Conference Presenters

Carol Gray

Carol Gray is a Consultant to Children, Adolescents, and Adults with Autism, providing support via workshops and presentations, information, referral, resources, and direct services for individuals with autism, their families, and professionals who work on their behalf. Carol is best known for the development of Social Stories, a well-respected evidence-based practice used worldwide with people with autism of all ages. She is an internationally sought-after keynote and seminar speaker and has completed over 1,000 presentations.

Carol is also the founder of a very effective social philosophy that 1) ‘abandons all assumptions’, 2) regards both the typical and autism perspective as ‘equally valid’, and 3) recognizes the ‘social impairment in autism’ as shared (noting the well-intentioned but nonetheless misguided mistakes of parents and professionals). She has completed ground-breaking work on some of the toughest topics in autism by reviewing the research, outlining new theories, and developing practical instructional strategies, most notably Gray’s Guide to Bullying (2004) and Gray’s Guide to Loss, Learning, and Students with ASD (2003).


Jennifer Flores

A member of ASAN, (Autistic Self Advocacy Network), Jennifer lives in North Dakota with her husband, working as a freelance musician and teaching private music lessons through her studio, Mandan Music for Life.

John Fode

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 is both a public speaker and a filmmaker. He directed an hour long educational video about starting support groups for parent of children on the Autism Spectrum, and he wrote and directed a short film titled “Vignette: Métaphore dans le parc”. He also edits videos for the Red River Valley Asperger-Autism Network.
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. 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. Over the years he has embraced what Asperger’s is, and find the positive aspects of it, and now works to help others with Asperger’s through presentations, panels, and spreading awareness.

Laura Gillan

Laura Gillan is a special education teacher. She has taught in Minneapolis Public Schools and is most currently teaching middle school in Moorhead Public Schools. She has her Masters of Arts in Special Education- Autism Spectrum Disorders. Passions include her family, adventuring, coffee and utilizing her sense of humor while fostering indepedence and success with her students.

Amanda Hamre

I obtained my Bachelors degree in Psycholgy in 2012 in Duluth, MN. In Minneapolis, MN, I pursued a position as a Behavior Therapist completing in home services. In 2013 I took a job as a Behavior Therapist at an Autism center. In 2015 I accepted a job as a Behavior Therapist in Gilbert, AZ. In 2015, I accepted a position at Anne Carlsen Center as a Behavior Coordinator. Since 2015, I have been pursuing my Masters in ABA, BCaBA, and BCBA. My passion involves working with families and early intervention for children with autism. I believe it is very important that families are involved and therapy begins at a young age.

Taylor Hill

I have been working with individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder for over a decade in North Dakota and Illinois. I obtained my Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2015 and received certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board the same year. I am a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst in the state of North Dakota and I received my license from the North Dakota State Board of Psychologist Examiners in 2018. I currently serve as a Behavior Support Coordinator for the Anne Carlsen Center in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Adie Hobert

Adrianne is a Special Education Teacher and Associate Director of Education for the Anne Carlson Center at the Jamestown Campus. She has twenty years experience working with individuals on the spectrum in a variety of roles. Adrianne holds a Masters in Education as a Special Education Strategist with an Autism Credential that was obtained from the University of North Dakota in 2009. She also holds a Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Minnesota, Moorhead that was obtained in 2017. Adrianne is a licensed special education teacher

Zachary Jones

Zach Jones is developmental specialist working in Early Intervention with Anne Carlsen in Fargo, North Dakota. He is a licensed speech-language pathologist with professional interest in social-communication, language development, and pediatric feeding. He also serves on the Anne Carlsen Autism Diagnostic Team in Jamestown, ND.

Zach holds a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology and Bachelor of Science in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Jackie Loepp-Trautmann

I have been working with individuals diagnosed with Autism for the past 13 years with the Anne Carlsen Center. My career started as a Special Education teacher in a high school classroom at the Anne Carlsen Center. I taught in the classroom for several years before working as the Curriculum Coordinator for ACC and receiving my certification as a Registered Behavior Technician. Today my role at the Anne Carlsen Center is as a Behavioral Support Coordinator at the Jamestown campus. I obtained by Master of Science degree in Special Education from the University of North Dakota in 2017 and received my certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board in 2018.

Heidi Paulson

Dr. Heidi Paulson is a Licensed Psychologist who has worked at the Life Skills & Transition Center for 10 years. She has extensive experience working with adolescents and adults with severe Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is a member of the CARES team that provides outreach and consultation to teams across the state of ND.

Vicki Peterson

Vicki Peterson, single mother of two boys, one is 26 yrs old and Aaron is 16 and has Autism with an Intellectual Disability and chronic health conditions. I am a Family Consultant for Family Voices of ND, I am on the ND Autism State Task Force, IDEA Advisory Committee, and a member of the ND Autism Spectrum Disorder Advocacy Coalition. I have a bachelors degree in Psychology.

Melissa Schroeder

Moe Schroeder is a Family Consultant with Family Voices of North Dakota and is the North Dakota Parent to Parent Program Director and Project Carson Coordinator. Moe also works for Anne Carlsen Early Intervention Fargo as their Parent Support Specialist. Moe has two children. Her daughter Kasey is 19 and attending Hamline University St Paul, MN. Her son Tyler is 9 and resides with Moe in Hunter. Moe and her children’s dad, Rob, received a prenatal diagnosis at 22 weeks when pregnant with Tyler. Tyler is a graduate of the ND Part C Early Intervention Program, Infant Development.

Moe currently serves on the North Dakota Interagency Coordinating Committee, Parent-to-Parent USA Board of Directors, ND Department of Health Newborn Screening Committee, ND Department of Health Special Health Services Family Advisory Council and the ND Department of Public Instruction Community of Practice on Transition. In the past she has committed time to various committees for the Association of Maternal Child Health Program, Fargo ND area Early Childhood Informational Committee, ND Chapter of March of Dimes, Fargo ND Ronald McDonald House and Northern Cass School District Booster Club.

Nicole Watkins

Nicole is a huge advocate for services as she used to work for Family Voices, has personal experience with Autism, and now works at Anne Carlsen Center in Fargo.

Holly Johnson & Kim Odegaard

Holly Johnson and Kim Odegaard are Licensed BCBAs whom work for Life Skills and Transition Center as Applied Behavior Analyst IIs. Kim works mainly serving individuals in Fargo ND with autism and intellectual disabilities, but occasionally does some outreach to close by regions. She has over 13 years of experience working with individuals with individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. Holly serves adults, adolescents, and children with developmental disabilities, including autism around the western 2/3rds of North Dakota, serving cities of Devils Lake, Minot, Williston, Bismarck, and New Rockford. She also is the clinical director of Poppy’s Promise in Bismarck, serving children with autism spectrum disorders in an ABA clinic.