STANFORD NEURODIVERSITY SUMMIT 2021
Program and Speakers
Please note that times shown below are in Pacific Time Zone.
DAY 3 - Tuesday, November 9, 2021
9:00 AM- 9:45 AM Neurodiverse Student Support Program at Stanford. Christy Matta, Stanford University
Stanford Neurodiversity Project
Christy Matta, M.A. is a Program Manager of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project. She focuses on the Neurodiverse Student Support Program. She was a mental health practitioner specializing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy and work with emotional dysregulation and throughout her career she has worked with neurodiverse individuals. Prior to joining the SNP, she worked in non-profits and local government and in 2004. She co-designed and provided clinical supervision to a winner of the American Psychiatric Associations (APA) Gold Award. Christy is the author of “The Stress Response”.
Programming note: Professor Simon Baron-Cohen regrets that he is no longer available to present at the 2021 Neurodiversity Summit, but we are working to reschedule his talk to a different venue in the near future, with the goal of planning collaboratively, engaging our audience and benefitting the field of neurodiversity and the neurodiverse community.
9:45 AM - 11:15 AM Identifying as neurodivergent in diverse communities: Experiences, opportunities and challenges. Moderator: Fiona McNicholas, MD, University College Dublin; Panelists: Cliódhna O’Connor, PhD, University College Dublin, Amanda Kirby, PhD,* University of South Wales, Juwayriyah Tayyar, University College Dublin, Charlotte Valeur,* Institute Of Neurodiversity, Javier Peris,* NeurodiverSí project
“Identifying as neurodivergent in diverse communities: Experiences, opportunities and challenges”
Time: 5:45-7:15pm (Dublin time) / 9:45-10:15am Pacific time
(Organised by University College Dublin, Maynooth University, ADHD Ireland, Untapped & Neurodiversity Hub)
Around the world, rising numbers of people are identifying as neurodivergent. However, awareness, understanding and attitudes regarding neurodiversity vary hugely across countries and contexts. This session considers the range of consequences that may follow a decision to publicly identify oneself as neurodivergent in a variety of settings.
On the positive side, claiming a neurodivergent identity may empower a new self-confidence, help communicate one’s unique strengths and needs, and open up valued new communities of similar others. More negatively, publicly identifying as neurodivergent can expose a person to stigmatisation or discrimination. This session explores the diversity of experiences of claiming a neurodivergent identity across multiple settings.
5:45-5:55pm (Dublin time) / 9:45-9:55am (Pacific time): Dr Cliodhna O’Connor – ‘Anticipating social responses to revealing a neurodivergent identity: Differences across diagnoses, populations and contexts’
Topic: Dr O’Connor will explore the range of social responses that people experience when they disclose a neurodevelopmental or psychiatric diagnosis to others. The research literature is inconsistent regarding whether revealing one’s neurodiverse status helps or hinders social interactions. Much depends on the exact diagnosis involved, the socio-demographic characteristics of both parties, and the specific context of the social interaction. This presentation will review the available evidence on the conditions that predict positive vs. negative experiences of publicly self-identifying as neurodivergent.
5:55-6:05pm (Dublin time) / 9:55-10:05am (Pacific time): - Amanda Kirby – ‘Missed and misdiagnosed: Where people come from and where people go’
Topic: Not everyone gets a diagnosis or the correct one. People may get missed or misdiagnosed for a number of reasons. This presentation explores some of the reasons, the impact for the person and society, and the evidence behind this. The presentation discusses a whole person model of practice to consider in education and employment.
6:05-6:15pm (Dublin time) / 10:05-10:15am (Pacific time): Juwayriyah Nayyar – ‘Social consequences of adult autism diagnoses: Balancing community belonging and cultural stigma’
Topic: This presentation will present the results of a systematic literature review exploring the lived experience of receiving an autism diagnosis in adulthood. An adult autism diagnosis can affect one’s social experiences in diverse ways. Some report feeling that their diagnosis exacerbates social marginalisation they already experienced, leading to reluctance to disclose their new diagnosis to others. Yet others are happy to reveal their autism status and often find it leads them into valued new communities of other people who share their experience. This presentation considers how one’s social world can shift when diagnosed with autism as an adulthood.
