We are so thankful at Autism Parenting Magazine (APM) to all of the contributors who share their expertise in order to provide the information that helps us help all of our families around the world. With their contribution of time and knowledge, we are able to provide up-to-date advice throughout each issue, as well as in our Autism Parenting Summit.
Every year, in order to show our gratitude to these selfless individuals, we present the Contributor Awards in several categories. Choosing from the many worthy candidates is truly a difficult task, and while not everyone will receive an award, we are grateful to every contributor who shared their work with us. Please continue to submit your work for our upcoming issues, as we could not do this without you.
Now, here are the autism experts who have been chosen for this year’s APM 2022 Contributor Awards:
Top APM Contributor
Claire Delano, BA
Claire is a content writer for APM who has shared her expertise with us countless times this past year. With a bachelor’s degree in English and a concentration in Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication from the College of Charleston, she has been president and Editor-in-Chief of her campus C of C. Her writing has been published numerous times in various magazines.
Top Parental Advice Writer
Karen Kaplan, MS
Karen has contributed numerous articles to APM, providing her expertise in many areas of autism. With a BS and MS degree in Speech Pathology, an Educational Administrative Credential, and a Moderate to Severe Teaching Credential, she has been an instructor at Alliant University in their Autism Spectrum Certificate program. A former Executive Director of Wings Learning Center for children with autism, she has sat on numerous nonprofit boards, helped non-governmental agencies in Indonesia and Africa, and also was the director of a residential school in Sacramento. She presently consults with families, schools and adult programs.
Top Autism Advocacy Writer
Angela has contributed to APM many times over the past year. An autistic adult who was not diagnosed until her late 20s, she is an advocate for autism and mental health, dealing with her own anxiety, OCD, and in the past, depression. She works at what she calls two “encouraging jobs” that are helping her to grow and transform, and she is thankful for the people in her life who have provided support and positivity. While learning about advocacy, leadership, and organizations that will help her thrive in her future, she wants to provide a strong voice for people with autism and mental illness.
Top Behavioral Solutions Writer
Carol Tatom, BA.HSE, CHW
Carol has provided some wonderful information to help with behavioral solutions for APM. Carol has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services and is a licensed Community Health worker in Texas. She is also an autism parent, writer, and advocate for special needs families. Carol is currently the Operations Director of Life Skills Autism Academy. She enjoys being able to work with families and help connect them to support and resources that improve their quality of life.
Top Financial Planning Advisor
Ryan F. Platt, MBA, ChFC, ChSNC
Ryan has provided much information to help APM parents with financial planning. He is a registered representative who offers securities, investment advisory, and financial planning through MML Investors Services, LLC. He is also a member of SIPC. He is the founder of A Special Needs Plan for the purpose of leading families to independence through an ongoing multi-generational plan, and they are passionate about helping families move forward confidently.
Top Autism Safety Advisor
Lt. Joseph Pangaro, CPM, CSO, MOI
Lt. Pangaro has written numerous safety articles for APM, while also presenting at the Autism Parenting Summit. A 28-year veteran law enforcement officer and former Director of School Safety and Security, he runs True Security Design, a company that provides training for law enforcement, schools, businesses, and houses of worship, on safety and security issues. Lt. Pangaro is also an award-winning writer, two from Autism Parenting Magazine for articles on safety and security for kids on the spectrum.
Email: [email protected]
Top Autism Diagnoses Writers
Karla Pretorius, M. Psych and Nanette Botha, BEd
Karla and Nanette have both contributed many informative articles to APM. They are Co-Founders of AIMS Global. Karla is a Research Psychologist who advocates globally for autism awareness, acceptance, and understanding. Nanette is an educator who has always had a passion for seeing children learn and grow. Together, they have presented in many countries and collaborated with autism advocates and adults on the spectrum to provide the AIMS holistic support system. AIMS Global offers in-home, online, and supervised programs, as well as full-spectrum online courses, to provide support for parents and their children in everyday life.
Top Education Writer
Dr. Ronald I. Malcolm, EdD
Dr. Malcolm has shared his expertise in numerous articles for APM. He is an Assistant Director of Special Education for a public school district, as well as an Associate Faculty Member with the University of Phoenix. He is also a Special Graduate Faculty member at the University of Kansas. His degrees include a bachelor’s degree in English and Special Education, a master’s degree in Counseling, Special Education and School Administration, a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership, and postgraduate degrees in Positive Behavior Supports and Autism Spectrum Disorders. He has worked with students with autism and various medical needs, ages 3-21, for the last 37 years in various school and community-based settings.
Top Autism Strategies Writer
Emily Ransom, MSE
Emily has shared her experience with and knowledge about autism in APM many times. A mother of a child with severe autism and epilepsy, she writes the blog, Mama to Kash’s Voice, sharing her son’s journey through autism and providing a safe place for families so that they do not feel alone. She recently received her master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis on Autism and Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, and she resides in Indiana with her husband, son, daughter, and two dogs, one an autism therapy dog.
Top Sensory Solutions Writer
Heather Cook, ACC
Heather has contributed to APM several times, utilizing her own experience. An autistic self-advocate, she is also a certified life coach, certified teacher, and an autism coach helping autistic individuals and their families to find effective and successful ways to be themselves.
Special Mention for Autism Parental Advice
Dr. Tasnuva Sarwar Tunna, M. Pharm, PhD
Dr. Tunna has used her expertise to provide parental advice for APM in several issues. The Founder of Autism Success Academy, as well as her signature coaching program, Autism Transformation & Success, she works to transform children with autism to reach their highest developmental success and potential, working closely with the parent who is the primary care provider. Being neurodiverse, she writes and advocates in printed media, as well as in her blog and social media platforms. She is a certified pharmacist, published scientist, educator, and most importantly, an autism mom of three.
Special Mention for Autism Behavioral Solutions
Beatrice (Bea) Moise, MS, BCCS
Bea has written from her personal experience as the parent of a child with autism to provide helpful articles for APM. With a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling with a specialty in Applied Behavior Analysis, Bea is a Board-Certified Cognitive Specialist, Parenting Coach, writer, and national speaker. She is also the creator of A Child Like Mine, LLC, a company that educates parents of children with unique behavioral and learning needs while giving them the tools they need to be successful at home. She has been featured on and published in several television shows and magazines.
Special Mention for Personal Narratives
Kimberlee Rutan McCafferty
Kimberlee uses her experience as the mother of two sons on the autism spectrum and has written several narratives for APM. She is an Autism Family Partner at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the author of Raising Autism: Surviving the Early Years.
Special Mention for Autism Parental Advice
Tulika is a mom of a child with autism, sharing all that she learns about her journey in articles for APM. She volunteers for Autism Speaks as an advocacy ambassador and is also a member of Regional Autism Advisory Council. She also volunteers in other capacities for autism awareness and acceptance.
Special Mention for Poetry
Mary has written poems for APM for several issues, utilizing her talents as an author and journalist. She has a daughter with autism who is also nonspeaking. Most recently she authored a book, a collection of horror fiction, called Sweet Nightmares.