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Speakers & Panelists


USAAA assembles several of the world's most renowned experts that focus on ways to improve the quality of life for the affected individuals and their families and caregivers by conducting presentations and panel workshops in the areas of medical interventions, research, behavioral and developmental therapies, nutrition, and family issues. It is attended by Parents, Health Care Professionals, Caretakers, Educators and anyone who wants to learn more about services and treatment for children living with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, ADD, ADHD and other learning disabilities.
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Here is a snapshot of speakers and panelists. You can learn more about the speaker or panelist by clicking on their name or scrolling down the page.

Daniel J. Copes, PhC, MS*: Panelist - Auditory Program Specialist
Eustacia Purves Cutler*: Keynote - Playwright, Author and mother of Dr. Temple Grandin
Phillip C. DeMio, MD*: Presenter and Panelist - Physician, International Speaker
Alex Doman: Panelist - Author and Founder of Advanced Brain Technologies
Jeffrey E. Foster, MS: Panelist - Licensed Individual, Marriage and Family Therapist
Sara Gardner**: Panelist - Self-Advocate, Parent Teacher, Coach, and School Consultant
Kristin Selby Gonzalez*: Panelist - Parent Advocate, National Speaker, Sensory Integration Specialist
Christopher M. Gauthiér, MFA*: Panelist - Parent Advocate, Self-Advocate, College Professor
Joe Cunningham*: Panelist - Parent Advocate
Kathryn Greenslade, MS, CCC-SLP: Doctoral Student, University of Washington
Elaine Hall*: Presenter and Panelist - Author, Writer, Founder of The Miracle Project, Parent Advocate
Devin Houston, PhD: Panelist - Biochemist, Scientific Consultant, and former College Professor
Diane Isaacs*: Presenter and Panelist - Author, co-founder of The Miracle Project, Parent Advocate
Lawrence P. Kaplan, PhD*: Moderator - Founder of US Autism & Asperger Association, Author
Jerry J. Kartzinel, MD, FAAP*: Presenter and Panelist- Physician, NY Times Best Selling Author
Raun K. Kaufman**: Presenter and Panelist - Speaker, Writer, Teacher and CEO of Early Intervention Program
Kimberly Mathai, MS, RD, CDE: Panelist - Author, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator
Kinnon McDonell*: Panelist - Parent Advocate
Michael McManmon, EdD**: Panelist - Licensed Psychologist, CEO of College Internship Program, Self-Advocate
James A. Neubrander, MD, FAAEM: Presenter and Panelist - Physician, International Speaker
Kimberly K. Ortloff, JD*: Panelist - Special Needs Attorney
Tim Page**: Presenter/Panelist, College Professor in Music & Journalism, Awarded Pulitzer Prize, Self-Advocate
James W. Partington, PhD, BCBA: Presenter and Panelist - Licensed Psychologist and BCBA-D
Eric Peacock: Panelist - General Manager of MyAutismTeam
JaLynn Prince*: Presenter and Panelist - President and founder of Madison House Foundation
Isabelle Sarikahan**: Panelist - Self-Advocate, Geologist for State of Washington
Greg Schell, MEd: Panel Moderator for Fathers Panel - Director of Washington State Fathers Network
Stephen M. Shore, EdD**: Presenter and Panelist - College Professor, International Speaker, Self-Advocate
William Shaw, PhD*: Presenter and Panelist - International Speaker, Researcher and Chemist
Alex Silverman*: Panelist - Parent Advocate
Gary A. Stobbe, MD: Panelist - Physician, Clinical Professor
Marlo Payne Thurman, MS: Presenter - National Speaker, School Psychologist and Education Consultant
Benjamin Wahl, MSW: Panelist - Founder of the Ryther Outdoor Leadership Program (now Aspiring Youth)
Theresa K. Wrangham*: Moderator - Parent Advocate, Executive Director for NVIC

*Parent of a child affected by autism
**As a child or as an adult, diagnosed with autism or Asperger's Syndrome


Featured Speakers


cutlerEustacia Purves Cutler is the mother of four children. Her oldest child is Dr. Temple Grandin, who is one of the most accomplished and well-known adults with autism in the world. Temple's fascinating life was brought to the screen in 2010 in the HBO production full-length film, "Temple Grandin", which claimed seven Emmy Awards, including outstanding made for TV movie. Last year, British actress Julia Ormond presented Eustacia Cutler the 2010 Emmy Award she received for portraying her in the movie "Temple Grandin." The award was presented to Mrs. Cutler at a conference hosted by Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services in Los Angeles.

Ormond, who participated in the conference to officially present Cutler the Baron Inspiration Award, stated, "I know that as a young woman Eustacia Cutler's dream was to be an actress. She put aside her own dream and sacrificed everything for her children. Knowing Eustacia as I do, I believe she would have been an incredible actress. Instead, she played the most important role a woman can play in life... that of a loving and caring mother and, for that, I want her to have my Emmy."

