Language Bar

Children With Autism: Matching Interventions to Communication Needs

August 1–13, 2018 | Online Conference

Conference Faculty

Gazi Azad, PhD, LP, NCSP, is a clinical psychologist at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Her faculty position is pending at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Azad is a licensed psychologist and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. Prior to her current role, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Columbia University. Azad received her PhD in school psychology and her BA in psychology. The goal of her research is to enhance family-community partnerships for underserved children who live in urban settings and have psychiatric and developmental disabilities. To that end, she has developed and tested an innovative consultation model to improve parent-teacher communication and collaboration surrounding the use of evidence-based interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder in public schools. Azad’s research is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Autism Science Foundation (ASF), and the McMorris Autism Initiative. 

Financial Disclosures:

  • Employee of Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Formerly employee of University of Pennsylvania for postdoctoral fellowship
  • Funding from National institute of Mental Health, Autism Science Foundation, and McMorris Autism Initiative
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Jed E. Baker, PhD, is the director of the Social Skills Training Project, an organization serving individuals with autism and social communication problems. He is on the professional advisory board of Autism Today, ASPEN, ANSWER, YAI, the Kelberman Center, and several other autism organizations. In addition, he writes, lectures, and provides training internationally on the topic of social skills training and managing challenging behaviors. He is an award-winning author of eight books: Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Asperger's Syndrome and Social Communication Problems; Preparing for Life: The Complete Handbook for the Transition to Adulthood for Those with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome; The Social Skills Picture Book; The Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond; No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-of-Control Behavior; No More Victims: Protecting those with Autism from Cyber Bullying, Internet Predators & Scams; Overcoming Anxiety in Children and Teens; and School Shadow Guidelines. His work has also been featured on ABC World News, Nightline, Fox News, the CBS Early Show, and the Discovery Health Channel. 

Financial Disclosures:

  • Book royalties from AAPC and Future Horizons Publishers
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Meher Banajee, PhD, CCC-SLP, is an associate professor and program director of the Speech-Language Pathology Program at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Her areas of expertise include working with children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and working in the field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with clients of all ages and with a variety of disorders. Banajee teaches a course on special populations, which includes half a semester of instruction on autism spectrum disorder. She also is responsible for coordinating and setting up a diagnostic clinic for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASDID). She has worked in a variety of educational and hospital settings, including Metropolitan Developmental Center, Children’s Hospital, Prentke Romich Company, Human Development Center, and Assistive Technology Coordinator for Region 1. Banajee is the coordinator of ASHA’s Special Interest Group 12 (AAC), site visitor for CAA, and AAC Topic Chair for ASHA Convention 2018 in Boston. She also chairs ASHA's Ad Hoc Committee on Facilitated Communication and the Rapid Prompting Method.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Tom Buggey, PhD, worked in the field of special education as a teacher and supervisor in the U.S. and Canada prior to receiving his PhD in early intervention from Penn State in 1993. He then spent 14 years as a professor at The University of Memphis. While in Memphis, he was the primary investigator on numerous grants, most of which provided technical assistance to schools and families in the areas of inclusion, assistive technology, positive behavior supports, early intervention, and school reform. He also was instrumental in establishing the Access Center for Technology, the first ATA-accredited assistive technology center located on a university campus. In 2007, he was appointed Siskin Chair of Excellence in Early Intervention at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he focused on his line of research in video self-modeling (VSM) with children with autism. He has conducted research on this very promising technique since 1993 and has published numerous research papers on the topic. In 2009, he published the first book on VSM, Seeing is Believing. He is currently on the editorial board of Focus on Autism. He retired in 2014 and now serves as Chief Science Officer for Invirtua.com.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Teresa Cardon, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCBA-D, has worked with individuals with autism spectrum disorder for almost 25 years. She is the director of the Melisa Nellesen Center for Autism at Utah Valley University. She is currently conducting research on autism in the workplace, autism in the media, as well as pre-service teacher outcomes for special education students who take courses in autism studies. Cardon has designed curriculum in autism studies, speech-language pathology, and applied behavior analysis.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation                                              

