The Autism Society Board of Directors maintains a professional advisory panel. The volunteer Panel of Professional Advisors includes nationally recognized and respected professionals who are among the leading minds in the autism professional community, spanning disciplines such as research, behavioral interventions and long-term residential care. They include:
- Barbara Becker-Cottrill, Ed.D.
- James Ball, Ed.D., BCBA-D
- Margaret Bauman, M.D.
- Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D.
- Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D.
- Marc Ellison, Ed. D
- Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D.
- Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
- Doreen Granpeesheh, Ph.D., BCBA
- June Groden, Ph.D.
- Martha Herbert, M.D., Ph.D.
- Anne Holmes, M.S., CCC, BCBA
- David L. Holmes, Ed.D.
- Douglene J. Jackson PhD, OTR/L, LMT
- Susan Kabot, Ed.D., CCC-SLP
- Gary LaVigna, Ph.D.
- Bennett L. Leventhal, M.D.
- Robert Naseef
- Cathy Pratt, Ph.D., BCBA
- Barry Prizant
- Kathleen Ann Quill, Ed.D. BCBA-D
- Christine Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D
- Frank Robbins, Ph.D.
- Jack Scott
- Stephen M. Shore, Ed.D.
- Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D./a>
- Ruth Christ Sullivan, Ph.D.
- Jennifer Twachtman-Reilly, M.S., CCC-SLP
- Paul Wehman, Ph.D.
- Patricia Wright, Ph.D., BCBA, MPH
- Vanessa Zuber
Lois J. Blackwell (1927-2015)
Edward Carr, Ph.D., BCBA (1947-2009)
O. Ivar Lovaas, Ph.D. (1927-2010)
Gary Mesibov, Ph.D.
Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. (1928-2006)
Eric Schopler, Ph.D. (1927-2006)
Margaret Creedon, Ph.D. (1943 – 2016)
Barbara Becker-Cottrill received her doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been involved in education and developmental disabilities for more than 35 years and served as the executive director of the statewide West Virginia Autism Training Center (WV ATC) at Marshall University for 23 years. The WV ATC continues to implement a service delivery model for West Virginia families of children with autism spectrum disorders that incorporates a positive behavior support approach. Dr. Becker-Cottrill was a key developer of this model, entitled “Family Focus Positive Behavior Support.” She has served as the principal investigator for the West Virginia Autism Monitoring Project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is a co-founder/developer of the College Program for Students with Asperger Syndrome at Marshall University. Dr. Becker-Cottrill is a co-author of the book Autism Spectrum Didorder: A Primer for Educators.
Dr. James Ball, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral, is the President/Chief Executive Officer of JB Autism Consulting. He has been in the field of autism for more than 25 years, providing behavioral, educational, residential and employment services to children and adults affected by autism. Dr. Ball is an appointed community member to the Interagency Autism Collaborating Committee (IACC), a federal advisory committee established by the Combating Autism Act of 2006. He is also the director of clinical services for New York Families for Autistic Children (NYFAC), sits on the advisory board for the Autism Asperger’s Digest magazine and has been a featured author for the magazine for the past several years. Dr. Ball has lectured nationally and internationally on various topics related to autism, such as early intervention, inclusion services, functional behavior assessment, social skills training, behavior management, direct instruction, sensory issues and accountability. He has published in many of the above areas and authored the book Early Intervention and Autism: Real-life Questions, Real-life Answers.
Margaret Bauman is the associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, associate pediatrician and assistant neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and the founding director of the Learning and Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Rehabilitation Service (LADDERS), a satellite multidisciplinary clinic of the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. Dr. Bauman is also the director of the Autism Research Foundation and the Autism Research Consortium in Boston. An adjunct associate professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Boston University School of Medicine, she is also a child neurology consultant for Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation, Inc., in Pomona, California. Dr. Bauman founded and serves as chairperson of the Autism Research Consortium (ARC) and is the past medical director of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN). Her research interests include the study of the microscopic brain structure in autism, Rett Syndrome and other disorders of neurological development. She is co-editor of the book The Neurobiology of Autism, which was originally published in 1994 by Johns Hopkins University Press. The second edition of this book was released in January 2005. She is also the first Mass General Distinguished Scholar in autism.
