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Annual Conference


Empowering Parents and Professionals for over forty years

18th Annual Autism Society of Greater Phoenix Conference
Empowering Parents and Professionals
September 22nd and 23rd 2017

Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP is a pediatric Speech and Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist. She has treated thousands of kids across the globe by helping families overcome picky eating stages and food refusals, while adding new foods into their diet. Her high success rate is attributed to Ms. Dawn bringing her education, experience, sense of humor and her favorite feeding products to the family dinner table. She adapts complicated feeding/swallowing research and makes it practical & easy for parents. (Waiting for approval for CEUs for speech pathologists)







This course is offered for up to .55 ASHA CEUs (intermediate level, Professional area)


Ryan Hendrix, M.S., CCC-SLP  is a Social Cognitive Therapist. She trained and works directly with Michelle Garcia Winner and Dr. Pamela Crooke. Her diverse caseload experience includes preschool-age children through young adults with varying levels of social cognitive learning challenges.  She is a national speaker for Social Thinking.  Her experience includes being a group facilitator for  asperger syndrome/high functioning autism social groups, developed, organized, and led in-home social play groups for children with social cognitive deficits from 6 to 15 years of age, created and implemented literacy-based programming for adults with developmental disabilities as well as designed and taught activities for daily living and life skill. (Waiting for approval for CEUs for speech pathologists)






This course is offered for up to .55 ASHA CEUs (intermediate level, Professional area)

Friday includes Professional Track with Dr. Amanda Wood, Dr. Joe Gentry, Dr. Diana Davis-Wilson, Paul Carollo and Kim Dionne; Speech Track with Dawn Winklemann, SLP-CCC; Family Track includes discussion on transition, college success, state and national pursuit of job opportunities and the gender differences in the assessment and treatment of girls and women with ASD.

Saturday includes Navigating Systems Track with discussion on  healthcare, integrative care, special education, the appeals process for DDD, Behavioral Health and AHCCCS, and SSI, guardianship, special needs trusts and ABLE Accounts; and the Social Track-Ryan Hendrix is a national leader and speaker for Social Thinking.

Ability 360
5025 E Washington St, Phoenix AZ 85034
Free Parking  *Includes Breakfast and Lunch*Certificate of Professional development*Exhibitor Fair*
Pricing             Early Bird One Day     Early Bird Two Days       One Day     Two Day
Families              50                  90                             65           120
Professionals           75                  140                          100          190
Questions? Call 480-940-1093  Fax to: 480-304-4863 or email

Conference Flyer

Conference Flyer with Mail In Form


Speech Track
9:00-10:00       Why children with Autism have Feeding, Swallowing or Picky Eating Issues-Dawn Winkelmann, MA CCC-SLP
10:00-10:30     Break
10:30-12:00     Picky Eater Archetypes: Discover the Types & Techniques to get them Eating!– Dawn Winkelmann, MA CCC-SLP
12:00-1:00       Lunch
1:00-2:30         ‘Snack Time’ for Children with Autism: Improve Social Skills & Decrease Picky Eating– Dawn Winkelmann, MA CCC-SLP
2:30-3:00         Break
3:00-4:30         Hands-On Feeding Training: Learn how to Use the Right Tools– Dawn Winkelmann, MA CCC-SLP

