SpeakersA B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Dr. Duane Alexander was named director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) in 1986. In 1968, after receiving his undergraduate degree from Penn State and his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, he joined the NICHD Children's Diagnostic and Study Branch. His work there led him to return to Johns Hopkins as a Fellow in pediatrics at the Kennedy Institute. From 1974 to 1978, Dr. Alexander served as medical officer in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health, and as the physician on the staff of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, whose recommendations form the basis of current Department of Health and Human Services regulations that protect human subjects in research. Dr. Alexander is a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Pediatric Society. As an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, he received numerous awards. In 2002 he received the Arnold J. Capute Award from the AAP for his contributions to the health and well-being of children with disabilities. In 2004 the American Medical Association awarded him the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. Dr. Alexander is a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.
Dona Alvino is the supervisor of the Autism Program in The Day School at The Children's Institute in Pittsburgh. She has a master's degree in special education and is a board-certified behavior analyst. She has worked both in the educational sector—as a special education teacher, educational consultant, and supervisor—and in the mental health sector, as a teacher support specialist, behavioral science counselor, and discrete trial trainer.
Marcia Anderson is a behavior counselor for the Sarah A. Reed Children's Center and has a contract at Harbor Creek High School. She holds a bachelor's degree in ecopsychology and is working on her master's degree in community counseling. Anderson has served in numerous volunteer organizations—including the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and 4-H—and has been a wilderness adventure guide for many years. She has also served as a parent-child advocate for students in the special education system. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder and regularly participates in a host of outdoor activities: cycling, hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, primitive backcountry camping, gardening, and yard work. Anderson also enjoys peaceful activities, such as sewing, reading, and writing. She is the mother of three children.
Susan Bazyk, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA, is an associate professor in the Occupational Therapy Program at Cleveland State University, where she has taught for the past twenty-four years. Throughout her career Dr. Bazyk has specialized in occupational therapy practice with children and youth in home, school, and community settings. Her research has contributed to several areas of practice, including parent-professional collaboration, understanding food refusal, fostering meaningful work, and addressing the social participation and mental health needs of children. Dr. Bazyk has also developed and implemented the Occupational Therapy Groups for HOPE (Healthy Occupations for Positive Emotions)—a preventive, occupation-based program to address the structured leisure and social-emotional needs of low-income urban youth attending after-school care. Current research focuses on the development and health benefits of long-term out-of-school interests, including the creative arts, dance, and sports. Recent publications include "Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Children in Schools," in Occupational Therapy Services for Children and Youth under IDEA (3rd ed.); "Creating Occupation-Based Social Skills Groups in After-School Care," Occupational Therapy Practice, vol. 11, pp. 13–18; "Exploring the Development of Meaningful Work for Children and Youth in Western Contexts," WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, vol. 24, pp. 11–20.
Dr. Phillip Belfiore began teaching at Mercyhurst College in 1995 and is now a full professor there in the School of Education and Behavioral Sciences. He was appointed vice president for academic affairs in 2008. Along with this appointment, Dr. Belfiore has retained his position as dean of graduate studies and director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate Program. He received a bachelor's degree in special education from Duquesne University, a master's degree in special education from Kent State University, and a doctorate in special education from Lehigh University. Dr. Belfiore has served as principal author and co-author of more than fifty scholarly research articles, published in peer-reviewed journals in the fields of applied behavior analysis, urban education, and special education. He has also authored numerous book chapters and presents regularly at national and international conferences. He has served as editor for the Journal of Behavioral Education and continues to serve on the editorial boards of scholarly journals in the fields of behavioral education and special education. Dr. Belfiore has won numerous awards for teaching and scholarship, including the Teaching Excellence Award from Mercyhurst College, the Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award from Purdue University, and the Outstanding Contributions to the Discipline Award from Lehigh University.
Robert Borzok draws upon a wide range of both urban and rural teaching experience, including elementary, secondary, residential treatment, postsecondary, and adult basic education. For the past nine years he has worked with a variety of employers to find places for and job-coach persons with disabilities in competitive jobs. As the director of community-based programs for Partners In Progress, Borzok attends IEP and transitional meetings, networks with numerous civic and social service agencies, and oversees the agency's job placement and job coaching programs. By using a holistic approach to job development, these programs provide hope and support not only to the job seeker, but also to the family as a whole.
