Sandra recently retired from a long-time top account executive position with Waterman Broadcasting (KTSA) after working successfully in print media. Sandra currently serves as Branch Office Assistant for Edward Jones Investments in San Antonio, TX, acting mentor at Ridgewood elementary and has served 20+ in the Alamo Heights Chamber of Commerce. Sandra tells of her passion towards serving as coordinator of aspergers101: “The reason I want to be on the board of AS101 is because I have seen first hand what a different it is to a family and children with aspergers through my dear friend Jennifer Allen and her son, Sam Allen. With love, kindness, patience and education a child with aspergers can live a fulfilled life. You must choose the child first. Everything else will fall into place as the child grows. I have been to quite a few seminars with Jennifer and the parents that come up to her and Sam and say “You have made a difference in my life” are profound. I am honored to serve on the board of AS101.”
David J Clapp is a financial advisor with the firm of Edward Jones. Working closely with select families in the San Antonio area, his team provides the expertise and foresight needed to provide current income, predictable growth and legacy giving. David became a limited partner with Edward Jones in 2011. David is a proud graduate of Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science degree. He was also awarded a Master of Science degree from the University of Southern California. David is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. As a father of 4 children, David has a passion for encouraging others to excellence through continuous improvement; and to remind them that as long as God keeps waking you up, He has a plan for your life.
After an extensive career in broadcasting, Jennifer Allen searched for answers when her oldest son hit the kinder years with great difficulty. Upon learning he had Autism, she left her career to better understand the diagnosis and care for her child. The lack of information encouraged Jennifer to elicit a team of autism experts to provide original, daily content for anyone seeking to live their best under the Autism/Asperger’s diagnosis. Now a 501c3 non-profit, Aspergers101 has grown exponentially under the guidance of its CEO/Founder with such programs as the televised documentary “Coping to Excelling”, securing Texas Legislative Laws that benefit those on the spectrum such as the “Driving with Autism” initiative, numerous Autism/Asperger conferences, training & live-streaming workshops and the mainstay, continual daily content on Aspergers101.org. Her awards include the esteemed Gutenberg Award, SABJ Small Nonprofit, United Way for Health and Wellness Volunteer of the Year award and the ACU Distinguished Alumni Citation.
Aspergers101 relies on the expertise and assistance of it’s voluntary Advisory Board. These individuals are well diversed in experience and knowledge of living your best under the Autism and/or Asperger Syndrome diagnosis. It is their combined talents that supply the Aspergers101 audience with ongoing free support through the website and state policy changes positively advancing those diagnosed with an ASD.
Senior Editor Aspergers101 and Aspergers101 Weekly
Gabriela Lemos was born in Porto Alegre, Brasil, and was raised in San Antonio, Texas. She is currently a student at UTSA, graduating in December 2014 with a Bachelor degree in English. Brie states that she loves language and words, and the way in which people communicate with each other. She has always been interested and attracted to the autism community. “I find those on the spectrum to be incredible in so many ways, and I believe we can all learn from each other in our different strengths and weaknesses. I would love to use my talents to aid those who are not as strong in areas which I have confidence, and in turn receive an infinite amount of lessons and aid from those who I work with. Everything you send out, comes back to you, and I plan to practice sending out love and compassion every day”. We feel so fortunate to offer Brie’s talent of writing as well as her passion for autism awareness every week through Aspergers101 and our Aspergers101 Weekly.
Education K-12 Blog
The Education (K-12) Blogs as well as the Special Ed Q & A are written and maintained weekly by Lisa Rogers with Educating Diverse Learners. Lisa received her M.A. in Special Education with an endorsement in the area of individuals with severe disabilities. Mrs. Rogers has also created products that have been used throughout the state of Texas for training purposes. Through the Association for Texas Professional Educators [ATPE], Ms. Rogers has produced an online course that targets the importance of visual strategies for student with autism spectrum disorders and just released her highly anticipated book titled: Visual Supports for Visual Thinkers.
Louise O’Donnell Ph.D.
