Meet the Board

NAA NYM is managed and run by our officers and board of directors, all of whom volunteer their services:

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President: Kim Mack Rosenberg

kim-mack-rosenbergKim Mack Rosenberg is the President of the New York Metro Chapter of the National Autism Association and previously served as its Vice President and Treasurer. She was one of NAA NYM’s original co-founders in 2008. She is an attorney in private practice in New York City and an advocate for the autism community. She is the parent of a 16 year old son on the autism spectrum. She graduated from Carleton College (Northfield, MN) with a BA in Political Science and received her JD from Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH).

In addition to other publications, she is the author of The Parent’s Autism Sourcebook and is a contributing editor and chapter author of the book Vaccine Epidemic, released in 2011 in hardcover and 2012 in paperback. She frequently lectures on issues related to autism, including vaccines, both in the New York area and nationally. She has appeared a number of times in national and local television, radio and print media discussing a wide variety of topics concerning autism and vaccines and has testified on these issues to governmental committees.

In addition to her position with NAA NYM, she is co-president and treasurer of the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy and is on the Executive Leadership Team of Health Choice. Both individually and on behalf of organizations she represents, she has advocated on local, statewide and national levels on issues concerning autism and vaccines.

Originally from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, Kim has lived on the east coast since 1993 and in NYC since 1995. She currently lives in Manhattan with her son, Henry.
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Vice President and Treasurer: Peggy Becker

Peggy BeckerPeggy Becker had a career as an attorney practicing in the area of trust and estates and tax at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Prior to that she was a paralegal in the same practice area.

When her son Daniel was diagnosed with autism in 2000, Peggy left her career as an attorney to care for him. In 2008, she co-founded the National Autism Association New York Metro chapter and served as its Secretary from 2008-2011.

Peggy was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and moved to the New York City in 1983. She lives in Manhattan with her husband Robert, an intellectual property attorney in private practice in New York. They have two children, Daniel who is 18 and Eliza who is 13.
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Secretary and Staten Island Liaison: Mary Hernandez

Mary HernandezMary is the Secretary and the Staten Island Liaison to the Board of National Autism Association NYC Metro Chapter. Mary is a certified Holistic Health Counselor who specializes in developing individualized nutrition plans to help children with autism to achieve their optimal capacity. She integrates a variety of healing modalities, including health kinesiology, homeopathic and herbal remedies, and cell salts. She is a member of the National Center for Homeopathy, the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and the International Association for Health Coaches.

Mary’s son with autism was non-verbal, made no eye contact and was evaluated as having the expressive language of a 9 month old and receptive language of a 15 month old when he was 4. With the aid of a special diet and nutritional therapies, he had a dramatic “awakening.” Thus began a decade-long journey through which she learned a wide variety of holistic therapies and dietary approaches that help to heal children with autistic spectrum disorders, allergies, PANDAS, ADD, ADHD, seizures and learning disabilities. She is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has studied homeopathy with the School of Homeopathy in Devon, England. Her daughter suffered from severe Sensory Processing Disorder and Selective Mutism as a toddler, but was overcome both completely through an intensive, integrative approach to therapies. Mary experienced her own healing journey as well, overcoming autoimmune issues and life-threatening asthma so crippling that conventional medicine offered no hope.

Prior to changing careers to focus on helping families with autism, Mary had over 20 years of experience with non-profit and grassroots organizations advocating for the rights of low income workers. As Executive Director of the Support Committee for Maquiladora Workers, she was instrumental in precedent setting actions on behalf of Mexican workers, including the first legal action by workers outside the U.S. to win jurisdiction in U.S. courts (a case of sexual abuse of young women workers by a U.S.-based CEO that won a significant settlement), the first action under NAFTA to take a U.S. corporation to task for health and safety violations, and mobilization of international support for the first legally recognized strike in the Mexico’s maquiladoras. She organized support and training for communities who suffered high rates of birth defects and illness due to toxic waste dumping by transnational corporations. Mary was recipient of the San Diego NOW Woman of the Year award, the San Diego Central Labor Council’s Friend of Labor Award.

Mary lives with her husband James Ceribello and her children, Luis and Ana in Staten Island. She is the Chair of the Religious Exploration Committee and active in the Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Church of Staten Island. Her website is www.foods4thought.info.
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Officer-at-Large and Chair, Programming: Ken Siri

Ken SiriKen Siri, author, advocate, and entrepreneur, is the single father of an 18-year-old boy with autism. Ken is the Officer-at-Large and the Chair of NAA NYM’s Programming Committee. Ken spent 15 years on Wall Street as a healthcare analyst and is the author of Cutting-Edge Therapies for Autism (now in its fourth edition) and 101 Tips for the Parents of Boys with Autism. Ken blogs for Psychology Today and is a passionate voice within the autism community speaking at autism related conferences and has been interviewed on local and nationally syndicated radio, print, and television. In additional to serving on the NAA NYM Board, Ken is a board member of the Atlas Foundation for Autism. He is also the subject of the documentary film Big Daddy Autism, currently in production. Ken and his son live in New York City.

