Leaders, Pioneers, and Change Agents

There are many remarkable aspects about Shrub Oak International School that make it a groundbreaking model for autism education. But none of these is more critical to our mission than our internationally renowned – and actively engaged – Advisory Board.

The twelve individuals on the Shrub Oak Advisory Board were selected for their unique areas of expertise and their outstanding contributions to the field. It is an elite group of experts that inspires us through their knowledge, passion, commitment, and leadership.

Learn from the Experts

Our Board members have created widely accepted assessment tools, seminal intervention protocols and education approaches, and pioneering research. They have brought forth new theories and paradigms. Most travel internationally to share their knowledge and inspire change. They’ve changed the way people perceive individuals with autism, even the way autistic people view themselves. They’ve certainly changed the way we educate and interact with our students.

To make best use of these incredible individuals, our Board members will lead training sessions and seminars for faculty, staff and others. These presentations will be open to any and all parents and professionals who wish to attend.

You don’t have to be an employee, you don’t need to have a son or daughter enrolled. Just join us. Everyone is welcome.

Visit the News page of our website periodically to stay up to date on these amazing learning opportunities.

The Change Agents

Ruth Aspy, Ph.D. is co-author of The Ziggurat Model, a comprehensive intervention model that earned the Literary Achievement Award from the Autism Society of America. She will guide the Shrub Oak team in using this approach to inter-connect education, clinical, and student life programs.

David F. Cihak, Ph.D.’s research includes effective instructional and behavioral strategies: Video, augmented reality, virtual, mobile, and context-aware technologies for improving educational, vocational, functional, and social/communicative outcomes for students.

Christine Emmons, Ph.D. has devoted her life’s work to educational issues. Her primary research interests have included the impact of home, school, and community environments on children’s self-worth, self-management, self-determination, empowerment, and success.

Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D. has more than 35 years of experience supporting adolescents and adults with autism spectrum disorders in educational, employment, residential and community-based settings. Dr. Gerhardt serves as Chairman of the Scientific Council for the Organization for Autism Research.

Jeffrey J. Guenzel, M.A., L.P.C. is CEO of the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning, the original and leading training resource for the DIRFloortime® intervention strategies for children with autism and developmental disabilities.

Gary B. Mesibov, Ph.D. was the long-time director of TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children), internationally recognized for pioneering approaches to service, treatment, training, research and education of autistic children.

Brenda Smith Myles Ph.D., one of the most prolific and globally-respected researchers and authors in the field of autism education, is a consultant with the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence and the Ziggurat Group. She has earned a host of prestigious honors and awards for her groundbreaking work.

Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is one of the world’s leading scholars in autism spectrum disorders and communication disabilities. His recent book, Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, won the 2017 Outstanding Literary Work Award from the Autism Society of America.

Judy Shanley, Ph.D. is a nationally-recognized leader with Easterseals in Chicago, where she implements evidence-based transition practices and engages communities in developing mobility options that enable youth with disabilities to pursue employment and education opportunities.

Stephen Shore, Ph.D., who himself was diagnosed with “strong autistic tendencies” is internationally known for presentations and writings on living, learning, and coping with disability. His book College for Students with Disabilities combines personal stories and research for success in higher education.

Colleen Thoma, Ph.D., is internationally known as a co-developer of the Universal Design for Transition framework linking academic and transition education for youth with disabilities. She is also an acknowledged expert in the area of self-determination and transition planning.

Michael L. Wehmeyer, Ph.D. is Director and Senior Scientist at the University of Kansas Beach Center on Disability. He is internationally respected for his research and development in self-determination, and has written over 325 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has authored, co-authored, or edited 32 books on disability and education issues.

If space allowed, the accomplishments of these world-class experts would fill volumes. We are honored that they have chosen to serve on our Advisory Board and look forward to their guidance and counsel in creating an international model of educational excellence that schools around the world can emulate.


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