May 2013 

In this issue:

CLD and One DeKalb Joins Resources with Community at Autism Resource Fair
Disability Policy Advocates Travel to Capitol Hill 
CLD Offers ADOS-2 and ADI-R Training This June
CAC Spotlight: Patricia Lanaspa 
CLD Presents Georgia Positive Behavior Support Conference in December
Rachel Esch Joins CLD as Summer Fellow 


CLD Collaborates and One DeKalb
Join Resources with Community at Autism Resource Fair

                               Donna Johnson of CLD and Bettye Davis, Executive Director of One DeKalb take time for a photo at fair.
Donna Johnson of CLD and Bettye Davis, Executive Director of One DeKalb, at Resource Fair.
CLD and One DeKalb welcomed 276 people to the DeKalb County Autism Resource fair on April 27th. More than forty organizations and agencies were in attandance to provide resource materials, answer questions, and to discuss services that they provide. Exhibitors included Autism Speaks of Georgia, Parent to Parent of Georgia, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory Autism Center, and myriad of other groups from across DeKalb county and the state of Georgia that offer health, dental, family support and transitional services. 

When asked about the driving factors in developing the event, CLD's Donna Johnson, who co-organized the fair with Bettye Davis of One DeKalb stated, "Families are not aware of the  resources in DeKalb County and travel many miles to receive services that are available in their community. The goal was to support businesses in DeKalb so they could continue to provide much needed services and supports to the families in the county. Basically, the goal was to connect the two communities, which is a goal of the Autism Plan for Georgia (APG)." 

The APG included needs assessment interviews with families who have members on the autism spectrum. Through these interviews many parents asked for better knowledge of what resources were available in their communities for children and adults with autism. The DeKalb Resource Fair was the first event staged as a result of this call for action from the APG. 

Resource Fair attendees who were surveyed were very pleased with the resources, connections, and knowledge gained at the fair. The sole suggestion to improve for next year's event was the suggestion of a larger venue. This need topped the list of requirements in planning the 2014 fair. 

Congratulations and positive feedback also came for fair exhibitors. The director of the Marcus Autism Center, Dr. Ami Klin, along with other staff praised CLD's efforts in a letter stating , "We feel strongly that this was an opportunity for us to open the walls of our center and truly embracing autism as a public health challenge by partnering with other agencies, advocates and families in the community." 

CLD looks forward to bringing this type of event to other parts of Georgia in efforts to expand upon insights gained from the APG. 

Disability Policy Advocates Travel to the Hill


CLD Policy and Data Coordinator Ryan Johnson with Rep. Tom Price

Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) and CLD's Ryan Johnson take time out for a picture after their meeting in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.  welcomed more than 600 representatives from disability rights organizations and advocates from across the country to the 2013 Disability Policy Seminar. Policy experts from Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities and CLD joined others from across the country in attending meetings that detailed current policy and law concerns facing people with disabilities, their families, and the services they receive. Issues discussed included: community living, social security, education, the ABLE* Act, civil rights, fiscal policy, and employment. 

Attendees concluded their visit with a trip to Capitol Hill to meet with members of congress and their staffs to discuss how they could support their constituents with disabilities facing those challenges. 

CLD Policy and Data Coordinator Ryan Johnson attended on behalf of the organization and noted, "It was a great opportunity to let the Georgia delegation know who we were and how we could be a resource to them or their office. The next step in the process is to continue these conversations with the legislators and their respective staffs. There needs to be continued pressure applied to our legislators to continue doing what is right for people with disabilities" 

The Disability Policy Seminar is an annual event and will be held again April 6 -9 in 2014 at the Grand Hyatt Washington D.C. For more information visit  

*The Achieving a Better Life Experience Act 

 Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2) and Autism Diagnostic Interview,
Revised (ADI-R) Trainings Presented by CLD

CLD is pleased to provide ADOS-2 training to increase the capacity of professionals to diagnose and rule out autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Together, the ADOS-2 and ADI-R are considered to be the “gold standard” autism evaluation protocol for toddlers through adults suspected of having ASD.  The trainings will be held June 10-13, 2013 at Georgia State University. Psychologists, pediatricians, behavioral specialists, speech and language pathologists, and others who regularly assess children with ASD or developmental disabilities are encouraged to attend these trainings.

The trainings will be presented by Dr. Rhiannon Luyster, who is a developmental psychologist currently on faculty at Emerson College in Boston Massachusetts. She completed her doctoral training with Dr. Catherine Lord at the University of Michigan, where Dr. Luyster lead a team of researchers to modify the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule.  

Sessions include:

ADOS - 2 Training
Monday & Tuesday, June 10 & 11, 2013
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

ADOS – 2 Toddler Module
Prerequisite: ADOS - 2
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

(Attendance Limited)
Thursday, June 13, 2013
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Prior to attending the training all attendees must review the Administration Manuals and Observation Demonstrations Videos. Multiple viewings of the videos will be scheduled for attendees prior to the conference between June 3rd and June 7th. 

For more information visit the registration page at or view the complete brochure by visiting CLD.ADOS.2013.pdf

 CAC Spotlight: Patricia Lanaspa

Patricia LanaspaSince immigrating from Uraguay in 2003, Patricia Lanaspa has not only been an invaluable member
of the Community Advisory Committee (CAC); but she is a resource for metro Atlanta's Spanish speaking population who have children with disabilities. In her role as the Bilingual Services Supervisor at Parent to Parent of Georgia (P2P) she serves as mentor and translator for many immigrant families who have little to no knowledge about services available to them and their children. Her knowledge and advice is highly beneficial as Lanaspa herself is the mother of a child with autism.

