About Us



At NSSA we believe that each individual with autism, as well as their family members, deserves access to resources that will help them maximize their full potential. NSSA is dedicated to developing and providing those resources so that individuals with autism will be able to live lives filled with promise, dignity, and purpose and their families will have hope as well as peace of mind.


Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism offers hope to people with autism and their families by providing high quality life-long support through services which enable people with autism to function better in everyday life. NSSA offers the most advanced treatment and training programs for the benefit of people with autism, and will continue to pioneer, through research, comprehensive treatment models which can be adopted nationally.


Nicole Weidenbaum, M.S. Ed., SAS, Executive Director

Nicole Weidenbaum received her Masters Degree in Special Education from C.W. Post’s C.A.S.E. Program (Competencies in Autism and Special Education) and is a certified special education teacher. She received her certification in School Administration and Supervision from Columbia University’s Teachers College where she is currently a Doctoral candidate in the Department of Behavioral Analysis and Disorders. She began her career as a teacher at NSSA and, in addition, has over 14 years of experience working with individuals with autism and their and families and providing consultation services and training in Long Island school districts for their inclusion programs and self-contained classrooms. Ms. Weidenbaum is an adjunct Professor at Queens College and has presented at local and national conferences on a variety of topics addressing effective education for individuals with autism.

Kathy Mannion, Associate Executive Director

Kathy Mannion is the parent of four children, two of whom have autism. Before assuming her position as Associate Executive Director of NSSA, she served as the President of NSSA’s Board of Directors from 2001 through 2003 and as a member of the Board of Directors since 1997. In addition to her association with NSSA, she has worked in a variety of capacities within the autism community. Her past positions include, the Executive Director and a founding Board member of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment and the Development Coordinator for the Connecticut Center for Child Development. Over the past thirteen years she has been an avid advocate for individuals with autism and has presented nationally on such topics as the need for science-based intervention, early and accurate diagnosis, pediatrician education, and parent/professional partnerships.

Deborah Kennedy, Principal, Martin C. Barell School

Deborah Kennedy received her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Queens College in 2004 and her Specialist Diploma in Educational Leadership in 2011 from Queens College. She has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2009. Mrs. Kennedy started her career at NSSA as a teacher in 2000.

Jayne Eaton-Bove, M.S. School Psychology, Director of Clinical Services

Ms. Eaton-Bove began her career in 1988 as a Respite Provider for NSSA. With the opening of NSSA’s Martin C. Barell School Ms. Eaton-Bove worked as a case manager for its students until 1999. She left NSSA to complete her Master’s Degree in School Psychology at St. John’s University in 2000 and worked as a School Psychologist in district. She returned to NSSA in 2009 dividing her time between Adult Service and Consultation Programs. Ms. Eaton-Bove has presented at both local and national conferences on behavior management, effective intervention, and successful inclusion of students with autism spectrum disorders.  In July 2011 Ms. Eaton-Bove was promoted to the position of Director of Clinical Services for the entire agency.

Michelle Banville, M.S., Ed., BCBA, Senior Behavior Analyst

Ms. Banville received her Master’s Degree in School Psychology from Brooklyn College and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst since 2000.  She has specialized in the education of children with autism since 1991, in both private and public school settings, as well as residential and adult programs.  Ms. Banville began her tenure as a teacher at NSSA in 1997; and later served as a behavior analyst in the education program. She is currently the Senior Behavior Analyst for the Adult Serves program. Ms. Banville has presented at both local and national conferences on behavior management, effective intervention, and successful inclusion of students with autism spectrum disorders.

Michael J. Cunningham, M.S. Ed., M.S., CCC-SLP, Assistive Technology Coordinator

Michael J. Cunningham is a special educator and speech-language pathologist, who has worked with individuals with disabilities in the area of assistive technology since 1994.  Mr. Cunningham earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Queens College, City University of New York in 1994; his Master of Science degree in Special Education from Long Island University in 1997; and his Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from New York Medical College in 2001.  He has been providing direct speech-language intervention to students with autism spectrum disorders, emotional disturbances, and cognitive impairment since 1994 and has been involved in conducting research, evaluations, trainings, and implementation of assistive technology for individuals with significant cognitive, communicative, and physical disabilities. He has worked for the New York City Board of Education, the Westchester Institute for Human Development at New York Medical College, the Nathaniel H. Kornreich Center at the National Center for Disabilities Services, and United Cerebral Palsy of Suffolk County. In 2005 Mr. Cunningham began working at NSSA as an AAC Consultant and in August 2007, he accepted his current position. He has been a clinical supervisor and adjunct professor for the graduate program in Communication Sciences and Disorders of Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry since 2007.

