Archived | ReThink Autism Advisory Board Circa 2009 | #NotAnAutisticAlly #AutisticHistory

[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]

ReThink Autism: Scientific Advisory Board 2009

Bridget A. Taylor, Psy.D., BCBA

Dr. Taylor currently serves as Senior Clinical Advisor and Board Chair of rethink autism’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Taylor has specialized in the education and treatment of children with autism for the past twenty-four years. She is the Executive Director of the Alpine Learning Group, a highly regarded education and treatment center for children with autism in New Jersey, which she co-founded in 1988.

Dr. Taylor has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Behavioral Interventions and Behavior Analysis in Practice.

She is also a member of the Autism Advisory Group for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, a member of the Expert Panel of the National Autism Center’s National Standards Project, and a board member of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.

Dr. Taylor is a national and international speaker and has authored numerous research articles and book chapters related to autism.

Dr. Taylor is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Psychologist. She holds a Doctorate of Psychology from Rutgers University, and received her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Columbia University

Fred R. Volkmar, M.D.

Dr. Volkmar is the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology and Director of the Yale University Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine. He is also the Chief of Child Psychiatry at Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT.

Dr. Volkmar was the primary author of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV autism and pervasive developmental disorders section. He is the author of several hundred scientific papers and chapters as well as a number of books including Asperger’s Syndrome (Guilford Press), Health Care for Children on the Autism Spectrum (Woodbine Publishing), and the Handbook of Autism (Wiley Publishing) with three books forthcoming.

He has served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and the American Journal of Psychiatry and now serves as Editor of the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

He has served as Co-Chairperson of the autism/intellectual disabilities committee of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In addition to having directed the internationally known autism clinic, he also served as director of autism research at Yale before becoming Chairperson of the Department.

Dr. Volkmar has been the principal investigator of three program project grants including a CPEA (Collaborative Program of Excellent in Autism) grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and a STAART (Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment) Autism Center Grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Dr. Volkmar received his MD and master’s degree in Psychology from Stanford University. He has an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois.

Peter F. Gerhardt, Ed.D.

Dr. Gerhardt is President and Chair of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding applied research and disseminating the relevant findings in support of learners with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.

Dr. Gerhardt has over 25 years experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with an ASD in educational, employment, and community based settings.

As director of the Division of Transition and Adult Services at the Douglas Developmental Disabilities Center, he co-founded the Douglas Group, a social and support service for adults with Asperger’s Disorder.

He is the author or co-author of articles and book chapters on the needs of adults with autism spectrum disorders, the school-to-work-transition process, assessment of social competence, and analysis and intervention of problematic behavior.

He has presented nationally and internationally on these topics. Dr. Gerhardt currently serves on numerous professional advisory boards, including the Autism Society of America, MAAP Services, Autism NJ and ASPEN.

Dr. Gerhardt received his doctorate from the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education. In 2007 Dr. Gerhardt was awarded the John W. Jacobson Award for Significant Contributions to Effective Behavior Intervention by the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis.

James Carr, Ph.D.

Dr. Carr is currently Associate Professor of Psychology at the Auburn University.

His current research and clinical interests include the behavioral treatment of developmental disabilities (including autism spectrum disorders and mental retardation), verbal behavior, and Tourette Syndrome.

Dr. Carr has published over 100 articles, books, and chapters and is currently an associate editor of Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. He was the 2002 recipient of the B.F. Skinner New Researcher Award by Division 25 (Behavior Analysis) of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Carr previously served on the psychology faculties at University of Nevada-Reno (1996-1999) and Western Michigan University (1999-2008).

Carr received his doctorate in Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences from Florida State University. He has an MS in Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences also from Florida State University and a BA in Psychology from the University of North Florida.

Michael Alessandri, Ph.D.

Dr. Alessandri is currently Clinical Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami where he also serves as Executive Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD).

He has worked with individuals with autism and their families for over 25 years. Dr. Alessandri has presented, consulted and published internationally on developing appropriate and effective educational programs for students with autism spectrum disorders.

Under his direction, CARD was named the National Autism Program of the Year in 1999 by the Autism Society of America, and in 2003 Dr. Alessandri was the recipient of the Wendy F. Miller ASA National Recognition Award for Autism Professional of the Year.

Dr. Alessandri proudly serves on the Scientific/Professional Advisory Boards of several community and professional organizations, including the Organization for Autism Research.

Previously, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Scientific Affairs Committee of the National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), and actively supports Autism Speaks, which merged with NAAR in 2006.

Dr. Alessandri is also a proud Founding Member of the Autism Society of Miami-Dade County, and he is also the former Co-Director of the Marino Autism Research Institute at UM.

Dr. Alessandri received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University. He completed his clinical internship at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Prior to relocating to Florida in 1996, Dr. Alessandri was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at San Jose State University (SJSU) and Associate Director of the Stanford University Pervasive Developmental Disorders Clinic.

William R. Jenson, Ph.D.

Dr. Jenson is currently Professor and former Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah. He has worked for many years with behaviorally disordered children, and his research interests include management, behavioral assessment, academic interventions, and parent training.

Dr. Jenson completed a clinical internship at Las Vegas Mental Health Center and later directed their Adolescent Residential Center. He then assumed the directorship of the Children’s Behavior Therapy Unit for Salt Lake Mental Health.

Dr. Jenson has published several books, classroom materials, journal articles, resources for teachers, and numerous research papers. For the past 15 years, he has been an active staff development presenter and consultant for many school districts, mental health centers, and parent organizations. He is probably best known for coauthoring The Tough Kid Book and The Tough Kid Tool Box.

Dr. Jenson received his doctorate in School and Child Psychology from Utah State University. He has an MS in Experimental Psychology and a BS in Psychology, both from the University of Utah. Dr. Jenson has received numerous awards and honors including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Utah School Psychology Association, and the Extraordinary Service Award, Utah Behavior Initiative.

Jamie Pagliaro

Mr. Pagliaro currently serves as Executive Vice President, Business Development of Rethink Autism, Inc. and member of rethink autism’s Scientific Advisory Board.

Prior to joining the company, Mr. Pagliaro was Executive Director of the New York Center for Autism Charter School, the first charter school for children with autism spectrum disorders in New York.

The program has received national recognition from the media and a number of professional publications as a model for children with autism in the public school system. Mr. Pagliaro was also Program Director at Melmark, a private residential school program for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Mr. Pagliaro has an MBA from Villanova University and a BA with honors in Psychology from Wesleyan University. He is a member of the Association of Behavior Analysis International, Board Chair of Music for Autism and an avid squash player.

More With ReThink Autism


Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid. 

ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.

The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t workIn study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work. 

What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.

The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth. 

The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome. 

This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.

Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.

Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.

Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.

[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]

Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.

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