Eustacia is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in English literature.. She has been a band singer at the Pierre Hotel, New York City, performed and written for theater and cabaret, and written documentaries on disabilities for major television networks.

She has used her experiences with autism to write past television productions, such as: The Innocents, The Disquieted and Teachers Guides to Television, a production of NBC-TV. In addition Eustacia has integrated her creative theatrical knowledge to write Lydia and Secret. Eustacia is affiliated with the Dramatics Guild, Actors Equity Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women/NY, and the New York Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts and Media. Eustacia continues to write and had dedicated a vast amount of energy into writing and sharing her personal experiences with her daughter’s autism. She tours all over the world speaking at conferences on the subject of autism. Eustacia resides in New York City.

Her current book, “A Thorn in My Pocket” is Eustacia Cutler's story of raising her daughter, Temple Grandin, in the conservative "Leave-it-to-Beaver" world of the fifties, a time when children with autism were routinely diagnosed as 'infant schizophrenics' and banished to institutions. She tells of her fight to keep Temple in the mainstream of family, community and school life, how Temple responded and went on to succeed, as Ms. Cutler puts it, 'beyond my wildest dreams'. Ms. Cutler also explores the nature of the autism disorder as doctors understand it today, and how its predominant characteristics reflect our own traits in an exaggerated form.


Phillip C. DeMio, MD 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. Dr. DeMio is Chief Medical Officer for US Autism & Asperger Association and the Executive Director for the American Medical Autism Board. More...


Elaine Hall is founder and president of The Miracle Project. The principles of The Miracle Project are based on Elaine Hall, fondly known as “Coach E” and her 25 years of teachings. They combine the methods her own professional coaching; and her learning’s from Dr. Stanley Greenspan and other well renowned autism experts. More importantly her insight and focus comes from what Elaine has learned from her own son, Neal, adopted as a toddler from a Russian Orphanage and diagnosed with autism at age three.

The New York Times references Elaine Hall, as the “Child Whisperer,” based on this extraordinary and compelling theater arts program that she innovated for children of all abilities. She is the subject of the two time Emmy Award winning HBO documentary Autism: The Musical and has appeared on CNN, CBS News, Oprah Radio and featured in The LA Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Elaine is a cast member in the role of Ms. Quinlan of the new movie, Fly Away, produced and directed by Janet Grillo. She is the author of Now I See the Moon: A Mother, a Son, a Miracle (released in 2010) and co-author of the soon to be released Seven Keys to Unlock Autism: Making Miracles in the Classroom (Nov. 1, 2011). Elaine lives in Santa Monica, CA, with the two loves of her life, her teenage son, Neal and her husband Jeff, a Play Therapist. Elaine is on the US Autism & Asperger Association Advisory Board. More...


Diane Isaacs is co-founder and creative director of The Miracle Project. Diane is a Film & Television Producer with over 20 years of industry experience. As President of Green Moon Productions, a film company she co-founded with Antonio Banderas, Diane produced the Emmy-nominated HBO historical drama “And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself”, “Imagining Argentina” with Academy-Award winner Emma Thompson, and Antonio Banderas directorial debut in “Crazy In Alabama” among many others.

Diane was first introduced to Elaine Hall when her son Wyatt became a part of The Miracle Project’s 2nd production. Her experience in content development, writing, production, music, film, marketing and overall producing was a perfect fit to fulfill The Miracle Project’s diverse platforms. Diane is proud to have produced the benefit album FLY: INTO AUTISM bringing together the celebrity talents of Chaka Kahn, Jack Black, Stephen Stills, Holly Robinson Peete, Kenny Babyface” Edmonds, David Lawrence (High School Musical, composer), Tisha Campbell-Martin, Taylor ParksS and Kyra Sedgwick to name a few along with the magical talents of children with autism. She also produced, directed and edited the 7 DVD series Unlocking the World of Autism 7 Keys to Becoming Miracle Minded, a practical program directed at the medical and dental professional. Diane is co-author of the soon to be released Seven Keys to Unlock Autism: Making Miracles in the Classroom (Nov. 1, 2011).

Diane is a world-class athlete, competing in numerous IRONMAN competitions. She is also a certified Yoga teacher and believes in the balance of cardio strength and flexibility. She is a nutritionist and raw vegan expert which she incorporates in the whole mind body awareness approach to living and working with autism. Her experience as a mother of a son with autism continues to direct her heart. More...


kartinelJerry J. Kartzinel, MD, FAAP is a Board Certified pediatrician and a Fellow in the American Academy of Pediatrics. He specializes in the recovery of neurodevelopmental, chronic neuro-inflammatory diseases, and hormonal dysfunctions. 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 and New York Times Best Selling Author, Dr. Kartzinel has presented medical interventions that work to improve the lives of his patients who suffer from many types of medical conditions that include: autism, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, sleep cycle disruptions, and hormonal imbalances. He regularly teaches Continuing Medical Education courses on children's health issues to physicians and other health professionals.

