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The Advisory Stakeholder Group on Autism Related Needs was created by HB 718 in the 2021 Maryland General Assembly session. Located in the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, the group is led by Katie Gandy, Maryland’s first statewide autism coordinator.

The goal is to enhance outreach and education about autism in Maryland. Gandy knows the challenges and opportunities as an advocate and parent of a child with autism. She will be a tremendous asset on this important issue for parents, children, and caregivers.

Gandy has served on the Board of Directors for the Howard County Autism Society for nearly three years. She recently led an effort by the society to add communication boards at Howard County elementary schools so that nonverbal children can better communicate with their peers on the playground.

Gandy seeks to build effective, wraparound resources for all Marylanders with autism, their families, and caregivers, to ensure that Maryland will remain a leader in autism education, therapy, interventions, and resources.

Katie Gandy State Coordinator for Autism Strategy
Christian Miele Assistant Secretary of Disabilities, Maryland
Department of Disabilities
Fatima Salem Maryland Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Rachel London Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council
Ray Marshall The Arc of Maryland
Rebecca Rinzi Pathfinders for Autismn
Ami Taubenfeld Itineris
Elizabeth Hall Maryland Department of Disabilities
Emily Arker School Psychologist, Montgomery County Public Schools
Christine Ceely Physical Therapist Case Mentor/Reviewer, Shenandoah University
Dr. Shannon Brown Pediatrician/Owner, Premiere Pediatrics
Nicole LeBlanc Autistic Self-Advocate
Adam Jones Autistic Self-Advocate; Horse Trainer, Autism After 21
Roger Thibaudeau Parent of a child on the Autism spectrum
Devan Southerland Parent of a child on the Autism spectrum; group leader/moderator of Facebook group “Brown on the Spectrum”
Lisa Wiederlight University of Baltimore
Peggy Pugh Washington County Public Schools
Julie Lewis T. Rowe Price
Jennifer Styles Paterakis Bakeries
Melissa Rosenberg Howard County Autism Society Executive Director
JaLynn Prince Madison House, Autism After 21
Ryan Roddey Special educator, autistic self-advocate
Walter Suskind Autism sibling, filmmaker, non-profit founder
Kristy Nunley Autism parent, author, advocatee
Annie McLaughlin Annie McLaughlin Consulting
Emily Pratt Behavioral expert, special educator

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