Dr. Carolyn Bruey is a certified school psychologist and board-certified behavior analyst with more than twenty-five years of experience in working with students with autism. She has published various chapters/books relevant to best practices in educating students with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Bruey is currently the on-site administrator at Intermediate Unit 13's Manheim Education Center.
Dr. Vincent J. Carbone is a board-certified behavior analyst with more than thirty years of experience in designing learning environments for persons with autism and development disabilities. He received his graduate training in applied behavior analysis from Drake University. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at Penn State and the Florida Institute of Technology and is currently visiting professor in the doctoral program in behavioral education at Simmons College. His teaching responsibilities include courses in applied behavior analysis and verbal behavior. His behavior-analytic research has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Carbone serves on the editorial boards of several behavior-analytic journals, including Behavior Analysis in Practice. He also directs a clinic for children with autism in New York.
Lisa Crabtree is an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science at Towson University, where she also holds the position of director of the Center for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, which is focused on developing education, research, and practice opportunities for students related to the issues of transitioning youth and young adults on the autism spectrum. She has thirty-two years of experience in working with persons on the autism spectrum. Her dissertation research focused on autistic children's perceptions of their social participation.
Ellen Dente was a learning support teacher at Intermediate Unit 19 for ten years and an autistic support teacher in the Scranton School District for eight years. She now serves on the training and consultation staff with the autism initiative at Intermediate Unit 19. She is certified in applied behavior analysis, as a Competent Learner Model coach, and for using the TEACCH model. She is a candidate for becoming a board-certified behavior analyst.
Robert Ellis holds a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a graduate student, he was an assistant in one of Lovass's early programs for autism. After teaching at SUNY Fredonia, Dr. Ellis joined The Resource Center in western New York, an ARC with 1,500 participants. In 1988 he undertook training as a neuropsychologist to better understand the breakdown of the executive function in developmental compromise, including autism. Dr. Ellis became a board-certified behavior analyst in 2003.
Marc Ellison, a licensed professional counselor, has worked for nearly twenty-five years to provide person-centered support, services, and advocacy for persons with autism spectrum disorders, as well as for their families and those who support them.
Dr. Joanne Gerenser is the executive director of the Eden II Programs. She received a master's degree in speech and hearing from Ohio State University and a doctorate in speech and hearing science from the City University of New York's Graduate Center. She is an adjunct assistant professor at Brooklyn College. Dr. Gerenser is a member of the Scientific Advisory Council for the Organization for Autism Research. She is co-author of the interactive CD-ROM Behavioral Programming for Children with Autism. She has authored several book chapters and articles on autism and developmental disabilities. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis. She sits on a number of professional advisory boards for programs serving children and adults with autism in the United States and abroad. Dr. Gerenser has received numerous awards for her work with children and adults with autism, including the Nassau Suffolk Autism Lifetime Achievement Award, the Mosaic Foundation's Educator of Excellence Award, the Elija Chariot Award, the Louis R. Miller Business Leadership Award, and Staten Island's Albert V. Maniscalco Community Service Award.
Dr. Peter Gerhardt is president and chair of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding applied research and disseminating the relevant findings in support of learners with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and their families. Dr. Gerhardt has more than twenty-five years of experience in using the principles of applied behavior analysis in support of adolescents and adults with an ASD in educational, employment, and community-based settings. He has a doctorate from Rutgers University's Graduate School of Education. In 2007 the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis gave him the John W. Jacobson Award for Significant Contributions to Effective Behavior Intervention.
Beth Glasberg, Ph.D., BCBA, is the director of Glasberg Behavioral Consulting Services, LLC. Dr. Glasberg co-authored Siblings of Children with Autism: A Guide for Families, based partly on her research into how siblings understand autism at different ages. She recently published Stop That Seemingly Senseless Behavior!: FBA-Based Interventions for People with Autism. She has facilitated numerous sibling discussion groups and presented nationally on this topic.
