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Geneva Centre for Autism’s International Virtual Symposium 2022 returns with its reputable and highly engaging poster session. The three-day event brings together leading experts, professionals, educators, and parents from around the world to focus on leading research and cutting-edge developments in the field of autism.
Kara Dymond (PhD) is a student-centred educator who teaches autistic children in the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Her students inspired her book, The Autism Lens, and their contributions are her favourite parts! Kara's own neurodivergent thinking was affirmed with her recent diagnostic discoveries. She is a proud autistic and ADHD advocate and is passionate about collaborating closely with students, teachers, and families to better support neurodivergent learners. Kara's doctoral research focused on teacher professional development needs which helped her to design and deliver professional development which honours teacher expertise, interests, and classroom contexts. She also works with organizations to improve understanding of accommodations and accessibility needs. An instructor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, Kara teaches a graduate course on mental health and special education for beginning teachers.
Diagnosed with "Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies" and "too sick" for outpatient treatment Dr. Shore was recommended for institutionalization. Nonspeaking until 4, and with much support from his parents, teachers, wife, and others, Stephen is now a full time professor at Adelphi University and adjunct at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, focusing on aligning best practice in supporting autistic people to lead fulfilling and productive lives.In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen is an internationally renowned educator, consultant and author on lifespan issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, and self-advocacy. His most recent book College for Students with Disabilities combines personal stories and research for promoting success in higher education.A current board member of Autism Speaks, the Organization for Autism Research (OAR), American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF), president emeritus of the Asperger/Autism Network, and advisory board member of the Autism Society, Dr. Shore also serves on the boards of numerous other autism related organizations.
Dr. Shillingsburg currently serves as Sr. Vice President of Children’s Clinical Services and Training at May Institute. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from Auburn University and completed her predoctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Marcus Institute. She previously served as the Director of the Language and Learning Clinic at the Marcus Autism Center and held an appointment of Associate Professor at Emory University in the Division of Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities. Dr. Shillingsburg is a licensed psychologist and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). Her clinical expertise includes the development of behavioural programming to address a variety of behavioural difficulties and social communication deficits associated with autism and other developmental disabilities. She has published over 50 empirical papers and book chapters on interventions for children with autism and related developmental disabilities. She is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Operants, editorial board member of Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, and past associate editor for The Analysis of Verbal Behavior.
Dr. Noor Syed (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Applied Behavior Analysis, Clinical Coordinator, and founding Director of the Center for Autism Advocacy: Research, Education, and Services (CAARES) with SUNY Empire State College. She has also recently been named the Turben Director of Autism Advocacy. The Center’s primary initiative is to help SUNY Empire become a fully inclusive and supportive college for those who identify as neurodiverse through a multi-tiered system of support framework; this work is being conducted alongside autistic colleagues and caregivers in autism. Dr. Syed also directs a Master’s of Science program in ABA through SUNY Empire. She is the Executive Director of Anderson Center International, an organization dedicated to building compassionate, sustainable resources for evidenced-based practices globally, an Adjunct Doctoral Advisor in ABA with Endicott College, and a certified general and special education teacher. Dr. Syed also serves on the ABA Ethics Hotline. Her interests lie in compassionate care, cultural humility, and social justice through an analysis of diversity, equity, and inclusion. She received her undergraduate degree in behavior analysis under Dr. Raymond G. Romanczyk in the Institute of Child Development at Binghamton University and completed her PhD in ABA with Dr. R. Douglas Greer at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Dr. Sean Healy is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing, Psychotherapy, and Community Health at Dublin City University, Ireland. Previously, after completed his PhD at the University of Virginia, Dr. Healy worked as an Assistant Professor at Humboldt State University, California, and the University of Delaware.
