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INAS 2022 Neurodiversity conference
INAS 2022 Neurodiversity conference
In-person, Live virtual, and Recorded Speakers/Presenters
Joining Education, Medicine, Business, and Therapeutics
with Neurodivergent People and Families
For Information, Networking, Advocacy, and Support
September 24, 2022*
Note: Some bios were provided by people residing in countries outside the US. We have respectfully maintained their English spellings.
Dawn-Marie Solais has been coaching emotional intelligence and other life skills for more than 27 years. Her practice pivoted a few years ago to focus on skills for autistic and ADHD adults and teens as she saw the wide gap between the needs of this community and access to services and support.
A strong and steadfast voice for increased knowledge, understanding, and services, Dawn-Marie has been building connections with individuals and organizations around the world that seek to be more knowledgeable, helpful, diverse, and inclusive. She takes a supportive stand for those who self-identify and advocates for Neurodiversity to be understood as a wide-ranging group of neurotypes that have both intellectual, creative, and emotional strengths as well as needs for accommodation and assistance.
In addition to her coaching, Dawn-Marie is an active speaker, consultant, author, and advocate for Neurodivergent individuals and families, and is the lead organizer and sponsor of INAS 2022 Neurodiversity Conference. She is autistic, ADHD, dyslexic, dyscalculaic, and dyspraxic, and has three adult children who are neurodivergent as well. (In-person/Virtual recorded)
Allyson Aylesworth is a DIR Floortime-trained Physical Therapist with extensive
transdisciplinary experience working with young children with ASD and
developmental disabilities. She spent most of her adult life in China where she
worked as a developmental therapist, consultant, trainer and advocate. She is
currently the Children’s Ministry Director+ at Union Center Christian Church
where she lives out her passion for loving kids and supporting families. She is
recently married to a man who was definitely worth the wait and has two adult
stepsons. In her free time, you can find her either in a comfy chair sipping a mug of coffee or behind the lens of her camera enjoying the beauty of nature.
Allyson has also been a lead organizer for INAS 2022. (In-person)
Jeffrey Guenzel, MA, LPC
Jeffrey Guenzel, MA, LPC
Jeffrey Guenzel, MA, LPC, DIR-Expert, is the Chief Executive Officer of the International Council on Development and Learning (ICDL) and Director of the DIR® Institute. He is a professional counselor and has worked as a psychotherapist for 30 years. He was formerly the Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and Director of the New Jersey Division of Child Behavioral Health. He has been married for 29 years and is the proud father of wonderful grown children. Jeff has been legally blind or visually impaired for most of his life. In the 1980’s he competed nationally and internationally as a member of the US Paralympic swim team. He lectures and provides consultation throughout the United States and internationally on autism, child development, mental health, and program development. (Virtual recorded)
Teresa Thomas is The MITRE Corporation’s Program Lead for Neurodiverse Talent Enablement and has a long history of advocacy for neurodiverse populations. She has been a house parent in a group home for adults with high support needs, is now a parent of an adult on the autism spectrum and is active in the MITRE Corporation's Inclusion and Diversity programs.
Teresa leads the Neurodiverse Federal Workforce program pilot at multiple federal agencies, and spearheads MITRE's internal neurodiversity internship program, both focused on providing opportunities and support for neurodivergent individuals in cybersecurity and other technical roles. (In-person/Virtual recorded)
Andrew is the CEO of Untapped Holdings, a for-purpose social enterprise focused on developing a sustainable neurodiverse employment ecosystem to increase opportunities for autistic individuals, thereby realising their untapped potential.
Andrew is also driving the Neurodiversity Hub community of practice initiative
( https://www.neurodiversityhub.org ) which is about working with universities and employers to facilitate neurodivergent university students become more work-ready and increase their chances of securing a job and commencing a career. A range of life skills training courses have also been developed for neurodivergents ( https://www.beyourbest.academy ).
He also promotes the Genius Armoury platform ( https://geniusarmoury.com ) to attract and identify an autistic cybersecurity talent pool through some fundamentals training in cyber security. (Virtual recorded, Live virtual)
LaToya Pryce (She/her/hers) describes herself as a financial wellness advocate that has dedicated her 23 years in the financial service industry to help people live financially healthy lives. LaToya serves as the Culture and Inclusion Officer for Visions Federal Credit Union. She is responsible for evolving employee engagement practices within Visions and enhancing the organization’s internal and external focus on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Before joining Visions, LaToya served as Vice President of Regional Sales and Development for a community bank located in New Jersey, training and developing branch teams in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and New Jersey.
Residing in New Jersey, LaToya also advocates for autism awareness, support, and research and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Leadership at Carolina University. She received an MBA from Centenary University and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Berkeley College. (In-person/Virtual recorded)
Sonja is Director at Hames Sharley. Her 20+ years of experience has focused on the psychology of space through creative design outcomes within the built environment. Sonja brings a recognized capability for facilitating galvanized consensus amongst diverse stakeholders. She has developed a Covid Planning guideline for workplaces. She has a passion for research and evidence-based design.
