January 2016
Autism Think Tank   

The Autism Think Tank

Dr. Paul Abend
Founder and Medical Director

Dr. Margaret Bauman

Dr. Timothy Buie

Dr. Charles Henry

Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer
Pain Specialist

Dr. Raffi Tachdjian

Dr. Talin Babikian

Dr. Ralph Ankenman


Individuals with autism frequently present with comorbid medical conditions that are difficult to diagnose. The symptoms of autism can often be exacerbated by:
Gastrointestinal Disorders      
Seizure Disorders
Sleep Disorders
Metabolic Disorders
Food Allergies
Seasonal Allergies
Pain of Unknown Origin
Clinical symptoms can present as aggressive or self-injurious behaviors that often lead to psychiatric hospitalization, emergency room visits, unnecessary pharmaceutical treatment and ineffective behavioral intervention. These commonly unrecognized medical conditions require medical intervention.

The Autism Think Tank, NJ brings together a multi-specialty team of world-renowned doctors from across the US to review medically complex cases of autism. Together with the patient's family and physician, seven Think Tank doctors collaborate in a videoconference to discuss the patient's medical history and unresolved medical complications. Using a team approach, a comprehensive plan of care is developed considering all specialty areas. The family's doctors and local specialists implement this cohesive plan of care to help medically stabilize the individual and improve educational and therapeutic and behavioral outcomes.
The Autism Think Tank doctors are affiliated with top teaching hospitals in North America including Massachusetts General Hospital, Lurie Center for Autism (formerly Harvard Ladders) and UCLA Medical Center.
The Autism Think Tank helps to identify the underlying biological and physiological issues that are affecting the patient's well being, often creating a crisis in the family, school or community. Through collaboration with our experts, local physicians are learning to recognize and treat these comorbid medical conditions and learning to apply this knowledge when caring for other individuals with autism.
The Autism Think Tank is currently serving individuals with autism globally with the use of telemedicine. For more information, families or physicians should contact:

Spotlight on 
Autism Think Tank Doctor...
Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer
Pediatric Pain Specialist UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital

*Named Top 1% of Doctors by US News and World Report 2015*

Lonnie Zeltzer, M.D., is a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Director of the UCLA Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care Program. She is a co-author on the Institute of Medicine report on Transforming Pain in America and is a member of the national steering committee assigned to provide directions for pain research at NIH.  She has received, among other awards, a Mayday Pain and Policy Fellowship and the 2005 Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children's Pain Relief from the American Pain Society (APS).  Her UCLA integrative pediatric pain program received a 2009 Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Award from APS and a 2012 award from the Southern California Cancer Pain Initiative.  Her research includes yoga, mindfulness, and other self-help interventions, including mobile technologies, to help children and adolescents who have chronic pain, the role of hypnotherapy to increase blood flow in sickle cell disease, studies of mechanisms of pain and central pain control in children, and studies of pain in childhood cancer. She has over 350 research publications on childhood pain and complementary therapies, has written more than 80 chapters, and published a book for parents on chronic pain in childhood (HarperCollins, 2005).  She and her husband, Dr. Paul Zeltzer, have a new book for parents on pain in children, adolescents, and young adults (Pain in Children and Young Adults: The Journey Back to Normal; Shilysca Press, Inc., 2016; 

We are proud to have Dr. Zeltzer serve on our Autism Think Tank to provide insight into the management of complex pain issues many individuals with ASD experience. Her guidance has helped families and physicians across the US and abroad understand acute and chronic pain as well as develop treatment plans considering both pharmaceutical as well as integrative and alternative medicine for pain management. 

For more information on 
Dr. Zeltzer, visit

   Proudly Featuring......  
An Autism Friendly Employer!

All parents hope their children grow up to lead happy, productive and meaningful lives. For parents of children with ASD, this is especially true and  often extremely challenging, but some local employers are stepping up helping to make these dreams a reality. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Zachary Mucisko, a young man with ASD who is gainfully employed at Smoothie King in Warren, NJ. 

