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Keynote Speakers


Erin Brockovich

Erin Brockovich

Say the name Erin Brockovich and you think, strong, tough, stubborn and sexy. Erin is all that and definitely more. She is a modern-day "David" who loves a good brawl with today's "Goliaths". She thrives on being the voice for those who don't know how to yell. She is a rebel. She is a fighter. She is a mother. She is a woman. She is you and me.

It's been 10 years since Julia Roberts starred in the Oscar-winning tour de force Erin Brockovich. The film turned an unknown legal researcher into a 20th century icon by showcasing how her dogged persistence was the impelling force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history. Since then, Erin hasn't been resting on her laurels... she continues to fight hard and win big!

This gutsy broad doesn't apologize for who she is. She has always loved going head to head with the big boys and was never intimated by their bravado. She learned how to come out on top from her tight-knit mid-western family in Lawrence, Kansas. Erin was the youngest child of an industrial engineer father and journalist mother. Her parents always believed that she could do anything she set her mind to if she learned to focus her amazing energy.

After a few years roaming around at various colleges, Erin decided that she wanted to be a California girl. She first landed a job as a management trainee for K-Mart but when that didn't make her swagger, she decided to study electrical engineering. But that wasn't enough for the Kansas beauty... on a fluke, she entered the Miss Pacific Coast beauty pageant... and, not surprising, won the title. When she realized that beauty pageants weren't her thing, Erin, her husband and two children settled in Reno, Nevada. After divorcing, the single mother became a secretary at a brokerage firm where she met and married her second husband. But that marriage was short lived and the now mother of three was solo again.

Up until this point, Erin was the average divorced single mother trying to make a living... until she crossed paths with lawyer, Ed Masry, and this meeting changed the course of both their lives.

After being seriously injured in a traffic accident in Reno, Erin moved back to California's San Fernando Valley, and hired Masry & Vititoe to represent her. They won a small settlement but she still needed work so she got a job at their law firm as a file clerk. It was while organizing papers on a pro bono real estate case that Erin first found medical records that would explode into the largest direct action lawsuit in US history.

Erin's exhaustive investigation uncovered that Pacific Gas & Electric had been poisoning the small town of Hinkley's Water for over 30 years. It was because of Erin's unwavering tenacity that PG & E had now been exposed for leaking toxic Chromium 6 into the ground water. This poison affected the health of the population of Hinkley. In 1996, as a result of the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind, spearheaded by Erin and Ed Masry, the utility giant was forced to pay out the largest toxic tort injury settlement in US history: $333 million in damages to more than 600 Hinkley residents.

The story and eventual film made "Erin Brockovich" a household name. Over time, Erin realized that she could use her notoriety to spread positive messages of personal empowerment and to encourage others to stand up and make a difference.

Erin Brockovich has conquered all forms of media. Her first TV project was ABC's 2001 Special, Challenge America With Erin Brockovich, where she helped motivate and organize the rebuilding of a dilapidated park in downtown Manhattan. This show is best described as "Extreme Make-Over Home Edition" on steroids. For three seasons, Erin hosted the Lifetime series, Final Justice With Erin Brockovich. The show celebrated everyday women who triumphed when faced with overwhelming adversity.

Erin then dominated the world of publishing with her New York Times Business Bestseller, Take It From Me: Life's A Struggle, But You Can Win. She has also written two fiction novels, Rock Bottom and Hot Water.

Because of her fighting spirit, Erin has become the champion of countless women and men. She is this generation's "Dear Abby", and in fact receives thousands of "Dear Erin" letters and emails each year from people who are begging for help and support in their own personal struggles. Erin proudly answers every one of them.

As President of Brockovich Research & Consulting, she is currently involved in numerous environmental projects worldwide. She has requests for her help in ground water contamination complaints in every state of the US, Australia and other international hot spots. She is currently working on cases in California, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri.

Erin is one of the most requested speakers on the international lecture circuit and travels the world for personal appearances. She is a true American hero whose icon status, and "stick-to-it-iveness" only fuels her determination to expose injustice and lend her voice to those who do not have one.


Dr. Sarkis Mazmanian

Dr. Sarkis Mazmanian

Sarkis Mazmanian received a B.S. (1995) and a Ph.D. (2002) from the University of California at Los Angeles. Prior to joining the faculty of the California Institute of Technology in 2006, where he is currently a professor in the Division of Biology, he was affiliated with the University of Chicago (2002–2005) and Harvard Medical School (2005–2006). His scientific articles have appeared in such publications as Science, Nature, PNAS, and Cell.

