ann Davis said Chia and another mother were proactive about the library starting the sensory-friendly story times.

“Candice is a mover and shaker and she’s very respectful,” Davis said. “She planted the seed and let us do it within our own time frame. Now it’s up-and-running and it will be a year in January.”