Dr. Barry Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Author of Uniquely Human – A Different Way of Seeing Autism
Dr. Barry Prizant has more than 40 years experience as a scholar, researcher and international consultant for individuals with autism, and emotional and behavioral disabilities and their families. Barry is an Adjunct Professor, Brown University, and Director of Childhood Communication Services, a private practice. Formerly, he was an Associate Professor of Child Psychiatry in the Brown University School of Medicine, and tenured Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Emerson College, Boston and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.
Barry is co-author and co-developer of The SCERTS Model: A comprehensive educational approach for children with ASD (2006), and Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Developmental, Transactional Perspective (2000). The SCERTS Model is now being implemented in more than a dozen countries. He has published more than 120 articles and chapters, and has presented more than 700 seminars and Keynote addresses internationally. Barry consults to public and private schools, and agencies world-wide. Over the past 20 years, he has developed, co-facilitates and raises funds for an annual weekend retreat for parents of children with autism.
Barry has received many awards including the 2014 Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2005 Princeton University-Eden Foundation Career Award in Autism, and the 2013 “Divine Neurotypical Award” of the Global and Regional Asperger’s Syndrome Partnership. He was an invited speaker for the 2013 World Autism Awareness Day at the United Nations.
Barry’s new book, Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, was published in 2015 by Simon and Schuster, and has received critical acclaim from renowned researchers, practitioners, parents and people with autism.
John Elder Robison
Author, Look Me in the Eye and Switched On
John Elder Robison grew up with Asperger’s Syndrome, and was undiagnosed until the age of 40. He nevertheless lived an incredible life. In his new bookSwitched On, he describes how a powerful brain therapy has allowed him to sense others’ feelings, and claim a newfound emotional intelligence. A leading voice on autism, he implores audiences to find strengths where others see weaknesses.
John Elder Robison is the Neurodiversity Scholar in Residence at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. He is an active participant in the ongoing discussion of ethical and legal issues relating to autism therapy, services, and intervention. He is particularly interested in improving quality of life for those people living with autism today—both autistic people and family members. He’s been a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and he serves on other boards for the US National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and private organizations. He’s co-founder of a high school program for teens with developmental challenges in Springfield, MA.
In his younger days Robison worked as an engineer for KISS and Pink Floyd’s sound company, and worked on some of the original electronic games at Milton Bradley. Later on he founded J E Robison Service—a restorer of Land Rover, Rolls Royce, and Mercedes motorcars.
Robison’s books Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, and Raising Cubby are the most widely read accounts of life with Asperger’s in the world. His books have been translated into more than fifteen languages, and they are sold in 60+ countries. His newest book—Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening—will be published in March 2016. Robison has also authored or contributed to over 100 autism-related articles.
George McCloskey Ph.D
Director of School Psychology Research, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
George McCloskey, Ph.D., is a Professor and Director of School Psychology Research in the Psychology Department of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and holds Diplomate status with the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology. Dr. McCloskey is the lead author of the books Assessment and Intervention for Executive Function Difficulties and Essentials of Executive Functions Assessment and his most recent writing on interventions for executive function and executive skills difficulties appears in Chapter 10 of the book Essentials of Planning, Selecting, and Tailoring Interventions for Unique Learners. He also is the author of the McCloskey Executive Functions Scales (MEFS) available fall 2015 from Schoolhouse Press.
Occupational Therapist, Profectum Foundation Faculty
Rosemary White has been an Occupational Therapist since 1972 and brings a wealth of clinical experience to every workshop she teaches throughout the United States and internationally in Canada, Europe, South Africa, Uganda and Australia. Rosemary is a true clinician’s clinician! Rosemary received her Neurodevelopmental Therapy training in London with the Bobaths, her Sensory Integrative Therapy training in Los Angeles with Dr. A Jean Ayres and her training in the DIR/Floortime model with Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder, Ph.D. and the Faculty of ICDL. She currently owns and operates Pediatric Physical and Occupational Therapy Services in Seattle, Washington. Rosemary has her Certificate in the DIR model and has been Senior Faculty on the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disabilities (ICDL) chaired by Stanley Greenspan, M.D. and Serena Wieder, Ph.D., since 2002. Rosemary is on the Clinical Faculty at the University of Washington in the School of Nursing Infant Mental Health Certificate Program. Rosemary is also Faculty in the ICDL Graduate School in the Ph.D. in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Developmental Disorders. This is an on-line Ph.D. program providing education to professionals throughout the world. Rosemary is also Profectum Foundation Faculty.
Dr. Cesar Ochoa, M.D.
Director of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Rush Uni. Med Center and Rush Neurobehavioral Center.
Dr. Cesar Ochoa is a board-certified developmental-behavioral pediatrician.He is an associate professor of pediatrics and the director of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at the Rush University Medical Center. He is the medical director at the Rush Neurobehavioral Center.
Dr. Ochoa established a multidisciplinary clinical program that evaluates, provides case management and psychopharmacological treatment to children with autism and other complex neurodevelopmental conditions. Dr. Ochoa is the director of the developmental-behavioral pediatrics rotation for the Rush pediatric residency program since 2005.
