The Autism Society of Maine creates connections, empowering everyone in the Autism community with the resources to live fully.
Creating a world where everyone in the Autism community is connected to the support they need, when they need it.
Autism Society of Maine's Options Policy
The Autism Society of Maine promotes the active and informed involvement of family members and the individual with Autism in the planning of
individualized, appropriate services and supports. Click here to read the Autism Society of Maine Options Policy.
Our brand includes an inclusive color system, “threads” that visually tie in our story of connection with line fluidity that helps create a calm, visual stimulation. In addition, our portrait photography authentically captures people within the Autism community, amplifying true representation in the brand’s visual components. The new logo weaves the colors and threads to create a visual that represents individuality and unique experiences that are simultaneously interconnected and woven into the greater Autism community. Learn more here
ASM began as a support group for several parents who had children with Autism who were placed in a day program at Mariah Clark School in Hallowell this program was created for children with
behavior and communication disorders. The group met monthly to share concerns, experiences, ask and answer each other's questions, and gain new information. The idea of expanding the group to
include parent support groups from other areas (Gardiner, Hallowell, Winthrop, Waterville, Bangor) sprang up. The Spurwink School was also contacted because at that time they had a day program /
school for children with Autism. We eventually started having speakers from various area programs.
At that time we began our contact with ASA (then known as the National Society for Autistic Children – NSAC) and wrote our bylaws so that we could become an affiliated chapter. We first called our
chapter the Maine Society of Autistic Children (MSAC) and later the Maine Chapter of the Autism Society of America (MCASA). However, another group in Maine had that same acronym so our name changed
again, and we became the Autism Society of Maine (ASM).
We received funding from Developmental Disabilities Council, the State organization which provided funding for programs that served children with developmental disabilities. Initially we used the money
to pay for speakers, food, respite for our meetings, and to hold conferences. Later, we wrote a grant to the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Mental Health and Corrections (now known as DHHS).
We continued to receive some funding from the Developmental Disabilities Council.
We hired our first Executive Director and moved into our first office in Gardiner. There we evolved into an Autism information referral service for the entire State of Maine. Today, we also run several
statewide programs – Information Specialist Program, Summer Camp, and Family Retreat. We are currently located at 72B Main Street, Winthrop, ME.
Members of ASM Board of Directors
The Autism Society of Maine Board of Directors consists of up to 15 members, 4 are officers. The Board of Directors includes
parents, individuals on the spectrum and professionals. This is a volunteer board.
Join the Board of Directors for the Autism Society
The Autism Society has openings on our Board of Directors. The BOD meets remotely monthly and consists of parents, Autistic adults, professionals, who come together to discuss policies, laws, trends, and committee work etc.
Reach out to Cathy Dionne at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the BOD application and we will be in touch with you.
Christina Nason, President
Christina Nason has an associate degree in early childhood education and an associate degree in business management. She graduated from Casco Bay College in Portland Maine in 1999. She worked in the early childhood education field until 2002 when she and her husband chose for her to stay home and raise their children. In 2010 she started to home school both her boys for 6 years before they reentered the public school system. Christina works at the high school as an Ed Tech. Christina finds it rewarding to help these high school students with her personal knowledge from having a child with special needs. Christina is always working hard to get service for her oldest child who is on the spectrum and has other medical diagnoses. Christina lives in Norway Maine, her childhood home town, with her husband and their two boys, 18 and 20.
Melissa Ponce, Vice President
Melissa Ponce is a licensed social worker for the largest health system in Central Maine. A 2004 graduate of the University of Maine at Augusta, Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree in Mental Health and Human Services. Melissa has worked in the advocacy and support of adults and children who are diagnosed with autism, intellectual disabilities, mental health disorders, and chronic medical needs. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Melissa has worked passionately to advocate for children and families who live with autism, educating parents to aid in meeting the needs of their children, and supporting those in the community to learn more about autism. Melissa is an ardent supporter for those in need, helping people make connections to what they need to promote a high quality of life. Melissa resides in Randolph.