6:15-6:25pm (Dublin time) / 10:15-10:25am (Pacific time): Charlotte Valeur – ‘Lived experience of being a late diagnosed neurodivergent professional.’
Topic: Charlotte Valeur will share her insights and lived experience of disclosing being autistic as a senior leader and public figure. She will talk about the professional opportunities and challenges she has experienced before and after publicly disclosing her neurodifference.
6:25-6:45pm (Dublin time) / 10:25-10:45am (Pacific time): Javier Peris – Principal CEO en NeurodiverSi
Topic: This pre-recorded presentation will give a unique insight into the journey of an adult with a late ADHD diagnosis. Javier Peris will discuss his experiences searching for solutions to protect himself from adversity without understanding the source of his experiences, and how his life has changed since his ADHD diagnosis has clarified his unresolved questions.
6:45-7:15pm (Dublin time) / 10:45-11:15am (Pacific time): Q&A – all-panel discussion moderated by Prof Fiona McNicholas
Bio: Prof Fiona McNicholas is a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Lucena Clinic, Rathgar and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, Ireland. She is Full Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in University College Dublin.
Professor Fiona McNicholas MD FRCPsych DipClinPsychother
Professor Fiona McNicholas is a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Lucena Clinic, Rathgar and Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin. Her clinical and research interests are ADHD, Eating Disorders, and transition from child to adult services. She is chair in child psychiatry at University College, Dublin where she is active in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. She trained and worked in psychiatry in the UK (Guys & Great Ormond Street, London) and USA (Columbia University & Stanford University), and is now resident in Ireland.
Amanda Kirby, PhD*
CEO, Do-IT Solutions
Honorary Professor at Cardiff University
I am an odd ball and don't fit into a neat box. I have lived experience of neurodiversity personally and extensively in all parts of my family. I am a medical doctor who has run a transdisciplinary centre for more than 20 years supporting parents, their children, and adults. I have published more than 100 research papers in the field of work and 9 books and am a professor in developmental disorders. My latest book was published in 2021 is called, Neurodiversity at Work: Drive Innovation, Performance and Productivity with a Neurodiverse Workforce. I have developed web-based screening tools which have been used by 10s of 1000s of people that aim to support people who are neurodivergent used in education, employment and in the justice sector. I am chair of the ADHD Foundation in the UK and advise other voluntary sector organisations. I am passionate about making a difference and write a weekly newsletter on LinkedIn and was one of the 2020 LinkedIn Voices.
University College Dublin
Juwayriyah Nayyar is a PhD student from the University College Dublin School of Psychology. She is researching the lived experience of receiving an autism diagnosis in adulthood under the supervision of Dr. Cliodhna O'Connor. She has a particular interest in viewing autism and its diagnosis through an intersectional lens. Juwayriyah has a BA in Psychology and a MSc in Psychological Science from the University College Dublin.
Institute of Neurodiversity
Charlotte Valeur is an experienced FTSE Chair, Non-Executive Director and corporate governance expert with extensive investment banking background. She is a visiting professor at University of Strathclyde in governance and leadership. Charlotte has been a Non-Executive Director of 8 public companies, including three appointments as Chair. In addition she has board experience with a range of unlisted companies including international engineering firm Laing O‚ÄôRourke, BT Pension Fund, Chair of Institute of Directors U.K. and founder and Chair of Board Apprentice. A lifelong human rights advocate, Charlotte is driven to play her part in creating an inclusive society; being diagnosed as autistic at 52, she began advocating around Neurodiversity equality and inclusion, working at the intersection of Government, Industry and the Third Sector. She has launched the global Institute of Neurodiversity in 2021 to give neurodivergent individuals a voice and agency in the world.
I am neurodivergent and I have ADHD with an adult diagnosis. Entrepreneur in Graphic Design, Marketing and Multimedia. Founder of the Redtdah Association.
11:15 AM - 12:15 PM Technology Panel: Innovative Digital Tools for the Neurodiverse Community. Panelists: Byran Dai, Daivergent; Jamil Karriem, Hiki; Denise Garcia, Floreo
Technology Panel: Innovative Digital Tools for the Neurodiverse Community
Moderators: Doug Meeker, 3R Behavioral Solutions and Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD, Stanford Neurodiversity Project
This panel will focus on innovative digital tools that assist the neurodiverse community in a variety of ways. Floreo leverages the power of virtual reality to teach social, behavioral and communication skills. Daivergent helps neurodiverse job seekers explore careers and acquire skills as part of an online social community. Hiki is a dating and friendship app for the neurodiverse that believes friends, family and, community and love are the essence of joy.
