John McEachin, a licensed clinical psychologist and BCBA-D, has been providing behavioral treatment to individuals with autism for more than 40 years. He received his graduate training under Professor Ivar Lovaas at UCLA on the Young Autism Project. During his 11 years at UCLA, Dr. McEachin served in various roles including Clinic Supervisor, Research and Teaching Assistant, and Acting Director. His research has included the long-term follow-up study of young autistic children who received intensive behavioral treatment, which was published in 1993.
In 1994 he joined with Ron Leaf in forming Autism Partnership, which they co-direct. In 1999 they published A Work in Progress, a widely used behavioral treatment manual and curriculum for children with ASD. Dr. McEachin has lectured throughout the world and co-authored numerous books and research articles. He consults regularly to families, agencies, and school districts nationally and internationally, assisting in the development of treatment programs and providing training to parents staff, and classroom personnel. Dr. McEachin’s dedication to the advancement of behavioral treatment through research and quality training led to the co-founding of the Autism Partnership Foundation with Dr. Ron Leaf.
Melissa Olive, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is the Chief Clinical Officer of Cultivate Behavioral Health and Education. Cultivate acquired Applied Behavioral Strategies that Missy founded and directed from 2010 until 2020. Prior to working in the ABA space, Missy spent 9 years conducting research and training special education teachers and behavior analysts at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Nevada, Reno.
Missy currently serves as a Guest Reviewer for the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and the Review Journal on Autism and Developmental Disorders. She also served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Early Intervention for 8 years, Topics in Early Childhood Special Education for 10 years, and Young Exceptional Children for 12 years.
Missy has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters focusing on assessment and treatment of challenging behaviors, communication intervention, feeding disorders, and ethical issues for behavior analysts.
Missy currently serves on the CTABA Board of Directors and Chairs the CTABA Public Policy and Legislative Outreach Committee (PPLO). She previously served as a Member at Large on the Executive Council for CTABA. Missy previously served on the Executive Board as a Member at Large for the Division of Early Childhood, a sub-division of the Council for Exceptional Children. Missy also served as President of the Texas Council for Exceptional Children.
Her current research interest lies in assessment and treatment of feeding disorders, assessment and treatment of severe challenging behavior, ethical issues in the delivery of ABA services, and ABA services in school settings.
Toby Mountjoy is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis with over 23 years of experience working with individuals with ASD. His main role is overseeing the Autism Partnership operation in Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines and Singapore with over 240 staff, including psychologists, consultants and therapists, he has also provided consultations to school districts, agencies, and families worldwide. Mr. Mountjoy has also contributed chapters to publications such as “Sense & Nonsense” and “It’s Time for School”. In 2007, he founded the charitable Autism Partnership Foundation and Aoi Pui School to offer more services for children with Autism.
Dr. Pegeen Cronin is a licensed psychologist who has been working in the field of developmental disabilities for over 20 years. Her career began at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. under the expert instruction and guidance of Dr. BJ Freeman. At UCLA Dr. Cronin became an Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of the Autism Evaluation Clinic (now the UCLA CAN Clinic). In addition to providing comprehensive best practice evaluations to individuals suspected of having a development disability, during her tenure she trained and supervised many psychology and psychiatry trainees. She also co-authored successive center grants for the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) including for the Simons Simplex Consortium. Her work in research also included recruitment and diagnostic evaluations to provide well-characterized participants to the variety of CART research projects.
Now in private practice, Dr. Cronin continues to provide diagnostic evaluations for individuals of all ages and supports families to navigate access to intervention and services. She also provides consultations, presentations and trainings, including for the gold-standard measure, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2nd Edition (ADOS-2), and most recently enjoyed the opportunity to provide a book chapter to Dr. Justin Leaf’s Handbook of Social Skills and Autism Spectrum Disorder (2017). It is a pleasure to be a member of this council to support others’ professional development to learn and to work with individuals and families affected by ASD.