Dr. Healy’s career has focused on the promotion of physical activity among autistic individuals, in the pursuit of improved and more equitable health and wellbeing in this population. Specifically, his research aims to deepen our understanding of 24-hour movement behaviors (i.e., physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep) among autistic individuals, and refine the use of scalable and sustainable interventions to increase healthful movement among this population. Recently, Dr. Healy was identified as the second most productive author on physical activity research related to autism. In addition to his research, Dr. Healy has extensive experience in teaching and program development related to movement and autism. One such venture was his development of Surfing on the Spectrum, a Northern California-based surfing program for autistic children. Dr. Healy is thrilled and humbled to participate in the Geneva Centre for Autism International Virtual Symposium.
An Autistic advocate, behavior analyst, clinical director, and adjunct professor that has personally experienced the ills of ableism, racism, and flawed social validity related to my intersectional identities in ABA and society in general. I am committed to contributing to the eradication of ableism and racism as well as the facilitation of inclusion and acceptance of Autistic community norms in ABA and society in general. As an Autistic behavior analyst, I strive to provide the services my community deserves and contribute to the reframing of social validity and consequent reform of ABA ethics and practices. It is my hope that with the help of other Autistic community members and allied behavior analysts alike the necessary changes can be pursued in a manner that empirically validates Autistic community voices and in turn indisputably govern that standard ABA practices encompass Autistic children and adults receiving ethical services that consider and align with Autistic community values and norms. The ultimate goal being that generalization processes that will naturally occur and extend beyond ABA will greatly serve to model and reshape societal norms that reinforce inclusion and that Autistic community members are being comprehensively accommodated, accepted, and supported in navigating the world without compromise of their Autistic identity
Dr. Amanda N. Kelly is well-known, trusted, and respected throughout the global autism and behavior analytic communities. Over the course of her career, she has focused on showcasing effective applications of behavior analysis, most notably extending from autism to areas of public policy, ethics, and sustainable behavior change. Dr. Kelly’s commitment to increasing access to behavior analytic services and to elevating the quality of providers is evident through her advocacy for behavior analyst licensure legislation and perhaps most notably through her dissemination of free content on her Behaviorbabe website and social media platforms. Dr. Kelly has experience as a practitioner in multiple states (Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Florida) and is someone who shows admirable concern for the profession, as demonstrated by her active involvement in several state ABA chapters, her authorship of a forthcoming ethics textbook, and her leadership in The Council of Autism Service Providers, where she co-chairs the all-important “Promoting ABA” Special Interest Group. In honor of her steadfast and unwavering commitment to quality, Dr. Kelly has been recognized by several well-respected organizations, including the University of Massachusetts Autism Insurance Resource Center, the Autism Law Summit, and BABAT, from whom she received the Jerry Shook Practitioner of the Year award.
Dr. Chris Jenson is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Loyola Medical School. He completed his physician residency at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and launched into a career in emergency medicine and urgent care. During his time in the E.R., Dr. Jenson developed a love for teaching medical students and residents. This unexpected passion led to a life transition, and an exciting career in public education.
Dr. Jenson was awarded Kansas First Year Teacher of the Year and successfully completed a competitive science education fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC). For the past five years, Dr. Jenson has consulted for school districts and businesses, addressing complex health issues in education, and proudly serves as a senior health advisor for multiple clients. His recent book, After the Mask: A Guide to Caring for Students and Schools, peaked at Amazon #1 Best Seller and #1 New Release during the summer of 2021, making an impact in multiple educational and mental health related categories.
Dr. Jenson is extremely fortunate to live with his loving wife and two energetic daughters – they inspire him daily to work hard, play hard, and love often.
Dr. Hanley has been applying the principles of learning to improve socially important behaviors of children and adults with and without disabilities just over 30 years. He worked and trained at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, was degreed at the University of Florida, was tenured at the University of Kansas, and directed the Behavior Analysis Doctoral Program and Life Skills Clinic at Western New England University (WNEU).
Dr. Hanley has published over 100 book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals in areas such as the assessment and prevention of problem behavior, teaching tactics for young children, and evidence-based values. Dr. Hanley is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Div. 25), past Associate Editor of The Behavior Analyst, and past Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and of Behavior Analysis in Practice.
