The RASP Advisory Panel

The RASP (Registry of Autism Service Providers) Advisory Panel has been struck by ACT at the request of the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to provide advice to both ACT and MCFD on matters relevant to the on-going development of the RASP in terms of administering the RASP based on existing MCFD policy.

ACT has established the Panel in the interest of improving services to children with ASD.  This is to be done within the context of reflecting international best practices in providing autism treatment.

The Advisory Panel consists of representatives from around the province and from a variety of professional backgrounds and experiences, all of whom volunteer their expertise to enable ACT to provide and manage the RASP list.

Panel members include:

  • Parents;
  • Behavior Consultants, Speech Language Pathologists and an Occupational Therapist;
  • Academics involved in training autism specialists;
  • Diagnosticians;
  • A representative from the Ministry of Children and Family Development;
  • ACT staff members.

The panel meets 2-3 times a year, with urgent matters addressed by email if absolutely necessary.

Dr. David Batstone Dr. Miriam Elfert Dr. Pat Mirenda
Dr. Karen Bopp Diane Gerrard Deborah Pugh
Louise Broadley Dr. Bonnie W Johnson Dr. Richard Stock
Leslie Clark    

Dr. David Batstone is a clinical child psychologist in Victoria. He has had a long-term interest in autism and developmental disabilities.  Dr. Batstone served for many years with the Vancouver Island Health Authority and was a co-founder of the Autism Early Intervention Program at Queen Alexandra Centre.  He also helped to develop the autism diagnostic services at the centre. Dr. Batstone retired from Queen Alexandra Centre in 2010 and now provides diagnostic assessments and other services as a private consultant and contractor.

Dr. Karen Bopp is the autism policy consultant for the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), a researcher, and a registered Speech-Language Pathologist. Karen has worked extensively with children with autism spectrum disorders and their families for over 17 years. She received her Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of BC where she examined the relationships between problem behaviours and developmental outcomes in children with autism and maternal stress. After graduating in 2006, she completed a 2 year post-doctoral fellowship funded by the National Alliance for Autism Research, now Autism Speaks. While at UBC Karen had the honour of working for the Canadian Autism Pathways Project and teaching courses in language development, special education, and autism. As an autism policy consultant for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Karen is the Senior Behaviour Consultant for the provincial government of B.C. She works in the Children and Youth with Special Needs Policy department and provides clinical and best practice consultation on autism service delivery and policy.

Louise Broadley is the Manager of Information Services with ACT – Autism Community Training.  Ms. Broadley’s bio is available on ACT’s Staff page.

Leslie Clark is the mother of three children, one of whom has autism. She has had many years of involvement with the Victoria Society for Children with Autism, both serving on the Board of Directors, and as Co-Director. Leslie works as a technical writer in Victoria, British Columbia.

Dr. Miriam Elfert is a behaviour consultant and program manager of the Reach Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) program in Delta, where she works on a multidisciplinary team that includes speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in special education at UBC, where she also works as a research assistant on a national study examining the developmental pathways of children with autism. Miriam has an M.Ed. in counselling psychology and an M.A. in special education from UBC, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Miriam has worked in a number of roles in the field of autism and special education, including behaviour interventionist in families’ homes, special education assistant in public schools, behaviour consultant, sessional instructor (UBC), and consultant to the Ministry of Children and Family Development regarding provincial autism policy and operations. Miriam is a member at large of the British Columbia Association for Behaviour Analysis (BC-ABA) and a member of the Douglas College Behavioural Interventionist, Classroom and Community Support, Disability and ABA programs Advisory Committee. She has worked with individuals with autism spectrum disorder; with other special needs such as Down syndrome, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and anxiety disorder; and their families since 1996.

Diane Gerrard is an Occupational Therapist currently active on the RASP.

Dr. Bonnie W Johnson is the mother of a six-year-old boy who loves eating pizza, playing with his cousins, and going canoeing. He also has autism. It is hard for him to predict what other people will do, think, or feel. With the right supports, Bonnie has seen her son grow in communication skills, independence, and social-thinking. Bonnie is committed to supporting the long-term social and emotional well-being of individuals with ASD. Bonnie has a PhD in Speech-Language Pathology. She currently works as a Speech-Language Pathologist in rural BC.

Dr. Pat Mirenda is a Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia. She is also Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism (CIRCA) at UBC. She lectures widely and teaches courses in the areas of autism, positive behavior support, augmentative communication, and developmental disabilities. She has published numerous research articles and book chapters related to autism, and is currently involved in a multi-site, longitudinal study of developmental trajectories of individuals with autism and their families.

Deborah Pugh is Executive Director of ACT – Autism Community Training.  Ms. Pugh’s bio is available on ACT’s Staff page.

Dr. Richard Stock is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral (BCBA-D). He teaches courses in behavior principles, functional assessment and positive behavior support, and autism in the Applied Behavior Analysis – Autism degree program at Capilano University. He has also been providing ABA services to children and their families in home and school settings since 1999. Richard earned his Ph.D. in Special Education – Autism at the University of British Columbia where he examined the outcomes of community-based behavioral intervention programs for pre-schoolers with autism.  He has been actively involved in the local ABA community and is Past President of the British Columbia Association for Behavior Analysis (BC-ABA).