If you’re a neurodiverse individual, family member or advisor, you will surely want to learn more from these panelist who all have a personal connection to the mission of helping the neurodiverse become more independent and self-reliant.
Byran is the co-founder and CEO of Daivergent, a technology platform that evaluates and prepares job-seekers in the neurodivergent community for 21st century employment. The company provides neurodivergent talent with job training that consists of evidence-based assessments, career exploration, and modern skills development which can be completed on the Daivergent platform. Daivergent also connects employers to job-seekers through its AI-powered matchmaking service, and has enabled thousands of individuals to attain self-sufficiency. Prior to Daivergent, Byran led data science teams within healthcare technology, most recently at Quartet Health (a NYC-based behavioral technology company). He was motivated to found the company by his brother, Brandon, an autistic self-advocate and advisor to Daivergent. Byran received his BA from Harvard University, and his MS in Epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Jamil Karriem is the founder and CEO of Hiki. Hiki, meaning "able" in Hawaiian, is the first ever friendship and dating mobile app made for the Neurodivergent community, by the neurodivergent community. Jamil is passionate about leveraging technology to enable underserved communities to lead more fulfilling lives. Jamilhas a BA in Sociology and Public Policy from Pomona College and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Denise Garcia is health care attorney and former startup executive who is also the mother of four, including young adult twins on the autism spectrum. Denise is the General Counsel and Strategic Partnership lead for Floreo, a venture-backed start-up developing virtual reality learning for people with autism spectrum disorder and related neurodiverse needs. In addition to legal support, she drives Floreo’s clinical and programmatic reimbursement strategies.
Prior to joining Floreo, Denise served as CEO of a pharmaceutical compliance software startup, as a Director of Inova Health System’s Community Affairs and as General Counsel of Driscoll Children’s Health System in South Texas.
She holds a B.A. summa cum laude from Long Island University and a Juris Doctor from Harvard University.
Chief Strategy Officer
Scott Gibson is Melwood's Chief Strategy Officer. He joined Melwood in 2013, bringing more than a decade of public policy expertise, strategic planning leadership, and enterprise-wide human resources management to his role with the organization. Gibson shapes Melwood's long-term strategic objectives helping the organization respond to market changes and drive service innovation. By forging partnerships with industry leaders and community stakeholders, he has launched innovative new programs such as abilIT, which prepares people with disabilities to launch careers in IT. Gibson‚Äôs leadership extends beyond Melwood. Governor Larry Hogan appointed Gibson to serve on the Community Health Resources Commission, a grant-making public body established to expand access to health care services in underserved communities in Maryland. Previous appointments have included the Boards of Directors of pension funds, employee benefits trusts, and regional non-profits. Gibson is a graduate of Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program, as well as the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government, where he earned a Master's in Public Administration. Gibson earned his Bachelors of Arts from Mount St. Mary's University, where he later served as an adjunct professor for 11 years.
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Neurodiversity Career Panel (Entrepreneurship). Panelists: Joseph Cassidy, Innovation DuPage; Shawn Fry, Potentia
Moderators: Maureen Dunne, PhD, Autism Angels Group and Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD, Stanford Neurodiversity Project
Joe Cassidy is the Assistant Vice President for Economic Development and Dean of Continuing Education and Public Services at the College of DuPage.
Cassidy earned his doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Organization Development from Benedictine University. He also has an MBA in Marketing Management as well as a BA from Northern Illinois University.
Cassidy serves as Chair and President of Innovation DuPage as well as Treasurer for the DuPage Workforce Investment Board. Cassidy serves as a Board member for Choose DuPage, the Northern Illinois Workforce Coalition and the National Council for Continuing Education.
Innovation DuPage (ID) is a nonprofit business incubator/accelerator dedicated to advancing regional economic development by supporting the small businesses that foster innovation. ID is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives which now includes a Neurodiverse Entrepreneurship Program with partners Autism Angels, the Organization for Autism Research and Autism Community Ventures.