He currently serves as a Research Professor at WNEU and CEO of FTF Behavioral, an international training and consulting group based in Worcester Massachusetts. This group of researcher-practitioners supports professionals attempting to create meaningful outcomes with practical functional assessment processes and skill-based treatments for addressing emerging and severe problem behavior, intractable stereotypy, food selectivity and mealtime problem behavior, and sleep problems.
Jennifer Krumins is the founder/owner of Autism Aspirations and Autism Aspirations Academy. A passionate international speaker, educator, Certified Leadership Coach, and author of three autism books, Jennifer is a firm believer that with autism are here to teach us, to lead and challenge us to become the best version of ourselves as individuals, families and as a society. An educator in Ontario, Canada for 26 years, she holds a Master of Education in Applied Psychology and has studied extensively Special Education and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is married with three young adult children (one of whom has autism).
Professor Liane Holliday Willey, who holds a doctorate in psycholinguistics, was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome when she was 35 years old. Since her diagnosis Liane has focused her academic research on female’s with Asperger syndrome and communication skills for people on the spectrum.
Liane is the author of the new book Safety Skills for Asperger Women: How to Save a Perfectly Good Female Life, and the author of the international best selling books Pretending to be Normal: Living with Aspergers Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome in Adolescence: Living with the Ups, the Downs and Things in Between, Asperger Syndrome in the Family: Redefining Normal. She and her books have earned prestigious awards from around the globe.
Liane is a proud serves on autism advocacy and education boards on every level from local to international. Liane has been featured in USA Today, The Associated Press, The New York Times, The LA Times, The Washington Post, Autism One Radio, Oxygen TV, BBC Radio, several NPR stations and many other media outlets. She also contributes to a variety of autism focused grants and academic papers.
In her spare time, Liane enjoys her favorite passion- her two horses who despite lots of encouragement, decline an invitation into her kitchen.
Nekeshia Hammond is the host of BWE Mental Health Moment with Dr. Hammond garnering an audience of almost 1 million listeners on Facebook Live, an Amazon international best-selling author, speaker, and psychologist. She is the Founder and CEO of Hammond Psychology & Associates and former President of the Florida Psychological Association and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Ryan Nece Foundation
Dr. Nekeshia Hammond is a licensed psychologist and owner of Hammond Psychology & Associates, P.A., a private practice serving children, teens, families, and adults. Her current focus is on completing psychological evaluations (Gifted, learning disorders, ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc.). She was one of 25 psychologists in the country to receive the Early Career Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association. As well as one of 30 individuals selected out of hundreds of applicants to receive an Up and Comers Award from the Tampa Bay Business Journal for the Under 40 years old category. Dr. Hammond often consults with the media to increase public education about mental health issues, and she has been featured in Life Improvement Radio, CBS Boston, Essence, Tampa Bay Times, Deseret News, Tampa Bay Parenting, AM 1150 WTMP, Ebony, 105.5 WDUV, News 4 San Antonio, and more.
Involved heavily in the community, Dr. Hammond has been active with numerous associations, where she is a key psychologist at the state and federal levels. She advocates for patients' mental health and mental health professionals. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Ryan Nece Foundation, where the mission is to “be a beacon to teens by empowering them to impact giving in their communities”. In 2016 and 2017, she served on the Executive Committee of the Ryan Nece Foundation.
Executive Director, Proof Positive: Autism Wellbeing Alliance
Dr. Patricia Wright’s commitment to ensuring all individuals with autism have access to effective services and supports has guided her work for more than 30 years, from her earliest responsibilities as a special educator, to state and national-level program management. Specific examples of her advocacy include the management in the design of a statewide system of support for children with autism for the state of Hawaii, several years as the National Director of Autism Services for Easter Seals, her industry positions leveraging technology and her current role at Proof Positive spreading the science and skills of happiness.
