"Autism & My Path Through Life" SOLD OUT in the auditorium, but seats still available via live stream in other rooms!
"A New View of Executive Functioning Skills"
FRIDAY – AUDITORIUM IS SOLD OUT, Just Opened: Live Stream In a Classroom!
SATURDAY – STILL SEATS LEFT!
We currently have sponsor and exhibitor space available for this upcoming conference. We do expect to sell out, so be sure to reserve your spot today!
The deadline to be in conference materials has passed for exhibitors and sponsors, however, if you would still like a table, you can still sign up!
Friday is SOLD OUT in the auditorium, but a few more seats have opened up to view Temple Grandin in a nearby classroom via a Live Stream! Saturday is expected to sell out as well, so be sure to get your tickets today!
Looking for an opportunity to give back or attend the conference for free? Come and volunteer for a shift and be able to attend the conference for free. We are needing help in a variety of tasks to be able to put on this large conference. Please see below for more information and to sign up to volunteer.
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
Robert has been practicing law in Arizona for 44 years with a focus on planning for families with members who are significantly impaired. Robert grew up in San Diego. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles (Summa Cum Laude).
After college, Robert entered Vista Volunteers of America where he served as a legal assistant in a legal aid office in Waterloo, Iowa. Robert then attended Georgetown University Law Center, receiving his juris doctor in 1974.
Robert and his wife moved to Phoenix in 1974 and Robert received his license to practice law in Arizona in 1975. His first employment was with the Arc-Arizona (organization for persons with developmental disabilities) where he was the legal services director of a project for persons with developmental disabilities. Then, from 1978 to the present, Robert has been in private practice focused on assisting families with members who are substantially impaired – issues covering estate planning, special needs trusts, guardianship, conservatorship, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Arizona Long Term Care System, Arizona Department of Economic Security – Division of Developmental Disabilities.
Robert currently serves as treasurer and director of 3LPlace, Inc., a non-profit corporation serving adults with developmental disabilities. He is a past director of the Arc-US and past president of the Arc-Az. He has consulted at no charge with many non-profit organizations serving persons with significant impairments. Robert was the attorney in a landmark Arizona case which established the rights of residents of the Arizona Training Program at Coolidge to live, be cared for, and receive habilitation services in an appropriate, safe and least restrictive environment.
Robert is a former pro-tempore judge for the Superior Court of Arizona, County of Maricopa serving as a judge in mental health hearings.
Dr. Richard G. Boles is a medical geneticist and a pediatrician who specializes in mitochondrial medicine, functional disease (including cyclic vomiting syndrome, other atypical forms of migraine, and chronic fatigue syndrome) and autism spectrum disorders. His expertise stems from decades of both clinical work and research at a major academic center as well as from his most recent experience in cutting edge biotechnology and genomics. He uses an innovative and integrative approach in both diagnosis and treatment to best serve his patients. He treats children and young adults (up to age 25) with a variety of conditions, but his main focuses are on:
Mitochondrial disease and dysfunction
Autistic spectrum disorders
Complicated migraine including cyclic vomiting syndrome
Other chronic pain disorders
Chronic fatigue syndrome
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.
Kathy Denious is an education specialist, a teacher, and an advocate for children with learning challenges. Founder of Silver Lining Education, she provides research-based, explicit, systematic, one-on-one instruction to students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, autism, and ADHD.
Kathy earned her B.A. from Purdue University, her M.Ed. from Arizona State University, and is a certified teacher with the Arizona Department of Education. During the past four years, Kathy has also completed training with Landmark School Summer Institute, in Boston, M.A., learning practical, evidence-based strategies for teaching students with dyslexia, and she is a member of the International Dyslexia Association.
Outside of hands-on teaching, Kathy studies how learning occurs, particularly how the brain processes language, and uses the results to craft her own highly effective teaching methods. She has also advocated for the rights of students for many families throughout the valley. At the core of both her personal and professional mission lies the unwavering belief that every child can learn.
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.
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.
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.
Jon Meyers is Executive Director of The Arc of Arizona, a position he has held since 2013. Overseeing statewide outreach, public policy, and program efforts of the organization, Mr. Meyers’s role is focused on safeguarding the civil rights of all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and promoting the fullest possible community inclusion of Arizonans with I/DD. In addition, he is the primary point of contact between The Arc in Arizona and Arizona’s state and federal legislators.
During his tenure with The Arc of Arizona, the chapter has played a key role in the passage of legislation improving oversight and monitoring of developmental homes, adding individuals with I/DD to the state’s Silver Alert System, preventing abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults, and restoring dental care for ALTCS members. The Arc of Arizona also has developed the nation’s largest annual Wings for Autism® event – an “airport rehearsal” program for children with autism and other I/DD supported by The Arc of the U.S. – as well as an annual Developmental Disabilities Family Resources Conference and, in conjunction with Chandler Gilbert Arc, the Sprout Film Festival, a celebration of films about and by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, now entering its sixth year. Jon’s background in the non-profit sector spans nearly 30 years, having held positions with, among others, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Arizona State University/ASU Foundation; Thunderbird School of Global Management; and Ronald McDonald House Charities. He is a member of the Governor’s ASD Advisory Committee; Governor’s Abuse and Neglect Prevention Task Force; Sonoran UCEDD Community Advisory Committee; and American Indian Disability Summit planning committee, which he has co-chaired since 2015. He also serves on the Steering Committee of the National Conference of Executives of The Arc and in 2016 was recognized with the NCE Executive Excellence Award.
Mr. Meyers is a graduate of Santa Clara University with degrees in Theatre Arts and History. He lives with his wife and youngest of three sons in Anthem, Arizona.
Anne 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 now employed with the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. She currently works with families to ensure their children receive necessary treatment from both public and private insurance programs.