Robbin Byrd
Robin Byrd
Education/Training Specialist III
(352) 846-3700
Date Started at CARD: August 1999
Degrees: University of Central Florida
Areas of Interest: Behavioral Neurology & Autism as a Movement Disorder
Professional Associations: Asperger Syndrome, Employment, Transition, Movement Disorders, & Inclusion
Margie Garlin
Margie Garlin
Parent Partner
(352) 846-2762
Date Started at CARD: November 1999
Duties at CARD: Parent Partner for Hernando County, Parent Orientations and follow-up
Margie is also a parent of a child with autism and is active in District 3 Family Care Council and Families for Inclusion in Alachua County.



Mark Lewis, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroscience and Psychology
Co-Vice Chair for Research
College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
Areas of Interest: Dr. Lewis’ research is currently focused on the neurobiological basis of abnormal repetitive behaviors.


Danielle Liso, Ph.D., BCBA-D
(352) 273-0583
Date Started at CARD: October 2014
Degrees: B.A. in Literature, University of North Florida; M.A. in Severe and Profound Disabilities/Autism, Johns Hopkins University; Ph.D in Early Childhood Special Education, Vanderbilt University; Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2005
Areas of Interest: Parent Training and Support, Positive Behavior Support, Early Childhood Interventions, Communication and Social Skills
Professional Associations: Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), Florida Association for Behavior Analysis (FABA), TASH, Association for Positive Behavior Supports (ABPS), and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

Ann-Marie Orlando, Ph.D.
Ann-Marie Orlando, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
(352) 392-7799
Date Started at CARD: August 2003
Degrees: M.S. and B.S., Speech and Hearing Sciences University of South Alabama, Ph.D. Special Education, University of Florida
Areas of Interest: Augmentative/Alternative Communication, Assistive Technology and Literacy
Professional Associations: American Speech and Hearing Association, TASH

Carole Polefko
Carole Polefko
Public Education Coordinator
(352) 273-0598
Date Started at CARD: June 1994
Degrees: B.S., History, University of Florida
Duties at CARD: Enews, social media, autism awareness events, printed materials, etc.


John Polefko, M.Ed.

John Polefko, M.Ed.
Education/Training Specialist III, IT Services Liaison
(352) 273-0582
Degrees: B.A., University of Florida; M.Ed., University of Florida – Special Education
Certifications: GSEC, CCNA, MCSE, CompTIA A+, MCT
Areas of Interest: All things technology, gaming, communication, behavior, music and art.


John Polefko, M.Ed.

Katie J. Roark, M.A., CCC-SLP
Education/Training Specialist II
(352) 392-4172
Date Started at CARD: January 2017
Degrees: B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders from University of Florida, M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from University of Florida
Areas of Interest: Education, Communication, Literacy, Augmentative/Alternative Communication, Social Skills Development
Professional Associations: American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA)

Kathy Robinson


Kathy Robinson
Education/Training Specialist I, Visual Supports Specialist
(352) 392-4171
Date Started at CARD: April 2002
Interests: Visual Supports, Social Stories, Paraprofessionals
Experience: Experienced in working with both children and adults with multiple disabilities as well as those on the Autism spectrum.


Megan Thornton, M.A.
Education/Training Specialist II
(352) 392-4173
Date Started at CARD: September 2016 
Degrees: B.A. in Print Communications, B.A Creative Creative Wiring, Waldorf College; M.A. in Psychology with a specialization in Criminology and Justice Studies from the University of the Rockies
Areas of Interest: Education, Inclusive Teaching through Best Practices, ASD and the Criminal Justice System, Rights of Minors with Disabilities, Sensory Processing Disorder
Professional Associations: National Education Association, National Association of Special Education Teachers, American Criminal Justice Association-Lambda Alpha Epsilon, Union County Children’s Council

Dr. Greg Valcante

Greg Valcante, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor
College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
(352) 846-3458
Date Started at CARD: February 1994
Degrees: B.A., Biology & M.Ed., Special Education, College of William and Mary; Ph.D., Special Education, University of Florida
Areas of Interest: Family Support, Collaboration & Team Building, Inclusion, Toilet Training, Social & Play Skills, Communication Skills
Professional Associations: ASA (Autism Society of America), CEC (Council for Exceptional Children), TASH


Ana Vilfort Garces
Intake Coordinator
(352) 273-0581
Date Started at CARD: January 2016
Degrees/Certifications: B.A., Linguistics, University of Florida ; Teach English as a Second Language (TSL) Certification, University of Florida
Duties at CARD: register individuals with ASD and related disabilities, Spanish translation, mulitasking
Art Wallen
Art Wallen, M.S.
(352) 846-3457
Date Started at CARD: February 1994
Degrees:B.S. & M.S., Psychology, University of Florida Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Areas of Interest: Behavioral Assessment & Intervention, Self-Injurious Behavior, Systemic Instruction, Self-control Technologies, Behavioral Pharmacology, Positive Behavioral Support Technologies,Transition & Adult Supports
Professional Associations: Association for Behavior Analysis, ASA (Autism Society of America)

Alissa Yax

Alissa Yax
Program Assistant, Office Manager
(352) 273-0581
Date Started at CARD: January 2010
Degrees: B.S., Horticulture, Organic and Sustainable Crop Production, University of Florida
Duties at CARD: Office Manager