Dr. Ochoa has been an investigator in clinical trials for Autism disorders, Fragile X and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. He leads the Rush Down Syndrome Research Program, which has become one of the largest in the USA. He is the co-PI for the SPARK (Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research for Knowledge) study – Rush-Chicago site. Dr. Ochoa is collaborating with the First Affiliated Hospital at the Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China in a project to develop an autism program for children.
Dr. Ochoa is an elected member of the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics Executive Committee since 2015. Dr. Ochoa has been the medical consultant for the CFC 11 – Illinois Early Intervention system since 2009.
Dr. Traci Swink, M.D.
Pediatric neurologist, co-founder and Medical Director at the Bridge Center in Marshfield, WI.
Traci Swink, MD is the co-founder and Medical Director of the Bridge Center in Marshfield, Wisconsin. The Bridge Center is a nonprofiet organization that provides developmental interventions program to children with autism and other special needs. Dr. Swink is a DIR model certified trainer in Wisconsin and a faculty member of Profecturm Academy and the DIR model Institute. Dr. Swink provides supervision and training for the P.L.A.Y Project as well as participating in regional and national P.L.A.Y Project professional training conferences. Dr. Swink is a pediatric neurologist who has dedicated the past 10 years of her career to helping parents cope with the challenges of autism and empowering parents to become the ‘expert’ on their child’s special needs.
Sherri Cawn, MA, CCC-SLP
Cawn-Krantz and Associates
Faculty, Profectum Academy
Sherri Cawn is clinical director of Cawn-Krantz and Associates Developmental Therapies of suburban Chicago, has over 40 years of clinical pediatric experience specializing in the assessment and treatment of infants, toddlers, and school-age children. She is a leading practitioner of the DIR/Floortime model in speech and language development and trains other professionals throughout the United States and overseas on the concepts of this model. She is a frequent invited presenter at professional events .
Sherri is the author of the self study DVD/Manual on the Assessment and Intervention of DIR/Floortime Model produced by the American Speech and Hearing Association (2011). She is co-author of the Language Disorders chapter in the Diagnostic Manual for Infancy and Early Childhood (2005). Sherri is a senior faculty member of the ICDL DIR/FT Model Training Institute and the online Profectum Academy DIR model Training Programs and she is an adjunct faculty member at the Erikson Institute in Chicago, Illinois. She received her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Illinois.
Onna Solomon, MSW
Director of Learning and Development, PLAY Project
Onna, Learning and Development Director and Certified PLAY Project Consultant, began working for The PLAY Project in the fall of 2006. Some of Onna’s responsibilities include administration of professional training and workshops; educational resource development; and connecting The PLAY Project community. She has also led the PLAY Project as Executive Director. Onna brings an expertise in Autism Spectrum Disorders, clinical practice, PLAY Project program implementation, and establishing statewide systems of care. Onna has a Bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan, a Master’s in writing from Boston University and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan.
Amy Levin, MS, CCC-SLP
Clinical Faculty at Northwestern University Center for Audiology, Speech, Language, and Learning (NUCASLL)
Jordan Sadler, MS, CCC/SLP
Molly Losh, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator at Northwestern University’s Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Lab
Molly Losh’s research focuses on autism and related neurogenetic disorders. Specifically, her studies adopt clinical-behavioral and family-genetic methods and designs to characterize patterns of language strengths and weaknesses that define particular developmental disabilities, and examine ties to neuropsychological and genetic underpinnings.
Karen McDowell, BA
Celebrate the Children School and Profectum Academy
Karen McDowell has been the lead teacher at Celebrate the Children since it’s beginning in 2004. After being introduced to the DIR® model 12 years ago through summer programs, she immersed herself. She recently completed course work and case-based study, leading to certification in the model. She has been a professional in the field of special needs working with the adolescent population in educational settings for the past 24 years. Karen’s work has focused upon incorporation of best teaching practices within a thinking curriculum, training and mentoring both professionals and parent groups, participating in the expansion and vision of an adult developmental curriculum model, as well as continuing to understand how to best support students to be successful members of the 21st Century community. Karen has recently been honored with becoming part of the Profectum faculty as well as being named the Young Adult Program Coordinator at Celebrate the Children in Denville, N.J. Please contact her at kmcdowell@
Julie Tracy, MA, CCC-SLP, QMHP
Urban Autism Solutions/JMTF
Julie founded Urban Autism Solutions/JMTF in 2012 with her husband Michael after recognizing a need to provide young adults with autism residential, social and vocational solutions. She is the executive director, is a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional and licensed CILA provider.
A Speech-Language Pathologist for more than 33 years, Julie is also the owner of Pediatric Speech, Language and Literacy Services, a boutique pediatric evaluation and therapy business which has been serving the needs of children with complex language and learning difficulties for more than 13 years. Julie has also provided speech and language evaluation and treatment at Evanston and Glenbrook Hospitals, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago Institute for Neurosurgery and Neuro-Research and the Cove School. She has lectured and served as a clinical supervisor for the Northwestern University Voice, Speech and Language Service in the Department of Otolaryngology and has authored several articles related to communication disorders.
Julie attended Northwestern University and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Speech and Language Pathology from the School of Speech-Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is a member of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and the Illinois Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Julie has served in a wide variety of philanthropic capacities and on community boards. Programs created have served hundreds of children with and without special needs in the areas of recreation, education, religious education and agricultural engagement.