Geraldine Dawson became Autism Speaks’ first chief science officer in January 2008. In this role, Dr. Dawson serves as the scientific leader of Autism Speaks, working with the scientific community, stakeholders and science staff to shape, expand and communicate the foundation’s scientific vision and strategy. Dr. Dawson is also research professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and adjunct professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Dawson was professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Washington and founding director of the University of Washington Autism Center, which has been designated an NIH Center of Excellence since 1996. Dawson remains on the UW faculty as a professor emeritus. While at the University, Dr. Dawson led a multi-disciplinary autism research program focusing on genetics, neuroimaging, diagnosis, and treatment. Her own research has been in the areas of early detection and treatment of autism, early patterns of brain dysfunction (electrophysiology), and, more recently, development of endophenotypes for autism genetic studies. Dr. Dawson has co-edited or authored a number of books about autism spectrum disorder and brain development, including Autism Spectrum Disorders; Human Behavior, Learning, and the Developing Brain; and A Parent’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism. She has been widely published in academic journals. Dr. Dawson founded and directed the University of Washington Autism Center’s multi-disciplinary clinical services program. A strong advocate for families, she has testified before the U.S. Senate on behalf of individuals with autism and played a key role on the Washington State Autism Task Force. Dr. Dawson earned a Ph.D. in developmental and child clinical psychology from the University of Washington. After graduate school, she studied as a postdoctoral fellow at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA and, a year later, accepted a position as assistant professor at University of North Carolina. In 1985, she returned to the University of Washington as a faculty member, where she continued her research on autism and practiced as a clinical psychologist specializing in autism until she accepted her current position.
Stephen Edelson is involved in many autism-related organizations. He is the director of the Autism Research Institute in San Diego, founded by Dr. Bernard Rimland. Dr. Edelson is on the Board of Directors of the Autism Society, and he was a past president of the Oregon Chapter of the Autism Society. Dr. Edelson’s research endeavors have spanned a variety of areas in autism, including sensory interventions (auditory, vision, and deep pressure), aberrant behaviors (self-injury, aggression, and stereotypic repetitive behaviors) and cognition (stimulus over selectivity, classification learning, perceptual discrimination). He co-edited a book with Dr. Rimland, Treating Autism: Parent Stories of Hope and Success, and he is editor of the quarterly newsletter Autism Research Review International. Dr. Edelson also hosts several popular web sites: www.autism.org, www.autism.com, www.autism.tv, and www.sait.org. In 2000, the Autism Society named Dr. Edelson “Volunteer of the Year.”
Marc Ellison, Ed.D.
Marc Ellison, Ed.D. is the executive director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center, located at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. Dr. Ellison is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has worked for more than 30 years to provide person-centered support, services, and advocacy to individuals who live with Autism Spectrum Disorder, their families, and those who support them. He has supported individuals with ASD throughout their lifespan, as they moved to the community from state-supported institutions, searched for and obtained employment, entered into relationships, and transitioned into college. Dr. Ellison has authored or co-authored several publications on the topic of transition into higher education for students diagnosed with ASD. In addition to being a member of the ASA’s Panel of Professional Advisors, Dr. Ellison is currently a Board Member of the Autism Society of West Virginia.
Dr. Peter Gerhardt is the director of education – upper school for the McCarton School in New York City. Dr. Gerhardt has over 30 years’ experience using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with ASD in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings. He is the author or coauthor of articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder and he has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. In addition, Dr. Gerhardt serves as chairman of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research, on the editorial board of Behavior Analysis in Practice, and on numerous professional advisory boards, including the Autism Society. Dr. Gerhardt received his doctorate from the Rutgers State University of New Jersey Graduate School of Education. Dr. Gerhardt’s research interests include issues related to intensity of behavior analytic instruction with adolescents and adults, community integration and employment, development of adaptive behavior competencies, positive behavior supports with complex individuals, and the use of technology to support community safety and independence.
