Valerie Paradiz, PhD, is the director of Valerie Paradiz, LLC, a consultancy that provides technical assistance, training, and strategic development to schools, universities, corporations, and agencies that support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other disabilities.
Dr. Paradiz is a national board member of Autism Speaks, where she also serves as chair of the Family Services Committee. In a part-time capacity, she is Executive Director of the Autistic Global Initiative (AGI), a division of the Autism Research Institute.
Dr. Paradiz is a regular columnist for the Simons Foundation Autism Research Institute’s Spectrum News (Home Truths: https://spectrumnews.org/column/home-truths/). She is also the author of the 2010 International Book Award finalist in education, Integrated Self-Advocacy ISA®. 2016 publications include chapters in two books from Jessica Kingsley Publishers: Autism and Learning Difference: An Active Learning Teaching Toolkit and The Challenge and Promise of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Mid and Later Life. Additional publications include Lesson Plan a la Carte (AAPC, 2011), Scholars on the Spectrum Achieving Dreams (Auricle, 2012), and a memoir, Elijah’s Cup: A Family’s Journey into the Community and Culture of High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome (Simon & Schuster, 2003). Her work in autism and the disability fields has been featured in the New York Times, Redbook, The Guardian, Parade, NHK Japan, MTV’s True Life, and on National Public Radio.
Dr. Paradiz is the 2015 recipient of the Autism Society of America’s Adam Heavner Memorial Award for promoting successful employment of individuals with autism. Wanting to support her son with autism, Elijah, as he experienced debilitating crises in public school in the fifth grade, Dr. Paradiz founded the pioneering ASPIE School in 2002 for middle and high school aged students with autism. In 2006, she brought the same model program to New York University’s Asperger Institute, serving there as Director of Education from 2006-2007. During this period, she participated in a study of adults with autism at NYU Medical Center and was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.
Valerie received her PhD in German Studies with honors from City University of New York’s Graduate Center. Before moving into the field of autism, Dr. Paradiz published translations of German literature (All I Need Is Love, Klaus Kinski, Random House, 1995), as well as narrative nonfiction (Clever Maids: A History of the Grimm Fairy Tales, Perseus, 2005) while teaching writing and literature at Bard College.