Board of Directors
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Brita Darany von Regensburg - President/ Founder
Richard Slagle, Esq.
Peter Tesei, First Selectman, Greenwich CT
Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT)
Christopher Shays, former United States Representative (CT-04)
Christopher Dodd, former U.S. Senator (CT)
William Finch, Mayor of Bridgeport, CT
Jim Funnel, Esq.
Richard Seltzer †
Joan Warburg †
John Bausman †
FAP's Professional Advisory Board
The purpose of the Friends of Autistic People Advisory Board is to assist and support the organization in carrying out its mission of education, counsel, advocacy, and development of services for adults with autism.
Among responsibilities of individuals invited to serve on the Advisory Board are:
Among responsibilities of individuals invited to serve on the Advisory Board are:
- Serving as a resource for information and referrals pertaining to autism.
- Providing guidance on clinical and technical issues, as needed.
- Assisting with identifying and securing resources and support, e.g., space for programs, meetings with state and national legislators.
Margaret Bauman, Ph.D. Director, LADDERS/MGH
Dr. Margaret L. Bauman is a distinguished pediatric neurologist and research investigator who has been a pioneer in the study and treatment of autism for the past twenty- five years. One of the world's foremost physicians in this field, she is highly respected for the outstanding clinical care she provides, as well as for her research and teachings in the domain of developmental disorders. Dr. Bauman's dedicated career is best exemplified in her establishment and development of The Autism Research Foundation (TARF), The Autism Research Consortium (TARC), The Lurie Center for Autism and The Autism Treatment Network (ATN).
The Lurie Center for Autism is a comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic program for children, adolescents and adults with autism and associated neurological disorders founded by Dr. Bauman in 1981 as LADDERS (Learning and Developmental Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services). The Lurie Center for Autism provides a true team approach to the cohesive evaluation and treatment of each patient, while including parents as key team members.
Under Dr. Bauman's leadership, The Lurie Center for Autism has continued to expand its delivery of services to those on the autism spectrum and now includes team expertise in the specialties of neurology, psychiatry, psychopharmacokinetics, gastroenterology, genetics, nursing, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, developmental pediatrics, behavioral psychology and neuropsychology with additional specialties addressed by consultants. Together these professionals provide each patient with an individualized program from evaluation to an array of comprehensive services and treatments necessary for the child/adult to reach his/her maximum potential.
Professor, Colorado State University
Born on August 29, 1947, in Boston, Massachusetts, Temple Grandin was diagnosed with autism as a child and went on to pursue work in psychology and animal science. She has become a leading advocate for autistic communities and has also written books and provided consultation on the humane treatment of animals. In 2010, HBO released an Emmy Award winning film on Grandin’s life.
Grandin has taken strong positions on autism and the education of autistic children. She advocates early intervention, including the training of teachers to direct each child’s specific fixations. She is a champion of “neurodiversity” and has opposed the notion of a comprehensive cure for autism.
In 2009, she was named a fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. She is the recipient of several honorary degrees, and has been featured on a range of television and radio programs.
Grandin has cited her lack of interest in emotional issues and relationships, including fictional representations of interpersonal relationships. She is unmarried and has no children.
In her writing, particularly her memoir Thinking in Pictures, Grandin explains the ways in which autism shapes her daily life. She wears soft and comfortable clothes to balance her sensory integration dysfunction, and avoids sensory overload at all costs. As a teenager, Grandin designed a "squeeze machine" based on the containers used to pacify cattle during immunizations. She found that the structure had a significant therapeutic benefit, helping her to manage her anxiety.
Nancy O'Hara MD - Autism Spectrum Disorders
Dr. Nancy O’Hara is a board certified Pediatrician. Prior to her medical career, Dr. O’Hara taught children with autism. She graduated with highest honors from Bryn Mawr College and as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society from the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh. After residency, chief residency and general pediatric fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. O’ Hara entered general private practice in 1993, and in 1998 began her consultative, integrative practice solely for children with special needs. Since 1999 she has dedicated her practice to the integrative and holistic care of children with neurodevelopment disorders, ADHD, PANDAS/PANS, OCD, Lyme and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. She is a leader in the training of clinicians, both in the US and abroad.
Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D.
