Valerie Paradiz is cofounder of the Open Center for Autism. She develops educational programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), including the pioneering ASPIE School, and has been featured in the New York Times, Redbook Magazine, The Guardian, Autism Spectrum Quarterly, and on Japanese Public Television.
Paradiz’s memoir, Elijah’s Cup: A Family’s Journey into the Community and Culture of High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome is the compelling story of the author’s experience raising her autistic son, their involvement together in the advocacy community, and her own ultimate diagnosis with Asperger’s syndrome.
Paradiz speaks nationally and internationally on topics relating to Asperger’s syndrome and autism, including parenting strategies, improving and creating school programs for children with ASDs, strengthening advocacy skills in parents, professionals and individuals on the autism spectrum, and fostering emerging talents in children with ASDs. She is the developer of Integrated Self Advocacy (ISA)™, a curriculum and training series that supports teachers and therapists in teaching individuals with autism in learning greater ability in self-determination and advocacy.
A member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America, Paradiz also cochairs the Autism Society of America’s Panel of Individuals on the Spectrum and serves as an advisory board member to the US Autism & Asperger Association. She has two books forthcoming with the Autism Asperger Publishing Company, both relating to building strong educational programs and advocacy skills for students with ASDs in public and private school settings.