Mr. Cunningham has taught courses and guest lectured on assistive technology and augmentative/alternative communication at Queens College, CUNY, Brooklyn College, CUNY, Long Island University, Pace University, New York Medical College, and Mercy College. He has presented on topics related to Assistive Technology at the New York State Speech-Language Hearing Association and at NSSA’s Annual Collaborative Conference at the New York Academy of Medicine. Mr. Cunningham has worked with individuals of all ages, at all levels of cognitive, physical, and communicative abilities.

Bonnie Eisert, M.S., CCC-SLP, Coordinator of Consultation Services

Bonnie Eisert has a B.A. in speech language pathology from St. John’s University and an M.S. in speech language pathology from the University of South Florida. Prior to her current position, Ms. Eisert worked within the Half Hollow Hills Central School District and the Garden City School District supporting the needs of children with autism. Since 2007 Mrs. Eisert has served as Coordinator of Speech and Language services at the Martin C. Barell School.  She continues to provide training and education to professionals and families dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  She has permanent New York State certification in teacher of speech and hearing handicapped K-12.

Jason Watson, BCaBA, CBAA, Director of OPWDD Services

Jason has been working with children and adults with Autism since his graduation from Quinnipiac College where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in May of 2000. In July of 2000, he began his employment with Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism at the Martin C. Barell School as an instructor and was then promoted to Lead Instructor After several years as a Lead Instructor, Jason was promoted to the position of Coordinator of Adult, Vocational, and Family Support Services in 2004.

Jason successfully completed his BACB course work through the University of North Texas and became a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst, BCaBA, in September of 2010. He is a member of NSSA’s Human Rights and Peer Review Committees and a participant in the Long Island Task Force for Aging Out and the LI Quality Assurance Task Force. He is also a member of the Long Island Informed Consent Committee.

He has presented at autism conferences and agency/school workshops on issues related to transition, vocational skill development, adult services program development, and community integration for students and adults with autism.

In February of 2014, Jason was promoted to his current position as NSSA’s Director of OPWDD Services.


Lawrence A. Ceriello, President

Lawrence A. Ceriello is a partner in the New York office of Morrison & Foerster LLP, an international law firm based in San Francisco, California.  Mr. Ceriello’s practice is concentrated in commercial real estate finance and he has extensive experience in connection with the financing of large commercial real estate projects including hotels, shopping centers, office buildings, apartment and multi-family developments and other large commercial projects throughout the United States.  He regularly represents commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, private equity and other capital sources providing construction and permanent mortgage finance, bridge financing, mezzanine finance and preferred equity in connection with such commercial projects.  Mr. Ceriello received his B.A., cum laude, from Manhattan College and his J.D. from St. John’s University.  He has served as a member of the Board of NSSA since 1994.

Bram D. Weber, Vice President

Bram D. Weber joined Weber Law Group LLP in 2002 after beginning his career at Greenberg Traurig LLP and a clerkship in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Mr. Weber received his Bachelor of Arts degrees in both history and American Studies from Brandeis University and a Juris Doctor degree from the Hofstra University School of Law, where he was the Managing Editor of Notes and Comments of the Labor and Employment Law Journal, one of the most well respected labor and employment law journals in the country.

In addition to his activity in the legal community, Mr. Weber holds leadership positions in numerous community organizations including serving as the Co-Chairman of the Young Leadership Division of the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC); as a Co-Founder of the Brandeis University Recent Graduates Network; as a Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Brandeis University Emerging Leaders Society; and as a Member of the Real Estate Executives (REX) Steering Committee and the Building Repair Committee of the UJA-Federation of New York.