Her education includes a Bachelor of Built Environment (with Hons) with a major in Interior Design from QUT with the final year completed at the School of Interior Architecture, UNSW. Upon graduating, Sonja qualified for the Golden Key Honour Society. Over the last two decades she has devoted her energy to professional practice. In 2016 she joined the industry advisory panel for the RMIT College of Vocational Education.
Sonja is leading the research team investigating neurodiversity and mental health and how, as designers, we can adapt our built environments through sensory design interventions to enable success and inclusion. Sonja is a mum of two, school-aged daughters and her family lives on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula.
Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D.
Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D.
Julie Skolnick, M.A., J.D., Founder of With Understanding Comes Calm,
LLC, passionately guides parents of gifted and distractible children,
mentors 2e adults, trains educators and advises professionals on how to
bring out the best and raise self-confidence in their 2e students and
Julie serves as Secretary to the Maryland Superintendent’s Gifted and
Talented Advisory Council, is an advisor for the Masters of Education
Program for the Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity, is the
Maryland liaison for Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted
(SENG), is a Committee member for the National Association for Gifted
Children (NAGC) and serves as an advisor to “The G Word” feature
documentary currently in production.
Julie produces Let’s Talk 2e! virtual conferences, hosts the Let’s Talk 2e!
Parent Empowerment Series, maintains the free listing service, 2eResources.com, and publishes “Gifted & Distractible,” a free monthly newsletter. A frequent speaker and prolific writer, Julie is also the mother of three twice exceptional children who keep her on her toes and uproariously laughing. (Virtual recorded)
Florencia (Flor) Ardon is a study skills lecturer and the neurodivergent student support program manager at the Learning Strategies Center of Cornell University. She collaborates with partners across campus to increase acceptance and inclusion of neurodivergent students, and provides individual consultations to students and their families, as well as faculty and staff.
Flor is also neurodivergent (ADHD) and her family has neurodivergent members as well, so her familiarity with the needs of neurodivergent students is both personal and professional. She co-founded and still organizes a support group for families where at least one member is autistic. Her volunteering efforts are dedicated to the Friends of the Library Booksale, where she is the category sorter for Education along with her (also ADHD) son. She loves the nature around Ithaca, NY and photography of plants and animals. Her children lighten up her every day. (In-person)
Kellen and Debby Orlando
Kellen and Debby Orlando
Kellen Orlando, 18, was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at age 13, and also experiences several of the co-occurring conditions that often accompany TS. At age 16 he was trained as a Youth Ambassador through the Tourette Association of America. Over the past three years he has participated in Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, speaking to members of Congress about his experience with Tourette Syndrome.
His mother, Debby Orlando, is an occupational therapist with nearly 20 years of experience working with children. She also recently became trained as an Education Volunteer through the Tourette Association of America. Kellen and Debby hope to use their experiences to help others learn about Tourette Syndrome and to increase understanding and acceptance for those impacted by TS. (In-person/Virtual recorded)
Dr Christine Harkness
Dr Christine Harkness
Dr. Christine Harkness has been supporting neurodiverse children and families for more than 25 years. She has worked in public education with students on the autism spectrum from pre-kindergarten through high school. She is passionate about helping parents and children understand how a child's outward behavior is a reflection of their inner emotional world. She is the founder and lead therapist for Magic Moments summer camp, an Expert Floortime Training Leader, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention instructor, and mother of two beautiful young women. (In-person)
Maggie Henry is the Broome/Tioga Chairmen for American Suicide Prevention Foundation. Maggie is passionate about helping parents and children of all ages learn how to prevent suicide. She is happily married with two neurodivergent child and has been volunteering with the AFSP for several years. Maggie is also part of the BC SAFE collision, Broome County Suicide Awareness For Everyone, with her own lived experience. Maggie is determined to help others learn how suicide can be prevented. (In-Person)
Dr Rebecca Evanko
Dr Rebecca Evanko
Dr. Rebecca Evanko is the autistic co-founder and Executive Director of Wilderwood Equine Therapy and Rescue, a New Mexico nonprofit offering programs designed by and for autistic people. A horsewoman with a penchant for endurance riding, Rebecca is a former university faculty member, Academic Dean, business owner, and writer. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Linguistics and is currently studying for a second Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with her research focused on women and autism. In 2022, she was honored to be chosen as the recipient of The Arc of New Mexico's Bob Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award. (Recorded)
Aron Croft appeared to have it all when he got into Harvard. But that was the beginning of his demise. He struggled nonstop for 15 years until he was broke, divorced, and earning minimum wage, failing out of his first 7 jobs and businesses. But after getting a Master's in Coaching Psychology and a diagnosis of Inattentive ADHD, he built a successful Fortune 500 career. Then, he decided to pursue his passion for helping others, so he started a side hustle, which turned into over 100,000 social media followers and his full time job. The business pulled in six figures in year one, led by an online course that generated $60k. Loving the newfound control he experiences, Aron wants to teach others his TAROT method, which shows new course creators how to ensure their course will sell before doing any work to create it.
Aron’s website: HiddenADHD.com
Free resource: How to Ensure Your Online Course Will Sell (Before You Do Any Work On It!)
