Registration for the 2017 Autism Conference is NOW OPEN!
Keynote Speaker, John Elder Robison
Our 2017 Autism Conference keynote speaker will be best-selling author, advocate, and Aspergian, John Elder Robison. John Elder Robison is the author of New York Times Best-Seller, "Look Me in The Eyes." Other works include "Be Different: My Adventures with Apserger's and My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers," and "Raising Cubby: A Father and Son's Adventures with Asperger's, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives." He is also currently Scholar in Residence at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
Janet Twyman, PhD
Janet S. Twyman, Ph.D., BCBA, NYSLBA, is the Director of Innovation & Technology for the U.S. Dept. of Education’s national Center on Innovations in Learning, and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Mass. Medical School/Shriver Center. Dr. Twyman is a noted proponent of effective instruction and using technology to produce individual and system-wide change. Dr. Twyman will present on Technology for Teaching and Learning and Personalized Learning and Competency-Based Education for Students with ASD. ~The U.S. Department of Education highlight Personalized Learning and Competency-Based Education as best practice initiatives for learners with ASD. Personalized learning involves the modifying of teaching practices, curriculum, and learning environment in order to meet a student's different learning needs.
Daniel Wendler is the author of "Improve Your Social Skills," and a doctoral student in clinical psychology at George Fox University. After being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in high school, Daniel started teaching himself social skills the same way one might learn a foreign language. His TEDx talk, "My Life With Asperger's" has been viewed over 250,000 times. Check it out! Daniel will present topics on how to improve your social skills, and run a forum on autism and dating. He will also join other presenters to hold a session on how to improve your social skills through Improv Theatre!
Lynn Adams, PhD, CCC-SLP
Dr. Adams is an author, teacher, and clinician who specializes in the assessment and treatment of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Lynn recently left academia to return to full time clinical work, intervention and training with the Reading and Language Learning Center, serving the Washington, DC area and the Research Triangle in North Carolina. Dr. Adams will present about interplay of sensory processing, communication and behavior. Participants will learn how to identify sensory behaviors and develop communication competence, understand the difference between behavior management and behavior modification, and explore play-based intervention strategies.
Ms. Calbos is an attorney for Georgia's special educations students. She has been a lawyer since 1997. For nine years, Christy worked for school districts, but in 2011, she made a career decision to assist families who need help with special education. Her decision to follow her core value to be of true service to families and children led her to open The Calbos Law Firm which exclusively represents special needs students. From her years of behind the scenes experience with school districts, Christy has firsthand knowledge of how public schools operate. She uses her knowledge and experience for students throughout Georgia, reviewing IEPs and 504 plans, attending meetings, and assisting with discipline issues, education complaints and mediations. Ms. Calbos will discuss IEP Basics: What Every Parent Should Know About IEPs.
Mr. Jeyaram is admitted as an Attorney and Counselor of the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Jeyaram has also been recognized by his peers with the AV Peer Review Rating, which identifies lawyers with “very high to preeminent legal ability, is a reflection of the firm’s expertise, experience, integrity and overall professional excellence.” Further, Mr. Jeyaram has been recognized in Georgia’s Legal Leaders’ magazine as a “Top Rated Lawyer,” and has been quoted and featured in several national publications. Jeyaram & Associates is Georgia's only full-service special needs law firm that provides a comprehensive one-stop-shop for families with special needs children and adults. Mr. Jeyaram specializes in special needs trusts, estate planning, guardianships, and Kate Beckett and NOW/COMP appeals. Mr. Jeyaram has first-hand experience with the intricacies of this area of law as he has a special needs son who has a dual diagnosis of Williams Syndrome and Autism. Mr. Jeyaram's partnership with The Calbos Law firm provides families with legal expertise on IEPs, 504 Plans and education litigation. Mr. Jeyaram is active in the special needs community serving on several boards of directors including the Frazer Center and Spectrum Autism Support Group and is a part time magistrate judge for Gwinnett County.
Derek Volk is the author of the internationally acclaimed Amazon best seller, "Chasing the Rabbit: A Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum." He is president and co-owner of Volk Packaging Corporation, a third generation, family owned, corrugated box manufacturer in Biddeford, Maine. Derek actively participates on the Maine Business Leadership Network (BLN), a national organization that focuses on connecting employers with potential employees who have disabilities. His own company currently employs those who are deaf, blind and on the autism spectrum. Along with his son, Derek will present the opening plenary and later focus on experiences as a father and an employer.