Dr. Paula Kluth is a consultant, author, advocate, and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities and to create more responsive and engaging schooling experiences for all learners. She is a former K-12 special educator who has served as a classroom teacher, co-teacher, and inclusion facilitator. Paula has also been a university professor and has taught courses on both inclusion and disability studies. Most recently, Paula’s work has centered on helping teachers and administrators educate all students in their schools and classrooms. She also frequently works with families and advocacy groups to support goals related to inclusion. In addition to inclusive education, her professional interests include Universal Design for Learning, co-teaching, and educating students with complex support needs.
All In: 18 Ways to Include All Students in Virtual Classrooms is Paula’s newest book. She is also the author or co-author of 15 other titles including Universal Design Daily, 30 Days to the Co-Taught Classroom, Don’t We Already Do Inclusion?, and “You’re Going to Love This Kid!”: Teaching Students with Autism in Inclusive Classrooms. She is also the author of a few books for children including Coaster, a story of a puppy with wonderful wheels.
Paula has won several awards in her field. She is the recipient of the PEAK Parent Center’s Ally for Inclusion Award; The PEAL [Parent Education & Advocacy Leadership] Center’s Inclusive Education Champion Award; The National Down Syndrome Congress’s Educator of the Year; The Belle Center of Chicago’s Inclusion Advocate of the Year; and the University of Wisconsin’s “Forward Under 40” Award.
Shawn Thomas Capell, MS., BCBA., LBA, graduated from Johnson & Wales University in 2007 with an Associate of Science in Restaurant Management and a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. After five years in the field of hospitality, Mr. Capell returned to Caldwell University where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Additionally, he obtained a Master of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from Capella University. In March 2017, Mr. Capell completed all requirements to obtain certification as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) and successfully passed his board certification exam. Mr. Capell currently holds the position of Regional Board-Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) for the Northern New Jersey Region of Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health. Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is a human services organization dedicated to changing the lives by unlocking and nurturing human potential for people living with emotional, behavioral, or cognitive differences. In addition to his current full-time position Mr. Capell is the Owner and Clinical Director of Covenant 15:16 LLC, an agency based from the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. Mr. Capell’s clinical and research interests include parent/staff training, adults with disabilities, multicultural and diversity concerns within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and aggression in adults and working with sexual offenders with dual diagnosis. Mr. Capell maintains membership in the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), the New Jersey Association for Behavior Analysis (NJABA), and the Association of Professional Behavior Analyst (APBA). Mr. Capell additionally holds the (LBA) license within the state of Texas.
Zachary Houston is the Assistant Director for Applied Behavior Analysis for the Boston Public Schools. As a Board Certified and Licensed Behavior Analyst, Zachary has over 15 years of experience supporting students and adults with disabilities. He also served as President on the board of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT). For the past 9 years, working in the Boston Public Schools, Zachary has worked to support consistency and program development within the Applied Behavior Analysis programs and for students across the district. A major focus of this work has been addressing the assumptions, biases, and stigmas about Applied Behavior Analysis interventions in the public schools - specifically the idea that Applied Behavior Analysis is for Autism.
In service of that work, the mission of the Applied Behavior Analysis team in Boston Public Schools is: "Through collaboration with educational and community stakeholders, we will cultivate engaging environments that grow students’ abilities and ensure that they develop the tools needed to be fully included members of the ever-changing and diverse communities in which they live." This mission embodies Zachary's passion in his work in public education and serves as the guiding force in making Applied Behavior Analysis toward socially significant outcomes available to all of our students.
Originally from Edmonton, and now based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Shelley Moore is a highly sought-after teacher, researcher, speaker and storyteller and has worked with school districts and community organizations around the world, in supporting and promoting equity for all learners. Her first book entitled, “One Without the Other” was released in July 2016 to follow up her TEDx talk. Shelley completed an undergraduate degree in Special Education at the University of Alberta, her masters at Simon Fraser University, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of British Columbia.
Jennifer is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA), with over 20 years of experience in the field. She is the Clinical Director of the New Haven Learning Centre, a not-for-profit treatment and education centre for children and adults with autism and related disorders. Jennifer received her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Guelph and her Masters of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto, with a specialization in developmental psychology and education. She completed her Board Certified Behaviour Analyses course work at the University of North Texas.