The EPIC School
Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D. is currently serving as Executive Director of The EPIC School in Paramus, NJ. Dr. Gerhardt has more than 30 years’ experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings. He has authored and coauthored articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with ASD and has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. Dr. Gerhardt serves as Chairman of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research, is on the Editorial Board of Behavior Analysis in Practice and on numerous professional advisory boards. He received his doctorate from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s Graduate School of Education.
Alan Harchik, Ph.D.
Alan Harchik, PhD, BCBA-D
Alan is currently serving as an expert consultant for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. He is formerly Chief Operating Officer of the May Institute. He was responsible for the operation of the Institute’s service programs in autism, mental retardation,brain injury, and mental health. Dr. Harchik is a licensed psychologist, a board certified behavior analyst, and a certified teacher of children with moderate and severe special needs. Dr. Harchik has expertise in the areas of autism and developmental disabilities, applied behavior analysis, organizational behavior management, staff training and supervision, severe challenging behavior, choice making, self-management, and skill development. Dr. Harchik earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Kansas after graduating magna cum laude from Boston University with a degree in special education. He holds active teaching appointments at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Westfield State College, and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Kansas, Northeastern University, and Fitchburg State College. He has published in a variety of professional journals and presented at numerous conferences across the United States.
Howard Klebanoff, Esq.
Howard Klebanoff, attorney, is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Connecticut School of Law. He was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. and served as a State Representative from 1969-1977. He was the House Chairman of the Education Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly and was the first chairman of the Connecticut Board of Higher Education.
The father of two children with disabilities, Attorney Klebanoff is nationally recognized in the fight for special education, and the educational rights of students. He helped write key legislation designed to protect the rights of people with disabilities and their families, and is considered one of Connecticut's most distinguished attorneys in special education law. The University of Connecticut established the Klebanoff Institute of Special Education in recognition of his work on behalf of children with disabilities. childhood to post-secondary education. He has lectured on special education law at the University of Connecticut and at the other State Universities. He has over 40 years of experience representing children with special needs. He represented families of children with all disabilities, including learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, deafness, physical disabilities and autism. His goal was to ensure that all children gained access to appropriate programming, services and placement, in a public or private setting. In addition, he represented both children who have been harassed or bullied, and children involved in disciplinary proceedings such as expulsions.
As of May 2017, he retired from the active practice of law and no longer represents individual clients. However, he has been named an independent state mediator by the State Department of Education for disputes under the "Individual Disabilities Education Act" (IDEA). Attorney Klebanoff is a trained IEP (Individualized Education Program) Facilitator under the State of Connecticut Department of Education Facilitations program.
Ami Klin, Ph.D.
Director, Marcus Autism Center, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar Professor & Chief, Division of Autism & Related Disorders, Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine.
Research Description: Ami Klin is the director of Marcus Autism Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University School of Medicine, the largest center of clinical care for children with autism and their families, and one of only three NIH Autism Centers of Excellence. Dr. Klin is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist and researcher. Dr. Klin's primary research activities focused on the emergence of social mind and brain, and disruptions thereof in autism, from infancy through adulthood. One area of emphasis in this work is a longstanding collaboration with Dr. Warren Jones in which eye-tracking technology is used to visualize and measure social engagement. This program of research has more recently focused on monitoring infants at increased risk for developmental disabilities, from birth, in order to detect the earliest quantitative markers of autism in infancy. This effort aims at lowering age of detection and at improving access to early treatment with the goal of improving outcomes for children with autism.
Michael P. Powers, Psy.D.
Michael D. Powers is the Director of CCSN in Glastonbury, Connecticut and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Powers specializes in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of individuals with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders and has published and presented extensively on these topics.
Dr. Powers is co-editor (with Drs. Volkmar, Pelphry & Paul) of the Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders, the author of Asperger Syndrome and Your Child, and editor of the award-winning book Children with Autism: A Parent’s Guide. Dr. Powers has been involved in designing educational programs, staff training, and in program evaluation for students with autism spectrum disorders throughout the United States and abroad for over 30 years. He has worked with the York District Regional School Board in Ontario, Canada; the Agazzi Institute in Arezzo, and Opera Santa Rita in Prato, Italy; the Bedfordshire County Council (UK)School Improvement Division; the Utah, Texas, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Florida State Departments of Education; and various regional and local school districts. Dr. Powers is a member of the Professional Advisory Board of MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome, The Geneva Centre for Autism in Toronto, and former member of the Board of Directors of the Autism Society of America.
Director, Ben Haven Learning Network
Patric Sciaratta, Ph.D.