CEO, NeuroLogically, LLC
Being on the autistic spectrum and undiagnosed until I was 42 years old, I faced so many social challenges navigating the academic and professional world. Although I faced prejudice and devaluation socially, my innovative work in mathematics and information technology always allowed me to succeed in spite of my awkwardness and communication struggles. To truly achieve my potential, I transitioned to an entrepreneur where I bet on my own ideas and methods to solve complex problems for companies without the rigid structure of most organizations. Not only my business, but my employees flourished in that environment and I was able to grow and selling my data analytics company to private equity in 2019 and I am dedicating the rest of my life to improving companies through neurodiversity and inclusion which includes high paying workforce opportunities, training for corporations and academic institutions and continued advanced research on autism to better clinical and individual understanding. Prior to entrepreneurship, I was the CIO of several regional hospital systems and hold multiple patents on data structures, transport and security.
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Employer Panel 3. Eric Cusick, DPR Construction; Wayne McRae, CAI; Chelsea Asaro, Rangam
Moderators: Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD and Mark Gavartin, Stanford Neurodiversity Project
SPW Technology Lead
Eric Cusick lives in San Diego and has been with DPR Construction for over 25 years and is currently a Self-Performed Work Technology Lead. He is the father of three kids, all of which have benefited from early intervention services with his oldest receiving an autism diagnosis before 3. Working with DPR's Human Resources, Innovation and D&I teams; Eric is co-sponsored of DPR's partnership with the Stanford Neurodiversity Project to pilot the hiring neurodiverse individuals. Eric is also on the Board of Directors of the Autism Tree Project Foundation. He enjoys spending time with his family, surfing, swimming and traveling.
Director, Autism2Work, CAI
Wayne is the Director of CAI's Autism2Work (A2W) neurodiversity employment program. He oversees all A2W operations, including placement, onboarding, and ongoing support for the client and the project team. Wayne has been critical to the growth of A2W, helping expand the program's reach across the country. Wayne's goal is always to put the right candidate in the right role in the right environment. He works closely with each client to make sure they understand how to build trust and interact with A2W team members. He has successfully placed teams in Operations Support functions, Quality Assurance, Security Access Management and Cyber Security functions. Before his current role at CAI, Wayne served for more than four years in IT Leadership positions. His tenure with Autism2Work has afforded him the opportunity to refine his gifts of people management and his ability to leverage the unique talents of people on the autism spectrum for meaningful careers. Prior to that, he spent 15 years as a Quality Assurance expert, leading software testing teams in the healthcare, financial services and information industries. Wayne is a graduate of St. Stanislaus College and attended New Jersey City University and the Chubb Institute; earning a Diploma in Computer Programming.
Chelsea Asaro is a Solutions Manager for Rangam, a minority, woman & disability-owned global workforce solutions company. Chelsea directly supports Rangam’s SourceAbled program which helps businesses source, hire, and retain talent with disabilities, autism, and other forms of neurodivergence. Chelsea is a thought-leader and mission-driven ally for workplace inclusion. She brings over 6 years of subject matter expertise in corporate neurodiversity hiring. Chelsea is notable for helping several Fortune 500 companies implement successful Autism at Work initiatives. Her journey started as the Corporate Training and Industry Outreach Specialist for the National Foundation for Autism Research (NFAR) and now impacts SourceAbled customers nationwide. Prior to her work within the disability community, Chelsea was a freelance writer specializing in technical writing, online content creation, and corporate communications. Chelsea received her B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from the University of California, San Diego.
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Mental Health Panel 3." Innovative Community Support Models and Novel Interventions ." Panelists: Helen Rottier,* University of Illinois at Chicago; Leslie Harrison, Parent; Michael Duggan,PhD, Autismerica and College of DuPage
Moderators: Rania Aawad, MD, JD, Stanford Muslims and Mental Health Lab and Maureen Dunne, PhD, Autism Angels Group
University of Illinois at Chicago
Helen Rottier is a multiply disabled, multiply neurodivergent PhD candidate in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research focuses on academic access, ableism, and the experiences of autistic, mad, and disabled students and scholars in and out of academia. She is especially fascinated by autistic epistemology, or knowledge production, and how it can be applied to uncover new thoughts and ideas. She is the student coordinator of the Coalition for Autistic and Neurodivergent Students, which uses a novel mentoring model to support autistic and neurodivergent students across campuses in the Chicago area. She also mentors autistic, neurodivergent, and disabled high school and college students to promote successful transitions to and through college. Helen has an MS in Disability and Human Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a BS in Psychology and Gender and Women's Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can follow Helen on Twitter @helenrottier.
