Participant Advisory Committee

Committee Roles

POND’s Participant Advisory Committee is a group of people with personal experience of the clinical and practical issues facing those with neurodevelopmental disorders, their families, and the people who provide their care. They provide input and perspectives that are participant-centred and maintain focus on participants and their families ensuring the POND initiatives and outcomes are participant-driven. The committee is also an important POND partner in public and community engagement, as well as ensuring our research and activities are communicated effectively to neurodivergent individuals, their families, and other individuals who can apply this knowledge to improve care and long-term outcomes.

Participant Advisory Committee Members

  • Margret Spoelstra, Autism Ontario
  • Connie Putterman, ASD activist/parent
  • Julia Biondi, ADHD activist/parent
  • Claudine Evangelista, ASD Parent
  • Anthony Evangelista, ASD Parent
  • Karen Congram, Ontario Rett Syndrome Association
  • Jessica Bethel, Autism Ontario
  • Cathy Gaboury, Project Consultant
  • Mike Barnett, OCD parent
  • Jessica B, Autism Ontario
  • Allison Chang, POND Parent
  • Voula Athanasopoulos, ASD parent
  • Tara Vandertoon, Calgary Board of Education
  • Kira Vimalakanthan, SAAC
  • Shivajan Sivapalan, SAAC
  • Kathi Cosgrove, Autism Speaks
  • Alfredo Arias, POND Parent

Contact Information

To learn more about the Participant Advisory Committee or to inquire about how you might get involved, please contact Melanie Yang ( For general inquiries or to learn more about the POND Network please contact Alana Iaboni (