Rank #1: Episode 27 - Meaghan Wall, Pastoral Leader of Special Needs
Meaghan has served as the Pastoral Leader of Special Needs at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas since 2006. She has a passion for servjng families affected by special needs and enjoys helping churches across the country catch the vision of Special Needs Ministry. She has degree in Social Work from Texas Tech University and a Masters in Christian Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary. Meaghan has one amazing husband (Michael) and two crazy boys (Jackson and Grayson) who are the loves of her life. Meaghan is best described by a sign in her office that reads, “Jesus, Dr. Pepper, and Texas Tech”. Here is the website for Stonebriar Community Church and Meaghan’s contact information: https://www.stonebriar.org/
Meaghan Wall email@example.com
Dec 03 2018
Rank #2: Episode 19 - Kristi Cortez, BCBA at the Kristin Farmer Autism Center
We’re back with all new episodes this fall!
Kristi Cortez has a master’s degree from the University of North Texas in Behavior Analysis. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and has over 10 years of experience working with children with autism. She also has 7 years of experience as a special education teacher. Kristi is now a BCBA at the Kristin Farmer Autism Center in Denton. Kristi is also married to a firefighter in Lewisville (Ryan), has a son (Lincoln), and just had another little boy this summer.
Here are the resources mentioned in this episode:
-Applied Behavior Analysis (2nd edition) by Cooper, Heron, & Howard
Sep 24 2018
Rank #3: Episode 20 - Jeannie Pease, Deaf Education
Jeannie is a teacher for preschool children who are deaf. She has served in this position for the past six years and worked with deaf students, deaf students with autism, ADD/ADHD, intellectual disablities, vision impairments, and other varieties of comorbities.
Oct 01 2018
Rank #4: Episode 10 - Cassie Doss, Special Education Teacher at Christie Elementary
Cassie is a special education teacher at Christie Elementary in Plano ISD. Cassie received her undergraduate degree from UNT and is currently pursuing a master's degree in elementary education and leadership. She is dedicated to serving students with autism in her structured classroom where she strives to help each child meet his/her full potential. Cassie discusses behavior, reinforcement, data collection, inclusion, and shares many resources on this episode.
- Howdy Homemade https://www.howdyhomemade.com/whole-story
- News2you https://www.n2y.com/news-2-you/
- TeachTown http://web.teachtown.com/
- CPI- Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training https://www.crisisprevention.com/
- Zones of Regulation http://www.zonesofregulation.com/index.html
- Life Path http://www.lifepathsystems.org/
Feb 05 2018
Rank #5: Episode 17 - Melanie Leonardo, Intervention Specialist in Frisco ISD
Melanie Leonardo is an intervention specialist in Frisco ISD. She is a wife and mom of a son who has been diagnosed with autism, intellectual disability (ID), cerebral palsy, and cortical visual impairment. Melanie has been in the field of special education for six years now. She started as a middle school theatre teacher, and has been on quite a journey to where she is now.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- ECI- Early Childhood Intervention
- Proloquo2go (iPad app.)
- Baby Center
- Welcome to Holland
- Frisco ISD (ACCESS Program)
- Hope Park
Apr 16 2018
Rank #6: Episode 25 - Kathy Bryan, Pre-K Resource Teacher in Krum ISD
Kathy is a Pre-K resource teacher at the Early Education Center in Krum ISD. She has over 30 years of experience in education, 20 spent in private education and 10 in public schools. Kathy also has administrative experience and owned a school from 2000 to 2007. She is very passionate about supporting individuals with disabilities through special education.
The following resources were shared during this episode:
-UNT KFAC https://autism.unt.edu/
-Krum ISD https://www.krumisd.net/
-ARC of Texas https://www.thearcoftexas.org/
-Region 11 https://www.esc11.net/
-St. Timothy Academy https://www.staplano.org/
Nov 05 2018
Rank #7: Episode 15 - Beth Newman, Structured Learning Teacher in Coppell ISD
Beth has been in the field of education for 11 years now and has a passion for teaching students vocational skills to assist them in life beyond high school. She has taught in Structured Learning for 8 years at Coppell Middle School North (in Coppell ISD). She received the honor of Campus Teacher of the Year during the 2015-2016 school year. Beth was also a paraprofessional for a year in the Practical Academics Program in Coppell. She started her career in education teaching 2nd and 3rd graders in the general education setting. She is also a wife to her husband, Brian, and has been for 3 and ½ wonderful years!
Beth mentioned the following resources in her episode:
- Unique Learning System
- Coppell ISD
Mar 26 2018
Rank #8: Episode 18 - Kate Lundgren, Clinical Director at Cutting Edge Pediatric Therapy
Kate Lundgren, and her husband Joe, are owners of Cutting Edge Pediatric Therapy. Cutting Edge Pediatric Therapy provides occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy to clients. There are three locations: Dallas, Mansfield, and Houston. Kate and Joe have two sons, Trenton and Spencer. Trenton has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and Spencer with Pervasive Developmental Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified. Kate was an occupational therapist when her boys got diagnosed, specializing in treating patients with head trauma, spinal cord injury, and strokes. The Lundgren’s believe in a comprehensive treatment package for individuals with disabilities and believe in “therapy with a purpose”.
