Peer to Peer Support Builds Meaningful Social Relationships
Presented at the 2021 Michigan Autism Conference
Amy Matthews, PhD, BCBA
Amy Matthews is a Professor of Psychology at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and has served as the director of the START Project, funded by the Michigan Department of Education-Office of Special Education, for 20 years. The START Project is focused on a statewide collaborative effort to make systems level changes to improve the educational programming and quality of life for students with autism and their families. Dr. Matthews is involved in various state projects to increase integrated opportunities and improve post school outcomes for individuals with ASD, including serving as vice chair of the Governor’s Autism Council. Dr. Matthews is a licensed psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
Carrie Carr, M.Ed
Carrie serves as the regional Teacher Consultant for Students with Autism for the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District. She has worked with numerous staff in the EUPISD to develop peer to peer support programs. Carrie is a statewide presenter and content developer for Peer to Peer Supports for Students with Autism for the START Project.
Katy Foster, M. Ed
Katy Foster is a Teacher Consultant for Autism employed by Berrien RESA. She is a veteran special education teacher with vast experiences that have included working with students in many settings. Katy is a trainer with the START Project and she provides professional development in Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and the use of evidence-based practices for regional and local school staff and families.
Lindsey Harr-Smith, MA, CCC-SLP
Lindsey has worked in the school setting as a speech-language pathologist, Autism Consultant, and Peer to Peer Consultant since 2004. She has extensive experience with developing and implementing peer to peer programs in preschool-12th grade. In addition, she is an Autism Education and Intervention Specialist and state-wide presenter with the START Project with a focus on Peer to Peer Supports. Lindsey provides support to school-based teams across the state to increase implementation of peer to peer and inclusive opportunities for students with ASD.
Kathy Hickok, M. Ed., BCBA
Kathy Hickok is a Teacher Consultant for Autism at Berrien RESA. Before coming to RESA, Kathy spent twenty-six years in the classroom teaching and learning from students with academic, behavioral and social/emotional challenges. As the Peer to Peer coordinator for Berrien RESA, she works with staff to address the behavioral needs of children throughout the county. Kathy serves as a START Project trainer with a focus on peer to peer support and behavior support.