Jennifer has presented at many local, national and international conferences and Universities on topics related to autism and ABA. She is an adjunct college professor, teaching undergraduate courses in applied behaviour analysis. Jennifer is also the chair of the board of directors for JaneFinch ReachingUp, an after school homework and music club for at risk children. She is very passionate about autism, adult services and supported employment and is thrilled to be a part of the Geneva Centre Symposium.
Matthew T. Brodhead is an Associate Professor at Michigan State University. Dr. Brodhead’s research examines focused social skill interventions for children with autism. He also writes about conceptual issues relating to the ethical and professional behavior of practicing behavior analysts. He currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Behavioral Education, Behavior Analysis in Practice, and the Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities. Finally, Dr. Brodhead serves as at director of First Steps, an in-home early-intervention program that provides focused behavioral interventions to children on a wait-list to receive comprehensive behavioral services.
Stephanie Moeser is a social worker living and working in Peterborough, ON. Stephanie currently works full time as a Therapist at Trent University. Previously she taught in the Mental Health and Addictions, Social Service Worker, and Developmental Service Worker programs at Fleming College. Stephanie currently maintains a small private practice. The focus of her clinical is supporting the neurodivergent community and their families and loved ones. In her private practice Stephanie provides mental health supports addressing areas of relationships, wellness, and issues related to manging mental health challenges such as anxiety, mood disorders and providing caregiver and family support. She has a specialization in supporting autistic students attending post-secondary education, and girls, women and trans and gender minority autistic people.
Stephanie has been a sought-after presenter and has presented workshops on healthy relationships, sexual development, mindfulness, trauma and compassion fatigue and many others.
Jude Morrow is an autistic best-selling author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and keynote speaker from Derry, Northern Ireland.
Growing up as an autistic child in 1990s Ireland. Jude always knew he wasn’t like everyone, and lived a life of “can’ts”. Jude can’t communicate properly, Jude can’t socialise properly, Jude can’t wait in long queues. Eventually he grew to believe he could never DO or ACHIEVE anything.
Thankfully, Jude had supportive parents who always accepted him for who he was and he became a social worker, graduating from Ulster University in 2012 and worked in various sectors.
However, it was the birth of his son Ethan in July 2013 and his early life encouraged Jude to accept and embrace his autistic identity. Since then, Jude has written two books “Why Does Daddy Always Look So Sad?” And “Loving Your Place on The Spectrum: a Neurodiversity Blueprint.” Both were published by Beyond Words Publishing, the same publishing house as The Secret. His first book won the Gold Medal at the Living Now Book Awards.
Jude is now a proud Neurodivergent TEDX speaker, touring motivational speaker and the founder of Neurodiversity Training International.Jude’s talks and workshops are wholly inspiring, delivering accessible organisational practices such as interview techniques and simplifying internal communications and operating a growth mindset; from the perspective of a neurodivergent but how this applies to everyone.
Lauren Portengen is a mental health advocate, working for a multidisciplinary mental health agency in Waterloo Region. In her current role, Lauren supervises programs focused on providing early-intervention and prevention support to families. Lauren brings a participant-centred and trauma-informed approach to her work and is passionate about neurodiverse-affirming care in the field of children and youth mental health. Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder herself, Lauren is a strong advocate in her community and knows firsthand the complexities of neurodiverse experiences within the mental health system. Lauren attended Trent University and Conestoga College and is married to her neurotypical (debatable) husband who is an Engineer. Lauren and her husband enjoy adventuring in Northern Ontario and spending time with family. As a self professed “old lady” Lauren also enjoys needle point, rug hooking, a good book, and a strong cup of tea.
Dr. Bailey received his PhD, with Mont Wolf as his mentor, from the University of Kansas in 1970 and is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Florida State University where he was on the graduate faculty for 38 years and produced a record 63 PhDs. He currently teaches Ethics & Professional Issues, Skinner’s Theory of Behaviorism, and Research Methods in ABA in the FSU Panama City Master’s Program in Applied Behavior Analysis which has been ranked #1 in the world three of the last six years.
