Additional Resources from Conference:
Sandra Howell – New Jersey Presentation
Dr. Cathy Breedon – Hot Topics in Nutrition and Autism
*Handouts/supplemental materials will be posted online. No paper handouts will be provided at the conference. A flash drive with handouts will be provided to participants at the conference. If you prefer to review some of the handouts prior to the conference, please click on the schedule.*
1st Annual North Dakota State Autism Spectrum Disorders Conference
CLICK HERE to view schedule (updated 10/8/14)
Missi Baranko is a licensed social worker who spent 12 years working in the world of Early Intervention as a Family Support Specialist and then as a Primary Early Intervention Professional. She is currently supporting child care providers as an Inclusion Specialist with Child Care Aware. Missi’s informal education has come from raising four daughters ages 16, 14, 12 and 8, of which three have graduated from Region VIII’s Early Intervention Program. Because of her personal and professional experience, Missi has served in an advisory capacity on a number of disability and early childhood related projects. She has had the opportunity to coordinate training events, support parents directly, and influence program and policy development.
In April 2014, Kodi Berg was hired as the Autism Database Administrator for the Children’s Special Health Services Division in the North Dakota Department of Health. She is a 2011 graduate from the University of Mary where she received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology. This spring, she obtained a Public Health Graduate Certificate from the University of Missouri, Columbia. She has been involved in the health care industry for over ten years with experience in direct patient care as a Certified Nursing Assistant. During that time, she worked with diverse population groups including children and adults with special health care needs.
Dr. Cathy Breedon is a Clinical/Metabolic Nutrition Specialist and Perinatal/Pediatric Nutrition Specialist at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Pediatric Nutrition Specialist with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Dr. Breedon annually presenters nutrition topics at over 30 national and state workshops for health professionals around the United States.
Dr. Thomas Carver
A native of Great Falls, MT, Dr. Carver earned his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City, MO. He completed his residency at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center, Aurora, CO, and his Fellowship at University of Colorado Health Science Center. He’s board certified in Pediatrics and Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine.
Detective Dean R. Clarkson
Detective Clarkson has been in Law Enforcement for 16 years, 14 years with the Bismarck Police Department. He is a Detective, specializing in personal crimes with 12 years of experience. Detective Clarkson is an Advisory Board Member, Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center; Founding Task Force Member, Child Crime Victim’s with Disabilities Task Force; and Advisory Board Member, PULSE, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence teams.
Emily Coler Hanson
Emily Coler Hanson, M.S., LMFT, CGP is a therapist specializing in working with children, adolescents and families. She has several years of experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum. She has worked to develop groups and additional services for youth in the community who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. She currently works at Prairie at St. Johns in the child and adolescent inpatient psychiatric unit. Her style of therapy is very strength based and solution focused, and includes parents/caregivers in developing treatment strategies for youth.
Cristine Deaver is a behavior analyst for South Valley Special Education. A graduate of Oglethorpe University, she received her Masters of Science from NDSU in 2000, Behavior Analysis Certification Board certification in 2009, and North Dakota license in behavior analysis in 2012. She has been training schools in ND on school-wide positive behavior supports since 2007 and assisting teachers with individual student’s behavior problems since 2001. Cris has provided numerous presentations to schools, special education units and at school related conferences covering a variety of behavior topics such as applied behavior analysis, functional behavior assessment, behavior intervention plans, and behavioral de-escalation. Cris is an adjunct instructor for UND.
Dr. Lynn Dodge is a Special Education Regional Coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction. Her portfolio assignments include: Autism, Universal Design for Learning, Assistive Technology, the National Instructional Materials Standard (NIMAS), and Special Health Care Needs. During her 33 years in multiple school systems, she worked in self-contained classroom settings as well as content inclusion classes. The most effective means she found for helping students develop the self-advocacy skills needed for life after high school was the student-led IEP process. As a mother of a son with dyslexia, she has personal experience with the transition process. Her son graduated from the University of North Dakota and completed a Masters Degree program. Most importantly, he is gainfully employed, married, and a father. According to her son, the best thing she did for him was to teach him about his disability, the accommodations he needed and how to ask for them.
Her experience in public school settings includes working as a Transition Coordinator assisting students with various disabilities find employment and the process of moving from school to post-secondary life. As a Middle School Special Education Department chair for six years, she facilitated the transition of students from elementary to middle school and middle school to high school.
Dr. Dodge earned her doctorate and Ed. S. in Secondary Transition from The George Washington University. As part of her doctoral program she spent a summer at the National Education Association during which she co- wrote its publication, The Puzzle of Autism.
