Southern Utah Autism Conference Speakers 2016
Jared Stewart, M.Ed., was named the 2011 Educator of the Year by the National Association of Private Special Education Centers (NAPSEC). After graduating Magna Cum Laude from BYU he has spent the past decade working with adults with autism, and has shared his views on the techniques and mindsets that lead to improved outcomes for individuals on the autism spectrum with many local and national audiences. He is the head of the education department at Provo’s ScenicView Academy, (a transitional school for adults with autism and other learning disabilities), and an adjunct professor of social work at Utah Valley University, where he teaches classes on autism and works with UVU’s Passages program to create successful transition outcomes for students with ASD. His passion for the subject arises from personal experience: he has family members on the spectrum and has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome himself.
Kyle Bringhurst holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. He worked for 10 years with Wasatch Mental Health as a school based therapist, and then Program Manager of autism services. Kyle has expanded autism programs in Utah County and throughout the State, and is involved with the legislative process.
Tom is a passionate Special Education teacher. He started his teaching career in 2002 teaching at a private institution in California for Emotionally Disturbed students. In 2012, he earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education specializing in ADHD. Upon finishing his Masters Degree Tom went back to school and completed a four course, 12 credits, Autism Credentialing Program. Tom has a California Autism endorsement and a Nevada Autism Credential. Tom’s experience includes ABA strategies such as PECS, Augmentative Communication Devices (Go-Talk 20), Token Boards, Choice Boards and reinforcement systems, as well as other autism interventions in the classroom.
My family has been blessed with a child with special needs that has forever changed my perspective on raising children. I decided to change my professional endeavors and concentrate on Special Education. I have loved working at Spectrum Academy and also being a member of the CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) and, USEAP (Utah Special Education Advisory Panel); representing Individuals with Disabilities as a parent of a student with disabilities. I have two very special people in my life that began my desire to work with special-needs children. The first is my son Jackson. He was diagnosed with Autism. The second is my nephew Jacob. These wonderful children inspired both my husband and I to return again to school and complete my Degree in Special Education. I am currently employed at Spectrum Academy as an elementary school Principal. Spectrum Academy concentrates on helping students with high functioning Autism and other disabilities.
Jessica Bowman, M.Ed
Jessica Bowman received her M.Ed in Teacher Leadership and her BS in Elementary Education and Moderate and Severe Disabilities from the University of Louisville. Jessica is the Autism and Significant Cognitive Disabilities Specialist at the Utah State Office of Education. Previously, she taught in a special class setting for students with moderate and severe disabilities, including autism in the Louisville, KY area. Jessica’s love in working with children with disabilities began as a child, as she has two brothers who both have autism.
Michelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo and a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior from National University. She is a Certified Behavior Analyst and completed her Applied Behavior Analysis coursework through Florida Institute of Technology. She has been formally trained in different ABA approaches from clinical based Discrete Trial Training to natural learning based Pivotal Response Training. She has provided training and support to Special Education teachers and classroom aides, and supervised group homes for juvenile sex offenders as well as developmentally delayed children and adolescents.
Dr. TJ Glahn
My professional career has been varied and rewarding both nationally and internationally. Love for being with children, adolescents and adults with Autism started over 30 years ago as a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). This passion has never wavered, just taken diversified paths. It has expanded to include an emphasis for training those persons delivering instruction. Work has led me from being a Psychologist at a California State Hospital, to being a Research Psychologist at UCSB, to developing and conducting research regarding least restrictive living settings known as Teaching Homes, and to then work in the area of early intervention. My most recent professional work is in the areas of developing clinics and preschool settings emphasizing “naturalistic” teaching strategies inclusive of Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS) in both the United States and Canada. I truly believe in the Power of Nature to instruct and influence all persons to learn and explore this great big world, but ever mindful of presenting constant functional learning experiences within a Behavioral framework. Nature promotes self-initiation, exploration and creativity, areas needing additional study in Autism and with those individuals whose lives we impact. This focus on naturalistic teaching first started many years ago for me in Santa Barbara, when I founded a school and research center for persons with Autism and related disorders. As children watch a butterfly or touch a leaf, they learn in a holistic sensory manner to stop-look-learn, thus providing communication & learning opportunities. My work has focused on developing FUN & FUNCTIONAL learning opportunities and strategies utilizing an expanded, contextualized ABA Framework.
