Virtual Happy Hour!
Check your email for a new link to the Virtual Happy Hour.
Friday | May 7th
* Live lecture times in Eastern Standard Time (EST)
9:30am - 9:40am
10:50am - 11:50am
11:55am - 12:55pm
12:55pm - 1:25pm
1:25pm - 2:25pm
2:35pm - 3:35pm
3:40pm - 4:40pm
4:40pm - 4:50pm
Saturday | May 8th
* Live lecture times in Eastern Standard Time (EST)
9:30am - 9:40am
10:50am - 11:50am
11:55am - 12:55pm
12:55pm - 1:25pm
1:25pm - 2:25pm
2:35pm - 3:35pm
3:40pm - 4:40pm
Changing the Course of Anxiety, ADHD and Depression Through Genetics Guidance
4:40pm - 4:50pm
Virtual Happy Hour and Conference Discussion
Virtual Happy Hour and Conference Discussion
How to Log into Zoom to Participate in the Live Conference
Make sure you have Zoom installed and that it is up to date prior to the start of the Conference. It will take a few minutes to install. If you do not have Zoom installed, the Zoom link in your registration confirmation email will prompt you to install it.
At the time of your registration, you would have received 2 Confirmation Emails from National Autism Association/Wendy Fournier via Zoom. You had to register for the Believe and Achieve tracks separately to receive access to both. All attendees will receive access to recorded lectures after the conference, so you won't miss anything. At the end of the live lectures, attendees will be able to ask questions.
To find your Zoom emails search your inbox for:
Subject: NAC 2021 - ACHIEVE TRACK Confirmation
Subject: NAC 2021 - BELIEVE TRACK Confirmation
There will be several ways to join a Zoom Webinar, but this will be the quickest way to gain access. Choose which track you want to watch live. Scroll down your Zoom email until you see the following and click on "Click Here to Join":
"Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device
Click Here to Join"
For more instructions, refer to Zoom's help page: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115004954946-Joining-and-participating-in-a-webinar-attendee-#h_7f263058-2b5c-4e12-9807-a056dc7c33cd
If you are still having trouble connecting, we will have someone available in the Messenger feature (in the lower right corner). Please enter you email that you used during registration.
It is very important that you keep your Zoom Invite Emails handy, as you will be logging on at the start of each lecture! Attendees will be disconnected at the END of EACH LECTURE and redirected back to the Conference Schedule Page of this website. Choose which lecture you want to see next and use the same links from those emails to reconnect. Lectures will begin as soon as the next presenter is ready and attendees will be let into the webinar from the waiting room. We have a tight schedule to try and bring you the most information as possible. As we stated earlier, all lectures will be recorded for your private viewing after the conference.
Changing the Narrative on Autism: How nonspeakers have informed us
(Spelling to Communicate Method)
After nearly 20 years of practice, this presenter found what she thought she knew about nonspeaking autistic people was wrong. Although nonspeaking, minimally speaking, and unreliably speaking kids and adults are not able to use speech as a primary and effective means of communication, that does not mean that they lack the ability to comprehend or formulate thoughts and ideas in the form of words. All communication requires motor. This presentation will discuss the anatomy and physiology of speech and language, the motor required for communication, and the paradigm shift that occurs when using a motor perspective to teach communication skills.
Nonspeaking does not mean having nothing to say! A panel of nonspeaking young adults will discuss their lived experience of being nonspeaking, having difficulty controlling their body, and the transformative process of developing the motor skills to be able to effectively communicate. These impressive panelists are all able to fluently communicate by spelling or typing and have become life-long learners, active members of their community, authors, leaders, and advocates. Through a live (and lively!) discussion, this panel of experts will share what they have learned along their journey from silence to communication.
CBD for Seizures and Autism
Dr. Gaitanis will be discussing the latest studies on treating children with cannabis to improve health and behaviors directly related to epilepsy and autism.
Stress and Toxicity: How they correlate and practical solutions to improve your child’s health
Children with Autism are extremely sensitive to environmental, social, and emotional factors which can cause them to feel stressed. These stressors cause psychological responses in the body that influence their symptoms. This lecture will focus on the impact of toxicity and how stress manifests in children with ASD as well as effective solutions to help your child.
Mast Cell Activation and Brain Inflammation in ASD
Increasing reports indicate that inflammation of the brain leads to neurodegenerative changes, especially during perinatal life leading to “short-circuiting the electrical system” ιn the amygdala that are essential for our ability to feel emotions, but also regulate fear and the many changes that it causes to the body. Inflammation can occur in the fetus due to activation of mast cells, typically associated with allergic reactions, but also present in the brain. Mast cells can be triggered by neuropeptides, stress and toxins leading to activation of microglia. These brain defenders than release even more inflammatory molecules and stop “pruning” nerve connections (synapses) resulting in disrupted neuronal connectivity, lowering of the fear threshold and derailed emotions as seen in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Many epidemiological studies have reported a strong association between ASD and atopic dermatitis (eczema) or asthma, both of which involve activated mast cells. Both mast cells and microglia can also be activated by SARS-CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19. Brain inflammation may be even more prevalent in PANS/PANDAS, as well as in the recently described Childhood Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (CMSIS) associated with COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2, and/or the associated cytokines, could enter the brain from the upper respiratory system, especially via the nose that communicates directly with the brain through the olfactory nerve tract.