Professional Track
9:00-10:00      All that glitters can be gold: Exploring the “gold standard” measure used in diagnosing autism spectrum disorders.- Amanda Wood, PhD-With the prevalence of autism continuing to increase, now more than ever, the evaluation and identification of autism spectrum disorders is a highly debated and crucial matter. One of the “gold standards” in diagnostic assessments is the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2), which presently, is the only directly administered, standardized assessment that measures autism spectrum characteristics specifically related to the diagnostic criteria for ASD; however, it is a complex measure that requires clinical acumen. Given the controversy surrounding the use of the ADOS-2 in diagnosing autism spectrum disorders, the aims of this talk include: 1) an overview of the measure and administration guidelines, 2) intended uses, 3) interpreting and reporting the results, and 4) recommendations for ensuring fidelity
10:00-10:30     Break
10:30-12:00     “Kickstarting the social superhero in you: Developing self awareness to create social plans in an effort to conquer your social kryptonite”– Paul Carollo and Kim Dionne-Presentation to illustrate the stages of social development while recognizing and understanding not only social challenges but individual vulnerabilities that impact social connection.
12:00-1:00       Lunch
1:00-2:30         Are we setting our children up to fail? The Need for Targeting Emergency Response in Treatment of Autism – Diana Davis-Wilson
2:30-3:00         Break
3:00-4:30         Executive Functions: What are they exactly, and what can we do to help? Dr. Joe Gentry- Dr. Gentry will present information about Executive Functions, and how they play a part in our children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other developmental diagnoses. Understanding what Executive Functions are helps us understand the implications they present when working with kids with EF deficits. Along with background info, and current research into EF, Dr. Gentry will present a series of possible recommendations and strategies for kids with EF deficits
Family Track
9:00-10:00       Arizona Employment First: Job Opportunities Build Success– Susan Voirol and Margaret M. CorcoranAZ JOBS, Arizona’s statewide Employment First initiative, supports the belief that employment, including supported employment, should be the primary day activity for working-age adults with disabilities. Participants will be given an overview of the State and National efforts that are supporting the Employment First Principles as well as how families, individuals, educators and/or providers can support the initiative moving forward.
10:00-10:30     Break
10:30-12:00     College Success and Autism Spectrum Disorder– Maria Dixon- Success is college for individuals with ASD relies more on navigating the overall social context than on making the grade in class.  This talk will discuss a university-recognized student organization founded by ASU students with autism and designed as social support system.
12:00-1:00       Lunch
1:00-2:30         Invisible in Plain Sight: Females on the Autism Spectrum by Lori Lichte-Brill, Psy.D
This presentation will address the implications of gender differences in the assessment and treatment of girls and women with ASD. In addition, there will be first-hand accounts by women about the difficulties of getting an appropriate diagnosis and the day-to-day challenges they face socially, occupationally, and in their closest relationships.
2:30-3:00         Break
3:00-4:30         Partners in Transition-Betty Shoen will lead a team of experts-This presentation from the Arizona 3Community of Practice on Transition is a collaboration from the State agencies (Department of Economic Security, Division of Developmental Disabilities, Rehabilitation Services Administration; Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Behavioral Health Services, Department of Health Services, Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs, for example) who provide services to youth with special needs as they move from secondary school to adult life.  Each agency representative will cover the basic eligibility information for agency services, and talk about the types of services available to those who qualify, plus how to gain access for your youth with special needs.

Social Thinking Across the Home and School Day: The ILAUGH Model
9:00-10:00       Introduce concepts of Social Thinking and the social academic connection-Ryan Hendrix, MA CCC-SLP
10:00-10:30     Break
10:30-12:00     ILAUGH Model:  Initiation and Listening with Eyes and Brain-Ryan Hendrix, MA CCC-SLP
12:00-1:00       Lunch
1:00-2:30         Abstracting/Inferencing and Understanding Perspective-Ryan Hendrix, MA CCC-SLP
2:30-3:00         Break
3:00-4:30         Gestalt thinking and developing IEP goals: “Winnerman’s” worst goals and discussion about creating rubrics to help with IEP goal measurement-Ryan Hendrix, MA CCC-SLP

Navigating the Systems Track
9:00-10:00       Navigating the Appeals Process in AHCCCS-Ann Ronan, Esq
10:00-10:30     Break
10:30-12:00     Navigating Special Education-Hope Kirsch, MA (Ed) and Ezq. and Lori Kirsch-Goodwin, Esq.
12:00-1:00       Lunch
1:00-2:30        .Navigating Health Care and Integrative Care-Rene Barto, MD
2:30-3:00         Break
3:00-4:30         The Basics of Guardianship, Special Needs Trusts, and the ABLE Act Including an Update on Legislation-Emily Kile, Esq. and Jennifer Kupiszewski, Esq

Paul Carollo is the Program Manager of the Relationship Based Autism Center at Child Family Support Services. Prior, he worked for Touchstone Behavioral Health for seventeen years where he was the creator and program manager of the Family Centered Autism Program.  Paul holds a B.A. in Sociology and a Master’s of Community Counseling.  He has completed his coursework at Northern Arizona University to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  He currently holds a certification as a National Certified Counselor and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.  Paul has experience working with individual and families with the following challenges:  ADHD, OCD, ODD, Autism, and Asperger’s syndrome. Paul is an experienced Functional Family Therapist receiving eight years of training in this area.  Additionally, he has experience leading social skills and parent education groups specific to the Autism spectrum. Paul has presented at various conferences on Autism as well as provided consultation to various schools in the valley. Paul has received training to administer the ADIR test. He has completed training to administer the ADOS-2. Furthermore, Paul is trained as a Level I and II trauma therapist. He receives continuing education in the field of Autism.

