OPENING KEYNOTE PLENARY SPEAKER:
Teresa Cardon has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum for over 20 years. Dr. Cardon completed her doctoral training in Speech & Hearing Science with an autism emphasis and currently works at Utah Valley University in the Autism Studies program. Dr. Cardon has published her research on autism in peer-reviewed journals and presented at conferences both nationally and internationally. She is the author of three books that offer intervention support for individuals on the autism spectrum: Top Ten Tips (2008), Initiations and Interactions (2006) and Let's Talk Emotions (2004).
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Anna received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies at Brigham Young University. She is passionate about giving individuals with autism the opportunity to learn through performance - and families the opportunity to connect through theatre. This passion has led her to create an afterschool theatre program for children and families with autism. She has also collaborated with UVU faculty on a presentation of qualitative data using an innovative theatrical format.
CLOSING KEYNOTE SPEAKER:
Desiree Kameka is the Director of Community Education & Advocacy for the Madison House Autism Foundation. During her undergraduate work at the University of Miami, she developed a student-volunteer, social skills/recreation program for the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. After earning her master's degree from Wesley Theological Seminary, Desiree founded Faithful NeuroDiversity, which develops materials for faith communities by orienting autism through a theological lens.
Cheryl and Laura have been advocates for autism since 2003. They sit on several State and community committees relating to autism and are the President and President Elect of the Autism Council of Utah. Together they started the Big MAKS, (mom's of autistic kids) a networking and support kind of group for parents. They both have boys who have autism.
Fred received his Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Brigham Young University in 2009 and a Master of Social Work Degree from New York University in 2010. Fred has been working with Wasatch Mental Health since 2010, and started working with the XCEL Adolescent Autism program in the summer of 2012. Fred has been involved in working with children and adolescents for over 6 years on both occupational and voluntary levels.
Kyle received his Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Utah University in 2007 and a Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Utah in 2008. Kyle has been working with Wasatch Mental Health since 2004, and has been the program supervisor of GIANT Steps Autism Preschool since 2011. Kyle is passionate about serving children and families who are coping with the effects of having children affected with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Yael is the Executive Director of GreenTREE Yoga, a nonprofit organization, and is an author and educator. She has developed manuals, curriculum, CDs, DVDs on yoga for trauma, children with autism, seniors, and cancer survivors. Yael also does professional development on yoga for compassion fatigue and trauma/vicarious trauma.
Annie is the mother of three children, one of which has a diagnosis of Autism. She is currently working as a lead-para professional at Clear Horizons Academy and is hoping to study at Salt Lake Community College to become a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
Kianna is the Director at Clear Horizons Academy. For the past nine years she has worked in Northern California as an occupational therapist specializing in autism. A native to Utah, she graduated from the University of Utah and is currently working on her PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Disorders through ICDL.
Brandon completed his undergraduate work at the University of Utah, and obtained his graduate degree from Pacific University in Portland, Oregon. He has been working in the field of Autism and Disability for 8 years, and is currently a behavior analyst for Chrysalis. He also has private practice for behavioral and mental health counseling services.
Jennifer has been working with individuals with disabilities for over 10 years. During that time, she has worked as direct care staff, Support Coordinator for the State of Utah, Private Support Coordinator, Therapist, and Behavior Analyst. Jennifer received her Bachelor's in Behavioral Science from Utah Valley University and her Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Utah. Currently, Jennifer works as a therapist and Behavior Analyst for Chrysalis, a DSPD provider serving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Kris Doty is a graduate of Utah Valley University, having received her bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science. She earned a Master of Social Work degree from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in social work from the University of Utah. Kris is a licensed clinical social worker with a specialty in crisis intervention, and has served on advisory boards for several local organizations.
Crystal is a Certified P.L.A.Y. Consultant and Early Childhood Developmental Specialist with 15 years of experience working with young children on the autism spectrum.
Dr. Daniel J. Fairbanks is a professor, geneticist, artist, and author. He currently serves as Associate Dean of Science & Health and Professor of Biology at Utah Valley University. As author and co-author of four books and numerous articles in scientific journals, he is well respected as a geneticist. Having been raised in a family of professional artists, he studied sculpture from a young age and now has commissioned pieces of sculpture on permanent exhibit in museums, public buildings, and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. He often presents sculpture demonstration lectures to promote public awareness and education in the sciences.
Karen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at Kids on the Move in Orem, Utah where she provides therapy, teaches classes to strengthen marriage, and leads parent support groups. After spending 20 years at home with 5 children, three with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Karen returned to school so that she could better serve families dealing with the challenges of Autism.