Temple Grandin obtained a bachelor's degree from Franklin Pierce College, a master's degree in animal science from Arizona State University (for her work on the behavior of cattle in different squeeze chutes), and a doctorate in animal science from the University of Illinois. Dr. Grandin is currently a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. She has done extensive work on the design of handling facilities. Half of the cattle in the United States and Canada are handled in equipment she has designed for meat plants. Other professional activities include developing animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry and consulting with McDonald's, Wendy's International, Burger King, and other companies on animal welfare. Following her doctoral research on the effect of environmental enrichment on the behavior of pigs, Dr. Grandin has published several hundred industry publications, book chapters, and technical papers on animal handling, plus forty-five refereed journal articles and seven books. At Colorado State University she pursues her research while teaching courses on livestock handling and facility design. Her book Animals in Translation was a New York Times best seller, and her book Livestock Handling and Transport is now in its third edition. Other popular books authored by Dr. Grandin are Thinking in Pictures, Emergence: Labeled Autistic, and Animals Make Us Human. Dr. Grandin has received numerous awards, including the Meritorious Achievement Award from the Livestock Conservation Institute. She was named a Distinguished Alumna at Franklin Pierce College and received an honorary doctorate from McGill University. She has also won prestigious industry awards, including the Richard L. Knowlton Innovation Award from Meat Marketing and Technology Magazine and the Industry Advancement Award from the American Meat Institute and the Beef Top 40 industry leaders. Her work has also been recognized by humane groups.
Carol Gray is a consultant, speaker, and author serving people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and those who work on their behalf. She is best known for developing Social Stories™ and her groundbreaking work on bullying, loss and learning, and the habits of effective educators. She is the recipient of the Barbara Lipinski award for her international contributions to the education and welfare of children with ASD.
Carol Hollis has been an educational consultant for autism for the Capital Area Intermediate Unit for ten years. Previously she was a learning support teacher in a public school district for nineteen years. She consults with staff in school districts and intermediate unit classrooms. She provides technical and training assistance in behavior, social skills training, instruction, and self-regulation as these areas relate to the core deficits of autism.
Brian Iwata received his doctorate in psychology from Florida State University and subsequently held positions at Western Michigan University and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He currently is a professor in psychology and psychiatry at the University of Florida. Dr. Iwata is the former editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and former president of the Association for Behavior Analysis, the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and Division 33 of the American Psychological Association. His primary areas of interest are disorders of learning and behavior and research methodology. He has published more than 225 articles and chapters on these topics, and he has received $6.5 million in research grants to support that work. Much of Dr. Iwata’s research has focused on the functional (experimental) analysis of severe behavior disorders. This approach to assessment and treatment is one of the most significant advancements in behavior analysis over the past 20 years and is now considered the standard in the field for both clinical research and practice.
Dr. Ami Klin is the Harris Associate Professor of Child Psychology and Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center, in the Yale University School of Medicine. He directs the Autism Program at Yale, which is one of the National Institutes of Health Autism Centers of Excellence. This program comprises a broad range of diagnostic and treatment services, and an interdisciplinary program of research that includes behavioral, brain, and genetics investigations. The program also provides training in a broad range of disciplines and is strongly committed to advocacy at the local, national, and international levels, with collaborations in Israel, Latin America, and several countries in Europe. Dr. Klin's primary research activities focus on the social mind and the social brain, and on aspects of autism from infancy through adulthood. These studies include novel approaches, such as the eye-tracking laboratory that allows researchers to see the world through the eyes of persons with autism. These techniques are now being applied in the screening of babies at risk for autism. Dr. Klin is the author of more than 150 publications in the field of autism and related conditions, including research articles, chapters, and books.
Richard M. Kubina Jr., Ph.D., BCBA, an associate professor of special education at Penn State, teaches courses on methods such as reading and informal assessment. Dr. Kubina has conducted wide-ranging research in the area of applied behavior analysis and research-based methods. He is a board-certified behavior analyst and serves on a number of editorial boards for behavioral journals. He has a specific interest in learners with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). His most recent grant for learners with ASD was used for a statewide evaluation of a curriculum called the Competent Learner Model. Dr. Kubina's published work covers topics such as fluency, effective reading methods, verbal behavior, and general outcome measures.
Dr. Tina M. Lawson is an educational consultant with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network. Her areas of interest and expertise are behavior support, autism, and effective instruction. Dr. Lawson holds certification in special education and school guidance and counseling, a doctorate in educational leadership from Immaculata University, a master's degree in school counseling from Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor's degree in special education from Penn State. She is a certified Competent Learner Model coach. Previous positions include preschool early intervention case manager, special education classroom teacher, and behavior specialist working with families in their homes.
