Board of Directors

 

The MMAA board of Directors is made up of local parents and professionals passionate

about improving communication regarding best practices, local resources, and local social

opportunities for families and individuals with IDD/DD in the mid-Michigan area. 

and contact us!

 

Cathy Blatnik

Diondra Straiton

Karís Casagrande

Mary Opsommer

Srinivas Kolli

Alisha Buehrer

 
 

Cathy Blatnik

Cathy is originally from Maryland, but has called Michigan home for over 15 years. She has been a stay-at-home mom/wife since 1996 when her daughter was born. Cathy also has a stepson who is married and lives on the West Coast. Her son Dominic was born in 2004 and has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Epilepsy and ADHD. Besides volunteering her time with the Mid- Michigan Autism Association, she is the Program Director for All Faith Ministry for disABILITIES and is on the Board of Directors of the Miracle League of Mid-Michigan. Cathy recently became the Co-Coordinator of the Disability Ministry in the Diocese of Lansing. She is currently going into her third year of being on the Board of Directors, the second as Secretary.

Diondra Straiton

Diondra Straiton is a doctoral student in Michigan State University's clinical psychology program. She is interested in parent/caregiver engagement in autism treatment for traditionally under-served families. Currently, she is examining ways to increase providers' use of parent training interventions in community settings. Diondra completed her Bachelor's degree at Swarthmore College. Before moving to Michigan, she worked on research projects to improve access to care for traditionally under-served families within Philadelphia's early intervention system and the School District of Philadelphia.

Karís Casagrande

Karís Casagrande is a graduate student in Michigan State University's Clinical Psychology Program. She is interested in helping parents successfully address the needs of their child and family through both research and clinical work. Her current research focuses on understanding how parents advocate for services and what can be done to address gaps in service access for families and children with ASD. Karís completed her Bachelor's degree at Brown University. Before moving to Michigan for graduate school, she worked on a project to improve early detection of ASD in toddlers at Georgia State University.  In her free time, Karís enjoys playing board games and traveling. 

 

Mary Opsommer

Mary is a single mother of a 24 year old man on the Autism Spectrum. She lives in East Lansing and has been part of MMAA since 2009. Her passion is working to achieve acceptance of our young adults within their communities. She is working to improve housing options, meaningful work and daily activities for young adults. Her goal is to make sure her son has an active and full life in his own community! She truly believes that Volunteerism is the rent that we pay to live in this great country!

Srinivas Kolli

Srinivas works as Information Technology Consultant and volunteers as one of the board of directors at MMAA. He moved to Michigan from Florida, where he volunteered at Florida / USVI Poison Information Center that supports public health through information, education and research. 

Alisha Buehrer

Alisha is an Autism Spectrum Disorder Teacher Consultant at Grand Ledge Public Schools. She has taught students with autism and other disabilities for the past 8 years in a variety of classroom settings. Alisha completed her Master degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Eastern Michigan University in 2015. She also completed her Bachelor degree from Eastern Michigan University in Special Education, with an endorsement in cognitive impairment in 2010. Alisha has always had a passion for teaching and helping to advocate for and support families who have children with disabilities. Alisha is married to her husband, Darren and has a son, Thomas who will be 2 years old in the next few months. In her free time Alisha enjoys the outdoors and camping.

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© 2014 Mid Michigan Autism Association
 

 P.O. Box 27462  Lansing  MI  48909
 

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