Cassandra is a working professional in the financial risk industry who is diagnosed with ASD. She grew up without support and learned her coping skills in the wild, equipping her with hard-earned insight and guidance harvested from her experiences. She has focused on developing effective and authentic communication to better foster understanding, tolerance, validation, and empathy of and between neurodiverse and neurotypical individuals. Her current mission is to inspire and facilitate both individual and organizational conversations around the conscious inclusion and appreciation of neurodiversity in the corporate workplace.
Timothy Rohrer is a young adult with autism who is an author, speaker, self-advocate and educator of disability inclusion. He is the author of a teaching guide “How to be a Good Influence to People with Disabilities” and a children’s book “Timmy’s Story: A Story About Autism and Friendship”. He created his
own website “Tips4Inclusion” and a YouTube Channel with his own original resources. He has spoken at schools, conferences, professional development workshops and even made his way to the top speaking at the NJ Department of Education. Tim has received a commendation from the NJ State Senate and
Assemblymen and is also the managing partner of a teen founded, nonprofit organization, 5Help Foundation. (Virtual recorded)
I am an Autistic Autism consultant. I share a lifetime of personal Autistic
experiences and knowledge to help bridge the gap between Autistic and
non-autistic worlds. I provide Autistic advice and guidance that is catered
specifically to meet each individuals unique needs. I am on the National
Autistic Society’s Autism Services Directory.
I am fluent in British Sign Language, and I can communicate fluently with
Deaf-Blind people who use Deaf-Blind Manual, Block and Visual frame
I have Qualified Teacher Learning Status (QTLS) allowing me to teach
people age 14 years and beyond.
I am hyper-empathetic and able to mirror how others are feeling just by
looking at them. This is one of the reasons I struggle with eye contact
because it’s like I download their soul- I see too much. (Virtual Recorded)
Adam Murphy is the the proud dad of three amazing young men, the eldest of whom is autistic has learning difficulties. He documents the joys and challenges of life using the Twitter name Autism Care and Share. He has nearly 28 thousand followers and has appeared on podcasts and BBC News to highlight the injustices facing people with conditions similar to his son. (Recorded)
Jackie Bartell, M.Ed.
Jackie Bartell, M.Ed.
Jackie Bartell, M.Ed., has been working in the field of special education of for over 30 years. She has worked with special needs children in a variety of settings, including both private and public schools, as well as consulted with families in their homes. Currently, Jackie is mentoring a variety of educational and developmental human service agencies and families, using the DIR model as a framework. As an expert training leader for ICDL (Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental Learning), she also provides online and in person instruction in the DIR model for both parents and professionals worldwide. Jackie’s focus is on autism spectrum disorder and the application of the DIR model to support attention, focus, engagement and interaction in education and development, both in and outside the classroom. Since she was certified as a DIR facilitator in 2001, Jackie has trained hundreds of professionals and families in the DIR model of intervention. She received her B.A. in Psychology and her MS in Developmental Disabilities, with certification in Special Education from the University of Rochester. (In-person)
Matthew Zakreski, PsyD
Matthew Zakreski, PsyD
Matthew “Dr. Matt” Zakreski, PsyD is a high energy, creative clinical psychologist who utilizes an eclectic approach to meet the specific needs of his neurodiverse clients. He is proud to serve as a consultant to schools, a professor, and a researcher on Giftedness. He has spoken over 200 times all over the world about supporting neurodiverse kids. Dr. Zakreski is a member of Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG), the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), the New Jersey Association for Gifted Children (NJAGC), and Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education (PAGE). Dr. Zakreski graduated from Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology (IGCP) in 2016. He is the co-founder and lead clinician at The Neurodiversity Collective and his website is www.drmattzakreski.com
C.A.Watts (she/they) is a teacher, author and designer from the Hunter Valley of Australia. Their works include the YA fantasy Ventura Series and picture book series The Neurodivergents published by Ballads & Bards Bookhouse, an all Neurodivergent publishing house. They are the only Autistic teacher in NSW to offer Neurodivergence professional development training, and founded and runs the Neurodivergent Network within the Department of Education as a safe space for Neurodivergent teachers to connect and educators to learn. They are currently a PhD student studying Autistic expertise when compared to historical Autism research, and reframing the results from Autistic perspectives in order to debunk the harmful misconceptions that have damaged Autistic life outcomes. It is titled: Nothing About Us Without Us. (Virtual recorded)
Laurie Ackles, DSW, LMSW
Laurie Ackles, DSW, LMSW
Laurie Ackles, DSW, LMSW (she/her) is the Director of the Spectrum Support Program, a program that provides specialized supports to over 100 autistic students at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) each year. She also manages RIT’s Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative, a donor-funded project aimed at preparing neurodivergent job seekers for the job search, educating employers about the value of neurodiversity, and facilitating the connection between them. Ackles recently earned her doctorate, focusing on trauma-informed care and using implementation science to improve the use of evidence-based practices in higher education support services for autistic college students. Dr. Ackles is also a higher education consultant with College Autism Spectrum (CAS) and serves on the Advisory Board for the College Autism Network (CAN). (In-person/Virtual recorded)
Mary Doherty (she/her) is an autistic anaesthetist based in Ireland, and founder of peer support & advocacy groups “Autistic Doctors International” and “Autistic Med Students”. She is an autism researcher focussing on healthcare and medical education. Her work centres around replacing the autism as tragedy narrative with a neurodiversity-affirmative approach. She is mother to two neurodivergent kids. (Virtual/Live virtual)
Seb is multiply neurodivergent. He is a medical doctor by background, working in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. He is also a Lecturer in Medical Education (Research Methods) at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, where he previously completed a PhD aimed at supporting dyslexic and dyspraxic medical students and doctors. Combining his clinical background, his academic interests, and his own experiences as an autistic person, Seb is also the Research Lead for Autistic Doctors International (ADI). Through this role he works closely with Mary Doherty and the rest of the ADI leadership team to help shape their academic efforts, ensuring their research is both participatory/insider and neurodiversity affirmative. He is passionate about ensuring that autism research is done with/by autistic people and that it is done for our benefit. Twitter: @autistic_doc.
