Speakers

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Rebecca Landa, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Landa is the executive and founding director and vice president of Kennedy Krieger's Center for Autism and Related Disorders. She is a professor of Psychiatry in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Landa completed post-doctoral training in Psychiatric Genetics at Johns Hopkins. She is the recipient of the NIMH Shannon Award for excellent and innovative research, as well as the Rita Rudel Prize for Developmental Neuropsychology. Dr. Landa’s research has focused on neuropsychological, learning, and communication processes in autism across the lifespan. A major emphasis of her current research is very early detection of risk for autism, and very early intervention for autism.

Websites:
Rebecca Landa, PhD
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Melissa Olive, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

After many years in higher education, Melissa Olive, PhD, BCBA-D, "Missy," founded Applied Behavioral Strategies. Missy has served on the Editorial Board of Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, Journal of Early Intervention, and Young Exceptional Children. She is a frequent guest reviewer for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Missy currently chairs the Legislative Committee for the CT Association for Behavior Analysis (CT ABA). She additionally serves on the CT ABA Board of Directors. Missy has published 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters focusing on topics related to behavior analysis including assessment and treatment of challenging behaviors, communication intervention, and feeding disorders. Missy's current professional interests relate to ethical issues in the practice of behavior analysis, using ABA to address feeding and communication intervention. She is also interested in state and federal policy related to individuals with disabilities. Missy also has a strong interest in family issues related to children with disabilities. Since 1993, she has cared for and advocated on behalf of her brother, Mac, an adult with autism, intellectual disability, and a seizure disorder.

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Cathy Pratt, PhD, BCBA-D

Dr. Cathy Pratt, BCBA-D, is the Director of the Indiana Resource Center for Autism located at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.  Most recently, Dr. Pratt has become the director of the Indiana School Mental Health Initiative. Dr. Pratt serves on numerous advisory boards, including the Advisory Boards of Maap Services, Inc., the Temple Grandin/Eustacia Cutler Autism Fund, the Autism Society of Indiana and the College Internship Program.  In the past, she served on the Board of the national Autism Society and is a Past Chair.  Dr. Pratt also serves on the Panel of Professional Advisors for the Autism Society.  In addition, she is a member of the National Autism Leadership Collaboration.  She also served as a member of the expert working group on services and as a member of the public review committee for the Research Roadmap of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee and in 2010 was invited to the White House to provide feedback on the president’s initiatives on autism spectrum disorders.  Dr. Pratt has been honored by the Autism Society with the Individual Achievement Award, with the 2005 Princeton Fellowship Award, and with various awards through NYFAC (New York Families for Autistic Children, Inc.), including recognition from the United States House of Representatives.  In 2008, Dr. Pratt was awarded with the Distinguished Service Award by the Indiana Council of Administrators of Special Education.  Dr. Pratt was the Shibles Distinguished Visiting Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Maine. In 2016, Dr. Pratt was awarded with the Charles Heineman Allied Professional Award through the Indiana Psychological Association.  She writes and presents internationally on the following topics: autism spectrum disorders, functional behavior assessment/positive behavior supports, applied behavior analysis, instructional approaches, evidence-based practices, systems change, and policy.

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Caitlin Conner, PhD

Caitlin Conner, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  She attended the University of Pittsburgh for her undergraduate, Virginia Tech for her master's and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, and completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at the University of Colorado at Denver School of Medicine.  Her research is specialized in assessment and treatment of co-occurring emotional and psychiatric diagnoses in children, adolescents, and adults on the autism spectrum. She is particularly interested in the application of mindfulness- and acceptance-based therapies for treatment in ASD, and is a co-author of the Emotion Awareness and Skills Enhancement (EASE) program, which is currently being studied in a randomized-controlled trial.

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Mallory Finn, Esq

Mallory Finn is a staff attorney at Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law), a community-based program of the Maryland Center for Developmental Disabilities at Kennedy Krieger Institute. Project HEAL is Maryland’s only comprehensive medical-legal partnership, which provides advocacy and legal services for low- and moderate-income children with disabilities who receive clinical services at Kennedy Krieger.