Here are the resources mentioned in this episode:
- Cutting Edge Pediatric Therapy
- Rally in the Fort
- Hope Center for Autism (associated with Rally in the Fort)
- Ausome Moms
- Joseph Lundgren Consulting
- My Possibilities
- nonPareil Institute
- Autism Speaks
- Life Planning for Families of Special Needs, Inc.
Apr 24 2018
Rank #9: Episode 30 - Shannon Pugh, Director of Arise Special Needs Ministry
Shannon Pugh has been leading the Arise Special Needs Ministry at Irving Bible Church for 7
years, first as a volunteer and then as a staff member. Before working at IBC, she was a special
education teacher for 9 years. She fell in love with this population at a summer camp when she
was a teen and is extremely passionate about connecting families with special needs to resources
that will help them find abundant life! She also loves advocating for those with special needs and
helping others to understand their strengths and challenges. She is newly married, has a one-eyed
dog, and loves to play videogames to unwind!
Shannon mentions the following resources in her episode:
Jan 28 2019
Rank #10: Episode 31 - Molly Ola Pinney, Founder of the Global Autism Project
In 2003, Molly moved to Ghana to serve as a therapist for a young man with autism. She had been his therapist in Seattle, WA, and was asked to travel with them on their return home until they could find a local therapist for him. Faced with the reality that there were no local teachers prepared to support him, she envisioned and created an organization that could empower leaders, educate communities, and train local professionals. With a model rooted in sustainable, culturally relevant training, the Global Autism Project now works in ten different countries across four continents. Originally from New Hampshire, Molly has traveled and worked internationally for over 14 years. Her vision of building local capacity and promoting acceptance and understanding of the autistic community has grown into a global movement for change. She has spoken across various esteemed platforms; from the floor of the United Nations to a TEDx stage, advocating for a more collaborative, culturally relevant, sustainable approach to international aid programs.
Feb 05 2019
Rank #11: Episode 29 - A.D. Thompkins, BCBA, Writer & Producer
A.D. Thompkins is a writer, producer, and director of stage plays and film. She thoroughly enjoys the performing arts! Maya and Her Behavior Therapist is Ms. Thompkins first children’s book. Her second picture book is entitled, Dante's Good Choices and it's also available for purchase Amazon. She will continue publishing several children's books in the future and is gearing up to facilitate workshops/seminars focused on parent training.
Ms. Thompkins is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst working primarily with autistic children in Florida. She’s also currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.
The resources mentioned on this episode include:
-Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Jan 21 2019
Rank #12: Episode 16 - Emily Duff, PPCD Teacher in Coppell ISD
Emily Duff has been in the special education field for 6 years, all in Coppell ISD. Her first teaching job in the district was as a long-term substitute teacher for the Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities classroom (PPCD), and she fell in love with this class and the students. She also has three years of experience as a Kindergarten through fifth grade (K-5) resource teacher, with a focus in math and social skills. She taught Structured Learning K-5 for a year and then was able to return to PPCD. She has been back in the PPCD classroom for two years now. Emily is also a wife to a super patient and supportive husband, Matthew, and fosters animals in her spare time!
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Coppell ISD https://www.coppellisd.com/
- The Autism Helper (blog)
- Missbehavior (blog)
- DFW Child http://www.dfwchild.com/
- Navigate Life Texas https://www.navigatelifetexas.org/en
Apr 09 2018
Rank #13: Episode 13 - Dr. Haylie Miller, Assistant Professor at UNT HSC
Dr. Haylie Miller is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. Miller is currently conducting research investigating visuomotor integration in Autism Spectrum Disorder. This pertains to the use of visual information to plan, execute, and modify movement. She is also on the Texas Board of Directors for Autism Speaks.
Dr. Miller mentioned the following resources during her episode:
- Society for Neuroscience http://www.sfn.org/
- Karen Caeyenberghs (Australian Catholic University)
- Lisa Aziz-Zadeh (USC)
- Sue Morris (Curtin University)
- Priscila Cacola (UT Arlington)
- Nicoleta Bugnariu & Rita Patterson (UNT HSC)
- Mary Hayhoe (UT Austin)
- Matt Mosconi (University of Kansas)
- Autism Speaks (toolkits) https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits
- National Autism Association http://nationalautismassociation.org/
- Center for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/about.html
- Interactive Autism Network https://www.ianresearch.org/
- International Society for Autism Research http://www.autism-insar.org/
UNT HSC: www.unthsc.edu/HMPlab/autism
Feb 26 2018
Rank #14: Episode 12 - Jessica Koller, Student at the University of Texas at Dallas
Jessica is a mother of two and a wife, a student at the University of Texas at Dallas, has a son with autism, and previously helped families of children with disabilities plan for long-term needs. She is also working with a team of individuals to create better transition planning
programs for students with disabilities who are between the ages of 18 and 22 in Coppell ISD. Jessica is an open-book and eager to tell her story to encourage other families along their journey.
