Professional Experience

Brooklyn Special Needs Consulting

New York, NY

May 2008 – Current

 

Program Developer

Seminars, professional training, and project consultation on home, center, and university-based programs in developing peer and community-based support programs for individuals with Autism. Ongoing development of a wider support network for both individuals with Autism and their families, and the professionals, organizations, and peers that support them.

 

Private Practice

New York, NY

Nov. 2005 – Current

 

Special Education Consultant

Professional and project consultation in developing peer-centered Facilitated Social Inclusion programs for children with Autism, facilitating typically developed children in using verbal and visual cues to help engage and teach play skills to autistic children in natural settings. Providing in-home and worksite social skills integration therapy to clients ranging from pre-school to adolescence. Advocate and expert witness at IEP meetings.

 

New York City Public School District 75

New York, NY

June 2005 – Current

 

Autism Consultant/Student Advocate

Development of a summer program with GRASP, The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership, teaching social, vocational, and self-advocacy skills to students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Working directly with students of varying ages and levels of disability providing mentoring and communicative support in their social skills curriculum. Coordinating with and advising teachers and program developers at multiple sites in tailoring instruction to student needs, assessing program effectiveness, and providing recommendations for future projects.

 

Early Intervention Center of Brooklyn

Brooklyn, NY

August 2005 – Feb. 2006

 

ABA Teaching Assistant

Providing full-time ABA, Greenspan, and social enrichment therapies in a center-based EI program for children with Autism ages Birth to 3. Independent 1:1 care of children as well as maintenance of ABA data books. Working with in-house OT/PT and speech therapists to incorporate sensory diet and additional therapies into ABA curriculum.

 

First Choice Child Care

Auburn, WA

Feb. 2004 – April 2005

 

Respite Child Care Provider

Providing community-based therapy, life-enrichment activities, mentoring, and transportation services to a child with Autism. Assisting with ABA and Creative/Structured Play (Greenspan) therapies, and preparation and administration of medications. Assisting with organizing and facilitating local Autism family support group meetings.

 

Federal Way

Public Schools

Federal Way, WA

September 2001 -02

 

AmeriCorps Volunteer

Full-time volunteer in special education and corrective reading programs for at-risk students, as well as small-group and one-on-one tutoring, teaching courses in media production as part of an after-school program.

 

Auto News

Federal Way, WA

1999 – 2006

 

Features Editor

Writer of monthly column, features stories and product reviews for automotive newspaper with distribution in major Western US markets. Management of stories from a small staff of writers, automotive manufacturer and advertiser relations, digital pre press, advertising and page layout. Development of new online, video and multimedia programs.

 

Kinko’s

Kent, WA

January, 2001 - 2002

 

Manager of Technology

Brought store to profitability and to 90% compliance, up from 40%, with Area Technology Management standards in a three-month period. Staff training and on-site consulting to clients in integrating their networks into digital document workflow. Implemented new systems and procedures that improved efficiency, job accuracy, and waste reduction.

 

Kinko’s

Bellevue, WA

February, 1998 - 2000

 

Document Solutions Specialist

Graphic design, production, and document management for corporate and retail clients, system maintenance and network administration. Projects vary in scale, ranging from stationery and branding packages to ongoing marketing and presentation projects for large corporate accounts. Specialties in image manipulation and wide-format print design.

 

 

 

Education

Universitat Jaume I

Castellón, Spain

2006 – 2008

 

International Masters degree in Peace, Conflict, and Development Studies

Specialization and thesis investigation of: education, technology, and development; regional institution building; democratic reform and market & political decentralization; and multi-cultural dialogue, conflict transformation, and integration. Specific interest in Islamic, African, and Latin American studies.

 

University of Washington

1999 – 2003

 

Bachelor of Arts

Major in Communications: New Media Technologies & Policies. Annual Dean’s List, 2002-2003. Participated within the Native Voices Graduate Program for Documentary Filmmaking; Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media; Jackson School of International Studies; and Center for Internet Studies.

 

Bellevue Community College

1997 – 1999

 

Associates in Arts and Sciences

Emphasis in Media Communications and Conflict Management studies. Active involvement in the student newspaper and new-media projects in the National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET).