Kelly is an Occupation Therapist specializing in pediatrics. His specialized training background includes education in oral-motor and feeding issues, sensory processing disorder theory, assessment, and treatment, and completion of the eight week Bobath neurodevelopmental training for children with cerebral palsy. Kelly participated in the Utah Regional Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities program as a trainee and later as a participant in the Autism enhancement tract. He has worked with children and adults with developmental disabilities in hospital, school, NICU, residential, early intervention program and outpatient settings. Kelly is currently in private practice as the owner of Prairie Therapy in Minot and is an early interventionist and consultant with the Minot Infant Development Program. He was a team member of The Great Plains Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment Program (GPAST) and is a current part of The Great Plains Interdisciplinary Autism Diagnostic Clinic (GPIC). He is also a team member of the Minot Child Disability Clinic.
John Fode grew up in Fargo, ND, and he was officially diagnosed with Asperger’s (now known as ASD) at age 19 right after graduating from Fargo North High School. He was a very active in extracurricular organizations such as DECA, Speech, Debate, Student Congress, and Future Business Leaders of America. His DECA experience eventually lead to him serving as the club president, ND State Vice President, and winning first place at the International competition for creating a marketing plan and a TV commercial. John studied sales and marketing at M-State College in Moorhead, MN, which he graduated from in 2012. John has traveled to many places over the years, such as Florida, California, Atlanta, New York, and three cities in China. John is an avid movie fan and writes film reviews for fun. Additionally he also enjoys playing videogames. John has had to deal with a lot of the negative sides of Asperger’s which often gets in the way of life, but he does his best to deal with them and tries to never give up.
Lori Garnes, Ph.D.
Dr. Garnes is the Associate Director of Development for the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities (NDCPD) and Special Education Department faculty member. Dr. Garnes holds a Ph.D. in Special Education from Utah State University (2004). During her doctoral training, Dr. Garnes focused on teacher-preparation issues and distance education technologies, completing a dissertation on the effects of mentoring via email on the development of preservice special education teacher data-based decision-making skill.
Dr. Garnes has a bachelor of science in Elementary Education, Learning Disabilities, Behavior Disorders, and Intellectual Developmental Disabilities from Bowling Green State University in Ohio and a master of science in Severe Multiple Disabilities from Minot State University.
Dr. Garnes has prior experience in community settings with adults with developmental disabilities who are learning to live more independently. She has been with Minot State University since Fall 1996, initially as an adjunct lecturer and grant worker. In August 2000, she moved into a tenure track position in the Special Education department and has served as the Special Education Department chair.
Physical Therapist for 30 years at Trinity Health Minot North Dakota. Working with Pediatric population for 20 years which does include, 20 years with the Hippotherapy program in conjunction with the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. Physical Therapy consultant for the Minot Infant Development program for 12 years. Seeing babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at Trinity Health and general pediatric disorders. I am a graduate of University of North Dakota in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy and I am a member of the American Physical Therapy Association.
Ross W. Greene, Ph.D.
Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the originator of the Collaborative Problem Solving approach. He now refers to his model as Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS). He is the author of the highly acclaimed books The Explosive Child and Lost at School. His research has been funded by the Stanley Medical Research Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Maine Juvenile Justice Advisory Group. He consults extensively to general and special education schools, inpatient and residential facilities, and systems of juvenile detention, and lectures widely throughout the world.
Dr. Aaron Gunderson
Dr. Gunderson earned his medical degree from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND. He completed his residency at Marshfield Clinic and Children’s Hospital in Marshfield, WI. He’s currently employed at Sanford Healthcare in Fargo, ND.
Cathy Haarstad hold’s a master’s degree in special education. She has over 30 years of experience in education and service. Cathy has served as a special education teacher working with minority populations, a support provider for adults with developmental disabilities and a family support specialist. Cathy is the parent of two children with disabilities. Cathy is currently employed as the Executive Director of the Pathfinder Parent Center, the statewide PTI for ND.. Cathy is a recent recipient of the Alexander J. Tymchuck award, a national award from The Association for Successful Parenting, A leadership award from Family Voices of ND, The Glenda Schepp Award for Dedication from the Pathfinder Parent Center and Professional of the Year from the Arc of ND.
