Autism Task Force

Autism Task Force

NewYork-Presbyterian Autism Awareness Virtual Community Outreach Fair


Jennifer Bain, MD, Ph.D..

Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Department of Neurology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center


Jennifer Cross, MD.

Section Chief, Child Development, Asst Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medicine


Tara Maloney, LMHC.

Program Director at NewYork-Presbyterian Center for Autism and the Developing Brain


Wendy Silver, MD, MA.

Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Columbia University Medical Center



Lacey Lisner.

Position: Magnet Program Director

Credentials: MSN, MBA, RN, NE-BC

Location/Affiliation: NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital

Emcee Biography: Lacey Lisner, MSN, MBA, RN, NE-BC, is the Magnet Program Director at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. She holds a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Business Administration degrees from Benedictine University. She is a board-certified nurse executive, and member of the NYP Autism Task Force. She has two daughters and one son.  Her son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 19 months, and he is 14 years old today. In her free time, she enjoys taking acting and on-air hosting classes. She has been called to be on several television shows as the nurse expert and background actor. She was given internet movie database (IMDb) credit for her role as “Nurse #1” on The Perfect Murder.

Marilyn Rubinstein.

Position:  Consultant to the New City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene / Bureau of Early Intervention.

Credentials: M.S. in early childhood special education

Location/Affiliation: Adjunct Faculty in the Early Childhood Development and Learning: Diverse Children and Families program at Hunter College - Graduate School of Education, CUNY

Presentation Title: ‘Transitions to Preschool and Kindergarten’.

Presenter Biography: Marilyn Rubinstein has forty years of experience in early childhood, special education, disability, and family support services. She began her career as a teacher in programs for young children with typical and atypical development before moving to administrative roles. She was the Director of the Early Childhood Direction Center (ECDC) in Manhattan at NewYork-Presbyterian. Under her guidance, the ECDC staff provided direct one-to-one information, referral, support and training for families and professionals about services for young children with developmental delays and disabilities. Marilyn is currently working with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to develop an online training for early intervention service coordinators for the Bureau of Early Intervention.

Additional links for online:

Dr. Poole-DiSalvo.

Position: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Child Development Program in the Division of General Academic Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine

Credentials: M.D, MPH

Location/Affiliation: NewYork-Presbyterian Phyllis and David Komansky Children's Hospital at Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Presentation Title: Developmental transitions in young children with Autism spectrum disorders.

Presenter Biography: Dr. Elizabeth Poole-Di Salvo is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine.  She completed her pediatric residency training at NYU Medical Center, and her fellowship in developmental-behavioral pediatrics at The Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. She has expertise in the evaluation and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Developmental delays and Learning and Intellectual Disabilities.   

Additional links for online:

Dr. Renae Beaumont

Position: Assistant Professor of Psychology in Clinical Psychiatry

Credentials: Ph.D.

Weill Cornell Medicine | NewYork-Presbyterian
425 East 61st Street, Room 1354
New York, NY 10065

Presentation Title: Transition to Adolescence

Presenter Biography: Dr. Renae Beaumont is an award-winning child and adolescent psychologist who is the founder of the video-gaming based therapy program Secret Agent Society (SAS). SAS is an evidence-based intervention framework that has been shown to improve the emotion regulation skills, social skills and behavior of eight- to twelve-year-old children on the Autism Spectrum. To date, the lives of over 20 000 children and families in nine countries worldwide have been touched by SAS. Originally from Australia, Dr. Beaumont moved to the US five years ago, where she is a faculty member and clinician at Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Beaumont is passionate about using technologically innovative approaches to improve the mental health and wellbeing of youth and families.

Dr. Peter Faustino

Position: School psychologist

Location/Affiliation: Scarsdale High School in Westchester County, NY

Presentation Title: Autism Actions: Using School Transitions as an Opportunity for Inclusion

Presenter Biography: Dr. Peter Faustino is a school psychologist at Scarsdale High School in Westchester County, NY. He is also the Northeast Delegate to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and a past President of the NY Association of School Psychologists (NYASP). Peter has long served as an advisor to the Family Services division of Autism Speaks, Autism Interest Group Coordinator for NASP, and presents frequently to parent/teacher associations. Dr. Faustino co-founded the Student Clubs for Autism Speaks, which helps further the mission of Autism Speaks through education, awareness, friendship and fundraising.

Title of mini-presentation/Q&A: Autism Actions: Using School Transitions as an Opportunity for Inclusion

Additional links for online:

Dr. Alice Medalia

Position: Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Clinical Director of Cognitive Health Services for the New York State Office of Mental Health

Credentials: Ph.D.