 

 

 

Consulting Experience

R. Family

Brooklyn, NY

Aug 2008 – Current

 

Consultation on developing in-home Facilitated Social Inclusion program for 6-year-old boy with Autism to learn social skills through structured play with typically-developing peers. Planning, coordination, and professional development seminar for staff of 3 ABA therapeutic service providers.

 

S. Family

Durham, NC

Nov 2007

 

Expert witness at IEP meeting and consultation on developing in-home Facilitated Social Inclusion program for 7-year-old boy with Autism. Consultation with District Autism Specialist for Durham Public School District.

 

New York City Public School IS24

Staten Island, NY

June 2007 – Current

 

Consultation and student mentoring for social skills summer program serving students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related learning disabilities ages 12-15. Emphasis on organized recreational activities to teach social, executive functioning, conflict management, self-regulation, self-advocacy, and theory of mind skills to students with ASD. Coordination, consultation, and training of parents and staff, including: certified teachers, paraeducators, occupational & physical therapists, and administrative staff.

 

New York Public School District 75

PACE University

New York, NY

June 2006 – Current

 

Consultation and student mentoring for social skills and college/workplace transitional program serving students with Autism Spectrum Disorders ages 16-21. Facilitation of peer support-group session where students with ASD share personal stories, concerns and advice on a diverse range of topics, including: conversation skills, employment and educational career planning, major transitions, college life, stress management, making friends, dating and sexuality, general living skills, etc. Modeling and participating in group sessions by sharing my own experiences of growing up with ASD. Consultation and training of staff, social skills curriculum development, and teaching of curriculum to students. Coordination and supervision of vocational training programs.

 

O. Family

Brooklyn, NY

Jan 2006 – Current

 

Development of in-home Facilitated Social Inclusion program for 4-year-old boy with Autism to learn social skills through structured play with typically-developing peers. Program design, direct care services, and coordination and training of staff over the length of the program.

 

NY Therapeutic Specialists, Inc.

Queens, NY

Oct 2005 – Feb 2006

 

Consultation and student mentoring for adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders for private families in home and vocational settings. Emphasis on vocational, conversation, self-regulation, and social skills through one-on-one mentoring.

 

New York City Public School P226M

New York, NY

June 2005 – Current

 

Consultation and student mentoring for social skills and college/workplace transitional program serving students with Autism Spectrum Disorders ages 16-21. Facilitation of peer support-group session where students with ASD share personal stories, concerns and advice on a diverse range of topics, including: conversation skills, employment and educational career planning, major transitions, college life, stress management, making friends, dating and sexuality, general living skills, etc. Modeling and participating in group sessions by sharing my own experiences of growing up with ASD. Consultation and training of staff, social skills curriculum development, and teaching of curriculum to students. Coordination and supervision of vocational training programs.

 

Reach for the Stars Learning Center

Brooklyn, NY

June 2005 – Current

 

Consultation on developing a center-based Facilitated Social Inclusion program for 12 children with Autism Spectrum Disorders ages 4-8 to learn social skills through supervised, unstructured play with typically-developing 12-year-old volunteers. Program design, training and coordination among roughly 20 teachers and support staff, training and support of volunteers. Ongoing general consultation on school’s services.

 

 

 

Conferences Presented

Kingsborough Community College

Brooklyn, NY

October 18, 2008

 

3rd Annual Special Education Forum

Hosted by Senator Martin J. Golden. Keynote speech on Facilitated Social Inclusion, peer mentoring programs for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and community education partnerships in reform and services development.

