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Speakers for the 17th Annual Alabama Autism Conference

Speaker Bio

Dr. David Mandell

David S. Mandell, ScD is the Director of Penn's Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, and is also Associate Director of the Center for Autism Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The goal of his research is to improve the quality of care individuals with autism receive in their communities. This research is of two types. The first examines, at the state and national level, the effects of different strategies to organize, finance and deliver services on service use patterns and outcomes. The second consists of experimental studies designed to determine the best strategies to successfully implement proven-efficacious practices in community settings. Dr. Mandell holds a bachelor of arts in psychology from Columbia University and a doctorate of science from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Dr. Patricia Prelock

Dr. Prelock coordinates parent training programs designed for caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders and has been awarded more than 11 million dollars in university, state and federal funding as a PI or Co-PI to develop innovations in interdisciplinary training supporting children and youth with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families, to facilitate training in speech-language pathology, and to support her intervention work in autism spectrum disorders. She has over 155 publications and 500 peer-reviewed and invited presentations in the areas of autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities, collaboration, language assessment and intervention, and language learning disabilities.

Dr. Prelock received the 1998 Friends Award through the Vermont Parent Information Center and the first annual Autism Society of Vermont Excellence in Service Award in 2000. She also received the University of Vermont’s Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award in 2000. Dr. Prelock was named an ASHA Fellow in 2000 and a University of Vermont Scholar in 2003. She was awarded the Puppets Choice Award through Kids on the Block of Vermont in 2010 for her work in autism. In 2011 she was named the Cecil & Ida Green Honors Professor Visiting Scholar at Texas Christian University and in 2014, she and her colleagues received the Editor’s Award for the best paper in Contemporary Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

In 2015 Dr. Prelock was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh. In 2016, she was awarded the Honors of Association, the highest honor given by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). She and her colleagues were recognized for a meritorious poster submission for the 2016 ASHA Convention.

Dr. Amie Duncan

Amie Duncan, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the Kelly O’Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the University of Alabama and completed clinical and research post-doctoral fellowships at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Clinically, she coordinates the ASD Adolescent Assessment Clinic, which conducts interdisciplinary evaluations on adolescents with ASD to assist in facilitating a successful transition from high school to the adult world. Dr. Duncan’s research focuses on developing interventions to teach critical daily living skills to adolescents with ASD and their families so that they can be more successful in areas such as independent living, employment, and postsecondary education. She is also currently developing an intervention to teach academic executive functioning skills to middle school students with ASD.

Dr. Stephanie Stoll

Dr. Stephanie Stoll, co-founder of  the Behavioral Pediatric Institute of Alabama, is a licensed clinical psychologist  and Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctorate (BCBA-D).  Dr. Stoll received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Auburn University and completed her pre-doctoral internship at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI).  While at KKI, she participated in rotations in the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program and the Pediatric Developmental Disabilities Clinic. Dr. Stoll received the majority of her post-doctoral training through the Marcus Institute in Atlanta, where she continued working with children with pediatric feeding disorders under the supervision of Dr. Cathleen Piazza and later became a case manager for the Outpatient Pediatric Feeding Disorders Clinic. Dr. Stoll moved back to Birmingham, Alabama in 2005 and began working at Glenwood, Inc., where she provided a wide range of services to children, families, and school systems, including diagnostic evaluations and behavioral consultation services. During this time, she also provided outpatient behavior therapy through Glenwood’s collaboration with Mitchell’s Place. Since going into private practice, Dr. Stoll has continued to collaborate with Mitchell’s Place to conduct psychological evaluations and provide outpatient behavior therapy services. Dr. Stoll has extensive experience working with children with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, pediatric feeding disorders, anxiety, as well as other behavior and mood-based difficulties. Additionally, Dr. Stoll enjoys collaborating and consulting with school systems and multidisciplinary teams of professionals to provide comprehensive intervention for children and adolescents.

Dr. Stacy Ladden

Dr. Stacy Ladden, co-founder of the Behavioral Pediatric Institute of Alabama, is a licensed clinical psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctorate (BCBA-D). Dr. Ladden served as a staff psychologist and received post-doctoral training at Glenwood, Inc. and Mitchell’s Place. Since co-founding the Behavioral Pediatric Institute of Alabama in 2012, Dr. Ladden has continued to collaborate with Mitchell’s Place to conduct comprehensive diagnostic evaluations and provide outpatient therapy. She is an active advocate for improving services available to families in Alabama, and she has been a member of the Alabama Behavior Analyst Licensing Board for 3 years, currently serving as secretary. Dr. Ladden is passionate about providing high quality school consultation services across the state of Alabama. She enjoys collaborating with parents, caregivers, and multidisciplinary teams of professionals. Dr. Ladden has a special interest in working with typically developing children and adolescents, as well as children and adolescents with a wide range of diagnoses including, but not limited to, developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, various genetic and chromosomal disorders, ADHD, anxiety, and other behavior and mood-based difficulties.

Vivian Spears

Vivian Spears is Parent Consultant with Children’s Rehabilitation Service in Jackson & Birmingham, AL. CRS is a division of Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services. She is a mother of two children and three grand. Aaron, her young adult son, is diagnosed with a dual diagnosis of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) & Intellectual Disability, Asthma and Sleeping issues. He is learning to use assistive technology to aide in effective communication for unpredictable stuttering. Aaron enjoys weekly exercise at the gym, swimming and plays the violin by ear. He attends the Community School of Music at University of Alabama, under the leadership of Dr. Ann E. Witt in Tuscaloosa. Other activities involved volunteer service at University Church of Christ “Food & Community Outreach” and assisting at the local Soup Kitchen. He enjoys attending PARA’s monthly community dance sponsored by PARA (Parks & Recreation Authority in Tuscaloosa). He graduated from Vocational Rehabilitation Services’ CONNECTIONS in 2017 and is currently working with the Arc PESE Program and VR Counselor. He would like to get a job one day.

She serves as a support parent through The Parent Connection Network of Alabama’s Parent to Parent. Parent to Parent is a statewide network of families who have children with special health care needs. Support parents or mentors are willing to share their experiences with other families through resource networking and social support. The program is sponsored by Children’s Rehabilitation Service and Family Voices of Alabama.

Vivian was accepted in Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC) Leadership Training Program in the Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine-UAB as a Family Advocate Trainee through Alabama’s Maternal Child Health (MCH) Leadership Network. Its mission is to develop leaders who will promote comprehensive, coordinated, family centered, and culturally sensitive systems of health care to improve the health of children and youth with respiratory conditions.

Vivian currently serves on UAB Civitan-Sparks Clinic, Consumer Advisory Committee for Alabama's University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). The mission is to advise, assist and build capacity of UCEDD to enhance the quality of life of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families through issues related to UCEDD's core functions of Training, Community Services & Technical Assistance, Research Information Dissemination. She was appointed to serve on the Autism Spectrum Disorders ASD Working Group and other committees related to improving the lives of families and children in Alabama.