Location/Affiliation: Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Presentation Title: Motivation Matters

Presenter Biography: Dr. Medalia is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Clinical Director of Cognitive Health Services for the New York State Office of Mental Health. She is also a member of the Columbia University Academy of Clinical Excellence, and the founding director of the Lieber Recovery and Rehabilitation Clinic, a comprehensive psychiatric rehabilitation program for individuals with persistent mental illness. Dr. Medalia has been instrumental in raising awareness about the need to address cognition as a central aspect of health related to functional outcome.  She brought the concept of Cognitive Health to the field of Psychiatry and identified the need for the treatment of cognition to embrace an understanding of how motivation and learning interact. She developed the widely used Neuropsychological & Educational Approach to Remediation (NEAR) model of cognitive remediation, which has been disseminated worldwide. She is a NIMH funded researcher, prolific author and the recipient of numerous awards for outstanding leadership in psychiatric rehabilitation.

Additional links for online:

Mr. John Bryson

Position: Senior Manager, Strategic Employment Initiatives at NEXT for AUTISM

Credentials: MS Ed, CESP

Location/Affiliation: NEXT for AUTISM

Presenter Biography: JOHN BRYSON, Senior Manager, Strategic Employment Initiatives at NEXT for AUTISM, creates partnerships with businesses, disability service organizations, post-secondary institutions, and school districts to address the vocational needs and employment qualifications of candidates with autism. John specializes in school-to-work transition services and implements innovative strategies to develop career pathways for workers with disabilities. 

Before joining NEXT for AUTISM, John was an educator and public sector leader for ten years. He supported students and adults with disabilities and other barriers to employment.  His use of direct instruction and cooperative learning strategies led to consistently successful outcomes. He leverages his education and public sector experience to help companies attract, support, and retain talent with autism and other disabilities. 

John is a former Board Member of the Ohio Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE). He holds a Bachelor of Arts, Communications degree, and a Master of Science, Education degree from The University of Akron and is a Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP).

Additional links for online:

Mr. John Bryson

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Position: Director of Adult Services at Autism Speaks

Presentation Title: Transitioning to High School

Presenter Biography: Dave Kearon is Director of Adult Services at Autism Speaks. His work focuses on national initiatives promoting solutions for the needs of individuals with autism and their families across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan. Dave works to increase the quality and quantity of opportunities and resources available to youth and adults with autism related to the transition to adulthood, employment, housing and residential supports, postsecondary education and community integration.

Dave’s work in recent years has included the development of an autism-led corporate employment consultancy, an online job search tool for autistic job seekers, and an autism small business accelerator. Current initiatives include the development of digital, interactive developmental pathways for the transition to adulthood, as well as a larger employment collaboration with other nonprofits for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities called Delivering Jobs.

Additional links for online:

Non-Profit Community Partners

Printable Non-Profit Community Partner's List

Spectrum Designs Foundation

Spectrum Designs Foundation, a custom apparel social enterprise, based in Port Washington, NY, is the largest and fastest growing non-profit of its kind, offering customers a ‘meaningful purchase’​ by providing gainful employment and significant vocational experiences to people with disabilities. Together with educational partner, Nicholas Center, a business model has been created where education and life skills work hand in hand with vocational training and opportunities. The organizations raise awareness regarding the abilities and employability of these exceptional individuals. Proving that this model is self-sustaining and replicable, two additional enterprises, Spectrum Bakes and Spectrum Suds, were launched in 2015. Spectrum Designs will expand to Westchester, NY in fall of 2020.

EV Extraordinary Ventures New York logo

Extraordinary Ventures, located in Mt. Kisco, provides employment opportunities to individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities matching skills and interests to enable our employees to work in their communities. As Executive Director, I am always looking for the opportunity to focus on business development & recruitment... finding as much meaningful work that our current & future employees can do successfully & with pride. So, for your businesses or individuals you know that could use our products or services, please consider looking into hiring us:

  • ENVY GIFT : personalized candles & jewelry for any event or celebration, in addition to custom branded candles & corporate gift packages that are customized to your budget & messaging
  • ENVY LAUNDRY : alocal wash/fold service that offers free pick up & delivery, starting at just $25/duffel bag.
  • ENVY OFFICE SOLUTIONS: document shredding (starting at just $10/bankers box), copying/scanning, collating information packets, mailing services, & fulfillment

Next for Autism Always Innovating logo

NEXT for AUTISM transforms the national landscape of services for people with autism by strategically designing, launching, and supporting innovative programs. We believe that individuals with autism have the potential to live fulfilling, productive lives when supported by excellent services and connected to their communities. We continually ask, what’s next for people on the autism spectrum?

Contact Email: [email protected]

BluePath Service Dogs

BluePath’s expertly trained autism service dogs work alongside parents and caregivers to prevent wandering and keep children safe. A dog is connected to a child via a specially designed tether system, and the dog is trained to “anchor” in response to the child’s attempts to bolt. BluePath dogs significantly lessen parents’ safety concerns and help children to lead fuller lives. Reduced stress, improved sleeping routines, and more meaningful social interactions can allow families to feel a renewed sense of hope and empowerment.

