Archived | ReThink First: Our Team | Circa October 2021 #NotAnAutisticAlly #BanABA #AutisticHistory

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

Our Team

Rethink First is led by a team of education, clinical, business and industry experts with a shared commitment to making best-practice treatment solutions available to every child with special needs.

Daniel Etra

Mr. Etra currently serves as CEO of Rethink

Prior to co-founding the company, Mr. Etra was CEO of R.E.R. International, a supplier of printed materials to the retail industry.

Mr. Etra was a Consultant at Bain & Company, helping establish their NY office and also served as a Managing Director of Promodex Ltd., an importer and distributor of consumer appliances and industrial equipment.

In addition, Mr. Etra worked at Wasserstein, Perella & Co., specializing in M&A in the fields of healthcare, technology and natural resources.

Mr. Etra has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Yale University.

Born and raised in New York City, he is a volunteer in the Pediatric Department at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center working with children ages 3 months to 15+ years old. 

Eran Rosenthal
President & COO

Mr. Rosenthal currently serves as President and COO of Rethink

Prior to co-founding the Company, Mr. Rosenthal was President and COO of R.E.R. International, a supplier of printed materials to the retail industry.

Mr. Rosenthal was Director of Operations at QRS Corp., a leading provider of e-commerce solutions to the retail industry.

Mr. Rosenthal has an MBA from University of Illinois and a BA in Political Science from 
Tel Aviv University.

Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, he is the father of three children. 

Patty Mah

Prior to joining the company, Ms. Mah was VP Finance of Localvox Media, Inc., a SaaS based company that provides platform for online marketing media to small and medium sized business.

During Ms. Mah’s tenure the company was acquired by the parent of the Berry Company.

Ms. Mah was the Director of Finance and Operations for Return Path, Inc., a leading email marketing deliverability company.

Ms. Mah graduated from McGill University in Canada with a Bachelor in Accounting and Management Information Systems and a Graduate Degree in Accountancy.

Living in New York, she is a volunteer and on the Board of Advisors for City Arts, a public arts and education organization. 

Jamie Pagliaro
Executive VP & Chief Learning Officer

Mr. Pagliaro currently serves as Executive VP & Chief Learning Officer of Rethink and member of Rethink’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. In the early part of his career, Mr. Pagliaro worked directly with individuals with disabilities in all stages of life across a variety of home and school settings.

Mr. Pagliaro has an MBA from Villanova University and a BA with honors in Psychology from Wesleyan University.

He speaks nationally, serves on several professional advisory boards, and has authored numerous articles on the use of technology in special education. 

Mike Civello
VP of Employee Benefits

With nearly a decade and a half of experience working in the Human Resources and Benefits industry, Mike has a passion for helping businesses build effective, supportive and productive corporate cultures.

Mike spent nearly twelve years building and ultimately running Plum Benefits – an industry-leading employee benefit service providing companies with direct access to exclusive live entertainment events, travel, and dining.

In this role, Mike developed and nurtured nearly 20,000 relationships with Human Resources departments of large and small businesses nationwide.

An expert in employer to employee communications and engagement, Mike has spoken on panels and presented to thousands of senior executives, Human Resources professionals and associations across the country including but not limited to the Society for Human Resources Management (HR/NY Chapter), Association of Legal Administrators, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Financial Planners Association, Women in Financial, Insurance and Legal Services (WIFS), Marsh & McLennan Companies and many more.

Mike is currently an advisor to the New York City Department of Health, helping them create an employer wellness, communications and resources package – set to launch in 2015 – that will be made available to all NYC based businesses.

Mike is also a proud member and contributor to the TED community and attends the national conference each year.

Currently serving as Vice President of Employee Benefits at Rethink, Mike works with companies nation- and world-wide to better serve the needs of employees’ children with Autism as well as other developmental disabilities. 

Lin Chong
Vice President of Curriculum and Family Services

Ms. Chong currently serves as rethink’s Vice President of Curriculum and Family Services.

She is also the therapist featured in rethink’s training and video tutorials, demonstrating best practice strategies for 1:1 and classroom wide teaching interactions.