Margaret M. Corcoran is the Employment Services Manager for the Division of Developmental Disabilities responsible for helping to achieve the goal of the Division’s Five Year Strategic Plan to increase the number of integrated and competitive employment opportunities for Division members.  Her interest in this field arose from her experiences with her son, Alan who has Down syndrome. Through the years, Margaret has advocated for services for children with disabilities as a founding member of Down Syndrome Network of Arizona ( and the Special Education Parents Advisory Council of Scottsdale. She is an attorney who practiced health law in New York State for almost twenty years.

Dr. Diana Davis-Wilson is a Licensed and Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Director at HOPE Group. She has several years of experience providing consultation and training to families, school districts, and organizational personnel throughout Arizona. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Science, a Master’s Degree in Special Education, and a Doctorate of Behavior Health with an emphasis on integrated health care management. Dr. Davis-Wilson serves as a behavior health consultant with the Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Early Access to Care- Arizona Program where she currently provides autism health home consultation to over 40 regional pediatric primary care practices. As a community advocate, Dr. Davis-Wilson is the current Treasurer and Public Policy Chair for the Arizona Association for Behavior Analysis and serves on the Glendale Community College Behavior Health Sciences Occupational Advisory Board (BHS-OAB). Additionally, Dr. Davis-Wilson has a passion for providing law enforcement training in the areas of autism, developmental disabilities, crisis response and behavior analysis. She is also an active member in the Arizona Autism Coalition, Association of Professional Behavior Analysts, and the American Telemedicine Association; she works closely with other professional organizations, providing education and advocacy on early access to care, system navigation, best practice, and evidence-based treatments.

Kimberlee Dionne is the Program Manager of the Relationship Based Autism Center at Child and Family Support Services. Prior, Kim worked for Touchstone Behavioral Health where she completed her internship and was hired as a clinical therapist for The Family Centered Autism Program in 2011. Kim received her B.S. in Psychology from Arizona State University in 2007. Following her B.S., Kim studied at the University of Phoenix where she received her Master’s of Science of Community Counseling Degree. Kim currently holds a certification as a National Certified Counselor and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Clinical Supervisor. Kim provides therapy and support to children, adolescents, and families specifically working with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition, Kim has experience leading social skills and education groups. She has presented at various conferences on Autism around the valley. Kim has received training on trauma informed care, applied behavior analysis, and social thinking. She has completed training to administer the ADOS-2. Kim receives continuing education in the counseling field.

Maria V. Dixon, M.A., CCC-SLP is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the Arizona State University where she supervises and trains graduate students in clinical practicum in the Master’s degree program in Speech-Language Pathology.  She has worked as a Clinical Faculty member at Purdue University and at the University of Maryland at College Park. In each of these universities, Maria has worked with children and young adults with autism spectrum disorders and their families via designing and leading social language groups.  She is the faculty for the Autistics on Campus student organization at ASU.  Maria is a bilingual Speech-Language Pathologist, providing diagnostic and intervention services in Spanish and English. In addition to service provision and clinical supervision, Maria has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels presenting lectures on a variety of topics in both Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology courses.  She has taught Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Child Language Development, Clinical Methods in Speech-Language Pathology and Counseling in Communicative Disorders. Maria is also involved in clinical research.  She has worked on a collaborative project with the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and the University of Maryland at College Park focusing on the effectiveness of an intervention using computers on children with Asperger’s Syndrome in learning aspects of conversational interaction.  She has also presented at conferences about social language intervention.