Dr. Joshua Pritchard is currently a faculty member at the University of Central Florida program in Orlando, Florida. After earning is PhD at the University of Nevada, Reno, he joined the faculty at Florida Institute of Technology and built the Hybrid Master of Arts in Professional Behavior Analysis that he chaired until the spring of 2017. While he loves teaching graduate students, he also believes it is important to keep a foot in practice as this experience helps guide his research and instruction. As such, he founded the Lodestone Academy in Orlando which serves children with behavioral disorders. Additionally, he has a clinical team providing services to children and adults across multiple states. He has consulted with state facilities under federal DOJ review and provided international consultation on behavioral programs, business development and practicum experience. Most recently, he has focused his behavior towards entrepreneurship, business mentoring, OBM, and instructional design.
He has published across a range of topics including professional behavior analytic licensure, systems within OBM, diversity and inclusion, and a variety of clinical treatments. Josh is focused on the development of systems of training, credentialing, and professional development that enhance the quality of service by the profession.
Dr. Bob Ross is the Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Research at Behavioral Education Assessment and Consultation Inc. (BEACON Services of Massachusetts and BEACON of Connecticut). BEACON Services provides intensive behavioral educational services to children diagnosed with PDD/autism and behavioral and learning challenges. Dr. Ross received his doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University and his master’s in applied behavior analysis from Northeastern University. Dr. Ross is the co-director of the BCBA certification programs at Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. In addition to his teaching and research roles at BEACON, Dr. Ross consults with programs and works directly with individuals diagnosed with autism as part of his caseload responsibilities at BEACON. He has presented more than 100 applied research poster presentations, workshops, and symposia at ABAI conferences and authored articles on topics such as instructional practices in autism treatment, activity schedules, and application of ABA beyond autism treatment
Michael Gerbosi is a professional writer living in Los Angeles. An active advocate for ABA, he serves as President of the award-winning non-profit Autism education, ABA advocacy and service referral portal www.lafeat.org. His son was diagnosed with ASD before age 3 and has received ABA therapy since 2016
Shahla Ala’i received her B.S. from Southern Illinois University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. Shahla and her students collaborate with Easter Seals North Texas to serve vulnerable populations through caring and science-based interventions. Shahla is also a member of an interdisciplinary social justice collective, a collaboration with faculty and students from Woman’s and Gender Studies, Applied Anthropology and Behavior Analysis. Shahla teaches ethics, autism intervention, parent training, behavioral systems, applied research methods, behavior change techniques, assessment, and a capstone course in ABA. Shahla served on the governing board of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). She has also served as a representative/subject matter expert on topics such as, culture, early intervention, supervision and ethics with various organizations, including the CDC and TEA. She is currently on several boards and disciplinary committees, most notably the ABAI Practice Board, ABA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board. Shahla has published and presented research on social justice, ethics in early intervention, play and social skills, family harmony, mentoring and supervision and the relationship between love and science in the treatment of autism. Shahla has trained hundreds of master’s level behavior analysts who have gone on to serve families and communities with honor. She has over four decades of experience working with families, particularly those from non-dominant cultural backgrounds. She travels and presents her work nationally and internationally to both professional and lay audiences. She was awarded an Onassis Foundation Fellowship for her work with families, was the recipient of UNT’s prestigious, student selected “Fessor Graham” teaching award, received the 2019 TXABA Career Contributions Award, and the 2020 UNT Foundation Community Engagement award.
Amy Gravino, M.A., is an autism sexuality advocate and Relationship Coach in the Center for Adult Autism Services at Rutgers University. She is also the President of A.S.C.O.T Consulting, which offers autism consulting, college coaching, and mentoring services for organizations, schools, individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families. Amy is an international speaker who has given TED talks, spoken twice at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day, and presented worldwide to audiences on a variety of topics related to autism, with a dedicated special focus and research on the subject of autism and sexuality. Ms. Gravino obtained her Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Caldwell University in 2010 and currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Specialisterne USA, Yes She Can, Inc. and the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, as well as the Scientific Advisory Board of Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research (SPARK). She is an award-winning writer whose work has been featured in Spectrum, the leading online news source for autism research, Reader’s Digest, special education textbooks, and other outlets. Visit www.amygravino.com to learn more.