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Temple Grandin, PhD
Temple Grandin is an internationally respected specialist in designing livestock handling systems, and is the most noted high-functioning person with autism in the world today. She is the author of numerous award-winning books on autism/Asperger’s Syndrome, including Different … Not Less (Future Horizons, April 2012), The Way I See It (Future Horizons, 2nd edition, 2011), Developing Talents: Careers for Individuals with Asperger Syndrome and High-functioning Autism (Autism Asperger Publishing Company, expanded edition, 2008), The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspectives of Autism (co-authored with Sean Barron, Future Horizons, 2005), Emergence: Labeled Autistic (Warner Books, 1996), and Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism (Vintage, 2006). Temple is also a worldwide speaker on autism topics. Read more at www.templegrandin.com.


Ellen Notbohm
Award-winning author Ellen Notbohm has informed and delighted millions with her popular books and articles on autism and her family history series, Every Life Matters. Her work has been published worldwide in more than nineteen languages.

Ellen is a three-time ForeWord Book of Year finalist, and a Silver Medal winner in the Independent Publishers Book Awards for 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s, co-authored with former Autism Asperger’s Digest managing editor Veronica Zysk. Ellen’s books have won Learning magazine’s Teacher’s Choice Award, two iParenting Media awards, and an Eric Hoffer Book Award finalist designation.

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew, demystifying autism with accessible language and salty humor, has become one of the autism community’s most beloved books. A condensed version of the book has been published on every continent except Antarctica. Ten Things Your Student with Autism Wishes You Knew was named to onlinecolleges.net’s list The 20 Essential Books about Special Education.

Website: www.ellennotbohm.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellennotbohm
Twitter: EllenNotbohm
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ellen-Notbohm/e/B00365IQKW/ref=sr_tc_ep?qid=1327443646


James Ball, EdD, BCBA-D
Dr. James Ball, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral, is the President/Chief Executive Officer of JB Autism Consulting (www.JBAutismConsulting.com). He has been in the field of autism for over 25 years providing preschool, educational, residential, and employment services to children and adults affected by autism. He is also the Director of Clinical Services for New York Families of Autistic Children (NYFAC), a private not-for-profit organization providing support and training for children and families in New York City. He provides private consultation to organizations, schools, and families regarding staff training, parent training, home support services, classroom design/support, and behavior management/assessment.

Dr. Ball is a past member of the Autism New Jersey, formally known as the New Jersey Center for Outreach and Services for the Autism Community (COSAC) Board of Trustees, and a past member of the Autism New Jersey, Professional Advisory Board. A member of the Autism Society’s (AS) National Board of Directors, he is currently the Executive Board Chair and has also served in the past as the co-chairperson of the AS’s Panel of Professional Advisors. He sits on the advisory board for the Autism Asperger’s Digest and has been a featured columnist for the magazine for the past five years. Dr. Ball has lectured internationally on various topics related to autism such as early intervention, inclusion, functional behavior assessment, social skills training, behavior management, direct instruction, sensory issues, and accountability. He has published in many of the above areas and authored the award-winning, breakthrough book Early Intervention and Autism: Real-life Questions, Real-life Answers, winning the 2008 NAPPA Gold Award Winner, Finalist for the 2008 ForeWord Book of the Year, and Gold Award Winner in the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Dr. Ball has won numerous awards, including NYFAC’s Autism Inspiration Award, ASA’s Publication Award for his manual on Social Security and Employment for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, Autism New Jersey, COSAC’s highest honor, their Distinguished Service Award, and most recently was honored at the Phoenix Center in Nutley, New Jersey during their 20th Anniversary Gala as Professional of the Year.



Dr. Jed Baker, PhD

Jed Baker is the author of six award-winning books, including No More Victims: Protecting Those with Autism from Cyber Bullying, Internet Predators, and Scams; No More Meltdowns; and a series of social skill manuals for school-aged children and adults. Dr. Baker directs the Social Skills Training Project.

Website: www.jedbaker.com

Jamie Pacton, MA
Jamie Pacton is a mom, writer, and professor who lives in Milwaukee with her husband and two small sons.  She grew up in East Tennessee, but moved north to study literature at Marquette.  Currently, she teaches writing for several online universities, so she can be both a stay-at-home and work-from-home mom.

In her free time, she likes to read, write fiction, walk by Lake Michigan, visit the Milwaukee Art Museum (every Friday morning), drink coffee, and watch TV shows that make her laugh.  Her favorite days are ones where she gets to take her kids to the zoo, or the park, or the children’s museum. She also likes to travel and hopes to learn to sail in the near future.

Website: www.jamiepacton.com.



Margaret Oliver, MEd
When I entered the world of education as a second career to teach young children with autism, I was committed to using all my talents for the betterment of my students. Unlike my business career, I hoped I could incorporate more creativity and innovation. It took less than three months of teaching for me to break into tears when I realized that I needed all my talents, and I also needed ones I didn’t have, to be an effective teacher.