Sarkis Mazmanian is a microbiologist investigating the mechanisms underlying the symbiotic relationship between hosts and their beneficial microbial partners. Non-pathogenic bacteria colonize virtually every tissue type with exposure to the external environment; the enteric bacteria found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which contains by far the largest number and species of bacteria, have long been known to provide benefits such as delivering certain nutrients and protection against pathogenic bacteria. In a series of studies, Mazmanian and colleagues have teased out the complex interplay between gut bacterial species and the host immune system. His results show, for example, that the probiotic species B. fragilis expresses a molecule known as polysaccharide A, which suppresses a specific immune pathway in the host that would otherwise generate an inflammatory response to a different bacterium, H. hepaticus. Absent this suppression, H. hepaticus triggers pathologic changes in the GI tract similar to ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. More recently, Mazmanian found that enteric bacteria can influence the progression of immune activity in distant tissues such as the nervous system. In a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (a human autoimmune disease), he demonstrated that germ-free animals, which are otherwise resistant to induced autoimmune brain inflammation, become susceptible after their GI tract is exposed to segmented filamentous bacteria, suggesting a specific role that intestinal bacterial fauna could play in the development of autoimmune disorders in tissues distant from the intestines (e.g., the central nervous system). On the basis of his results and others', Mazmanian has posited that harmless bacteria induce host immune tolerance by manipulating pathways that distinguish self from pathogen, a distinction that goes awry in autoimmune diseases. By elucidating the critical role of these microbes in human health, Mazmanian is laying the foundation for a new understanding of human-microbiome symbiosis that could lead to new therapies or preventive treatments for a broad class of human diseases.



Featured Speakers



Lisa Ackerman

Lisa Ackerman

A native of California, Lisa has worked in the retail and real estate site selection for almost 20 years. Lisa was a co-founder of Integration Technologies and AnySite Software which was sold to MapInfo Corporation in 2003. Working with customers like Wal-Mart, Burger King and Shell Oil, Lisa has consulted and sold large solutions for planning and managing the site selection process.In March 2004, Lisa retired from her real estate career to assume a full-time volunteer role as Executive Director for TACA. Lisa transitioned from volunteer to a full time professional capacity in July, 2008.


Tim Adams, Esq

Tim Adams, Esq

Tim Adams is the principal attorney at Adams & Associates, APLC, a disability rights law firm in Orange County, California. For over a decade, Tim has zealously represented children affected by autism. Tim serves as a resource to families and professionals across the country through presentations and seminars on special education law. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Irvine and his Juris Doctorate degree from Pepperdine University School of Law. He has served as an adjunct professor and Associate Director of the Special Education Advocacy Clinic, Pepperdine University School of Law. He has also trained Orange County Superior Court Judges regarding special education law. Tim is a board member of the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law & Advocacy (EBCALA). He enjoys snowboarding, stand up paddleboarding and traveling. Tim lives with his wife, Rose and three daughters in Orange, California.



Dr. Daniel Amen

Daniel Amen believes that brain health is central to all health and success. “When your brain works right,” he says, “you work right; and when your brain is troubled you are much more likely to have trouble in your life.” His work is dedicated to helping people have better brains and better lives.
The Washington Post called Dr. Amen the most popular psychiatrist in America and Sharecare named him the web’s #1 most influential expert and advocate on mental health.
Dr. Amen is a neuroscientist, physician, double board certified psychiatrist, and ten-time New York Times bestselling author. He is the Founder and Medical Director of Amen Clinics with locations in Costa Mesa and San Francisco, California, Bellevue, Washington, Reston, Virginia, Atlanta, Georgia and New York, New York.
Amen Clinics have the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavioral health, totaling more than 123,000 scans on patients from 111 countries. Through his research using the Amen Clinics database Dr. Amen has published over 70 scientific articles on a wide range of topics including autism, resistant depression, suicide, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and others that have appeared in many prestigious journals, including Molecular Psychiatry, PLOS One, Nature’s Translational Psychiatry, Nature’s Obesity, Military Medicine, and Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience.
In January 2016, his team’s research on distinguishing PTSD from TBI was featured as one of the top 100 stories in science by Discover Magazine.
Dr. Amen is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the highest award given to members, and is the lead researcher on the world’s largest brain imaging and rehabilitation study on professional football players. His research has not only demonstrated high levels of brain damage in players, he also showed the possibility of significant recovery for many with the principles that underlie his work.
Together with Pastor Rick Warren and Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Amen is also one of the chief architects on Saddleback Church’s “Daniel Plan,” a program to get the world healthy through religious organizations, which has been taught in thousands of churches around the world.
Dr. Amen has raised over $70 million dollars for national public television through ten popular shows about the brain that he wrote, produced and hosted.
Dr. Amen is the author of over 30 books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, The Daniel Plan, Unleash the Power of the Female Brain and Healing ADD. In November 2016 Penguin will publish Dr. Amen and Mrs. Amen’s two new books The Brain Warrior’s Way and The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook.
Dr. Amen’s work has been featured in Newsweek, Time, Huffington Post, ABC World News, 20/20, BBC, London Telegraph, Parade Magazine, New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Washington Post, LA Times, Men’s Health, Bottom Line, and Cosmopolitan.
Dr. Amen has appeared in movies, including After the Last Round and The Crash Reel and was a consultant for Concussion, starring Will Smith.
He has presented his research to the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Harvard’s Learning and the Brain Conference, the Department of the Interior, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Supreme Courts of Delaware, Ohio and Wyoming.
Dr. Amen is married to Tana, the father of four children and grandfather to Elias, Emmy, Liam and Louie. He is an avid table tennis player.