Jessica mentions the following resources in her episode and
shared some additional resources to check out:
-Autism Service Dogs of America http://autismservicedogsofamerica.com/
-For Families of Special Needs http://forfamiliesofspecialneeds.com/
-The Behavior Exchange http://www.behaviorexchange.com/
-HEROES Camp (Richardson) https://www.heroesdfw.org
-Hope for Gray http://hopeforgray.com/
-It’s A Sensory World www.itsasensoryworld.com
-Navigate Life Texas https://www.navigatelifetexas.org/en
-Special Olympics Texas www.sotx.org
Feb 19 2018
Rank #15: Episode 11 - Katie Daniels, Counselor and Therapist at Behavioral Transformations
Katie is currently completing her LPC licensure and serving as an ABA therapist and counselor at Behavioral Transformations, an ABA clinic located in Rockwall and Rowlett (Texas). She also served children in the foster care system before beginning to support individuals with autism. Katie is a mother of four, previously worked in a public elementary school (in a variety of positions), and she is striving to support individuals with autism by using her gifts, experience, and education.
Katie mentions the following resources/terms in her episode:
- The Bair Foundation https://www.bair.org/
- Behavioral Transformations (Angie Klutts) http://www.btrockwall.com/
- ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)
- Social Stories
- PPCD (Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities)
- Generalizing across settings
Feb 12 2018
Rank #16: Episode 32 - Will Barron, LSSP
Will Barron has five years of experience working as a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in elementary and middle school settings. Progressively gravitating towards autism cases in this position, Will decided to specialize in this area because of high professional interest and fascination. In seeking a higher degree in this field, he is currently a third-year student in the Autism Intervention Ph.D. program at the University of North Texas (UNT).
Will mentions these resources in his episode:
- Autism Speaks
- Intervention Central
- Class Dojo
Mar 04 2019
Rank #17: Episode 28 - Dr. Susan Nichols, Associate Executive Director of the UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center
"Susie" Nichols has over 15 years of experience in the field of autism intervention. She has worked as a self-contained special education teacher and interventionist in local school districts. Susie is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has served children with autism in both the home and center-based programs.
Here are the resources mentioned in this episode:
-National Autism Center (NAC)
-National Professional Development Center on Autism -Spectrum Disorders (NPDC)
-Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)
-Regional Centers for Public School Districts (check with your school district)
There will be an Autism Symposium on Saturday January 26, 2019 at Krum High School Auditorium (700 Bobcat Blvd. Krum, TX). If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, this is a great opportunity to learn more about autism! Admission is free. I hope to see you there!
Jan 14 2019
Rank #18: Episode 26 - Kristen Hallsworth, BCBA at The Helm ABA
Kristen is a BCBA at The Helm ABA. She has been with them for three years. She leveraged her past experience in schools as an LSSP and her time doing direct therapy as a behavior therapist to tailor treatment plans specifically to meet the needs of her clients.
These resources were mentioned in this episode:
-The Helm ABA http://thehelmaba.com/
-Lewisville ISD https://www.lisd.net/
-Functions of behavior (SEAT acronym)
-Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/19383703
-Autism Speaks https://www.autismspeaks.org/
Nov 12 2018
Rank #19: Episode 22 - Amy Foxman, Founder of Ability ABA, BCBA
Amy Foxman is the founder of Ability ABA, PLLC, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and certified special and general education teacher. Ability ABA is dedicated to building strengths and skills across the lifespan through providing direct services, consultation, and training. Amy currently is pursuing her Ph.D. in Autism Intervention at the University of North Texas and has worked extensively with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, from early childhood to adult, in home, clinical, and school settings. Amy utilizes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and an evidence-based approach to support individuals, families, and other professionals to achieve optimal outcomes and quality of life.
Here are some resources shared in Amy’s episode:
Financial Assistance/Grant Organizations:
• Autism Support Network: Links to grants for individuals and families. http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/resources/autism-grantsunited-states
• Masonic Home and School of Texas: Provides funding for family needs, medical and prescription services, therapies, and school supplies and career counseling. http://www.masonichometx.org/
• Variety Texas: Provides individual grants and funding for assistance animals, therapy, sensory equipment, modified vehicles, education, and more. http://www.varietytexas.org/
Oct 15 2018
Rank #20: Episode 23 - Jasmine McInnis, Registered Nurse, Mom
Jasmine McInnis is a single mother of Carter Lane. Carter is an 8 year old who loves life and adventure and is curious and caring. Cater is the light of Jasmine's life and she works hard to support him in every way she can. Jasmine is a neuro nurse, on the road to get a Master's in the Science of Nursing. Carter also loves to help others, and says he wants to follow in mom's footsteps. Together, they love going to parks and spending time with family.
Oct 22 2018