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Author: Gilda Evans

Causes and Supports for Autism

Dr. Diane Hennacy Powell, neuroscientist, neuropsychiatrist, award-winning author and clinician, discusses various causes and presentations of autism as well as supports that can be easily offered in the home as well as clinical treatments and common misconceptions about the diagnosis. 

Educational Choices

Emily Iland, M.A., award-winning author and thought leader in the autism field, discusses diploma vs. certificate track and dual enrollment while in high school, as well as various educational choices available after graduation. 

The Miracle Project

Elaine Hall, Founder of The Miracle Project, shares her pioneering story about using inclusive theater and film to connect with individuals with autism. Elaine’s students have performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the White House, and appeared in television shows such as Atypical, The Good Doctor, Parenthood and Speechless. The Miracle Project is profiled in the Emmy winning HBO documentary, Autism, The Musical.

Taft College Independent Living Program

Aaron Markovits, Program Director for the Taft College Transition to Independent Living Program, shares the details of how this program works. The TIL program incorporates teaching independent living skills with college campus living while simultaneously supporting the student in their academic pursuits. 

Living Independently – Housing and Support Services with Jack Darakjian

Jack Darakjian, CEO of the Modern Support Services organization and Commissioner on Los Angeles County’s Commission on Disabilities, talks about various housing choices available to those with special needs as well as the support services that go along with living the most independent lifestyle possible. 

Autism and Co-Morbidities with Dr. Ian Hale

Dr. Ian Hale, author of the book, Aspergers, Autism and You, shares his thoughts on various co-morbidities that often accompany autism and his theories regarding classical vs. acquired autism. 


Giving Emotional Support with Nicole Mevs-Martin

Nicole Mevs-Martin, MFT, discusses ways in which we can emotionally support those in our lives with special needs during difficult or challenging circumstances as well as various therapeutic techniques that can be used to assist during these times. 

Navigating College with Tina Castro and Heidi Perez

Tina Castro and Heidi Perez of the FACT organization describe how to navigate the maze of secondary education which can be confusing and challenging for anyone. They provide insight on services available to the special needs community on 2 and 4 year college campuses and how to access those services. Although they are based in Los Angeles, CA, their advice is applicable across the country. 

Autism Diagnoses with Dr. Ian Hale

Dr. Ian Hale, author of the book, “Asperger’s, Autism and You”, discusses the challenges and importance of getting a proper diagnosis and how these conditions may present differently depending on the gender of the person with special needs. Dr. Hale is on the spectrum himself. You may check out his book here: