Latest Speakers

Anthony Ianni

Anthony Ianni, of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, is one of the most sought after anti-bullying motivational speakers in the region. At the age of 4 Anthony was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), which is on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). Doctors and specialists told Anthony’s parents that he would barely graduate from high continue reading →

David Koppenhaver

FRIDAY. PEPSA DAY. FEATURE David Koppenhaver, Ph.D., is the Graduate Director of Reading Education and a Professor of Reading Education and Special Education at Appalachian State University. He co-founded the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies (CLDS) at the University of North Carolina in 1990 and directed its activities until 1998 at UNC and Duke continue reading →

Jessica Minahan

FRIDAY – PEPSA DAY FEATURE Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA, is a board certified behavior analyst and special educator and a consultant to school’s nationwide ( Jessica has over seventeen years of experience supporting students who exhibit challenging behavior in urban public school systems. She is an adjunct professor at Boston University, a blogger on The continue reading →

Jason Miletsky

Jason Miletsky earned his B.S. degree from Nova Southeastern University in Behavioral Science. Jason is a certified Exceptional Student Education teacher. Currently he is an ESE, Behavior Specialist, and Autism Coach for the Broward School District. Jason has an extensive background in Applied Behavior Analysis, athletics, fitness, recreation management, martial arts, program development, and implementation continue reading →

Marcia Sterner

Marcia Sterner has a BA in Speech and Hearing from the University of Pittsburgh and an MS in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the Pennsylvania State University. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA and is a certified Assistive Technology Practitioner through RESNA. Marcia has worked in the field of augmentative communication and continue reading →

Lisa Rowland

Lisa Rowland has been an ESE director for seven years and has worked in the field of education for 29 years. Mrs. Rowland began her career as an itinerant speech and language pathologist serving all schools from elementary to high school in a variety of service delivery models, including team teaching and full inclusion. She continue reading →

Lynette Langford

Lynette Langford started in education in 1979 as a business education teacher in Gilchrist County. When Gilchrist County began the integration of computers into classrooms, she became the technology coordinator. She served as the assistant principal of Trenton High School from 1999 to 2002 and as principal from 2003 to 2012. She then served as continue reading →

Dr. Jagathy Nair

Dr. Jagathy Nair is a teacher and department chair (ASD/Dual K-12 classes) at Royal Palm School in Palm Beach County. Dr. Nair has always been a spokesperson and advocate for children with autism spectrum disorder and provides training and support to parents in the school and home environment. As a teacher, her focus has always continue reading →

Suzie Norton

Suzie Norton is a special education teacher at Pace High School. She has been teaching for 13 years and this year marks her tenth at Pace High School. She has taught a variety of students with varying ability levels and has worked with early intervention for several years. In addition, she taught non-verbal young adults continue reading →

Debra Dawn Head

Dawn Head is a speech-language pathologist with a passion for helping students on the autism spectrum to “tell their story.” Originally from Okinawa, Japan, Dawn received a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology from the University of Florida. Before continue reading →

Jackie Dillersberger

Jackie Dillersberger started at Pleasant Grove Elementary School in 1998 as a general education elementary school teacher. A few years into her teaching career, she had an involved, non-verbal student with autism placed in her 2nd grade classroom for inclusion and social opportunities. This was Jackie’s first experience with students with autism and the start continue reading →

Karen Isrow

Karen Isrow is a speech-language pathologist who began her career with Citrus County schools in August of 1996. She was placed at Pleasant Grove Elementary School in 1998. In her role as a speech-language pathologist, she has worked with students with autism throughout her career. Karen was a CARD partner with Erica Urban and Ann-Marie continue reading →

Mallory Niver

Mallory Niver is a sixth year general education teacher with a master’s degree in educational leadership. She taught kindergarten for three years and 2nd grade for three more. In her second year of teaching kindergarten, she had a child arrive who was an undiagnosed student with ASD. He was all it took; she was hooked continue reading →