Katie Anawalt

Katie earned her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology from Oberlin College and Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech-Language Pathology graduating with distinction from California State University, Northridge. As a speech-language pathologist in Los Angeles, Katie is responsible for assessing and treating speech and language disorders in children and adults and is highly familiar with the aspects of managing screening, evaluation, consultation with families, and treatment activities in the school, home, and clinical settings. Katie has extensive training and clinical experience in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Since 2004, Katie has dedicated herself to learning and using Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) and other support strategies that incorporate AAC to maximize an individual’s communication skills. Created by Soma Mukhopadhyay, RPM is an academic method leading towards communication for person with autism and related disorders. Katie is one of a limited number of professionals highly certified in RPM. In addition, Katie has completed continuing education in the PROMPT Institute’s Introduction to PROMPT Technique. PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is an approach to speech production disorders that addresses the physical-sensory, cognitive linguistic, and social-emotional elements of motor performance. Katie has worked with several clients, ages 4 to adult, achieving effective independent, multimodal communication through AAC. Katie has extensive experience collaborating with her clients’ families and support staff (teacher, aides, other professionals) to develop ways to generalize AAC into the home and school setting.



Dr. Julie Buckley

Dr. Buckley is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Medicine and of the Jackson Memorial Hospital/University of Miami Pediatric Residency Program, Dr. Buckley implemented an integrative/functional medicine approach into her pediatric practice after her daughter regressed into the world of autism at four years of age. In October 2009, she added Breast Cancer Survivor to her resume, using this integrative/functional medicine approach. An international speaker on these topics, she has written Healing Our Autistic Children in 2010 and Your Comprehensive Guide to Breast Cancer in 2013, is founder and President of the HealthyUNow Foundation, and is raising two children with the help of a wonderfully supportive family.



Dr. Denise Eckman

Dr. Denise Eckman, PsyD, BCBA-D is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, and the founder and President of Creative Behavior Interventions, Inc. (CBI). She has provided Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy and supervision for nearly two decades to families throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, Colorado, and other countries outside of the U.S. In 2005, Dr. Eckman earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver, where she specialized in Behavior Analysis and Assessments. While completing her doctorate, Dr. Eckman gained extensive training and experience in supervising and developing programs for children with Autism – utilizing the principles and methodologies of ABA, in particular “Verbal Behavior.” As part of her doctoral training, Dr. Eckman focused on psychological services, including assessment for children and families with chronic mental disorders of various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Dr. Eckman is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D), and oversees program development and implementation to all clients at CBI. In addition to serving as the Executive Director for CBI, Dr. Eckman performs functional behavior assessments (FBA) across the country and conducts presentations on in-services and workshops for various organizations throughout southern California. Throughout her graduate education and beyond, Dr. Eckman continues to develop her passion and commitment to providing quality, innovative and creative individualized services for children diagnosed with Autism or related disorders.


Dane Fliedner

Dane Fliedner, MD, MPH

Dane Fliedner, MD, MPH is an Integrative and Functional Medicine Pediatrician. He is Board-Certified and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. He is a member of the Institute for Functional Medicine and will be an IFMCP in 2017. He is also finishing up his fellowship with the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS) in 2017. A Southern California native, he earned his Doctorate of Medicine while also earning his Master’s of Public Health from New York Medical College. He completed his Pediatric Residency Training at University of California, Irvine. He has had a diverse career having worked from Community Clinics in underserved areas in California to working in the emergency room as a faculty member of the Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical School/ Children’s Hospital of Dallas. His journey into integrative medicine began as his two daughters began to suffer with chronic health conditions that were not getting answers despite seeing multiple specialists. After seeing an integrative medicine specialist and experiencing positive results in his children’s health, he was humbled and began his journey into the world of integrative medicine and health. He began his journey into biomedical autism when he began having more patients consulting with him regarding issues related to ASD and has been excited to see many positive results from applying functional and biomedical principles to complex chronic medical conditions.


Tracy Fritz

Tracy Fritz, MD, FAAFP

Dr. Fritz is cofounder of Little Flower Center for Integrative Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. She provides specialized care to patient populations including children with Autism Spectrum and related disorders, as well as adults with chronic medical conditions. Dr. Fritz received her B.A. in English Literature from Boston University. She received her M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in family medicine at Naval Hospital Pensacola. Dr. Fritz is a fellow in the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS).


Richard Frye

Richard Frye, MD, Ph.D.

Richard Frye, MD, Ph.D. is the Director of Autism Research at Arkansas Children’s Hospital/University of Arkansas Medical Sciences in Little Rock, AR. Dr. Frye is a well-recognized expert in the diagnosis and treatment of ASD and other developmental disorders. Dr. Frye has a broad background including specific training in neurodevelopmental disorders, physiology, psychology and biostatistics. He is fellowship trained in Behavioral Neurology and Psychology and has clinical expertise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of children with ASD.
While at the University of Texas he developed a medically based autism clinic, which was specifically designed to diagnose and treat neurological and metabolic abnormalities associated with ASD in order to improve quality of life and promote recovery. Over the past two years he have completed three clinical studies related to ASD, including an open-label trial examining the metabolic and behavioral effects of tetrahydrobiopterin, a clinical study of the metabolic and genetic characteristics of children with ASD and mitochondrial disease, and a clinical study on the prevalence of the folate receptor alpha autoantibody in children with ASD as well as the response to leucovorin treatment in ASD children with the folate receptor alpha autoantibody.
As Director of Autism Research at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital his goal is to develop an integrated autism program that includes a multi-specialty autism clinic, a translational research program focusing on biomarkers and clinical-trials, and a basic science program focusing on mitochondrial and redox metabolic metabolism.