Temple Grandin is inarguably the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world. She has been featured on major television networks and programs, such as ABC’s Primetime Live, NBC’s Today Show, Larry King Live, The View, BBC, 48 Hours and 20/20, and has been written up in national publications, such as Time magazine, People magazine, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report, Discover magazine, and New York Times. She was the subject of the 2006 Horizon documentary The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow and was a subject in the series First Person by Errol Morris. On November 1, 2009, Grandin was featured on C-SPAN in a three-hour interview called In Depth with Temple Grandin. A 2010 HBO film, Temple Grandin, stars Claire Danes as Temple Grandin. (It was nominated for 15 Emmys and awarded five). Dr. Grandin was included in Time magazine’s 2010 Time 100 list as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in the category “Heroes”. Dr. Grandin didn’t speak until she was three-and-a-half years old. In 1950, she was labeled “autistic,” and her parents were told she should be institutionalized. She first spoke publicly about autism in the mid-1980s at the Autism Society of America National Conference and soon became a highly sought-after speaker on autism spectrum disorders. She became known widely after being described by Oliver Sacks in the title narrative of his book An Anthropologist on Mars (1995). Dr. Grandin has designed the facilities in which half of the cattle in the United States are handled; she is also a professor at Colorado State University and speaks internationally on both autism and cattle handling. Dr. Grandin has authored many best-selling books, including Emergence Labeled Autistic, Thinking in Pictures, Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships, Animals in Translation, Animals Make us Human, The Way I See It, Different… Not Less, and The Autistic Brain.
Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh is the founder and executive director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and the founder and president of the board of Autism Care and Treatment Today (ACT Today). Dr. Granpeesheh received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California – Los Angeles and is licensed by the Medical Board of California and the Texas, Virginia and Arizona State Boards of Psychologists. Dr. Granpeesheh holds a Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been providing behavioral therapy for children with autism since 1979. She is a member of numerous scientific and advisory boards, including the U.S. Autism and Asperger’s Association, the Autism File journal, Autism360/medigenesis and the 4-A Healing Foundation. Dr. Granpeesheh is also an active member of the Autism Human Rights and Discrimination Initiative steering committee, on the practice board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and on the oversight committee of the Department of Developmental Disabilities for the state of Arizona. In addition, Dr. Granpeesheh previously served on the national board of directors of the Autism Society and currently co-chairs the early intervention sub-committee of the North Los Angeles County Taskforce of the Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders. Dr. Granpeesheh has had numerous scientific publications on issues concerning the diagnosis and treatment of Autism and currently oversees the behavioral treatment of more than 1,000 patients through CARD’s 20 clinic sites across the globe.
June Groden has been the executive director of the Groden Center in Providence, R.I., since 1976. The Groden Center provides intensive learning and living environments for children and youth with autism, behavioral disorders and developmental disabilities. Dr. Groden serves on the clinical faculty at the University of Rhode Island and Salve Regina University, and is also a visiting research associate at the Center for the Study of Human Development at Brown University. Dr. Groden holds a Ph.D. and master of arts degree in psychology from Boston College, a master of education degree from Rhode Island College and a bachelor of science degree in business administration from New York University. Dr. Groden is also a fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association. As a researcher, Dr. Groden has produced three videos on the use of relaxation as well as written numerous articles and book chapters on stress, relaxation and picture rehearsal. She is an editor of the book Stress & Coping in Autism and has co-authored Relaxation: A Manual for Adults, Children and Children with Special Needs and Coping with Stress Through Picture Rehearsal. In 2009, Dr. Groden became a member of the Rhode Island Global Consumer Choice Compact Waiver Taskforce to assure public input with respect to the reforms to the Medicaid program. Also in 2009, Dr. Groden became a member of the Rhode Island State Commission to study the education of children with autism. She also co-authored the book How Everyone on the Autism Spectrum, Young and Old, can become Resilient, be more Optimistic, enjoy Humor, be Kind, and increase Self-Efficacy: A Positive Psychology Approach.
Dr. Martha Herbert is a pediatric neurologist and researcher at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School who is an affiliate of the Harvard-MIT-MGH Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and directs the TRANSCEND Research Program. Dr. Herbert earned her medical degree at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and her Ph.D. at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She trained in pediatrics at Cornell University Medical Center and in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Her research is oriented to how changes in whole-body physiology may impact brain structure, function and development. She is particularly interested in how environmental influences can act through our physiology to degrade molecular and neural function – or create improvement and fulfill potential.