Dr. Gentry obtained his doctoral degree from Illinois State University, specializing in consultation, assessment, and developmental disabilities. He completed his pre and post-doctoral fellowships at the May Institute in Massachusetts, working with and evaluating children with Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury and other severe learning challenges.  Dr. Gentry has been working with children diagnosed with developmental disabilities and their families for over 12 years.  In 2009, Dr. Gentry and his wife, opened a private practice serving the metro Phoenix area, as well as other cities and towns throughout Arizona. Specializing in the evaluation of Learning Disabilities, Autism, Behavior Disorders and Developmental Disabilities, the Gentry’s also provide training and consultation to parents and school districts regarding behavioral support planning and IEP development. As a licensed behavior analyst and psychologist in the State of Arizona, Dr. Gentry serves on a number of different non-profit boards, including the Board of Directors of Intermountain Centers for Human Development and the Arizona Autism Charter Schools. He and his wife also recently started a local non-profit charity in Phoenix Arizona, which will provide free diagnostic autism evaluations for underprivileged families. When not working, Dr. Gentry loves running and rock climbing and enjoys swimming and roughhousing with his two daughters.

Janet Holt is the Director of Special Education Services for the Cave Creek Unified School District. Janet has been a presenter on a variety of topics at state and local conferences to include inclusive practices, assistive technology for access to the curriculum, paraprofessional training, transition services/vocational training, budget planning for special education administrators and monitoring/compliance. Janet is committed to preparing students for opportunities after graduation and considers this a strong indicator of quality programming for students. Janet has served on the executive board of Special Education Administrators of AZ (SEAA) and Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), a division of CEC.

Mark Jacoby-While he may have a degree in Architecture, Mark Jacoby has spent the last 25 years of his life dedicated to services for adults and children with disabilities. Jacoby has worked at all levels of disability services including front line staff, Case Management, Branch Manager and Assistant Executive Director both in Michigan and Arizona. As Gompers Habilitation Center’s Executive Director since December 2006, he is most proud of the continuing evolution of Gompers already exceptional programs and the caring and dedicated staff that make it happen. In addition, Jacoby has been on a variety of state and local associations and committees helping to advance services for individuals with disabilities.

Emily B. Kile is a graduate of the Northeastern School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Colorado, Boulder and holds a Masters Degree in Psychology from Boston College. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NEALA), past President of the Arizona Chapter (2008), and a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners and the Special Needs Alliance. Emily is Chair of the Foothills Caring Corps.  She is licensed to practice law in Arizona. She has been licensed to practice law since 1993. The Supreme Court of Arizona has re-appointed Emily to serve on the Fiduciary Board through December 31, 2016. The Fiduciary Board oversees the approval and discipline of fiduciaries licensed in the State of Arizona by the Supreme Court.Her practice is focused on estate planning and related matters, including Medicaid (ALTCS), VA and long term care planning, special needs planning, guardianship and conservatorship issues and estate settlement/probate.Emily’s niece, Marisa, has Down Syndrome; allowing Emily some insight into issues faced by people with special needs and their families.

Hope Kirsch is an attorney at the Arizona special education law firm of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch where she partners with her sister Lori Kirsch-Goodwin.  Hope is a licensed special education teacher and 25-year litigation attorney. For over 15 years, she has represented students and their families throughout Arizona in all school related matters, from IEP advocacy to Due Process, appeals, 504s and OCR complaints, bullying, restraint and seclusion and personal injury.  The firm handles disciplinary matters (suspensions, long-terms suspension, expulsions) of both special education and general education students, and in higher education as well.  Hope was a special education teacher and special education coordinator for 18 years before embarking on a career in law.  She worked in the New York City public schools in settings ranging from self-contained classes to special education day schools, day treatment programs and hospital programs.  Throughout her career as an educator, Hope worked with students with autism, emotional disabilities and multiple disabilities.  She has written hundreds of IEPs, served as a witness for the NYC Department of Education at due process hearings, and supervised and trained teachers in curriculum, methodology, writing IEPs and behavior management techniques.  She earned a B.S. from Boston University in Special Education in 1975, an M.A. in Special Education from NYU in 1977, and post-graduate work in educational supervision and administration at NYU and Baruch College of the City of New York.  She obtained her law degree from Brooklyn Law School’s evening division while continuing her work in education.  Hope began her law career as a judicial clerk and then as a civil and commercial litigator as she began building a special education practice.  Hope is admitted to the state and federal district courts in NY, NJ and AZ, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and AV® Preeminent™ rated (5.0  out of 5.0) by her peers and judges for the highest level of ethics and professional excellence.