David Lennox, founder and president of QBS, Inc., received a doctorate in psychology from Western Michigan University, with a specialty in applied behavior analysis. With nearly twenty years of management, clinical, and marketing commitment, Dr. Lennox has worked toward improving the services in a vast array of health care arenas. He has developed, directed, and consulted in programs treating children, adults, and geriatrics in a variety of settings, including schools, community and group homes, long-term care, academic research programs, day treatment programs, and rehabilitation hospitals. He has managed services for persons with a variety of rehabilitation and behavioral needs resulting from head injury, Alzheimer's, development disability, autism, psychiatric disorders, and a number of neurological disorders. Dr. Lennox has served as vice president of behavioral health services for one of the largest national health care providers, developing and directing a nationwide network of more than eighty specialty programs. He has conducted hundreds of presentations and published numerous articles on the management and treatment of behavioral disorders and rehabilitation. He is active in numerous professional and health care organizations and associations.
Teri Lindner has been honored as the Disney Outstanding Teacher of the Year and as the Outstanding Special Education Teacher of the Year in the American Teacher of the Year awards. She coordinates the State College Area School District's LifeLink PSU and LifeLink Apartment programs for students with special needs. Lindner has created how-to manuals for both of the programs. She and the Wild Dream Team have presented nationally regarding the LifeLInk programs and consulted with several school districts on their efforts in creating and implementing similar transition programs for students with disabilities prior to pursuing their postsecondary endeavors. Lindner and her Wild Dream Team students are featured in the Emmy-award-winning PBS documentary LifeLink PSU: A Road to Independence.
Nicholas Martin, M.A., is an author, trainer, and conflict resolution specialist who brings extensive experience in mediation, facilitation, and professional development from a wide variety of settings. With a background in clinical psychology, he spent many years as a mental health counselor and as a court and postal service mediator. He founded the nonprofit Center for Accord, Inc., in Texas and provides training nationwide in team building and conflict prevention in special education. His published works include A Guide to Collaboration for IEP Teams, An Operator's Manual for Successful Living, and Strengthening Relationships When Our Children Have Special Needs.
Dr. Susan Mayes is chief psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Penn State College of Medicine. She earned a bachelor's degree at Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. degree at the University of Pennsylvania. As a certified school psychologist, licensed psychologist, and former elementary and special education teacher, Dr. Mayes has more than thirty years of experience with children who have autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. She has published more than sixty articles on the diagnosis, treatment, and psychological functioning of children with autism and other disorders (such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disabilities), and she has been invited to speak at national conferences on autism. She published a diagnostic instrument, the Checklist for Autism Spectrum Disorder, and wrote the lead chapter for the book Learning and Behavior Problems in Asperger Syndrome. Dr. Mayes is the autism spokesperson in the Autism Awareness DVDs sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's Bureau of Autism Services.
Don Meyer is the director of the Sibling Support Project, a national effort dedicated to the interests of millions of brothers and sisters of people with special health, developmental, and mental health concerns. As the project's director, Meyer has conducted more than 300 workshops, in all fifty states as well as Canada, Guatemala, Ireland, Italy, England, New Zealand, and Japan. His workshops and training have reached more than 8,000 parents, and providers have helped establish more than 200 Sibshops worldwide. Meyer was a founder of the SEFAM (Supporting Extended Family Members) program at the University of Washington, which pioneered services for fathers, siblings, and grandparents of children with special needs. SibKids and SibNet, the listservs Meyer created for young and adult siblings, connect thousands of brothers and sisters with their peers every day.
Kathleen Miller has worked with persons who have developmental disabilities, and their families, for more than twenty-five years. Her focus is on teaching each individual how to obtain the skills, knowledge, and resources to access the supports necessary to lead a fully inclusive, self-directed life. For the past fifteen years her work has included managing the Competence and Confidence: Partners in Policymaking training development programs at the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University. Graduates from this program include persons with disabilities, and family members actively involved throughout Pennsylvania as board and committee members who are making a difference in the quality of life for people with disabilities.