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center

Chapel Haven Schleifer Center is a nationally accredited transitional living program and approved private special education school with a mission of empowering adults (18+) with developmental and social disabilities to live independent and self-determined lives. Our comprehensive, individualized residential programs located in CT and AZ provide learning in practical academics, job development, life skills, apartment living, social communicative competence, recreation and help with college. Students may then transition into a community apartment with lifelong support services and a continuing education component. We also offer structured day programs, recreation programs, vocational training and a host of other options, both for graduates of our residential programs and for those outside of the Chapel Haven Schleifer Center community who are seeking services.

Yes She Can

Yes She Can provides a unique job skills development program for young women with autism and related learning disabilities.  Participants enroll as trainees and are coached by clinical professionals and business managers in all aspects of operating a retail business. This includes learning business processes, technical skills, workplace social skills, self- advocacy and emotional regulation.  Trainees are coached in small groups and participate in team meetings. 

Trainees also learn job exploration skills including identifying their skills and attributes, developing a resume and LinkedIn profile, informational interviewing, and career exploration.

The program, founded in 2013, has been based at Girl AGain boutique in White Plains, NY.  Since March 2020, the program is delivered virtually through video conferencing.  Trainees now work in small groups with their coach and join core skills session online.
For more information  

Candidates may contact [email protected]


ReelAbilities Film Festival is the largest film festival in the world dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with disabilities. Founded in New York in 2007, the festival presents award-winning films by and about people with disabilities in over 25 locations throughout the NY metro area. Post-screening discussions and other engaging programs bring communities together to explore and embrace the diversity of our shared human experience.

OPWDD The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

OPWDD The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) supports more than 30,000 New Yorkers with autism. OPWDD offers an array of services and supports to help people with developmental disabilities live in the home of their choice; find employment and other meaningful activities in which to participate; build relationships in the community, and experience health and wellness. The various levels and combinations of services and supports mean that OPWDD can accommodate the strengths, needs, and preferences of virtually any person with developmental disabilities. Dozens of state and nonprofit agencies work together to support the tens of thousands of New Yorkers with autism spectrum disorder, providing an array of family support services; educational supports; assistive technology; clinical services including those for behavioral health; habilitation supports including skill development, day services and employment; and residential supports. At OPWDD, services and supports for people with ASD are accessed the same way services and supports are accessed for all the people we support: through the local Developmental Disabilities Regional Office. Attending a Front Door Information Session is the first step in beginning the process of determining eligibility and learning about accessing services.

YAI Seeing Beyond Disability logo

LINK is the information and referral department for the YAI Network. We provide the latest information on resources and supports that make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities and their families. Our knowledgeable and professional LINK Information Specialists understand the needs of people with developmental disabilities and their families and can help you find the right service for the goals you have in mind. 

Se habla Español: 212-273-6412


INCLUDEnyc is the leading provider of information, training, and resources for young people with any disability (age 0-26) in New York City, their families, and the professionals who support them. We create access to educational, employment, and independent living opportunities, and advocate with families for meaningful inclusion in the broader community.  We assist more than 8,000 people each year, and reach nearly a million individuals through digital communications and community outreach--all provided free of charge.  

Spanish Website:

McCarton Foundation

McCarton Foundation is a non-profit, early intervention program on a mission. Offering families support and guidance, while delivering tailored therapy and education to babies with autism that will help them reach their full potential.


NYSTART System, Therapeutic, Assessment, Resources and Treatment logo

NYSTART is a community based supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and behavioral health needs. The goal of the START program is to build relationships and supports across service systems to help people remain in their homes and communities, and enhance the ability of the community to support them.

austism speaks logo

Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.


Sinergia logo

Sinergia works with people with disabilities and their families. Sinergia has a longstanding reputation for working with underserved families, many with limited English proficiency, who may be homeless or impoverished, or who may be struggling with insecure housing and income, lack of services and discrimination based on ethnicity, language status, immigration status, gender or poverty. Sinergia has created a number of innovative programs, including, transitional housing for homeless families who have children with disabilities, community residences for adults with developmental disabilities, parenting classes for adults with developmental disability, Day Habilitation, Family Support Services, Home Care, Family Care Programs, Housing Assistance Programs, and a Neighborhood Preservation Program and more.

Autism Science Foundation logo

Autism Science Foundation (ASF) provides funding directly to scientists conducting cutting-edge autism research to discover the causes of autism and develop better treatments. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and supports the needs of individuals with autism and their families.


SPARK Simons Powering Autism Research logo

SPARK is the largest genetic study of autism ever. Our mission: We want to speed up research and advance the understanding of autism.


