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US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for Autism and Asperger education, support, and solutions. Our goal is to Provide the Opportunity for individuals with autism spectrum disorders to achieve their fullest potential.


In 1994, USAAA began improving the quality of life of individuals and others affected by ASD. Since then, our initial goal has not changed, but our ambitions have expanded. USAAA is dedicated to:
— Providing immediate solutions through expert guidance and compassionate support.
— Consolidating the overwhelming amount of information and resources to simplify the lives of all associated with autism.
— Individualizing education on treatments and services for the diverse population of those affected.
— Providing networking opportunities for parents, professionals, students, educators, and individuals.

By recognizing the highly individual and diverse nature of treatment and services, USAAA offers information and education that reflects a variety of views and practices regarding treatment and services to allow maximum choice and benefit for the ASD community.

Federal Tax i.d. # 20-3372933


STAFF BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Lawrence.P. Kaplan, PhD
Theresa K. Wrangham
Richard Dunie, MBA, CPA
Phillip C. DeMio, MD, Chief Medical Officer
Jay D. Burstein, MD, F.A.C.S.
Richard Dunie, MBA, CPA
The Honorable Michael B. Hyman
Lawrence P. Kaplan, PhD
Susan Schulman, MA, CCRA
ADVISORY BOARD (SCIENTIFIC) ADVISORY BOARD (AUTISM COMMUNITY)
David Berger, MD
Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA
Jerry Kartzinel, MD, FAAP
Stan Kurtz
Woody McGinnis, MD
James Neubrander, MD, FAAEM
Susan Owens , MAIS, RA
Dan Rossignol, MD
Lauren Underwood, PhD
J. Michael Uszler, M.D.
Kurt N. Woeller, DO
Jennie Gibson
Valerie Herskowitz, MA-CCC-SLP
Raun Kaufman
Shannon Kenitz
Patricia S. Lemer, MEd, NCC
Valerie Paradiz, PhD

Stephen Shore, EdD
Marlo Payne Thurman, MS
Theresa K. Wrangham

STAFF
 

Chairman, CEO
Lawrence P. Kaplan, PhD

Dr. Kaplan is a parent of child with autism. Dr. Kaplan’s work in autism evolved in 1995 when his son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. He founded Special Abilities, a non-profit charitable organization. It was one of the first organizations to offer assistance to special education schools and provide educational programs for parents who have children with ASD. Drawing on his decade long tenure in professional and collegiate sports, he created a “team approach” to develop a parent-physician partnership that has been presented at national and international autism conferences. This innovative concept led to authoring the book, “Diagnosis Autism: Now What? 10 Steps to Improve Treatment Outcomes; A Parent-Physician Team Approach.” Dr. Kaplan was the chief investigator for the first study on early diagnosis of ASD. His dissertation, “Autism Spectrum Disorders: Two Significant Quandaries,” was the foundation for this research. Dr. Kaplan is editor of four Conference Proceedings Manuals and is also a contributor to other autism publications. Dr. Kaplan has spent many years collaborating with the non-profit community. He was a board member of the Children’s Biomedical Center of Utah. He worked on many projects over a ten year period with the March of Dimes, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association while employed with the State of Florida. 

In the summer of 2005, Dr. Kaplan founded US Autism and Asperger Association, Inc. with a mission to enhance the quality of life of individuals and their families/caregivers touched by autism spectrum disorders by providing educational and family support through conferences/seminars and published and electronic mediums. Dr. Kaplan’s vision was to create an annual conference in the late summer that concentrated on family, health and sibling issues, adolescence, diet and nutrition, Asperger’s concerns, as well as the latest autism research and treatment.  That vision became a reality in the summer of 2006. Over 3000 people have attended USAAA conferences from 2006 to the spring of 2008. For more information on USAAA conferences, click on the following link: USAAA conferences.