Christina R. Carnahan, EdD, is an associate professor of special education within the School of Education in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services at the University of Cincinnati, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the field of moderate to intense disabilities. She is also the director of Advancement and Transition Services within the School of Education. Carnahan's research interests include building communication and literacy for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities, and creating efficient and effective instruction and support practices across the life span. Carnahan has published in journals such as Exceptional Children, Journal of Special Education, and Focus on Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Jessica Dykstra Steinbrenner, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a research scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences and a certified speech-language pathologist. Prior to returning for her research degree, she worked as a speech-language pathologist with elementary and middle school children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Dykstra Steinbrenner is currently working for the Center on Secondary Education for Students with ASD (CSESA), a large multisite grant developing and evaluating a comprehensive intervention program for high school students with autism, the National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice (NCAEP), and Supporting paraprofessionals-Teacher use of Evidence-based practices with Learners having Autism Research (STELAR). She previously served as principal investigator on an applied research grant funded by the Organization for Autism Research titled “Improving Social-Communication and Engagement of Elementary Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Adapting a Preschool Intervention for Elementary School Classrooms.” Her research interests are in the area of autism spectrum disorder with a focus on school-based interventions and individuals with autism and significant communication needs.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Employed by the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
  • Previous grant funding through the U.S. Department of Education and Organization for Autism Research
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation  

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • ASHA member

Connie Kasari, PhD, a professor of human development and psychology in the Graduate School of Education at UCLA. She has a joint appointment in the department of Psychiatry and the Center for Autism Research and Treatment. She is the principal investigator for several multisite research programs, including the Autism Intervention Research Network for Behavioral Health funded by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Characterizing Cognition in Nonverbal Individuals with Autism Intervention network by Autism Speaks, Interventions for Communication in Autism Network, and an Autism Center of Excellence Network grant on minimally verbal school-age children with autism, both funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her current research also focuses on developing targeted interventions for early social communication development in at risk infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with autism and peer relationships for school-age children with autism. She teaches courses in human development and advises graduate students at UCLA. She is on the treatment advisory board of the Autism Speaks Foundation, secretary of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), on the Executive Board of the annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and regularly presents to both academic and practitioner audiences locally, nationally, and internationally. 

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this and prior presentations
  • Grant support from HRSA, NIH, Goldman Foundation, Institute of Education Sciences, Merck Foundation, and Autism Speaks 

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Board member for Profectum Foundation, New Roads School, and Autism Speaks Science Board
  • Consultant for Mount Sinai Autism Center and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) at Johns Hopkins  

Donna S. Murray, PhD, CCC-SLP, is Vice President of Clinical Programs and head of the Autism Treatment Network (ATN) at Autism Speaks and Adjunct Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics in the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital/University of Cincinnati. At Autism Speaks, Murray oversees the activities of the ATN and other clinical programs. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, she worked as the clinical director for the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and co-director of the Kelly O’Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Murray’s current interests include examining the use of quality improvement methodology to improve clinical care and outcomes for children with ASD. She received her PhD from the University of Cincinnati in the Department Communication Sciences and Disorders, where she focused on the neurosensory aspects of communication, language, and social skills in autism spectrum disorders. Murray has more than 30 years of experience in program development, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with ASD. Her research includes studies examining language, social skills, diagnosis, and intervention in ASD.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Employed as Vice President of Clinical Programs for Autism Speaks
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation  

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • Program committee for this conference 