Dr. Sandra Howell
Dr. Sandra Howell is a research Scientist in the Early Identification and Monitoring program which is within the Division of Family Health Services of the NJ Department of Health. In addition to maintaining the Autism Registry, she conducts public health surveillance on autism as well as birth defects in NJ. She also works on the CDC’s ADDM study which studies Autism in 14 study sites across the country. Her publications include a book and several articles on women’s childbirth choices as well as mental illness. Dr. Howell has a Ph.D. from Rutgers University and graduated from the University of Florida. Prior to joining the Department of Health, Dr. Howell led health policy research at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy.
Hilory Liccini is currently the Project Coordinator of Support Autism in North Dakota (SAND) as well as the Principle Investigator on The Great Plains Interdisciplinary Autism Diagnostic Clinic (GPIC), Inclusive, Affordable, Accessible Housing Option Project, and the Experienced Parent Program for the Grand Forks and Fargo regions.
Prior to joining NDCPD, Ms. Liccini worked with children as a Speech Therapist in various settings in both New York and Florida. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Nazareth College in Rochester, New York in Communication Science Disorders as well as a master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of West Florida. She has done numerous presentations and trainings across North Dakota as well as an International Conference on Disabilities and Diversity. She is a certified Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) administrator and has trained numerous individuals and Autism Spectrum Disorder teams on how to run ASD evaluation and diagnostic clinics.
Joann Migyanka, D.Ed.
Joann Migyanka, D.Ed. serves as an Associate Professor in the Special Education Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Special Education, Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Migyanka received the Wendy S. Miller National Professional of the Year Award from the Autism Society of America in 2000. She taught children on the autism spectrum for 10 years before moving to teaching in higher education. Dr. Migyanka serves as a Behavior and Learning Consultant for adults on the spectrum. She is the author of peer-reviewed publications and book chapter. She received external grant funding for the development of training materials for first responders and emergency personnel for the patient with an autism spectrum disorder.
Trisha Page – Autism Coordinator for the state of North Dakota. Aside from her role as coordinator, Trisha has over seven years’ experience working as an independent autism consultant in both family and educational capacities. With over a dozen years of hands-on experience in working with autism, she has studied adult attitudes toward individuals with autism, created a parent-professional support group, and helped to create an autism-friendly Sunday school curriculum. Trisha is the mother of four boys, the oldest of whom was diagnosed with moderate/severe autism at age 2.
Vicki Peterson. Single mother of Aaron, 12 with autism and ID, and Erik 22. BA in Psychology. Have been a Family Consultant for Family Voices of ND for 11years.
Served on Pathfinder Board and Regional RICC and You-Nique Opportunities Parent Navigator Team in Bismarck.
Dr. Myra Quanrud
Dr Quanrud is a pediatrician at Essentia Health in Jamestown, and medical director of Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown. She has been in practice for 18 yrs. Dr Quanrud attended Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, and received her medical degree from UND School of Medicine. She completed residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. Dr Quanrud has a special interest in caring for children and youth with special healthcare needs. She enjoys spending time with her 3 young kids, and being at the lake.
Mari Quittschreiber has Bachelors degree in child Development and Family Science from NDSU. She is currently supporting child care providers as an Inclusion Specialist with Child Care Aware She was the Right Track Coordinator for Region V for 10 years. Then worked as a child care Licenser for Barnes County. Previous to that she taught preschool and Migrant Head Start as well as teaching in various child care facilities. She also owned and operated a group Child Care from her home for several years. She has 4 children ages 19, 18, 14 and 9. She has served on several Local, State and National committees as a parent advocate as well as in a professional capacity.
Dr. Brian Reichow
Brian Reichow is Associate Professor at the Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies in the College of Education at the University of Florida. Dr. Reichow completed his MS and PhD in Special Education at Vanderbilt University and completed a two-year post-doc under the supervision of Dr. Fred Volkmar at the Yale Child Study Center, where he remains an adjunct faculty member. His current research interests include the translation of clinical research into practical applications in schools and communities, the identification and evaluation of evidence-based practices, systematic review and meta-analytic methods and applications, and applied research in authentic educational settings. He has edited two books (Evidence-Based Practices and Treatments for Children with Autism [Reichow et al., 2011], Adolescents and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders [Volkmar, Reichow, & McPartland, 2014]), and authored over 50 scholarly articles and chapters. In 2010 Dr. Reichow was awarded the Council for Exceptional Children, Division of Research Early Career Publication Award for his meta-analysis of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention that was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (Reichow and Wolery, 2009). Dr. Reichow working with colleagues at the World Health Organization to develop practice guidelines and training materials on neurodevelopmental disabilities to increase the identification, management, and treatment of children in lower- and middle-income countries.
