Co-Founder, Educator, Trainer, Autism Mom
Stephanie created the Leominster Autism Project with her father, Mayor Dean Mazzarella, in order to train businesses and implement accommodations for citizens with developmental disabilities and their families.
After Stephanie's son was diagnosed with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), she soon realized how difficult it would be for her son and their family to navigate the world around them. Shopping was impossible. Eating out as a family? Stressful. Kid's events? Overwhelming. It was obvious that something needed to be done, as thousands of individuals in Leominster, alone, were surely having the same experiences.
1 in 68 people are believed to be on the autism spectrum. 1 in 42 males. 1 in 189 females. Her experience as an educator has shown her that the numbers might actually be lower than the recent study suggests, as many individuals go undiagnosed for a variety of reasons.
She recently attended the 2017 Massachusetts Municipal Association Awards to accept the Innovation Award for the Leominster Autism Project.
Mayor Dean J. Mazzarella
Dean is the co-founder and avid supporter of the Leominster Autism Project. He saw firsthand how difficult it was for his grandson to experience all that Leominster had to offer. It was clear to Dean that changes needed to be made, so the Autism Project was put into action.
Dean has been a long time supporter of local non-profits and events honoring those with physical and intellectual disabilities. This project was his way to ensure ALL citizens of Leominster and their families are able to take advantage of what makes Leominster the greatest city in Massachusetts.
He recently attended the 2017 Massachusetts Municipal Association Awards to accept the Innovation Award for the Leominster Autism Project.
Leominster Firefighter, A.L.E.C Trainer, Autism Dad
Lance Mason is an all-star Autism Trainer with the Autism Law Enforcement Education Coalition (A.L.E.C) since 2005. He has served our city as a Leominster Firefighter since 2003. Lance is also a proud father of three, including William, an amazing 15 year old diagnosed with autism.
Dr. Nancy Murray
Professor, Education Department Chair at F.S.U.
Dr. Murray is the Chair of the Education Department at Fitchburg State University. She also teaches several courses pertaining to moderate to severe disabilities. Her experience out of the classroom includes consultant work with various school districts and area families.
Learn more about Nancy here
Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Owner- InSync Communications Center and Sensory Gym
Judy is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist who has been working with clients and their families since 1993. She is a Leominster native, who received her Master’s degree from Worcester State College and received a Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Antioch University in Keene, NH.
Judy has worked with individuals with a variety of special needs ranging from early intervention (ages 0-3), to adults in private practice, schools, and hospitals. In addition, she has developed and provided ongoing services to autism-specific, intensive intervention classrooms.
Judy currently owns and operates InSync Communications Center and Sensory Gym, which is located on the Leominster/Sterling line.