Saturday, November 16, 2019 from 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM EST
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UVa Inn at Darden 
10 Duffy Blvd
Charlottesville, VA 22903

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Virginia Autism Hope Summit

Getting what you need today...to create a better tomorrow

Saturday, November 16, 2019 

The Supporting Transformative Autism Research (STAR) initiative at the University of Virginia is excited to host the first annual Virginia Autism Hope Summit.  This event is free of charge and will provide an opportunity for learning, networking, and discussion on a range of topics related to autism across the lifespan.  Families, self-advocates, friends, and service providers are welcome!

The Virginia Autism Hope Summit will include:
•    2 General Sessions with Keynote Speakers
•    3 Concurrent Sessions (with 15 breakout topics)
•    Resource Fair with 35+ Service Providers
•    Light Breakfast and Lunch provided


8:00-9:00am Check-in and Resource Fair

9:00-9:15am      Opening Remarks  — Micah Mazurek, PhD 

9:15-10:00am Keynote Speaker — Kevin Pelphrey, PhD

 "Hope through research: A parent's perspective"

10:10-10:55am      Concurrent Sessions #1

11:05-11:50pm      Concurrent Sessions #2

11:50-1:15pm       Lunch and Resource Fair

1:20-2:05pm         Concurrent Sessions #3

2:15-3:15pm        Closing Keynote  — Amy Gravino, MA and Self Advocate Panel

"What we need today.....What we hope for tomorrow"

Sessions are offered in tracks for young - ages 5 and under (Y), school age - aged 5-12 (S), adults and transition (A), and everyone (E). See Summit Workshop Descriptions for more details.

Concurrent Sessions # 1 | 10:10-10:55am

Autism 101: What Everybody Should Know (Y) | Presenter: Alisa Bahl, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Behavioral Pediatric Psychologist, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UVA Children's Hospital

Parent Advocacy in the Educational Process (S) | Presenter: Angela Lello, Senior Director, Public Policy at Autism Speaks

Preparing for the SIS: How to be a Good Respondent (A) | Presenter: Jessica Cifizzari, Regional Coordinator, Wall Residences

In the Lion's Den: Parent Wellness Amidst On-going Stress (E) | Presenter: Donna Cattell-Gordon, LBA, Compass Connections Clinical Director

Gender Differences and Real-life Implications (E) | Presenter: Erica Rouch, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Education, UVA Curry School of Education and Human Development

Concurrent Sessions # 2 | 11:05-11:50am

Evidence-based Interventions for Young Children with Autism (Y) | Presenter: Presenter: Rose Nevill, PhD, Assistant Professor, STAR Autism Research Core Director, Curry School of Education and Human Development, UVA

Sexuality and the Spectrum: Lessons of Sex, Dating, and Love, Autism Style (S, A) Presenter: Amy Gravino, Certified Autism Specialist, International Speaker, and Autism Consultant, A.S.C.O.T Consulting, LLC

Transition Services and Employment (A) | Presenter: Deborah Anama, Parent Resource Center Coordinator, Piedmont Regional Education Program (PREP)

Making Connections Online and in Real Life: How to Encourage Positive Interactions (E) Presenter: Janet Seide, STAR Family Navigator, Curry School of Education and Human Development, UVA

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Exploring Common Co-occuring Mental Health Conditions (E)  Presenter: Micah Mazurek, PhD, Associate Professor, Director of STAR, Curry School of Education and Human Development, UVA

Concurrent Sessions # 3 | 1:20-2:05pm

Accessing Resources Roadmap for the Newly Diagnosed (Y) | Presenters: Hilary Nagel, MSW, LCSW, Virginia Institute of Autism;  Debbie Vermillion, STAR Patient and Family Navigator; Betsy Phipps, LCSW, UVA Developmental Pediatrics

The ABC's of ABA (S, A) | Presenter: Einar Ingvarsson, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA, Director of Clinical Services, Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA)