Mallory earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Delaware and a Juris Doctor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. She interned at Project HEAL during her second and third years of law school, and started as a staff attorney in August 2014. In April 2015, Mallory received an award for dedication to her law school's public interest organization, the Maryland Public Interest Law Project. Mallory is on the board of the Collaborative Project of Maryland and the First Maryland Disability Trust. Mallory is on the development committee and is a co-chair of the membership committee for the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates. Mallory received The Daily Record’s Leading Women Award in December 2017, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities’ (AUCD) Young Professional Award in November 2017, and the Maryland Legal Services Corporation’s Rising Star Award in December 2019.

Websites:
Mallory Finn, Esq
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Roma Vasa, MD

Dr. Vasa is a developmental neuropsychiatrist and Director of Psychiatric Services at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.  Dr. Vasa oversees the Psychiatry Training Program within the CARD, sees children between the ages of 3 – 25 in her clinical practice and focuses on anxiety in children with autism spectrum disorders in her research.

Websites:
Roma Vasa, MD
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Gazi Azad, PhD

Dr. Azad is a clinical psychologist with education and training in school psychology. She concentrates on school-based mental health services research and implementation science. Her research interests are in promoting family-school partnerships for underserved children with psychiatric and developmental disabilities. A major emphasis of her work is to enhance the continuity of care received by children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Dr. Azad targets communication and collaboration between stakeholders to ensure consistent implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) across contexts and ultimately, meaningful changes in child outcomes. Her research has led to the development of Partners in School, an implementation strategy to increase use of the same EBPs across settings. The goal of Partners in School is to align parent and teacher practices, by duplicating intervention elements from school to home. Additional interests include applying the Partners in School model to improve the transition from early intervention to the school system for children with ASD.

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Lisa Ruble, PhD

Dr. Lisa Ruble is a University of Kentucky Research Professor, Professor of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, and a Licensed Psychologist at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Ruble is clinician-researcher who has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers and helped establish two outpatient programs for individuals with ASD at the University of Louisville and at Vanderbilt University. She developed and provided social skills and behavioral interventions, school consultation and training, and parent training. Her program of services and intervention research is based on these past experiences that highlighted the need for individualizing evidence-based practices to optimize outcomes of individuals with ASD across the autism spectrum. Dr. Ruble has served as a principal investigator on several NIH funded studies on COMPASS - an evidence-based student-centered and teacher coaching intervention effective for young children and transition age youth with ASD. She also studies implementation factors that can help public schools provide more effective services that lead to positive educational outcomes using COMPASS and is testing an intervention to reduce burnout and increase special education teacher wellness and retention.

Websites:
Lisa Ruble, PhD
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Nicole Eredics, BEd

Nicole Eredics is an educator who advocates for the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education classroom. She draws upon her years of experience as a full inclusion teacher to write, speak, and consult on the topic of inclusive education to various local and national organizations. Nicole uses her unique insight and knowledge to provide practical strategies for fully including and instructing students of all abilities in the classroom. She is the author of a practical new guidebook for teachers and parents called, Inclusion in Action: Practical Strategies to Modify Your Curriculum.  You can also find helpful articles, resources, and tips for inclusion on her blog, The Inclusive Class.

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Amy Gravino, MA

Amy Gravino, M.A., is Certified Autism Specialist and international speaker. As the founder and President of A.S.C.O.T Consulting, Amy offers autism consulting and college coaching services for individuals on the autism spectrum, mentoring services for young adults with autism, and professional presentations for conferences, autism events, schools, and professional development workshops. Amy has given two TED talks, spoken twice at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day (2011 and 2018), and presented to numerous audiences on a variety of topics, including autism and sexuality; issued faced by girls with ASD; growing up on the spectrum; bullying and bullying prevention; and transitioning individuals on the spectrum to higher education. Amy obtained her Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University in 2010, and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Specialisterne USA, Yes She Can, Inc., and the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, and as co-facilitator of the Morris County support group chapter of ASPEN-NJ. Amy is now authoring The Naughty Autie, a memoir of her experiences with dating, relationships, and sexuality from the firsthand perspective of a woman on the autism spectrum. For more information or to contact Amy, please visit www.AmyGravino.com. 