New York Center for Infants and Toddlers logo

New York Center for Infants and Toddlers, Inc. is a leading expert in NYC for providing therapeutic and educational services for young children with special needs. Through the New York State Early Intervention program, we provide a wide range of services to children in home, community, and classroom settings at no charge to parents for children eligible for the Early Intervention Program. Our schools offer year-round services to young children with Autism using a unique approach that includes a combination of the ABA and JASPER methodology as well as Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Individualized ABA and JASPER instruction designed to address goals in language and social communication development is offered in a variety of classroom routines. Grounded in evidence-based treatments, our programs focus on building social communication, play, and learning skills crucial to early development.

New York Center for Child Development logo

New York Center for Child Development (NYCCD) serves Infants and Toddlers through our Early Childhood Mental Health Program, which provides mental health screenings, referrals and treatment for children in East and Central Harlem.


United Neighborhood Houses

United Neighborhood Houses (UNH) is a policy and social change organization representing 44 neighborhood settlement houses that reaches 765,000 New Yorkers from all walks of life.

Now in our 100th year, UNH is stewarding a new era for New York’s settlement house movement. We mobilize our members and their communities to advocate for good public policies and promote strong organizations and practices that keep neighborhoods resilient and thriving for all New Yorkers.

UNH leads advocacy and partners with our members on a broad range of issues including civic and community engagement, neighborhood affordability, healthy aging, early childhood education, adult literacy, and youth development. We also provide customized professional development and peer learning to build the skills and leadership capabilities of settlement house staff at all levels.

Community Support Network (CSN) at Westchester Institute for Human Development

The  Community Support Network (CSN) at Westchester Institute for Human Development is the Hudson Valley’s resource for individuals with disabilities, their families, and the professionals supporting them. Our experts are knowledgeable about all of the disability systems serving individuals with disabilities across the lifespan, and are available to help YOU. We provide resources, training, direct services, and support and guidance to families, schools, agencies, and individuals themselves on disability related issues and topics.

Felicity House logo

Felicity House is a social community in New York City for women (ages 18+) with a professionally documented diagnosis of autism. It’s a unique and supportive space where women come to socialize, pursue interests, and connect to other women. To learn more, we invite you to contact us.

Phone: 646-362-0007  |  Email: [email protected]



The City University of New York, with over 25 campuses throughout the five boroughs, serves over 11,000 students with disabilities and provides reasonable accommodations through an Office of Disability Services at each college to help students succeed academically. Additionally, CUNY offers the CUNY LEADS program on all undergraduate campuses, Linking Employment, Academics, and Disability Services, to assist students in preparing for internships and jobs both during and after college. For autistic students at CUNY, Project REACH (Resources and Education on Autism as CUNY’s Hallmark), provides support tailored to address some of the unique challenges students on the spectrum may face. CUNY Unlimited is a non-degree credential program for students with intellectual disabilities, and serves students with an IEP high school diploma. Our newest program, CUNY LEADS Plus, is a partnership with ACCES-VR and provides neurodiverse CUNY students with a higher level of individualized support and a job readiness curriculum to help students both get through college and discover their career path.

14th Street Y Educational Alliance logo

The 14th St Y (Educational Alliance) is a community center located in the East Village that offers inclusive social and recreational programs for children 4-17. Our classes and programs are structured to provide support for children of all needs and abilities, including children on the Autism Spectrum. Classes include soccer, art, music, tennis, swimming, ballet, and more! We also currently have an inclusive Youth Center open to children grades k-5th on remote learning days and New Country Day Camp, our inclusive outdoor summer camp.


New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities

Operating since 1973, the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) is the liaison between New York City government and the disability community. In partnership with all City offices and agencies, MOPD consistently ensures that the rights and concerns of the disability community are included in all City initiatives and that City programs and policies address the needs of people with disabilities. Through its work and advocacy, MOPD has steadily improved services and programs for the over 920,000 New Yorkers who self-identify as people who are living with a disability as well as the approximately six million annual visitors to the city who have disabilities in all facets of life including transportation, employment, healthcare, housing, education, access to City services, and financial empowerment. Working to make New York the most accessible city in the world, the office regularly engages in advocacy and policymaking at the local, state, national, and international levels to make certain that accessibility and full inclusion are key priorities for all public and private stakeholders alike.

YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood (the Y)

YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood (the Y) is a not-for-profit, community-based human services organization that serves an ethnically and socio-economically diverse constituency with a mission to improve the quality of life for people of all ages. Our programs offer a variety of enrichment activities to all participants and provide support to those with special needs through additional resources, social skills groups, behavior plans, and individualized goals in order to cultivate programs where all students are able to grow and thrive in the same environment. The Y is committed to creating inclusive environments and programming in both our after school program and summer camp, leading us to further develop the infrastructure within each.