Leaders struggle to grasp the breadth and depth of need in the populations of people they serve, to plan for program growth and expansion, to align programs with evidence-based practice and current policy, to effectively engage advocates and stakeholders, to deliver services within the permitted cost, to build collaborative networks with other agencies, and to reach traditionally underserved groups. These challenges increase for agencies that serve people across the spectrum; these people may need many different services from many different people and agencies, and some of these services may be very specialized, expensive, or difficult to access.
I help agencies address these challenges by identifying resources, developing plans, monitoring implementation, or assisting with leadership during critical phases of program development. I am especially excited by opportunities to directly support leaders and provide leadership during pivotal periods of growth and change in agencies developing comprehensive programs of services and/or training. I draw on my experience leading large and complex organizations through periods of significant growth, and so can engage at every level: from state policy to internal oversight to problem solving in the delivery of services on the ground.
Effective treatment begins with early screening and diagnosis.
Screening: I obtained funding and developed a bilingual program for ASD screening in the Montreal region.
Diagnosis: I was primarily responsible for developing an early screening and diagnosis project (e.g., writing the grant application, designing the program model, etc.) to help community practitioners rapidly diagnose ASD among traditionally underserved populations. I also helped to lead efforts to improve early identification across a network of university-affiliated hospitals and rehabilitation centers. I also co-led a statewide Act Early team, bringing stakeholders across state agencies and advocacy groups together to develop a plan and draft grant applications to improve early identification, and present plans to other state Act Early teams
Educational classification: I led the development, expansion, and implementation of programs of oversight and improvement in ASD identification at a statewide public school program, integrating needed changes into state code and revised memoranda of agreement.
Problem behavior is the single factor most likely to lead to exclusion from the community and placement in specialized programs.
In hospitals: I was responsible for developing the clinical and operational model for an in-patient treatment program for young people on the autism spectrum in behavioral crisis that served as a model for the largest provider of facility-based services in the US.
In schools: I developed formal and informal standards for behavior assessment, support, and independent oversight and obtained grant funding a statewide public school program.
Crisis management: I developed standards and conducted site audits with the support of a statewide monitoring committee for a statewide public school program, contributing to extremely low rates of in-patient hospitalization or residential placement.
Success requires matching a broad set of goals to powerful methods, delivered by a team with a a shared vision shaped with advocates.
Awareness and advocacy: I have expanded roles for and input from advocates in early intervention and statewide public school settings. I have also actively promoted the role of self-advocates in designing programs.
Comprehensive programs: I led efforts to make substantive changes to the educational model and overall structure of a statewide public school program, negotiating inter-agency agreements and changes to state code and regulations, increasing oversight, creating new sites, leading capital improvements, gathering statewide data, during a period of unprecedented program growth. I also helped to substantially revise and then launch comprehensive program changes for a flagship early intervention program.
Transition planning: I designed a comprehensive two year, college transition program for youths on the spectrum that outlined innovative approaches to program development to help the program grow and replicate.
Extended supports for quality of life: I undertook substantive modifications to the only statewide public school programs of respite and residential services that helped to limit rates of private placement to less than 1% of the student population.
Project management: I led a state-funded consortium that piloted projects related to functional behavioral assessment, parent training, college-based supports, early screening and diagnosis, and statewide needs assessment.
State funded ASD research and training collaborative
Act Early Co-Leader
A state team promoting early identification and intervention.
Developing and implementing a research-based protocol for ASD identification across the state.
ASD In-Patient Program
Intense treatment for children in severe behavioral crisis
Revising standards of practice and oversight coordinated with independent peer review.
Appropriate use of seclusion and restraint, complying with stringent standards
Supporting the consolidation and growth of a nationally recognized program grounded in ABA.
Restructuring a flagship ASD preschool program for an urban district
Using collective impact to incubate program development for a proposed college program
Expanding the mandate, functioning, and oversight of respite and residential services.
State funded ASD research and training collaborative
The logo is adapted from Joaquim Alves Gaspar's drawing of Pedro Reinel's compass rose.