Leslie is an Executive Communications Manager at Cisco Systems. As a fierce advocate of diversity, equity and inclusion for differently abled and BIPOC communities, she manages communications for the Cisco Disability Action Network, one of the company's employee resource groups. Leslie is the parent of daughter who was diagnosed with ASD as a teen and benefits from the support of the Transition2Success Project. She also participates in Advocating for Supports to Improve Service Transitions [ASSIST] through the University of Illinois.
Michael Duggan, EdD
Counselor for students with disabilities, Professor
College of DuPage
Dr. Michael Duggan‚ CPC, CRC, is a Professor and a Counselor for Students with Disabilities at College of DuPage (COD), where he is well known for his expertise and his passion for empowering students with disabilities. In his time at COD he has helped establish a wide variety of programs for students, and his work has been featured by the Chicago Tribune, Daily Hearld, patch.com, and WGN Television. He has also been awarded COD's Outstanding Divisional Faculty of the Year, Outstanding Academic Advisor of the Year (twice), and Outstanding Club Advisor of the Year for his work on Autismerica--a social/support organization for young adults and families on the autism spectrum throughout Chicagoland. His first published book is titled First Class Support for College Students on the Autism Spectrum: Practical Advice for College Counselors and Educators, and his website is michaelwduggan.com
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM College Panel 3. Nancy Forsythe, University of Maryland, College Park; Ricardo Flores, UC Berkeley; Emiliano Ayala, California State University-San Marcos
- Identify implementations based on UD/Strength-based models that iterate the process of incorporating feedback from those with lived experience
- Identify practices that set neurodiverse students up for college and career success
- Identify inclusion and belonging practices for neurodiverse communities on campuses and specific strategies that increase inclusion and belonging. Identify important institutional changes/practices that support inclusion and belonging of neurodiverse students.
Senior Faculty Specialist/Disability Inclusion
University of Maryland, College Park
Nancy Forsythe, MA., EdS., is a subject matter expert in disability inclusion at work. She currently works as a Senior Faculty Specialist in Disability Inclusion at the University of Maryland University Career Center. The majority of this work focuses on neurodivergent students. At the University Career Center, Nancy supports neurodivergent students in the career preparation, job search, and on-boarding processes and works closely with employers to improve their capacity to hire and retain neurodivergent students. Nancy‚Äôs background is in social science research and vocational rehabilitation.
Assistant Director for Students with Disabilities, Career Center
University of California, Berkeley
Ricardo Flores holds a Master's in Rehabilitation Counseling from Texas Tech University. He has developed a suite of Career Services for Students with Disabilities at Cal since 2018 including a monthly specialized unit for students identifying as being Neurodiverse. Prior to their work at Cal, Ricardo consulted corporations, nonprofits, and small businesses in expanding and introducing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in to their company practice. Ricardo also has ten-years plus managing and coordinating mentoring programs for at-risk youth with disabilities in Texas.
CSU San Marcos
Dr. Emiliano C. Ayala serves as Professor of Education for the School of Education at California State University at San Marco. His primary instructional responsibilities include teaching courses in the Education Specialist (special education) credential program and undergraduate courses preparing prospective future educators. Prior to his faculty appointment, Dr. Ayala served as Dean for the College of Education, Health and Human Services (CEHHS) at California State University San Marcos. In addition, he has served in various faculty and administrative roles at Sonoma State University and Humboldt State University. Dr. Ayala studies, writes, and speaks about the impact of cultural diversity in K-12 education, policy and legal issues in special education, administrative policy and practice in higher education, and Universal Design for Learning in higher education. Dr. Ayala's professional accomplishments focus on supporting post-secondary students with disabilities. He served as Principle Investigator for EnACT and EnACT~PTD (U.S. Department of Education) and Project Co-Director for Access by Design (National Science Foundation). These federal grants were designed to support professional development activities for faculty and administrators at institutions of higher education with the goal of providing a quality education for postsecondary students with disabilities.
