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Dr. Grandin did not talk until she was three and a half years old. She was fortunate to get early speech therapy. Her teachers also taught her how to wait and take turns when playing board games. She was mainstreamed into a normal kindergarten at age five. Dr. Grandin became a prominent author and speaker on both autism and animal behavior. Today she is a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. She also has a successful career consulting on both livestock handling equipment design and animal welfare. She has been featured on NPR (National Public Radio) and a BBC Special – “The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow”. She has also appeared on National TV shows such as Larry King
Live, 20/20, Sixty Minutes, Fox and Friends, and she has a 2010 TED talk. She has authored over twenty books on autism and animal behavior.
Sarah Ward, MS, CCC-SLP, has over 24 years of experience in diagnostic evaluations and treatment of executive dysfunction. She holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, where she provides instruction to graduate-level students in the assessment and treatment of individuals with traumatic brain injury and other cognitive communication disorders. Sarah is an internationally recognized expert on executive function and presents seminars and workshops on the programs and strategies she has developed with Cognitive Connections co-director Kristen Jacobsen.
James’ research focuses on the medical causes of autism and how to treat and prevent it including the areas of nutrition (vitamins/minerals, essential fatty acids, carnitine, digestive enzymes, special diets), oxidative stress, gut problems, gut bacteria, toxic metals, and seizures. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles, including 35 related to autism. He is also the President of the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, the President of the Autism Nutrition Research Center, the co-leader of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Autism Research Institute, and chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Neurological Health Foundation. He has an adult daughter with autism. www.adamsautismresearch.com
Lynn Black, MSW-LCSW has over 20 years as a program manager at Ability360 working with Individuals with disabilities, specifically Intellectual disabilities. She assisted in developing a self advocacy, self determination and system change program called This is MY Life through a national Robert Wood Johnson grant that continues to be extended through AZ DES/DDD. In 1997, Lynn partnered with self advocates in a civil rights, self advocate organization called- People First of Arizona, as their state-wide advisor. (This self advocacy group is in association with a national self advocacy group called Self Advocates Becoming Empowered). Lynn supports people contributing in the community, and assists in system changes by participating on several national and state level committees and councils.
Prior to CFSS, Paul 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.
Vanessa DiCarlo recently worked as a special education advocate and educational consultant for Susan Marks and Associates. Ms. DiCarlo graduated from Northern Arizona University, where she received a master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in inclusive practices, positive behavioral supports, and autism. Ms. DiCarlo worked in typical education settings, in addition to special education settings creating system wide change; and advocating for the inclusion of students with disabilities into typical classrooms by individualizing services such as curriculum modifications, behavior plans, and assistive technology. Collaborating with various behavioral health and statewide agencies, she advocated for coordinated services for students. Ms. DiCarlo has presented at national and statewide conferences on a variety of disability-related topics, while also consulting with the ADE Support Cadre, and NAU by supervising masters-level teachers in the internship phase of their program.
Richard received an MD and PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. He completed a residency in Pediatrics at the University of Miami, Residency in Child Neurology and Fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Learning Disabilities at Harvard University/Children’s Hospital Boston and Fellowship in Psychology at Boston University. He also received a Masters in Biomedical Science and Biostatistics from Drexel University. He holds board certifications in Pediatrics, and in Neurology with Special Competence in Child Neurology. Dr. Frye is a national leader in autism research. He has authored over 150 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and serves on several editorial boards.
He has lead several clinical studies on children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including studies focusing on defining the clinical, behavioral, cognitive, genetic and metabolic characteristics of children with ASD and mitochondrial disease. He has conducted several clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of safe and novel treatments that target underlying physiological abnormalities in children with ASD. He is the new Chief of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital with the goal of developing a center to evaluation and treat children with neurodevelopmental disorders in order to attain optimal outcomes by integrating cutting-edge precision medicine and research.
Dr. Sri Venkatesh Ganeshan MD serves as Chief Medical Officer to Iliad. A graduate of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, Dr. Ganeshan’s expertise resides in the therapeutic areas of Oncology, Urology, Transplant, Immunology, Dermatology, Hepatology, Virology and Neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Geneshan has vast experience in delivering organizational goals through project leadership, extensive clinical and administrative experience, and thorough knowledge of multiple therapeutic areas. As a former executive at Astellas Pharma US, Dr. Ganeshan launched two first in class compounds with great success. Successful in recognition of opportunities and facilitation of efforts to improve process, product knowledge and clinical outcome, Sri has proven ability in building productive associations with clinicians, researchers and administrators in pursuit of expanded understanding of disease and treatment options. Dr. Ganeshan brings extensive Clinical trial study management and regulatory affairs experience to Iliad, including clinical trial design, study medical monitoring, pharmacovigilance, and vendor management.
Emily 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 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 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 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.
Cynthia Macluskie is a licensed Health and life insurance agent in the state of Arizona. She speaks nationally and locally on healthcare, Medicaid and Medicare, the dually eligible and navigating all systems of care successfully. She is passionate about helping seniors and the dually eligible navigate Medicare. She helps hery clients accurately assess their risk and offset that risk. She currently serves on the Governor’s Advisory Committee for Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has served on several work groups and committees for a variety of organizations including Division of Developmental Disabilities, Department of Economic Security, AHCCCS and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. She is currently the Vice President of Autism Society of Greater Phoenix and a board member of Moriah Cooperative. She has successfully passed Autism Insurance Legislation with other devoted autism Mom’s that changed the way healthcare covered Autism services. She also assisted with the successful passage of several Restraint and Seclusion bills that protect children with autism.