 

Director of Education Development and Conference Liaison
Theresa K. Wrangham

Theresa Wrangham is the mother of an eighteen year old daughter recovering from autism and brings to the fore an experienced parent’s perspective on raising a healthy child affected by ASD and the benefits of advocacy outside family needs. Ms. Wrangham is the Past President and Co-Founder of Autism Society of Boulder County, which was the first ASA chapter to bring a biomedical and behavioral conference to Colorado’s autism community. Ms. Wrangham also spearheaded Colorado’s legislative efforts to ban mercury containing vaccines in favor of vaccines meeting federal safety guidelines. She is President for SafeMinds, currently serves on the US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA) Advisory Panel and is their Director of Educational Development and Conference Liaison, as well as serving on the Advisory Board for the American Medical Autism Board and has been featured in national radio and news interviews.

 
richard dunieSecretary/Treasurer
Richard Dunie
, MBA, CPA
Mr. Dunie is an Assistant Professor in the Accounting and Information Systems Departments at the David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah. In addition to teaching accounting to undergraduate and graduate students, he teaches an introductory course in which students have the opportunity to read a collection of classic readings on various topics related to business, commerce, and economics. Before coming to the University of Utah, he spent fifteen years working in the oil industry in a variety of accounting and financial analysis positions. He completed several years of graduate study at the University of Utah and recently received a Masters in Philosophy. He was also Treasurer and a member of the Board of Directors of the Heritage Academy in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Mr. Dunie is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the American Accounting Association. He has son who will attend college in the fall of 2007. His son was diagnosed with nonspecific developmental delay at the age of four.
Chief Medical Officer
Phillip DeMio, MD

Dr. DeMio is board-certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He received his M.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine with honors in Neurosurgery, Endocrinology/Metabolism, Advanced OB/GYN, and Advanced Internal Medicine. Dr. DeMio has been a faculty member at several teaching hospitals including Case Western University School of Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He is accredited by the Teaching System of U.S. Armed Forces Medical Core and his career includes an emphasis on toxicology.

Dr. DeMio is currently the Medical Director for the Whole Health and Wellness Centers located in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. His practice focuses on the diagnosis and treatment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. As a father of a child with autism, Dr. DeMio explains his mission to help patients reach their maximum potential through biomedical care with the philosophy, "that our children and loved ones are first and foremost in all of our treatments."

Dr. DeMio's practice includes primary care and integrative medicine/toxicology for children and adults. The Centers are the largest participant in a research program regarding the use of multiple enzyme preparations. He has also emphasized other broad issues. “We must address the immune system in every child so that this major piece of the biological aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders can be treated,” said Dr. DeMio. Ongoing research also emphasizes early diagnosis including methods to identify at-risk children before symptoms develop, along with helping families prepare for subsequent pregnancies.

 
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
 
Jay D. Burstein, MD, F.A.C.S.
Dr. Burstein is a board-certified urologist specializing in incontinence, interstitial cystitis, and prostate disorders. He was recently appointed Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine and Public Health. He is certified by the American Board of Urology and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S.). He spent more than a decade teaching medicine in Chicago-area hospitals and is now in private practice at the DeKalb Clinic in Illinois. He completed his undergraduate work at Drake University, graduating magna cum laude, and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society. He graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1979. His publications include several articles on embryology and anatomy published in urology textbooks. He has been involved with bladder suspension modifications since the introduction of that procedure in the Midwest in 1984. Dr. Burstein is a past president of the local American Cancer Society Chapter. As a parent of a child with disabilities, his interest in the area of ASD grew, and he teamed up with Dr. Kaplan as editor of "Diagnosis Autism: Now What? 10 Steps to Improve Treatment Outcomes." Dr. Burstein is now finding new ways to help parents of children with disabilities find urological solutions.
 
The Honorable Michael B. Hyman
Michael B. Hyman is a Judge in Cook County, Illinois. He is a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer with 25 years’ experience in complex and class action litigation. During Mr. Hyman’s practice, he focused on antitrust, securities (shareholder and derivative), consumer fraud, and mass tort matters. He has also tried complex contract and commercial actions and has been involved in antitrust counseling. Mr. Hyman is past president of the prominent 22,000 member Chicago Bar Association. He received his journalism degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism (with honors). Mr. Hyman is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was on the advisory board of Special Abilities, Inc., a non-profit charitable organization helping special needs children. He and his wife, Leslie are the parents of two children. Their son attends college and their daughter, who has worked with many children with ASD, is working towards a Master's degree in guidance and counseling.
 