Anne Holmes received her master’s degree in speech pathology from Douglass College, holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence as well as New Jersey licensure, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She is also an adjunct faculty member of the College of New Jersey. In addition, Ms. Holmes is the chairperson of the Autism Society’s Panel of Professional Advisors. Ms. Holmes has worked in the field of autism for more than 30 years and is responsible for oversight for monitoring standards of care, including staff development and student/participant outcomes by means of a comprehensive quality management system, as well as supervision of outreach diagnostic, evaluative and consultative services. In addition, she is the primary consultant to families, schools and agencies, locally and nationwide.Ms. Holmes has written numerous papers and articles and is the primary editor of Eden Autism Services’ curriculum. Her current focus is aging and medical needs of individuals with autism.
David Holmes is chairman and CEO of Lifespan Services, LLC, a full-service consulting company established to help families and individuals with autism and related disabilities get what they need. Dr. Holmes is board certified in forensic science, behavioral science and psychology. He is a certified/licensed chief school administrator/supervisor/principal and teacher. He is immediate past president and founder of The Eden Family of Services (now Eden Autism Services) and he has been a featured guest on several television and radio shows, including National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation and CNN’s House Call. Dr. Holmes is a national award-winning author of numerous books, book chapters and articles, most notably Autism through the Lifespan – The Eden Model. He recently served as a Fellow to the 32nd Federal Institute on Rehabilitation Issues (IRI) in Washington, D.C. Dr. Holmes co-authored an article, “Divorce and Child Custody: When Autism is a Consideration” and has testified in numerous court cases regarding education, residential services, child custody and forensic matters, all pertaining to autism. Dr. Holmes is the host of the national/international radio show Adults with Autism; TODAY!
Douglene Jackson, PhD, OTR/L, LMT, ATP is an occupational therapist (OT) with 20 years of experience in the rehabilitation field, primarily with individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. She holds a PhD in Special Education in Early Childhood, a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, a Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Services with a concentration in counseling, and a Diploma in Massage Therapy. Dr. Jackson has worked at the University of Miami-Mailman Center for Child Development (UM-MCCD) since 2014 providing clinical services, interdisciplinary interventions, consultations, and trainings. Dr. Jackson is the Co-Director for the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST)-South Florida Regional Demonstration Center. She is also the Co-Leader of the Neurodevelopmental Intervention IPC and the liaison to Overtown, where she facilitates community collaborations. Additionally, Dr. Jackson coordinates internship opportunities and supervision for UM-MCCD’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Occupational Therapy training program. She is active in the American Occupational Therapy Association and serves in various professional organizations and on boards. Dr. Jackson has experience with grant writing and was recently awarded a grant to research infant social-emotional development and maternal depression. Her research interests include health and educational equity, early childhood development, assistive technology, and autism, having conducted trainings and presented on these topics at statewide and national conferences.
Susan Kabot is the director of clinical and therapeutic services at the Mailman Segal Institute of Nova Southeastern University (NSU), where she has held a variety of administrative positions over the past 24 years. She is currently responsible for Starting Right, an early intervention parent-child program; the Unicorn Children’s Foundation Clinic; the Autism Consortium, which provides training and technical assistance to school districts around the country; and NSU’s Interdisciplinary Council for the Study of Autism. She has graduate degrees in special education and speech-language pathology, and a doctoral degree in the management of programs for children and youth. Susan is a Florida licensed speech-language pathologist and holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech/Language/Hearing Association. She has been an active participant in autism-related organizations and has served on the board of directors of the Autism Society of Broward County, the Broward Autism Foundation, and the constituency board of the Miami Center for Autism and Related Disorders. She currently serves as the special needs coordinator of Camp Yofi, a family camp for families of children with autism. Her commitment to the field of autism is fueled by Michael, her adult son who has autism. Susan has a book on classroom organization in press with Autism Asperger Publishing Company. She has also worked with the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale to make the exhibits more engaging and accessible to children with ASD.