Bobbi-Jo Doucette, Secretary
Bobbi-Jo Doucette is happiest when she is able to make an impact for the greater good. After leaving a profession in healthcare, her current employer, TD Bank, offers a healthy balance of work, life, and volunteerism, including hands-on volunteering, planning events, as well as fundraising for several nonprofits. As a mom of a with a son with high functioning Autism, Bobbi-Jo is excited to contribute not only to the needs of this amazing group, but also effect change and put forward the needed support to families, friends, coworkers, and classmates of those who are Autistic. Ms. Doucette hopes by giving of her time to the Autism Society of Maine she can use what she's learned to help educate and advocate for all in need. Ms. Doucette resides in Gray with her three young boys, two dogs, and a cat.
J. Richardson Collins
J. Richardson (Jay) Collins is a former Autism Society Board Director, having served terms as Vice President and President as well as serving as chair of the Legislative Committee. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Special/Elementary Education and Psychology, and Masters of both Theological Studies and Social Work. Jay previously was as a Research Associate at University of Maine’s Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies (CCIDS), the SPIL* Coordinator for Maine’s Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC), and a Disability Resource Coordinator (DRC) for Maine’s Disability Employment Initiative (DEI). He also worked as a consultant to the Autism Research Institute (ARI), serving as Managing Editor of the Adults with ASD eBulletin. He served as a contributing author and editorial team member for the development of the AGI Daily Living/Residential Skills Curriculum & Training for Direct Support Providers to Adults with Autism, and is co-author of the training curriculum Quality Employment Practices for Supporting Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Before working in the areas of research and systems change, his experience was in direct service delivery, first as a public-school special educator and then, as a case manager in adult social services. Prior board/council work includes governor appointments to the Maine Developmental Services Oversight and Advisory Board (MDS OAB) and the Maine State Rehabilitation Council (SRC), serving terms as Vice Chair and Chair as well as its representative on the Employment First Maine (EFM) Coalition and the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC). He currently continues his involvement as a community participant at the MDS OAB and Coalition for Housing and Quality Services (CHQS) meetings. He also currently is a Temple Beth El (Augusta) Board member, serving on the Civil Rights Team and as Civic Engagement Workgroup coordinator. His work is informed by his own experience as an autistic adult with co-occurring conditions. When not working, Jay likely may be found watching anything Star Trek. Jay lives in Augusta with his service dog, Rachel, and cat, Murphy. (*Statewide Plan for Independent Living)
Jenna Cyr is currently working for a wonderful agency in Northern Maine called St. John Valley Associates, where she works for adults with intellectual disabilities. She has been a DSP and a CRMA for almost 15 years. She is also Safety Care trained. She is a proud supporter of the Special Olympics. Jenna has one son, who is almost 8 years old, he was diagnosed with Autism when he was about 3 years old. Jenna and her family strongly believe in early intervention but has struggled for two years waiting for services for her little boy due to where we live. Jenna's main goal is to continue to be her kid's voice and to continue to find ways to promote early intervention and ways to be a voice for other families who are stuck on the waitlist in Northern Maine. Jenna and her family reside in Madawaska.
Michael Dalleo moved to Maine from New York in 2006 with his wife and three children. For the last 34 years he has been an Independent Financial Advisor with the CRES organization. His youngest son was diagnosed with Autism at age 20. Michael is also a member of the Our Lady if The Angels Parish in South Berwick, where he serves as Grand Knight of that Council and the Knights of Columbus.
Kathryn Dobos is a parent to three young kids (5, 8, and 10 years old). Kathryn’s two youngest both have Autism. Kathryn is very passionate about connecting families with resources as well as each other and support. Kathryn looks forward to using her experience gained from a variety of organizations to serve on the ASM Board of Directors. Ms. Dobos resides in Readfield.
Jeanne Ives is passionate about providing tools to overcome physical and emotional obstacles in becoming all they were created to be for children and families. She is a retired trauma therapist of thirty-five years and last employed with Kennebec Behavioral Health in their Multisystemic Family Program. For the past seven years she has volunteered to counsel women have experienced trauma referred by local churches. She grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and received her BA in Psychology from Emmanual College and M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology for Boston University and was a Mental Health Fellow from Tufts New England Medical Center, Department of Child Psychiatry training to work with at risk mothers and their children. She worked for several mental health agencies and children’s residential treatment programs motivating her to pursue further trainings in working with abuse and trauma in women and children focusing on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She spent twenty years in private practice with offices in MA and NH before moving to Maine. Jeanne lives in Oakland, Maine with her husband Lew and her senior dog, Zoey Doodles.