Susan Schulman, MA, CCRA
Ms. Schulman is a Certified Clinical Research Associate. She has worked for over thirty years as a medical/technical writer and clinical research coordinator for a variety of academic facilities and private businesses including the University of Utah, University of Washington, Vanderbilt University, University of Chicago and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She investigated research developments in autism and tutored an autistic child using the Lovaas method. She has written, reviewed and edited numerous clinical trials, manuscripts, and ethics committee submissions. Her publications include over forty articles on cancer therapy and management published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and other noted publications. Ms. Schulman has taught history taking skills and administered examinations to medical and physician assistant students. She has volunteered for a number of non-profit organizations, including the University of Utah. Her greatest joy is being a mom to her two fantastic children, a 24-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter.
 
The USAAA advisory board is divided into two areas: a scientific advisory board and an autism community advisory board.
ADVISORY BOARD (SCIENTIFIC)
David Berger, MD
Dr David is a Board Certified Pediatrician who specializes in holistic pediatric primary care, nutritional and detoxification therapies for autism, ADHD and related disorders and immune dysregulation. He graduated from The Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1994 and did his Pediatric Residency at the University of South Florida. He started using holistic therapies at the Tampa General Hospital Pediatric Clinic during his residency. He has served as the team doctor for Tampa Catholic High School, the Medical Director for a summer camp run by the Tampa AIDS Network, and the Medical Liaison for the Palm Beach County Breast Feeding Task Force. He has been in private practice since 1997, and in 2005 he opened Wholistic Pediatrics in Tampa, Florida. Dr. David has been an advanced Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) Doctor since 1999.
 
Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA
Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, has dedicated over 25 years to the study and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Through her research, curriculum development and treatment implementation Dr. Granpeesheh helped demonstrate the effectiveness of intensive, early Applied Behavior Analysis intervention. Dr. Granpeesheh earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from UCLA in 1990, and was licensed by the Medical Board of California in 1992. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In 1990, Dr. Granpeesheh founded The Center for Autism and Related Disorders CARD), and through its fourteen offices she has helped thousands of children affected by Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and PDD-NOS. CARD services include assessments, supervision, parent/teacher training, and one-on-one behavioral therapy. Through Dr. Granpeesheh’s vision of helping as many individuals with autism as possible, CARD has become an industry leader in administering effective multi-disciplinary treatment plans. Dr. Granpeesheh is also on staff at Thoughtful House Center for Children, located in Austin, Texas.
 
kartzinelJerry Kartzinel, MD, FAAP

Dr Jerry Kartzinel is Board Certified pediatrician and a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics.  He specializes in the recovery of neurodevelopmental and chronic inflammatory diseases in children. His practice is Pediatric Partners of Ponte Vedra and is located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. After receiving his medical degree at St Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his residency in pediatric medicine in the Air Force.  Following Desert Storm, Dr Kartzinel practiced general pediatrics in private practice for 10 years until his fourth boy was diagnosed with Autism.

A nationally recognized speaker on children’s health issues, Dr. Kartzinel has presented medical interventions that work to improve the lives of children who suffer from many types of medical conditions that include: autism, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, and sleep cycle disruptions.  He regularly teaches Continuing Medical Education courses on Children’s Health issues to physicians and other health professionals. His clinical approach is to treat the whole child by carefully obtaining a full and complete history and based on this history, obtaining very detailed laboratory evaluations.  Based on these results, individualized plans are implemented integrating the very latest medical interventions that include both traditional and complimentary medicine approaches.