Dr. O’Donnell is a licensed psychologist who provides neuropsychological or psychoeducational assessment of children and adolescents with suspected neurodevelopmental and genetic disorders. at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. She has a PhD in School Psychology with an emphasis in child neuropsychology from the department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas in Austin. In addition to extensive clinical assessment background, she has in-depth knowledge of test design gained from her work with a leading psychological test publisher. It is her clinical assessment and test design expertise that she puts to work for Aspergers101 by testing and data assessment of our “Driving with Autism” initiative with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Dema Stout is a Professional Certified Coach who specializes in coaching students and adults with neurological challenges such as AD/HD and autism spectrum disorders. She assists her customers with all aspects of their life such as relationships, education and careers. Additionally, she provides consultation to families who have “intense” children. Dema is owner of Greatness Coaching in San Antonio Texas and is a Certified Advanced Trainer of the Nurtured Heart Approach which she utilizes in her work. Aspergers101 is proud to share her knowledge and vast experience to benefit our audience.
Dr. Ghia Edwards
Asa ~ ( /’ay-sah/ ) is a Hebrew name, which means “doctor,” or “healer” and Dr. Ghia is used as both, she is a professor of Psychology, received her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Southern California Seminary and is as well a licensed ordained minister. Dr. Ghia believes that MINDFULNESS and Wellness go hand in hand and is excited about conducting and being in the first phase of a student focused Mindfulness research project, at San Antonio College in Bexar County. Dr. Ghia Edwards teaches the art of staying in the here and now and believes in the concept of long term Spirit, Soul, Mind, Body health, which comes from living a life of Mindfulness.”The journey isn’t easy but it can be joyful”, Is one of the Doctors favorite sayings.
Ethan Hirschberg is a teenager with High Functioning Autism. In March 2017, he started a blog called The Journey Through Autism, where he shares his personal experiences, insights, and advice to individuals on the spectrum, parents, caregivers, educators, and providers. Ethan’s goal is to educate, advocate, and inspire. Please check out his blog as well as his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!
Autism Community Network
Providing the weekly Medical Blogs are the team of professionals, doctors, occupational and behavioral therapists at San Antonio’s premiere Autism Diagnostic Clinic, the Autism Community Network.
- Executive Director Dr. Loree Primeau
- Medical Director Dr. A Patricia Del Angel
- Training and Research Director Dr. Berenice de la Cruz
- Carrie Alvarado, OTR, PhD©, DIR/Floortime-Certified
- Lupe Castaneda, MS, BCBA
- Adriana Sanchez, MA, BCBA
- Dr. Gayla Aguilar, OTR, OTD, C-SIPT
- Megan Kunze, MA, BCBA
The ACN teams works to maximize the potential of children with autism through their administrative, clinic, training and development departments. Their expertise on Aspergers Syndrome is offered to you through aspergers101.com.
Asperger Blogger Autistically Speaking
Sam Allen has taken a pro-active approach to having autism. He is the inspiration behind and worked on the production/content for the documentary, Coping to Excelling: Solutions for school-age children diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism or Aspergers Syndrome. Sam offers his insights into the world of Autism through speaking at conferences as well as his weekly blogs on aspergers101.org. Currently enrolled in college working toward a degree in Engineering, Sam enjoys spending his time building high-end computers, on-line gaming and even took time to build a low-powered FM Radio station for fun. Sam’s take on having Aspergers is: “Don’t think of Autism as a weight but more like a pair of wings in which to soar”.
Sandra Jacobs, M.A., ATC, BCBA
Sandra currently serves as the Autism Services Coordinator at Any Baby Can in San Antonio, Texas. Her background working in Public Schools with Special Education has provided her working knowledge of working with Autism/Asperger youth. Aspergers101 is pleased to offer our readers/viewers the insights of Sandra Jacobs!
Health and Wellness
Alfred Chavira, Any Baby Can’s Health and Wellness Director, holds a Bachelors in Biology and a Masters in Kinesiology. He has 10 years of experience in the field of health and wellness and 6 years of experience in adaptive fitness. Alfred also teaches a CEU Class titled “Teaching Strategies for Adapted Fitness”. He has presented strategies for adapted fitness at multiple conferences including: 2105 SHAPE America Southern District Conference, 2014 California Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 2104 5-P Society Annual Conference, 2014 Autism Society of Greater Austin and more. We at AS101 are please to offer our readers/viewers the insights from Mr. Chavira!