Dr. Kartzinel's clinical approach is to treat the whole patient by carefully obtaining a full and complete history and based on this history, obtaining very detailed laboratory evaluations. Individualized plans are implemented integrating the very latest medical interventions that include both traditional and complimentary medicine approaches. More...


kaufmanRaun K. Kaufman is an international speaker, writer and teacher for The Son-Rise Program® at the Autism Treatment Center of America™. In his work with families, children, and professionals from around the world, Mr. Kaufman brings a distinctive qualification to the realm of Autism treatment—his own personal history.

At 18 months, Raun was diagnosed as severely and incurably autistic. Although advised to institutionalize Raun, his parents, authors/teachers Samahria and Barry Neil Kaufman, instead created an innovative home-based, child-centered program in an effort to reach their son. Their work, which developed into a unique methodology now known as The Son-Rise Program®, enabled Raun to recover completely from his autism, transforming him from a mute, withdrawn child with a tested I.Q. of less than 30 into an outgoing, social boy with a near-genius I.Q. 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.

After graduating from an Ivy League university (Brown University) with a degree in Biomedical Ethics, Raun K. Kaufman continued his professional development as the director of an educational center for school-aged children as well as a presenter and lecturer at conferences and symposia worldwide. Now, Mr. Kaufman works at the Autism Treatment Center of America™ and is an integral member of The Son-Rise Program® that began with him. Raun is on the US Autism & Asperger Association Advisory Board. Raun is working on a new book that will be released later this year. More...


neubranderJames A. Neubrander, MD, FAAEM is the Medical Director of Road to Recovery Clinic that specializes in neurodevelopmental and autism spectrum disorders. He is the former Medical Director of the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center. In addition, he is the former Medical Director of autism research for the International Brain Research Foundation.

Dr. Neubrander serves on the American Medical Autism Board, the US Autism & Asperger Association, the Defeat Autism Now European Division, India's UDAAN for the Disabled and Autism Project, and the International Hyperbaric Association. He served on the scientific councils for the International Brain Research Foundation. He has also been a member of the Autism Research Institute Think Tank since the mid '90s. Since the mid 1990's Dr. Neubrander has treated over 4000 individuals on the autism spectrum. He is known as the Father of Methyl-B12 and the innovator of HBOT protocols used to treat children with autism and other disorders.

Dr. Neubrander received his M.D. degree from Loma Linda University in 1975. He completed his residency in pathology at the University of South Florida and is board certified in Environmental Medicine. Currently he is in private practice in New Jersey where he dedicates the majority of his time treating children with autism spectrum disorders, ADD, ADHD, and other neurodevelopmental and learning disorders. He has been trained in QEEG and LORETA-based neurofeedback protocol development for neurodevelopmental and autism spectrum disorders. In his private practice he specializes in the use of multiple biomedical treatments involving those that include, but that are not limited to methylcobalamin therapy, hyperbaric oxygen, heavy metal detoxification, nutritional medicine, allergy treatment including desensitization, environmental medicine, and preventive medicine including preventive prenatal care.

Dr. Neubrander travels much of each year as a key speaker at national and international conferences and symposiums. He has lectured extensively throughout the United States and has spoken in Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, France, Italy, India, Japan, China, and Australia. He has participated in physician training courses in the United States and Australia. His lectures are scientific and evidence-based while energetic and easy to understand and remember. They often emphasize newer treatments or modifications of established protocols that appear to enhance clinical outcomes beyond the results classically reported by parents, teachers, and therapists. He is the coauthor of several peer-reviewed articles, has been interviewed and filmed for many documentaries as well as for multiple TV spots, has been referenced in many books written about autism, nutrition, and environmental medicine, and has been quoted innumerable times by scientists, researchers, clinicians, and lay persons, most notably for methylcobalamin, hyperbaric oxygen, and heavy metal detoxification. More...


tim pageTim Page is a professor at both the Thornton School of Music and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Page won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1997 for his writings about music in The Washington Post, where he has held the position of chief classical music critic since 1995. Prior to coming to the Post, he served as the chief music critic for Newsday and as a music and cultural writer for The New York Times. During his years in New York, he was the host of an afternoon program on WNYC-FM that broadcast interviews with hundreds of composers and musicians, including Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson, Dizzy Gillespie, Philip Glass, Meredith Monk and Steve Reich. An interview with Glenn Gould, comparing the pianist's two versions of Bach's Goldberg Variations, was released as part of a three-CD set entitled A State of Wonder in 2002 that became a surprise best-seller.