The dust hasn’t settled. Years later, I am conscious of my limited personal resources. I expect to never have enough innate talent to be a perfect teacher, and that’s fine with me. Instead, I have inspiration from my students to work together toward new knowledge and skills.

In my first years of teaching, I focused on reading skills as a priority for my young students. I was riveted in my master’s classes in literacy when I saw the parallels between the purpose of reading and the purpose of life. Reading is a meaning-making process that uses prior experiences to expand comprehension. “Story” is a human’s opportunity to practice life without negative consequences. Isn’t this—literacy—the tool my students need to expand their world?

My students have inspired interventions to help clear a path to literacy. I use stories, both from published authors and those I create, to bring comprehension and enjoyment to my students. When my students and I are in the rhythm of literacy lessons, I stop worrying about my limited resources and instead focus on the delight of a child learning.

Website: www.oliverbyyourside.com



Jennifer Cook O’Toole
Jennifer O’Toole is the creator of Asperkids LLC, and is author of the internationally-bestselling Asperkids book series (2012-15). These six titles are ALL Amazon bestsellers, including several #1’s and the ASA’s 2014 Outstanding Literary Work of the Year. Jennifer has been appointed to the Autism Society of America’s Executive Director Panel, recognized as one of the “World’s Top Aspie Mentors,” and is the winner of the Temple Grandin Global Contribution Award. She’s been featured in Scientific American, and has advised the President’s Council at the White House, addressed Their Royal Highnesses the Princess Sophie of England and Princess Marie of Denmark (though she still says that collaborating with Sesame Street on their first autistic character trumps it all!). Jennifer was named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in NC, keynotes around the globe, is the mom of three (awesome) Asperkids, and proudly, is an Aspie, herself.

Website: www.asperkids.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asperkids
Twitter: www.asperkids.com@asperkidtweets




Joanne Lara, MA
Joanne Lara, a professional dancer turned classroom education specialist turned university professor, has dedicated her life’s work to improving the lives of individuals with autism through movement and music. Her advocacy has led to founding the nonprofit organization Autism Movement Therapy®, the recipient of two Autism Speaks grants, home based in Los Angeles, California. Autism Movement Therapy certifies, trains, and licenses dancers, educators, parents, and professional service providers across the United States, Canada, India, South America, and Europe in the beneficial role that movement and music can play in the speech and language, behavioral, and cognitive domains of individuals on the autism spectrum.

Joanne is a core adjunct professor at National University in LA, California, and helped design the Autism Certificate. She was the Technical Advisor/Autism Consultant for Kiefer Sutherland’s FOX TV show Touch. Lara earned her master’s in special education, Moderate/Severe and Multiple Disabilities, from California State University, Northridge, and a BA in Dance from the University of South Florida. She holds a CCTC California Moderate/Severe Education Specialist K–12 teaching credential and taught in the LAUSD for over ten years, where she worked exclusively with students with autism.

Ms. Lara teaches weekly Autism Movement Therapy classes in Van Nuys, CA, where she has a private ABA behavioral consultation practice, Autism Movement Therapy-AMT. Ms. Lara produced the soon to be released documentary Generation A: Portraits of Autism and the ARTS with Temple Grandin, Stephen Shore, Ed Asner, Elaine Hall, Anshu Batra MD, Wyatt Isaacs, Dani Bowman, Kevin Hosseini, Noah Schneider, Dylan Aragon, Abbey Lutes, Julian Arsi, Tyler Wedeen, and more.

The aut-erobics DVD can be purchased on the Autism Movement Therapy website. You can also find information about AMT Certification Workshop information there.

Website: www.autismmovementtherapy.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/autismmovementtherapy
Twitter: @autismmovement



Keri Bowers
Keri Bowers’ unconventional approach to advocacy, skill building, and transitions planning is rooted in her passion for the power of the arts as viable tools for interventions in autism. Keri began using the arts 24 years ago with her son, Taylor when he was only 6 months old. Over the years, Keri intuitively used art, photography, music, dance, drama, and other creative mediums to reach him when he had significant language, physical, social, and cognitive delays. Today, Taylor lives independently in his own home with supports.

The impact of arts upon Taylor inspired Keri to create numerous films, books, and programs for others including summer and winter camps, abilities awareness and art programs, social and life skill groups, transitions planning,  sibling’s workshops, and keynote presentations around the world. Her documentary films include Normal People Scare Me, The Sandwich Kid, and ARTS. Keri’s workbook, Mapping Transitions to Your Child’s Future, is a roadmap to transitions planning for kids and adults. She is co-founder of The Art of Autism, which produced a number of national live theatrical performance events, and editor of The Art of Autism; Shifting Perceptions, a popular book by Debra Hosseini featuring 77 artists with autism.

Currently, Keri is the art director for The Friendship Circle of the Conejo, The Miracle Project, PAUSE4kids, and Autism Movement Therapy in Southern California. She facilitates one-on-one art-based social and life skills, provides Skype-based consultations, and continues to travel providing workshops and keynote talks.

Website: www.normalfilms.com
Twitter: @autismfilms