Barbara D’Entremont, a licensed psychologist with over 20 years’ experience. A full professor in the Psychology Department at UNB, D’Entremont teaches courses on child development and clinical psychology at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Her research and clinical specialty is autism spectrum disorder. She also maintains a small private practice. She has been a board member since 2015.
Paul M. McDonnell
Paul M. McDonnell, Ph.D. Paul was a professor in Psychology at the University of New Brunswick for 30 years and since has worked as a clinical child psychologist in private practice until his retirement in 2018. He is currently a Professor Emeritus at UNB and a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association. He was a consultant for the UNB Autism Intervention Training Program since its inception in 2004. Paul has served on the board since 2010.
Michael Elliott, raised in Newfoundland & Labrador, with commitment to its long-standing heritage. A dedicated member of our Canadian Armed Forces and its citizens within. As part of the Defence Advisory Group within CFB Gagetown, I’m honoured to be the Canadian Armed Forces child & youth advocate for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Additionally and proudly, a board member for ACF.
My interest arose with ASD when I learned of my son’s non-verbal diagnoses in early 2017. I promised my young son that I would do everything possible to see he lives a meaningful life- one that offers inclusiveness and life-free of discrimination.
Desiring to offer support to the community in any way possible, I have found my roots within the greater Fredericton community. My directive as a board member is to support ACF initiatives, strategic planning and deliver additional special needs support networks for Canadian Armed Forces families within Atlantic Canada. A personal reward, helping children & youths overcome their anxieties and focusing on the best outcome rather than the process.
In a world geared towards neurotypical persons, there’s no denying that working with autistic individuals can present a diverse set of challenges. Perspectives that can be difficult to understand with behaviours that aren’t always easy to manage. However, it also includes remarkable benefits- the enriching rewards of seeing positive change, while viewing the optics of autism through a much different lens. I quickly realised that persons with autism have such a welcoming ability, which is most authentic, displaying such honesty and without necessarily expecting all the social rules that can hinder just being themselves. As a father to an amazing boy with Autism Spectrum Disorder, all of these challenges are worth the effort.
Autism is a journey I never planned for, but I sure do love my tour guide!
Trisha Fournier-Hoyt, FCPA/FCGA, is a professional accountant and treasurer to the Board. She has been an active member since 2016. Trisha brings a great deal of knowledge of post-secondary and administrative processes for her work experience in PSE, civil service and public sector accounting.
Katie LaCosta is a teacher in Anglophone School District West and mother to two children, one of whom has autism. She is proud to be involved in Autism Connections Fredericton, helping to run programming like the One-on-One Tutoring Program for Autistic Students, as well as the Parent Support Group. She is furthering her education in teaching students with exceptionalities like ASD and she advocates for awareness and acceptance of the autistic community. Katie has been a board member since 2019.
Greg Forsythe, BT, BEd, and MEd was a teacher in New Brunswick for 32 years mostly at the primary level. He had several students in his classes in grade two on the Autism Spectrum. Forsythe is politically active, engages in many fundraisers, and is a choir director. Greg has been a board member since 2018.
Samantha Landry has been with the centre since summer 2017 first as a volunteer, then as summer staff, and now as a board member. Samantha is a social worker in the community who is passionate about ensuring community services for individuals and families on the Autism spectrum. Samantha has been a board member since 2020.
Bruce Van Stone
Bruce Van Stone, is honoured to be a part of our board of directors. He was raised in Mississauga, Ontario and moved to Fredericton in 2002. Bruce has a 13 year old son, who is the single most important part of his life. He is a licensed counselling therapist and educator. Bruce works with the Fredericton South Child and Youth Team as a counsellor and he also maintains a small counselling private practice. He has served on various boards throughout the years including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fredericton and Oromocto, Junior Achievement New Brunswick and the Marilyn Van Stone Cancer Care Foundation. Autism has been and is an important focus for Bruce for both professional and personal reasons. He is proud to advocate for greater awareness and acceptance of the autistic community.
Elizabeth McDonnell is a retired paediatric occupational therapist who spearheaded the development of an Autism Team at the Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation in the early 1990’s. She has been a long-time volunteer with the Canadian Rehabilitation Council for the Disabled, the Fredericton Therapeutic Riding Association, and on the board of Team Canada Healing Hands with whom she participated in a dozen international health care missions. She has served on ACF’s board since 2010.
Kailha Winter-Smith was born and raised in Cornwall Ontario. She is a mother of three amazing children one with Autism, and the two others we adopted from Nunavut, and we are so blessed. My son Logan has been taking part of the Autism Connections Fredericton for many years now with many programs they have offered. I am married to a wonderful husband Jason, and daughter to a mother who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Through all her experiences: personal, educational, and professional she was drawn to the field of Disability. Kailha moved to New Brunswick in 2010. She has been immersed in the field of Disability and Assistive Technology for most of her life. She graduated from Ryerson University, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Disability Studies. She then continued her education through Cambrian College where she obtained her Applied Learning Disability Certificate specializing in Learning Strategies and Assistive Technology (AT). Kailha is not only a professional in the field, but also a user of AT since the 2000’s. While pursuing her education, Kailha worked at St. Lawrence College and Queens University at their AT centers preparing documents in alternative formats and providing support to others using AT. She has been an advocate in the field since the 2000’s speaking to others about her journey living with learning disabilities and sharing her struggles and many successes. She currently sits on an Advisory Committee for the Transition Resource Guide for students with Disabilities, for Ontario student’s transition to Post Secondary studies. She has a passion for the field of technology and disability and enjoys being able to help others find ways to overcome barriers and be successful. When she is not working as an Assistive Technologist at UNB, she is a Reservices with a local Army Cadet Corps and teaches figure skating.