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Exceptional Needs Today
Working together to promote awareness, acceptance,
and inclusiveness for AL
L people

APRIL 2024


Karen Dempsey and Meshell Baylor, MHS

Michael A. Boylan

Kate Swenson

Mary Ann Hughes, MBA

Rose Adams, OTD, OTR/L 

Lisa Jan Sherman, BA

Laura Wahl McAlpine, MEd CCC-SLP

Haiku Houghton

Laura A. Ryan, OT, OTR, OTDI

Melissa D. Dean, PhD

J. Edwards Holt

Jeremy and Ilana Hamburgh

Jagmeet Sangha, BCBA

Nicole Moehring

Dan Holmes and Dr. Stephanie C. Holmes, EdD, MA, BCC

Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC, CFBS

Kate C. Wilde

Priya Pasumarthy, MS

Amy Wagenfeld, PhD, OTR/L, SCEM, EDAC, FAOTA

Ron Sandison, MDiv

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  • Managing diagnoses

  • Mobility and accessibility

  • Self-advocacy

  • Personal rights

  • Educational rights

  • Occupational therapy

  • Mental health support

  • Schools and camps

  • Transitioning to adulthood

  • Job opportunities

  • Financial planning

  • Supporting the family/caretakers

  • And so much more

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Don't Miss This Opportunity!

The Annual Akhil Autism Foundation Summit 2024 (ASCEND), is set for Saturday, May 18th, 2024, at St. Peter's University in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Building on the momentum of last year's successful virtual gathering, this year marks our return to an in-person event, focusing on the theme of Neurodiversity. This presents an excellent opportunity for businesses to gain exposure or support through sponsorship, including options to sponsor speakers or other aspects of the event.

Our core mission is to empower those affected by autism through providing essential resources, education, and support, as well as to enhance autism awareness within our community. This mission is brought to life through our varied initiatives, including support groups, educational workshops, and community-oriented events. For ASCEND 2024, we're curating a program that spans a broad spectrum of topics and speakers, aiming to deliver the latest insights and research breakthroughs in the field.




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About the Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Magazine publisher Amy KD Tobik, BA, is an award-winning editor with more than 30 years of publishing experience. After successfully producing an autism magazine for more than six years, Amy branched out on her own to create Exceptional Needs Today, a resource that reaches all people at no cost to them. In September 2021, Exceptional Needs Today received the Gold Award from the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards honoring excellence. Amy is a graduate of Sweet Briar College in Virginia and her special interests include advocating for children with different abilities and education. She lives in the Carolinas with her husband, and they have two adult children. She is CEO of Lone Heron Publishing which publishes Exceptional Needs Today.

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