Gary LaVigna is clinical director and cofounder of the Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis (IABA) in Los Angeles. He consults with families and organizations on establishing positive behavior support plans for individuals exhibiting severe and challenging behavior and presents seminars and practicum training on the topic throughout the world. His work is reported in numerous published articles and his coauthored books – Alternatives to Punishment, Progress Without Punishment and The Periodic Service Review: A Total Quality Assurance System For Human Services and Education. Established in 1981, IABA now has a staff of about 600 people providing a variety of direct services beyond training and consultation. In 1985, IABA initiated one of the first supported employment services in California for people with an intellectual and/or developmental disability associated with challenging behavior, whose individual earnings over the years as a result of these employment services are more than $8 million. In 1989, IABA initiated California’s first supported living services. IABA provides a range of “youth” services, namely in-home respite for families, intensive support so children can continue living with their families and go to neighborhood schools, and early intervention for young children diagnosed as having the characteristics associated with autism.
Bennett Leventhal received his M.D. from Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, and completed his residency and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. Following two years as a medical officer at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., Dr. Leventhal joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he served for more than 25 years and remains the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Emeritus. He is now the deputy director of the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, as well as professor, vice chair and deputy director for research in the NYU Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He also serves as co-chair of the scientific research council of the Child Mind Institute and on the board of the Brain Research Foundation. Dr. Leventhal is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Psychiatric Association. He is past president of the Society of Professors of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Illinois Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Leventhal has worked extensively in the areas of attention disorders, autism, community services, developmental disorders, genetics, juvenile justice and psychopharmacology. His current work is in the area of epidemiology and genetics of autism and other early-onset child psychiatric disorders.
Cathy Pratt is the director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, located at Indiana University. Dr. Pratt is on faculty at Indiana University, and presents internationally. She served as chair of the board for the Autism Society. Dr. Pratt also serves on the Panel of Professional Advisors for the Autism Society and is part of the Network of Autism Training and Technical Assistance Programs (NATTAP). Dr. Pratt serves on numerous advisory boards, including the advisory boards of MAAP Services, Inc., the College Internship Program and the Autism Society of Indiana. Currently, Dr. Pratt serves on the advisory board for the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders grant funded through the U.S. Department of Education. She has been involved with the Institute on Rehabilitation Issues focused on autism; the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee as a member of the expert working group on services; and the scientific advisory board for the International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR). She also served as a member of the public review committee for the research roadmap of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Dr. Pratt has been honored by the Autism Society with the Individual Achievement Award, the 2005 Princeton Fellowship Award, various awards through New York Families for Autistic Children, Inc., and recognition from the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2008, Dr. Pratt was awarded with the Distinguished Service Award by the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education. She has written articles and presents on autism spectrum disorders, functional behavior assessment/positive behavior supports, instructional approaches, systems change and policy. Prior to pursuing her doctorate at Indiana University, Dr. Pratt worked as a classroom teacher for students across the autism spectrum and with other disabilities. More recently, Dr. Pratt earned her BCBA and is now a board certified behavior analyst.
Dr. Kathleen Quill, Ed.D. BCBA-D
Dr. Kathleen Quill is a respected author, lecturer and consultant. Kathleen has conducted trainings in over 20 countries, given the keynote address for 10 international organizations, and presented at over 100 conferences. She promotes integrating behavioral and developmental educational methods; conducts applied research on social and communication intervention, and participates in national and state program initiatives to bridge the gap between research and practice. Kathleen is the editor of the seminal text Teaching children with autism: Strategies to enhance communication and socialization (Delmar Publishers, 1995); author of the bestseller DO-WATCH-LISTENSAY: Social and communication intervention for children with autism (Brookes Publishing, 2000; 2nd edition, 2017), wrote e-learning courses (www.autisminternetmodules.com) and was a major contributor to the development of AutismPro, (Virtual Expert Clinics, 2002) an online software tool that provides comprehensive information and guidance about the full range of evidence-based educational interventions for young children with ASD (www.autismpro.com). She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D).
Kathleen is on the editorial board for 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 Autism Asperger Publishing Company.
Christine Reeve has more than 20 years of professional experience in working with children, families and schools focused on autism. She has worked in a variety of settings including community outreach, academic, education and clinic settings serving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Dr. Reeve currently provides systemic consultation to school systems throughout the country to support students with ASD and behavioral concerns. Prior to this job she served as the Director of Academics for the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development at Nova Southeastern University, co-designing the autism endorsement courses and the doctoral minor in autism coursework and designing the master’s and doctoral programs in applied behavior analysis. Dr. Reeve has a M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from SUNY Stony Brook and completed her internship at UNC-Chapel Hill with Division TEACCH. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral and serves as adjunct faculty at Nova Southeastern University’s Abraham S. Fischler School of Education and the Center for Psychological Studies. She is the author of several research-based articles: Functional Vocabulary for Children and the co-author of Setting up Classroom Spaces That Support Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Building Independence, and the Functional Vocabulary for Activities of Daily Living series for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities.
