by Pamela Young, Published March 29, 2012
Sally Burton-Hoyle, an associate professor in Eastern Michigan University's special education department, has been named to a federal advisory committee that deals with efforts concerning autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The announcement was made today (March 29) by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Burton-Hoyle is one of only 15 individuals nationwide invited to participate and the only Michigan representative on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC). The committee consists of individuals representing people on the autism spectrum, autism advocates, parents, clinicians and researchers from across the country, said Sebelius.
Burton-Hoyle has focused her life and career on improving the education of people with autism and other challenging behaviors, noted Sebelius in her announcement.
"I am absolutely thrilled," said Burton-Hoyle, director of student academics at Eastern's Autism Collaborative Center. "Autism is not an early childhood disorder. It's a life span disorder that can't be fixed. Efforts are turning towards the families. It will bring together all the practical pieces so people will be supported wherever they are."
The committee will listen to families, coordinate efforts with the HHS concerning autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and advise the Secretary on matters related to ASD.
Autism is my life, noted Burton-Hoyle. Her late brother, Tim, had autism, and he impacted her life both as a sister and as a special education teacher.
Burton-Hoyle was nominated with support from Congressman John Dingell (D-MI); Phil Smith, interim head of Eastern's Department of Special Education; and Lisa Johnstone, executive director of Eastern's Autism Collaborative Center. It is a three-year appointment.
Burton-Hoyle has been at Eastern Michigan since 2006. Previously, she was executive director of the Autism Society of Michigan and has classroom experience as a special education teacher.
She has a doctorate in education from the University of Idaho and a master's degree in special education from the University of Kansas.
For more information, go to http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/03/20120329a.html. For more about Eastern's Autism Collaborative Center, go to http://www.emich.edu/acc/about.html.