Jamie George

Jamie George, LPMT, MT-BC

Jamie founded The George Center for Music Therapy, Inc. in 2010 in order to expand and increase access to quality music therapy programs in the metro Atlanta area. She is a licensed and nationally board-certified music therapist. Jamie holds additional certifications in Neurologic Music Therapy (NMT) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Music Therapy (NICU-MT).
Jamie received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Music with a concentration in Music Therapy, from the University of Georgia. She completed her graduate research studying music therapy and its effects on children with sensory processing disorder. Jamie completed her internship working with exceptional children in the Fulton County Schools Music Therapy Department in metro Atlanta. Jamie specializes in autism and other neurologic conditions. In addition to teaching and treating, she actively consults with parents, therapists, allied health, and therapeutic and educational programs across the country.
Jamie serves on the Ethics Board for the American Music Therapy Association, and serves as Government Relations Co-Chair for the Southeastern Region of the AMTA. She serves as Reimbursement Chair for the Music Therapy Association of Georgia, having previously served as Treasurer for the organization from 2007 – 2012. Jamie also serves on the Georgia state task force and the Georgia Secretary of State appointed Music Therapy Advisory Committee.
Jamie is an accomplished vocalist, and comes to Atlanta after having performed for several years in New York City and Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.


David Geslak

David S. Geslak BS, ACSM EP-C, CSCS

As a Fitness Coordinator at a school for children with autism, Coach Dave experienced first-hand the challenges of teaching exercise. By understanding that students with autism learn differently, he developed a system that has become a breakthrough in effectively teaching exercise. Nine universities have incorporated his program into their Adapted Physical Education and Special Education Programs. As a pioneer in the field, Dave gives his insightful and inspiring presentations around the world, including, Egypt, Dubai, Barbados, Russia and Canada. Coach Dave is also a published author, writes Autism & Exercise research articles, and has a TV Show “Coach Dave” on the Autism Channel. Coach Dave graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Health Promotion. He is a Certified Exercise Physiologist from the American College of Sports Medicine and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is a former assistant strength and conditioning coach for the University of Iowa Football Program and co-founder/President of Right Fit. He is also a member of the State of Illinois Autism Taskforce.


Suzanne Goh

Suzanne Goh, M.D.

Dr. Suzanne Goh is a board-certified pediatric behavioral neurologist, a neuroscience researcher, and author. She has dedicated her career to researching and developing therapies for neurological conditions that impact childhood brain development. Dr. Goh completed a postdoctoral Autism Research Fellowship in the Pediatric Brain Imaging Laboratory at Columbia University. She went on to serve as a member of the faculty at Columbia, with joint appointments in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology. At Columbia, Dr. Goh served as Co-Director of the Developmental Neuropsychiatry Clinic for Autism and Related Disorders where she led a multi-disciplinary team of physicians and psychologists specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of autism. Dr. Goh’s research has focused on mitochondrial and other metabolic features in autism. Through brain imaging studies (Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy), she has identified unique aspects of neural circuitry and brain chemistry in autism. Her research has led to publications in leading neuroscience journals, including Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Pediatric Neurology, and Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. In 2013, she co-authored Spectacular Bond: Reaching the Child with Autism with Dr. Marion Blank and Susan Deland. The book outlines a powerful home-based, parent-led behavior program for children with autism. Dr. Goh is also co-author of the ASD Language curriculum – a series of educational programs that teach cognition and language to children with autism. Dr. Goh earned her BA and MD from Harvard University.


Sean Gorgie

Sean Gorgie, MEd., BCBA

Sean Gorgie, MEd., BCBA has worked with Autism Spectrum Consultants (ASC) for over 16 years as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He received his Masters degree in Education with an Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2014 from Arizona State University. Over the years, Sean has provided 1:1 therapy, parent training, and supervision to adults and children with Autism and related disorders. Sean has also lead social skills groups for children of various ages and has also organized and created curriculum. Sean has extensive experience working with diverse families and clients. He has participated in assistive communication research and has spoken at conferences regarding his experience running social skills groups.


Darlene Hanson

Darlene Hanson

Darlene Hanson has her Masters of Arts in Communication Disorders from Whittier College in California. She is currently the Director of Communication Services with the non-profit REACH, in Southern California. Darlene works with individuals, their support teams, and their families to build communication. Her professional experiences have included work in the public schools and private practice. As a speech and language pathologist Darlene conducts assessments in the areas of speech, language, and augmentative communication. She has been working with individuals with severe communication impairments since her under graduate program at Chapman College (1980). Darlene has included Facilitated Communication Training in her assessments and practice since 1991. Over the course of the years she has taught at Chapman University, presented at local, state and national conferences, and conducted trainings on Autism, Augmentative Communication strategies, and Facilitated Communication Training throughout the United States. Through REACH, formerly known as WAPADH, Darlene has been instrumental in organizing multiple national conferences on Facilitated Communication known as the “West Coast Symposium...”. She is also one of a group of Master Trainers for Facilitated Communication Training, and assisted with the writing of the Best Practice Standards for Facilitated Communication Training distributed through the Institute for Communication and Inclusion of Syracuse University. Darlene has co-authored research and articles on communication for those with severe communication impairments, and is a co-author of Investigation of Authorship in Facilitated Communication, (Journal of Mental Retardation, Aug. 1996).


