About the BRIDGE Collaborative

The BRIDGE Collaborative consists of a transdisciplinary group of community providers, parents, funding agency representatives and researchers working together to develop a community plan to assist families of children with disorders of relating and communicating from the earliest stages. Difficulties with communication, behavioral regulation, sensory sensitivity, and problems developing early attachment relationships place infants and toddlers at risk for future mental health disorders, including autism and developmental delays, social emotional problems and serious behavioral difficulties. The BRIDGE Collaborative supports the use of an evidence-based, parent-implemented intervention called Project ImPACT for Toddlers, which has been adapted specifically to support children ages 12-24 months and their families. The program includes developmental and behavioral techniques as well as enhanced training in sensory and engagement strategies along with reflective supervision techniques for program trainers.

BRIDGE Collaborative Team

brookman_frazee photo Lauren Brookman-Frazee, PhD, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, Research Scientist at the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center, and Research & Training Director at the Autism Discovery Institute at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. She collaborates with community partners to conduct research on the development, adaptation, implementation, and sustainment of evidence-based interventions delivered in community care settings.
Marilee Burgeson Marilee Burgeson, MA, CCC-DIR/SLP is a speech and language pathologist for the San Diego County Office of Education HOPE Infant Family Support Program. She is certified in DIR/Floortime specializing in early intervention for children with social, emotional and behavioral challenges. Ms. Burgeson has extensive experience training providers and parents in relationship-based and behavioral methods for working with young children with disabilities using a parent coaching model.
Beth Calarco Beth Calarco, MA, BCBA, is the director ABACUS Behavioral Health, a private agency that serves San Diego Regional Center. She provides a behavioral perspective from a private early intervention agency. Her interests include early intervention, naturalistic teaching, and parent training.
Cherri Cary Cherri Cary, PhD, is a parent of an adolescent with autism and a seizure disorder, is a member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Autism Society and founding member of Talk About Curing Autism (TACA), an alternative treatment organization. In her multiple community roles, she has the opportunity to talk with parents from varied backgrounds.
Sherry Casper Sherry Casper, PhD, BCBA-D, is the founder and clinical director of the Center for Thoughtful Lasting Change, Inc. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked with children and families with simple to complex challenges for over 21 years. Prior to establishing in CTLC, Inc. she coordinated autism services at San Diego Regional Center, providing diagnostic and service recommendations. In 2009 she completed a fellowship expanding her skill set to include reflective practice/supervision and intervention and treatment of very young children.
Laura Cervantes Laura Cervantes, a bicultural and bilingual parent of a young adult with autism, is an active member in the Autism Society of America, San Diego Chapter. Laura has lead support groups for Hispanic families through the South County Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) for the past fifteen years and has extensive knowledge of resources for families throughout San Diego County.
Terri Cook Clark Terri Cook-Clark, MSW, LCSW, is the manager of the California Early Start program at San Diego Regional Center, which is the lead agency for this federally funded program through Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). She has expertise in providing publicly funded early intervention services to children and their families and has been instrumental in establishing parent education programs for young children at risk for ASD.
Monica Corrales Monica Corrales, MA, BCBA, is the director of Behavioral Services at Motiva Associates, serving Spanish-speaking families in San Diego, CA and the Imperial Valley. Motiva Associates employees bi-lingual, bi-cultural therapists and serves many children in San Diego whose families are monolingual Spanish.
Josh Feder Josh Feder, MD, is a psychiatrist experienced in relationship-based interventions for infants and young children with social difficulties. Dr. Feder has extensive experience teaching parents and therapists in relationship-based therapies, including use of reflective supervision and feedback. Dr. Feder is also the parent of a young adult with ASD.
Tom Montgomery photo Thomas R. Montgomery, MD, is the physician consultant at the San Diego Regional Center. He is a member of the Child Neurology Society and board certified in the sub-specialty of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities. He has over 35 years of experience in the evaluation, diagnosis and management of children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.
rieth photo Sarah Rieth, PhD, is an assistant professor in the department of Child and Family Development at San Diego State University. She is an investigator on the BRIDGE research grants. Her current interests include long-term influences of early intervention, active ingredients across treatment approaches for children with autism, and the promotion of social-emotional skills in early development.
Karyn Searcy Karyn Searcy, MA, CCC, is a community speech and language pathologist with over 35 years of clinical experience. She has worked on multidisciplinary teams and with community organizations, and is currently a board member of the San Diego Chapter of the California Infant Development Association. She is clinical director/founder of the Crimson Center for Speech & Language. Ms. Searcy is an author on two publications on the BRIDGE Collaborative’s work in the area of early intervention.
Aubyn Stahmer photo Aubyn Stahmer, PhD, is an associate professor at UC San Diego and Rady Children's Hospital. She is the principal investigator of the BRIDGE research programs and leads several other federally funded projects. Her research interests include the study of early intervention systems for children with ASD and the translation of evidence-based practices into community settings.

Additional Founding Members of the BRIDGE Collaborative

  • Mary Pat Culligan
  • Stephanie Eischen-Lee
  • Barbara Lounsbury
  • Rie Ozawa
  • Erika Rich
  • Robin Vanderlaan


BRIDGE Activities



Parent perceptions of an adapted evidence-based practice for toddlers with autism in a community setting

Building a research-community collaborative to improve preventative care for children at-risk for autism spectrum disorders.

Parent and multi-disciplinary provider perspectives on earliest intervention for children at-risk for autism spectrum disorders.

Towards a technology of treatment individualization for young children with autism spectrum disorders.

Early Intervention for Speech and Language: Empowering Parents.

SoCal BRIDGE collaborative: Across treatment disciplines.


Mixed Method Feedback on the Integration of Parent Engagement Strategies into an Evidence-Based Parent Coaching Intervention for Young Children at Risk for ASD.17th annual conference of International Meeting for Autism Research, San Francisco, CA. May, 2017.

Partnering to Adapt Evidence-Based Intervention for Delivery with Ethnic Minority Families. 17th annual conference of International Meeting for Autism Research, San Francisco, CA.  May, 2017.

Newer Research for Better Methods for Therapy in Autism. The National Foundation for Autism Treatment, Hong Kong, China. March, 2017

Project ImPACT: Collaborating with Families of Toddlers with Social Communication Disorder. Infant Development Association Southern California Conference. 
March, 2017

Training Multi-Disciplinary Early Intervention Providers in an Evidence-Based Practice for Toddlers At-Risk for ASD. The 50th annual Gatlinburg Conference. March, 2016

Collaborative Parent Coaching: Sharing the Pedestal. Invited workshop for the Infant Development Association of California, San Diego, CA. March, 2016.

Helping Children to Become Calm Problem Solvers. Early Years International Conference. Belfast, Ireland. June 2014.

Collaborative Framework for Early Intervention Services: Redefining Natural Environments.California Speech-Language Hearing Association Annual Convention. San Francisco, CA. March 2014.

Outcomes from use of Research-Community Partnerships to Adapt Evidence Based Practices for Community ASD Providers. 9th Biennial Conference on Research Innovations in Early Intervention, San Diego, CA, February, 2014.

Preliminary Child and Family Outcomes of a Parent-implemented Blended Intervention Approach for Young Children At-risk for ASD. Autism Speaks Toddler Treatment Network Annual Meeting, San Sebastian, Spain, May 2013.