Rebecca Morrison, Ph.D., is a recognized advocate for the inclusive education of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Before receiving her doctorate from Ohio State University she worked as an early childhood special education teacher for fourteen years. Dr. Morrison was instrumental in founding the Children's Center for Developmental Enrichment and the Oakstone Academy, a research-based, social immersion school for children with ASD and their typically developing classmates. The Oakstone Academy serves 160 students with ASD, from toddlers to high school students, along with 200 typically developing students. Dr. Morrison was a co-investigator on a four-year Model Demonstration grant from the U.S. Department of Education to determine the effectiveness of her academic and social immersion model for kindergartners. From 2004 through 2006 she served on her governor's Ohio Autism Taskforce and served as chair of the finance committee.
Robert Naseef, Ph.D.
Robert Naseef, Ph.D., is a psychologist in independent practice. His specialty is working with families of children with special needs. His first book, Special Children, Challenged Parents: The Struggles and Rewards of Raising a Child with a Disability, has received international recognition. Dr. Naseef has lectured internationally and appeared on radio and television. He is the co-editor of Voices from the Spectrum: Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, People with Autism, and Professionals Share Their Wisdom, and he has published many articles in scholarly journals and other publications. Dr. Naseef is the father of an adult child with autism. He has a special interest and expertise in the psychology of men and fatherhood. Through his experiences as a parent and as a professional he is able to relate effectively to both audiences and is a sought-after speaker at conferences around the country. Rabbi Harold Kushner, the author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, endorsed Special Children, Challenged Parents: "Writing with the wisdom of a mental health professional and the compassion of a loving father, Dr. Naseef has given us a book that will instruct and inspire us all."
Janice Nathan, a certified speech-language pathologist and owner of Nathan Speech Services, works with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Her area of expertise is cognitive processing of language and its effect on child development, interpersonal relationships, and learning. Her interest in this area developed as a result of growing up with a brother with ASD. Nathan is the consulting speech-language pathologist for Family Behavioral Resources, a behavioral health rehabilitation services provider specializing in treating children and adolescents with ASD. She is a member of the professional advisory council for the Advisory Board on Autism and Related Disorders (ABOARD), a nonprofit autism education and advocacy organization. Nathan works as an advocate for parents with children in the autism spectrum, and as a consultant to school districts. She has presented to parent groups sponsored by ABOARD, as well as to the Pittsburgh Public School District's Summer Institute and the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit. Nathan Speech Services provided speech-language services to Propel Charter Schools from 2004 to 2007. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Nathan worked there for the Paradise Valley School District, providing services for children in preschool to sixth grade. Once in Pittsburgh, she worked at The Children's Institute, an independent, nonprofit pediatric rehabilitation specialty hospital.
Amanda Pendleton is a program coordinator at The Vista School in Hershey, Pennsylvania. She received a bachelor's degree in sociology from Messiah College, with a concentration in anthropology and a minor in teaching English as a second language. She received a master's degree in special education from Temple University, and she completed Penn State's certificate program in applied behavior analysis and is seeking board certification. Her teaching experience includes prevocational training for adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities, and education for children with autism. Pendleton is a certified Competent Learner Model coach, providing training and support for autism support classrooms. Among her research interests is addressing deficits across modalities of communication, including development of a sign language protocol for children with autism.
Kathleen A. Quill
Dr. Kathleen Quill is respected internationally as an author, lecturer, and consultant in the field of educating children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She has conducted training in more than twenty countries, given the keynote address for ten international organizations, and presented at more than 100 conferences. She promotes integrating behavioral and developmental methods. She conducts applied research on language, communication, and social intervention and has taught at the University of Massachusetts, Lesley College, and Emerson College. Dr. Quill has authored numerous publications and is the editor of the popular book Teaching Children with Autism: Strategies to Enhance Communication and Socialization, author of the best seller DO-WATCH-LISTEN-SAY: Social and Communication Intervention for Children with Autism, and author of e-learning courses on autism. She was a major contributor to the development of AutismPro, an online software tool that provides comprehensive information and guidance about the full range of evidence-based educational interventions for young children with ASD. Dr. Quill is on the editorial board for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities; the advisory board for the Autism Spectrum Quarterly; and the board of directors for the Autism Asperger Publishing Company. She is the director of the professional advisory board of AutismPro. After thirty-five years of research and training Dr. Quill is now in private practice, offering personalized expert support to families and Intervention teams.