Kendra Evans coordinates the Neurodiverse Hiring Initiative (NHI) at the Rochester Institute of Technology. NHI facilitates myriad programs that build the job readiness skills of neurodiverse job seekers and gives employers access to this skilled, yet often overlooked applicant pool. In addition, we provide guidance and support to employers through hiring, onboarding and supervision.
Kendra started her career as a classroom teacher, went on to become a learning specialist, educational advocate, and small business owner. She opened The Village Learning Studio, LLC, a community learning environment that teaches social and executive functioning skills while also creating a sense of belonging. Kendra facilitates workshops for parents and educators, writes curriculum, and is forever championing the benefits of universal design and sharing the good news that cognitively diverse teams increase productivity and provide organizations with a competitive advantage. She has three teenage children, loves to exercise and do logic puzzles, and her last meal would be a soft pretzel and an IPA at a ballpark, preferably Wrigley Field. (In-person/Virtual recorded)
Ilene Monico, School building Leader/School District Leader, is the principal of the Broome-Tioga BOCES Oak Tree Center-based Program, which utilizes the TEACCH methodology and incorporates structured teaching approaches founded by Eric Schopler in 1972 from the University of North Carolina. The Oak Tree Program provides a highly structured learning environment for students with autism ages 5-21 to address students’ various unique learning needs within an 8:1:1 classroom setting. Additionally, the BOCES Oak Tree Program provides individualized educational supports, life/social skills training, and includes families as partners.
The Oak Tree Center-based Program located at the Leslie F. Distin Education Center on Glenwood Road is designated to meet the needs of those students who are participating in the New York State Alternate Assessments. Students are exposed to various academic curriculum that provides NYSAA standards based instruction to facilitate learning, provide knowledge and skills in functional life skills, and work experience opportunities starting at the age of 16.
The Oak Tree District-based Program is located within the Windsor Central School District and Vestal Central School District for students in grades K-12. Students in District-based K-5 classrooms access the same curriculum as do their typical peers (with modifications as needed), and many are included in general education classes, where they take the New York State Assessments for grades 3-5. District-based middle and high school students are fully integrated into general education classes and graduate with a Regents diploma. Life skills instruction is also included within the curriculum and students learn the skills needed for independence, future success, develop a greater understanding of their autism and learn how to advocate for themselves. (In-Person)
Laura Lazar is Music for Autism’s National Program Manager. After a childhood in Hong Kong, she graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Psychology and Economics, followed by an MPH at Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Currently she lives in San Francisco and works at the University of California, San Francisco. Besides M4A and UCSF, she is also Program Coordinator at the Anal Cancer Foundation. She loves traveling,
eating, and her dog Bean. Laura unfortunately brings absolutely zero musical talents to Music for Autism, but is the most appreciative and enthusiastic listener! (Recorded)
Learn more about Music for Autism: https://www.musicforautism.org/
Bio from Eliza's website: https://missingthemark.blog/
“Missing the Mark” began in early 2020 as an illustrated blog authored by Eliza Fricker – a deeply personal and all too human exploration of a mother’s journey navigating the education system and everyday life with a child who can’t go to school.
In response to overwhelmingly positive and supportive feedback Eliza has since launched a limited run companion Missing The Mark Podcast, authored several works on the subject of autism and the education system, and launched a series of Talks, Consulations, and online courses to support parents in similar situations.
The original illustrated blog is still regularly updated, offering deceptively simple illustrations which give way to endearingly perceptive and detailed observations, often irreverently humorous and highly emotional.
Missing the Mark is not only an artistic expression of difference in today’s society, it also aims to serve as a thought provoking and valuable contribution to the visibility, acceptance and support of families like Eliza’s. It acts as a way to communicate difficult circumstances with teachers, educators, social workers, other parents and friends of those also experiencing these issues, with the hope of providing a drop more humanity in the world.
Eliza’s latest book Can’t Not Won’t will be published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers in December 2022. (Virtual recorded)
Laura Kerbey is a co-founder of NEST (Neurodivergent Education Support and Training – Formally known as Positive Autism Support and Training (PAST)), Healthy Happy Me and KITE Therapeutic Learning. She has been working with autistic children and young people for over 20 years.