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM K-12 Panel 3. "Fostering Identity in K12 Neurodivergent Students: Top Tips from the Field". Panelists: Dr. Claire Hughes,* College of Coastal Georgia; Juniette Kang'a, Parent Coach and Navigator; Dr. Carrie Mitran,* NCSU and NeurodiverseTalk
Developing a strong sense of self is an important process for all children and teens, especially those who are neurodivergent. Join our three panelists, including a parent, a teacher educator, and a clinician, as they share their top tips for fostering positive, strength-based identity development with neurodivergent K-12 children. Featuring panelist presentations, discussion, and audience Q&A, this interactive session will focus on practical strategies for helping children and youth develop the skills they need to lead self-determined lives.
- For neurodivergent students: Develop insight into the lived experiences of a variety of neurodiverse individuals and how they’ve connected their strengths within their community
- For parents: Identify experiences that contribute to neurodiverse k-12 students connecting with their strengths and building community
- For teachers: Gain knowledge of how the classroom experience impacts student experiences of building strengths and community
- For providers: Gain knowledge of practices and important student experiences that build strengths and community
Claire Hughes, PhD
Professor of Elementary and Special Education
College of Coastal Georgia
Dr. Claire E. Hughes is Professor of Elementary and Special Education at the College of Coastal Georgia. Previously, she was Faculty Director of the Special Needs and Inclusion program at Canterbury Christ Church University in England, and a Fulbright Scholar to Greece. She has served on boards in the National Association for Gifted Children, The Association for the Gifted (CEC-TAG) and Teacher Education Divisions (CEC-TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children. She is author of numerous books and chapters, and her research areas include: twice-exceptional children- particularly gifted children with autism; positivistic views of exceptionality; and international education. She is passionate about working with teachers on developing abilities and talents in all children through higher-order thinking, creativity, and mental health interventions. She lives on St. Simons Island, Georgia with two family members (husband and mother) two twice-exceptional children, two cats, and two dogs.
Parent, Doctoral Student, Consultant
Juniette Kanga is a business professional with over 15 years in marketing, customer engagement programs and market access and customer advocacy. She recently resigned to focus on raising her children who include neurodiverse individuals and focus on her passion to propel the inclusion of neurodiverse individuals in society. Juniette did her undergraduate in Art and Design in Kenya. Some of her design projects included how to increase community engagement in marginalized groups, using art, product design and music education to improve lives of physically and/or cognitively disabled people in Kenya. She later completed her Masters in Design Management, with a minor in international community development at the University of New South Wales in Australia prior to relocating to the USA and diving into the customer engagement and marketing arena. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Cognitive Diversity at Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity and Education. She is interested in researching ethnically neurodiverse experiences, particularly immigrants families and creating pathways for support. She currently leads the implementation of some faith-based education programs to support 3rd culture families in life-stage transitions. She is interested in using that background to create social connections for neurodivergent families. She is also interested in gifted and talented and autims education in Africa where there is currently a huge gap. Ultimately, she focuses her energy on building programs that support enrichment and strength-based parenting and social connections to realize the potential future of neurodiverse and 2e children from all cultures and backgrounds.
Clinician, Researcher and Behavior Analyst
Dr. Carrie Mitran is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Certified Autism Specialist, Behavior Analyst, and published author with a Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. Carrie holds a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from NC State and a bachelor’s degree in Business with a focus on International Studies from William Peace University. Her research interests lie in the areas of curriculum development for neurodiverse learners, counselor training, neurodiverse couples counseling, neuropsychology, and family systems. Dr. Mitran has over 16 years of research experience in the field of neurodiversity. Her love for serving neurodivergent individuals and couples began from her work in the tech industry and stems from her life with dyslexia and experiences being in a neurodivergent relationship. She is passionate about helping individuals find their voice, understanding systems, patterns, and discovering cultural barriers.
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM Network for K-12 Neurodiversity Education and Advocacy (NNEA) and Stanford Neurodiversity Project - Research, Education, and Advocacy Camp for High Schoolers (SNP-REACH).
Moderators: Isabella He, Lawrence Fung.