Kristi graduated from MSU in May, 2003 with a Bachelor’s degree in Developmental Disabilities and with a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education in December, 2012. She worked for a residential treatment center for 5 years as the Program Director of the Horse Program and partnered with Nancy for Hippotherapy during the summer months. Kristi currently works at Minot Infant Development Program in the NDCPD department at Minot State University. She is the co-founder, Executive Director, and instructor of Serenity Therapeutic Equine Program (STEP) since 2010. STEP offers equine assisted programs for children and families with an intellectual, behavioral/emotional, and/or physical disability.
Peggy Shireley is an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) who has been actively engaged in delivering assistive technology services with the Interagency Program for Assistive Technology (IPAT) since 1994. Prior to IPAT she worked in the field of disability and special education for 20 years; specializing in children with deaf/blindness and those with multiple disabilities. She holds a Master of Education degree, and was certified by the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America Professional Standards Board as an ATP in 2000. In addition, she earned an Executive Certification in Home Modifications in 2010, from the University of Southern California, Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center.
Laurie Skadsem is a Certified Occupational Therapist, and a systems navigator at the Anne Carlsen Center. Laurie has developed and implemented programs such as Community Integration and Vocational Development Program for ACC students 16-21 years of age; Grass Roots Assessment SErvices Project; and Pieces of Life Class.
Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D.
Brenda Smith Myles Ph.D., a consultant with the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) and the Ziggurat Group, is the recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Professional Award, the Princeton Fellowship Award, and the Council for Exceptional Children, Division on Developmental Disabilities Burton Blatt Humanitarian Award. Brenda has made over 1000 presentations all over the world and written more than 200 articles and books on ASD. In addition, she served as the co-chair of the National ASD Teacher Standards Committee; was on the National Institute of Mental Health’s Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee’s Strategic Planning Consortium; and collaborated with the National Professional Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, National Autism Center, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who identified evidenced based practices for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and served as Project Director for the Texas Autism Resource Guide for Teachers (TARGET). Myles is also on the executive boards of several organizations, including the Scientific Council of the Organization for Autism Research (SCORE) and ASTEP – Asperger Syndrome Training and Education Program. Further, in the latest survey conducted by the University of Texas, she was acknowledged as the second most productive applied researcher in ASD in the world.
Barb Stanton, PhD, is currently employed at Prairie St. John’s as a therapist with a specialty in autism spectrum disorders. She does diagnostic assessments, individual and family therapy, public education, program development, advocacy, collaboration and consultation. Barb works to empower individuals with autism and their families so they may reach their highest potential for success. She promotes a belief in understanding and acceptance for those who are neurologically diverse. She has a Masters degree in child development and family science: marital and family therapy from North Dakota State University and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has nearly 30 years experience in the mental health field.
She is a licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is also an approved supervisor for Marriage and Family Therapists in North Dakota.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Red River Valley Asperger Autism Network as their professional liaison.
Rachel has 19 years of experience with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She received her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from Minnesota State University, Moorhead (MSUM) and her Autism Certification from University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. She has hundreds of hours of additional training in the areas of challenging behaviors, strategies for working with individuals with ASD, Social Cognition, Apraxia of Speech, Sensory Integration, etc. She has worked in the school setting as a service specialist for developing in-home programs for individuals with ASD, private practice, and is currently Assistant Professor and clinical supervisor at MSUM. In addition to her professional experience, Rachel has 4 children; her only son has moderate to severe Autism Spectrum Disorder, epilepsy and global developmental delays. She has lead an Autism Support Group in the Fargo/Moorhead area for approximately 15 years and the group organized the “Faces of Autism” exhibit in Fargo for the past 4 years. She is passionate about working with families and individuals with special needs.
Jennifer Stroh is currently employed as an Autism Consultant with the West Fargo School District. Previously, she worked as a school psychologist with the Grand Forks School District assigned to multiple buildings and grade levels. She earned her undergraduate degree from North Dakota State University and her education specialist degree in school psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Brad is a parent of a son with severe autism since January 2003. Brad is also a current Board of Director for Project Lifesaver International since 2009, the past Chair of the Minnesota Senate Autism Task Force and Chair of the Minnesota Autism Task Force from 2012-2013 where he lead the efforts with that 18-member group to create the first ever Minnesota Autism Strategic Plan. Brad has been instrumental in passed legislation including; notification to parents when services are to expire so that guardian can get reassessed in proper timing to meet state requirements, creation of the MN Senate Resolution Autism Task Force, creation of the Minnesota House-Senate Autism Task Force, MN Private insurance for autism coverage and proper notification to parents/guardians of alleged maltreatment to students in the public school setting. Brad also led the efforts in Rochester, MN, for one of a first in the nation, creating “Autistic Child” signs for parents/guardians to have placed out in front of their residences to make the neighborhood and public safety aware. Through his passionate speaking about autism, like no other, it is Brad’s mission to make us laugh, to make us cry but furthermore to Educate*Advocate*Bring Awareness and Unite us about autism!