Dr. Karima Hirani

Dr. Karima Hirani

Dr. Karima Hirani is a Board Certified Family Physician who has been utilizing bio-medical treatments for Autism since 2001. She received her MD from USC Medical School and holds a Master's Degree in Public Health from UCLA with a specialization in Nutrition. She has been practicing Integrative Medicine since 1999 in Los Angeles where she treats both children and adults. In addition she regularly attended DAN! conferences from 2001-2012 and subsequently MAPS physician conferences since 2012. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at USC Medical School and is also certified in clinical homeopathy.


Dr. David Houston

Dr. Devin Houston

Dr. Devin Houston, Ph.D., is the founder and CEO of Houston Enzymes. Dr. Houston obtained his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine. His graduate work focused on enzyme discovery and subsequent research at University of Virginia and Saint Louis University focused on enzyme mechanisms involved in cellular communication. Dr. Houston followed his academic career with research and development in enzyme manufacturing with special focus on the digestive needs of those with autism. His company, Houston Enzymes, provides a variety of enzyme products for digestive support.


Dr. Darin Ingels

Dr. Darin Ingels

Dr. Ingels is a respected leader in natural medicine with numerous publications, international lectures and more than 25 years experience in the healthcare field. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from Purdue University and his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington.
Dr. Ingels is a licensed naturopathic physician in the State of Connecticut and a licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine in the State of California, where he maintains practices in both states. He is Board certified in Integrated Pediatrics and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
Dr. Ingels has been published extensively and is the author of two books, The Natural Pharmacist: Lowering Cholesterol (Prima, 1999) and Natural Treatments for High Cholesterol (Prima, 2000). He has written a chapter on allergy desensitization for autistic children in “Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism” and is the author of the upcoming book “The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Immune Boosting Plan to Fight Inflammation and Beat Lyme Disease Permanently” (Avery, 2018), a comprehensive natural approach to treating Lyme disease
Dr. Ingels’ specializes in Lyme disease, autism and chronic immune dysfunction, including allergies, asthma, recurrent or persistent infections and other genetic or acquired immune problems. He uses diet, nutrients, herbs, homeopathy and immunotherapy to help his patients achieve better health.


Tia Jones

Tia Jones

Tia Jones earned her Bachelor of Science in English at the University of Detroit-Mercy. Having worked briefly in elementary classrooms, and providing tutoring to students in reading, it was her work at the Lindamood-Bell center in Birmingham, MI that ignited a passion for providing direct instruction to people of all ages. She then began her career at Lindamood-Bell more than 12 years ago, and has since held various leadership positions within Lindamood-Bell centers across the country. Though much of her experience has been in the learning centers, she has also worked with Lindamood-Bell For Schools, and shared her instructional knowledge with Administrators, teachers, and parents in the Professional Development division. She now brings the totality of her well rounded Lindamood-Bell experience to the Greater Orange County and South Bay areas, serving as the Executive Center Director of the Newport and Manhattan Beach Learning Centers.


Lori Knowles

Lori Knowles-Jimenez

Lori Knowles-Jimenez is a mother of a child who has recovered from autism as well as the co-founder and Director of New Beginnings Nutritionals, a cutting edge nutritional supplement company that supports the unique needs of children with autism. She is a frequent speaker on biomedical interventions to parents and professionals at autism conferences around the world. Over the past six years, she has collaborated with physicians, naturopaths, scientists, autism researchers and parents in order to create a diverse product line that parents and physicians can trust. Lori enjoys drawing from both her extensive research, professional and personal experience in recovering her own child to support parents and practitioners seeking answers to improve the lives of children affected with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).



Dr. Arthur Krigsman

Dr. Krigsman is a pediatrician and Board certified pediatric gastroenterologist with internationally recognized expertise in the evaluation and treatment of autism associated gastrointestinal problems. His interest in this unique patient population began in 2001 and during the ensuing 17 years he has treated over 1900 children from across the globe suffering from autism and a variety of gastrointestinal problems. His research interest lies in the characterization of the unique cellular, molecular, and clinical features of ASD-associated inflammatory bowel disease and his original findings appear in numerous peer-reviewed journals. In addition to serving as an invited reviewer for peer-reviewed medical journal author submissions in his area of expertise, Dr. Krigsman has served as a guest lecturer on the topic of gastrointestinal disease and autism at national and international scientific meetings, hospital Grand Rounds both here and abroad, Nurse Association meetings, philanthropic organizations, and at numerous lay medical conferences. He has also presented his findings before the U.S. Congress. His greatest satisfaction though derives from the clinical care he provides his patients and in the improved quality of life that results from diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal disease in this vulnerable population. He maintains offices in both New York City and Austin, Texas.