We investigated the presence of the natural anti-inflammatory cytokine, IL-38, which we showed to inhibit activation of cultured human microglia, in the brains of deceased children with ASD as compared to non-ASD controls and showed it was significantly reduced only in the amygdala of the children with ASD. We further showed that the natural flavonoids luteolin and methoxyluteolin are also potent inhibitors of activated both mast cells and microglia and have significant benefit when used in children with ASD. Due to poor oral absorption of these flavonoids in powder form, we developed unique, patented, supplements containing either only luteolin (PureLut®) or luteolin and quercetin (NeuroProtek®-Low Phenol, NeuroProtek®) formulating the flavonoids in liposomal form (soft gel capsules) using olive pomace oil that significantly increases oral absorption. These supplements use independently analyzed flavonoids (>98% purity) unlike other supplements that use “blends” or “complexes” with inactive ingredients. This action of the liposomal supplements could be augmented by the us of a unique, hypoallergenic skin lotion (GentleDerm®), which contains methoxyluteolin and can be applied on the temples for direct absorption by brain blood vessels. Additional benefits can be obtained by concurrent use of calcium folinate, vitamin D3 and the antihistamine rupatadine (needs compounding) that also inhibits mast cells.
US patents US 7,906,153; 8,268,365; 9050275.
Microbiota Transplant Therapy (MTT) for Treating Gastrointestinal Problems in Children with ASD
We conducted a Phase 1 clinical trial of an Investigational New Drug involving 2 weeks of oral vancomycin (to kill unhealthy gut bacteria), followed by a bowel cleanse and then Full Spectrum Microbiota (FSM) from healthy donors to create a healthy GI microbiome.
We treated children ages 7-17 years who had ASD and moderate or severe gastrointestinal problems. We administered MTT in two stages: an oral or rectal dose, followed by 7-8 weeks of oral administration. There was an 82% reduction in GI symptoms, and a 25% reduction in autism symptoms. Their bacterial diversity significantly increased, from 25% below normal to normal. At the 8-week follow-up, the improvements in GI symptoms, ASD symptoms, and microbiome diversity were stable. At the two-year follow-up, most of the GI improvements remained, and there was a 47% reduction in ASD symptoms compared to baseline.
Lyme: Is It Affecting My Child?
You Bet Your Rash & Other Signs, Symptoms & Treatments
Dr. O’Hara will talk about the symptoms, assessment and treatment of lyme and lyme co-infections in all of its forms, acute, chronic, early and late- disseminated. She will discuss the signs and symptoms to consider in Lyme and lyme co-infections. She will discuss the effects of lyme on mood, cognition, and behavior as well as it’s overall effects on school, work and the family. Finally, she will discuss effective alllopathic and functional medicine approaches to treatment.
POTS & PANS: Autoimmune Encephalitis Transforming a Devastating Chronic Illness into a Treatable Disorder
POTS, PANS & PANDAS are complex autoimmune diseases that require a multi-system approach. PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep) involves antibodies from a strep infection reacting with brain tissue (specifically the basal ganglia in the brain) and triggering an abrupt onset of immune dysregulation and movement, learning and behavioral problems including OCD, anxiety and tics. With PANS (Pediatric Acute-Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome), other infectious etiologies besides strep (yeast, viruses, other bacteria, parasites), toxic exposures, and metabolic abnormalities are among other potential triggers for the immune dysregulation resulting in an abnormal autoimmune reaction and negative behavior, physical, and cognitive changes. POTS or Dysautonomia can often be associated with these autoimmune disorders and also needs to be assessed and treated appropriately. Dr. O’Hara will discuss the latest research in the assessment and treatment of these devastating but recoverable illnesses. Participants will learn the research-based functional medicine approach to the care, diagnosis and treatment of these children.
• The participant will be able to understand the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of PANS and PANDAS.
• The participant will be able to differentiate causes of anxiety, OCD and tics, as it relates to autoimmune encephalitis.
• The participant will be able to define the triad of treatments for PANS and PANDAS.
Inferencing as a Linguistic and a Social Cognitive Skill
We all know what an inference is – it’s the ability to make an educated guess. As parents and teachers and therapists, we teach inferences all the time! Or do we? Maybe you’ve noticed that many students do well on inferences on standardized tests while performing inconsistently or poorly in academic and social environments. That’s because the question is not can someone make an educated guess, it’s what kinds of guesses can they make accurately and which elude them – and why?
This lecture will attempt to demystify inferences by showing a variety of inferences that need to be directly assessed and taught, the linguistic and social cognitive underpinning skills that create obstacles to their mastery, and the consequences in the teen years and beyond when inferences have not been addressed systematically and thoroughly.
Allergy, Asthma, Eczema & MCA in Integrative Medicine
Dr. Elice is a Board Certified Pediatrician who specializes in patients on the Autism Spectrum, those with allergies, asthma, eczema and other environmentally triggered disorders. He will discuss the increasing incidence of these disorders in children, describing the mechanisms for the symptoms and the underlying mitochondrial, metabolic and mast cell activation that occur and lead to these illnesses. The understanding of these mechanisms can help us evaluate and treat the children in order to help them recover from chronic illness.