"The parents I work with on a daily basis manage their children's behavior problems in a more “ intuitive” way. They seldom have access to parenting classes and most rarely, to any kind of training in Spanish for special needs. In P2P I try to share with them what I‘ve learned in trainings that I've done in the past, in conferences that I’ve attended and everything  I was able to read by myself."

It was during her time with P2P that she learned about CLD and began working with the group. Since collaborating with the organization Patricia's list of contributions to the organization has continually grown. She has translated the Brief Behavior Questionnaire and Intervention Plan (BBQuIP) and its promotional presentation into Spanish, participated as a GaLEND family mentor, assisted in the Parents as Detailers project, served as contributor on the Autism Plan of Georgia, and was a guest lecturer for the Global Perspectives on Autism course offered at GSU.

Lanaspa notes that her communication with the CLD staff constantly supports her role with P2P and she considers the relationship to be a mutually enriching one. "Being part of CAC allowed me to network with representatives other agencies and universities and from that interaction I find resources, ideas, and resource centers where I can refer the families who call me in my P2P role." Information on sexuality and people with disabilities, cultural competence, person centered planning, people first language and self-determination was all introduced to her through these relationships. These concepts have been mind changing ones for her and have redefined the way that she sees people with disabilities.

She wants people who are interested in being a part of the CAC to know, "CAC is a great opportunity if your concern is to make life better, not only for people with disabilities but to all the community. It is an eclectic, vibrant center where professionals, students, people with disabilities and their families have a voice and a common objective. If you want to become part of the change and not only look from the outside, CAC is your place."

The Community Advisory Committee ensures that the perspectives of people with developmental disabilities, family members, providers, and policy makers are included in the work of CLD. For more information on the CAC at the CLD visit

Mark Your Calendars for the
2013 Georgia Positive Behavior Support Conference 

The CLD is hosting the Georgia Positive Behavior Support Conference on December 4th – 5th, 2013 at Georgia State University. Through this conference, attendees will have the opportunity to learn innovative ideas and best practices that reflect the values of positive behavior support. Topics of conference presentations cover individualized positive behavior support, person-centered planning, school climate, bullying, positive behavior support in schools and in the community, and positive behavior support across the life span. More details to come!

If you are interested in presenting at the conference, submit your proposal by clicking here or visiting

CLD's Positive Behavior Supports Resource
The Center for Leadership in Disability at Georgia State University has created a new website, The website has many parts, including:
·         videos that describe the positive behavior supports process
·         a positive behavior supports planning tool, and
·         interventions that can be used by teachers, child care providers, and parents.  

Through, you can complete a tool, created by Dr. Daniel Crimmins, that makes the positive behavior supports process easy for everyone to use called the Brief Behavior Questionnaire and Intervention Plan (BBQuIP) The BBQuIP uses a series of questions to help teachers, child care providers, and parents in determining what a child is trying to communicate through his or her actions and behaviors. The BBQuIP focuses on the child's strengths and provides a framework for teaching new skills. After completing the BBQuIP, you are provided with a comprehensive behavior plan specific to the needs of your student or child.
Through the use of a username and password, you may return to the site as frequently as desired to access previously completed BBQuIPs. This website is free and available for all to use.
Visit the website at

Welcome CLD Summer Fellow Rachel Esch


CLD Fellow Rachel Esch CLD is pleased to welcome Georgia State University PhD student Rachel Esch to the staff as our CLD Summer Fellow. Esch received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Binghampton University in New York. She has worked as a GaLEND graduate research assistant this past year, and this summer she will serve in the additional role of CLD Summer Fellow. She joins Dr. Emily Graybill, Stacey Ramirez, and Erin Vinoski on the cultural competence project and on this project, she will be creating a cultural competence resource database
for schools. This database will be linked to an internally-developed cultural competence self-assessment and will
provide educators with specific activities or curricula they can use to incorporate cultural competence into practice. The database will be organized in such a way that the resources can be individualized to the needs of the educator using it. 
Rachel is passionate about teaching and hopes to work as a university professor upon receiving her doctorate.  She sees education as a means of reengaging the disenfranchised and is interested in contributing to research regarding social justice in schools.  

She is also interested in interdisciplinary teamwork and believes that these teams play a vital role in the education of youth with disabilities or from other culturally diverse backgrounds. Her wish is "To create a culture of responsiveness. We should be thinking about the whole system coming together." 
Please join us in welcoming Rachel to our team.

The Center for Leadership in Disability serves as a bridge between the university and community in support of evidence-based practices that improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families. The CLD is a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (UCEDD), and operates within the Center for Healthy Development and the Institute of Public Health at Georgia State University. 

Initiatives of CLD are supported in part by Grant #90DD0662 from the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities of the Administration on Community Living (USDHHS) and by Project #T73MC19939 from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Public Health Service Act, Section 399BB (e)(1)(A), as amended by the Combating Autism Act of 2006) of the Health Resources and Services Administration (USDHHS). 

Join in on the conversation with the Center for Leadership in Disability on these social media sites or by emailing us: 
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Center for Healthy Development , Center for Leadership in Disability 
College of Health and Human Sciences  - Georgia State University 
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