Erin Ofe Mauldin, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist at Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy in Richmond Hill, Georgia. She graduated with her BA in English from Huntingdon College in 2012 and her MS in communication sciences and disorders from Auburn University in 2015. During her graduate studies, Ofe Mauldin researched school-based speech-language pathologists' knowledge and perceptions of bullying of students with autism for her graduate thesis, which was published in the ASHA journal Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. Ofe Mauldin is a member of ASHA and has a special interest in working with children with autism spectrum disorder.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Billy T. Ogletree, PhD, CCC-SLP, is professor and head of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western Carolina University. His professional interests include the communication abilities and needs of persons with severe disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder. Ogletree also has significant interests related to interprofessional education and interprofessional collaborative practice. He has enjoyed a 34-year career as a speech-language pathologist and has worked in a variety of settings, including public schools, residential facilities for persons with intellectual impairments, hospitals, and universities. Ogletree has published more than 70 products (articles, chapters, books, manuals, etc.) and has made more than 100 professional presentations at state, regional, national, and international conferences. He chairs the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities and is an ASHA Fellow.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Kathleen Ann Quill, EdD, BCBA-D, has spent 40 years supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder. She is a developmental psycholinguist, educator, and board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA-D). Quill has conducted trainings in more than 20 countries, given the keynote address for 10 international organizations, and presented at more than 200 conferences. She discusses how to integrate behavioral (ABA) and developmental treatment models to enhance language, communication, and social learning. Quill promotes innovative solutions that bridge the gap between research and practice in order to sustain quality education for all students with autism. Prior to founding the Autism Institute, Quill was a professor at the University of Massachusetts and Lesley University in Boston and conducted applied research on developmental differences in autism. She is the author of two seminal texts, numerous publications, and online resources on the topic. Quill is on the editorial board for Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and Focus on Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. She facilitates Professional Learning Communities through regional and national partnerships, and collaborates with companies to design technology solutions for educators. She is a member of the Professional Panel of Advisors for the Autism Society of America.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Book royalties from Brookes Publishing Company     
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation 

Diane Twachtman-Cullen, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a licensed speech-language pathologist specializing in autism spectrum disorder. She holds an MA in speech-language pathology, a sixth-year diploma in early childhood education, and a PhD in special education. She served for 11 years as editor-in-chief of Autism Spectrum Quarterly, an international trade magazine that ceased publication in 2015. She is the author of numerous chapters and articles on communication issues in autism as well as four books: A Passion to Believe: Autism and the Facilitated Communication Phenomenon; Trevor Trevor, a metaphor for children, designed to increase the sensitivity of typical peers toward classmates with special needs; How to be a Para Pro: A Comprehensive Training Manual for Paraprofessionals; and The IEP from A to Z: How to Create Meaningful and Measurable Goals and Objectives (co-authored by Jennifer Twachtman-Bassett). Twachtman-Cullen is a member and past co-chairperson of the Panel of Professional Advisors of the Autism Society (of America), and past recipient of the Divine Neurotypical Award given by the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership, Inc., to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the lives of those with autism and Asperger's syndrome. Twachtman-Cullen provides consultative services and training seminars nationally and internationally.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Book royalties from Jossey-Bass/Wiley  
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Pamela Williamson, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has experience working with individuals with autism and their teachers in the area of reading intervention and instruction. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles related to reading and autism in journals such as Exceptional Children, Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, the Journal of Special Education, Intervention in School and Clinic, and Teaching Exceptional Children. In addition, she is the co-editor of an award-winning textbook, Quality Literacy Instruction for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and has educated in-service educators, related service personnel, and families across the U.S. on this topic.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Betty Yu, PhD, CCC-SLP, earned her doctorate in special education from the Joint Doctoral Program at UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University, her MA in speech-language pathology from New York University, and her BA in linguistics from UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on issues of social communication, heritage language, and bilingual development in children with autism spectrum disorder. She teaches courses related to language development, serving culturally and linguistically diverse families, and counseling in communicative disorders. The emphasis of her clinical instruction is on the provision of family-centered services to support communication development in children with autism. She is the co-director of Project Common Ground, funded by the U.S. Department of Education to prepare speech-language pathologists to work effectively with diverse children with autism.

Financial Disclosures:

  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

Catherine B. Zenko, MS, CCC-SLP, is the director of the FSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD). She has served hundred individuals with autism, their families, and caregivers and has conducted trainings on local, regional, and national levels on a wide range of topics related to ASD. She is the co-author of two books: Understanding the Nature of Autism: A Guidebook to the Autism Spectrum Disorders, 3rd edition (2012), and Here’s How to Provide Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Balanced Approach (2013).

Financial Disclosures:

  • Book royalties from Hammill Institute on Disabilities and Plural Publishing
  • Employee of Florida State University
  • Financial compensation from ASHA for this presentation

Nonfinancial Disclosures:

  • No nonfinancial relationships to the content of this presentation

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