He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, a Fellow of the Association for Behavior Analysis: International and the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Bailey received the Distinguished Service to Behavior Analysis Award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, both the APA Division 25, Fred S. Keller Behavioral Education Award and the University of Kansas Applied Behavioral Science Distinguished Alumni Award as well as the prestigious Nathan H. Azrin Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Behavior Analysis from the American Psychological Association. In 2017 he received the Murray Sidman Award for Enduring Contribution to Behavior Analysis from the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed research articles, is past-Editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and is co-author of 15 books including: Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis, How Dogs Learn, Ethics for Behavior Analysts, How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst, 25 Essential Skills and Strategies for Professional Behavior Analysts, Performance Management: Changing Behavior that Drives Organizational Effectiveness, with Dr. Aubrey Daniels. He has two new books How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst, 2nd edition, Ethics for Behavior Analysts, 4th edition, and 25 Essential Skills for Successful Behavior Analysts, 2nd edition, which he is currently writing.
Dr. Bailey runs the ABAI Ethics Hotline.com and along with nine volunteer ethicists provides timely responses to over 1,000 questions per year for behavior analysts, educators, and consumers from all over the world.
Carmen Hall, PhD, BCBA-D is a Clinical Director at Looking Ahead Clinical Services in London, Ontario. She also teaches in the Autism & Behavioural Science Graduate Certificate Program at Fanshawe College and in the Master’s in Professional Education – ABA at Western University. In the past number of years Carmen’s research and clinical practice has focused on teaching independent life skills to adults with intellectual disabilities. The focus has been on expanding on skills learned or missed in early intervention to apply and make age-appropriate in adulthood in work, volunteer, recreation, post-secondary, and home maintenance skills. The ABA services includes both Discrete Trial Training and Natural Environment Training to ensure skill attainment and generalization. In 2013, she was named an Apple Distinguished Educator, in 2014 she received the College Sector Educator Award, and in 2015 received the President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for teaching.
Miin-An is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) and a Licensed Behaviour Analyst (Kansas & Missouri). She holds an Illinois Professional Educator’s License (PEL) with a Learning Behaviour Specialist 1 (LBS1) endorsement and a Missouri teaching certificate. Miin-An has worked with individuals and families with developmental disabilities, Autism, and psychiatric disorders for more than 20 years in public and private schools, in clinics, in homes, in residential settings, and in the foster care system. An immigrant herself, much of Miin-An’s work experience has been with immigrant populations. She had the privilege to work within the Bosnian community of Chicago helping survivors of the Bosnian Holocaust and with Sudanese, Somali, and Kenyan Lost Boys (and Girls), as well as many other diverse people groups. Presently she serves as an urban public school district BCBA with the majority of her role divided between: providing quality supervision and oversight of treatment, providing staff professional development, special education diagnostics and evaluation, and multidisciplinary team collaboration. Miin-An also serves on the board of Directors for the Association of Professional Behaviour Analysts (APBA) and the Missouri Association for Behaviour Analysis (MOABA).
Mike is the Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin and was first elected in 2006. After his re-election in October 2008, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, a position he held for seven years. On September 13, 2012, he was sworn into the Queen's Privy Council, after being asked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to serve on a Cabinet Committee tasked with efforts to balance the federal budget.
Mike has been elected six straight times and, in both 2019 and 2021, received the highest vote total out of all candidates, from all parties, across the country. In opposition, he has held three Shadow Minister positions: Youth, Sport and Accessibility; International Development; and his current portfolio, Mental Health, Addictions and Suicide Prevention.
Prior to entering federal politics, Mike worked for 10 years with the Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club where he served as National Accounts Manager, Director of Ticket Sales and Group Sales Manager. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (with distinction) from the University of Alberta.
Mike has two adult children, his son, Jaden, and daughter, Jenae. The Lakes have been active supporters of autism organizations, families and neurodiverse individuals across the country, and around the world, while sharing their story of life with Jaden, who has autism.