Life Skills and Beyond: Functional Skills For Autism
By: Holly Bortfeld
Functional life skills are crucial for all people. Life skills keep us safe, fed, clothed, help us learn, share, interact and take part in the world around us. This talk will cover the most important skills, their developmental progression and how parents can teach them at home and in the community.
Puberty: Surviving Teens, Hormones & Rage
Treating Hormones, Rage, Dysautonomia and Aggression
Adolescence is a time for learning and change, however for many patients on the Autism Spectrum puberty can be a rough transition to adulthood. Hormonal changes may trigger issues in sleep, adrenal function, and blood sugar regulation which may lead to abnormal mood and behavior. Abnormal hormone regulation can also lead to an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system. By addressing these underlying issues symptoms of aggression and rage can be helped greatly.
Gut On Fire: The role of SIBO, Dysbiosis, and the power of leveraging the microbiome
The inflamed disrupted gut is a complex medical issue that we face in the biomedical treatment of children on the Spectrum as well as in many adults. The resulting overgrowth of opportunistic and pathogenic organisms leads to the conditions we so commonly find –dysbiosis, SIBO, and suppressed immune function. Dysbiosis is the imbalance of microorganisms Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth is this opportunistic overgrowth in the small intestine, amplified by an abnormal motility pattern of the intestines. The damage created by this overgrowth leads to the inability of the intestines to do the work of digestion, which leads to more bacterial overgrowth, and thus the cycle continues-with ever increasing PAIN, bloating and misery.
Patients with multiple digestive problems, including children with autism may be at risk for developing SIBO. Dr. Logan will discuss the assessment, treatment options, and steps for correcting these imbalances and outline the road to recovery and relief from these complex conditions. Additionally she will discuss some of the novel discoveries in leveraging the microbiome to counteract the destructive effects of antibiotic use and systemic inflammation.
Keynote Address: Create Your Best Life
Once described by NPR as “Chief strategist and leader of the troops” when it came to raising and educating her son, Chantal Sicile-Kira shares how she successfully changed the prognosis given to her son Jeremy when he was first diagnosed at age three with autism: life in an institution. Thirty-one years later and now an award-winning artist, Jeremy is living a productive life of his own choosing, with needed supports. Chantal shares tips on how to plant the seeds for fostering important life skills at any age and any ability level; skills such as forming relationships, becoming a self-advocate, and living a self-determined life. By focusing on your child’s strengths and cultivating their interests, life-changing gifts can be uncovered; affirming that “not like the others” means being different, but not less.
Identifying Treatable Issues Within ASD
This presentation will provide participants with a detailed overview of the biomedical approach to ASD. Traditional medicine is focusing on the behaviors of ASD, instead of the cause of your child’s signs and symptoms. Biomedicine represents a paradigm shift in your child’s care, in getting our children necessary and appropriate treatment for their medical conditions.
ASD affects multiple biomedical processes in the body negatively including: methylation, detoxification, gastrointestinal processes, and the immune system. The dysfunction of these systems lead to viscous cycles in our children, which need to be corrected. The biomedical approach concentrates on breaking these vicious cycles through a comprehensive investigation into the sources of the problem, followed by treatment of the causes of the dysfunction.
Dr. Montico will provide and overview of the vicious cycles in ASD. The audience will gain a broader understanding of what is broken, in an effort to guide them towards what can fix it. A number of interventions and treatments will be reviewed. In addition, Dr. Montico wants the audience to not only understand the biomedical approach to care, but also to pursue it as the foundation in healing their children.
While understanding the vicious cycles of dysfunction, as well appropriate interventions for that dysfunction is important, it is also important that we take action. Dr. Montico will outline what parents should expect from a biomedical evaluation including: initial evaluation, laboratory workup, and comprehensive treatment.
A diagnosis of ASD can be overwhelming to parents, this presentation aims to give parents a comprehensive review of the biomedical approach… from start to finish.
Advanced Diet Strategies and Micronutrient Testing
What you probably know:
• Kids on the spectrum are often deficient in multiple nutrients as a result of limited intake, abnormal digestive function and increased therapeutic needs.
• Supporting normal nutrient status can improve a variety of functional and behavioral impairments common in ASD, including speech, aggression and self-injurious behavior
What you will learn:
• The importance of looking at Micronutrient patterns, not just individual nutrients
• Which nutrient interactions can enhance or interfere with others
• How to prioritize nutritional interventions for best outcomes
Identification and Treatment of Seizures and Seizure-like Activity in Autism
Dr. Rossignol will review the evidence for seizures and epileptiform activity in children with autism, including the link between abnormal EEG findings and autism behaviors. He will also discuss normal brain function, the mechanisms of seizures in autism, and potential treatments. This lecture will review actual cases of children with autism to emphasize that these EEG problems are treatable.
Empowering Individuals with Disabilities to Lead
Maya Angelou said, “You can’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” Learn how Integrate for Good helps remove that extra glove, empowering people with disabilities to get in the game as pitchers as well as catchers, sharing their talent as leaders on college campuses and within corporations.