 
Stan Kurtz
Stan Kurtz is dad to 5-year-old Ethan, who recovered from an autism diagnosis. Stan recovered himself from ADHD and IBS while he was working on therapies for his son. Stan has presented at the USAAA 2006 International Conference and the DAN! Conference, and he is one of a few parent-researchers to present and attend the DAN! Think Tank and contribute to the DAN! Physician's and Nurse’s training. Stan innovated the MB12 Nasal Spray therapy, and his research continues to highlight the collective relationship between viruses, fungus, bacteria and mercury in children with autism. He moderates the Yahoo! autism parent group MB12Valtrex, which focuses on antiviral and Nasal Spray MB12 therapies. Stan has published many recovery videos including a groundbreaking video of a 23 year old with ADHD attached to an EEG showing a lack of brainwave synchronicity that recovers in minutes after taking MB12 Nasal Spray. Stan and Dr. Richard Deth, PhD, are working with UCLA on a study of MB12 Nasal Spray for ADHD. Stan also has a grant from the Autism Research Institute to study MB12 Nasal Spray. Stan is the radio host of "From the Children’s Corner" on Autism One and is the owner of Children's Corner School in Van Nuys, California, a unique school that includes special needs children in the classroom and focuses on research and health as a foundation for child development. Stan is also the Co-Chairman of Hand in Hand Child and Family Development Center in Encino, California, a Regional Center Provider for Speech, Occupational, Physical, and Behavioral Therapies.
 
Woody McGinnis, MD
Dr. McGinnis was educated at Dartmouth College and the University of Colorado. After volunteer medical work in rural Peru, he practiced general medicine in Arizona for many years. In 1995, Dr. McGinnis began studying nutritional influences on behavior in order to help his own son, Ryan. Nutritional treatment of autism and other behavioral disorders became the primary focus of his practice, and since 1998 he has lectured frequently on the behavioral effects of nutrition, toxins and emotional stress. In 2001, Dr. McGinnis committed to full-time research.Dr. McGinnis currently coordinates brain studies in autism at three universities: Harvard, Case Western Reserve University, and Berkeley. An immediate objective is to determine the oxidative signature in brain of autistic subjects and compare it to the oxidative signature in animals exposed to toxins. He coordinates another study at the Groden Center and UMDNJ/Rutgers examining the effect of relaxation therapy on urinary isoprostane levels.Dr. McGinnis organized the Oxidative Stress in Autism Symposium at the Institute for Basic Research in NY 2005. He is the Special Editorial Adviser to the upcoming 2007 issue of American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology dedicated to autism.
 
James Neubrander, MD
Dr. James Neubrander is board certified in Environmental Medicine with special interests in heavy metals folate/B-12 biochemistry, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and QEEG (Quantitative EEG).  He practices in Edison, NJ, where he dedicates ninety-fice percent of his time to patients seeking the biomedical approach to autistic spectrum disorders. He is the originator of the use of injectable methylcobalamin, and since 2002, he has monitored between one-half million to one million doses of methyl-B12 in his clinic for children on the autism spectrum. He has also documented the benefits seen in over 30,000 hours of hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. As a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Brain Research Foundation, he is currently involved in several clinical and scientific studies with various leaders in the field who deal with neurodevelopmental and neurocognitive disorders with children and adults on the autism spectrum.He is a co-author of the study entitled Metabolic biomarkers of increased oxidative stress and impaired methylation capacity in children with autism, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004.
 
Susan Owens , MAIS, RA
Since completing her masters degree at the University of Texas in Dallas, Susan Owens has lectured internationally and has also presented at the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health.  Susan has focused on finding the basic science that tells us how the sulfur system works: how it is integrated, how it matures, and how it interacts with other systems and what it does in neurodevelopment. Oxalates appear to be part of the sulfur system, but their role outside the well-characterized role of binding to calcium and incidentally forming kidney stones is little understood. As a member of the Defeat Autism Now! Thinktank (a project of the Autism Research Institute), she continually dialogues with physicians and scientists who treat children with autism.  She also consults with sulfur scientists and other basic scientists who are on the cutting edge of their field, encouraging them to study autism. Susan Owens does extensive analysis of labwork, specializing in studying ratios and their meaning in the plasma amino acid tests. She has compared the findings and reference ranges from labs all over the U.S. and world on different tests, including looking at how reference ranges are calculated for urinary tests on young children. Susan Owens recently joined Husson Science Research Institute, in Bangor, Maine as a Research Associate where she will be able to accelerate research into some new areas in the basic and applied science of oxalates.
 