Websites:

www.bigdaddyautism.net
www.kensiri.com

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Chair, Advocacy & Awareness: Khalid Rehman

Khalid RehmanKhalid Rehman is a physician who recently retired after 38 years of clinical and academic practice of medicine. He is Board certified in the subspecialties of Hematology and Medical Oncology within the specialty of Internal medicine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. His professional career spans the whole spectrum of private practice, a staff oncologist, a teacher and the Director of the hematology-Oncology fellowship Training program. He is on the faculty of New York Medical College as an Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Khalid has also been involved in the organized medicine. He became a member of the Richmond County Medical Society in the seventies and was elected as its President in the mid-eighties. He has also served as the President of the Academy of Medicine of Richmond and the Medical Director of the Richmond Hospice. He has authored more than two dozen scientific papers and remains an active speaker for public and professional organizations on the relevant topics.

He was born and raised in Pakistan. He studied at the Government College in Multan and then entered Nishtar Medical College, graduating in 1968. He migrated to United States in 1969 to pursue additional clinical training and specialization. He is a US citizen and is married to Sabeeha Rehman. After their two sons finished graduate school and got married, he and his wife moved from Staten Island to Manhattan, where they now reside.

Over the years, he has also served on the boards of the American Cancer Society, the Visiting Nurse Service, The Muslim Majlis of Staten Island, The Pakistan Cultural Association and the Project Hospitality. He is currently a member of the board of the NAA NY metro Chapter and serves as the chair of its Awareness and Advocacy Committee.
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Board Member: Eric Chessen, M.S.

eric-chessenEric Chessen, M.S. is the Founder of Autism Fitness. An exercise physiologist with an extensive background in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Eric has spent over a decade developing and implementing fitness programs for the autism and special needs population. In addition to working with his athletes, Eric provides staff development, consulting, and his own Autism Fitness Seminar series. He is the author of three eBooks and the creator of the Autism Fitness Toolbox assessment and programming method. He is a contributing columnist for Parenting Special Needs magazine. Eric’s website is AutismFitness.com.
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Board Member: Norene Chin

nchin-1Norene Chin is an Information Security and Compliance Risk Management professional for a global bank. Analytical and team-building skills prepared her for a momentous challenge in 2005 when her youngest child, Michael, regressed into autism. She then assumed another role, advocating for her son with respect to his educational rights and his rights to live a fulfilling life.

Through the years, Norene sought more information about biomedical treatments, dietary therapies, and neurological-strengthening approaches in order to help her son become more connected with people and his surroundings.

Inspired by Michael’s progress and in possession of a passion for continuous learning, Norene is currently enrolled in a health coach program provided by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

After attending many informative events hosted by the NAA NY Metro Chapter, Norene agreed to join the Board of Directors with the desire to support more families who are dealing with autism.

Norene resides with her husband and two children in Manhattan.
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Board Member: Michael W. Elice, M.D.

elice-headshotDr. Michael W. Elice, M.D. joined the NAA NYM board in 2016. He is a board certified pediatrician who has treated Autistic Spectrum Disorders, mitochondrial, immune and metabolic dysregulation for the past 10 years. In addition to serving on NAA NYM’s Board, Dr. Elice is on the board of NYFAC -New York Families of Autistic Children and MAPS Physician.

He has lectured at MAPS (Medical Academy for Pediatric Special Needs,) Autism Research Institute (formerly Defeat Autism Now!) conferences, Autism One conferences and local SEPTA and school conferences. Dr Elice has participated in TV and web interviews. He has contributed several chapters to “Cutting Edge Therapies in Autism – 2010-2013” editions and has coauthored papers on immune therapy for autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Elice is also certified in Hyperbaric Medicine.

Dr Elice is a graduate of Syracuse University and the Chicago Medical School. He maintains teaching positions at New York University Medical School and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and has adjunct professorship at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York and the Cohen Children’s Hospital of the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, New York.

