Life Milestones On The Autism Spectrum

The Atlas Foundation for Autism and The Autism Community of Hope come together to share resources, tools and strategies to help parents raise a child with ASD. In this second of three workshops, experts in the fields of psychology, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, education, legal and advocacy will discuss the strategies and tools parents will need to help their child succeed during the elementary and middle school years.

  • When: April 14, 2015 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm

  • Where: The Atlas Foundation for Autism 252 West 29 St., 3rd Floor (7th & 8th Aves)
  • Refreshments will be served
  • RSVP to or via our contact form
    Reserve early as space is limited.

Presenters: Bios

Amanda FriedmanAmanda Friedman
Atlas Foundation for Autism / Director of Student Affairs

Amanda is a special education teacher with over 10 years experience within the educational field. She has completed the Administrative Certification Program from the College of Saint Rose/CITE. Amanda has worked with students ranging in age from 3 –25 years old with an array of differences including Autism, Mental Retardation, Emotional Disturbances (PTSD, Schizophrenia, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, etc.). She has acted as the Vice President for the Hudson Valley Autism Society, sat on several Walk for Autism Committees, and is a parent advocate for families at CSE and school meetings. Amanda has been through certified trainings in ABA, TEACCH, BART, and multiple trainings in DIR/Floortime.

Gary MayersonGary Mayerson
Mayerson & Associates

Gary Mayerson, a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, is the founder of Mayerson & Associates, the very first law firm in the nation dedicated to representing individuals with autism. His firm has worked with more than 1,000 “autism” families in the U.S. and abroad and is responsible for dozens of important federal court decisions that have focused on the rights of students with autism. Most recently, Gary and his firm brought a $500,000,000 class action lawsuit against the New York City Department of Education alleging widespread and systemic failures concerning “transition” and vocational training and services.

Gary has testified before the U.S. Congress and presented at the United Nations and is the author of How To Compromise With Your School District Without Compromising Your Child (DRL Books), as well as the “Autism In The Courtroom” chapter appearing in Dr. Fred Volkmar’s seminal treatise, Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders (4th Edition 2014).

Mitchell P. SiegelMitchell P. Siegel
Founder & Parent Advocate
Autism Community of Hope

Mitchell Siegel is the Founder of The Autism Community of Hope, a NYC-based organization assisting parents who recently received an ASD diagnosis for their child. He successfully raised an adult son with ASD and has over 20 years of experience dealing with early intervention services, elementary and middle school issues, transitioning to adulthood, and the regulations and laws guiding them. He was instrumental in helping his own child’s district create an appropriate in-school Autism program which remains active to this day.

As a Parent Advocate, Mitchell helps parents cope with the impact of ASD and become effective advocates for their child. He has spoken on Autism and the critical importance of early intervention at numerous venues including OHMET Family Services and the Atlas Foundation for Autism. Mitchell’s background also includes 25 successful years as a healthcare advertising agency creative director where he designed award-winning advertising campaigns for several Fortune 500 companies.

Nicole KolendaNicole Kolenda
Executive Clinical Director
Atlas Foundation for Autism

Nicole is a NYS licensed/ASHA certified pediatric speech and language pathologist with over fifteen years experience with children and young adults with Developmental Differences. Nicole ran a thriving pediatric practice on Manhattan's Upper East Side for the past 14 years. She has taught and supervised at NYU, Columbia and Marymount University, as well as Hofstra University; she continues to teach as an adjunct. Nicole has also collaborated on research in the area of speech development and has written for numerous parent magazines and blogs.

Roxanne Chess PiersonRoxanne Chess Pierson
National Board Certified
Occupational Therapist

Roxanne, a National Board Certified Occupational Therapist graduated with honors from the prestigious AOTA recognized program at Boston University, with a Master of Science in occupational therapy and a minor in psychology.

Roxanne is trained in a wide range of sensory integrative protocols and practices with a holistic approach addressing the individual as a whole. She is also trained in hippotherapy which is the use of horses as a therapy tool for physical, sensory processing, and social emotional development. Roxanne integrates many strategies ranging from treatments for sensory defensiveness, therapeutic listening interventions, Interactive Metronome, Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), Astronaut Training and visual-vestibular integration, to Ball-A-Vis-X, and Handwriting Without Tears.

Roxanne regularly administers a range of standardized evaluation tools, develops IEPs, progress reports, and annual evaluations for her clients. She supports families with parent training and sets family centered occupation based treatment plans as well as supervising and mentoring Master’s level occupational therapy interns from highly rated programs. Roxanne is passionate about empowering individuals with disabilities, and their families, through fulfilling participation in occupation.

Adam HolsteinAdam J. Holstein
P.D., L.P.

Behavior Management Consultant

Adam J. Holstein has a Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology from Yeshiva University and graduated from St. John’s University with a Professional Diploma in Clinical Child Psychology. He is also a graduate of the Washington Square Institute for Psychoanalysis and Mental Health. He is a New York State Certified School Psychologist and a New York State Licensed Psychoanalyst. He is currently in private practice and works with children, adults, and their families in New York City, Nassau, and Westchester Counties. Mr. Holstein works with people who have special needs in the family home, at school, and at homes under the auspices of the NYS Office of People with Developmental Disabilities.

During his 30 years of training and experience, Mr. Holstein has helped special needs children and adults and their families address the emotional issues and behavioral difficulties affecting all members of the family. Mr. Holstein enables parents and teachers to help the child/adult find a more appropriate way of expressing their needs and desires through both a behavioral approach and a psychodynamic understanding of the acting out behaviors.

Related Links

Please visit our website to find out more about the
Atlas Foundation For Autism