Our Journey Out of Autism: A mother’s story
By Lori Knowles
Unsure if you should consider biomedical approaches in treating autism? Are you confused about where and how to get started? Lori’s presentation is designed for those new to the biomedical approach and for those seeking an easy to understand overview of some of the most important biomedical treatments. She will include an overview of the most important treatments including dietary intervention, yeast treatments, nutritional supplements, detoxification, and other alternative treatments that helped contribute to her son’s recovery. This is a practical and parent friendly presentation that will inspire and give you hope. Share in Daniel’s progress through his mother’s account, pictures and video segments.
Mycotoxins: The Hidden Cause of Inflammatory Illness
Mycotoxin exposure is more common than previously thought, and in genetically susceptible individuals, can lead to crippling illness. Biotoxin mediated illness can look and act just like Lyme disease, and often goes along with a Lyme infection. Unresolving inflammation and severe symptoms in many body systems is the hallmark of this disease, earning the name Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)
We are discovering more and more frequently that many of our patients with severe inflammation, allergies, compromised immune function, Mast Cell Activation Disorders, Autism, Pandas, Lyme diagnoses, etc are actually a mold exposure that has been undetected, creating the inflammatory storm that underlies many of these conditions.
In this presentation Dr. Logan will discuss the discovery, diagnosis and treatment of this illness, and discuss its possible relationship to PANS/PANDAS, as well as it’s role in Autism severity.
Improving Language in Apraxia and Additional Speech Disorders
Speech is how we share our minds and hearts and love with other human beings. The inability to speak is probably the most agonizing loss we face as parents of children on the autism spectrum.
The barrage of toxic chemicals, metals, and other immune irritants can start even before birth, and mounts immediately thereafter. This leads to severe oxidative stress and chronic inflammation which disrupt the delicate immune balance in the brain, leading to damage to the cell membranes and myelin coverings of the central nervous system-. This neuroinflammation hinders cell to cell communication and connectivity, leading to many of the symptoms of autism– especially Apraxia. We will discuss some of the main factors that lead to neuroimflammation as well as effective therapies for restoring immune balance and rebuilding healthy cells that are able to communicate.
Advanced Insight on Treating Mitochondrial Issues
This interactive lecture is geared to both children who are suspected of having mitochondrial dysfunction (MtD) and to children who have already been diagnosed. Tools will be provided which will allow most parents to determine the likelihood of MtD in their child as unlikely, possible, probable or definite. For children who already have a diagnosis of MtD, an in-depth analysis of the medical literature will review treatment options. If available, please bring test results for lactic acid, alanine, lactate/pyruvate ratio and Mito Swab results. Attendees will leave with a plan of action.
Hope and Possibilities Treating Chronic Illness with Hbot
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been used for a treating chronic illness for children for years. This lecture will cover one girls journey using Hbot while also discussing how Hbot can help with chronic illness in children and young adults with Autism , CP, Mitochondrial disorders, GI disorders and more. We will cover how decreasing inflammation through the use of Hbot can change the body’s way of healing these conditions.
A Full Life with Autism: Making it Happen
The transition out of school district services to adulthood can be challenging for both young adults and their parents. This presentation based on Chantal and Jeremy Sicile-Kira’s book, A Full Life with Autism, explains how parents can best prepare themselves and their young adult for this important life change. Topics discussed include: what skills your young adult needs to learn while still in the school system, and how building on a person’s strength or special interest can create community and social connections and employment opportunities. The topics of dating, sexuality and safety will be touched on briefly.
Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Unique Abnormalities and Targeted Treatments
The mitochondria is important in neurodevelopment and dysfunction of the mitochondria is associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). About 5% of children with ASD can be diagnosed with classic mitochondrial disease and these children may have certain characteristics such as fatigability, gastrointestinal disorders, unusual types of neurodevelopmental regression, seizures/epilepsy and motor delay. However, further research suggested that abnormalities of mitochondrial function could affect a much higher number of children with ASD, perhaps up to 80%. Recent research has identified unique types of mitochondrial dysfunction that might be associated with environmental exposures and neurodevelopmental regression. Several treatments that target mitochondria appear to have evidence for use in children with ASD, including cofactors such as L-Carnitine, and the ketogenic diet. Although the understanding of the involvement of mitochondria in ASD is evolving, the mitochondrion is clearly a novel molecular target that can help understand the etiology of ASD and treatments that may improve function in children with ASD.
Environmental Issues within ASD
The environment around us is constantly changing and usually not for the better. We MUST be able to recognize, try to avoid, and then remove these toxins safely so they do not negatively affect our health and metabolism. Many children and adults with ASD have alterations in their biochemistry and genetic polymorphisms, whereby they are disadvantaged in the ability to cleanse and nourish their cells ideally. We need to first identify the harmful ingredients to avoid (i.e., heavy metals, chemicals, GMOs, plastics, hormone disrupters, pesticide exposures) and then identify and treat effectively many of the complicated tick-borne diseases as well as fungal infections.
It is no longer “You are what you eat,” but should be “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, WHICH YOU CANNOT EXCRETE.” Once we can identify these harmful agents, we need to determine how to safely rid these toxins, reduce the inflammatory processes they create, and oxygenate the tissues in order for tissue repair to be optimized. Safe Hyperbaric therapies and chelation therapies will be overviewed
I hope to be able to share a great deal of information on how to safely repair ourselves, especially since many environmental insults are growing around us exponentially as WE NEED TO RESTORE OURSELVES TO A MORE HEALTHFUL STATE!