As well as working closely with young people and families Laura works as an Educational Consultant working with schools, colleges and universities providing training and advice to ensure that the needs of autistic learners and PDA are fully met. The autism and PDA training programmes that Laura has developed at Level 2 and 3 are accredited by The Open College Network (London Region) and recognised by the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF.) In March 2020 Laura spoke at the first ever conference on PDA in the United States and is now an advisor for PDA North America.
In January of 2022 Laura and Harry Thompson joined forces and co-founded Neurodivergent Education Support and Training (NEST.)
NEST runs online support meetings, workshops and conferences for parents, carers and professionals and provides one to one advice to parents on neurodivergent family life, education and other matters related to autism spectrum conditions and PDA. Laura and her team also work closely with autistic children and teenagers, providing emotional and behavioural support. Laura also works as a coach to autistic adults supporting them with various aspects of their life including employment, relationships and identity. NEST also provide NICE Compliant Autism and PDA Assessments. (Virtual recorded)
Harry Thompson is an Autistic PDA adult, he is the author of the bestselling book - PDA Paradox, a public speaker, autistic educator, PDA ambassador, consultant & self-advocate. His audiences receive invaluable insights into neurodivergent experience, often delivered with controversial humour & brutal honesty.
Harry supports parents, families, teachers, professionals as well as neurodivergent adults by offering consultations, training & talks. Harry uses his social media platforms to educate & create (sometimes controversial) conversation with the aim to create a more inclusive society.
Harry is passionate about providing a platform for open conversation, where opinions are challenged (including his own), theories are shared and taboo subjects are discussed.
Harry advocates for the ND community to give them a voice, allowing them to celebrate their neurobiology and be seen as an important and much needed part of society. He regularly aims to educates his followers with a regular live interview series ‘The Naughty Autie in Conversation’ where he is joined each session by a guest speaker from the ND community to discuss important topics related to Autistic & ND experience.
Harry allows his audience to explore PDA from an insider’s perspective. From the families he works with to the schools & professionals he trains, it’s never about advice or strategies, but much more an exploration to invoke understanding. The more you understand PDA and how the mind of a PDAer operates, the closer you are to the individual - and the more those 'strategies (whatever they are)' will simply fall into place and become second nature. (Virtual recorded)
Finn McGwyre is 18 years old and an Autistic YouTuber, creating content aimed at the younger generation to educate those who want to learn about Autism in an easy-to-understand way. Finn has recently completed his first talk at The Autism Show, the UK’s biggest Autism event, speaking about the transition from being an Autistic teenager to an Autistic adult (full talk can be found on his YouTube channel). Recently finishing a 2 year course in media production at college, Finn would love to pursue a career within this area and continue to learn and try his best to educate a wider audience of people to take us one step closer to living in a world that works for Autistic people. (Virtual recorded)
Joanna Grace is a Sensory Engagement and Inclusion Specialist, Doctoral Researcher, Author, Trainer and Founder of The Sensory Projects. Joanna is Autistic.
Joanna's work focuses on the experiences of people with profound disabilities, she has presented a TEDx talk focused on inclusion and is recognized within the UK as a national voice for those with additional learning needs and has been described as a thought leader. Her books sell globally and she provides training both in person and online to an international audience.
Joanna comes from a background in inclusion, and first worked as a support worker for a brain injured gentlemen at age 13. She has worked supporting children with additional learning needs within mainstream education and worked as a special school teacher. Since setting up the Sensory Projects over ten years ago Joanna has worked as a consultant within the UK, and internationally. The youngest person she has supported was a day old and the oldest person was close to 90. In all that she does she is seeking to contribute to a world where people are understood in spite of their differences.
Social: Facebook Twitter Linkedin
Joanna Grace's training: The Sensory Projects Online College
Ron Crawford, Unleashed Potential Consulting
Ron Crawford, Unleashed Potential Consulting
Leadership Development expert Ron Crawford works with individuals and organizations to create an environment where leadership skills are unleashed to fulfill their maximum potential. A popular keynote speaker and leadership trainer, Ron is recognized for his practical knowledge and direct applicability of concepts to today’s business environment. Focusing on key tenets of empathy, integrity, inclusion, and building trust, Ron coaches individuals and teams to be the leaders we need today.