Frank Robbins has done extensive work in the areas of autism, early intervention, challenging behaviors and parent training, and has numerous publications and professional presentations in these areas. Prior to developing a consulting practice in 1994 (which has worked with hundreds of students, families, school districts and agencies), Dr. Robbins served as the director of a program at the May Institute/University of Massachusetts that provided services for young children with autism/PDD in an integrated preschool context.Dr. Robbins helped coordinate a home-based early intervention program for children with autism in West Virginia and a state-wide service delivery program for persons with autism in Florida. He was previously on the faculty at the University of South Florida and has worked on a number of federal grants. Dr. Robbins has served as an editorial reviewer for a variety of professional journals and is a member of a number of professional organizations.
Jack Scott is the Executive Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities at Florida Atlantic University. FAU CARD is one of seven autism support agencies funded by the state of Florida. Dr. Scott is also an Associate Professor in the Department Exceptional Student Education. He teaches courses on autism, special education and behavior analysis. Dr. Scott received his doctoral degree from the University of Florida. Jack has written a textbook on autism, Students with Autism: Characteristics and Instructional Programming (2000) and has several chapters and articles on autism and individual instruction. He is just completing a book for Woodbine House of safety from unintentional injuries for children with autism and has explored the high-risk status of the ASD population. He has research interests in early intensive behavioral intervention, particularly parent-directed home programs and reading instruction for children with autism and safety. He is a board certified behavior analyst who has examined the ethical issues that can impact behavior analysts who work with persons with ASD. In addition, he serves as a consultant to several programs and hospitals and on the boards of two charter schools, and is president of Project LifeSaver of Palm Beach County and as a board member for Reaching Potentials.
Nonverbal until the age of 4, Stephen Shore was diagnosed with “Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies,” considered “too sick” for outpatient treatment, and was recommended for institutionalization. With much support from his parents, teachers, wife and others, Dr. Shore is now a professor at Adelphi University, where his research focuses on matching best practice to the needs of people with autism. In addition to working with children, Dr. Shore presents and consults internationally on adult issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy and disclosure, as discussed in his books Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Ask and Tell: Self-advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum, the critically acclaimed Understanding Autism for Dummies, and the DVD Living Along the Autism Spectrum: What It Means to Have Autism or Asperger Syndrome. President emeritus of the Asperger’s Association of New England, Dr. Shore has served in the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, the board of directors for the Autism Society, Advocates for High Functioning Autism and other autism-related organizations. Dr. Shore’s work includes research on comparative approaches for working with children on the autism spectrum, issues related to self-advocacy and supporting successful transition to adulthood for people with autism.
Brenda Smith Myles, a consultant with the Ziggurat Group and chief program officer for the Autism Society, is the recipient of the Autism Society’s 2004 Outstanding Professional Award and the 2006 Princeton Fellowship Award. She has written numerous articles and books on Asperger Syndrome and autism, including Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage, and Meltdowns (with Southwick) and Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Practical Solutions for School Success (with Adreon). The latter is a winner of the Autism Society’s Outstanding Literary Work. Dr. Smith-Myles has made more than 500 presentations all over the world and written more than 150 articles and books on autism and Asperger Syndrome. She served as the co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee and is on the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Planning Consortium. Dr. Smith Myles is also on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Organization for Autism Research and MAAP Services, Inc. In addition, she was acknowledged as the second-most productive applied researcher in autism spectrum disorders in the world from 1997 to 2004.