Lori Kirsch-Goodwin has been a litigation/trial attorney for almost 30 years and has first chaired over 35 jury trials. She obtained her B.A. at Syracuse University and her law degree at the University of Bridgeport (now Quinnipiac University). She is admitted to the state and federal district courts in New York, New Jersey, Arizona and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Lori entered the special education arena over 16 years ago when one of her twin boys was evaluated for special education and related services, and has been advocating for and representing other families since. She is an AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney by peers and judges, representing the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.  Her legal advocacy ranges from obtaining eligibility for IEPs and 504s, assisting at IEPs, METs and 504 meetings, disciplinary matters, early dispute resolution of matters, due process hearings, and appeals.   Lori brings her litigation skills to the table as well as her sensitivity for the families she represents.

Jennifer Kupiszewski has an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University in Microbiology in 1997. She entered law school in 1997 on academic scholarship at ASU and graduating in 1999. Jennifer represented the represented the Arizona Department of Economic Security/Child Protective Services Division for  six years  in juvenile court cases involving dependency, severance and guardianship matters. At the Arizona Center for Disability Law as co-counsel on the class action lawsuit Jason K. v. Eden traveling to all corners of Arizona representing families in obtaining mental health services. Jennifer represented the Maricopa County Public Fiduciary in court cases involving adult guardianship and conservatorships Currently, in private practice since 2007 Jennifer is a Managing Partner with Kile & Kupiszewski Law Firm. Jennifer practices in areas of elder, juvenile, and probate law and navigating cases that as they move through and between these different court systems. Her practice focuses on cases involving adults and children with special health care needs and non-traditional families. Jennifer represents families in matters in which there has been abuse, neglect, and exploitation or when a family member is disabled or incapacitated and estate, trust and financial exploitation litigation. Jennifer currently serves on the Board of Raising Special Kids, the Board of Directors of the Maricopa County Bar Family Law Section, the Board of Directors of the AZ chapter of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys and is the Chair of the State Bar Elder Law, Mental Health and Special Needs Planning Council. She is also on the Arizona Center for Disability Law’s Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Council. Jennifer has a strong commitment to family and married into a large polish family. Jennifer is married to Steve Kupiszewski and they have a blended family of five children and one tiny Yorkie.

Anne Ronan has been practicing in the area of health law for the poor and uninsured since graduating from Arizona State University College of Law in 1979.  She worked with Community Legal Services for 11 years with an emphasis in representing low income individuals in obtaining health care through various State and Federally funded health care programs for the poor.  She worked for the Arizona Center for Disability Law (formerly the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest) for 13 years during which time Anne represented children and adults with disabilities in obtaining necessary and appropriate medical and mental health services.  Anne is one of the attorneys for the class of adults with serious mental illness in Arnold v. Sarn and the class of children entitled to Medicaid funded mental health services in J.K. v.Gerard, and in B.K. v. Tinsley a class action on behalf of foster children. Anne is now employed with the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest where she continues to represent children and adults in obtaining necessary health care.

Dr. Amanda Wood, a licensed clinical psychologist, is the founder and executive director of Young Mind Center, whose mission is to empower individuals and families to improve their everyday lives and realize their greatest potential through education, resources, and community. Dr. Wood has dedicated her career to the best practices in the early identification and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, which begins with a comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation. She earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University and specialized in autism spectrum disorders in her pre- and post-doctoral residencies at The May Institute and The Help Group. Throughout her career, Dr. Wood has garnered specialized training and experience in neuropsychological and psychodiagnostic evaluations, behavioral and cognitive behavioral intervention, theory of mind and social thinking, and consultation and training. Her current professional interests include the use and misuse of the ADOS-2 in diagnosing autism, creating inclusive communities, wise mind behavioral therapy, and the correlation between ASD and gender dysphoria.

Susan Voirol has worked in the field of disabilities for over 16 years, including holding the role of a Vocational Rehabilitation Transition Counselor, a Transition Coordinator role for a local school district, a Transition Specialist for the AZ Department of Education, and is currently a Phoenix based University of Arizona Program Manager for the Sonoran UCEDD working on Employment First and Transition Initiatives.