OFFICERS OF BOARD
Eric V. Larsson, PhD, LP, BCBA-D,
is a Board Member of ASAT. He is the Executive Director of Clinical Services at the Lovaas Institute Midwest, where he implements and researches a program of intensive early intervention services for families of children who suffer from autism.
Franca Pastro, BA,Vice President
has been a Board Member of ASAT since 2015. She produces the Perspectives column in SIAT, showcasing success stories of adults with ASD and supporting parents and the community at large by sharing the long-term benefits of evidence-based treatment in the lifespan of individuals affected by autism…
Sabrina Freeman, PhD,
is a Board Member of ASAT since 2011. She graduated from Stanford University in 1995 with a PhD in Sociology, specializing in small group research and the study of organizations…
Preeti Chojar, MCA,
has been a Board Member of ASAT since 2007 and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Website Committee. She is a software professional and, when her son was diagnosed, she had no knowledge of autism. She set about educating herself by attending numerous conferences, asking questions and reading as many books and articles as possible.
Julie Azuma, BFA,
joined the ASAT Board of Directors in 2016. She had a career as a designer and merchandiser in the apparel industry for 30 years. In 1995, when her older daughter, Miranda, was diagnosed with autism at the age of six, Julie left the apparel industry to begin a business marketing educational materials for children on the autism spectrum.
Karen Fried, PsyD, BCBA-D,
joined the ASAT Board of Directors in 2015 and is a member of the Scientific Review Committee. She is Director of Developmental Pediatric Services for the Advocate Health Care hospital system in Chicago. Originally from New York, Dr. Fried is a licensed clinical psychologist and board certified behavior analyst, with a background in school and community psychology.
Peggy Halliday, MEd, BCBA,
is a Board Member of ASAT, and serves as the JCH Director of School Consultation at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she has been a practitioner since 1998. Peggy oversees trainings for parents and professionals and provides consultation to public school divisions throughout Virginia.
Erin Leif, PhD, BCBA-D
joined the Board of Directors in 2018, and is currently serving as the Media Watch Lead. In this role, she coordinates efforts to identify and respond to accurate and inaccurate portrayals of autism and its treatment in the media, through the association’s Media Watch initiative.
Erin obtained her PhD in Behaviour Analysis from Western New England University in 2012. She specialises in the design and delivery of early intensive behavioural intervention (EIBI) and in functional assessment and treatment of severe behaviours of concern. Her approach to EIBI and behavioural treatment is skill-based; designing individualised programs that focus on teaching functional and fundamental life skills, including communication, learning to learn and listening skills, social responsiveness, play and leisure, and toleration. She is passionate about making sure every child has access to appropriate, evidence-based supports to help build their functional independence. Erin is an avid animal lover and enjoys spending time with her two rescue dogs, Frank the Tank and Bentley, when not busy at work.
Carolyn Sniezyk, MS, BCBA, LBA.
joined the Board of ASAT in 2018. Carolyn has been working with individuals of all ages diagnosed with Autism and other developmental disabilities for more than 15 years.
The majority of her experience has been with Crossroads Center for Children located in Schenectady, New York. Crossroads Center for Children is a private, non-profit school serving children age two to 12 years that utilizes the treatment philosophy of applied behavior analysis. Carolyn has filled many roles within this agency including teaching assistant, research assistant, consultant to public schools, and ultimately, Clinical Director. At this time Carolyn oversees all behavior analysts working at the Center and the Clinic, which provides insurance based ABA services to families in their homes or community.
Carolyn received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Environmental Science from Queens College in 2002. Shortly thereafter, she began pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Community Psychology from Sage Graduate School. In conjunction with taking courses to complete the Master of Arts degree, she also took courses through Sage Graduate School to fulfill requirements to sit for the board certification in behavior analysis exam. She completed her Master of Arts degree in Community Psychology in 2004 and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2005. In 2008 she completed a Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology and Methodology from the State University of New York at Albany. In 2014 she attained her NYS license in applied behavior analysis.
She has had the opportunity to conduct and present research at various state and national conferences including the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis, the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and Behavior Analysis and Developmental Disabilities. One research projects has resulted in a professional publication. Carolyn has been volunteering for ASAT for approximately five years.
Mary Jane Weiss, PhD, BCBA-D, is a Professor at Endicott College, where she directs the Master’s Program in Autism and ABA and is a mentoring faculty member in the Doctoral program in ABA. She also does research with the team at Melmark. She joined the Board of ASAT in 2018.
Beverley Sharpe joined the board of ASAT in 2019.
Beverley Sharpe is the proud parent of a now 23 year old daughter with autism. She started an ABA Home Treatment program 20 yrs. ago, and has not looked back. Her daughter was mainstreamed in school and now has paid part time work, along with volunteer work.
Beverley has been the Director of Families for Early Autism Treatment since 2010 This means she has done new parent intake, spoken to parents on Advocacy in the School System, and been a resource for parents, teachers and family members.
Laura Grow joined the board of ASAT in 2019. Dr. Grow is the Executive Director of Garden Academy, a non-profit school for children with autism in West Orange, New Jersey. She received her doctorate in behavior analysis from Western Michigan University and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute.
Dr. Grow has 19 years of experience implementing and directing services for individuals with developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Her clinical and research interests include teaching language and communication skills, comparing the efficiency and
effectiveness of teaching strategies, and refining parent and staff training techniques.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her dog, Gouda, and cooking Cajun food in her great grandmother’s cast iron pot.