Dan Rossignol, MD
Dan Rossignol, M.D. received his Doctorate of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Virginia. He is the father of two children with autism, ages five and three. He is currently a staff physician at the International Child Development Resource Center. One of his clinical interests is the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) in neurodevelopment disorders, including autism. He has authored several papers on the use of HBOT in autism and other conditions. He is a medical advisor to the International Hyperbarics Association, has spoken many times on the use of HBOT in autistic individuals, and is actively involved in research on HBOT, metal toxicity, and nutritional treatments for autism.
 
Lauren W. Underwood, PhD
Dr. Lauren Underwood received her MS and PhD in biology (developmental neurobiology) from Tulane University.  Following graduation, she was awarded a National Institute of Health Post-Doctoral Training Grant Fellowship in Vision Research.  Dr. Underwood is the parent of a child recovering from autism, and as a result of this, became a health educator and biomedical consultant for families of autistic children. Dr Underwood is also employed as a Senior Staff Scientist for SSAI, Inc. supporting NASA's Earth Science Enterprise.

Dr. Underwood’s experience as a medical research scientist as well as that of a parent of an autistic child puts her in a unique position.  She has the scientific ability to interpret and explain many of the biomedical interventions in layman’s terms, giving parents a better grasp of how many treatments may work, as well as the compassion and empathy to understand the constant demands of their situation. Dr. Underwood is also a C.A.R.D., Center for Autism and Related Disorders, IRB Board member and a USAAA, US Autism and Asperger Association, Advisory Board (Scientific) member, and has a monthly radio program on Autism One Radio. She has written 7 scientific peer-reviewed journal articles, 11 abstracts and 4 web articles.

 
J. Michael Uszler, MD
J. Michael Uszler, M.D., is the Medical Director of the Nuclear Medicine Department at Saint John's Heath Center in Santa Monica, CA, the Medical Director at Santa Monica Imaging & Therapy Associates, Inc., and Assistant Clinical Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA. Dr. Uszler has been actively involved in SPECT imaging of all body areas for 20 years, with a particular focus on the brain since 1992. His expertise includes quantitative regional brain imaging for normal and abnormal comparisons, for evaluation of both anatomic and functional brain disorders, and for the effects of therapeutic interventions as part of the healing process. Dr. Uszler's most recent emphasis is on "Autism- you'll never see it the same way again", i.e. using SPECT imaging to look at brain regional function patterns in autistic individuals. His work also includes cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, ADHD, stroke and dementia, and in using SPECT brain function imaging to follow the course of various therapies, including medications and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Dr. Uszler received the U.S. Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service. He also received the Hofmeister Award for Excellence in Study and Clinical Performance in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Graduating Senior Award, Marquette School of Medicine.
 
Kurt N. Woeller, DO
Dr. Woeller is an osteopathic physician who specializes in traditional osteopathic medicine, cranial osteopathy and integrative medicine. His primary focus is providing and researching various biomedical treatments for children (and adults) with autism-spectrum disorders. Dr. Woeller is a member of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and an active DAN! (Defeat Autism Now) referral physician since 1998. He holds advanced certification in functional medicine from BioHealth Diagnostics, and is currently the medical director for Stillpoint Center for Integrative Medicine, a multi-faceted health clinic in Temecula, CA. Dr. Woeller is also the Autism Outreach Clinical Director for The Great Plains Laboratory outreach clinics and works as a consulting physician with Great Plains Laboratory and BioHealth Diagnostics. He continues to teach other physicians through seminars and individual training regarding the assessment and treatment of patients with chronic illness. Dr. Woeller is a graduate of the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM) in Maine in 1995. After completing his postgraduate training in 1996 from Mesa General Hospital in Arizona he returned to San Diego, CA to begin private practice. He currently lives and practices in Temecula, CA. Dr. Woeller is licensed from the Osteopathic Medical Board of California as an Osteopathic Physician.
 