Tisha Gonzalez (M.A., SLP, ATC, BCBA) holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders and a Master of Arts in Special Education. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, licensed speech pathologist, holds an Advanced TEACCH Certification, Early Childhood Teacher Certification and a Special Education Teacher Certification. Tisha has 35 years of experience in the autism field and was a special education teacher and autism specialist for SAISD for 20 years, where she received the Texas Education Agency reommendation for Model Autism Program. She has presented at Texas and various other state conferences on autism support, teaching academics to students with autism, behavior support and communication training. Tisha is also no stranger to international presentations for she has presented at conferences in Europe, Ireland and South Africa. Tisha currently serves as the Director of Autism Family Services at Any Baby Can in San Antonio, Texas.
Sharon Neill, M.A.
After decades of hard work on social development, Sharon has come to recognize patterns and themes driving disconnection with self and others. Getting to the root is what it’s all about. Her diverse background with all things special needs includes early interventionist, case manager, foster home developer, trainer, teacher, consultant, and coach. Her mission is to build mission focused leaders for organizations who serve families. missiondriven123.com
Jessica joins aspergers101 team of writers as a single mother of two extraordinary children who believes that all children deserve the love and acceptance that they give out. Follow Jessica in the Family section of aspergers101 and share in her personal stories as she will cry and laugh her way through life. Jessica blogs regularly on her site, My Extraordinary Child, a place where parenting is discussed, tears and sarcasm come to meet, and differences are celebrated. “Unless the world stops limiting opportunities for people of all abilities, I never will. Join me on a journey of tears, laughter, and courage”. -Jessica Nieminski
Ken Kellam III was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in his late 30’s, and has worked with Autism Treatment Center of Texas since 2003. He is currently the administrative assistant to the clinical director. He also helps facilitate three different self-advocate groups, and in the Spring of 2015 was presented with the “Angel Award” by the National Autism Association of North Texas for the works he has done with these groups. He has also done public speaking on the subject of autism/Asperger syndrome, and has spoken to various educational and parental groups. When not involved with autism, Ken has led the singing at the same church since 1988, and has also been the fill-in preacher at this same church. In 2006 he was called on to sing the National Anthem at the Autism Society of America’s national convention in Dallas, and performed the same song at ATC’s rodeo fundraiser. He also enjoys writing, and formerly wrote articles for a website dedicated to reality television. In 2011 he got married for the first time, and his wife Rachel works for ATC in Adult Services. Ken graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 1987 with a Bachelor’s in Mass Communications, and once worked as a radio traffic reporter, interactive announcer and writer, and news producer in Dallas. He views Asperger’s as a difference, not a defect, and has come to appreciate the positive aspect’s of Asperger’s. Contact Ken
Marcia Eckerd PhD
Marcia Eckerd PhD has been in practice as a licensed psychologist since 1985. She is on the CT ASD Advisory Council and the Clinical Advisory Committee of the Aspergers/Autism Association of New England, as well the professional advisory board of Smart Kids with LD. Dr. Eckerd specializes in working with individuals of all ages who have issues with social understanding, rigid thinking, anxiety and emotional control whether or not they are diagnosed as “on the spectrum,” NLD, anxious or even ODD. With my experience in neuropsychological evaluations and therapy, I integrate a comprehensive understanding of patients that includes:
- cognitive processing
- emotional development and dynamics
- life stressors
- co-existing conditions such as ADHD, mood and anxiety disorders and LD
In therapy, she addresses these issues with modular cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), collaborative problem solving, social skills coaching and mindfulness training as well as innovative techniques such as video teaching. Trained extensively in stress reduction techniques, which are effective for all ages, Dr. Eckerd says these are simple scientifically proven techniques that repair the damage of stress to the body and increase stress resilience. Dr. Eckerd also performs extensive neuro-psychological evaluations. Using this knowledge, she often consults with parents, schools, advocates and attorneys to help best meet a child’s needs in school programs or a young adult’s needs in college. Aspergers101 is privileged to pass on the knowledge and experience from Dr. Eckerd by way of her blogs!
You may contact Marcia Eckerd PhD directly:
Kirt Manecke is an award winning author and sales, marketing, and fundraising specialist who’s an expert at delivering amazing customer service that makes people smile. Kirt is passionate about helping teens and adults succeed. He wants to help people with autism and other special needs get and keep a job and live fulfilling lives, which is why he is thrilled to be working with Aspergers101. He hopes his information will make it easier for parents of kids and adults with special needs to make friends and get that job.
