Why Did I Choose to Launch this Service?

I can’t take the credit for the idea. My colleague and parent friend, Ann Palmer, planted this seed. I had worked with her son, Eric, when I was a therapist at TEACCH while he was pursuing his degree at NC State. Ann published a wonderful book on the subject and she and I conducted workshops on this topic over the past few years.

Ann understands the reality of higher education and the emphasis these institutions have on self-advocacy, independence, and proactive behavior. These are difficult skills for students with ASD to learn and use. Sometimes, a professional is needed to help guide the student as they continue to learn and grow in this new environment!


I thought about my rewarding experience with her son and many other college students who needed a little more help than what was mandatory from the higher education setting. I realized that I could both offer a specialized service that does not exist in this area and be fulfilled professionally!

About Aspiring Aspies, L.L.C.

My Past Experience:


Clinical Experience:

Co-leader of Chapel Hill TEACCH  Adult Support Group  2005-2009


Adolescent/Adult Therapist

Chapel Hill TEACCH                               2001-2005


Psycho educational Therapist Wilmington TEACCH       1999-2001


Group Home Manager/Shift Supervisor/Direct Care Staff

Cape Fear Group Homes, Inc. 1995-1999


Training Experience:

Training Specialist                          Autism Society of N.C.           2005-2008 

    

Psycho educational Therapist           Chapel Hill TEACCH Center

(2001-2005)                                 


Conferences:

Autism Society of America Conference

July, 2009 (St. Charles, Illinois)


NCDCDT Spring Transition Conference May, 2009 (Raleigh, N.C. )



Reining in a Dream, May 2006 (Lancaster, MA)


Best Practices Conference, March 2006 & 2007(Greensboro, NC)


Autism Society of NC Annual Conference, March 2006

(Chapel Hill, NC)


Herbert Birch Services Conference, “Addressing Issues in Autism” April, 2005 (New York, NY)


Wake County Autism Society Conference, February 2004 (Raleigh, NC)  


NC AHEAD Conference, April 2004 (Charlotte, NC)



Workshops:

Preparing students with ASD for Higher Education (2007, 2008, & 2009)


Vocational Rehabilitation statewide conference on ASD (2007)


Adolescence and Autism

(Spring  & Fall 2002- 2005

December, 2008)


High Functioning Autism Parent Workshop (Spring 2004 & 2005)


TEACCH 5-day Training Teams:

Adult Training

(Shadow Trainer 2000-2002)(Independent Trainer 2003, 2005)


Classroom Training:

(Shadow Trainer 2002) (Independent Trainer 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, & 2008)



Volunteer:

Board Member

Support Network for Adults with Autism

(2015-Present)


Alumni Council Member

St. Andrews University

(2004-2010/2015-Present)


Human Rights Committee Member

TEACCH & Autism Society of NC

(2009-current)


Aids LifeCycle 8 Volunteer/donor

Lunch Crew Supporting Cyclists 2009


Autism Society Ribbon Run

Volunteer Leader of 5K Chip Crew

(2006, 2007, 2008)


Autism Community Initiative Member

(2003-2004, 2008)

                              Education:

Working on MBA

(2016-2018)


B.A. degree in Psychology

St. Andrews Presbyterian College

Graduated Cum Laude

General Honors Program

Academic Scholarship

Resident Assistant



Positive Parenting Solutions (2009)



May Conference attendee (1999-2007)


Autism Society of America Conference attendee (2006-2007)


Training Internship sponsored by

Autism Society & TEACCH      1998


Oh, and there is another good reason I developed this campus consultation service. My family member, seen above, was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 40. People could not understand why he seemed so bright but could not complete college, keep a job, or maintain an independent living status.


Without an accurate description of his developmental needs, people assumed he was unmotivated, lazy, or on drugs. None of those theories were true-he was just misunderstood.


I wonder what positive experiences he could have had if he had been identified earlier and supported during his college years.