Mary Joann Lang

Mary Joann Lang, RN, PhD, ABPN, BCBA-D

With a background as a nurse, educator, special needs parent, neuropsychologist, and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Dr. Mary Joann Lang brings a wealth of informed experience to her roles as founder/CEO of Beacon Day School for Children with Autism and Related Disorders, Beacon Autistic Spectrum Independence Center (in-home therapy), and founder/executive director of Beacon Life Project (nonprofit). Dr. Lang has also served as a professor in the Department of Counseling and School Psychology at Azusa Pacific University as well as currently on staff as adjunct faculty with Argosy University.


Lauren Lloyd

Lauren Lloyd, M.S., BCBA

Lauren Lloyd, M.S., BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for over 11 years with Autism Spectrum Consultants (ASC). ABA trained since she was 17 years old, Lauren has extensive experience working with Autism both as a family member and as a professional. Lauren has provided 1:1 therapy, parent training, workshop supervision and supervision to adults and children with Autism and related disorders throughout Orange County and the Inland Empire during her time with ASC. Lauren received her Masters degree in Counseling with an Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2011 from Nova Southeastern University and her teaching credential from University of California, Irvine in 2006. She has spoken at several conferences regarding her experience integrating iPads and technology with ABA and also as a sibling of a child with Autism.


Elizabeth McCoy, Esq

Elizabeth McCoy, Esq

Elizabeth McCoy has been a licensed Attorney in California since 1997, practicing primarily in the area of special needs trusts, conservatorship, and estate planning for families who have a child with Autism or other special needs. Mrs. McCoy earned her Juris Doctor from Washington University School of Law. During law school, she was the Jan Adam Zuckerman scholarship recipient, and a staff member for the Washington University Journal of Urban and Contemporary Law. Since 1988, Mrs. McCoy has also been a licensed Landscape Architect. Prior to practicing law, she produced landscape architectural plans for Disney theme parks and 5-star Ritz Carlton and Marriott hotels throughout the world. Mrs. McCoy has been a proud supporter of TACA since 2006. She lives in North San Diego County with her husband Mike and two sons Atticus and August.


Dr. Robert K. Naviaux

Dr. Robert K. Naviaux

Dr. Naviaux is the founder and co-director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center (MMDC), and Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Pathology, and Genetics at UCSD. He directs a core laboratory for metabolomics at UCSD. He is the co-founder and a former president of the Mitochondrial Medicine Society (MMS), and a founding associate editor of the journal Mitochondrion. He is an internationally known expert in human genetics, inborn errors of metabolism, metabolomics, and mitochondrial medicine. He is the discoverer of the cause of Alpers syndrome—the oldest Mendelian form of mitochondrial disease—and the developer of the first DNA test to diagnose it. His lab also discovered the first mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations that cause genetic forms of autism. Dr. Naviaux's lab has developed a number of advanced technologies like biocavity laser spectroscopy and mtDNA mutation detection by mass spectrometry. He is a Salk-trained virologist, and molecular and cell biologist, the inventor of the popular pCL retroviral gene transfer vectors, and was trained at NIH in tumor immunology and natural killer cell biology. In 2011, he received a Trailblazer Award from Autism Speaks. His 2013 paper reporting preclinical studies on the role of purinergic signaling and the cell danger response in autism was ranked the #1 most-viewed report of 2013 on the Simons Foundation autism web site. He is currently the director of the first FDA-approved clinical trial to study the safety and efficacy of antipurinergic drug therapy using suramin as a new treatment for autism.


Nicole Rincon

Nicole Rincon, PA-C

Nicole Rincon, PA-C is a board certified physician assistant. She majored in biology at UC San Diego (UCSD) and graduated with honors. While attending UCSD, her major areas of focus were microbiology and genetics. Nicole continued her health care education at Western University of Health Sciences where she graduated on the Dean’s List with a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies in 2007. She is board certified as a Physician Assistant by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Nicole began her career in integrative medicine focusing on nutritional counseling and wellness supplementation. In 2012 Nicole gave birth to triplets. After their second birthday, her children regressed developmentally and her two sons were diagnosed with autism and her daughter with seizures. She then dedicated her studies to the biomedical treatment of autism and seizures. She has attended a number of medical conferences and webinars focusing of pediatric special needs, including the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (MAPS), where she met Dr. Rossignol. Nicole's medical focus includes natural and medical treatments as well as dietary and healthy lifestyle strategies.


Dr. Dan Rossignol

Dr. Dan Rossignol

Dr. Dan Rossignol received his Doctorate of Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia and completed his residency in family medicine at the University of Virginia. Coming from an academic background, Dr. Rossignol searched the medical literature looking for a solution after both of his children were diagnosed with autism. He has made it his mission to research and publish in autism. Since 2006, he has 53 papers, abstracts, editorials, and book chapters concerning autism and related conditions. Dr. Rossignol is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (FAAFP) and a Fellow of the Medical Academy of Pediatric Special Needs (FMAPS).


Lanier Rossignol, BSN FNP-C

Lanier Rossignol, BSN, FNP-C

Lanier Rossignol, BSN FNP-C received her graduate training as a Family Nurse Practitioner and her Master's in Nursing from the University of Virginia. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Neurobiochemistry and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Virginia. After her two sons were diagnosed with autism, she sought information from a number of sources including researchers, specialists, the medical literature, and she attended 6-8 autism medical conferences per year to help find answers for her sons. As biomedically-based treatments helped her sons begin speaking, she became more involved in research including 3 studies examining the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in autism. After years of focusing on both her sons and her own medical issues, she has now joined her husband, Dr. Rossignol, and his medical practice as a Nurse Practitioner to try to help families struggling with the underlying medical issues of autism. Lanier has a special interest in autism spectrum disorders, PANS/PANDAS, chronic fatigue, and health and wellness through diet, supplements and exercise.