Panelists: Christine Ahn, Rayyan Ali, Aditi Balakrishna, Katie Chung, Audrey Edwards, Meghana Gunturi, Tianna Huang, Joshua Kao, Zeynep Karatas, Katelyn Liu, Benjamin Loong, Chloé Lukac, Sophia Marogi, Isha Moorjani, Rahul Mulpuri, Arushi Munjal, Dhruv Patel, Hassan Samiullah, Saesha Sharda, Rishi Upadhyay, Adrian Vahamaki, Alicia Zhi
Hello! I’m a senior at West High School in Torrance, California. I got interested in neurodiversity because I have met people and I am friends with people who are neurodiverse and I wanted to understand them better. I’m also interested in how the brain works and how people process certain things. In my free time, I like to play games and listen to music. I am so excited to be a part of this program!
Hello! My name is Rayyan Ali, and I am a senior attending Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, California. My interest in neurodiversity first developed because my classmates were being judged because they had ADHD or dyslexia, which upset me. I wanted to make a change. Encounters like these in the class came to show me that some people have trouble accepting neurodiverse people in our communities. I saw firsthand how neurodiverse individuals were being considered different rather than individuals with unique strengths. It is our job to spread awareness about neurodiversity. By working alongside everyone on the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, I have been able to take what I’ve learned from this program and implement the idea of neurodiversity in my community by implementing strength-based learning accommodations and activities in classrooms at my school. With the opportunity to work with professors from Stanford, Cornell, and Virginia Commonwealth University, we are collaborating and implementing neurodiversity staff/faculty training at Evergreen Valley High School. In the future, we hope to expand our group's accommodations and activities to other schools, including elementary and middle schools, where we can help inform young individuals about how everyone's brain is wired differently!
Katie is a high school senior attending South High School in Torrance, California. She is a writer, runner, musician, and neurodiversity advocate. In collaboration with other passionate teens, she created a children's book, Arlo and Papa, that works to educate children on self advocacy and allyship. Being bilingual, she hopes to become a speech pathologist one day in order to help other English learners. She hopes to major in cognitive science.
Audrey Edwards is a Tech student and IB (International Baccalaureate) diploma candidate at Troy High School in Fullerton, California, class of 2023. Audrey participated in SNP-REACH (Stanford Neurodiversity Project - Research, Education, and Advocacy Camp for High Schoolers) during the summer of 2021. She is a part of Neurodiversity Writers, a team that published a children’s e-book: Arlo And Papa: A Tale of Embracing Neurodiversity (available on Amazon). Since then, they have presented their progress at NNEA (Network for K-12 Neurodiversity Education and Advocacy) and have plans to expand their reach in the future. Audrey also started a club at her school that aims to spread awareness for neurodiversity within her district. She is excited to participate in the seminar and learn how to advocate for neurodiversity inclusion in her community.
Meghana Gunturi is a sophomore at Troy High School in Orange County, California. She is the co-founder of a Neurodiversity advocacy project which raises awareness through social media and podcasts. She is also a co-founder of her high school Neurodiversity club. Her interest in neurodiversity stemmed from a Neuroanatomy summer course at UCI she had done the previous year, in which she learned that our over-reliance on standardized medical approaches for neurodiverse individuals harmfully affects the development of neurodiversity. She was a participant in the Stanford Neurodiversity Project this summer. Her goal is to influence governmental and educational policies to raise awareness of neurodivergent needs in public places.
Tianna is a high school senior who participated in the 2021 SNP Reach Summer Camp Cohort. She is in group D which is in charge of creating a children’s book that will help educate people about the stigmas that the neurodiverse community face. She contributed by conceptualizing the illustrations, creating a website for the book, and also communicating with local elementary schools that would be interested in adding the book into their curriculum. She has a neurodiverse brother and hopes that through her efforts, people like her brother will be able to live without judgement from neurotypical adults and youth.
Zeynep Karatas is a senior at Northwood High School. After taking part in the 2021 SNP Reach cohort, she is now developing the Integrated Strength-Based Learning project with her fellow group members, a comprehensive teaching model that focuses on utilizing neurodiverse individuals’ potential to the fullest through a more inclusive classroom along with physical and learning accommodations. Along with her educational work and ongoing projects, she is the Managing Editor for her school yearbook and the Co-founder of IHO.
Katelyn Liu is currently a junior at Whitney High School, ranked top in California. She finds her time spent with children to be the most valuable, hence her found passion in writing childrens' books with her amazing team, Neurodiversity Writers! Primarily an illustrator, she works hand in hand with the writers to develop heartwarming stories that are aimed to destigmatize neurodiversity from a young age. Most of all, she is incredibly excited to be able to share her team's work with like-minded individuals at the 2021 Summit!
