Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D.
Dr. Myles, a world renowned expert on autism spectrum disorders, is a consultant with the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) and the Ziggurat Group. She has made over 1000 presentations all over the world and written more than 250 articles and books on ASD.
Dr. Myles is the recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Professional Award, the Princeton Fellowship Award, The Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome (GRASP) Divine Neurotypical Award, American Academy of Pediatrics Autism Champion, and two-time recipient of the Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Developmental Disabilities Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award.
She served as the editor of Intervention in School and Clinic, the third largest journal in special education and has been a member of the editorial board of several journals, including Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Remedial and Special Education, and Autism: The International Journal of Research.
She served as the co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee; was on the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Planning Consortium; and collaborated with the National Professional Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, National Autism Center, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who identified evidenced based practices for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and served as Project Director for the Texas Autism Resource Guide for Teachers (TARGET).
Dr. Myles also serves on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research (SCORE), College Internship Program, and ASTEP – Asperger Syndrome Training and Education Program.
In the latest survey conducted by the University of Texas, she was acknowledged as the second most productive applied researcher in ASD in the world.
Dr. Myles will discuss strategies that lead to successful employment in community-based settings for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. In addition, the assets that those with ASD bring to the workplace and helpful hints for employers will also be briefly discussed.
Judy’s son Sina, born in 1979, was diagnosed with a severe communication delay and possibly autism at the age of 3. At age 13 he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. The roots of Judy’s advocacy work began with her quest to learn how she could best serve Sina’s needs.
Because the issues of adulthood are unique – and largely unexplored – Judy with her good friend Bonnie Kaplan decided to establish a support group. In 2006 they launched Families of Adults with Asperger’s & High Functioning Autism, a group that has been meeting monthly in Westchester County, NY.
Judy founded the Westchester County Autism Advisory Committee in 2009 to inform elected officials, policy makers, government agency management and law enforcement of the needs of those with autism, particularly the unserved needs of adults. The committee meets regularly with the Department of Community Mental Health leadership.
Judy is well known in Westchester County and throughout New York as a remarkable resource to families and individuals with autism for over 20 years.
Bonnie Kaplan has been a long-time advocate for both children and adults with autism spectrum disorders. Her journey began when her son, Adam was diagnosed as having special needs before entering nursery school, but was not accurately diagnosed until age 25 when he participated in a research study at Yale Child Study Center. Bonnie and her husband Andy felt the Asperger’s Syndrome/High Functioning Autism diagnosis explained much about the issues at hand.
Bonnie met Judy Omidvaran nearly a dozen years ago and shared their frustrations for the lack of support for families with adult children with ASD. Together they founded Families of Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome/High Functioning Autism. The membership group meets monthly and serves as a much needed source of support and information. In addition, Bonnie maintains an e-mail list of hundreds of subscribers, who depend upon the valuable information she shares.
Bonnie stays at the cutting edge of the subject by attending many conferences and presentations each year. She is always interested in learning the latest information and gets tremendous satisfaction from sharing this information with members of the support group. “Providing support for and advocating for families is truly a labor of love,” says Bonnie.
Remarks from Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino
Keynote address by Dr. Brenda Smith Myles
Watch the complete program including remarks by honorees Judy Omidvaran and Bonnie Kaplan