Emma Teglasi

Emma Teglasi graduated with a B.M. in music education from the State University of New York at Potsdam in 2009. She went on to earn her B.M. in music therapy from the University of Louisville in 2012. She completed her internship for music therapy at Just Kids, Inc. in Middle Island, NY, an inclusive preschool continue reading →

Caren Zucker

Caren Zucker is a journalist and television producer who has reported on a broad range of subjects both domestically and internationally. As a producer for ABC’s World News and Nightline, working alongside Peter Jennings, Charlie Gibson, and Diane Sawyer, she covered economic summits, presidential campaigns, social trends, and the Olympic Games. Emmy-nominated, she was honored continue reading →

John Donvan

John Donvan is a correspondent for ABC News, and host and mod­erator of the Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates, which are heard on public radio and by podcast. During his journalism career, in addition to anchoring such broadcasts as ABC’s Nightline, John served as chief White House correspondent, and held multiyear postings in London, Moscow, Jerusalem, continue reading →

Chris Ulmer

Teacher, Speaker and Founder of Special Books by Special Kids   Chris Ulmer, lovingly referred to as Mr. Chris, began his career as a special education teacher in Jacksonville, Florida. After spending three years with the same students he observed a disconnect between his pupils and society. The intelligence and humor displayed by his students continue reading →

Kimberly Lynn Sanders

Kim is the President of Ukeru Systems, a division of Grafton integrated Health Network. Kim has worked with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities for over 27 years. She has served in a variety of both hands-on and leadership roles at Grafton , beginning as a direct support professional. She is recognized as an continue reading →

Linda Bandini

Linda Bandini, PhD, RD is an Associate Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Clinical Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Boston University where she teaches in the graduate nutrition program. Her research is focused on health promotion for youth with developmental disabilities. She is the Director of Nutrition continue reading →

Carol Curtin

Carol Curtin, PhD, MSW is the Director of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) and University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) programs at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and is a Research Assistant Professor of Family Medicine & Community Health. Her work is focused on continue reading →

Lori A. W. Smith

Lori Smith focuses her practice on advising employers and management on compliance with federal, state and local employment laws.  She is a member of the firm’s litigation department and has over 15 years experience representing employers in both state and federal court.  Lori’s practice involves assisting clients through wage and hour investigations, harassment and discrimination continue reading →

Victoria Meyer

I am the parent of a 24 year old son with autism. I was the driving froce behind the creation of a full inclusion educational program, a successful social skills group in school that endured even after my son’s graduation, and an independent supported living home for my son. I have negotiated both educational and continue reading →

Douglene Jackson

Douglene Jackson, PhD, OTR/L, LMT is an occupational therapist (OT) with 18 years of experience working in the rehabilitation field. 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 continue reading →

Meme Hieneman

Meme Hieneman is a consultant with Positive Behavior Support Applications and Principal Investigator on a NIH-funded research study evaluating an online parent education and support program combining routine-based PBS and mindfulness practices. She leads the Florida and Home and Community APBS networks. Meme has a Ph.D. in Special Education and is a certified behavior analyst. continue reading →

Marlene Sotelo

Dr. Marlene Sotelo is the Director of Programs and Operations for the Els for Autism Foundation at The Els Center of Excellence. She has been working with individuals of all ages with autism spectrum disorder for 20 years as a music therapist, special education teacher, and behavior analyst. Prior to joining the Els for Autism continue reading →

Eszter Kiss

Eszter Kiss, M.A., is a Mental Health Counselor for The College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Marshall University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of West Virginia. Ms. Kiss provides effective therapeutic services for clients diagnosed with mental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, or Mood Disorders. continue reading →

Bianca Bragg

Bianca Bragg, M.A., is a Student Support Specialist in the College Program for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder at Marshall University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Morehead State University and a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Marshall. Mrs. Bragg has worked with the West Virginia Autism Training Center for four years, specializing continue reading →