Tiffany received her Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Science with an emphasis in Social Work from Utah Valley University. She has been working with Wasatch Mental Health in their GIANT Steps Autism Preschool program since 2010, and has served as an Autism Specialist since 2012. Tiffany loves the children she works with and feels privileged to work with them each day.
Ruth is an Associate Professor/Lecturer; Director Field Education BSW Program and Director Undergraduate Global Social Work Education - College of Social Work at the University of Utah. Her passion is to provide opportunities for greater understanding to traditional and non-traditional students on the plight of vulnerable populations where ever they are found.
Dr. Tracy Golden is an assistant professor of Social Work in Utah Valley University's Department of Behavioral Science. She is also a licensed clinician focusing on teens and adults with high functioning autism and Aspergers. She has worked with a number of clients in her private practice on issues of sexuality, relationship development and dating.
The Jessup group has over 40 years of combined experience helping businesses and families reach their financial needs and goals. Ronald Jessup, a senior vice president, is a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) and Katelyn Hancock is a Certified Special Needs Advisor (CSNA).
Julie Hansen is a licensed marriage and family therapist working at the Utah State Developmental Center with autistic individuals and families. Julie's hope is to educate families to empower their children with ASD, provide a deeper understanding of their child's condition and connect them with the supports needed for the family to thrive.
Ryan is a certified, licensed recreation therapist at ScenicView Academy serving adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other learning disabilities. Ryan has worked at ScenicView for four years coordinating leisure and experiential therapy classes and activities. He has presented on the recreation therapy program at ScenicView which includes many courses he personally developed. He received his degree from Brigham Young University and is currently working on a master's degree in Mental Health Counseling.
Dr. Thomas S. Higbee is a Professor of Special Education and Rehabilitation at Utah State University where he has worked since 2002. He is also Director of the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) program, an early intensive behavioral intervention program for children with autism which he founded in 2003. Jessica Akers, Daphne Hartzheim, and Matthew Brodhead are doctoral students in the Disability Disciplines PhD program at Utah State University. Their research interests include teaching social skills and enhancing clinical outcomes for children with autism.Dr. Thomas S. Higbee is a Professor of Special Education and Rehabilitation at Utah State University where he has worked since 2002. He is also Director of the Autism Support Services: Education, Research, and Training (ASSERT) program, an early intensive behavioral intervention program for children with autism which he founded in 2003.
Jessica Akers, Daphne Hartzheim, and Matthew Brodhead are doctoral students in the Disability Disciplines PhD program at Utah State University. Their research interests include teaching social skills and enhancing clinical outcomes for children with autism.
Amber received her Bachelor's Degree from Brigham Young University in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. She received a certification in teaching Special Education Severe/Profound in 2003. Amber graduated in April 2012 with her Master's of Science Degree in Special Education and is currently working on a publication of her thesis research. She is also a licensed Social Service Worker. Amber has been working with Wasatch Mental Health in their GIANT Steps Autism Preschool program since 2000, and has been an Autism Specialist for GIANT Steps since 2002. She loves working and consulting with children and their families.
Nathan is a licensed professional counselor and has been working in mental health services for over 18 years. For the last ten years he has been working as a psychotherapist at ScenicView Academy working with adults with autism and asperger's. He is currently working towards becoming a certified bio-feedback practitioner. He has been using bio-feedback techniques for the last 6 years. Nathan has worked as a case manager in mental health for adults and children and has a great knowledge of community and government resources.
mber received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Social Work from Utah Valley University in 2007. Amber has been working with Wasatch Mental Health in their GIANT Steps Autism Preschool program since 2006, and has been an Autism Specialist for GIANT Steps since 2010. Amber loves working with these special kids and values all they teach her. She can't imagine any other career.
Janeen received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University in 1988. She received her Special Education Endorsement in 1999. Janeen has been working with Wasatch Mental Health since 1996, and has been with GIANT Steps Autism Preschool program since 1997. She has been an Autism Specialist for GIANT Steps since 1999. Janeen has been instrumental in developing the current curriculum and combination of treatment techniques used at GIANT Steps. She has been a presenter and trainer in a variety of treatment techniques for parents and staff. She feels extremely blessed to be able to work with children affected with Autism. They have helped her see the world in a different way and she loves them as her own.