Kristen King has an associate degree in Mental Health and Human Services and currently works for the State of Maine, Office of Behavioral Health. Kristen has been employed by the State of Maine since 2007 working for various Departments and offices within the Department of Health and Human Services. She has three sons, her youngest, Jaxson was recently diagnosed with Autism at age 2. She is a single mom, determined to learn as much as she can about Autism so she can be the best advocate not only her son but for other individuals as well. Kristen resides in Windsor.
Shannon Landry has a BA in Liberal Studies and a BS in Mental Health and Human Services. She graduated from UMA in 2013. She is currently working towards her LSW. Her son was born 2 month premature and suffered 3 strokes at birth. Ethan was not diagnosed until 5th grade with Autism. She took him for a neuropsychological exam at Mass General and was diagnosed there. I find him and all kids like him to be exceptional. I work as a children’s case manager, and I help families like mine navigate the system in Maine. We are going through transition to adult services now with Ethan. I love adaptive sports programs. I send all my kids to area programs like Maine Adaptive and Adaptive Outdoor Education Center. These programs open the world to these kids. I attend many IEP meetings as part of my job and there is work to be done in educational and vocational services. The services for children in Maine need some work. I want to help. I am hoping to make a difference. Shannon lives in Brunswick with her husband and their 17 year old son Ethan.
Lisa Morgan has a master’s degree in the Art of Teaching in Special Education, she is a board-certified Autism Specialist and the founder and co-chair of the Autism and Suicide Committee of the Association of Suicidology. Lisa has authored three books: “Living Through Suicide Loss with an Autism Spectrum Disorder”, “Living with PTSD on the Autism Spectrum” and “Spectrum Women-Autism and Parenting” Lisa is a peer-reviewer of the journal “Autism in Adulthood and has also had several research papers published. Lisa is a member of the AASET Community Council and owns her own consulting business- Lisa Morgan Consulting, LLC. Lisa resides in Kittery with her four children.
David Sharp is currently a special education teacher in Kennebunk serving elementary students with a wide scope of abilities. In 2012, He graduated from the USM ETEP Program and earned his master’s degree in Education with dual certification in Special and General Education. David is a certified Safety Care trainer and a certified Compassion Fatigue Professional. David has always enjoyed being active in his community and has served as a faith formation teacher at his church, has been a den leader and Cubmaster for the Cub Scouts and has helped coached his son’s sports teams.
David lives in Lyman along with his wife, two children and two cats. His son is on the Autism Spectrum and he and his wife have worked with his IEP team and outside counseling to ensure that we are doing the best we can for him. Both at home and at school, David does the work he does because it has always come naturally to and feels that it is not really a job but a calling. He hopes to use his experience and passion to help make Maine a better place for those on the Autism Spectrum.
Roy Ulrickson III
After his oldest son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2003, it has been Roy Ulrickson's mission to support and educate children with special needs, assist their families and advocate for this vulnerable population. Throughout his professional career, he has worked in positions that provided him with the opportunity to educate families and other professions. This mission led him to join the MSW program at the University of Maine. He graduated from this program in 2015.
Professionally, he worked as an Educational Technician while he attended the MSW program and has years of working in an educational environment. During his work as Clinical Supervisor and HCT (Home and Community Therapy) clinician, he learned, firsthand, the effects of trauma on children and adults. He understands the importance of supporting families and children across environments, through their lifetime and how the coordination of services can improve their lives. Personally, he has seen how the transition to adulthood has greatly restricted the services available to his son.
For decades, he has proactively engaged, supported, and educated individuals of many ages to improve their mental health and address their substance abuse challenges. He has extensive personal and professional experiences working within multiple systems and providing direct services throughout my career. As he learned more from these experiences, so did the breadth of his mission. Roy lives in Newport with his wife and son.