 

 

 

Conferences Attended

World Water Council

Istanbul, Turkey

March 16-22, 2009

 

5th World Water Forum

“Bridging Divides for Water”

Largest international event in the field of water, serving to raise the importance of water on the political agenda, support the deepening of discussions towards the solution of international water issues in the 21st century, formulate concrete proposals and bring their importance to the world's attention, and to generate political commitment. Sessions include:

·       “Rural to Urban Migration: Water-related Migration, Changing Land Use and Human Settlements”; United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security, Bonn, Germany; Southeatern Anatolia Projects Regional Development Administration, Turkey

·       “River-basing management in federated countries: Is this realistic? Institutional arrangements for efficient and effective water resource management”; Agéncia Nacional de Aguas; UNESCO/ICIWaRM

·       “Bridging sectors to strengthen multiple uses and functions of water services”; International Fund for Agricultural Development; IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

·       “Keeping Sanitation High on the Agenda: Ensuring water, sanitation, and hygiene for all”; Agence de l'Eeau Seine-Normandie; Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

·       “Data Integration and Dissemination: From Data to Information”; United Nations Statistics Division; The National Water Commission – Mexico

·       “Action to Ensure Data for All”; International Association of Hydrological Sciences; World Meteorological Organization; United Nations Statistics Division

·       “Boundless Basins: What are the successes and failures of hydro-solidarity?”; UNESCO; International Network of Basin Organizations

·       “Promoting Local Actions through Multilevel Water Partnership”; Pakistan Water Partnership; Royal Netherlands Embassy Islamabad; International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage

Gernika Gogoratuz Peace Research Center

Gernika, Spain

April 23-27, 2008

 

18th International Convention on Culture and Peace

“Cosmopolitism and Local Peacebuilding”

Part of a network of activities that sustain structures of local governance in developing a Culture of Peace, the conference demonstrates various approaches to the concept of cosmopolitism, as well as its relationship to local initiatives for promoting processes of participatory democracy. Speakers include:

·       Ainhoa Azkua. "Girls and boys playing at Peace", Street Animator, Association Ostargi, Basque Country.

·       Khalid El Moulahid, “How to make school a place of education for equality, culture of peace and diversity”, Women’s Forum, Alhucemas, Rif, Morocco.

·       Carlos Cruz, "From student violence to youth movement. A self- construction of peace and a retrospective view", Director of Cauce Ciudadano AC, Latin- American School for Youth Social Action, Mexico.

·       Winnie Lawoko-Olwe, "Education as a strategy for Youth for Local Peace Building - Northern Uganda", Program Director of Associated Children's Empowerment Network (ACEN), Uganda.

 

TASH

Seattle, WA

December 5-8, 2007

 

TASH 2007 Conference

Special educational programming and innovative solutions that address specific issues of equity, opportunity and inclusion. Sessions attended include:

·       “Promoting Social Interaction and Play Skills in Young Children with Autism”, Pat Mirenda, Vicki Kleeberger, and Stephanie Jull, University of British Columbia

·       “Promoting Meaningful Inclusion Using Peer Support Arrangements in High School Classrooms”, Erik Carter, University of Wisconsin-Madison

·       “Mentoring from Within”, Phyllis Jones and Julia White, University of South Florida

·       “Passing The Torch: Supporting Communication Mentors’ Networks - The Next Generation & Beyond”, Jessica Stover, Beth McKeown, Joseph Murphy, Shauna Roman, Networks for Training and Development, Inc., Valley Forge, PA

·       “Next Stop – Life: Age-appropriate Learning Environments for Adults 18 – 22”, Vickie Mitchell, Stetson & Associates, Inc., Houston, TX

·       “Promoting Greater Independence Through Self-management and Self-directed Learning”, Kathryn Peckham-Hardin and Amy Hanreddy, California State University, Northridge

·       “Enhancing Community Based Instruction through Technology and Self-Determination”, David Cihak and Melissa Alldread-Hughes, University of Tennessee; Teresa Taber-Doughty, Purdue University

·       “Early Childhood/Early Elementary Social and Play Strategies”, Judith Terpstra and Ron Tamura, Southern Connecticut State University

·       “From The Inside Out: Focusing On The Relationship”, Ann Lyon and Martha Ziegler, Temple University

·       “Professional Development in Autism Center”, Ilene Schwartz and Rina Marie Leon-Guerrero, University of Washington

·       “Therapy Consultation In Educational Settings: A Six Stage Model And Training Module”, Diana Roberts, Regional and Statewide Services for Students with Orthopedic Impairments, Douglas ESD, Roseburg, OR