Sian Howard is a Behaviour Analyst from Toronto, Ontario. Sian completed her Master’s of Applied Disability Studies with a concentration in Applied Behaviour Analysis in 2019. Sian currently works as a Behaviour Consultant at the Geneva Centre, providing Behaviour Analytic services through a caregiver mediator model. In addition, Sian delivers parent education workshops and facilitates groups for children and youth on the spectrum.
Brittany is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) and has dedicated her career to supporting individuals on the autism spectrum. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at University of Ottawa, a post-graduate degree at George Brown College in Autism and Behavioural Sciences and then finished her Masters of Education at Arizona State University. She has been with the Geneva Centre for Autism (GCA) for more than 10 years in various roles. She started in IBI with young children, transitioned into behaviour consulting with youth and adults in day programs and group homes. She is currently the Clinical Supervisor of the Clinical Behaviour Services department and Urgent Response Services at the GCA. She is passionate about supporting parents and guardians to be confident in managing problem behaviour and advocating for their children’s needs.
Courtney, a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) and an avid sports fan, is the Clinical Supervisor of the Adult Services department at the Geneva Centre for Autism (GCA). Following the completion of her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Guelph, a post graduate degree at George Brown College and her Masters of Education at Arizona State University, Courtney joined GCA in 2014. Throughout her time at GCA, she has dedicated herself to various roles within the IBI, Behaviour Consultation and Adult Day Support departments. Driven by her willingness to learn, she takes pride in supporting clients, caregivers, staff and community members with implementing behaviour strategies and community integration.
Jennifer Weber is a Behaviour Analyst from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Jennifer completed her Master’s degree at Brock University in Applied Disability Studies in 2013 and has been working as a Behaviour Consultant at the Geneva Centre for Autism since. Prior to this she completed a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Psychology at the University of Toronto. At the Geneva Centre for Autism, Jennifer actively works with parents and children through the Intensive Behaviour Consultation Service, which utilizes a mediator model of service and involves teaching and coaching parents on the implementation of behaviour strategies to help reduce challenging behaviours and teach new skills. She loves when families express how their relationship with their children has improved and it no longer feels like a constant power struggle, but rather that they really enjoy family time. She also has taken pride in her work to increase awareness of how girls on the autism spectrum differ from boys and how to tailor strategies to meet the needs of the girls, so that they feel more empowered.
Nancy Marchese discovered her passion for the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in 1998 when she first started working with children and adolescents with autism. Since then, she’s had the privilege of working with hundreds of children and adolescents with autism and their families across Ontario, Canada. Nancy is the CEO and Founder of Breakthrough Autism.
A Board Certified Behavior Analyst - Doctoral Level (BCBA-D) and Clinical Psychologist. Nancy completed on her PhD in Behavior Analysis through Endicott College. She takes pride in the fact that she stays connected with the latest research, which she incorporates into her client’s programming. Nancy has published research in the flagship Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) and has presented at both provincial and international conferences. She is the 2020 recipient of the Patrick Judge Clinical Dissemination Award presented by Endicott College. She is also the 2019 recipient of the “President’s Award for Service Excellence” award and the 2015 recipient of the “Excellence in the Contribution to Behavior Analysis” award both presented by the Ontario Association of Behavior Analysts (ONTABA). Nancy is currently President of ONTABA. She served as a member of the Ontario Scientific Expert Taskforce for the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (OSETT-ASD; an ONTABA taskforce) and was a contributing author of the report “Evidence-Based Practices for Individuals with ASD: Recommendations for Caregivers, Practitioners, and Policy Makers”. Finally, based on her extensive expertise and clinical experience, Nancy was appointed to serve on the ASD-Clinical Expert Committee (CEC) for what was formerly known as the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.
Bruce Petherick is a autistic advocate, a sound designer and educator. Born in Melbourne, Australia and now living in Vancouver, Canada, Bruce spent many years recording and touring throughout the world with various bands, playing Classical, Jazz and Music Theatre. He has been involved in teaching and pedagogy, especially at the Secondary and Tertiary levels.