In 1993, Page conceived and then served as the first executive producer for BMG Catalyst, a short-lived record label devoted to new and unusual music. Projects included "Spiked," an album of music by Spike Jones with liner notes by Thomas Pynchon; "Memento Bittersweet," an album of music by Chris DeBlasio, Kevin Oldham, Lee Gannon and other HIV-positive composers; "Night of the Mayas," the first CD devoted entirely to orchestral works by Silvestre Revueltas, Mexico's leading composer; two solo recital discs by violinist Maria Bachmann and several others. Page has also produced concerts at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to New York's once-infamous Mudd Club. From 1999 to 2001, he was the artistic advisor and creative chair for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

His books include The Glenn Gould Reader (Alfred A. Knopf, 1984), Selected Letters of Virgil Thomson (Summit, 1988), William Kapell: A Documentary Life History of the American Pianist (IPAM, 1992), Music From The Road: Views and Reviews 1978 - 1992, an anthology of previously published work (Oxford University Press, 1992), The Unknown Sigrid Undset (Steerforth, 2001), and Tim Page on Music (Amadeus Press, 2002). Page was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. He is the author of Parallel Play, an autobiographical account of "Growing up with Undiagnosed Asperger's"... More...


James W. Partington, PhD, BCBA is the director of Behavior Analysts, Inc., and provides services to children and their families at the STARS Clinic in Walnut Creek, California. He is a licensed psychologist and a board certified behavior analyst, doctoral level (BCBA-D), and has more than 35 years experience working with children with developmental disabilities.

Dr. Partington's expertise is in language-based intervention with children who are experiencing language delays as a result of autism and other related developmental disorders. Dr. Partington is the co-founder of a school that specialized in language-based instruction for children with autism (STARS School) and has helped several public school systems establish similar classrooms within their own districts. He has been a faculty member of several universities including West Virginia University, University of San Francisco and St. Mary's College.

Dr. Partington is a former President of the Northern California Association for Behavior Analysis and has served as a member of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Dr. Partington has received several professional awards including the Public Service Award for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis in Florida, presented by the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis. He has co-authored with Dr. Mark L. Sundberg the book, Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities. He is the author of The Assessment of Language and Learning Skills-Revised (The ABLLS™-R): An Assessment, Curriculum Guide and Skills Tracking System for Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Partington is on the US Autism & Asperger Association Advisory Board. More...


princeJaLynn Prince is the president and founder of Madison House Foundation. She is also founder and president of Times and Seasons, an arts management consulting firm emphasizing the arts, broadcasting, public policies, and public relations. JaLynn has also served as an instructor in the Evergreen Program at Johns Hopkins University, the public relations director for The Bicentennial Council of 13 Original States, and a management consultant for Hammond Associates in Los Angeles. Mrs. Prince’s varied background also included stints as press secretary to a U.S. congressman, radio announcer, theater critic, and producer and director for television and theater.

Within her community, JaLynn has been a pastoral care counselor, a Leadership Montgomery graduate, and an advocate for the Autism Society of America. She has worked to raise funds for children’s hospitals, Ronald McDonald houses, homes for battered women, inner-city educational programs, homeless shelters, and arts organizations including the National Philharmonic. JaLynn serves on several boards, including Resource for Advancing Children’s Health (REACH), Southern Virginia University – National Advisory Council, Wesley Theological Seminary – Building Advisory Council, BlackRock Center for the Arts, National Philharmonic Board, Arts Gala Board for Montgomery College, Museum of Utah Arts & History, Brigham Young University Management Society, American Mothers Inc., and Rising Star Outreach – for untouchable children in India and the leprosy afflicted population.

JaLynn was named to the Who’s Who in Business 2005 list and was selected by the congressionally recognized American Mothers, Inc. as a National Mother of Young Children. JaLynn and her husband, Dr. Gregory A. Prince have three children (one with autism) and live in Potomac, MD where she enjoys spending time with her family and pursuing her vivacious interest in the arts and music. JaLynn is known for using philanthropy to promote social awareness and goodwill. She has used her love of photography and travel to increase public awareness of important social issues in such places as India, Guatemala, Kenya, and Uganda. She received her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, and pursued graduate studies at American University in arts administration and at Wesley Theological Seminary in theology. Read about JaLynn being honored as 1999 National Mother of Young Children by American Mothers, Inc., the official sponsor of Mother’s Day and Mother of the Year awards. More...


Stephen Shore, EdD was 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 completed his doctoral degree in special education at Boston University in 2008 with a focus on helping people on the autism spectrum develop their capacities to the fullest extent possible. Dr. Shore is a Professor at Adelphi University in New York and teaches special education.

In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Dr. Shore presents and consults internationally. He has presented in 25 countries, 45 US states, and 6 continents. Last summer he presented in schools in Beijing, Xi'an, and Shanghai. This summer, Dr. Shore will present in Windhoek-Namibia, and in Malaysia and is scheduled to present in Bangkok in 2012.

He presents 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 Understanding Autism for Dummies.

