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Innovation, Integration, Inspiration


Rebecca Landa, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Landa is the founder and director 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.
Rebecca Landa, PhD
John Pruett, Jr., MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Radiology, Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology, and Psychological & Brain Sciences, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Karin Lifter, PhD
Chairperson and Professor
Department of Applied Psychology
Bouvé College of Health Sciences
Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Karin Lifter, PhD
Ty Vernon, PhD, BCBA-D
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Counseling, Clinical & School Psychology; Director, Koegel Autism Center Assessment Clinic; University of California Santa Barbara
Daniel Hoover, PhD, ABPP
Board Certified Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist, Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress, Kennedy Krieger Institute; Instructor, Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Hoover is a board certified clinical child and adolescent psychologist at the Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress (CCFTS) at Kennedy Krieger Institute and holds a faculty position in the department of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He founded and directs the Horizons Clinic, a team of clinicians treating children with co-occurring developmental disorders and trauma symptoms. He is active in research on the intersection between autism and trauma, conducting studies on trauma prevalence, modified treatment protocols, and creative assessment tools for children with autism. He also directs doctoral and postdoctoral psychology training at CCFTS.
Mary Beth Doyle, PhD
Professor of Education
St. Michael’s College
Colchester, Vermont
Deborah Crawford, MS, CCC-SLP
SLP Manager
Center for Autism and Related Disorders
Kennedy Krieger Institute

Deborah is the SLP Manager for CARD Outpatient Clinic. In addition to her supervisory responsibilities, she participates on diagnostic evaluation teams, conducts individual speech-language evaluations, and provides treatment in the clinic. Deborah graduated from Towson University with a master of science in Speech Language Pathology. She worked in the Baltimore County public school system before joining the KKI Center for Autism and Related Disorders in 2008. Deborah joined CARD as a research coordinator on a study investigating the developmental trajectories of children with autism compared to typically developing children and children with Specific Language Impairments. She has served as a clinical reviewer for the CDC funded Autism and Developmental Disabilities monitoring system (ADDM). Deborah is a board-certified speech pathologist in the state of Maryland and maintains her Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association.
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Deepa Menon, MD
Assistant Medical Director, Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute
Assistant Professor in the Neurology and Neurodevelopmental Medicine Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute
Board certified pediatrician with specialization in Child Neurology and Neuro Developmental Medicine. Experienced clinician trained at premier medical institutions such as the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Cook County Children's Hospital.
Deepa Menon, MD
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Anna Maria Wilms Floet, MD, FAAP
Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrician
Department of Neurology and Developmental Medicine
Center for Development and Learning
Center for Autism and Related Disorders
Kennedy Krieger Institute

Assistant Professor Department of Pediatrics
John Hopkins School of Medicine
Rachael Plotkin, PhD
Pediatric Neuropsychologist
Department of Neuropsychology
Center for Autism & Related Disorders
Kennedy Krieger Institute

Dr. Plotkin received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Gallaudet University and completed her pre-doctoral internship training at Children's Hospital Colorado. After receiving her doctorate, Dr. Plotkin completed a post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
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Christine Hess, PhD
Christine Reiner Hess, Ph.D. is a research psychologist at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders. She completed her doctorate in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Dr. Hess is a licensed psychologist in Maryland. Her areas of expertise are in child development and assessment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related disorders in young children. One of her research interests involves developmental processes related to temperament in infants and toddlers at high and low risk for ASD. She has over 17 years of experience in working with children with ASD and/or other developmental difficulties through a combination of research and clinical practice. Dr. Hess has worked on Dr. Landa’s research team since 2005. She conducts research assessments of children participating in a study to advance earlier detection of ASD for children at high and low genetic risk for ASD as well as conducts assessments of children participating in intervention studies.
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Beth Ann Shaeffer, MEd
Beth Ann Shaeffer, MEd, is a parent of a child on the autism spectrum. She has experience as a special educator, first grade teacher, and assistant principal in Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Beth Ann has served as a professional development school site coordinator where she provided numerous in-service trainings and has been a participant on multiple panels discussing early screening, diagnosis and intervention.
Barbara Howard, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics,
The Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine
Active Staff, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Active Staff, Franklin Square Hospital Pediatrician, Pediatric Practice at Franklin Square
Barbara Howard, MD
Tody Hairston-Fuller, MS
Coordinator of Evaluation and Assessment
The Baltimore City Health Department/The Baltimore Infants and Toddlers Program
Erin Barton, PhD, BCBA-D
Assistant Professor
Department of Special Education
Vanderbilt University

Erin E. Barton, PhD, BCBA-D, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. She teaches courses in Early Childhood Special Education on evidence-based assessment and intervention practices for young children with disabilities and their families and single case research design. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has worked with children and families in homes, schools, and clinics. She directs research projects related to evidence–based practices for young children, policies and practices that support high quality inclusion, and effective professional development systems. Dr. Barton serves on several editorial boards and is an active scholar with over 50 publications in major journals, multiple chapters, and three textbooks related to evidence-based practices in ECSE.
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Sheila Danaher, MSEd
Sheila Danaher, MSEd, is Assistant Principal and Inclusion Facilitator at John J. Audubon School, Chicago Public Schools, where she has worked for more than 20 years. She has also served as a special education teacher and an inclusion facilitator. Her areas of expertise include inclusive schooling, curricular adaptations, and autism. Since 2003, Sheila has supported students with autism in an inclusive setting with support from The Gust Foundation, a private organization that partners with Chicago Public Schools. Sheila has completed many certification trainings including Relationship Development Intervention, which she has used in her work as a consultant for families and school districts in the Chicago area.
Sheila Danaher
Catherine Davies, MEd, MSC, CPsychol, LMHC
Catherine Davies is an Educational Consultant at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism at Indiana University. She speaks regularly on the topics of Structured Teaching, Visual Supports and Relationship Issues for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Catherine also provides consultative support to school districts and families across Indiana. Catherine has over 25 years experience working with children and adults with ASD and was a special education teacher, school psychologist and clinical psychologist in the UK. Since relocating to the US Catherine worked as a Psycho-educational Therapist in the TEACCH program supporting people with ASD and has had a private practice as an Autism and Structured Teaching Consultant.

Catherine is the co-author of ‘Intimate Relationships and Sexual Health: A Curriculum for Teaching Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Social Challenges.’ A book that utilizes evidence based teaching strategies and covers many of the areas outlined in the National Sexuality Education Standards (2012).
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Benjamin and Malva Tarasewicz
MALVA TARASEWICZ, DMA is first and foremost a mother—her autistic son Benjamin has long been the focus of her creative energies. Now, Benjamin is a young adult with a talent for public speaking, and Malva has teamed up with him, creating presentations about living with autism which educate while also inspiring others to overcome their personal challenges.

Malva has authored an award-winning book titled, Benjamin Breaking Barriers: Autism – A Journey of Hope. She maintains a collaborative blog (authored by her and Benjamin); further information can be found at Malva has a doctoral degree and is a seasoned educator and professional musician. She has also been her son’s primary therapist throughout his life, and is passionate about sharing strategies for creative and enlivened teaching.