Allen Perl, CPA, Treasurer

Allen Perl is the managing partner of Perl, Grossman & Associates, LLP, a CPA firm in Lake Success, NY.  He is a member of the NYS Society of CPA’s.  Mr. Perl lives in Westchester along with his wife Ann and their two children, Dara and Brett. He has served on NSSA’s Board of Directors since 2001 and has served as Board President from 2003 to 2010, when he assumed the position of Treasurer. Allen also serves on the board of The Afya Foundation of America, Inc.

Gerard Weldon, Secretary

Gerard Weldon is the Director of Marine Operations of New York Sand & Stone, a subsidiary of US Concrete based in Euliss Texas. Mr. Weldon directs Marine Shipping and Supply Chain from the company’s Brooklyn, NY office. He received his B.S. in Management from St. John’s University in 1979 and his M.B.A. in Management from St. John’s University in 1993. Mr. Weldon is the parent of Cate, who is a client in NSSA’s Adult Services Program. He has served on the Board of Directors since 1991.

William Akley, Director

William J. Akley is President, Gas Business at Eversource Energy, Hartford, Connecticut, a position he assumed in 2014. Mr. Akley previously served as Senior Vice President of US Gas Operations at National Grid from 2007-2014.

Mr. Akley joined Brooklyn Union in 1983 as a management trainee and over the years has held a number of management positions. He has held various positions of responsibility in Gas Distribution Operations, System Design Engineering, Corrosion, Dispatching, Facilities Management, Security and Real Estate. He was elected Vice President in 2002.

Mr. Akley is a NYS licensed professional engineer and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Mr. Akley is active in the community, as a board member for the Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism (NSSA), The Energeia Partnership, The United Way of Long Island, The American Gas Association and Vice Chairman of the Northeast Gas Association. Mr. Akley also serves as a board member of the Wantagh Little League. He is a 2005 David Rockefeller Fellow of the NYC Partnership and participates in career mentoring for Clarkson University undergraduates. In 2000, Mr. Akley was named one of the year’s Outstanding Gas Industry Managers by Gas Utility & Pipeline Magazine.

Mr. Akley has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical & Industrial Engineering from Clarkson University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Adelphi University.

Gayle V. Fremed, Director

Gayle V. Fremed is the Director of the Person Centered Planning Department at Kulanu, an agency for children and adult with Special Needs on Long Island. She previously served as the Director of the Special Needs Department at the Jewish Community Center of the Greater Five Towns. Ms. Fremed has been a member of the NSSA Board of Directors since 1995, serving as Vice President from 2001 to 2010, and remains a Board Director.

Her daughter Jamie has been a client at NSSA since the inception of The Martin C. Barell School in 1993. Jamie is currently a very happy and proud consumer at the NSSA Adult Program. Gayle’s son Brandon, a second year law student at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, has volunteered at NSSA events for many years, along with many of his friends. Ms. Fremed has been married to her wonderful and supportive husband David for 33 years.

Joseph Keenan, Director

Joseph Keenan is a partner in the law firm of McCanliss & Early in New York City.  He is a graduate of Manhattan College with a BA in Government and earned his JD at Western New England College School of Law.  He has previously worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Queens County and later at the Law Department at E.F. Hutton & Company followed by Prudential Securities.  He is the past President of the Emerald Association of Long Island, a 501(c)3 organization, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Graybeards, a charitable organization in Rockaway.  Mr. Keenan is married and has three children.

David Stollwerk, Director

David Stollwerk taught English at Herricks High School for over 30 years. He has degrees from Duke University and NYU.   He is Chairman of the Nassau County Alumni Admissions Advisory Committee for Duke University.  Mr. Stollwerk has also served as a Trustee and Vice-president on the Board of Trustees of the Herricks School District.  He is married to Susan and is the father of Alissa, a graduate of Yale University, and Alan, a client at NSSA’s Adult Service Program.  Mr. Stollwerk has been a member of the NSSA Board since 1992.


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Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism
80 Hauppauge Road
Commack, NY  11725
631-462-0386 (ph)
631-462-4201 (fax)