Dr. Shore serves on the US Autism & Asperger Association Advisory Board. He is a former board member of the Autism Society of America, president emeritus of the Asperger’s Association of New England, and serves for the Board of Directors for Unlocking Autism, the Autism Services Association of Massachusetts, MAAP, and the College Internship Program. More...


william shawWilliam Shaw, PhD is board certified in the fields of clinical chemistry and toxicology by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. Before he founded The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc., Dr. Shaw worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Children’s Mercy Hospital, University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Medicine, and Smith Kline Laboratories. He is the author of Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD, originally published in 1998 and Autism: Beyond the Basics, published in 2009. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences worldwide.

He is the stepfather of a child with autism and has helped thousands of patients and medical practitioners to successfully improve the lives of people with autism, AD(H)D, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue, depression, fibromyalgia, immune deficiencies, multiple sclerosis, OCD, Parkinson’s disease, seizure disorders, tic disorders, Tourette syndrome, and other serious conditions. More...


marlo Payne THurmanMarlo Payne Thurman, MS is a school psychologist and a national education consultant who obtained her Specialist Master’s degree from the University of Utah. Marlo started her work with special needs children in 1986.  Early in her career, Marlo developed a special interest in the unique needs of those individuals who were both highly intelligent and asynchronously developed.  Marlo specializes in assessment, advocacy, cognitive training, sensory and behavior support, and socio-emotional coaching. Marlo founded 2E Consulting Services that is an expansion of her private consulting services.

In addition to client based support, 2E Consulting provides training to programs that work with individuals who despite adequate intelligence are unable to find success in traditional settings. Marlo is on the national 2E task force and holds board positions with 2E Newsletter and the US Autism & Asperger Association where she has recently accepted the director’s position for the US College Autism Project.  Marlo has been recognized for her work by People Magazine, the Special Educator, ADDitude Magazine, the New York Times, National Public Radio and numerous local venues.  Marlo is also the mother of two gifted, twice-exceptional young adults who she credits for the inspiration to much of her professional career. 


Panel Workshop Moderators

kaplanLawrence P. Kaplan, PhD is the Founder and CEO of US Autism & Asperger Association. He is a parent of child affected by autism. Dr. Kaplan’s work in autism evolved in 1994 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 multiple 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 worked on many projects over a ten year period with the National Stroke Association, March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, and American Heart Association.

In the summer of 2005, Special Abilities evolved into US Autism & Asperger Association, Inc. with a mission to enhance the quality of life of individuals and their families and caregivers touched by autism spectrum disorders by providing educational and family support through conferences and published and electronic mediums. Dr. Kaplan’s vision was to create an annual conference that concentrated on family, health and sibling issues, adolescence, diet and nutrition, autism and Asperger’s concerns, adult issues, as well as the latest autism research and interventions. That vision became a reality in the summer of 2006. Thousands of people have attended USAAA conferences since 2006. The US Autism & Asperger Association (USAAA) 5th Annual World Conference, held October 1-3, 2010, became the most-viewed autism conference in the world with over 35,000 people watching the event online. This was the first ever autism and Asperger conference to be streamed live in its entirety. More...


Theresa WranghamTheresa K. Wrangham became a parent advocate as a result of her daughter Deanna’s life-threatening asthma, as well as her daughter Rachel’s diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a former AMTA massage therapist and Usui Reiki master, she views health holistically and brings an experienced parent's perspective on raising a healthy children affected by asthma and ASD to her advocacy work. She lives in Colorado with her husband of over 21 years, Scott.

In 2001 she co-founded the Autism Society of Boulder County (ASBC) in Colorado and served five terms as its president and, served on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society of Colorado. She is currently the Executive Director for NVIC. She serves on advisory boards for the US Autism & Asperger Association and the American Medical Autism Board and is a representative on the Boulder Valley School District Special Education Advisory Committee in Colorado. Within her community, she has helped to raise public awareness of biomedical causes and treatments for autism by publishing Colorado’s first autism specific resource guide and coordinating conferences and lectures, as well as Colorado’s consensus statement supporting the Combating Autism Act.

Additionally, in 2005 she worked with local agencies to establish a parent-directed treatment program for autistic individuals who are ineligible for state DDS services. This program has paid for $575,000 in treatments and changed the lives of 115 families. Theresa collaborated with Google to create Project Spectrum, a program designed to assist the autism community to identify possible career paths and to give educators classroom tools, and assist parents to obtaining special education services for their children. In 2006, the Boulder County Business Report recognized Theresa as a Health Care Hero. Theresa regularly published the ASBC and SafeMinds eNewsletters and, articles in Mothering Magazine, The Autism File, Age of Autism and Pathways. She has been featured in local and national television and print news reports and recently was featured in Parade Magazine.

Theresa was responsible for coordinating the volunteers and many other activities associated with the USAAA 3rd Annual International Conference. She has presented at USAAA World conferences. USAAA is very fortunate to have Theresa moderating the panel workshops at the USAAA 6th Annual World Autism & Asperger Conference in Seattle, Washington October 27-30. Theresa moderated the USAAA 2010 Annual World Autism & Asperger Conference last October in St. Louis.