Rachel Barcellona

I graduated high school in 2015 and just successfully completed my first year of College. I am an advocate for those with disabilities. I have created my platform, The Ability Beyond Disabilities, to inspire those that have challenges to strive for their dreams as well as to educate those who might not understand the challenges continue reading →

Paula Nelson

Paula Nelson is a retired educator with over 32 years serving students of all levels and learning abilities. She started as a teacher for students with specific learning disabilities and later served as a high school principal and manager of the Florida Diagnostic Learning & Resource Systems (FDLRS) Gulfcoast Center. Currently, Paula serves as the continue reading →

Mark Durand, Ph.D

Mark Durand, Ph.D., is known worldwide as an authority in the area of autism spectrum disorders. He is a professor of psychology at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where he was the founding Dean of Arts & Sciences and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Dr. Durand is a fellow of the American Psychological continue reading →

Tara Sheehan

Dr. Sheehan has a background in education and psychology, with specific training and expertise in applied behavior analysis and developmental psychology. She has worked in schools, homes, community settings, and clinical treatment centers for children with behavior disorders secondary to autism and related developmental disorders for over 15 years. Currently, Dr. Sheehan is a Clinical continue reading →

Linda Hampton Starnes

Linda Hampton Starnes has spent her life actively involved in the disability community – as a special educator, parent, volunteer, and advocate. After working at the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education, she became the mother of two children with varying abilities. Due to their significant healthcare needs, she managed 24-hour home nursing care, worked continue reading →

Elisa Cruz-Torres

Dr. Elisa Cruz-Torres is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst- Doctoral (BCBA-D), is a consultant with FAU CARD, and Visiting Assistant Professor for the Dept. of ESE at Florida Atlantic University. She received her Doctor of Education degree from FAU and holds a Florida’s Professional Educator’s Teaching License in ESE (K-12), Middle Integrated Curriculum (5-9) and continue reading →

William McCombie

Born and raised in New Zealand until moving to Florida at the age of 11, William was a little “different”, but was able to overcome some of the challenges faced growing up on the spectrum. As an adult, learning to drive was one such challenge – William finally did get his license at the age continue reading →

Joshua Pritchard

Dr. Joshua Pritchard is an assistant professor and Program Chair of the Hybrid MA degree of Florida Tech’s School of Behavior Analysis. He has served as a consultant with state facilities under review by the Department of Justice, consulted internationally on behavioral programs and setting up practicum experience, and conducted remote supervision of international students continue reading →

Anthony T. Fischetti

Mr. Fischetti earned his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Geneseo where he studied elementary/special education and psychology. Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Mr. Fischetti served as a behavior specialist for children, adolescents, and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders, down syndrome, and other co-occurring psychiatric conditions, such as bipolar disorder, continue reading →

Kelly Everson

Dr. Everson specializes in psychotherapy and assessment of children, adolescents and families. Dr. Everson is experienced in group therapy with adolescents and parents, individual therapy with children, adolescents and adults, and family therapy. Dr. Everson leads the Autism Spectrum Clinic at PBBHW and primarily works with children, adolescents and adults diagnosed with ASD. She has continue reading →

Chris Abildgaard

Chris Abildgaard NCSP, LPC, NCC has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum since 1999. He is the owner and director of the Social Learning Center, LLC. located in Cheshire, CT. Chris is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, a Nationally Certified Counselor & a Licensed Professional Counselor with a specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders. continue reading →

Ryan Wexelblatt

Ryan Wexelblatt created and facilitates the Guy Stuff program. He is the founder and Director of Center for Social in Narberth, Pennsylvania. Center for Social provides social skills programs for boys, therapy, executive function coaching and treatment for problematic sexual behaviors in the ADHD/Asperger’s/ASD populations. Ryan is a licensed social worker and certified autism specialist continue reading →

Heather Anacki

Heather Anacki is an ASHA certified pediatric speech language pathologist who earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh. She has enjoyed working with children and their families continue reading →

