Conference Presenters

Haley Moss - KEYNOTE

Haley Moss was diagnosed with autism at age 3 and is an associate attorney at Zumpano Patricios in Coral Gables, Florida. Prior to going viral for becoming the first openly autistic attorney admitted to The Florida Bar, she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2018, and graduated from the University of Florida in 2015 with Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Criminology.

She is a renowned visual pop artist and the author of “Middle School: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About” and “A Freshman Survival Guide for College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About.” She also illustrated and contributed to the anthology “What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew.” Her writing has been featured in publications such as HuffPost, Teen Vogue, Bustle, Elite Daily, and The Mighty. Haley also co-hosts the Spectrumly Speaking podcast, which is dedicated to women on the autism spectrum. Haley currently serves on the constituency board for the University of Miami – Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and the Board of Directors for Different Brains. She previously served on the board of Unicorn Village Academy.




Jennifer Flores - KEYNOTE

Jennifer is a member of the North Dakota Autism Spectrum Disorder Advocacy Coalition, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and the North Dakota Governor’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Task Force.

Advocating beyond acceptance, Jennifer challenges ignorance and prejudice, promoting inclusion in education and community, stressing the need for embracing Neurodiversity.

Originally from San Diego, she’s made a home in North Dakota teaching out of her music studio and working as a freelance musician performing locally for churches and with community bands as well as the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra.



Amy Armstrong

Amy Armstrong has been working at Minot State University at the North Dakota Center for Persons with Disabilities (NDCPD) since 2001. Since that time, Amy has written and worked on a variety of successful federal and state grants. She is currently the Project Director for the Advancing Students Towards Education and Employment Program (ASTEP) at Minot State University. In addition to directing the ASTEP program, Amy is the director of the Office of Sponsored Programs at Minot State University. She holds two Bachelor of Science in Education degrees from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN and Minnesota State University - Mankato, MN and a Master of Education concentrating in Special Education from Minot State University

Martha Burns

Dr. Martha S. Burns has been a practicing speech language pathologist in the Chicago area for over 40 years. She serves on the Faculty of Northwestern University, in the area of behavioral and cognitive neuroscience. Dr. Burns is a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and has received honors from Northwestern University, other universities, hospitals, professional organizations. She has authored 3 books and over 100 book chapters and articles Dr. Burns consults with many school districts around the world. She presents 75-100 invited in-services, keynotes, webinars and continuing education courses world-wide each year on neuroscience applications to education and clinical practice.

Emily Coler Hanson

Emily Coler Hanson M.S., LMFT, CGP is a licensed marriage and family therapist and an approved supervisor through the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She is TF-CBT certified as well and is working toward EMDR certification. She has worked as a therapist for the past ten years and has primarily focused her work on children, adolescents and their families. She has a particular interest in working with children who have experienced trauma, are on the autism spectrum, and prefers a team approach to helping children reach their goals. Her work often takes a strength-based approach and is influenced by the Nurtured Heart Approach. Emily is also the chairwoman of the ND LMFT Licensure Board


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.

Patty Hoffman

Patty Hoffman is a Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration servicing North Dakota, South Dakota and Western Minnesota. As a Public Affairs Specialist, Patty spends her time educating the public about Social Security via webinars, public speaking engagements, and through the media. Prior to public affairs, Patty was a Claims Specialist which entailed processing Social Security claims. With 15 years of experience, Patty has an extensive backround in benefit entitlements including retirement, Medicare, disbility, survivors, and SSI.

Erin Holt

Erin Holt has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for 21 years, and has practiced in a variety of settings. Including the public schools, private practice, early intervention, and medical settings. She currently works as an Assistant Professor at Minot State University, where she teaches both graduate and
undergraduate classes; and also works as a clinical educator. She is a member of the Great Plains Autism Diagnostic Team. Her areas of interest include early intervention and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Darcy Kasprowciz

Darcy Kasprowicz is the co-founder of the North Dakota Autism Center, Inc. As the Director of Development and Community Relations, Darcy tells the organizations story, provides training, and builds community connections. Darcy’s 17-year-old brother has autism and she has dedicated her career to raise awareness and acceptance. Darcy lives in West Fargo with her husband and daughter.

Kaitlyn Kudrna

Kaitlyn Kudrna is a Behavior Support Coordinator with the Anne Carlsen Center in Bismarck and Minot. She has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for 5 years as a Behavior Technician, Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), and Behavior Support Coordinator. She has held her credential as a Registered Behavior Technician for 2 years. Kaitlyn received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Minot State University in North Dakota in May 2015 and went on to receive her Masters of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology online in April 2018. Kaitlyn received a national certification for Applied Behavior Analysis in December 2019.

Kara Nunziato

Kara Nunziato has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for 7 years. A majority of her practice has occurred in the public school setting. Currently, Kara is pursuing a masters degree in the area of Autism and Applied Behavioral Analysis. At Minot State University, Kara is a clinical educator who supervises
undergraduate and graduate students in the communication disorders clinic. Her areas of interest include Autism Spectrum Disorder, applied behavioral analysis,speech sound disorders, and language disorders in children and adolescence.

