Expert Speaker: Transitions Throughout a Lifetime: A Panel Discussion

Event Details

  • Date:

February 15, 2024: Transitions Throughout a Lifetime: A Panel Discussion

  • 3 Learning Credits



The panel discussion will be an overview of considerations throughout transitional periods including early developmental years and childhood to adolescence. Dr. Peterson will discuss the initial transition to ABA services, and Dr. Bahry will also discuss considerations throughout the transition.


1. Participants will identify transitional periods across a lifetime and list considerations when planning for transitional periods.
2. Participants will describe two repertoires considered foundational to skill development throughout a lifetime.
3. Participants will discuss how dignity, autonomy, and advocacy can be incorporated into transitional periods.


Chair Presenter:
Jill Harper, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA, CDE

Dr. Harper serves as the Senior Director of Professional Development, Clinical Training, and Research at Melmark New England. Dr. Harper received her PhD. in Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis from the University of Florida. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Licensed Behavior Analyst with the State of Massachusetts, and a Certified Diversity Executive®. Dr. Harper received the 2013 Jerry Shook Practitioner Award from BABAT, Massachusetts’ professional organization for behavior analysts, for excellence in clinical practice. In addition to direct service, she has been actively involved in the field of behavior analysis through academic instruction, training and supervision of staff, as well as the design and dissemination of applied research. Dr. Harper holds an adjunct faculty position teaching and mentoring masters and doctorate level students through Endicott College.  Her research interests include the assessment and treatment of severe behavior disorders, mechanisms responsible for behavior change, and maintenance and generalization of treatment effects.  Dr. Harper has published her work in several peer-reviewed journals and regularly presents as regional and national conferences.


Panelist Presenters: 

Shanna Bahry, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA

Dr. Bahry is a board-certified, doctoral-level behavior analyst (BCBA-D), certified progressive autism professional (CPBA-AP), and licensed behavior analyst in Massachusetts (LABA) and Rhode Island (LBA). She has been working with individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders for over 15 years, across a wide range of ages, abilities, and severity of challenging behavior, in a variety of settings. Dr. Bahry received her PhD in applied behavior analysis from Endicott College, under the advisement of Dr. Peter Gerhardt. She has authored several publications and presented nationally and internationally within her focus areas of adaptive behavior programming leading to optimal outcomes in adulthood, including teaching practitioners the skills needed to target meaningful goals with effective and efficient teaching methodologies. Dr. Bahry currently serves as the Executive Director of Meaningful HOPE, an agency committed to helping practitioners and families best support individuals with disabilities in preparing for a meaningful life in adulthood. She is also an Adjunct Professor in the master’s and doctoral programs at Endicott College’s Institute for Applied Behavioral Sciences.


Pamela Peterson, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA

Dr. Pamela Peterson is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and licensed applied behavior analyst specializing in early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) for young children with autism. Dr. Peterson has been working in the field of ABA with a focus on EIBI for over 12 years and is currently the director of early intervention at Melmark New England. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her masters and doctorate degrees in Behavior Analysis through Western New England University. Dr. Peterson has co-authored book chapters on common components of EIBI as well as a peer-reviewed article on the establishment of social referencing in young children with autism in the presence of safe and dangerous stimuli. Her current research interests include the emergence and maintenance of complex social repertoires such as imitation, joint attention, social referencing, and observational learning; the implementation incidental teaching strategies by providers and caregivers; and the evaluation of outcomes of early intensive behavioral intervention for children and their families.


Natalie Driscoll, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA

Dr Natalie Driscoll currently works with adolescents on the autism spectrum preparing for adulthood at Melmark New England and is an adjunct professor in the applied behavior analysis masters programs at Endicott College and SUNY Empire. She has experience with multiple populations including supporting people with acquired brain injuries, complex mental health presentations, and intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. Her research interests include safety skill instruction, meaningful goal development, and adult services.


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