Nora Slawik, MPA, Director of Education
Slawik manages AuSM Skillshops, AuSM Social Skills, the Discovery programs and group-specific autism training. She has more than eight years of graduate-level teaching experience at the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota and presents AuSM courses and training programs.
As a former seven-term state representative, Slawik is recognized for her expertise in autism and early childhood policy and is known for her skills in consensus building and collaboration. She researches, develops and presents curriculum in partnership with teachers, parents, students and caregivers. She has two children, one of whom is on the spectrum.
Jan Hanson, Education Specialist
Discovery Series, Inside Asperger’s, Embracing Adolescence
With more than 30 years of experience in educational settings, Jan Hanson is a speech/language pathologist and autism specialist with a strong interest in inclusive programming at the secondary level for students with an autism spectrum disorder. Hanson has consulted with child study review teams determining assessment and programming needs for individuals with ASD within school and community based settings and post-secondary transition age options. She has provided training, consulting and coaching for paraprofessionals and regular education staff in the area of evidenced based practices and autism spectrum disorders. She also has collaborated with colleagues in the development and instruction of graduate courses for the autism certificate and licensing programs at Hamline University.
Jeff Holmes, Education Specialist
AuSM Social Skills
Holmes has a BA in Psychology from SUNY New Paltz, an MA from New York University, is ASD certified through Hamline University, and has been working with middle and high school ASD students in the Mounds View District (621) since 1996. He currently is the leader of the White Bear Lake FunJoyment/Social Enjoyment group, and co-leads the Hopkins Depot FunJoyment groups. Holmes's greatest joy is hearing the laughter that comes from his group members as they discover how to enjoy just being themselves.
Sara Pahl, Education Specialist
AuSM Social Skills - Adults
A Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst, Pahl received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota and currently is completing her Master's degree in mental health counselling. Pahl's positions have included lead therapist, program manager, primary grade teacher, consultant, and a director of a teen program. Since 1998, Pahl has worked with Fabrizio/Moors Consulting (now Organization for Research and Learning), Families for Effective Treatment of Washington (FEAT of WA), The Academy for Precision Learning, and Blueprints a division of West Coast Behavioural Consultants in the Seattle area. Pahl served as the program director for FEAT of Washington's Transitions for Teens program from 2005 to 2009, where she worked closely with Dr. Peter Gerhardt to develop the curriculum targeting Community Based Instruction. Pahl has participated in Organization for Autism Research (OAR) research convocation, Addressing the Needs of Adolescents and Adults with Autism, and presented her applied clinical work with children and adolescents with autism at local, state, and national conferences such as the Association for Behavior Analysis annual convention and the International Precision Teaching Conference.
Melissa Neff, Education Specialist
AuSM Social Skills, AuSM Art Skillz
Neff has a BA in Psychology from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, a BA in Fine Arts: Painting and Book Arts from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, and is currently working toward her Masters in Art Therapy from the Adler Graduate School. Her main areas of focus are photography, bookmaking and printmaking, and she enjoys trying new media any chance she gets. Neff has been an artist from the time she could hold a crayon, and she loves sharing her passion for art with kids of all ages.
Sarah Schaleger, Education Specialist
AuSM Art Skillz
Schaleger is an artist, teacher and story teller with a background in regular and special education classes, pre-K through adult. With a diploma in drawing and painting, a BA in history, coursework in holistic health and art therapy, Schaleger is now working to complete a master of divinity at United Theological Seminary to become a hospital chaplain. A member of the Midwest Arts in Healthcare network, Sarah has been a provider at Pathways Health Crisis Resource Center in Minneapolis. She shows her paintings at galleries and hospitals throughout the State.