Dr. Elice’s website is HERE.
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Board Member: Ann Jusino

Photo and Bio coming soon!
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Board Member: Giulia Miller

giuliaGiulia Miller has recently joined the NYAA NYM’s Board. A practicing attorney in New York for 22 years, she graduated from New York University and Brooklyn Law School. She spent several years as Senior Trial Assistant District Attorney in Kings county and then took some time to raise her family. The mother of two boys with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep (PANDAS), Giulia became an active advocate to bring awareness of this emerging disorder. She is now focusing her practice on psychiatric medical malpractice, vaccine injury, and parental rights. She is featured in the documentary My Kid is Not Crazy (http://www.mykidisnotcrazy.com/).
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Board Member: Shirael Pollack

Shirael PollackShirael Pollack is a pediatric physical therapist, and creator and owner of Watch Me Grow Sensory Gym and Speech Language Center in Manhattan, New York. She is devoted to helping children with a wide variety of physical and developmental challenges. Shirael received her Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from Long Island University in 2002. After years of practice as a pediatric physical therapist in both schools and home-based settings, Shirael created Watch Me Grow in January 2007 to realize her personal vision of what a sensory gym should be – a place where therapy was not just effective, but also fun for children to receive. For her outstanding work, Shirael was recognized as an “Everyday Hero” on WPIX’s “Dr. Steve” show and Watch Me Grow has been certified as a Women Owned Business Enterprise by the New York State Department of Economic Development. In addition to her work as a therapist and manager, Shirael is a guest blogger on mommybites.com.

In continuing with her mission to provide resources to families affected by Autism, Shirael became involved with the National Autism Association NY Metro Chapter in 2010 and is now the Chair of its Fundraising Committee. She believes that the more parents know the better advocates they become for their children and is proud of the free monthly NAA lectures by world renowned professionals. Shirael has also seen from the many families WMG has served how difficult and costly it can be to find programs for children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder and is very proud of the NAA’s annual sensory summer experience for children on the Autism Spectrum during the last two weeks of August, which is held in collaboration with Watch Me Grow.

Shirael was born in Ashkelon, Israel and grew up in Rockland County, NY. She currently resides in Hoboken, NJ with her husband and two beautiful daughters Gabby and Dahlia.
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Board Member: Sabeeha Rehman

Sabeeha RehmanMs. Sabeeha Rehman is the co-founder of the National Autism Association New York Metro Chapter, and served as its first President from 2008 to 2011. When her grandson Omar was diagnosed with autism, she left her career as a healthcare executive to devote herself to serving families affected by autism.

Sabeeha has had a 25-year career as a healthcare executive. She has spent the last several decades engaging in interfaith dialogue with faith and civic communities. In 2014, she retired from her position as Chief Operating Officer at The Cordoba Initiative, a multi-faith organization dedicated to building bridges between Muslims and the West. From 2007-2011, she volunteered as the Director of Interfaith Programs at the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA). Sabeeha’s memoir, “Threading My Prayer Rug. One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim” was published in July 2016. She is a contributor to the Wall Street Journal’s column ‘Houses of Worship.’

Sabeeha was born and raised in Pakistan, and migrated to the United States in 1971. She lives in New York City with her husband Khalid, a retired Oncologist. They have two sons, Saqib and Asim, and four grandchildren, Omar, Laila, Sofia, and Asha.
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Board Member: Dr. Lauren Tobing-Puente

lauren-tobing-puenteLauren Tobing-Puente is a NYS Licensed Psychologist who began working with children with autism-spectrum disorders (ASD) in 1995. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology, with a specialization in child and family therapy, from Fordham University. Dr. Tobing-Puente has moderated the National Autism Association (NAA) New York Metro Chapter’s parent support group since 2009, as she believes that parent support and guidance are essential components in the treatment of children with ASD. As a full-time private practitioner with offices in Manhattan and Queens, Dr. Tobing-Puente provides evaluations and treatment for children with neurodevelopmental disorders of communicating and relating, including ASDs, and their families. Initially trained by a renowned ABA researcher and clinician, Dr. Tobing-Puente worked as an ABA therapist and teacher for many years in home and school settings. She is now an Intermediate DIR/Floortime provider, as she has received, and continues to receive, advanced training in the DIR model, by expert clinicians in this field. Her work has been most influenced by her years as Senior Psychologist and Clinical Coordinator at the Rebecca School, a DIR/Floortime school for children with autism-spectrum and related disorders ranging from 4 to 21 years of age.

In addition to working with children with special needs, Dr. Tobing-Puente has a wealth of experience working in general education settings, including in an independent school and Head Start program. She has developed an independent school’s social-emotional learning curriculum and their bullying prevention program. Dr. Tobing-Puente’s graduate training included assessing and treating a variety of clinical populations across an array of settings, including homes, schools, hospitals, and community-based clinics.

In addition to providing various workshops to parents and professionals, Dr. Tobing-Puente has presented at ICDL’s regional conference, Los Ninos’/Fordham University’s Young Child Expo, Extraordinary Minds’ Options for Autism, Fordham University’s Graduate School Of Education’s Summer Institute, and MetSchools’ Our Education City.

The experiences of parents of children with autism-spectrum disorders have been the focus of Dr. Tobing-Puente’s research studies, which have been presented at national conferences and published by professional research journals. She authored the chapter, Parent Support, in Cutting Edge Therapies for Autism (2011). She has served as a consultant and reader for several graduate-level research studies.
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Contact a Board Member

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