Panelists

copesDaniel J. Copes, PhC, MS was once a struggling and desperate parent of twin sons with a diagnosis of autism. His sons at 13 were severely lacking in receptive and expressive language, poor attending skills, and non-existent home-based ADL skills. With his new wife Christine, he embarked on program of recovery that included intensive sensory integration therapies, and state of the art auditory interventions from Europe. In three short years, the changes in Dan’s sons were remarkable. Conversational language emerged, focus and attention improved tremendously and the boys were nearly self-sufficient in the house. It is with this same portfolio of therapies that Dan and Christine founded The Dan Center for Autism in Houston. Dan reinvented himself to first help his own sons –and then to help others.

Dan has been trained on the internationally renowned auditory programs developed by Dr. Guy Bernard and by Dr. Alfred Tomatis. As many if not most children on the autism spectrum demonstrate a degree of auditory dysfunction, these non-invasive programs can provide a great benefit for many children. Dan also provides therapies such as Lindamood-Bell, Brain Gym, PECS, and Handwriting Without Tears. Dan holds a masters degree and is working towards completion of his doctorate in Special Education Leadership. More...


Joe Cunningham is participating on the Fathers of Children with ASD panel. Joe is a father of a child with autism.

alex domanAlex Doman is an author and producer whose products are used by people in more than 35 countries. His work is based on music effects research and principles of human development and neuroplasticity focusing on improving academic, cognitive, and communication abilities. He is founder and CEO of Advanced Brain Technologies, a leading provider of products, which improve brain function with solutions for consumers, schools, therapy clinics, health care facilities, and the military.

Creator and co-producer of the multi award winning Music for Babies™ music collection and collaborator on more than 50 other albums and programs including the Sound Health® series, The Listening Program®, and Music for the Mind™, he has trained thousands of healthcare, education, and music professionals in the application of music-based therapies around the world.

Alex has lectured throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, Latin America and the Middle East. Alex is co-author of Healing at the Speed of Sound™ a non-fiction book about how the new science of sound and music can help us improve our lives. Hudson Street Press (Penguin USA) Release October 2011. More...


jeff fosterJeffrey E. Foster, MS, MA, LMFT is the Owner and Executive Director of A Fresh Start, LLC, and also serves as the President of the Southwest Washington Affiliate of Autism Society of Washington. Fresh Start is a practice specializing in diagnosis and treatment of developmental disorders of childhood and adolescence.  Problems most commonly treated are disruptive behavior disorders (ADHD, Oppositional-Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder), Autism Spectrum Disorders (PDD-NOS, Asperger’s, Autism) and related syndromes, Noonan’s Syndrome, Turner’s Syndrome, Jacob’s Syndrome, Klinefelter’s Syndrome, a wide range of other familial and congenital neurobehavioral disorders, and elimination disorders (enuresis, encopresis).  They also provide forensic services including bilateral custody evaluations, reunification counseling, parenting plan mediation and coordination, and therapeutic supervised visitation.

Jeffrey is also the founding president of the board of directors of the Northwest Family Therapy Institute in Vancouver, Washington. The Institute is a non-profit organization designed to provide post-graduate training for mental health professionals and sliding-fee therapy for underserved populations.  He received his Master of Science in Clinical Psychology, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology-Stanford Consortium. Jeffrey has over 30 years experience as a psychotherapist and teacher working with children, adolescents and adults with ASD.


sara_gardnerSara Gardner was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2002 soon after her then-11-year-old son was diagnosed. Autism quickly became her “area of interest” and she began intensive studying, and volunteering with the Orange County Asperger Support Group, where she serves as President Emeritus. She and her son moved to Redmond, Washington in Fall 2009 so that he could attend DigiPen Institute of Technology there.

Sara currently serves as Vice President of the Autism Society of Washington’s King County chapter. Sara works with families to help them understand their loved ones on the spectrum. She teaches parenting classes, coaches parents, consults with schools and works one-on-one with autism spectrum students. Her life experience combined with education, community involvement and daily contact with struggling families gives her a unique perspective and insight into the challenges faced by the Autism community. Sara's mission is to help other parents travel an easier road than she did and to help those on the autism spectrum lead full and happy lives.


Christopher GauthierChristopher M. Gauthiér, MFA is an actively exhibiting artist teaching Fine Art Photography at Utah State University. He holds a MFA from Ohio University in photography and received a BA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL. His work can be found in the permanent collections of the Mississippi Museum of Art; Webster University, The Netherlands; Koltsovo Airport, Yekaterinburg, Russian Federation and in private collections nationally and internationally. Autism advocacy became a personal imperative when he became aware of the link between his environmental concerns and his children’s autism. Christopher’s wife Jacqueline is a collaborative partner in the photographic project Evidence and Artifacts: Facing Autism. Christopher and Jacqueline Gauthier live with their family in Logan, Utah. More...

kristin selby gonzalezKristin Selby Gonzalez is Director of Autism Education at Enzymedica. She is a host on AutismOne Radio and Co-host on Voice America Radio. Kristin is certified in the Body Ecology Diet and has studied the Gut and Psychology Diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the gluten-free and casein free diet. Kristin is certified in the Wilbarger Protocol, trained in the Alert Program and has extensive knowledge in The Handle Program. All of these programs are forms of sensory integration. She is a bone conduction provider of the Listening Program, which is an auditory integration intervention. She has completed all of the Son-Rise program courses.