Gregory Tino says, "I am a 27 year old autistic man and for 25 of those years I was unable to speak even basic wants and needs. At Urnes l thought l wouldn't survive. l am telling you this not to feel sorry for me, but in the hope that we can help others that are still locked in a silent world in which no one understands you. Autism is a disorder in which there is a mind body disconnect. I am here to tell you that I am as intelligent as anyone else and have feelings and emotions just like you. Autism is not what I would have chosen for myseff, but I can tell you that my life now is better than I could have imagined and I am able to do anything that I want. I even wrote a book called "The Autistic Mind Finally Speaks" and I feel that I have a bright future. Autism very misunderstood and I want to show people what we are capable of.
Thank you for opening your mind."
Kevin McGinnis says, "I am a 28 year-old unreliably speaking autistic man. Sometimes my mouth says things that are different than what I am thinking. This has always been frustrating to me. Then, in February, 2017, I began learning Spelling to Communicate. It has opened the world to me. It has allowed me to make decisions about my life and to show what I have to offer the world. My life is fuller than ever and I’ve made many friends and allies through S2C. It is important to me to advocate for others living in silence. I’ve participated in several Spelling to Communicate presentations so that people will learn that speech is not the only method to communicate."
Brian Foti says, "Hi my name is Brian. I am 28 years old, and I began expressively communicating, using a letterboard when I was 24 years old. Before finding my voice through Spelling to Communicate I was stuck in the prison of a body and mind unable to work in harmony. For the past 4+ years the letterboard has been my primary tool for communication and has unlocked a world of opportunity. I have a passion for advocacy and have had the pleasure of sitting on several panels and Q&A discussions spreading the message of presuming competence. When I’m not trying to “save the world“ you can find me spending time with my loved ones… ideally on a beach with a cocktail in hand. I am just a normal guy with a different means of interacting with the world around me. Thank you for the invitation to speak with you today."
Dr. Anju Usman-Singh is director of True Health Medical Center in Naperville, Illinois and owner of Pure Compounding Pharmacy. She has been using evidence based integrative medical interventions to help children diagnosed with ADD, Autism, Allergies, Gastrointestinal issues and related disorders for over 15 years. She has conducted research involving copper/zinc imbalances, metallothionein dysfunction, biofilm related infections, vitamin D in pregnancy, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. She serves on the executive board for the Autism Society of Illinois as well as the scientific advisory board for Generation Rescue and TACA. She is on faculty for MAPs (Medical Academy for Pediatric Special Needs).
Dr. Usman-Singh received her medical degree from Indiana University. She completed a residency in Family Practice at Cook County Hospital, in Chicago, Illinois and is board certified in Family Practice. In addition she is board certified in Integrative and Holistic Medicine, and holds a certificate in Homeopathy.
Dr. T.C. Theoharides is Professor of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine, as well as Director of Molecular Immunopharmacology and Drug Discovery, in the Department of Immunology at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA. He was born in Thessaloniki, Greece, and graduated with Honors from Anatolia College.
Dr. Bev Weinberg is an Occupational Therapist with a passion for enhancing community engagement for individuals of all abilities, with a special focus on partnering with individuals with developmental disabilities. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Temple University. She returned to Temple and received her Clinical Doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy in May of 2016, along with a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the Temple University Fox School of Business.
Bev has over twenty five years of experience in service delivery, research, training, and program development. She is passionate about helping individuals who are often the recipients of assistance assume leadership roles as providers of service to their communities. Bev has partnered with corporations and local, national, and international non-profit organizations to create innovative opportunities for individuals of all abilities to build social capital and community connection. She brings this passion and experience to Integrate for Good as the Founder and Executive Director.
Dr. Lindsey Wells is a naturopathic physician in Wilton, CT. She has focused her practice on pediatric consultative care for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), PANS/PANDAS, other neurodevelopmental disorders, and various chronic illnesses.
Dr. Wells is an adjunct professor at Sacred Heart University where she teaches anatomy and physiology undergraduate nursing students. Also, Dr. Wells is the President of the Connecticut Naturopathic Physicians Association (CNPA). In 2016, Dr. Wells was recognized as “Young Influencer in Naturopathic Medicine” by the AANMC.
Dr. Jason Sonners has always been fascinated by the machinery of the human frame and strives to learn everything and anything he can that might help even one of his patients. Always working to integrate new knowledge and practical experience, in addition to his Doctor of Chiropractic, Jason earned his Diplomate of the Chiropractic Board of Clinical Nutrition (DCBCN) and his Diplomate of the International Board of Applied Kinesiology (DIBAK). He is one of only 250 professionals in the world with this distinction.
Dr. Sonners utilizes his combined training in various modalities to create comprehensive programs and help patients achieve their health goals. His patients are dealing with, among other conditions, a variety of autoimmune and neurological conditions, allergies, autism and cancer. He combines Chiropractic, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Nutrition, Exercise, Detoxification programs and more to naturally support patients and guide them through their health challenges.
Dr. Dan Rossignol received his Doctor of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Virginia. Coming from an academic background, Dr. Rossignol searched the medical literature looking for a solution after both of his children were diagnosed with autism. He has made it his mission to research and publish in autism. In the last 14 years, he has 61 publications concerning autism and related conditions.