·       “The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: What It Means to You, What You Should Do”, John A. Lancaster, Executive Director, National Council on Independent Living, Washington, DC

·       “Widening the Circle: Explaining Why Inclusion is Essential to Democratic Citizenship”, Mara Sapon-Shevin, Syracuse University

 

Universidad de Valencia

Valencia, Spain

March 29, 2006

 

U.N. Millennium Goals Campaign for Development

Evelyn Herfkens, Head Coordinator

Meeting with the local citizens, students, NGO, social organizations, with the aim to establish a negotiation to bring around the main petitions of Civil Society. This event is an attempt to transmit to the rest of the Society the important role which citizens must play in facing the imperative need which rich countries have to adopt regarding new policies towards narrowing the existing gap between the North and South.

 

Autism Society of America

Seattle, WA

July 7-10, 2004

 

35th National Conference & Exposition on Autism Spectrum Disorders

“Soaring to New Heights”

Sessions attended include:

·       “Fitting In: Acceptance and Friendships for Children with Autism in Inclusive Settings”, Dr. Amanda Boutout, PhD

·       “Fostering Mutual Friendships and Play between Children with ASD and Typical Peers”, Dr. Pamela Wolfberg, Autism Institute on Peer Relations and Play

·       “Running Playdates for Young Children with Autism”, Dr. Gusty-Lee Boulware, PhD, Associate Director of Project DATA, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

·       “What’s Love got to do with it? Sexuality with Gassner and Shore”, Stephen Shore, Dena Gassner

 

 

 

Select Publications

Istanbul, Turkey

March, 2009

 

Networked Learning Communities: New Synergies and Opportunities for Learning

Dissertation Brief, International Doctorate in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies, Supervised by Dr. Eloísa Nos Aldás, Universitat Jaume I, Castellon, Spain

 

Universitat Jaume I

Castellón, Spain

July 2008

 

Islamic Political Theory and Regional Federalism: A Comprehensive Model for Social and Institutional Peace Building in the Middle East and Beyond

Thesis, International Master in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies, Supervised by Dr. Irene Comins Mingol, Universitat Jaume I, Castellon, Spain

 

Universitat Jaume I

Castellón, Spain

May 2007

 

Structured Data and Community-Centered Contribution, Filtering, and Dissemination of Internet Media Sources

Conflict Mediation and Negotiation, Supervised by Dr. Jéssica Retis Rivas, San Diego University - Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset, Madrid

 

Universitat Jaume I

Castellón, Spain

June 2006

 

Smoke on the Horizon: Truth Commissions and their Preventative Role in Conflict Analysis and Management

Coming to terms with the Past: Transitional Justice, Truth Commissions and Amnesties, Supervised by Dr. Andrea Fleschenberg, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

 

 

 

Media Appearances

Beyond Boundaries

Brooklyn, NY

August 2008

 

Beyond Boundaries: Fitness for the Autism Population

Special guest on 3 episodes of internet radio program on Autism One Radio. Topics focusing on the state of therapeutic services and educational and social opportunities available to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, sharing my personal perspective as both a professional education consultant and an individual diagnosed with an ASD.

 

 

 

Associations

 

ARiSE Coalition

New York City-based coalition of professionals, parents, and organizations, aimed at systemic reform to improve special education, promote greater transparency and accountability of the education system, and most critically, assure more positive outcomes and options for all students.

 

 

GRASP – The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership

International peer-based support group network and educational outreach for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

 

 

TASH

International association of people with disabilities, their family members, other advocates, and professionals fighting for a society in which inclusion of all people in all aspects of society is the norm. TASH is an organization of members concerned with human dignity, civil rights, education, and independence for all individuals with disabilities.

 

 

Peace and Collaborative Development Network

International professional network aimed at fostering dialogue and sharing of resources in international development, conflict resolution, gender mainstreaming, human rights, social entrepreneurship and related fields.

 

 

 

Languages

 

English

Native Speaker

 

Spanish

Advanced/Conversational

 

Turkish

Intermediate/Conversational

 

Japanese

Intermediate

 


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