Ruth Christ Sullivan was the founder and executive director of the Autism Services Center in Huntington, W.Va., one of the few agencies in the United States to offer comprehensive, across-the-lifespan, autism-specific services in a community-integrated setting. She also founded the National Association of Residential Providers for Adults with Autism (NARPAA). Dr. Sullivan has been a professional in the field of autism for more than 45 years. She was the first elected president of the Autism Society and now serves as an honorary member of the Autism Society’s board of directors. Dr. Sullivan has lectured throughout the United States and around the world. She has published books, book chapters and articles, and for many years was a columnist for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities. She was a consultant for the movie Rain Man, and her son, Joseph, an autistic savant, was one of the two major autistic models for the character of Raymond (played by Dustin Hoffman). The movie was premiered in Huntington, with Dustin Hoffman present. In November 2005, she was appointed to the 32nd Institution on Rehabilitation Issues. She received the Autism Society Founders Award in 2007, as well as a Citation of Honor from the West Virginia State House of Delegates at a special session in January 2008.
Jennifer Twachtman-Bassett is a speech-language pathologist and member of the Autism Society’s Panel of Professional Advisors. She also serves on the board of directors of the Autism Society of Connecticut. Ms. Twachtman-Bassett is part of the Autism Spectrum Assessment Program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) in Hartford, where she contributes to diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorders in collaboration with the Department of Developmental Pediatrics. Ms. Twachtman-Bassett also provides social language and problem-solving evaluations for older children with Asperger syndrome and related disorders in collaboration with developmental pediatrics, as well as individual therapy and parent training. She has served on the clinical feeding team, where she has addressed the needs of children with behavioral feeding disorders. Ms. Twachtman-Bassett is the speech and language consultant at Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, where she conducts evaluations and provides strategies for addressing social and language-based aspects of problem solving and behavioral issues. In addition, she provides consultation/training for individuals with ASD through the ADDCON Center, LLC, in Higganum, Connecticut. Ms. Twachtman-Bassett is the associate editor of Autism Spectrum Quarterly, where she contributes a column on translating research into practice. She co-authored (with Diane Twachtman-Cullen) How Well Does Your IEP Measure Up?: Quality Indicators for Effective Service Delivery. Ms. Twachtman-Bassett has contributed her expertise to several chapters and articles. She has also presented her clinical work at state, regional and national conferences, and provides a number of professional workshops, training and consultation.
Paul Wehman is the director of Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, Special Education and Disability Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Wehman is a professor of physical medicine, rehabilitation, chairman of rehabilitation research and director of the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center with a joint appointment in the Departments of Special Education and Disability Policy and Rehabilitation Counseling.
Patricia Wright has a passion for education and advocacy and has dedicated her career to ensuring that individuals with autism are fully included in society and are able to lead meaningful, happy and productive lives. As Easter Seals National Director of Autism Services, Dr. Wright leads autism programs for Easter Seals, one of the nation’s largest providers of services for individuals with autism across the life span. Dr. Wright’s expertise as an educator and Board Certified Behavior Analyst informs her individualized approach to creating effective treatment plans. She knows that early diagnosis and intervention offer the best outcomes, but she is also a proponent of appropriate treatment for anyone with autism at any age. She is a member of the Organization for Autism Research’s Scientific Council and is currently a serving on the Executive Committee for the Friends of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Wright is well known as a presenter and has been invited to deliver presentations and conduct training across the United States and internationally. Dr. Wright earned her Ph.D. in education from the University of Hawaii in 2006. She also has a master’s of public health from the University of Hawaii, and a master’s degree in special education from San Francisco State University.
Autism Society of Southern Arizona and Employment Services for United Cerebral Palsy of Southern Arizona
Vanessa Zuber is the Vice President of the Autism Society of Southern Arizona and Director of Employment Services for United Cerebral Palsy of Southern Arizona. Vanessa has been in the field for over 20 years, providing behavioral, educational, and employment services to adults with autism and other disabilities. Zuber created and developed an employment services program for transition age youth and adults with disabilities called WorkAbility, which uses a more holistic approach to the supported employment journey. In collaboration with various local agencies and professionals, Vanessa is developing a curriculum series called Healthy Choices, Happy Lives that encompasses self-care, intimacy and relationships, addiction, domestic violence, and safe sex for people with disabilities. She facilitates a monthly social club for adults 18 and up who are on the spectrum. Growing up with a younger brother who has autism inspired Vanessa and taught her about adaptability, compassion, flexibility, patience, self-determination, advocacy, and, most of all, how important it is to have a sense of humor. Vanessa will continue supporting and advocating for young adults with autism and other disabilities, to make their transition into adulthood a seamless journey.