ADVISORY BOARD (AUTISM COMMUNITY)
 
Jennie Gibson
Jennie L. Gibson is the Associate Director of the Utah Parent Center, which is Utah's federally funded parent training and information center (PTI). Prior to becoming involved with raising a family, she graduated from Brigham Young University and taught English in the public schools. Life took an unexpected turn when her second child, Louisa, began to manifest autistic characteristics. Jennie became very involved volunteering one day per week in Louisa's program helping to provide Lovaas training to the other children in the preschool. She also became involved in the Utah Society for Autistic Children, later called the Autism Society of Utah and served as president of that organization. In 1984, she became one of the original employees of the Utah Parent Center. Her daughter, Louisa, eventually was the first girl in Utah diagnosed with Rett Syndrome and always required a great deal of care. She died at the age of eleven. Jennie also has children who have had needs related to Guillian Barre Syndrome, learning disabilities, and ADHD. She is currently on the board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Utah. Jennie has a strong interest in and hope for research that will result in better information to help children on the autism spectrum.
 
Valerie Herskowitz, MA, CCC-SLP
Ms. Herskowitz's career as a speech pathologist has spanned the past 30 years. Since 1981, as owner of Dimensions Therapy Center, she has been providing private therapy services and special family outings to the families in the South Florida area. Ms. Herskowitz is the President of the National Autism Registry, a non-profit organization. She was awarded the Stevie Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 for her work with autistic and special needs children. Ms. Herskowitz is also an international speaker on the subject of Computer-Based Intervention (CBI) and technology with special needs individuals. She is also the author of the upcoming book, Autism and Computers: Maximizing Independence Through Technology. Her youngest son, Blake, was diagnosed in 1993 with autism. Being both a parent to Blake as well as a therapist has given Ms. Herskowitz the opportunity to reach out and help families deal with the unique problems that they face in parenting a child with autism. Ms. Herskowitz is on the advisory board of US Autism & Asperger Association.
 
Raun K. Kaufman, CEO of the Autism Treatment Center of America™, will provide concrete, bold strategies you can implement now for your child’s immediate gain. As a child, Mr. Kaufman was diagnosed with severe autism and recommended for lifelong institutionalization. Instead, his parents developed The Son-Rise Program, which enabled their son to completely recover from his autism. Now an international speaker and Ivy League graduate with a degree in Biomedical Ethics, Mr. Kaufman bears no traces of his former condition. Raun's story was recounted by his father, Barry Neil Kaufman, in the best-selling book Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues, and was also the subject of an award-winning NBC television movie, Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love. His lecture focuses on some innovative, outside-the-box techniques you can use today to help your child: move beyond stimming (without you stopping or discouraging your child’s behavior), learn new skills (without you having to push or pressure), and, most especially, to form meaningful, caring relationships with others.
 
Shannon Kenitz
Degreed in psychology, Shannon is the Executive Director of the International Hyperbaric Association, a non-profit association that promotes hyperbaric oxygen therapy through education and research. Shannon knows firsthand the heartbreak and struggles of having a child with a disability. Her youngest daughter, Grace, was diagnosed with a very rare mitochondrial disorder that kept her in the hospital virtually for the first three years of her life. Grace more recently has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Shannon did not accept the recommendation to cease life-prolonging measures. And because of that, Grace progressed to feed herself, recover from blindness, and at almost 7-years old, walk for the first time unassisted on January 20, 2006. Shannon has appeared on many national media outlets including the Montel Williams Show and the CBS morning show. Grace’s story in one of national attention and has been published in over 35 print media outlets as well as being heard in Washington at the Congressional hearing on health care reform. Click here to read more about Shannon who was interviewed on AutismOne Radio in March, 2006.
 