Asperger Blogger Autistically Speaking
Alix’s childhood was hindered by undiagnosed Aspergers until she learned to harness her gifts. Now, at 21 years old, she has already done what most people can only hope to do in their lives; speak to the UN, make a major scientific contribution, give a TED talk, and travel the world.
Alix was misdiagnosed as a child. Told she was strickened with a plethora of mental illnesses and learning disabilities, she spent years desperately seeking answers until she found the right kind of help that enabled her to flourish; piano playing, composing, ballet and science.
Alix is an undergraduate student in Vermont working toward a degree in neuroscience. She is also currently working on several research projects studying autism and schizophrenia. She utilizes the college learning disabilities accommodation program and now lives comfortably with her challenges.
Aspergers101 is thrilled to offer you the insights and brilliance of Alix!
Christopher Aaron Seltzer
Reese Eskridge is a Production Technician with Fairville Products who is passionate about working in the sciences (biology) and wishes to take his work experiences further into the fields of Educational Neuroscience; Science Fiction; Freelance Writing; Disability Advocacy; Public Speaking; Leadership and Entrepreneurship. Aspergers101 is proud to offer the insights and perceptions of the talented Mr. Eskridge to our team of bloggers as he is a great example of living life on the spectrum to it’s fullest!
You may contact Reese Eskridge directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Marc Ellison
Education – College Blog
Marc Ellison, Ed.D. is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and an approved Licensed Professional supervisor (ALPS) who has worked nearly 30 years to provide person-centered support, services and advocacy to individuals who live with autism spectrum disorders, their families and those who support them. He has supported individuals with ASD throughout their lifespan, as they moved to the community from state-supported institutions, searched for and obtained employment, entered into relationships, and transitioned into college. Dr. Ellison is the Executive Director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center, and a part-time professor at Marshall University.
Guest Blogger/Autistically Speaking
Matt Rozsa is a Ph.D. student in history at Lehigh University, as well as a political columnist. His editorials have been published on Salon, the Good Men Project, Mic, MSNBC, and various other newspapers and blogs. Matt actively encourages people to reach out to him at email@example.com.
Nikki is the creator of the webcomic “AuTalkz”. She has Asperger’s Syndrome and found relief from panic attacks by doodling. Nikki wanted to make a comic which went back to the “bare basics” of past comics: ones l like Calvin & Hobbes which could teach lessons and procure laughter without the use of bad language and-or graphic violence….she called this comic strip “AuTalkz“. “The idea was for the opinions and comedy to come from the viewpoint of someone with ASD. I decided to branch out and do something I’ve always wanted to do: Help people understand autism. My hope is that my comic can help promote understanding, particularly teachers who have students on the spectrum, parents who have children on the spectrum, and even kids and workers who have classmates and co-workers on the spectrum”. We would agree and are proud to feature Nikki and her fabulous work, AuTalkz, on aspergers101.com
Dr. John Habershon
Dr John Habershon has spent many hundreds of hours conducting in-depth interviews during his career in consumer and social research. Over the last eight years he has analysed the nonverbal responses captured on video on a wide range of topics, ranging from favorite products and advertising on TV, to bereavement and stress at work.
He became involved in work for those on the autism spectrum through friends with Asperger’s in the family and has created Emotions Reader, an interactive program with quizzes to help users identify facial expressions.
John has a long standing interest in understanding emotions, having gained his PhD on the psychological effects of unemployment at Imperial College, London University. He has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Katherine completed her B.A. in Early Childhood Education and the Masters program, specializing in Family and Community Services at Ashford University. She now has the unique opportunity to write social stories and high-interest/low-literacy stories for older beginner readers and to speak as a certified TIME TO TEACH trainer, traveling the country to promote teacher effectiveness skills. She is married to Scott and together they have five children. Our youngest was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at age three. In addition to contributing valuable family content to aspergers101.com, Katherine’s goal is to increase the number of high-interest, low-literacy stories for struggling readers to enjoy and increase their literacy abilities on her blog Tiny Seeds for a bright future.