Laura A. Riffel, Ph.D., is a behaviorist who has more than thirty years of experience in working with children. She has trained thousands of teachers, parents, counselors, psychologists, administrators, and bus drivers how to make data-based decisions as a way to change behavior. Her training is filled with humor and makes data collection easy to understand and to use back in the school or home setting. Dr. Riffel has dedicated her life to making behavior change as easy as A-B-C. She manages www.behaviordoctor.org, her personal site, and www.pbis.org, the site of the national Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Dr. Riffel has not only taught children with ASD; she and her husband chose to live with an adult with autism, a bipolar condition, intellectual disabilities, and obsessive compulsive disorder. Jay recently passed away, but Dr. Riffel uses the lessons learned from life with Jay to help others create their own quantum secrets to a quality life.
Wendy J. Ross, M.D., FAAP, is the director of developmental medicine and genetics at the Albert Einstein Medical Center. She is board-certified in general pediatrics and developmental and behavioral pediatrics. Dr. Ross diagnoses and treats children with developmental delays, autism, learning disabilities, ADHD, sleep disorders, and toileting disorders. She earned her medical degree at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, did a residency at the Yale–New Haven Medical Center, and had a fellowship at Children's Hospital Boston, where she remained on the faculty until moving to Philadelphia in 2007. She is currently also collaborating with museums to improve accessibility for children with autism. Panels with the Please Touch Museum, the Garden State Discovery Museum, the Aquarium, and the Academy of Natural Sciences were presented at the museum conferences in Philadelphia in the spring of 2009.
Cindy Schneider has been a special educator and consultant for twenty-seven years and a children's theatre director at a local community theatre for twenty years. She combines her two passions—theater and work with autism—in drama and music workshops designed to teach social cognition to persons with Asperger's syndrome and high-functioning autism. Her book, Acting Antics, was published in 2007. Now retired from public education, Schneider operates the Acting Antics Art Center, a nonprofit organization (outside Downingtown, Pennsylvania), where children, teens, and adults participate in her drama and music workshops. The Acting Antics program has been brought into many school districts in Pennsylvania as a component of social skills instruction. Schneider has run a theatre program in the Children's Institute at the National Autism Conference at Penn State for the last five years. She is a member of ARTRAN, an international organization of professionals using theatre in work with persons with autism spectrum disorders. She was a presenter and organizer of a preconference day of "Autism and Theatre" at the ASA National Conference in July 2009.
Jennifer Shade, a graduate of Alvernia University, is currently pursuing her master's degree in education—with a special education focus—at the Eastern Mennonite University center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She's devoted time in the past six years to a nonprofit organization called Aaron's Acres, which provides summer camp and school year respite programs for children with disabilities. She taught autistic support for three years, the last two with the Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13. Her current classroom is composed of students with autism in grades three to five. In the past two years Shade has witnessed much success with use of the Competent Learner Model.
George R. Shadie
George R. Shadie, CLU, is the parent of two sons on the autism spectrum. He is a national autism advocate and founder of the Pennsylvania Verbal Classroom Project, which uses applied behavior analysis in working with children with autism; a nonprofit group called SAFE (Supporting Autism and Families Everywhere); and the Coalition on Autism. He has been a New York Life Insurance agent for twenty years. He attained the Premier President's Council status in 2008 and is a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table, an association of the most successful financial services professionals in the world.
Kerry V. Smith is the director of the Pennsylvania Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR), which provides resources for parents and educators to resolve special education disputes. She has a juris doctor degree from the Dickinson School of Law and bachelor's degrees in special and elementary education from Penn State. Between college and law school, Smith worked with adult residents of the Pennhurst State School who were being transitioned into community placements. She was in private practice for twelve years, most recently as a partner with Marshall, Smith & Haddick, a civil litigation defense firm. For two years before joining ODR she was employed by the Department of Education's Office of Chief Counsel, where she spent the majority of her time handling a federal civil rights lawsuit involving FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education for Students with Disabilities) for emotional-support students. She is certified by the Justice Center of Atlanta, Inc., as a special education mediator and was recently named to the advisory panel of the National Center on Dispute Resolution in Special Education. Smith has a brother with a disability, who is successfully living and working in the community with supports and services.
Margaret Souders, Ph.D., RN, is a postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Sleep in the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine. She is also a member of the Center for Autism Research's nursing diagnostic team at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. And she has been the dysmorphology supervisor for the CDC study called SEED (Study to Explore Early Development). Dr. Souders has twelve years of experience in working in psychopharmacology for children with autism spectrum disorders and maladaptive behaviors and poor sleep.
Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D., BCBA, received his doctorate in applied behavior analysis from Western Michigan University. Dr. Sundberg currently serves on the board of directors of the B. F. Skinner Foundation. He is the author of The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP, and co-author of The ABLLS and the books Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities and A Collection of Reprints on Verbal Behavior. He has published more than forty-five professional papers, including the chapter "Verbal Behavior" in Applied Behavior Analysis by Cooper, Heron, and Heward (2007). He is the founder and past editor of the journal The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, a twice past president of the Northern California Association for Behavior Analysis, and a past chair of the publication board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. He was a member of the BACB committee that developed the BCBA and BCABA Task Lists. Dr. Sundberg has given more than 500 national and international conference presentations and workshops and has taught eighty college courses on behavior analysis, verbal behavior, sign language, and child development. His awards include the 2001 Distinguished Psychology Department Alumnus Award from Western Michigan University.
Vicci Tucci has a master's degree in applied behavior analysis from the University of the Pacific and is a board-certified behavior analyst. For the last thirty years she has dedicated herself to implementing the Competent Learner Model for naïve learners (e.g., autistic and challenged learners). She is committed to helping naïve learners become more successful in home and school settings, by collaborating with instructional teams to engineer learning environments.
Dr. Janet S. Twyman is the vice president of instructional development, research, and implementation at Headsprout, a director at the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and a former president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. She leads the development, production, research, and dissemination of Headsprout's generative learning technology and its highly effective educational programs used in homes and schools across the nation. She has been a longtime advocate of research-based instruction and systems design, especially with settings serving learners in the autism spectrum. While executive director at the Keller School in New York and adjunct professor at Columbia University, Dr. Twyman conducted research and taught courses focusing on effective instruction, technology and education, teacher development, and systems approaches to effective education. She earned a doctorate from the Teachers College of Columbia University and holds certification as an elementary and special education teacher and as a principal/school administrator. She has published and presented widely on verbal behavior, instructional design, systems approaches, evidence-based education, and topics of broader conceptual interest.
Nina Wall-Coté, LSW, M.S.S., is director of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's Bureau of Autism Services. Previously she served as the director for the Department of Public Welfare's Office of Autism Affairs and, before that, as co-chair of the Autism Task Force. She was a founding member and the first president of the Pennsylvania Action Coalition for Autism Services, a statewide board of regional autism advocates. She has served as a board member for Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy, and she served for seven years as the information and referral director for the Autism Society of Greater Philadelphia. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College's Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Wall-Coté has worked as a family, child, and adolescent therapist, with a specific focus on clinical work with families of children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and other behavioral health challenges. She is the parent of an 18-year-old with autism.
Cathy Watkins, who has a doctorate from the University of Florida, is a professor of special education and director of the Center for Direct Instruction at California State University, Stanislaus. Dr. Watkins is a board-certified behavior analyst, a past president of the California Association for Behavior Analysis, and the current president of the Association for Direct Instruction. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Direct Instruction and Education and Treatment of Children. She is a member of the advisory board of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. She is co-author of "The Components of Direct Instruction" in Introduction to Direct Instruction, and consulting author of SRA's Ravenscourt Books. Dr. Watkins has experience in working with both general and special education students. She trains and supervises teachers at the university and in public schools. She has consulted with schools and other agencies, including the National Institute for Direct Instruction and the Effective Schools Model of Project Follow Through. Dr. Watkins was honored with the Association for Direct Instruction's Excellence in Education Award for College Teaching and Staff Development. Her primary interest is in helping children and their teachers to be successful.
Michelle Garcia Winner, M.A., CCC, is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in the treatment of students with social cognitive deficits, which includes diagnoses such as autism, Asperger's syndrome, and nonverbal learning disorder. She has a private practice in San Jose, California, where she works with clients and consults with families and schools. She travels internationally giving workshops and trains psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and state policy makers. She presents seven different all-day workshops and helps to develop programs for schools and classrooms. Winner has written or co-authored nine books published through Think Social Publishing, Inc. She has collaborated with the Gray Center to produce four DVDs of her conference presentations. Her goal is to help administrators, educators, and parents appreciate how social thinking and social skills are an integral part of a student's academic as well as social experiences, in addition to being critical for success in adulthood. Winner was honored with a Congressional Special Recognition Award in 2008.