Vicki Peterson

I am a Family Consultant for Family Voices of ND, the Family to Family Health Information Network. I have worked for Family Voices of ND for over 16 years. Family Voices of ND is a national grassroots non-profit that assists families who have children and youth with special health care needs, chronic health and disabilities. As a Family Consultant I offer education and training on navigating health systems, 1:1 parent support with lived experience, advocate for policy and programs, resource information, and professional leadership training. I am a single parent of two boys, Aaron has Autism with ID and also chronic health conditions.

Mariah Schaaf

Mariah is a Speech-Language Pathologist at Sanford Health in Bismarck, ND. Mariah received her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Minnesota State University Moorhead in the Spring of 2019, where she had former experience working for two years in the Regional Assistive Technology Center and serving many individuals with Autism. In November 2018, Mariah presented research at the American Speech Language Hearing Association’s annual convention in Boston, MA on the topic of “Evidence-Based Techniques to Encourage Social Initiation in Young AAC Users.” Mariah’s professional interests include augmentative and alternative communication, language, and dysphagia. She is in the process of developing a quarterly AAC Clinic at Sanford Health to provide patients of all ages/backgrounds AAC assessment and intervention.

Barb Stanton

Barb Stanton PhD, LPCC, LMFT’s clinical work at the Anne Carlsen Center is focused on children, adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum or who have related issues. With over 30 years of experience, Barb has learned to appreciate the infinite skills and talents of these amazing individuals as well as their struggles to navigate their environment. She works with community and family supports to develop creative solutions to difficult challenges. She believes that behavior is communication and enjoys discovering the why behind the behavior which could be anything from misunderstanding to trauma. Her approach is strength based and person centered.

Marcy Szarkowski 

Marcy has been employed by the Anne Carlsen Center for 21 years. In her current role as Ideation Center Specialist she serves on a team of professionals responsible for internal and external development for the organization. These activities include staff development training, client consultations, comprehensive programmatic evaluations, community-based vocational assessments and professional trainings/workshops to outside entities throughout the state of North Dakota. She completed her undergraduate work at Jamestown College in Elementary Education. She completed her Master’s degree at the University of North Dakota and is credentialed as a Special Education Strategist. She completed a graduate certificate in Assistive Technology from Northern Arizona University and is a certified ATP (Assistive Technology Professional) through RESNA.

Thomas Szewczyk

Tom was born in Connecticut and moved to Minnesota in 2009. Since the age of 22, he has worked with individuals with disabilities in a variety of settings and roles. In 2013, he completed a master's in special education with a focus on autism spectrum disorders at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, and
he is currently finishing his education specialist degree in educational leadership. He is employed at Concord Education Center in Intermediate District 917 where he works as a Dean of Special Education. He and his wife, Kristi, met in a Yahoo chatroom back in 1999 (it's a great story), and they live in Bloomington, Minnesota with their two boys, Finley and Felix.

Mary Weltz

Mary Weltz grew up in New Rockford ND. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Gerontology from Minot State University. Mary worked as a Long Term Care Facility Administrator for 17 years and had a financial services practice for 13 years. She joined the Aging Services Division in 2011 at the regional level in Devils Lake. In 2015, Mary came to the State Office to fill the role of the State Program Administrator of the National Family Caregiver Support Program. Mary and her husband Sheldon now reside in Mandan. They have two adult daughters and two granddaughters.

Stephanie Wille

Stephanie Wille is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, serving individuals with a diagnosis of Autism since 2006. Before moving to North Dakota in 2017, she worked in Madison, WI at the Wisconsin Early Autism Project from 2006 to 2017. Stephanie has had experience working in several different roles as an ABA provider including Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA), and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Stephanie received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and her Master of Education with an Emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorder from the University of Mary in North Dakota. Stephanie completed her Applied Behavior Analysis coursework through Florida Institute of Technology.

Dr. Cheryl Young-Pelton

Dr. Young-Pelton is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral, Licensed Behavior Analyst in Montana who is a Professor at Montana State University Billings in the Special Education program and initiated the ABAI Accredited Applied Behavior Analysis graduate degree program there. She is the founder and past-president of Montana Association of Behavior Analysis. Dr. Young-Pelton has provided technical assistance for the Montana Autism Education Project and Behavior Specialist Program since 2010 visiting over 100 schools impacting countless numbers of students, paraprofessionals and teachers.

Prior to earning her doctorate at the University of Central Florida in 2005, she worked for 25 years filling many roles: a behavior specialist, school administrator, special educator and music therapist in Florida's public schools and an ICF/MR facility.

Dr. Young-Pelton has maintained her status as a behavior analyst since 1988 through the FL Department of HRS, FL Behavior Analyst Certification, and Behavior Analyst Certification Board.