After his later-in-life discovery of his autism, he has decided to concentrate on being an active advocate for Autism and especially Neurodivergent education. He has written articles about his autistic experience throughout the world, and has presented at conferences in Scotland, Australia and in Canada. Bruce is most proud of his work as a peer-to-peer mentor for adults who have recently discovered their own Autism, and is planning a book about this process with Dr KaraDymond.
Bruce continues to create music and recently his music has been used for dance works in Australia, for the Melbourne Fringe Festival with dancer Jacqui Maida, and in the United States with dancer Ana Miranda. Bruce has created Sound Design for over a hundred shows, most recently for Morpheus Theatre and Scorpio Theatre in Calgary, Alberta where his work has won several theatre awards.
Clare Chabot is an educator who has worked in the area of special education throughout her career. She has engaged in purposeful work for the last 15 years as an Autism Support Teacher in the TCDSB to create and share effective strategies for autistic students and to build capacity within the school system. Within a team, Clare developed a series of projects which include embedding self-regulation and social emotional learning for all students within the general curriculum, facilitating action research within special education settings to enable educators to explore research-based solutions and share their own expertise and the creation of professional development videos. She identifies with parents of neurodivergent children and aims to build community by providing them with opportunities that give voice to their successes and challenges.
Bio Coming Soon
Evdokia Anagnostou is a Child Neurologist and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto and Assistant Director of Holland Bloorview’s Research Institute. As a Senior Clinician Scientist, she co-leads of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) at Holland Bloorview and University of Toronto. She holds a Canada Research Chair in translational therapeutics in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the Dr. Stuart D. Sims Chair in Autism at Holland Bloorview.
Dr. Anagnostou has received extensive international funding to understand the underlying biological differences associated with ASD and other neurodevelopmental differences, translate such understandings into potential novel interventions. She also has funding in health system innovation, stakeholder engagement, and in understanding the meaning and impact of ASD in marginalized populations. She serves on multiple government committees on improving diagnostic and intervention pathways, and several editorial boards and grant review panels.
She has also been recognized for her contributions to training young clinicians and scientists and for her commitment to women in STEM. She currently represents the region of America –North on the INSAR Global Senior Leaders committee.
Grant Bruno is nehiyawak (Plains Cree) and a registered member of nipsihkopahk (Samson Cree Nation), one of the reserves that makes up maskwacis (Bear Hills), Alberta. He is a PhD in Medical Sciences - Pediatrics student at the University of Alberta. Grant Bruno is a father, two of his children are on the autism spectrum. His PhD research will explore redefining autism from a Cree lens, gathering stories with families and individuals who have experiences with autism using a strength-based approach, as well as gathering data on the perspectives of autism in Maskwacis. Grant is also the chair for Indigenous Relations Circle for the Autism Society of Alberta.
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Dr. Zonneveld is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Disability Studies at Brock University. She has worked with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the field of behaviour analysis since 2002.
Dr. Zonneveld received her Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in Behavioural Psychology (Behaviour Analysis). Prior to earning her Ph.D., she completed doctoral coursework at the University of Nevada Reno and earned her master of science degree (Behaviour Analysis) at Florida Institute of Technology.
Her clinical and research interests include diverse applications of behaviour analysis, treatment of problem behaviour and pediatric feeding disorders, autism spectrum disorders and other intellectual and developmental disabilities, early intensive behavioural intervention, and parent and teacher training.
Robbie Tanco is a 19-year-old musician from Vaughn, Ontario. He is a self-taught pianist and attended the Arcadia Academy of Music for eight years where he took singing and guitar lessons. He has played in multiple bands and performed at Vaughan Pizza Fest, the Waves of Change for Autism gala, the Elpida gala, and Dave and Busters. He was recently invited to perform at the Vaughan International Music Festival in June, 2023. Robbie’s musical influences include Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi, Billy Joel, and Elton John. He is currently pursuing his dream of becoming a successful solo recording artist and has recently started writing his own songs.