Dr. Bob Sears

Dr. Bob Sears is a pediatrician in Dana Point, CA, author in the Sears Parenting Library, and Medical Advisor for Talk About Curing Autism. He is the author of The Vaccine Book, The Autism Book, and the brand new Allergy Book: Solving Your Family's Nasal Allergies, Asthma, Food Sensitivities, and Related Health and Behavioral Problems. Dr. Bob combines mainstream medicine with integrative practices in his pediatric care and biomedical treatments for autism spectrum disorder. He is also a founding member of Public Health Council and is actively fighting against mandatory vaccine legislation. Follow Dr. Bob's Daily blog on his Dr. Bob Sears facebook page.


Kristin Selby-Gonzalez

Kristin Selby Gonzalez

Kristin has given lectures worldwide, educating thousands throughout the years on di erent strategies to help children on the autism spectrum. In addition to her trainings and certi cations, ristin brings her own e perience as a mother of a child on the spectrum. As of September 2012, Kristin works at the Autism Hope Alliance where she is now serving as President Chairman.


Kevin Shapiro

Kevin Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D.

With an overarching goal of understanding cognition and cortical plasticity in children with neurologic disorders, Kevin brings the frontiers of neuroscience and cognitive neuropsychology to Cortica. Dr. Shapiro’s expertise is enhancing language and cognition in children with neurologic conditions that affect the developing nervous system. He has specialized training in both cognitive neuropsychology and vascular (stroke) neurology. Dr. Shapiro’s research focuses on language recovery in children and adults with brain injury, using techniques including functional neuroimaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation. Kevin earned his BA, PhD, and MD from Harvard University. He completed his residency at Boston's Harvard-affiliated hospitals and held a faculty position at UCSF, where he directed the Pediatric Language Clinic.


Dr. William Shaw

Dr. William Shaw

William Shaw, PhD, is board certified in the fields of clinical chemistry and toxicology by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. Before he founded The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc., Dr. Shaw worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Children's Mercy Hospital, University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Medicine, and Smith Kline Laboratories. He is the author of Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD, originally published in 1998 and Autism: Beyond the Basics, published in 2009. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences worldwide.
Dr. Shaw is the stepfather of a child with autism and has helped thousands of patients and medical practitioners to successfully improve the lives of people with autism, AD(H)D, Alzheimer's disease, arthritis, bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue, depression, fibromyalgia, immune deficiencies, multiple sclerosis, OCD, Parkinson's disease, seizure disorders, tic disorders, Tourette syndrome, and other serious conditions.


Jared Skowron

Dr. Jared Skowron

Dr. Jared Skowron is the Amazon best-selling author of 100 Natural Remedies for Your Child, founder of the autism supplement company: Spectrum Awakening, and autism biomedical clinician of 15 years. He has lectured for Autism One, Generation Rescue, and TACA, focusing on helping children by balancing brain chemistry, influencing epigenetics, and supporting mitochondrial function. A father and physician, he is a clinician first, building one of the largest autism biomedical centers in New England to help all families who want to help their children achieve their full potential. Learn more at


Sue Swanson

Sue Swanson, RN

Sue Swanson, RN, became a nurse as a second career, a complete change from selling computers for IBM. She loves working with children and has 6 of her own, including her youngest son Brett, now age 19, who has both autism and epilepsy. Sue has held a variety of positions as an RN, from teaching childbirth and baby care classes to school nurse to pre-op and recovery in an outpatient GI center. Her passion is working with families on the autism spectrum, as she did for over 5 years as a nurse with Jeff Bradstreet, MD and Melanie Wardle, ARNP. She is currently supporting families as a TACA mentor, and is always looking for new ways to help our kids be the best they can be!


Dr. THeo Theoharides

Dr. Theo Theoharides

Dr. Theoharides is Professor of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine, as well as Director of Molecular Immunopharmacology and Drug Discovery at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston. He was born in Thessaloniki, where he graduated from Anatolia College. He received all his degrees with Honors from Yale University, and was awarded the Dean’s Research Award and the Winternitz Price in Pathology. He trained in internal medicine at New England Medical Center, which awarded him the Oliver Smith Award “recognizing excellence, compassion and service.” He also received a Certificate in Global Leadership from the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He served on the Hellenic Supreme Health Advisory Board, IKA and IFET. He is a member of 15 academies and scientific societies. He has published 390 peer-reviewed papers (JBC, JACI, JPET, NEJM, Nature, PNAS, Science) and 3 textbooks with 23,849 citations (h-index 74) and he is in the top 5% of authors most cited in pharmacological and immunological journals. He first showed that mast cells, known for causing allergic reactions, are critical for inflammation, especially in the brain, and most recently in the pathogenesis of autism and brain fog. Ηe has been awarded 17 patents. He was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha National Medical Honor Society and the Rare Diseases Hall of Fame. He has received the Tufts Alumni Award for Faculty Excellence, the Tufts Distinguished Faculty Recognition Award, Boston Mayor’s Community Award, and the Dr. George Papanicolau Award, as well as Honorary Doctor of Medicine from Athens University and Honorary Doctor of Sciences from Hellenic-American University. He is “Archon” of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.