Prior to joining the Company, Ms. Chong was teaching at the New York Center for Autism Charter School, the first charter school for children with autism spectrum disorders in New York City.

Ms. Chong has specialized in the education and treatment of children with autism and other learning disabilities for more than two decades, and has worked in home, center-based, school and non-profit organizational settings.

She is equally passionate about helping children learn and providing parents, caregivers and educators with the support and training they need to more effectively teach and interact with individuals with autism and learning disabilities.

Ms. Chong is committed to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are included in society and has created training content and presented nationally on making inclusion a success in the classroom. 

Diana Frezza
Senior Vice President, Education

Diana brings to Rethink nearly two decades of executive experience in the U.S. and global education sector ranging from startups to global leaders.

In her current role, Diana oversees the Education group delivering best in class services and solutions to educators nationally and globally.

Diana has held sales, marketing, product and services leadership roles at Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Scholastic and Amplify.

Throughout her career, Diana has led innovative digital solutions that have transformed classrooms across the country and positioned her as an EdTech industry leader.

Diana is passionate about bringing innovative, accessible and scalable solutions to educators that fuel positive learning outcomes and equity for all students. 

Margarita Burakov 
Vice President for Product Development 

Margarita Burakov is the Vice President for Product Development at Rethink.

Ms. Burakov provides leadership for the continued development of an innovative, robust, and secure information technology environment at Rethink.

She is responsible for development, upkeep, and cloud security of all Rethink websites and infrastructure.

Prior to joining Rethink, Ms. Burakov spent 15 years in Information Technology roles in the education realm.

Most recently, she served as the Product Development Manager for Special Education Associates, Inc., an agency that provides special education services to children with disabilities, in Brooklyn, New York.

Ms. Burakov holds a BS in Computer Science with a minor in Information Technology from Pace University in New York, New York. 

Scientific Board

Rethink is advised by a board of internationally recognized experts in the field of special education and clinical research. Our Scientific Board ensures that Rethink continues to offer the highest quality research-based products and services in the industry.

Bridget A. Taylor
Psy.D., BCBA-D

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

Dr. Taylor has specialized in the education and treatment of children with autism for the past twenty-five 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 serves on several editorial boards including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Interventions, and Behavior Analysis in Practice.

She is also a member of the Autism Advisory Group for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, is 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. 

Peter F. Gerhardt

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 including the Autism Society of America.

He received his doctorate from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s Graduate School of Education. 

Catherine E. Lord

Dr. Lord currently serves as Director of the University of Michigan Autism and Communication Disorders Center, Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Pediatrics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Senior Research Scientist at The Center for Human Growth and Development.

She is also the interim Director of the Asperger Institute at the NYU Child Study Center.

Dr. Lord is a clinical child psychologist who is world renowned for her longitudinal studies of children with autism and for taking the lead in developing the autism diagnostic instruments used in both practice and in research worldwide.

The Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule have been critically important in providing standardized methods for research on the genetics and neurobiology of autism because they provide psychometrically valid and reliable tools for identifying and quantifying the behaviors that define autism.

Dr. Lord collaborates with colleagues around the world on the molecular genetics, pathophysiology, and phenomenology of Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

Dr. Lord is a member of the Scientific Advisory and Scientific Review Boards of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative and also the Chair of the Early Intervention in Autism Committee at the National Academy of Science.

She received the Irving B. Harris Early Childhood Lecture Award in 2004 and was a Finalist for the New York University Child Study Center Scientific Achievement Award in 2005.

Dr. Lord has published over a hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals in addition to numerous books and chapters. Dr. Lord received her Ph.D. in psychology and social relations from Harvard University.

She has worked at the University of North Carolina, University of Minnesota, University of Alberta, the London Medical Research Council Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit, Harvard University (Children’s Hospital) and University of Chicago. 

Louis A. Vismara

Dr. Vismara is the co-founder of the M.I.N.D. Institute at the University of California, Davis.

This multidisciplinary organization now serves as one of the foremost academic centers for the evaluation, research, and treatment of autism and other neurodevelopmental/learning disorders.

Lou is a physician (interventional cardiologist) and a parent of four children.

