Featured Speakers

Emily Rubin

Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Health Care of Atlanta

  • M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P
  • Educational Outreach Specialist at the Marcus Autism Center
  • Speech-language pathologist who specializes in neuroscience and social competence of individuals with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and related social learning disabilities
  • Bachelor of Arts from University of California, San Diego
  • Master’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Emerson College

Biography from the Marcus Autism Center website:
Emily is a speech-language pathologist specializing in the neuroscience and social competence of individuals with autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and related social learning disabilities. As a former adjunct faculty member and lecturer at Yale University, she served as a member of their Autism and Developmental Disabilities Clinic. She has also served as an instructor for the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department of Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts where she has developed courses to prepare graduate level students for addressing the needs of children with autism and their families.

Her publications have focused on early identification of autism, contemporary intervention models, and programming guidelines for high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. She is also a co-author of the SCERTS Assessment Process.

Emily recently participated as a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Ad Hoc Committee on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), a committee charged with developing guidelines related to the role of speech-language pathologists in the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of ASD.

She lectures internationally both in-person and through distance learning. Currently, the focus of her work is on supporting community-based educational systems to build internal capacity for serving children and adolescents with autism and related developmental disorders.


Celine A. Saulnier, Ph.D.

Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Director for Research at Marcus Autism Center
  • Associated Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • Research focuses on profiles of adaptive behavior in autism spectrum disorders, particularly on the discrepancy between cognitive ability and the application of functional skills to daily contexts and routines
  • Co-author of Essentials of Autism Spectrum Disorders Evaluation and Assessment
  • Member of the Autism Program at Yale’s Advisory Board
  • Member of the Atlanta Autism Consortium’s Board of Directors
  • Member of the Autism Science Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board

Biography from the Marcus Autism Center website:
Dr. Saulnier obtained her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut, after which she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center under the mentorship of Dr. Ami Klin. After her postdoc, Dr. Saulnier joined the Yale faculty, where she became both the Clinical Director and the Training Director for the Autism Program, managing and supervising multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluations on individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders from infancy through young adulthood.

At the Marcus Autism Center, Dr. Saulnier oversees all activities related to the diagnostic characterization of individuals participating in clinical research, and she is the Director of the Clinical Assessment Core for the NIH Autism Center of Excellence grant. Her research focuses on profiles of adaptive behavior in autism spectrum disorders, particularly on the discrepancy between cognitive ability and the application of functional skills to daily contexts and routines.

Dr. Saulnier is an avid lecturer and educator on ASD, having conducted hundreds of workshops and seminars nationwide over the past decade. She is also is co-author of the book, Essentials of Autism Spectrum Disorders Evaluation and Assessment. She is also an Associated Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Emory College of Arts and Sciences.

Biography from the Emory website:
Assistant Professor (Pediatric) and Associate Professor (Psychology), is the Clinical Director for Research at the Marcus Autism Center, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. She obtained her PhD in clinical psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology from the University of Connecticut, after which she completed a postdoctoral residency at the Yale Child Study Center. Dr. Saulnier subsequently joined the Yale research faculty, where she became the Clinical Director and the Training Director for the Autism Program. In 2011, Dr. Saulnier joined the Marcus Autism Center, where she oversees diagnostic evaluations on individuals participating in clinical research. Dr. Saulnier’s research interests include adaptive behavior impairments in children with autism spectrum disorders. She is also co-author of the book, Essentials of Autism Spectrum Disorders Evaluation and Assessment.


Lydia X. Z. Brown

  • Gender/queer and transracially/transnationally adopted East Asian Autistic activist, writer and speaker, who focuses on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people
  • Co-president of TASH New England
  • Chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disablities Council
  • Board Member of the Autism Women’s Network
  • Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University
  • Current Juris Doctor candidate at Northeastern University
  • Blogger for Autistic Hoya

Lydia X. Z. Brown is a gender/queer and transracially/transnationally adopted east asian autistic activist, writer, and speaker whose work has largely focused on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people, especially institutionalization, incarceration, and policing. They have worked to advance transformative change through organizing in the streets, writing legislation, conducting anti-ableism workshops, testifying at regulatory and policy hearings, and disrupting institutional complacency everywhere from the academy to state agencies and the nonprofit-industrial complex. At present, Lydia serves as Chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, and board member of the Autism Women’s Network. In collaboration with E. Ashkenazy and Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu, Lydia is the lead editor and visionary behind All the Weight of Our Dreams, the first-ever anthology of writings and artwork by autistic people of color.