Teresa Moore is the Director of the SABE GoVoter Project and the Director of the SARTAC Project. She has over 23 years’ experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Teresa received a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Arizona State University, LodeStar Program. Over 18 year ago, Ms. Moore began Moore Advocacy Consulting was created. The focus of her consulting is self-advocacy, leadership, and grant development. She has been awarded state and federal grants and contracts. Teresa is also the founder of People First of Arizona self-advocacy group.
Dr. Rossignol, MD FAAFP is a board-certified family physician. He received his Doctorate of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Virginia. Coming from an academic background, Dr. Rossignol searched the medical literature looking for a solution after both of his children were diagnosed with autism. He has made it his mission to research and publish in autism. Since 2006, he has 55 papers, abstracts, editorials, and book chapters (including those in press) concerning autism and related conditions. Dr. Rossignol has a special interest in autism spectrum disorders, PANS/PANDAS, cerebral palsy, and related neurological and developmental disorders as well as medically complex children and adults. Dr. Rossignol is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP) and a Fellow of the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (FMAPS). Dr. Rossignol sees patients in all three offices in California and Florida.
Dr. Natalie Roth, PhD (2001; Fuller) is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in particularly in childhood neurodevelopment delays. Dr. Roth grew up in Utah and attended the University of Utah. She graduated from the APA approved psychology program at Fuller Theological Seminary following practicum experience at the University of Southern California and an internship at St. John’s Child Development Center in Santa Monica, California. She and her husband returned to the mountains and lifestyle of Salt Lake City in 2002.
Dr. Amy Serin conducts psychological and neuropsychological evaluations for ages 4 through adult for ADHD, learning disabilities, IQ, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorders and giftedness. Dr. Serin also uses a team approach, working together with schools and consulting with medical professionals to help facilitate the most effective treatments for her patients. Dr. Serin applies her personal and scientific understanding of the challenges of parents face when dealing with giftedness, ADHD, autism, mood disorders and other special needs. Because she cares deeply about her patients’ successes, she also works with parents on structured parenting plans that can minimize tantrums and other problematic behaviors while increasing positive behaviors. Dr. Serin takes a strength-based, results-oriented approach to her psychotherapy for children, adolescents and adults. She uses cognitive-behavioral approaches because research shows they work for many conditions, including Dr. Serin’s areas of expertise: anxiety, depression, parenting, and women’s issues.
Jeffrey William Skibitsky (Jeff), MA, BCBA, LBA, is founder and president of Alternative Behavior Strategies (ABS). Headquartered in Salt Lake City, ABS, an accredited member of Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE), was founded in 2011 and has grown to become a leading provider of services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Today, the company has locations in California, Utah and North Carolina. It works with a team of more than 300 clinicians across multiple sites and clinics. As president, Mr. Skibitsky oversees all clinical initiatives for the company, including service delivery, recruitment and training for members of the behavior intervention team. A BHCOE Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Mr. Skibitsky has been very active in the autism community for almost two decades, holding numerous positions on various committees and boards. He is a strong advocate for people with ASD and is a nationally recognized expert on treatments for children with ASD, regularly conducting workshops and presentations. Mr. Skibitsky received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2001 and his Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles in 2008. In 2009, Mr. Skibitsky earned Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification from the BCBA Credentialing Program.
Dr. Diana Davis-Wilson, DBH, LBA, BCBA is a licensed Behavior Analyst, with several years of experience providing consultation and training to families, school districts, and organizational personnel nationwide. 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. For over 10 years Dr. Davis-Wilson served as the clinical director of an Arizona-based autism provider organization, overseeing applied behavior analysis programs for hundreds of children statewide. Through this work, Dr. Davis-Wilson created an extensive curriculum-based supervision program which included sustainable employment opportunities, staff training and professional development for hundreds of aspiring professionals and students. In addition to the experiences she gained as a clinical director, Dr. Davis-Wilson currently serves on several boards in Arizona, including the Association for Behavior Analysis (AzABA), the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment Autism Advisory Council, the Glendale Community College Behavior Health Sciences Occupational Advisory Board (BHS-OAB) and as a governor appointed board member with the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners.
Dawn has over 23 years of experience evaluating and treating children with Swallowing and Feeding Disorders as well as Speech and Language Disorders at Spectrum Speech & Feeding, LLC., located in beautiful Littleton, Colorado. At Spectrum Speech & Feeding, LLC., they evaluate and treat children with speech, language, swallowing and feeding difficulties. They specialize in the medically fragile child, children with Down Syndrome as well as children on the autistic spectrum. They are passionate about training parents and helping children with complicated medical or sensory issues. Her philosophy involves finding your child’s strengths and weaknesses then motivating family members to actively participate in guiding your child toward success. This team approach helps achieve their greatest potential in the shortest amount of time. Therapy involves learning through play and being very, very goofy! Kids and parents alike love the fun, the energy and ultimately the developmental progress that occurs from this type of therapeutic atmosphere.