Housing and Service Solutions Panel (A) |  Moderator: Robert Kreps, Parent and Leadership Chair, Charlottesville Region Autism Action Group (CRAAG); Panelists: Matthew Osborne, MS, BCBA, Director of Adult and Residential Services, Faison Center; Sharon Wood, Parent; Tim Alley, Parent; Eric Williams, Director of Provider Development, DBHDS; Marie Fraticelli, Integrated Community Options Specialist, DBHDS; Heather Hines, Senior Director of Adult Development Services, Region Ten; Keven Schock, MA, BCBA, Lead Clinical Director, Aveanna (former Associate Director of Licensing, DBHDS) 

Building on Individual Skills and Strengths (E) | Presenters: Jake Frazier, MA, BCBA, LBA; Behavior Analyst, Adult Services; Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA); Jessica Doucette, MS, BCBA, LBA, Director of Adult Services, Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA)

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Exploring Common Co-occuring Medical Conditions (E) Presenter: Beth Ellen Davis, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, UVA Children's Hospital


Preregistration is required. Registration deadline has been extended to: Thursday, November 14, 2019

Each participant must register individually. This conference is sponsored by the Supporting Transformative Autism (STAR) initiative and is available at no cost to participants.

Participant Registration

Presenter Information


Opening Remarks: Micah Mazurek, PhD, Associate Professor, Director of UVA's Supporting Transformative Autism Research (STAR) program, Curry School of Education and Human Development, UVA


Dr. Mazurek is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Services and is the Director of UVA’s Supporting Transformative Autism Research (STAR) initiative. Dr. Mazurek has broad clinical experience in psychological assessment and intervention, with specific expertise in assessment and treatment of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.  She has also been active in efforts to enhance quality of care through training, capacity-building, and development and dissemination of best-practice autism guidelines and toolkits. Mazurek has an active program of federally-funded research focused on understanding and improving outcomes for individuals with autism and their families. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, Autism Speaks, the Simons Foundation, and other agencies. Her current research focuses on developing new tools, techniques, and technologies for improving diagnosis, treatment, and access to care for individuals with autism and their families. Current research projects focus on development of new tools for outcome assessment, new models for intervention, and new methods of enhancing access to care for underserved populations.  Additional projects focus on addressing co-occurring problems in children with ASD (e.g., sensory problems, sleep problems, anxiety, and aggression), and on understanding screen-based technology use in children and adults with ASD.


Keynote: Kevin Pelphrey, PhD, UVA School of Medicine, Harrison-Wood Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professor of Neurology

Dr. Pelphrey is a member of the UVA Autism Research Team.  His groundbreaking research on autism uses brain science to develop biologically based tools for detecting and tailoring treatments for individuals on the autism spectrum.  His team has identified the neural circuitry of social cues, including auditory, visual, and tactile signals. They have applied this knowledge to understand what predicts responses to available treatments, interventions, and therapies.  Prior to coming to UVA last year, Pelphrey had extensive experience teaching and conducting research at leading institutions including Carnegie Mellon, Duke, and Yale. Most recently, Pelphrey served as the Carbonell Family Professor in Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders at George Washington University, as well as the founding director of the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute.

Dr. Pelphrey has a special perspective on autism. He has two children with the condition, a 16-year-old daughter, Frances, and a 11-year-old son, Lowell. He’s also devoted his scientific career to studying autism. He is now a Harrison-Wood Jefferson Scholars Foundation professor at the University of Virginia, and he has published more than 50 papers on the topic. “I love what I do because it’s directly relevant to my family,” says Pelphrey. “I’m doing things that directly impact my kids.”


Keynote: Amy Gravino, MA, Certified Autism Specialist, International Speaker, and Autism Consultant, A.S.C.O.T Consulting, LLC

Amy Granvino is a Certified Autism Specialist and international speaker. As the founder and President of A.S.C.O.T Consulting, Amy offers autism consulting and college coaching services for individuals on the autism spectrum, mentoring services for young adults with autism, and professional presentations for conferences, autism events, schools, and professional development workshops. Amy has given two TED talks, spoken twice at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day (2011 and 2018), and presented to numerous audiences on a variety of topics. Amy obtained her Master’s 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, and as co- facilitator of the Morris County support group chapter of ASPEN-NJ. Amy is now authoring "The Naughty Autie", memoir of her experiences with dating, relationships, and sexuality from the firsthand perspective of a woman on the autism spectrum.