Since his son, Mark, was diagnosed with autism he has dedicated himself to issues of child development, learning differences, diversity, and appropriate access to health care for under-served populations.

In the year 2000, Dr. Vismara changed careers, retiring from interventional cardiology, to work as a health-related policy consultant for Senator John L. Burton, President pro Tempore, California State Senate.

From 2004 until 2008, Lou served as a senior policy advisor to Sen. Don Perata during his term as the President of the California Senate.

During that time, Lou worked extensively on the formation and the implementation of the California Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism and the Autism Legislative Package of 2007-2008.

Currently, Lou continues to work as a senior policy consultant for special projects with the current Pro Tem, Senator Darrell Steinberg.

Lou, who was born in Italy and immigrated with his family to San Diego as a child, has served as a founding State Commissioner of the First 5CA/Prop 10 Initiative; the UCD School of Education Advisory Board; the Child Abuse Prevention Council; and other groups related to early education, healthcare and diversity.

Dr. Vismara received his MD from Baylor College of Medicine and his BA from Stanford University. He is the recipient of a Cardiology Fellow from UCD Healthcare System and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine & Cardiovascular Diseases. 

Patricia Wright

Dr. Wright is currently the Vice President at NEXT for Autism.

She joined Rethink’s Scientific Advisory Board in 2010 and moved into a role as Vice President of Professional Services in 2014.

She worked with the Professional Services Team to ensure Rethink’s products were implemented effectively, promoting quality outcomes for individuals with autism and other disabilities.

Prior to joining Rethink Dr. Wright was the National Director of Autism Services for Easter Seals one of the largest social service providers to those living with autism.

Dr. Wright has a passion for education and advocacy and has dedicated her career to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are fully-included in society. Her personal mission is to offer the support that makes it possible for people with disabilities to lead meaningful, happy and productive lives.

Dr. Wright began her career as a special educator and has provided consultative services to educators and healthcare providers.

Wright’s expertise as an educator and Board Certified Behavior Analyst inform her individualized approach to creating effective intervention plans. She knows that early diagnosis and intervention offer the best outcomes, but also is a proponent of appropriate treatment for anyone with at any age.

Everyone has the ability to learn. Dr. Wright frequently presents at national and international conferences, and is been invited to deliver workshops and presentations nationally and internationally.

She is a member of the Organization for Autism Research’s Scientific Council and has served on the Executive Committee for the Friends of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.

Dr. Wright received her doctorate in Education and her Master of Public Health from the University of Hawaii in 2006. She received her Master of Arts in Special Education degree from San Francisco State University in 1997. 

Maurice Feldman
Ph.D., C.Psych., BCBA-D

Dr. Feldman is a Professor and Director of the Centre for Applied Disability Studies, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

He has made significant contributions to research and the dissemination of evidence-based assessment and intervention in several key areas in developmental disabilities including autism, dual diagnosis, behavioral interventions, early intervention, child maltreatment, parent training and human rights.

He has held major federal, provincial and foundation research grants; he has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has given over 300 invited and keynote addresses, and conference and workshop presentations.

His latest book is Comprehensive, competence-based parenting capacity assessment of parents with learning difficulties, published by NADD Press.

He holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada,

He is a Registered Psychologist in Ontario and a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association. He held a Chancellor’s Chair in Research Excellence and Distinguished Researcher Award from Brock University, and a Career Investigator Award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

He was awarded the United States National Distinguished Disability Researcher Award and he was a special advisor to the President’s Committee on Intellectual Disabilities.

He was a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney (Australia) and the British Psychological Society.

Currently, he is an advisor to several governmental and non-governmental organizations in Canada, U.S. and Europe.

He was Editor of the Journal on Developmental Disabilities and was/is on the editorial boards of Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of Behavioral Education, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, Behavioral Interventions, among others.

His current research interests cover the lifespan and include early detection and intervention for infants at risk for ASD, treatment of anxiety in child and youth with ASD, human rights training for adults with intellectual disabilities and parenting by persons with learning difficulties.

His research was cited in an Amici Curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on a case adjudicating parenting rights of persons with intellectual disabilities. His work has been highlighted in the U.S. and Canadian media. 


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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