Krisanne received her BS in Psychology and her Master’s Degree in occupational therapy from the University of Utah. She currently works as the Student Services Coordinator for Spectrum Academy in North Salt Lake, Utah, collaborating with teachers and providing occupational therapy services to children with a variety of disabilities. She has worked with children with ASD and other disabilities in Texas and Utah, and has worked in clinical, early intervention, home, and education-based settings. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah and enjoys teaching adults almost as much as kids! She is certified in sensory integration and in the administration/interpretation of the SIPT (Sensory Integration and Praxis Test) and has extensive experience with sensory integration. Her interests include best practices in providing inclusive educational opportunities for children with disabilities. She currently lives in Utah with her husband and children.
Suzanne has worked with adults who are on the Autism Spectrum and those with Learning Disabilities for the past 8 years. She believes that developing problem solving skills and using a
strengths based approach are vital to her clients’ growth. She has co-developed and currently teaches a social skills curriculum that is geared specifically for teens and adults. Suzanne has had the opportunity to present at many national conferences on social skills and transitioning into adult services. Suzanne graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in Political Science and spent 10 years working in various government agencies.
Ryan Hawks, ACMHC, TRS/CTRS
After working for ScenicView Academy for 6 years as a recreation therapist, Ryan was recently hired as a psychotherapist at ScenicView. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management from Brigham Young University, and recently finished his master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from University of Phoenix. He has presented at a local, state, and national level on topics such as transition planning, ScenicView’s recreation therapy and social skills programs, and working with individuals with ADHD.
Scott Wood, CMHC Scott graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. Scott has worked for ScenicView since it opened, and has enjoyed seeing its growth, and seeing the students benefit from the services provided there. Scott also works with the WHY TRY organization as a National Training Consultant helping youth and others develop the social and emotional skills necessary to reach their goals.
Aaron J. Fischer, PhD, BCBA-D, LP
has been working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families for over 10 years. He graduated from the University of Miami, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and worked as a research coordinator at the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Dr. Fischer completed his master’s and doctoral degree in school psychology at Louisiana State University. Before arriving at the University of Utah in 2014, he completed his predoctoral internship in clinical psychology at the May Institute in Massachusetts. His internship and graduate work focused on providing evidence-based practice in schools, hospitals, and mental health clinics to children with disabilities and their families. Specifically, Dr. Fischer’s clinical interests concentrate on the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with ASD, as well a providing support and training to their families. As such, his scholarship is considerably influenced by his applied work in those areas. Currently, Dr. Fischer is an assistant professor of school psychology, an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry, and director of the UNI HOME interdisciplinary pediatric feeding disorders clinic at the University of Utah. Additionally, Dr. Fischer is a Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He has experience in the assessment and treatment of problem behavior, as well as the acquisition of adaptive skills, in individuals with ASD and developmental disabilities.
Kristen Wilson, MS, CCC-SLP, BCBA.
Kristen received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Brigham Young University. She has spent the majority of her career working in Utah, California and Florida as a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist; with most of her time spent working in the schools, clinics and private settings. She has worked with children from birth to adulthood with varying disabilities and abilities.:) Several years ago, Kristen began a search for information to help her maximize her limited therapy time with preschool children on the spectrum. That search led her to pursue her Board certification in Behavior Analysis, which she obtained through the Florida Institute of Technology. Kristen whole-heartedly believes that ALL children can learn and communicate when you establish a relationship with them and tap into their highest levels of motivation. She now has her “dream job” at Spectrum Academy in Pleasant Grove where she has been working as an SLP and as a BCBA. She has also assisted in oversight and collaboration of the school’s Functional Skills program. She has also been trained as an Instructor in Professional Crisis Management and has trained staff members to assist students in crisis. Kristen is now beginning a new adventure as an Assistant Principal. She is excited to be able to broaden her influence as she serves the students, parents and staff of Spectrum.
Sarah Sanders holds a Master’s in Special Education and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2008. She co-founded Utah Behavior Services and currently oversees the Central and Southern regions of Utah. She specializes in developing treatment and teaching programs for achieving skill growth and positive behavior change within an applied, home-centered environment. Sarah supervises individuals seeking their own certification, and believes in the efficacy and power of a collaborative team. Her passion is preserving families and preparing individuals for independent living.