The Role of Assent, Choice, and Compassion in Supporting Autistic Learners / Learners with Autism and Behaviour Challenges.
Adithyan (Dithu) Rajaraman, PH.D., BCBA
Dr. Rajaraman has been blessed to teach, interact with, and learn from children and adolescents with and without disabilities for 14 years. Dithu completed his Doctorate in Behavior Analysis at Western New England University, under the advisement of Dr. Greg Hanley. In the fall of 2022, he will join the faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to serve as the Director of Behavior Analysis Research within the Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD).
Stephanie M. Peterson, PH.D.
Dr. Peterson is Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University, previously serving as the Chair of the Department of Psychology for 8 years. She earned her doctorate in Special Education at The University of Iowa, and previously taught at Gonzaga University, Utah State University, The Ohio State University, and Idaho State University. Her work focuses on choice making in the treatment of behaviour challenges, functional communication training, and reinforcement-based interventions for children with behaviour challenges.
Linda A. Leblanc, PH.D., BCBA-D
Dr. LeBlanc is a licensed psychologist and the President of LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting and the current Editor in Chief of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Her 25-year career has included academic positions at Claremont McKenna College, Western Michigan University and Auburn University as well as leadership positions in human services organizations. She established LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting in 2017 and consults to technology companies, universities, and behavior analytic human service organizations. Dr. LeBlanc focuses on building collaborative therapeutic relationships and providing compassionate care for the individuals and families she supports.
Paul Gavoni, ED.D., BCBA
With more than 20 years in human services and public education, Dr. Paul "Paulie" Gavoni has effectively transferred research to practice through the application of evidenced-based strategies aimed at bringing out the best in children and adults. He has served in a variety of positions including: COO, Director of School Improvement, Leadership Director, Professor, Assistant Principal, School Turnaround Manager, Clinical Coordinator, Therapist, and Behavior Analyst. He is currently the Director of Program Development and Public Relations for the Professional Crisis Management Association, Adjunct Professor at Endicott College, and Managing Member of Heart & Science Consulting, LLC.
Born in the small town of St. Leonard, New Brunswick, I graduated from John Caldwell School in Grand Falls, New Brunswick in 2015. I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from the University of New Brunswick after a long 7-year struggle with numerous mental health challenges. School was never easy for me, not because of intelligence, but because I have autism. I hope to educate and inspire others like me, and their support networks, by telling my story — the good, and the bad.