Kristin has a nine-year-old son with ASD and has been running a home program for over 7 years. In 2009 Kristin traveled the United States with the Autism Grass Roots Tour. She conducted seventy-seven lectures in twenty-six states to over 4000 people. More...


kathryn greensladeKathryn Greenslade, MS, CCC-SLP received her bachelor's degree in special education from Vanderbilt University, and her master's degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Arizona. Over the past 20 years, she has worked with individuals with autism spectrum disorders as a respite care provider, a camp counselor, a preschool teacher, a habilitator (1:1 ABA therapy), and a speech-language pathologist. She has experience with ABA, TEACCH, PECS and other forms of augmentative/alternative communication (AAC), Social Stories, Social Thinking, and other approaches to social communication intervention. Kathryn is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at the University of Washington, where her research focuses on the assessment and treatment of social communication impairments in children with autism spectrum disorders.

dr. houstonDevin Houston, PhD obtained a B.A. degree in Biology from Hendrix College in 1979. He then was awarded a B.S. degree in Medical Science in 1980 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in 1987. Dr. Houston's graduate work focused on how the aging process affected certain enzyme systems. Following the defense of his thesis work, Dr. Houston accepted a post-doctoral position at the University of Virginia where he became involved in several fields of research, including ligand-receptor interactions of the adenosine receptor, diabetes, and mechanisms of how cells respond to environmental signals. Dr. Houston's work was funded by the American Heart Association.

In 1990, Dr. Houston accepted a position at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. While there, he obtained the position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology. His research focus was on characterizing the cannabinoid (marihuana) receptor as a possible model for Alzheimer's research. Dr. Houston's work was funded by several grants from the National Institutes of Health. He published several peer-reviewed papers, as well as presenting his finding at several symposia. In 1997, Dr. Houston left academia for industry, and accepted a position as Manager of Research and Development at National Enzyme Company. While there, he upgraded the existing lab and instituted more advanced methods of analysis. Instrumental in new product development, he is the formulator and inventor of SerenAid(tm), an enzyme product currently distributed by Klaire Laboratories.

In March of 2000, Dr. Houston left National Enzyme and became a scientific consultant to the dietary supplement industry prior to founding Houston Enzymes Inc. More...


kimberly MathaiKimberly Mathai, MS, RD, CDE has helped hundreds of individuals, families and children with their nutrition needs for over a decade. Her private nutrition therapy practice is located in Seattle Wa. She earned a master’s degree in integrative nutrition from Bastyr University and completed her clinical training at Tulane University. Kimberly is the author of The Cancer Lifeline Cookbook and a national presenter on the topic of nutrition and cancer. Through Cancer Lifeline, she teaches cooking and nutrition education classes at hospitals and cancer centers in Seattle. As a certified diabetes educator, she counsels individuals and groups on diabetic nutrition.

She has expertise in nutrition therapies for autism spectrum disorder, and has been published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association on treating autistic children. Kimberly has written chapters on adult nutrition and complementary therapies published in major nutrition textbooks used university nutrition and nursing programs. She mentors naturopathic students and nutrition degree students from Bastyr University in her private practice. Kimberly enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, cross country skiing and urban culture of all kinds. More...


Kinnon McDonell is participating on the Fathers of Children with ASD panel. Kinnon is a father of a child with autism.

mcmanmonMichael McManmon, EdD grew up the youngest son in a family of nine children. He is the father of six children and nine grandchildren. He received his B.A. in English from Mt. St. Mary's College in Maryland and went on for his Masters in Counseling from Shippensburg University. He attended the University of Kansas for his Masters in Human Development through a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. He obtained his Doctorate in Special Education from the University of Nevada. Subsequently, he was licensed as a Psychologist by the State of Massachusetts. He worked for state, private and non-profit organizations in several states prior to founding The Berkshire Center in 1984.

During his 35 years of experience with students with Learning Differences and Asperger's syndrome, Dr. McManmon has worked on Curriculum Development, Staff Training, Program Evaluation, and Administering Community Based Programming. He is a member of the International Learning Disabilities Association and the Independent Educational Consultants Association. Dr. McManmon speaks and presents at professional conferences nationally and internationally. He has an inside perspective as he himself was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome and grew up in a large family with several individuals on the spectrum. Dr. McManmon has been certified as a family teacher through the Boys Town Center in Nebraska. He has served as a PTA President, School Board Member and Parish Council Member. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Lee Chamber of Commerce, coached in the Community Soccer League and basketball league, and is an avid gardener.