Dr. Rossignol has a special interest in autism spectrum disorders, PANS/PANDAS, cerebral palsy, and related neurological and developmental disorders as well as medically complex children and adults. Dr. Rossignol is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP) and a Fellow/President of the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (FMAPS).
Emily Pinto has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum since 2009. She worked closely with individuals with ASD throughout her time at Saint Joseph's University. She spent her four years at SJU working at the Kinney Center, graduating with a dual major in early childhood education and special education with a minor in autism studies. Emily was introduced to the Spelling to Communicate (S2C) method in 2016 and began her training with the I-ASC professional cohort to become a communication/regulation partner. After spending a year in the public school system, Emily and her colleague Tom began their work as full-time practitioners at AALIVE’s Inside Voice Program. They have been working to grow the Philly S2C community since June of 2017. They have presented at numerous colleges such as Princeton University, Swarthmore College, & St. Joseph’s University. Emily’s greatest passion is serving and advocating for individuals with differing needs and abilities.
Dr. Nancy O’Hara is a board certified Pediatrician. Prior to her medical career, Dr. O’Hara taught children with autism. She graduated with highest honors from Bryn Mawr College and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society from the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh. After residency, chief residency and general pediatric fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. O’ Hara entered general private practice in 1993, and in 1998 began her consultative, integrative practice solely for children with special needs.
Since 1999 she has dedicated her practice to the integrative and holistic care of children with neurodevelopment disorders, ADHD, PANDAS/PANS, OCD, Lyme and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. She is a leader in the training of clinicians, both in the US and abroad.
Meg Murphy discovered RPM 4 years ago when looking for a way to connect with her oldest son Finn, who is now 8, and has nonverbal autism. She always knew Finn was smart, but he struggled with PECS, sign language, and ABA, and didn't have a reliable way to communicate. Through RPM she was able to teach Finn to spell, and now Finn can type and spell his thoughts fluently. After practicing at home for 2 years, Meg received her Parent Training Certification through HALO Institute in April of 2017.
Today she works primarily with her son, but she also enjoys helping families throughout the community when she can. Meg also started Chester County RPM and hosts multiple workshops throughout the year with RPM Practitioners from all over the country.
RPM is an educational method for autism and related conditions. It empowers the student to communicate thoughts, reason, opinions and answers to questions. This is accomplished by assessing the open learning channels in the instance of learning. Students further can learn using RPM for self help tasks, leisure skills, and many other skills leading to independence. RPM was developed by Soma Mukhopadhyay.
Dr. Michael Montico is board certified in both family medicine and sports medicine. After his son Owen was diagnosed with ASD, Dr. Montico pursued training in the biomedical approach to ASD. Previously trained as a “DAN” physician, Dr. Montico is on course to become a MAPS fellow (Medical Academy of Pediatric special needs). Dr. Montico now does consulting for the Holland Center Biomedical Clinic outside of Minneapolis.
Lynn Medley is a speech-language pathologist, with a rich variety of training from which she combines current methods for the treatment of individuals with ASD, dyspraxia, and other significant communication disorders. Lynn earned her undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, and her Master’s Degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she received additional training at the TEACCH program, in a Sensory Integration private practice, and in a range of home programs utilizing Applied Behavioral Analysis principles.
In 1995 Lynn moved to Baltimore, where she worked for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders of the Kennedy Krieger Institute. During her time at CARD as a communication specialist and later as the Clinical Director and eventually Assistant Director, Lynn assisted in starting the Achievements Therapeutic Day Program, consulted to school systems in several states, lectured internationally, and provided advocacy and expert witness services for children with autism and their families, while also participating in direct interdisciplinary evaluation and therapy service provision. From 1999-2000 Lynn served as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Continued Studies in Business and Education at the Johns Hopkins University, where she taught students in the Masters Certificate program in Autism, the first of its kind in the country.
Early in 2002 Lynn moved to Pennsylvania and opened a private practice providing therapy, advocacy, and consultation to individuals with autism and their families, and consultation and training to school systems. In 2005, Lynn’s friend and colleague from Kennedy Krieger, Janice Mesaric, joined her in partnership, and they opened Medley & Mesaric Therapy Associates, LLC. Lynn continues to specialize in social engagement and social cognition across ages and diagnoses, providing evaluative and therapeutic services with individuals with communication disorders, and consultative services to schools and school systems.
Dr. Julie Logan specializes in helping children with the symptoms of Autism, ADD/HD, PANDAS/PANS, food sensitivities, methylation defects, GI issues, and environmental illnesses. She is fully MAPS certified (Medical Academy of Pediatrics Special needs) and has been working alongside Dr. Usman for the last 4 years.
Before earning her medical degree, Dr. Julie Logan was introduced to the world of medicine as a patient. After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis, she began treatment with a chiropractic physician and soon recovered from the disorder. But as a concerned mother, Dr. Logan was pushed further into the medical world. Educators began telling her that her older son showed signs of ADHD and her younger son developed Autism. Like so many other parents, Dr. Logan was plunged into the struggle to rescue her sons. She watched their amazing paths of recovery through chiropractic care and nutritional therapies, and soon she had discovered an incredible truth; the human body has the power to heal itself when given the right care.