Arvind Venkat, MD, FACEP
Arvind Venkat, MD, FACEP serves as the Vice Chair for Research and Faculty Academic Affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine, West Penn Allegheny Health System, Allegheny Health Network and Ethics Consultant, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He also holds the title of Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine and Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Venkat received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in History of Science from Harvard University in 1996 and his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine in 2000. After medical school, he completed his residency in emergency medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and served as faculty there in the Department of Emergency Medicine until moving to Allegheny General Hospital in 2007. Dr. Venkat is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in the fields of emergency medicine and clinical ethics and serves as the editor of the new emergency medicine textbook Challenging and Emerging Conditions in Emergency Medicine (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011). He lives in Wexford, PA with his wife Dr. Veena Venkat and their three children.
Ms. Rhonda Weathers, M. ED, a Research Associate at North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities, has 18 years of public school experience as case manager of students with special health care needs and intellectual disabilities. Ms. Weathers’ current role as Project Director at NDCPD is to facilitate the online course, The Fundamentals of Medical Home for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at Minot State University for the Medical Home Education in North Dakota (MHEND) Project. She also serves as an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EDHI) Program follow-up coordinator to track every infant through intervention for two hospitals in ND, an Education Coordinator for the Perceptions Project, and a Team Assessment Coordinator for the Supporting Autism in North Dakota (SAND) project to assist in conducting trainings to the medical professionals, organizing training materials, and disseminating information across the state.
Scott Weissman is the Chief Operating Officer for the Interagency Program for Assistive Technology (IPAT). Scott joined IPAT in 2007 and has a bachelor’s degree from Idaho State University in secondary education and is a certified Assistive Technology Professional. His role with IPAT is to provide leadership for statewide assistive technology activities while also providing direct assistance to individuals and professionals seeking assistive technology information and recommendations.
Dr. Amy Wetherby
The presentation will be conducted by Dr. Amy Wetherby, a nationally recognized expert and researcher on interventions for young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Amy M. Wetherby, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Director of the Autism Institute in the College of Medicine and the Laurel Schendel Professor of Communication Disorders at Florida State University. She has over thirty years of clinical experience and is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Dr. Wetherby has published extensively and presents regularly at national conventions on early detection of children with autism spectrum disorders and intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders using the SCERTS model. She is the Project Director of Doctoral Training in Research, Autism, and Interdisciplinary Leadership (TRAIL) funded by the U.S. Department of Education and is the Executive Director of the Florida State University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. She served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee for Educational Interventions for Children with Autism and on the DSM-5 Neurodevelopmental Workgroup of the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Wetherby is Project Director of the FIRST WORDS Project, a longitudinal research investigation on early detection of autism spectrum and other communication disorders, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is a Principal Investigator of three randomized controlled trials—the Early Social Interaction Project, an early treatment study teaching parents of toddlers with autism spectrum disorders how to support social communication and play in everyday activities funded by Autism Speaks and NIMH; the Classroom SCERTS Intervention Project for school-age children funded by the US DOE/IES; and one of 5 collaborative research entities that form the Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavior Health (AIR-B) funded by HHS/HRSA.
Dr. Susan Zelewski
Dr. Zelewski earned her medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. She completed her residency at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, Pediatrics. He’s board certified in Pediatrics.
He earned his bachelors degree in Mass Communications from Kansas State University in 2012. Born at 26 weeks and weighing only 1lbs 12oz, Zach spent the first six months of his life in the hospital and had a trach for three years and a feeding tube for two and a half, in addition to in-home nursing care for the first three years of his life. After overcoming many early obstacles, he grew up to have a normal and healthy childhood. At 8 years of age he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Since graduating from Kansas State, he has spent time working in a variety of fields, but his passion lies in autism awareness and advocacy. Early in 2014, he traveled to Europe where he met with various autism organizations in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. Zach is the creator and writer of the blog, The ZEZ Connection, which details his life and experiences with Asperger Syndrome. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Red River Valley Asperger Autism Network. He resides in Fargo, North Dakota.