Dylan "Dielawn" Volk
Dylan Volk is a comedian and You Tube star from Austin, Texas. Better known by his stage name, Dielawn, he can be seen on YouTube, Facebook, and heard on his own radio show, “Ridin with Dielawn” which can be heard every week in Maine on WLOB 1310AM. Dielawn has also been a regular on SiriusXM’s Dirty Pop hosted by Lance Bass on Radio Andy Channel 102. Diagnosed with Asperger's at age 8, Dielawn brings to the stage his expertise in adapting to live in a fast-paced adult world.
Jack O'Connor, MS Ed., BCBA
Jack O'Connor has served as the School Director/BCBA for The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism for the past two years. Jack graduated from Simmons College in Boston, MA with a Master's Degree in Severe Special Needs Education (K-12) in 2010 and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) since 2012. For over 10 years, Jack has worked with children and adolescents diagnosed with ASD and other developmental differences. Jack has experience as a teacher and BCBA in private residential and day school programs. He has extensive experience with IEP development, transition planning, curriculum modification, and providing ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) services in school, home, and community settings. Alongside Mark Stokes, Jack will present on The Purposes and "How-To's" of IEP development and Implementation. **TEACHERS and CAREGIVERS** Bring an IEP and get your specific questions answered.
Mark Ezra Stokes, MFA
Mark Ezra Stokes has taught elementary-through-high-school special education, college film & drama, graduate-level creative writing, and continuing-education screenwriting. Mark is the founder/story consultant for Holistic Storyteller, though prior to that, he served as lead teacher for The Matthew Reardon Center’s high-school students. He holds a B.A. in Communications, an M.A. in Screenwriting & Film Studies, and an M.F.A. in Screenwriting. Mark and Jack together will present on IEP Development and Implementation.
Valerie Thompson, MAT
Ms. Valerie Thompson, M.A.T. Special Education Teacher was born in New York, New and was raised in Miami, Florida. Valerie holds a Bachelor of Education degree in Early Elementary Education, and a Masters of Art in Teaching with an emphasis in students with exceptionalities. Valerie has worked in homes through government-based programs and organizations and currently works as ABA Therapist with the private sector clinic, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Valerie is a teacher at The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism. Valerie will present on the use and strategies for Positive Behavior Supports in the classroom.
Maranda Porter, MSP, BCBA
Maranda Porter previously served as Behavior Consultant and Outreach Coordinator for The Matthew Reardon Center for Autism. She is the founder of FRIENDS, an organization dedicated to providing social opportunities to children with ASD through summer camp. FRIENDS also provides job coaching for teens and young adults. Maranda will discuss Toilet Training for children with autism and other developmental delays.
Pauline is a wife, and mother of 3 children, Josh, Katrina and Dakota. She also has 3 beautiful granddaughters. Pauline is the Family Support Coordinator at B & B Care Services, and Founder & President Effingham County Navigator Team. She serves on the Ebenezer Middle School Council, and Emory Adult Autism Services Initiative Advisory Committee. Pauline is 2016 Graduate of Leadership Effingham, 2013 Graduate of Partners in Policymaking, a MANDT Certified Instructor, and Certified Aging in Place Specialist. Pauline will present on Navigating Medicaid.
Suzette Rosario, M.S., BCBA
Ms. Rosario is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with a master's degree in Psychology from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. She has with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities for nearly 10 years. Ms. Rosario began her career with the May Institute in 2013 as a Behavior Analyst at the May Center in Tennessee. She is now the Program Director at the May Institute in Savannah, GA. Other experience includes Residential Instructional Support Specialist for The Learning Tree in Piedmont, AL working with adolescents and adults. Suzette (along with Bora) will present on Applied Behavior Analysis-Ethics and Strategies.
Bora Kim, M.Ed, BCBA
Bora Kim is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with a master’s in special education specializing in Autism from University of North Florida. Bora Kim has up to 10 years of experience in ABA providing service as a Coordinator of the classroom at Emory University Walden Early Childhood Center and as service provider in different clinics. Bora has experience working with all ages. Currently, Bora Kim provides services through non-profit organization, May Institute. May Institute provides services in home, school, and community settings from Port Wentworth to Hinesville. Bora (along with Suzette) will present on Applied Behavior Analysis-Ethics and Strategies.