After a 33+ year career with Lockheed Martin, in which 25+ years were in leadership roles, and 15+ years were spent running a leadership development program, Ron joined Unleashed Potential in 2020 as Director of Consulting Services. Ron brings a passion and energy to his presentations and mentoring, and has a broad portfolio of expertise and offerings including core leadership principles, ethics and integrity, and generational diversity and inclusion. (In-person)
Meaghan Timko is the founder of Parallel, an international consulting agency based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA that focuses on strategic transition planning and inclusive workforce development. Meaghan is a LiveSafe Woman of Achievement and has been recognized for her contributions to the metro Atlanta philanthropic and business community. She received her certificate in Performance Management and B.S. in Psychology from Florida State University and her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis from the Florida Institute of Technology. Meaghan sits on many non-profit boards and professional workgroups. She is an author and an experienced entrepreneur who believes that collaboration, innovation, and a careful balance of confidence and humility are the keys to success. Meaghan is a proud wife, and a mother to two bold, smart, and accomplished daughters. (Virtual recorded)
Daria Brown, MA
Daria Brown, MA
Daria Brown, MA, has worked in the field of research, evaluation and education for over 25 years at universities, not for profits, and government. Following the severe brain inflammation of her son at age 2 and subsequent Autism diagnosis, she dove head first into the search to find the best supports for him, finding DIR/Floortime. She has an Advanced Certificate in DIR/Floortime and created Affect Autism to help parents implement the parent-mediated Floortime approach in their families and became the Parent Advocate at the International Council on Learning and Development (ICDL) where she facilitates a weekly virtual support meeting for caregivers interested in DIR/Floortime for the children they care for. Discovering her own neurodivergence has made her even more invested in advocating for neurodiversity-affirming care where autism is concerned and has helped her relate with her son even more deeply. (Recorded)
Elizabeth Wolleben Yoder, CFP
Elizabeth Wolleben Yoder, CFP
Liz studied Speech Language Pathology and Audiology at Loyola College in Maryland. She moved soon after graduation into a group home, where she was a live-in caregiver to four adults with Intellectual and Development Disabilities (IDD). Liz got introduced to the IDD advocate community and became determined to work for families and individuals who were often scared to save or earn too much to disqualify them for government benefits. Liz became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional to advocate with them. As Director of Financial Planning at Planning Across the Spectrum, Liz and her colleagues serve clients across the country, many with high support needs and many with few. Started by Andrew Komarow after his own Autism diagnosis, the company’s goal is to provide pathways more financial wellness and inclusion for neurodivergent individuals and others with disabilities.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/planningacrossthespectrum
Youtube page for additional free resources: https://www.youtube.com/c/PlanningAcrossTheSpectrum
Michael Strong is founder and CEO of The Socratic Experience, a virtual school serving creative, entrepreneurial, and intellectual students in grades 3-12. Michael's schools feature a highly personalized program, which therefore attracts neurodiverse individuals who are able to flourish in a personalized environment. He coined the term "scolianormative" to emphasize the fact that conventional schooling represents an artificial set of norms which do not represent human nature. He has spoken at dozens of universities, has three TEDx talks, has published dozens of articles, and is the author of The Habit of Thought and lead author of Be the Solution. (Virtual recorded, Live Virtual)
Dr Dave Caudel
Dr Dave Caudel
Dr. Dave Caudel is the associate director of the Frist Center for Autism and Innovation at Vanderbilt University in Nashville Tennessee. Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2009, Caudel is a neurodivergence advocate, speaking to a variety of organizations, including the U.N. and autism conferences internationally. For much of his life, he struggled to find his place in the
world, and has had a number of careers, including videographer, soldier in the U.S. Army, journalist, photojournalist, magazine editor, public affairs specialist, truck salesman, and corporate stints from customer service to loss prevention, just to name a few, before deciding to give, “this college thing a try.” He received his Ph.D. in Physics at Vanderbilt University in 2017. He serves on the advisory committee for the Center for Discovery, Innovation, and Development (CDID) at Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Jersey, the Vanderbilt University Diversity Council and the All Access Inclusion Network, and is a founding member of the Vanderbilt Autism and Neurodiversity Alliance. His research interests include gamma spectrometers for astrophysics applications and meaningful employment for adults on the spectrum by finding novel, innovative ways to measure their strengths, talents, and passions, then match those to specialized business needs, as well as determining the programs and training needed to maximize success in the workplace. (Virtual recorded)
Caroline has been an occupational therapist for almost 20 years and has worked in the disability sector in Australia, The UK and China. Most of her work has focused on supporting autistic children and children with intellectual disability and their families in special education settings. While in practice, she also worked as a Positive Behaviour Support Specialist, supporting families and schools to implement best practice. She finished her PhD at The University of Sydney in 2019, and focused on supporting sensory processing in the classroom for autistic children with and without intellectual disability. She has been invited to speak at numerous local, national and international conferences on autism and other disabilities. She was recently awarded a Western Sydney University Early Career Research Fellowship Award. (Virtual recorded)
Dr Kristy Coxon
Dr Kristy Coxon
Dr Kristy Coxon is a registered occupational therapist with a PhD in Public Health. Kristy has over 20 years’ experience in clinical practice, education and research, and currently holds the position of senior lecturer at Western Sydney University, Australian. Clinically, Kristy worked in Western Sydney across the health care continuum in acute, rehabilitation and outpatient occupational therapy services, with a special interest in aged care. Kristy’s research has focused on community mobility and participation for people with disability and older adults. Recently, she has been involved in research investigating the development of community mobility skills in young autistic adults. This research lead to important insights into ways to support community mobility skill development and informed practice and education. With expertise in participation and ageing, and important collaborations with colleagues with expertise in Autism, Kristy and her colleagues have developed a program of research exploring the concept of ‘Ageing well with autism’. Meeting the needs of older autistic people in our community is the driving force behind this research. (Virtual recorded)
Matt Kisloski is the Financial Wellness Manager at Visions Federal Credit Union. His focus is on developing and providing financial education programs to the community. He is an alumnus of Binghamton University, and sits on the board of directors of the Waterman Conservation Education Center, and Stray Haven Humane Society & SPCA. (In-person/Virtual recorded)
Mike Williston is co-founder & CEO of Satellite Displays. He is responsible for taking an idea to reality in his quest to transform the way we communicate. Satellite Displays' created Badger, the world's first closed captioning smart badge that converts speech-to-text and translations in real-time. Badger can also translate in 50+ languages. Previously, Mike was part of the Founding Team at Compliance Wave. At Monmouth University, he received a double major in Marketing & Management and his MBA. (In-person/Virtual recorded)
Kelly Guthrie and Claudia Garcia
Kelly Guthrie and Claudia Garcia
Kelly Guthrie and Claudia Garcia are two moms out of Las Cruces, NM raising neuro-divergent people, and co-hosting their podcast; Kelly and Claudia, Moms on the Spectrum. Covering a range of topics, from the chaotic to the mundane, we share our unpolished life experiences navigating raising our a-typical families in a neuro-typical world. Our shared situation being the inspiration for the show, led us to find that the best support system has turned out to be each other. This is us, living life without a filter.