Dr. McManmon's program philosophy is to provide a loving and trusting environment in which personal growth can occur. The process includes honoring each individual's talents and assisting them in using their personal power to develop skills, meet their needs and thus live independently. This process is accomplished by hiring exemplary individuals, giving them the tools to operate and working as a team. Dr. McManmon is on the US Autism & Asperger Association Advisory Board. More...


kim ortloffKimberly K. Ortloff, JD provides full-service legal advocacy in Washington State. With offices in Port Angeles, WA; Ms. Ortloff provides a unique, one-on-one approach to helping clients with their legal issues. Ms. Ortloff specializes in Special Needs education law. Along with advocating for clients, Ms. Ortloff is also the mother of an autistic son, giving her a unique perspective in helping families through the maze of education and therapy issues. Her expertise also can help in establishing the unique estate planning needs facing these families. More...


eric peacockEric Peacock is the General Manager of MyAutismTeam – a site where parents of children with autism go to find and recommend great autism providers for their kids and to connect with others parents like them. MyAutismTeam.com was launched in April 2011 in partnership with Autism Speaks, Parents Helping Parents, and Easter Seals, (and recently partnered with US Autism & Asperger Association) and already has a database of more than 35,000 autism providers and autism-friendly businesses.

Eric’s first introduction to the Autism Spectrum came 7 years ago when in the span of one month his nephew was diagnosed with Asperger’s and the child of very close friends was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Watching the struggle his brother and his friends went through to find the right people to help their children - as well as the hoops they had to jump through in order to pay for such help – got Eric interested in using the web to help connect parents in the autism community and share their knowledge.

Prior to MyAutismTeam, Eric worked in biotech at Perlegen Sciences and was part of the team working on the first full-scale genetic study of Autism. It was that experience where Eric witnessed the power of the autism community and learned about the complexities and breadth of the autism spectrum. Eric is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Harvard College. He lives in San Carlos, CA with his wife and two children, and is a hopeless Red Sox fan.. More...


Isabelle Sarikahan is a board member with the Autism Society of Washington (ASW) and works as a self-advocate. She is on the ASW Legislative Committee. She is employed as a Hazards Geologist with the Department of Natural Resources where she manages the landslide program.

Isabelle was recently diagnosed with autism. From a young age she knew she was different than the people around her and she constantly struggled with sensory issues, social issues, and other typical autistic traits. Learning was both a struggle and easy for her, depending on her passions and topics of interest. Not only did she struggle with the social aspect of life around her, but she also struggled with certain learning styles. Language was also difficult for her and reading even more of a challenge, so much so that she didn’t learn to properly read until she was in college.

Isabelle has a wife/partner, a son (age 2), and family on the autism spectrum. She manages a farm with her wife and mother-in-law where they raise goats, ducks, geese, and chickens.


Greg Schell, MEd is Director of the Washington State Fathers Network (WSFN).  For thirty years he has been an educator, researcher, family trainer & principal, working with dads, their families, and young people.  Over thirty years ago he helped found the Fathers Program, forerunner to the Fathers Network, at the University of Washington along with Don Meyer.  Five years ago he came back as Director of the program, and thoroughly enjoys his work with dads and families. Greg is married and lives with his wife, and daughter in Seattle, Washington.

Alex Silverman is participating on the Fathers of Children with ASD panel. Alex is a father of a child with autism.

gary stobbeGary A. Stobbe, MD has been in practice since 1993 and joined the University of Washington Medicine as University of Washington Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry in 2008. He is a faculty member of the Western MS Center at University of Washington Medical Center and is Director of Adult Transition Services at Seattle Children's Autism Center. Dr. Stobbe received his medical degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York, and completed his neurology residency at UCLA - Wadsworth VAMC in Los Angeles. Dr. Stobbe's philosophy is to optimize health in the presence of neurological illness and to maximize the potential of an individual through the patient-physician partnership.

Dr. Stobbe specializes in neurology, with a particular interest in autism spectrum disorders, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injury. His research interests include functional imaging in cognitive neurology and the transition to adulthood of individuals with neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders. Dr. Stobbe is Board certified in Psychiatry & Neurology. His publications include "Differential SPECT activation patterns associated with PASAT performance may indicate frontocerebellar functional dissociation in chronic mild traumatic brain injury." Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine 2009 Jul; 50; 7; 1054-61. He has published many articles on Multiple Sclerosis. More...


ben wahlBenjamin Wahl, MSW has worked with children, adolescents and young adults for over ten years as the director of an outdoor education program and as a staff member in wilderness therapy programs and residential treatment centers. Under the supervision of Ryther Child Center's CEO, Lee Grogg, Ben founded the Collaborative Coaching Program in 2004. Two years later, Ben founded the Ryther Outdoor Leadership Program (now Aspiring Youth). Ben holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MSW from the University of Washington. In his free time Ben enjoys telemark skiing, rock climbing, gardening and other outdoor pursuits. More...

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