Prior to joining True Health Medical Center, Dr. Logan worked in the field of Environmental medicine, addressing biotoxin mediated illnesses such as mold exposure and sick building syndrome. Her chiropractic background gives her insight into correcting the dysregulation of the central nervous system, known as dysautonomia.
She obtained her undergraduate degree at Wheaton College and completed her physician’s degree National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, graduating as Valedictorian of her class. She currently also works in private chiropractic practice in Warrenville to further serve the health needs of her patients.
Vicki Kobliner, MS RDN is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist with years of expertise in applying a functional approach to nutrition. She develops individualized plans for clients which are designed to promote wellness, prevent disease and rebalance underlying nutritional impairments. A key element of this approach is the optimization of digestive function. Research shows that impairments in this critical nutritional pathway can have a far reaching impact on our brain, immune, detoxification, and other seemingly unrelated systems. Vicki has extensive experience in using dietary modification, appropriate supplementation and functional lab testing to achieve optimal wellness.
Vicki has extensive experience using gluten-free, dairy free, low allergen, GFCF, SCD, GAPS, FODMAPS, and other appropriate diets to reduce inflammation and promote healthy digestive function . She has contributed her expertise to www.gfcfdiet.com and worked with schools to develop a whole foods approach to student meal planning. She lectures frequently, both locally and nationally, on topics such as autism, special diets for food allergies and intolerances, healthy pregnancy planning and choosing appropriate nutritional supplementation. She has appeared on television and video. Vicki is a contributing author to the books A Compromised Generation: The Epidemic of Chronic Illness in America’s Children and Essential Remedies for Women’s Health.
Shannon Kenitz is the executive Director of the International Hyperbarics Association (IHA). The IHA is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for neurological conditions through education, research and fundraising of treatments for families in need. Ms. Kenitz has been working in the field of hyperbaric medicine since 2003 as a strong advocate for HBOT to treat children with special needs. Ms Kenitz has been instrumental in the education of primary physicians in the benefits of HBOT and is highly regarded as an expert on its treatment of neurological conditions. Since 2013, Ms. Kenitz has served as the Senior Administrator of the Medical Academy of Pediatrics Special Needs (MAPS).
Shannon Kenitz resides in Madison, Wisconsin with her two daughters Lily and Grace.
Dr. John Gaitanis, a graduate of Brown Medical School, completed his neurology training at Children’s Hospital Boston. He went on to finish an epilepsy fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center before returning to Children’s Hospital Boston to join their epilepsy staff. While there, he co-founded the Comprehensive Brain Malformation Program, helping bridge clinical and basic science knowledge of these conditions. In 2004, Dr. Gaitanis returned to Brown Medical School and Hasbro Children’s Hospital where he served as the director of pediatric epilepsy. He aided in the development of ketogenic diet and epilepsy surgery programs at Brown, providing comprehensive epilepsy care for children in Rhode Island. He now serves as the Director of Child Neurology at Tufts Medical Center/Floating Hospital for Children. Apart from his clinical duties, Dr. Gaitanis serves as the Chairperson of the Matthew Siravo Memorial Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving epilepsy advocacy and education. Dr. Gaitanis’ research is aimed at improving the sensitivity of EEG through digital signal processing. He has also published original articles and book chapters on status epilepticus, cortical malformations, and epilepsy in infancy and childhood.
Tom Foti has been surrounded by autism for most of his life. His younger brother, Brian, is autistic, but joining the autism field had never been a thought until the summer of 2016. Tom was in the middle of building a career in radio when he observed a Spelling to Communicate (S2C) session between his brother & Elizabeth Vosseller of Growing Kids Therapy Center (GKTC). During the session, Brian spelled about breaking free from his “prison of silence.” It was in that moment, Tom decided to become an S2C professional. He graduated from the I-ASC professional cohort and has been a full-time practitioner at AALIVE’s Inside Voice Program since June 2017. Tom and his colleague, Emily Pinto, have presented at numerous colleges such as Princeton University, Swarthmore College, & St. Joseph’s University. Tom presented at the 2019 Motormorphosis Conference and will be presenting again at Motormorphosis in 2020.
Dr. Fliedner, MD, MPH, FAAP is an Integrative and Functional Medicine Pediatrician. A Southern California native, Dr. Fliedner earned his Doctorate of Medicine while also earning his Master of Public Health from New York Medical College. He completed his Pediatric Residency Training at University of California, Irvine. He has had a diverse career having worked from Community Clinics in underserved areas in California to working in the emergency room as a faculty member of the Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical School/Children’s Hospital of Dallas.
Dr. Richard Frye, MD, PhD. is a Child Neurologist with expertise in neurodevelopmental and neurometabolic disorders. He received an MD and PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University and completed his Child Neurology Residency and Fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Learning Disabilities at Harvard University/Children’s Hospital Boston. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and serves on several editorial boards. He has conducted several clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of safe and novel treatments that target underlying physiological abnormalities in children with ASD. He is the Chief of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Michael W. Elice, M.D. is a board certified pediatrician who has treated Autistic Spectrum Disorders, mitochondrial, PANDAS, immune and metabolic dysregulation for the past 10 years. The treatment is based on the theory that autism and related disorders are actually complex neurodevelopmental disorders with genetic, biochemical and immunological origins, thus making these autoimmune disorders the incidence of which has been increasing rapidly over the past 30 years.