(In-person/virtual, Virtual recorded)
Andrew Arboe is the Founder of Driving with Autism, an online pre driving program that helps people understand the driving journey. A self-advocate, Andrew has served in the autism community as job coach, director of community outreach, and consultant for autistic adults over the last several years. He engages new autistic drivers and their families with his webinar series that goes over the driving journey, which is made from his experiences driving and consulting with individuals. Andrew has presented in conferences such as the US Autism Association and the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix. Andrew also presented locally in nonprofits about autism, appeared in several podcasts nationwide like Autism Live, and written articles for the Autism Spectrum News. (Virtual recorded)
Star Peterson holds a Master's degree in Severe Disabilities Special Education. They taught for fifteen years before becoming a diversity trainer. During this time they had the privilege of teaching students who, like them, are neurodivergent. Now Star provides training on making workplaces more friendly for the neurodiverse and LGBTQIA+ communities. They also work as an instructional designer and specialize in creating accessible training. (Virtual recorded, Live Virtual)
Bryan Atkinson holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, from the University of Florida and was officially diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (now Autism) at the age of 19 during his university studies. Bryan is a self-advocate for neurodiversity in the workplace and is the main author of a three-page unpublished paper centered around peer reviewed research to be shared at the Conference: Benefits of Autism in the Workplace, An Informational Discussion. Bryan has been a mentor for individuals who happen to have disabilities from 2016 to 2019, and he is a past participant in the Disability: IN Next Generation Leaders program. Currently working in the software industry, Bryan is a supporter of Autism-At-Work-Life programs and enjoys participating in such initiatives. (Virtual recorded)
Bill is an occupational therapist licensed in California since 2012. He is also diagnosed as an autistic individual since 2010. Bill is passionate about using his duo perspective as an autistic occupational therapist for advancing autism practice in occupational therapy and mentoring future generations of autistic occupational therapy practitioners. (Virtual recorded)
Inarm Osborn, BSc (Hons), PGCert, FRSA, is the Chief Executive Officer of two organisations in England, Centa Co Support Services for adults with intellectual disabilities and AutiQuest. AutiQuest provides support for autistic adults making their way in the world and facing real world challenges such as finding and maintaining employment. It is focused on developing useful tools for such individuals and has made an innovative app to help autistic job seekers get over the dreaded job interview hurdle.
AutiQuest also provides training for organisations seeking to recruit autistic talent by training them on how best to interview them and how to fully support them in the workplace. AutiQuest also provides support for autistic employees once they are in employment.
Inarm, who is an autism ally, also serves on the Board of the non-profit organisation Elfrida in London, which supports adults with intellectual disabilities and autistic individuals to effectively access key services in London.
(Live-Virtual, Virtual recorded)
Colette Ryan is an expert level therapist and training leader for ICDL. She has a bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She is an Infant Mental Health Fellow at Montclair State University, a PhD student at Fielding University, and is a New York State endorsed Infant Family Specialist. She has been an educator in the field of Autism for over 30 years and has worked with individuals of all ages along with their families for most of those years. Colette Ryan has spoken at several conferences on topics including infant massage, grief in the young child, discipline, play, and child development, she has been a speaker at the many DIRFloortime conferences, including the 2018 DIRFloortime Conference in Kiev. Currently Colette is an Expert Level Therapist at the ICDL Institute in Livingston NJ, and world traveler, bring DIRFloortime to children and families everywhere!
John R Miller
John R Miller
John R Miller has shown time and time again that even when life threw him obstacles, he always worked hard to overcome them. Diagnosed at age 5, with autism, John was behind both academically and physically. His parents set him on a path to get stronger and he eventually excelled in sports and school. John won several gold medals in Special Olympics gymnastics, track and field as well as earning a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. John ran track and field for his high school winning a leadership award and was even chosen as the prom king by
his classmates. He inspires both children and adults with his “can do” attitude and his kind soul. John was advocating for himself and others’ that recognize as neurodiverse even when he was little. Taking a page from his parents who have shared his story, John started sharing his story and educating people about autism. He was always stepping out of his comfort zone whether it was student council, on stage, special Olympics and ultimately his books.