Most recently, Lydia designed and taught a course on critical disability theory, public policy, and intersectional social movements as a Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University’s Experimental College. Lydia is a past Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership, where they focused on employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities, and past Holley Law Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force, where they focused on reproductive justice and disability rights policy issues. Additionally, Lydia worked for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network for several years, most recently as part of the national public policy team, where Lydia worked on various issues relating to criminal justice and disability, healthcare disparities and service delivery models, and research and employment disparities.

Lydia has been honored by the White House, the Washington Peace Center, the National Council on Independent Living, and the Disability Policy Consortium of Massachusetts. In 2015, Pacific Standard named Lydia a Top 30 Thinker under 30, and Mic named Lydia to its inaugural list of 50 impactful leaders, cultural influencers, and breakthrough innovators. Their work has been featured in various anthologies, including Feminist Perspectives on Orange is the New Black, Criptiques, Torture in Healthcare Settings, and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology; and other media including Films for the Feminist Classroom, Tikkun, Disability Intersections, Black Girl Dangerous, hardboiled magazine, POOR Magazine, Washington Post; Sojourners, The Establishment, Al Jazeera America, NBC News Asian America, HerCampus, AfterEllen, and Vice Broadly. Lydia is a graduate of Georgetown University, and currently a Public Interest Law Scholar at Northeastern University School of Law.


Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu

  • Autism and Race Committee Chair and Networking Moderator of the Autism Women’s Network Board of Directors
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Relations
  • Currently graduate student in Developmental Disabilities
  • Chair of Global Community Advisory Board for the NIH Division of AIDS (DAIDS) funded AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG)
  • Houston Project-wide Part D Community Advisory Board Meeting
  • Member of AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth, and Families Advisory Board
  • Founder of Positive Playdates
  • Blogs at Who Needs Normalcy
  • Autistic Self Advocacy Network Board Member
  • Mother of 2 children with Autism
  • Founder of Advocacy without Borders

Biography from Autism Women’s Network:
Born in the US to immigrant parents, Morénike Giwa Onaiwu’s advocacy journey began with middle and high school stints as a volunteer tutor; later, she served as an undergraduate working with refugee children in a housing project and as a mentor in public schools.

After graduating with a BA in International Relations, Morénike, spent several years in the non-profit sector working with a variety of disenfranchised groups, including women, at-risk teens, and refugee families.

In recent years, she has channeled the majority of her advocacy in volunteer community work. Morenike currently chairs the Global Community Advisory Board for the NIH Division of AIDS (DAIDS) funded AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG), which is the world’s oldest and largest international community HIV clinical trials program. She also serves in various other capacities within DAIDS.

Morénike is a Houston Project-Wide Part D community advisory board member and has also previously chaired the Houston Ryan White Planning Council in addition to chairing its Operations and the Quality Assurance Committees and various Ryan White workgroups. She is also a member of the advisory board of the AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth, and Families.

Morénike formerly served on the CDC-funded elimination of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission US Working Group and the Families and Schools Together Project. She was one of the founding members of the Houston Area Partnership for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD).

She is the founder of the former Positive Playdates, a playdate group (now merged with a local nonprofit) that connected HIV affected families and refugee youth, and of the newly launched Advocacy Without Borders, an initiative to reduce disparities through education, community advocacy and self-empowerment. Additionally, Morénike is currently involved in a variety of leadership efforts related to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Part D Program advocacy.

Morénike, is currently completing a graduate degree in Developmental Disabilities and will follow up with a doctoral program focusing on developing leadership skills within underrepresented groups such as disabled individuals and recent immigrants.

She is the proud mother of six beautiful biological and adoptive children; together they comprise a proud multicultural, multinational, neurodiverse, HIV affected family of color. She blogs about her life at Who Needs Normalcy.


R. Larkin Taylor-Parker

  • J.D., University of Georgia School of Law, expected May 2017
  • B.A., Agnes Scott College 2014
  • Social Media Director, The Arc Georgia
  • Owner, autisticfuture.com
  • Executive Director, 2017 Working in the Public Interest Conference
  • Speaker, 2016 Pacific Leadership Academy
  • 2016 Autistic Scholars Fellow
  • Inspiration Porn Resolution co-author, January 2016

Larkin Taylor-Parker is a Georgia-based Autistic adult and third-year law student at the University of Georgia. They grew up on the internet, as well as in Chicago and North Carolina, and became a blogger and jack-of-all-trades. Larkin writes mainly on their own blog and the platform Medium and numbers among the founders of Tumblr’s thriving Autistic community. In their spare time, Larkin enjoys playing the tuba in various ensembles and always having a project, most recently the restoration of a WWII-era Raleigh/Rudge-Whitworth bicycle. After graduating in May, Larkin expects to take the North Carolina Bar Examination and start a two-year fellowship at a non-profit law firm focused on disability rights this fall.