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Staci Carr

Moving Towards Independence for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Presented By:
Staci Carr, Ph.D., VCU Autism Center for Excellence (ACE)
April 27, 2016

This webcast will address how to instruct individuals with ASD who need a higher level of support to obtain successful personal independence in the community. Strategies for reaching independence in the areas of physical health, social health, and community participation will be shared. In addition, Tim Sutton, a law enforcement officer, and Tammy Burns, a parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder, will share their perspectives on this topic.

Staci Carr received a Master’s degree in education from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Since 1993, Staci has been working and conducting research in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder, specifically addressing Social Skills Training and Social Competence, Quality of Life, Transition to College, and Relationships and Sexuality, and first responder training and preparedness. She has worked in Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Virginia developing programs to support individuals in a variety of settings with varying abilities.  Additionally, Dr. Carr has consulted nationally on issues related to adolescents and young adults with ASD. 

Tammy Burns, M.Ed., is the Outreach Coordinator at the Autism Society Central Virginia.  Tammy received her BA from Virginia Tech in Elementary Education and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) from Arizona State. Tammy is a Partners in Policymaking Graduate and a volunteer Family Navigator for the Partnership for People with Disabilities, Center for Family Involvement. She is also the Chair of the Chesterfield County Special Education Advisory Committee.  She and her husband, Troy, have three teenage children – Brett, Jared and Amber.  Her 17-year-old son, Jared, has autism.

Tim W. Sutton, Virginia Law Enforcement Officer, is a Sergeant with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office just outside of Richmond Virginia. At the direction of his Sheriff in 2003, he implemented a tracking program for individuals who wander due to Alzheimer’s, Autism, and other cognitive disorders.  Since that time, he has worked with hundreds families and caregivers of individuals with special needs throughout the community. Since 2010, Tim has also traveled throughout Virginia assisting with the Critical Autism Training (CAT 1) for law enforcement. He also co-facilitates a one day Autism Train the Trainer that is taught throughout the State. Tim lives in Virginia with his wife, son, and twin girls.  He continues to work as a law enforcement officer.  His company, “A Better Understanding LLC” is committed to promoting peaceful interactions and positive outcomes. (   

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