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Autism Awareness: 'The Family Next Door'

Wednesday, 05 April, 2017

Join Saint Louis University Best Buddies, Disability Services Club, Student Occupational Therapy Association, Disability Services, and the Saint Louis University Ability Institute for a viewing of the film “The Family Next Door” from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 5, at the Center for Global Citizenship

“The Family Next Door” follows the Lunds, a family with four children, two on the autism spectrum, for 16 months, Through the film viewers experience the family’s day-to-day challenges, successes, patience, love and hope. 

Following the film, a panel of University members will discuss the film and issues surrounding autism in today’s culture.  Panelists include: Dr. Karen Myers, Maddie Rich, Matt Sullivan and Dr. Alyssa Wilson.

Karen A. Myers, Ph.D., is associate professor and director of the Higher Education Administration graduate program at Saint Louis University and co-founder and director of the award-winning international disability education project,  Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit, the Ability Ally Initiative workshops, and SLU’s Ability Institute. She has been a college teacher and administrator since 1979 at nine institutions; is a national disability consultant and trainer, author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, and books; and teaches her self-designed graduate course, “Disability in Higher Education and Society.” Myers is co-founder of the ACPA Standing Committee on Disability, past ACPA Foundation Trustee, and co-author of the ASHE monograph, Allies for Inclusion: Disability and Equity in Higher Education (Jossey-Bass, 2014).

Maddie Rich is a graduate assistant for the School of Education and program coordinator for the award-winning international disability education project, Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit, the Ability Ally Initiative workshops, and the SLUAbility Institute. She is also a Master’s candidate in the Student Personnel Administration program.

Matt Sullivan received his Bachelor's degree in music education from Millikin University in 2010 and his Master's of Arts degree in Higher Education and Student Personnel Administration from SLU in 2013.  He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at SLU -- research focusing on student experiences of positivity within high-stress academic environments -- and aims to graduate in May 2017.  In addition, Sullivan is the director of Disability Services at SLU, where he focuses his attention on the promotion of access and inclusion within the higher education environment. 

Alyssa Wilson, Ph.D., is assistant professor and director of the Applied Behavior Analysis program in the School of Social Work. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Rehabilitation and Behavior Analysis and Therapy, respectively, from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and a Licensed Behavior Analyst in Missouri. Wilson has provided clinical behavioral services to a range of populations including children and adults with behavioral addictions, intellectual disabilities, and emotional dysregulation. She has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on the assessment and treatment of behavioral addictions, classroom behavior management, and behavior therapeutic approaches for the classroom. Further, she serves as an editorial board member for Behavior Analysis in Practice and the Journal of Contextual Behavior Science