Each year at S’Mores and Pours, Camp Encourage honors someone special in our community that exemplifies that which we believe is essential when supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

We are delighted to announce that this year’s very deserving Honorary Encourage Leader is Lee Stickle.

Lee is the Director of the Technical Assistance Systems Network’s Autism and Tertiary Behavior Supports (TASN ATBS) and the School Mental Health Initiative.   She supports educators, families, and students through training and consultation.

Lee started with the TASN network 30 years ago. When the Autism and Tertiary Behavior Project began, she was the only member of the team! Today, the team has 18 professionals with various credentials and expertise. Ten years ago, she added two Clinically licensed social workers after seeing an increasing number of students with mental health needs. The impact of these professionals proved to the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) that mental health needs were outstripping the available resources.   In response, KSDE submitted and received a grant to fund the School Mental Health Initiative to serve Kansas communities. Lee is credited with developing free online training in both ASD and Mental health, as well as being a founding member of the Tri-State Autism Collaborative with Nebraska and Colorado. She is a board member of the National Autism Leadership Collaborative and has presented at the local, state, regional, national, and international levels.

Lee is passionate about improving outs for students with ASD and Complex Needs. She desires that each person enjoys a self-directed high quality of life. While having been in the field of education for 40 years, she is consistently amazed at how much she has to learn.

The incredible youth bolstered her passion for the autism community with ASD and the families she served. Lee credits Dr. Rich Simpson and Dr. Brenda Myles for her introduction to ASD and for providing numerous opportunities to learn from some of the leading experts in the field.   She frequently says that the graduate program in ASD at KU taught her a great deal; however, the most valuable lessons she learned she learned from people with ASD and their families.

In her free time, Lee enjoys camping and time at her cabin with family and friends. She enjoys traveling both in the U.S. and in Europe. She has rescued countless dogs and loves to hike and walk with her fur babies!

We look forward to honoring Lee Stickle at S’Mores and Pours on Friday, October 28, 2022 and hope that you can join us!

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