Ryan graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelors in Psychology, a masters in Social Work, and is an LCSW. He has worked at ScenicView Academy for over six years and enjoys helping adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other learning disabilities gain skills that lead to independent and fulfilling lives. At ScenicView Ryan maintains a caseload comprised of residential, day program, and outpatient clients. He serves as the chair of the Family Support Committee and frequently collaborations with an interdisciplinary team. ScenicView selected Ryan to become a Certified Change Anything Trainer through VitalSmarts and looks forward to train all of ScenicView's staff in a new model for changing human behavior.
Carrie Rogers-Whitehead is a Senior librarian for Salt Lake County Library. In March 2011 she created the first public library programming in the state of Utah for those with special needs, particularly autism. In January Carrie began a new library program for older children and teens with special needs, one of only a few in the country. Carrie has done training on literacy and autism for professionals around the state and is working to expand free library programming to more locations. Carrie has a Masters in Library and Information Science and in Public Administration. She is the Utah Library Association's 2013 Librarian of the Year.
Brandon D. Ross is a Senior Vice President at Merrill Lynch in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been in the financial services industry since 1996 and joined Merrill Lynch in 1999. He is a Certified Special Needs Advisor and also a Certified Financial Manager.
Heidi currently works at ScenicView Academy, a school for adults with autism spectrum disorders and other learning disabilities, as a case manager and coach. For the past several years, she has taught dating classes, hygiene classes, and other classes designed to improve independent living skills. She has worked with both developmentally delayed children as well as learning disabled adults. Heidi graduated Magna Cum Laude from Southern Utah University where she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology.
Dr. Springer is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, Utah State Office of Education Behavior Specialist, a member of the National Association of School Psychologists, Utah Association of School Psychologists and a member of the Autism Council of Utah. He works full-time as a school psychologist in the Park City School District and provides part-time consultation services for families, schools, and medical practitioners. Dr. Springer is also an adjunct faculty member at Utah Valley University in the Behavioral Science Department.
Jared Stewart, M.Ed., was named the 2011 Educator of the Year by the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC). He is the head of the education department at Provo's ScenicView Academy, a non-profit residential school that helps adults with autism and other learning disabilities to transition to successful independence. Born and raised on Kodiak Island, Alaska, he has more than ten years of experience working with adults with autism, and has shared his views on the techniques and mindsets that lead to improved outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum with many local and national audiences. His passion for the subject arises from personal experience: he has family members on the spectrum and has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome.
Tyson is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Clinical Social worker who has worked in the disability field, including children and adults with autism, for over 10 years. In that time he has worked as a direct care staff, support coordinator for the State of Utah, private support coordinator, therapist, and behavior analyst. Tyson completed his Bachelor's in Psychology from Southern Utah University and his Master's in Social Work from the University of Utah. Tyson is currently employed as a behavior analyst with Chrysalis, a DSPD provider serving individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Dr. Wiorkowski is an individual with Asperger's Syndrome who recently completed a PhD in educational psychology at Capella University. She is particularly interested in conducting research that will assist the community of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (and those that support them) as they mature into adulthood and enter the higher education system. She looks forward to continuing to explore this research topic through future studies which will always focus on allowing the voices of those with ASDs to be included in the research conversation.
Maria has been involved with helping families who have children with special needs/special healthcare needs connect to information and resources for 13 years. She has been involved with the Epilepsy Association of Utah, Medical Home Project, Utah Family Voices Family to Family Health and Information Network, Family to Family Network and Utah Parent Center. She is currently a District Consultant for the Utah Parent Center and works with families in Alpine School District. Maria has a daughter who has a seizure disorder and autism.
Kristin spent most of her childhood, career, and educational pursuits in New York and New Jersey where she taught regular elementary education. She received a Master's Degree in MEd Special Education (College of New Jersey) and spent the rest of her career teaching elementary and secondary special education in the public schools. She has been teaching in the School of Education at Utah Valley University since 2002. Most of her research has been in autism.
Jesse is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst currently employed with Chrysalis. He received my Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Utah State University and a Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities from Auburn University. Jesse studied under James Carr and Linda LeBlanc while at Auburn University. He has worked with children and adolescents with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities for five years collectively and is beginning to specialize in treating sleep disorders behaviorally.
Judith is the Utah Principal Investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring project and an assistant research professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Communication Disorders and Sciences at the University of Utah. As a licensed certified speech-language pathologist, Judy has 30 years of experience providing clinical speech-language pathology services to children with ASDs. Judy also has extensive experience in conducting surveillance and research projects that focus on improving the ascertainment of children with ASDs in our communities.