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The 24th Annual Princeton Lecture Series Speakers


Elvira F. Downs, MDElvira F. Downs, MD
Children’s Specialized Hospital

The Role of Psychopharmacological Therapy in the Treatment of Children and Adolescents with ASD:
The Story of Targeted Behaviors and Co-morbidities

Elvira F. Downs, MD is duel board certified in adult and adolescent psychiatry. She has been in practice for 34 years, the last eight at Children’s Specialized Hospital. Dr. Downs sees patients at the Children’s Specialized Hospital’s Hamilton, New Jersey location in Mercer County.

Peter Gerhardt, EdD
EPIC School

Sexuality and Sex Education with Individuals with ASD: What we know. What we don’t know. What we need to know.

Peter Gerhardt, EdD is the Executive Director of the EPIC School in Paramus, NJ. Dr. Gerhardt has more than 35 years’ experience utilizing the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in support of adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings. He has authored and co-authored articles and book chapters on the needs of adolescents and adults with ASD and has presented nationally and internationally on this topic. Dr. Gerhardt is the Founding Chairman of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research and currently Co-Chairs the Council with Dr. Joanne Gerenser. He is on numerous professional advisory boards including the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. Dr. Gerhardt received his doctorate from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s Graduate School of Education.

Dennis Reid, PhD, BCBA-D
Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center

Promoting Meaningful Days and Life Quality among Older Adults with Developmental Disabilities: Evidence-Based Strategies

Dennis Reid, PhD, BCBA-D has over 40 years of experience as a clinician and supervisor in educational, residential, and community support settings for people with autism and other developmental disabilities, and has consulted with human service agencies in the majority of states of the United States as well as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. He has published over 140 refereed journal articles and book chapters focusing on applied behavior analysis and authored or co-authored 12 books. In 2007 he was awarded Fellowship status in the Association for Behavior Analysis International and in 2006 received the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities International Research Award. Dennis is the founder and current director of the Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center in Morganton, North Carolina. His company has employed people with autism and other severe disabilities in a supported work capacity for more than 20 years.

Mary Jane Weiss, PhD, BCBA-D
Endicott College

Preparing for Adolescence and Adulthood: How to Embed Functionality, Choice, and Quality of Life into Programming for Learners with ASD

Services for Adolescents and Adults with ASD: Opportunities and Challenges, Essential Components, and Meaningful Outcomes

Mary Jane Weiss, PhD, BCBA-D is a Professor at Endicott College where she directs the Master’s Program in ABA and Autism and is a mentoring faculty member in the Doctoral program. She also conducts research with the team at Melmark. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University in 1990 and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2000. She served as Director of Research and Training and as Clinical Director at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center at Rutgers University where she worked for 16 years. Her clinical and research interests center on defining best practice ABA techniques, exploring ways to enhance the ethical conduct of practitioners, evaluating the impact of ABA in learners with autism, teaching social skills to learners with autism, training staff to be optimally effective at instruction, and maximizing family members’ expertise and adaptation. She serves on the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research and the Professional Advisory Board of Autism New Jersey, is a regular reviewer for a variety of professional journals, and is a frequent member of service committees for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She is Past President of the Autism Special Interest Group of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, a former member of the Board of the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts, and former Vice President of the Board of Trustees for Autism New Jersey.