Transitions: Bridges to Success
When: September 28, 2013
Where: Santa Clara University
Cost: $135 per person/$160 at the door
Jed Baker – Director of The Social Skills Training Project
Jed Baker, Ph.D. is the director of the Social Skills Training Project, a private organization serving individuals with autism and social communication problems. He is on the professional advisory board of Autism Today, ASPEN, ANSWER, YAI, the Kelberman Center and several other autism organizations. He writes, lectures, and provides training internationally on the topic of social skills training and managing challenging behaviors and is an award winning author of five books. His work has also been featured on ABC World News, Nightline, the CBS Early Show, and the Discovery Health Channel.
Jill Escher – Parent and Autism Activist
Jill Escher, Escher Fund for Autism, is an autism parent and philanthropist who helped launch a novel hypothesis of environmentally-induced autism causation based on careful evaluation of her own family history. The “germline disruption” hypothesis of autism posits that a portion of the autism surge is attributable to unforeseen multigenerational effects of prenatal pharmaceutical exposures that were common in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Jill believes every autism family history contains important clues that, taken together, can solve this public health crisis, and lead to prevention and more relevant, targeted treatments.
Steve Perricone – CEO and Founder, Semperical
Steve has over 25 years executive experience building organizations and worldwide sales channels for new technologies in emerging markets. Most recently he spent four years as founder and CEO of a cleantech company, BioFuelBox. BioFuelBox was recognized by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland as one of 25 Technology Pioneers for 2010. Sempirical empowers the natural talents of atypical adults to provide outstanding technical services. The inherent qualities of their engineers make them a perfect fit for software testing and quality assurance projects that require a high level of precision.
Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP
Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP, specializes in the treatment of individuals with social-cognitive deficits: those with diagnoses such as high-functioning autism, Asperger Syndrome and nonverbal learning disorder. She began teaching Social Thinking in 1995. Michelle’s Social Thinking Center, has focused on developing new products, workshops and conferences and the training of professionals who come to the clinic from around the world. The strength of Michelle’s work is that she breaks down the research and abstract concepts and creates concrete ways for this to be done. Her work is being applied not only to persons with higher-functioning autism and related disabilities, but also more broadly to students in mainstream classrooms and to adults in vocational and professional settings in the U.S. and abroad.
Andy Aczel – Founder, Board Member and CTO, The Specialist Guild
Andy is a parent of a son with Asperger’s, and has over 30 years of experience in software development, networking and real time media delivery. He is a long time volunteer for causes to improve the lives of people with Autism. The Specialist Guild is a nonprofit social enterprise focused on providing training, employment opportunities and support for people on the Autism Spectrum so they are able to contribute to society in line with their intelligence and abilities.
Peter Gerhardt – Director of Education, McCarton School
Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., is the Director of Education, Upper School, for the McCarton School in New York City. Dr. Gerhardt has more than 30 years experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in educational, employment, and residential and community-based settings. He has authored and co-authored articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with ASD and has presented nationally and internationally on this topic.