ADAPT Community Network

2023 Virtual Family Connect Summit

Workshops are intended for educational and informational purposes only. The views and information expressed by the presenters are their views and does not reflect the position or policy of ADAPT Community Network. Information included in presentations may not be suitable for all families. The content is not to be considered medical, therapeutic, or legal advice and the information provided is not a substitute for a professional opinion. ADAPT strongly suggests that you consult your doctor, social worker, and/or therapist regarding specific questions and for further information. In no event shall ADAPT be liable for any type of loss or damage that could be construed as arising from these presentations.


Begins Session Ends



Plenary Session


Session I

"Addressing Parents Fears of Early Childhood Special Education", Scott Mesh, CEO & Co-Founder, Los Niños Services"


Session 2

"Preserve Benefits and Protect Funds to Enhance Quality of Life", Sarah Grimes, Director of Outreach and Community Relations, NYSARC Trust Services



Lunch Break



Session 3

“Adulting: Effectively Preparing Individuals with ASD", Mary E. Macdonald PhD, Professor in Special Education Program, Hofstra University


Session 4

"The Power of Peer Support for Siblings of People with Disabilities", Linda Monterroso-Hurtado, Chair of the Board of Directors, Sibling Leadership Network







Dr. Scott Mesh

CEO & Co-Founder of Los Niños Services
Session 1

Sarah Grimes

Director of Outreach and Community Relations at NYSARC Trust Services
Session 2

Dr. Mary McDonald

Professor in the Special Education Program at Hofstra University
Session 3

Linda Monterroso

chair of the Board of Directors for the Sibling Leadership Network
Session 4


stay connected



© 2023 ADAPT Community Network

Dr. Scott Mesh

Dr. Scott Mesh is the CEO & Co-Founder of Los Niños Services which serves 2,000 young children with special needs each year through homecare & center services. He is a Clinical Psychologist with 30 years of experience working with young children and their families and is an expert on assessing young children for developmental disabilities and autism. He has helped thousands of parents over the years make the transition to gaining help for their children through early childhood special education services. He is a leader in early childhood development and how to work effectively with parents.

Sarah Grimes

Sarah Grimes is the director of outreach and community relations at NYSARC Trust Services, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that administers pooled supplemental needs trusts and has helped over 25,000 people in all counties of New York protect funds to qualify and maintain financial eligibility for Medicaid and SSI benefits.

Sarah has presented on supplemental needs trusts and government benefit eligibility at events for the New York State Office for the Aging, at New York State Bar Association section meetings, and at various regional bar associations throughout New York State. She routinely provides in-service trainings to attorneys, social workers, service providers, and families to raise awareness for the benefits of using a pooled trust to live independently in the community for as long as possible.

She is a strong advocate for trust beneficiaries, helping the individuals maximize the benefits they receive while using the funds in their trust to provide for life-enhancing items and services.

Dr. Mary McDonald

Dr. McDonald is a highly regarded Professor in the Special Education Program at Hofstra University where she directs the online Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis and the Advanced Certificate Programs, which includes the advanced certificate in ABA and the Advanced Certificate in Severe and Multiple Disabilities. Dr. McDonald has over 30 years of experience directing programs for students with autism, from early intervention through adulthood, and serves as the Associate Executive Director of Long Island Programs for Eden II. She completed her PhD in Learning Theory at the CUNY Graduate Center and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral Level and is licensed in NY and Connecticut. Dr. McDonald is an author and researcher and has published a book on including students with ASD, as well as chapters on technology and evidence-based interventions. She also serves on the editorial boards of Behavior Analysis in Practice, Special Education, Research, Policy and Practice, and The Journal of the Academy of Special Education Professionals, among other professional advisory boards. Dr. McDonald presents at local, national, and international conferences on the topics of autism and applied behavior analysis and has received awards from the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis and The Association for Behavior Analysis International. Her published articles cover a wide range of topics including self-management, social reciprocity, PECS, scripts and semantic mapping, creativity, and universal design for learning.

Linda Monterroso

Linda Monterroso lives in Las Vegas, NV but was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She has a brother, Steve, with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who lives in the Bronx. Despite the distance, Linda is involved in Steve’s care and is committed to finding ways for people with IDD and their families, to live full lives.

Linda serves as chair of the Board of Directors for the Sibling Leadership Network and is a Community Advocacy Committee member for the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities at the University of Nevada at Reno.

Linda also served as a member of the Tennessee Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. As a Council member, Linda was among a group of Tennesseans tasked with improving disability policies and practice, educating policymakers and the public through community collaboration.

Linda is a clinical research director by training and is currently working on her Doctorate in Health Sciences, focusing on the impact support has on caregivers of those with disabilities, and their health. She holds degrees from New York University and George Washington University. Linda Monterroso, MSHS