Websites:
Amy Gravino
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Lauren Kenworthy, PhD

Lauren Kenworthy, PhD, is Director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children’s National Health System and professor of Neurology, Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. She received a BA from Yale University and PhD from the University of Maryland. She completed her internship and residency training in clinical psychology/pediatric neuropsychology at Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital Boston, Johns Hopkins Medical School and Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital. She has been on the faculty at Children’s National and GW since 1995.

 

Dr. Kenworthy's research interests are in describing and treating the neuropsychological phenotype of autism. She is an author of more than 60 peer-reviewed publications documenting non-social deficits in autism. She is a co-author of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF), which has been used in over 1,000 research publications to document executive functioning in various clinical groups. Her recent publications have focused on the role of executive dysfunction in autism and its treatment.

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Angela Chambers, EdD

Angela Chambers, EdD, is the mom of a child with autism spectrum disorder (one of her four) and engages in advocacy with Levine and Associates on a part-time basis with the goal of assisting parents in securing the necessary services, accommodations, and program modifications to ensure their students' success. 

Dr. Angela Chambers received her doctorate in 2010 from George Washington University and earned her master's degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2004.  Her well-regarded doctoral research was in the area of "Self-Determination and Self-Efficacy Skills", focusing on nonpublic special education students.  Dr. Chambers currently serves on the Board of Directors for MANSEF (Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities), as a Commissioner for the NCASES accreditation process. and is a former board member of the Board of Directors for Woodley House.


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Jennifer Horton, LCSW-C

Jennifer L. Horton, LCSW-C, is a licensed social worker at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). Jennifer graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with her Master of Social Work with a specialization in families and children. She has been a clinical social worker at CARD since 2012. As a clinical social worker, Jennifer provides mental health evaluations, supports, and treatment planning for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Jennifer has created two social skills curricula for children and adolescents with ASD, supervises social skills programming at CARD, and co-leads the CARD social skills groups.



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Judith Atkinson, MEd

Judith Atkinson, MEd, is a clinical care coordinator at Kennedy Krieger Institute's Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). Judith graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Master of Science Degree in Special Education and worked for organizations in Baltimore, MD as a case worker. Judith spent 26 years at Kennedy Krieger Institute's Family Support Services Program before joining CARD in 2016 as a Clinical Care Coordinator II. At CARD, Judith provides support and resource services to children, adolescents, young adults, and families that include resource finding, discharge planning, functional assessments, care-coordination, and in-person supports. 

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Amy Keefer, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Amy Keefer is the supervising clinical psychologist within the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and coordinates the Post-Doctoral Residency in Clinical Child Psychology and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in the Department of Neuropsychology and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. She is an instructor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Keefer is a licensed psychologist and is board certified in cognitive and behavioral psychology.

Webpage: Amy Keefer, PhD, ABPP

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Gayland Carlisle

Gayland Carlisle is husband to Luisa and proud father of Noah, who has autism. Mr. Carlisle, seeks, through volunteerism and advocacy, to give back to the community that so much loves and nurtures his son. In addition to being a loving parent along with his wife Luisa, Mr. Carlisle serves as President of the Caroline County Special Education Citizen’s Advisory Committee (SECAC).  A committee established by the Caroline County Public School system, SECAC seeks meaningful input from parents, community partners, service providers, educators, and administrators on local issues relative to the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Mr. Carlisle is also the vice president of CASA of Caroline County, Maryland, is a member of the Board of Directors of Caroline Human Services Council (HSC). This council is specifically organized and operation for the benefit of Caroline County residents in order to improve the availability and effectiveness of support services for children and families provided by the public and private sector.In addition to Mr. Carlisle's advocacy within Caroline County, he is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Coalition of Families. 







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