Advisory Board

Jed Baker, Ph.D. is the director of the Social Skills Training Project, a private organization serving individuals with autism and social communication problems. He also directs social skills training for Millburn Public Schools in New Jersey. He is on the professional advisory board of Autism Today, ASPEN, ANSWER, YAI, the Kelberman Center and several other autism organizations. In addition, he writes, lectures, and provides training internationally on the topic of social skills training and managing challenging behaviors. He is an award winning author of five books, including Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Aspergers Syndrome and Social Communication Problems; Preparing for Life: The Complete Handbook for the Transition to Adulthood for Those with Autism and Aspergers Syndrome; The Social Skills Picture Book; The Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond; and No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-of-Control Behavior. His work has also been featured on ABC World News, Nightline, the CBS Early Show, and the Discovery Health Channel.

Lynda Geller, Ph.D. has been in the field of autism spectrum for three decades. She served on the faculties of Georgetown University, Stony Brook University and NYU Medical Schools for 25 years, where she worked on the development of clinical centers providing a wide array of services for children and adults with autism spectrum conditions. Dr. Geller has a clinical practice in New York City and founded Spectrum Services, a multidisciplinary group of independent practitioners dedicated to providing social, psychological, psychiatric, speech and language, vocational training and employment, family support, consulting and coaching services for children and adults with Asperger Syndrome and related conditions. She serves on the advisory boards of Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association (AHA) and the YAI/NIPD Network’s Center for Autism and the editorial board of Autism Spectrum News. Dr. Geller has taught numerous courses on autism spectrum at Georgetown University, Stony Brook University, Pace University, and Bank Street College. She writes scholarly and popular articles, conducts professional training and continuing education, testifies on behalf of children and adults on the spectrum and speaks at regional, national and international conferences.

Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D. is the Director of Education – Upper School for the McCarton School in New York City. Dr. Gerhardt has over 30 years’ experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with ASD in educational, employment, residential, and community-based settings. He is the author or co-author of articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorder and he has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. In addition, Dr. Gerhardt serves as Chairman of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research, on the Editorial Board of Behavior Analysis in Practice, and on numerous professional advisory boards including the Autism Society of America. Dr. Gerhardt received his doctorate from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey Graduate School of Education. Dr. Gerhardt’s research interests include issues related to intensity of behavior analytic instruction with adolescents and adults, community integration and employment, development of adaptive behavior competencies, positive behavior supports with complex individuals, and the use of technology to support community safety and independence.

Elise Hahn Felix, LCSW is the Director of the Compass Program. Ms. Hahn Felix is an experienced clinical social worker with over 25 years experience in the field of working with people with disabilities. She has worked in Jewish Communal Services at various JCCs as well as being the Principal of a reform congregation (for 5 years) where she established a resource room and services for children with learning disabilities. She also has worked in the field of addiction and substance abuse for over 17 years. For the last 15 years she has worked for Jewish Child Care Association as Director of the Compass Project, giving direction to teens with learning disabilities and who are on the Autistic spectrum and PDD, who are facing high school and college transitions. Ms. Hahn-Felix works with special programs on several JCC’s and college campuses in Long Island, Manhattan, Westchester and Queens. She has been in private practice for the past 17 years, in Huntington, Long Island.

Myrna Harris, M.Ed, CAS has spent over 30 years as a special educator, teaching and leading in a variety of settings: hospitals, residential treatment centers, and urban and suburban school districts. As an associate of Educational Resources Unlimited, LLC, Ms. Harris is committed to developing and finding appropriate educational opportunities for children and young adults who are struggling and the families they serve. For 20 years, she was a member of the Hendrick Hudson School District Committee on Special Education, a Special Education Department Leader, and for the past fifteen years, the Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education. Ms. Harris attended Fordham University and Columbia University Teachers College for her Master’s and advanced postgraduate degree in Special Education and Educational Administration and Leadership. She is a New York State certified Special Education Teacher and a NYS School and District Administrator with additional training in Life Space Crisis Intervention. As an Adjunct Instructor of graduate and undergraduate Special Education courses and a speaker to both educators and parents, she has given numerous national, state and local workshops and seminars on meeting the instructional and behavioral needs of students with emotional and learning challenges. Ms. Harris is a member of the Nonverbal Learning Disorders Association (NLDA), National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP), and the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). She serves as a member of the Ramapo for Children Advisory Board. Ms. Harris regularly attends national and regional conferences to keep current in best practices in the education and growth of children, adolescents and young adults with special needs.

Michael McManmon, Ph.D. Michael McManmon, Ed.D. founded the College Internship Programs in 1984. He received a B.A. in English from Mt. St. Mary’s College in Maryland, a Masters in Counseling from Shippensburg University, a Masters in Human Development from the University of Kansas (through a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health), and a Doctorate in Special Education from the University of Nevada. He is licensed as a Psychologist by the State of Massachusetts. Prior to Founding CIP, he worked for state, private and non-profit organizations in several states and was certified as a family teacher through the Boys Town Center in Nebraska. During his 39 years of experience with students with Learning Differences and Asperger’s Syndrome, Dr. McManmon has worked on Curriculum Development, Staff Training, Program Evaluation, and Administering Community Based Programming. He speaks and presents at professional conferences nationally and internationally. He has a unique perspective as he himself was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and grew up in a large family with several individuals on the spectrum. He has six children and 12 grandchildren, and is an avid artist, swimmer, gardener and traveler. He is a blog author for Psychology Today and his book of advice for parents will be published in Fall 2011 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. He is on the board of ASTEP (Asperger Syndrome Training and Employment Project) and a member of ASA, AANE, NACAC and LDA.

Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D., a consultant with the Ziggurat Group, is the recipient of the 2004 Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Professional Award and the 2006 Princeton Fellowship Award. She has written numerous articles and books on Asperger Syndrome and autism including Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage, and Meltdowns (with Southwick) and Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Practical Solutions for School Success (with Adreon). The latter is the winner of the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Literary Work. Dr. Myles has made over 500 presentations all over the world, written more than 150 articles and books on autism and Asperger Syndrome, and served as the co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee. She is on the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Planning Consortium and the Autism Society of America’s Panel of Professional Advisors. Dr. Myles is also on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Organization for Autism Research and Maap Services, Inc. In addition, she was recently acknowledged as the second most productive applied researcher in ASD in the world from 1997 to 2004.

Fredda Rosen is the Executive Director of Job Path, a not-for-profit agency that enables people with developmental disabilities to find employment, live in their own homes and become involved in community life. Ms. Rosen came to Job Path in 1980 as the director of its Staten Island office and went on to become Deputy Director and Director while the organization was a project of the Vera Institute of Justice. In 1999 she led Job Path’s spin off from the Institute and established Job Path as an independent not-for-profit. Job Path is recognized as a pioneer of supported work strategies that help people with disabilities join the workforce and for the development of alternatives to traditional, group-oriented residential and day programs. Most recently Job Path initiated the Life Coaching Program for People with Asperger’s Syndrome, which supports people to launch careers, further their education and expand their lives. Ms. Rosen is First Vice President of the New York State Association of Community and Residential Agencies (NYSACRA) and a board member of Resources for Children with Special Needs (RCSN). She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from New York University. She lives in NYC with her daughter.

Andrew Rubin, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist, and the founder and Executive Director of New Directions, Inc., a company that specializes in delivering state of the art services for young adults with developmental disabilities. Dr. Rubin’s background integrates expertise in cognitive behavioral therapy, developmental theory, and neuropsychology, into an evidenced-based treatment approach that is both empathic and based on the current scientific literature. Dr. Rubin was formerly the lead psychologist at the Unicorn Child Development Clinic at Nova Southeastern University’s Mailman Segal Institute for Early Childhood Studies. He currently teaches graduate level courses in child development and infant mental health. In addition, Dr. Rubin has taught graduate level courses in child and adult psychopathology, assessment, and therapeutic intervention. Dr. Rubin lectures widely to community organizations, speaking on issues related to the social and emotional development of individuals with developmental disabilities, behavioral disorders, depression, anxiety, and addiction disorders. Prior to working at NSU, Dr. Rubin was on staff at Tulane University’s Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, and Louisiana State University’s Health Science Center, where he provided treatment and performed comprehensive assessments and neuropsychological evaluations. Dr. Rubin attended college at the University of Connecticut, New York University, and earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Psychology. He has previously worked at many hospitals and training institutions including University of Chicago Hospital, Department of Child Psychiatry; Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center; Tulane University Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology; Tulane-DePaul Behavioral Health Center; Louisiana State University Health Science Center; The Medical Center of Louisiana (Charity Hospital); Illinois Masonic Medical Center; and the Pain and Rehabilitation Clinic of Chicago (PRCC).

Pat Schissel, LMSW is the Executive Director of the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association, Inc. (AHA), a support and education parent and professional group with members across the New York State region. She facilitates support groups, manages the AHA website and the AHA eNews, a worldwide listserv, and is the coordinator of AHA’s two yearly conferences. Ms. Schissel is an adjunct associate professor at Adelphi’s Ammon School of Education where she taught undergraduates and graduates about Asperger Syndrome and related conditions. She also served as a Board of Education Trustee for close to twenty years. Ms. Schissel is a graduate of Adelphi University’s School of Social Work and is on their autism task force. She is on the editorial boards of the Autism Spectrum News and the Autism Spectrum Quarterly and writes a monthly column on autism related issues for the Long Island website 516/631ADS. Ms. Schissel is the mother of two; one an adult on the autism spectrum who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in his 20′s and the other an attorney who works in public interest law.

Stephen Shore, Ed.D., an individual with Asperger Syndrome, is a Professor at Adelphi University teaching courses in special education and autism. In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Dr. Shore presents and consults internationally on adult issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure as discussed in his books Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Ask and Tell: Self-advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum, and the critically acclaimed Understanding Autism for Dummies. He is also President emeritus of the Asperger ‘s Association of New England, and serves on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, the Board of Directors for Autism Society of America, Unlocking Autism, MAAP, the College Internship Program and USAAA.