I primarily work on the @Stand4Neurodiversity Instagram account to highlight Neurodiverse individuals within our communities. Our goal is to advocate for Neurodiversity and form friendly and educated communities through our informative posts by maintaining an online presence. We also bolster similar accounts and organizations that support Neurodiversity, through collaborations and promotions. I specifically focus on the stories and highlights to engage with our supporters and assist on our posts and podcasts on In Another’s View.
Hi everyone! My name is Sophia and I’m a sophomore at Enochs high school. My interest in neurodiversity stems from my interactions with neurodiverse people who have all been pretty cool! This summer, I got to work with other students at SNP REACH and create a curriculum that caters to the needs of neurodiverse students. I’m really excited about it, and I hope you are all too!
Isha Moorjani is a junior at The Harker School in San Jose, California. She is a member of the Network for Neurodiversity Education and Advocacy (NNEA) core committee, and she also attended SNP-REACH this past summer, where she worked with her group members to create a childrens’ book about embracing neurodiversity. She has also been a member of the Neurodiversity Committee at her school for a year, and she participated in many events and powerful discussions surrounding neurodiversity. Isha believes in the importance of spreading more awareness of neurodiversity and making our communities and education systems more inclusive for neurodiverse individuals. Awareness of neurodiversity in schools is critically important, so students can flourish in inclusive environments and learn in ways that work for them. She hopes to make change in schools through workshops for teachers and students, as well as through providing resources on neurodiversity.
Hassan credits his identity and upbringing as being the origins of his passion for sharing unconventional ideas. Skills he developed from learning the Quran translate to his ability to see patterns in scientific concepts, which help in studying topics spanning from racial bias in pediatric care to stem cell interactions in glioblastoma tumors. His ability to analyze information and share it in unique ways translates to his activities in his school's Muslim Student Association, which focuses on helping fellow students see the benefits of collective pursuits. Hassan also demonstrates altruistic values through his work with the special education buddy club. Friendships he’s made with special needs students made him empathize with their need for their unique strengths to be embraced rather than their “disabilities”. As part of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project’s REACH program, Hassan and his team members focused on challenging traditional definitions of inclusion by working to implement universally designed accommodations and collaborative activities into multiple schools, hoping to make tangible progress towards strengths-based learning environments. In the future, Hassan wants to continue using his scientific and leadership skills to help promote social progress. In his free time, Hassan gets energy from watching NBA games with his family.
Hi! I'm a current sophomore, and I can't wait to speak about our projects at the summit!
Rishi Upadhyay is a sophomore at Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, California. He is the founder of Bridged Learning, a free virtual neurodiverse tutoring website that has tutors effectively communicate and help neurodiverse students academically succeed by utilizing the strengths based model. Rishi is the founder and President of the Mira Loma High School Neurodiversity Club, which aims to spread awareness about neurodiversity and teach about Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD. He actively works in his school district to integrate strengths based learning curriculum into classes and programs to further help neurodiverse students be accommodated for, and serves as a member on the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council for San Juan Unified School District. Rishi is a proficient pianist who has played for over ten years. He often performs musical compositions for individuals in local retirement, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. Rishi writes pieces and has served as an editor for the school newspaper, Mira Loma Today.
Lawrence Fung, MD, PhD
Director, Stanford Neurodiversity Project
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Dr. Lawrence Fung is a scientist and psychiatrist specialized in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the father of a neurodiverse teenager with ASD. He is the director of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, which strives to uncover the strengths of neurodiverse individuals and utilize their talents to increase innovation and productivity of the society as a whole. He directs the Neurodiverse Student Support Program, Neurodiversity at Work Program (recently funded by Autism Speaks), and Adult Neurodevelopment Clinic at Stanford. Dr. Fung is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His lab advances the understanding of neural bases of human socio-communicative and cognitive functions by using novel neuroimaging and technologies. His team devise and implement novel interventions to improve the lives of neurodiverse individuals by maximizing their potential and productivity. For example, he is conducting a study to demonstrate that specialized employment programs such as Neurodiversity at Work program will result in higher retention rates and quality of life.