John wrote and illustrated his first book, Adventures in Handom when he was 17. Handom is an imaginary world that John created when he was a little boy who would wrestle and play with his hands as a part of his stim. His hands were his way of telling stories and having friends with him. This ended up turning into John’s first sci fi children’s book, which was released in 2016. Kids love the cool colorful characters & parents appreciate the message of good defeating evil by having a good and kind heart and working together. When he was 19,
he released his second book, which is The Magical Heart of Handom. This book focuses on the power and magic of friendship. John has presented and read to well over 5,500 kids and adults and counting. Our books are in 26 states and 9 countries. John graduated with honors with his associates in early childhood ed from Northern Essex and is excited to continue his journey with working with children. He is currently working at the Y as an assistant teacher and also was chosen as a Doug Flutie Fellow. the Flutie Fellows ambassador initiative supports autistic people who have been invited to collaborate with the
Flutie Foundation to achieve the following objectives:
1. Pursue career opportunities, related life goals, and passions.
2. Promote respect, inclusion, and opportunities for all people with autism.
Serve as ambassadors for Flutie Foundation.
John lives in Methuen MA where all “Handom” ideas are continually being explored and ideas for a third book have been in the works. Out of all the accomplishments John has achieved, He has said, “If I have made one kid feel better about himself or herself by reading my stories and hearing my journey, I could not be prouder. John’s two books have been certified Ella Kindness Certified. To find out more about John or to purchase his books or artwork visit,
Linda Bluestein, M.D.
Linda Bluestein, M.D.
Board-certified anesthesiologist, integrative pain medicine physician and former ballet dancer, Linda Bluestein, M.D., specializes in coaching and educating dancers and other athletes and individuals at increased risk of hypermobility disorders. She founded and co-hosts the podcast, “Bendy Bodies with the Hypermobility MD”, and is a former co-host of the podcast “Hypermobility Happy Hour”. Dr. Bluestein has been treating individuals with complex hypermobility disorders for years, educating and coaching dancers and studio owners, as well as conducting research on dancers with hypermobility disorders. She is widely published, considered an expert on hypermobility disorders, and has lectured internationally. Drawing from all these rewarding experiences, she has formulated a unique, compassionate approach to assist a greater population of those suffering from these conditions: EduCoaching.
Dr. Bluestein contributed two chapters for the book, Disjointed – Navigating the Diagnosis and Management of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. Countless people have improved their functional capacity and quality of life working with Dr. Bluestein at Hypermobility MD, her private medical practice, and Bendy Bodies, LLC, her EduCoaching program.
Dr. Bluestein completed her anesthesiology residency at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine after receiving her Medical Degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine and regularly presents her work at national and international meetings.
Dr. Bluestein is a member of the Allergy and Immunology Working Group for the International Consortium on EDS and HSD, the Board of Directors for the Bridge Dance Project, the Advisory Board for Doctors for Dancers, the Resources Committee for the Dance Healthy Alliance of Canada and serves as the Pain Management Committee Chair for the non-profit, EDS Research Foundation. She is also a founding member of DanseMedica and serves as an expert for Pivot Dancer.
A leading specialist in connective tissue disorders, Dr. Bluestein helped create the first online EDS CME (Continuing Medical Education) program with the non-profit organization, Chronic Pain Partners, for whom she also serves as a volunteer medical consultant. As an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Central Wisconsin, Dr. Bluestein directs the RISHI Healer’s Art Program. More information can be found on her website, www.hypermobilitymd.com and in her podcast https://www.hypermobilitymd.com/podcast. (Recorded)
Doris and Brian Adams
Doris and Brian Adams
Doris Adams and her son Brian, now age 45, live in Marathon, NY. Doris is just a regular Mom with no fancy titles after her name that has just followed her instincts when it came to raising her Neurodivergent son Brian. Brian has mild cerebral palsy and, early in his life, was diagnosed as severely autistic and
profoundly deaf. Claiming first the titles of “Farm Wife”, “Mom of Three”, and Grandmother of Two”, she also has been the Town Clerk of Marathon for over 30 years and is the Administrative Assistant at her church, First Baptist Church of Cincinnatus.
Brian Adams graduated from Marathon Central School in 1996 with his peers where he was the first high school student with multiple disabilities to be included at the school. He received his local high school diploma in 1998 which included 10 college credits. After graduation, he attended Broome Community
College part-time. This fall he began his 24th year working as a Teacher’s Aide at Appleby Elementary School, Marathon’s local school. It is what he is most passionate about and in that time he has touched countless lives including the young students, their parents, and the school staff. Brian enjoys cooking,
baking, photography, scrapbooking, nature hikes, watching “Wheel of Fortune”, playing miniature golf, and swimming. (In-person)
*All information and advice given at INAS 2022 is offered by speakers and presenters and may not represent the opinions or values of EQSolutions: You 2.0 or Neuroawesome Life. If you choose to purchase from a vendor or accept advice from a speaker or presenter, you accept full responsibility for doing so. Neither EQSolutions: You 2.0 nor Neuroawesome Life may be held responsible for any real or perceived negative outcomes.