Patricia S. Lemer, MEd, NCC, MS Bus
Ms. Lemer is co-founder and the Executive Director of Developmental Delay Resources (DDR), an international, non-profit organization integrating conventional and holistic therapies for children with developmental delays. She holds a Masters of Education in counseling and learning disabilities from Boston College and a Masters in Business from Johns Hopkins University. She is a National Certified Counselor, and practiced as an educational diagnostician for over 30 years.  Ms. Lemer lectures nationally on autism spectrum disorders. She is especially interested in helping families prioritize therapies, so as to use their financial personal resources most efficiently. Another area of Patty’s great interest is vision and the role of visual dysfunction in AD(H)D and autism.  She is the author of numerous articles.
 
Valerie Paradiz, PhD
Valerie Paradiz, PhD develops educational programs for children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), including the pioneering ASPIE School, and has been featured in the New York Times, Redbook Magazine, and The Guardian. She is the developer of Integrated Self Advocacy® (Autism Asperger Publishing Company), a curriculum and training series for educators and therapists who wish to support individuals with ASDs in achieving greater ability in self-advocacy. Valerie’s memoir, Elijah's Cup: A Family's Journey into the Community and Culture of High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome (Jessica Kingsley, 2005) is the compelling story of the author's experiences raising her autistic son, their involvement together in the advocacy community, and her own ultimate diagnosis with Asperger syndrome.

Dr. Paradiz speaks nationally and internationally on parenting strategies, improving and creating programs for individuals with ASDs, preparing for college and the college search, strengthening advocacy skills, and fostering emerging talents and focused interests. Valerie is a member of the national board of directors of the Autism Society of America (ASA), where she serves as co-chair of the Panel of Individuals on the Spectrum (PSA) and is a member of the Government Relations Committee. She is also a member of the Bankstreet College of Education’s Institute for Cognitive Diversity. In an advisory capacity, Valerie serves the US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA), Pace University’s Center for Teaching and Research in Autism (TARA) and the editorial board of The Autism File magazine. Dr. Paradiz has two books forthcoming in 2009-2010 with the Autism Asperger Publishing Company (AAPC) relating to building strong educational programs and advocacy skills for students and adults with ASDs in public and private settings. Outside the autism fields, she enjoys an active career in literary and non-fiction writing. For more information, visit www.ValerieParadiz.com.

 
stephen shoreStephen Shore, EdD
Diagnosed with "Atypical Development with strong autistic tendencies" Dr. Shore was viewed as "too sick" to be treated on an outpatient basis and recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until four, and with much help from his parents, teachers, and others, Dr. Shore recently (2008) completed his doctoral degree in special education at Boston University with a focus on helping people on the autism spectrum develop their capacities to the fullest extent possible. In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen presents and consults internationally on adult issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure as discussed in his book Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Ask and Tell: Self-advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum, and the newly released Understanding Autism for Dummies. A board member of the Autism Society of America and president emeritus of the Asperger’s Association of New England, Stephen serves for the Board of Directors for Unlocking Autism, the Autism Services Association of Massachusetts, MAAP, and the College Internship Program. Dr. Shore is on the US Autism and Asperger Association Advisory Board.
 
stephen shoreMarlo Payne Thurman, MS
Marlo Payne Thurman, M.S. is a School Psychologist and Education Consultant who obtained her Specialist Master’s degree from the University of Utah. Marlo has founded both the Center for Education Enrichment and the Brideun School for Exceptional Children located in Lafayette, Colorado. In her private practice, Marlo offers assessment, educational consultation, advocacy, cognitive therapy and social skills training. In designing, directing and administrating the Brideun School, Marlo has created an alternative model of therapeutic education that integrates strength-based learning with individualized, playful teaching allowing different-minded learners to find success. Marlo is active in education reform, researching and speaking extensively on alternative means to reach and teach children with divergent minds. She specializes in sensory-based learning and arousal. Marlo is currently working on the expansion of her models towards a franchise for new schools and therapy centers. Marlo holds board positions with Brideun Learning Worlds, The Bridge School and the nationally recognized 2E Newsletter. She has been honored for her achievements with feature articles in the New York Times, People Magazine, ADDitude Magazine, The National Special Educator and numerous local venues.
 
 
 
 

 

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