As the research in this field advances, Dr. Elice has treated not only the affected children but their siblings, parents and family members who suffer from other genetically based autoimmune disorders. Dr. Elice is on the board of NYFAC –New York Families of Autistic Children, National Autism Association – New York Metro Chapter and MAPS Physician.
He has lectured at MAPS (Medical Academy for Pediatric Special Needs,) Autism Research Institute (formerly Defeat Autism Now!) conferences, Autism One conferences and local SEPTA and school conferences. Dr Elice has participated in TV and web interviews. He has contributed several chapters to “Cutting Edge Therapies in Autism – 2010-2013” editions and has coauthored papers on immune therapy for autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Elice is also certified in Hyperbaric Medicine.
Dr Elice is a graduate of Syracuse University and the Chicago Medical School. He maintains teaching positions at New York University Medical School and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and has adjunct professorship at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York and the Cohen Children’s Hospital of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, New York.
Dr. Michael Elice has been awarded Member status in the American Association of Integrative Medicine® (AAIM). AAIM recognizes individuals working in the health care field who are dedicated to the advancement of integrative medicine and are determined to heighten public awareness.
Dr. Elice has also been awarded the prestigious Board Certified in Integrative Pediatrics, BCIP, credential by the American Association of Integrative Medicine® (AAIM). The BCIP designation is reserved for those individuals who are able to meet the stringent requirements of AAIM in the areas of knowledge, skill, education, training and experience in their health care specialty.
Dr. David Dornfeld has been preventing and reversing illness at Family Wellness Center in Middletown, NJ, for 33+years, while focusing towards "environmental medicine concerns" and how to repair those exposure related insults.
Throughout this time, he has developed a special interest in working with children with autism spectrum disorders, and encompasses many aspects of family medicine, osteopathic spinal manipulation, chelation therapy, IV infusions therapy, and hyperbaric therapies to help many improve. He received his medical degree from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Maine and completed his residencies in Ohio and Colorado in 1986. He is board certified in family medicine (ACOFP) and board certified in anti-aging medicine by the International Society of Anti-Aging medicine in 2000. Dr. Dornfeld has been a member of ACAM, the American College for the Advancement in Medicine since 1994 and became double certified in chelation therapy through his training. He completed his Fellowship from MAPS (Medical Academy of Pediatric Special needs) in 2013, and helps train many professionals and parents in safe hyperbaric therapies, chelation therapies, Lyme related disorders (ILADS trained) and preventive medicine, both nationally and internationally.
Recently, Dr. Dornfeld was the only US physician asked to participate in an autism summit in Cairo, Egypt, expanding his guidance to help physicians in the Middle East combat the issues associated with recovering children and adults with autism spectrum disorders.
Holly Bortfeld is a single mother of 2 adults with ASD, one in managed recovery. A long-time homeschooler, Holly now owns a biomed-friendly homestead farm for men with autism in York County PA. www.facebook.com/FeltonHomestead
Ms. Bortfeld was the Parent Support Manager and Lead Author at TACA for 10 years.
Dr. Boles is a Medical Geneticist with expertise in mitochondrial and other metabolic disorders. He completed medical school at UCLA, a pediatric residency at Harbor-UCLA, and a genetics fellowship at Yale. He received board certifications in Pediatrics, Clinical Genetics and Clinical Biochemical Genetics. For over two decades, Dr. Boles’ clinical and research focus has been on sequence changes in genes involved in energy metabolism, and more recently ion channels, and their effects on the development of common functional disorders. Examples include autism, pain syndromes, cyclic vomiting, bowel dysmotility, dysautonomia, depression, and SIDS. Dr. Boles practices the “bedside to bench to bedside” model of a physician-scientist, combining an active clinical practice with basic research into the underlying genetic predispositions leading to the same conditions. He has over 70 published papers, mostly in mitochondrial medicine.
James B. Adams, Ph.D., is the Director of the Autism/Asperger’s Research Program at Arizona State University. His research focuses on the medical causes of autism and how to treat and prevent it including the areas of nutrition (vitamins/minerals, essential fatty acids, carnitine, digestive enzymes, special diets), oxidative stress, gut problems, gut bacteria, toxic metals, and seizures.
He has published over 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles, including over 40 related to autism. He is also the President of the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, the President of the Autism Nutrition Research Center, the co-leader of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Autism Research Institute, and chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Neurological Health Foundation. He has an adult daughter with autism.
Elizabeth Vosseller has worked with individuals with complex communication and sensory-motor differences since 1995. She began her career as an SLP at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC where she began to specialize in autism. From there, Elizabeth spent twelve years as an Assistant Professor at The George Washington University teaching more than twenty different courses to undergraduate and graduate students in both Speech and Hearing Sciences and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. Elizabeth developed a passion for clinical training through her work with field supervision and training to teachers and SLPs during their graduate studies.
Elizabeth’s greatest joy is working with clients and families she opened Growing Kids Therapy Center (GKTC) in Herndon, Virginia. In 2013 she began using Assistive Technology to educate and teach students the purposeful motor skills to Spell to Communicate (S2C). Elizabeth enjoys teaching parents, educators, caregivers, and other professionals to support nonspeaking individuals through S2C.