Contributor Biographies


Megan Kennedy

Megan is a first grade teacher in Arlington, Viriginia. She has been teaching for eleven years in a variety of grade levels. During her career she has encountered a small number of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, but has grown increasingly interested in the area of ASD. She took this opportunity to complete a professional development requirement to gain more knowledge about ASDs. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with her husband, Patrick, and eighteenth month old son, William.

Kristen Lutjen

Kristen is a fifth grade teacher in Ellicott City, Maryland. In her fifteen-year career as an elementary teacher, she has worked to support students and families with a variety of individual needs, including students learning English as a second language and students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In doing so, Kristen has sought professional growth opportunities that include co-teaching, and bringing arts integration to lessons on a regular basis, and has taken this course to gain a better understanding of how to support students with ASD in her classroom.


Laura Jones

Laura Jones is a school counselor from Willimantic, Connecticut.  She has been a school counselor for eight years, and is currently employed at a technical high school.  She is married with three kids, ages 12, 10 and 5, and is completing this last course through UOP in order to finish some professional development.  It has been enlightening 6 weeks learning about ASD for Laura. Having met many kids with ASD in her career, she felt she lacked the knowledge to really understand who they were.  She hopes to take her new insight back to her school and share it with the other counselors.


Oh, yeah! That's Patrick Dempsey a.k.a Dr. McDreamy at our after-wedding!

Rachel Nadeau

Rachel (Rodrigue) Nadeau is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a degree in Communication and a minor in Education. She has been a special education teacher at Lewiston High School in Lewiston, Maine for the past eight years. She is developing two courses for special education students called Experiential Communication I & II. The courses cover intrapersonal, interpersonal, small group and transitional skills. She believes it is important to explicitly teach communication skills to special education high school students, because communication is invaluable in all aspects of life. Many of Rachel’s current and former students have various forms of ASD. Rachel took this course to better understand her students, and to complete the necessary recertification requirements for the state of Maine. Rachel would like to thank her student “D” for all of his help with this course.