Dr. Anju Usman

Dr. Anju Usman

Dr. Usman is director and owner of True Health Medical Center and Pure Compounding Pharmacy in Naperville, Illinois. She specializes in biomedical interventions for children with ADD, Autism, PANDAS/PANS, Down Syndrome, and related disorders. She has been involved in research regarding copper/zinc imbalances, metallothionein dysfunction, biofilm related infections and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. She is on the executive committee for the Autism Society of Illinois, and also serves on the advisory boards for TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) and Generation Rescue. She is a faculty member of MAPS (Medical Academy for Pediatric Special Needs). Dr. Usman received her medical degree from Indiana University and completed a residency in Family Practice at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. She is board certified in Family Practice and Integrative and Holistic Medicine (ABIHM).


Brooke Wagner

Brooke Wagner

Brooke Wagner, M. A. has supported individuals with special needs both locally and internationally since 2000. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University, a Masters Degree in Human Behavior from National University, and is an RDI® Program Certified Consultant. In addition, Brooke is an RDI® supervisor through RDIConnect in Houston, TX. In this role, she guides and supervises RDI® consultants in training through their supervision requirements. She has also received extensivetraining and experience in developing and implementing comprehensive programs utilizing RDI®, ABA, Floortime, PRT, PECS, How Does Your Engine Run?, Handwriting Without Tears, Social Stories, Touch Math, and TEACCH. Brooke believes in a supportive and comprehensive approach and, therefore, uses a variety of methodologies based on her past experiences when providing recommendations. In addition, she finds it necessary to regularly communicate with all other specialized therapists (Speech, OT, PT, etc.). Brooke also served on the board of the San Diego Autism Society of America for four years and successfully directed the annual “Swing Away For the ASA” golf tournament fundraiser in 2007. As a native to San Diego, she believes in supporting her local community through outreach opportunities, sharing information and resources and connecting with clients and those impacted with developmental delays on a human level.



Mark Woodsmall

Mark Woodsmall, founding attorney of Woodsmall Law Group, PC, practices exclusively in the areas of Special Education, Regional Center Matters, Special Needs Trust Planning and Conservatorship. In 2006, Mr. Woodsmall joined the faculty of the USC Gould School of Law as a Professor Adjunct, teaching in the area of special education law. He also served as the teaching attorney in the Special Education Advocacy Training Project – Los Angeles. The SEAT Project, an innovative nationwide advocacy training project, is funded under grant from the US Department of Education and administered through COPAA, the Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates and the USC Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles). Mr. Woodsmall sits on the UCLA Center for Autism Research & Treatment (CART) Community Advisory Committee. Mr. Woodsmall is a national lecturer on parent’s rights under the IDEA, Section 504 and the Lanterman Act. Mr. Woodsmall was an invited presenter at the 2012, 2013 and 2014 COPAA Conferences (national conference of student attorneys) in Florida, New Mexico and California. Mr. Woodsmall has been recognized for his work in the field in 2012 as the recipient of the National Ambassador for the Children Award from Casa Colina and in 2013 with the prestigious Stanley I. Greenspan Humanitarian Award. In 2014 Mr & Mrs. Woodsmall formed the Spero Project, a 501C3, non-profit organization dedicated to work training opportunities for young adults (16 to 25 years of age) with developmental disabilities.


Jackie Zaldua

Jackie Zaldua

Jackie Zaldua, M.A., BCBA, has specialized in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) since 2002. She is passionate about utilizing a comprehensive approach to working with children and families impacted by autism. As a BCBA, she is skilled in implementing Functional Behavior Assessments, analyzing patterns of behavior, and developing behavior treatment plans that empower individuals. Furthermore, she integrates a naturalistic approach to her programs as well as an emphasis on developmentally appropriate practice. As an RDI® Consultant, Jackie finds great joy in teaching parents and educators how to foster their child’s developmental growth in key areas such as emotional engagement, joint attention, co-regulation, social communication, self-awareness, personal goal setting, and real-world problem solving. She values teaching parents how to build strong relationships with their child and encourages parents to engage in self-care so that they can maintain a healthy guiding role for their child. Jackie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Science (2002) and a Masters of Arts Degree in Educational Psychology and Counseling-Early Childhood Education (2003) from California State University, Northridge. She completed BCBA coursework from the University of Northern Texas. Jackie had the privilege of receiving her RDI® clinical training by Dr. Rachelle Sheely, co-founder of the RDI® program. Jackie has a strong background in supervising developmentally based behavioral programs as well as expertise as a staff development specialist and crisis prevention trainer. In 2012, Jackie joined the TAG, Inc. team. As Clinical Director of TAG Carlsbad, she is honored to provide clinical supervision and support to our dedicated staff and to oversee each clinical program. Jackie truly enjoys seeing each client develop both as individuals and in their family relationships as they experience growth on many levels.