Redwan Alqasemi

Dr. Redwan Alqasemi earned his PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2007 and is currently a research professor at the University of South Florida’s Mechanical Engineering Department and a lead researcher at the Center for Assistive, Rehabilitation and Robotics Technologies (CARRT). Dr. Alqasemi is a member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and a continue reading →

Christine Florentino Honsberger

Christine Honsberger is the Behavior Learning Services Specialist at the Els for Autism Foundation in Jupiter, Fl. While working towards her Master’s degree in behavior analysis, Christine worked as a teacher at the New England Center for Children (NECC) in Southborough, MA. After completing her degree and moving to Florida, Christine worked as a behavior continue reading →

Jessica Weber

Jessica Weber is the Behavior Services Coordinator at the Els for Autism Foundation in Jupiter, FL. Jessica is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with experience working with individuals diagnosed with ASD across age ranges. Jessica’s focus is on increasing the early pre-linguistic behaviors the set the foundation for later communication and social development. Jessica’s current continue reading →

Michele Ramsay

Dr. Ramsay is a dynamic speaker on the topics of transition from high school to college and work. She is the Program Director at CIP and works with students to support them in succeeding in their academic life in pursuing college, internships and careers as well as daily life skills. She received her Doctorate in continue reading →

Flora Howie

Dr. Flora Howie is a board certified developmental pediatrician who serves as Medical Director of the Autism Center at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. For over twenty years, she has pursued her special interest in serving children with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Dr. Howie has collaborated with community partners on the Autism System continue reading →

Bobbie Vaughn

Dr. Bobbie Vaughn is the lead behavior analyst at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. There she provides direct therapy and consults with other rehabilitation disciplines as well as with in-patient staff and families. In addition to therapeutic duties, Dr. Vaughn works as a member of a rehabilitation team in the Autism Center and conducts research continue reading →

Alison Bourdeau

Alison has worked with children and their families for the past 14 years in the capacity of special educator, counselor, case manager, researcher, and advocate. Alison is currently a Clinical Support Specialist at Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Autism & Related Disabilities, providing consultation, training, and support to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Alison holds continue reading →

Ali Cunningham

Dr. Ali Cunningham is as Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Lynn University and former Assistant Director of FAU CARD. Since 2007 she has worked with CARD and the local autism community helping families, professionals and the public use the best treatment practices in supporting people with autism. Her experience, research and specialization continue reading →

John Miller

John Miller was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1968. During his childhood he worked hard to overcome many academic and social obstacles. He decided to get a Masters in Special Education to help young people succeed academically and in life. During this period he was diagnosed with autism, which answered many questions. For over a continue reading →

James Williams

James Williams is an adult with autism. He was diagnosed at the age of 3, in 1991. He graduated from Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois, in 2010. Today, he travels around the United States to lecture on autism, and is the author of three books on autism, OUT TO GET JACK, THE H.A.L. continue reading →

Sharona Sommer

Sharona Sommer, CPC is the founder of Sharona Coaching and Consulting, which provides family coaching and workshops for families with teens/young adults with ASD. She is also the Director of Family Services at The College Internship Program. Sharona is a teacher and speaker and presents at local and national conferences as well as parent and continue reading →

Alberto Breccia

Presented in partnership by Alberto Breccia, LCSW, (CV attached to his proposal) and Catherine Faherty, Autism specialist author. Alberto Breccia is a former well-respected medical counselor with Haven Hospice of North Central Florida; and child and teen therapist in schools. Catherine Faherty is an internationally-known autism specialist, TEACCH Certified Advanced Consultant, and one Carol Gray’s continue reading →

Catherine Faherty

Presented in partnership by Alberto Breccia, LCSW,  and Catherine Faherty, Autism specialist author. Alberto Breccia is a former well-respected medical counselor with Haven Hospice of North Central Florida; and child and teen therapist in schools. Catherine Faherty is an internationally-known autism specialist, TEACCH Certified Advanced Consultant, and one Carol Gray’s select Social Stories Trainers. One continue reading →