Speakers

Dr. Debra Malmberg, PhD,BCBA-D

Dr. Debra Berry Malmberg is an Associate Professor of Psychology at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She is a licensed psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D), who graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina and received her Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Malmberg is the founding director of the CSUN Autism Clinic, a research and treatment clinic for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Her research focuses on designing and evaluating behavioral interventions to teach socio-communicative skills to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Malmberg has served as a Leadership Los Angeles Fellow, the CSUN College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Fellow, and as a member of the CA Senate Select Committee’s North LA Regional Task Force on Autism and Related Disorders. She has also received the CSUN Extraordinary Service Award and serves on the Board of Directors for the California Association for Behavior Analysis.

Dr. Plern Pratoommas,PhD

Plern has been working in the field of Early Childhood Intervention in Thailand and the United States for the past 14 years. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Special Education, specializing in Early Childhood and Autism, and a PhD in Infant and Early Childhood Development with emphasis in Mental Health and Developmental Disorders. Plern is a certified Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) therapist and trainer, specializing in early intervention for young children with Autism. She serves on the board of The Rainbow Room Foundation and is a lecturer at the National Institute for Child and Family Development at Mahidol University in Thailand. In 2019, Plern co-founded Bright & Early, the first intensive Early Intervention program in Thailand that is based on the ESDM.

Chiman Estephan,MSLP, MSPA, CPSP, ACAS

Chiman is a Certified Speech Language Pathologist (Speech Pathology Australia Association) and an Advanced Certified Autism Specialist. She grew up in Sydney, Australia, and moved to Thailand permanently in 2014. Chiman holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney. She is trained in many evidence-based Speech Therapy approaches, and is currently the only Therapist in Thailand who is trained in Level 2 of PROMPT Therapy. Chiman loves working with children from the age of 12 months until teenage years in the areas of speech, language, social communication and stuttering. She serves as the Deputy Clinical Director of Little Sprouts Children’s Centre and is a Co-Founder of Bright & Early, the first intensive Early Intervention Program in Thailand based on the ESDM. Chiman has a Speecg Language Blog The Expat Speechie;  where you can read about evidence-based techniques to support children’s communication development.

Dr. Neil Martin,PhD, BCBA-D

Dr. Martin has been working as a behaviour analyst (as a clinician, academic, supervisor and researcher), since 1990. He received his PhD from the University of Reading (UK) in 1998 and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2002. He was among the first handful of BCBAs in the UK and he was one of the ‘ABA Lecturer’s Co-operative’ that developed the first BACB-approved course sequence in the UK, and the first outside the US.

After working within academia at the University of Kent, Dr. Martin worked independently for many years teaching on a number of BCBA/BCaBA course sequences, helping to establish others around the world, supervising students and consulting to numerous organisations and families both in the UK and internationally.

Dr. Martin has published research in journals such as the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Behavior Analyst, Research in Developmental Disabilities and the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, and he has special interests in the use of technology, media and software related to teaching and research.

Dr. Martin was one of the international subject matter experts that last reviewed the BACB Task List and he was also one of the subject matter experts that generated the BACB Autism Task List and the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. Read more

In April 2015 Dr. Martin became the BACB’s Director of International Development.

Melissa Mello,M.Ed., BCBA

Melissa is the Project Manager for the TEAMS CPRT Study at the MIND Institute. On the project she trains classroom teachers in Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching as well as provides support on a large, multi-site study.  Melissa has been working with children with autism for the past 15 years in a variety of settings, including as a special education teacher and early interventionist delivering one on one intervention in community based programs. For the past 9 years, Melissa has been supervising early intervention programs as a Clinical Manager; using behaviorally based, empirically validated methods to ensure children with autism are improving their behavior, language and social skills at home and in the classroom. Melissa is certified in the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and has trained both locally and internationally as a certified ESDM trainer. Melissa has a master’s Degree in Special Education from San Francisco State University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Jennifer Lonardo,MA, BCBA, LBA

Jennifer Lonardo works as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) at Big Island Behavior Interventions in Hawai’i. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from the American University of Paris and her M.A. in Professional Behavior Analysis from the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). She has over 10 years of experience in the fields of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Human Services. She has worked in hospitals, schools, in-homes, communities and in residential programs for children and adults with mild, moderate, and severe impairments. Jennifer has provided ABA services in France, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, California, and currently Hawai’i. Her professional interests include providing ABA in schools, teaching social skills to individuals receiving ABA services, supervision and ethics. In addition to her time as a behavior analyst, Jennifer is a volunteer advocate for a non-profit, Together For Our Keiki (TFOK) and also serves on the Legislative Committee for the Hawai’i Association for Behavior Analysis (HABA).

Dr. Amanda N. Kelly,PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

Dr. Amanda N. Kelly, obtained her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, her masters in Behavioral Education, and her doctorate in Behavior Analysis. Dr. Kelly has experience working as a paraprofessional, licensed teacher, school counselor, consultant, coordinator, and behavior analyst. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Kelly has worked in home, private and public schools, residential placements, and community settings for children and adolescents who have social-emotional, cognitive, or behavioral needs. Dr. Kelly is also the founder of Behaviorbabe.

Dr. Smita Awasthi,Ph.D., BCBA-D

Smita Awasthi, Ph.D., BCBA-D holds a Doctorate in Behavior Analysis and has 34 years of clinical experience, consulting and training a large number of people with autism and their families across India, Bangladesh, U.K., Oman, U.A.E, Maldives and Nepal. She is the Founder and Clinical Director of Behavior Momentum India (www.behaviormomentum.com) established in 2010 to provide behavioral interventions. BMI is the largest intervention center in India with a team of behavior analysts, RBT’s and 200+ para professionals. She expanded services and has 10 centers serving nearly 300+ children with autism and special needs. Smita has worked on capacity building, skilling therapists and mentoring students in latest technologies in autism intervention. She authored several paper and poster presentations in international scientific conferences in the last 14 years and has been an invited speaker at various conferences including ones at Queen’s University Belfast, Panteion University Athens, Greece.

She is the first Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) from India and has completed large research studies on inducing first instances of speech in children with autism as part of her Ph.D. dissertation. She is the Director of National Autism Intervention Research Center (NAIRC). She is focused on parent empowerment and provides tele-health services to families in remote parts of India. She is the Program Director of the only BACB approved course in behavior analysis in India and has been recognized for her advocacy on evidence based services. She is the Trustee of BMI Foundation which is working towards an adult assisted living facility. Among other awards she also received the Governor’s award for dissemination of autism in the State of U.P. in India in 2005 and the SABA award from the Association of Behavior Analysis International, U.S.A (2009). Read more
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