Owner, Tom Leitner, Zachary Mucisko 
and Manager, Margaret Natarelli

Zachary loves going to work each day to assist in the daily operations of this hugely popular spot in the center of town!  Zach's job entails working behind the scenes cleaning dishes, peeling bananas, and refilling the ice, enabling consistent production of the delicious smoothies!  Zach also assists at the front counter greeting the loyal customers who have come to know and adore him. Zach was proud to tell me that he loves getting paychecks and aside from buying muffins with his earnings, he likes to save his money! When not at work, Zach likes hanging out with his friends. Tom Leitner, owner of Smoothie King, is proud to have Zach as a member of his staff. He explained, "When Zach started at Smoothie King, we had to go over things a few times before he learned the skills, but then he never had to be told again. He takes direction well, he's always happy and has a great attitude." 

Congratulations to Tom and Zach for showing us that mutually beneficial opportunites can and do exist for individuals with ASD!

Autism Think Tank
Family Events and Fundraisers

September 19 & 20, 2015
The Continental Drifters 
 (all members were represented for the first time, ever)!

August 22, 2015
The Rain Parade and a reunited Baby Lemonade 
 (first show in over 10 years)!

(Guest Artists The Muffs and The Bangles)

February 28, 2015
Wild Honey Orchestra
The Beatles 
"White" Album
Alex Theater
Glendale, CA

December 23, 2014
Holiday Toy Drive
The Bounce Factory

September 28, 2014
Wild Honey Orchestra 
Big Star 
Third and #1 Live
Wilshire Ebell Theater
Los Angeles, CA

August 6, 2014
Hillsborough Rotary Fair
Special Needs Family Event

June 12, 2014
Warren Lions Expo Carnival
Special Needs Family Event

June 2, 2014
Twilight at Ninety Acres
Featuring Jazz Legend 
Bucky Pizzarelli
Ninety Acres at Natirar

May 5, 2014
Financial Resources Foundation Gala
The Palace at Somerset Park

April 28, 2014
Autism Awareness Month 
Bounce Factory 
 Special Needs Family Event

March 1, 2014
Wild Honey Orchestra 
Beatles Revolver 
and Abbey Road
Wilshire Ebell Theater
Los Angeles, CA


The Chai Center for Jewish Life has been working as a human resource file for the autism community.  The Chai Center has members who are lawyers, plumbers, tech support, teachers, and people who are willing to help in whatever way they can. Members of the Center have volunteered their skills and talents in order to help others and pay it forward.  The Chai Center for Jewish Life has teamed up with the Autism Think Tank, NJ to develop a list of FREE services for families with special needs which have been generously donated by the membership. Please click on the link below to access the list of services that are available to families with special needs. We are sincerely grateful to the Chai Center and to those individuals who have so kindly offered their services to families in need. For information about the Chai Center visit  their w ebsite at:

News from the .......  
Autism Think Tank, NJ

The Autism Think Tank is looking forward to another successful year of medical videoconferencing and sensory friendly events for children with special needs and their families! This year we are excited to add a psychosocial conference to our agenda for parents and professionals living and working with individuals with autism. Stay tuned for more information.

With your support, in 2015, our services reached over 1000 individuals who live with the challenges of autism and other special needs. 

2015 came to a close with our annual holiday family party at The Bounce Factory. The kids had so much fun bouncing around and playing laser tag with their siblings and parents too! Santa and his Elves arrived to make sure everybody went home with a special gift! At their own pace, many children posed for pictures with Santa and his helpful Elves! 

Congratulations to our founder
Dr. Paul Abend 
for receiving the 
"2015 Dr. Margaret L. Bauman 
Award for Excellence"
This award recognizes Dr. Abend's many achievements in developing medical and recreational services for the autism community and his ongoing efforts focussing on affordable housing options and appropriate medical care for all ages.

Dr. Margaret L. Bauman made a pioneering discovery in autism research that continues to encourage individuals on the autism spectrum, and their families, caregivers, researchers, educators, therapists and professionals. Her Awards for Excellence are given in celebration of deserving, talented people who go above and beyond in their personal mission or chosen professions in the field of autism.

Wild Honey Presents....
The Beach Boys 1967-1977
To Benefit The Autism Think Tank

On February 13, 2016, The Wild Honey Foundation and guest artists will fill the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California with the music of the Beach Boys, 1967-1977 to benefit The Autism Think Tank, NJ and The Children's Music Fund! Beach Boys Al Jardine and David Marks will perform along with special guests including Mickey Dolenz of The Monkees, Debbie Peterson of The Bangles, Steve Wynn of Dream Syndicate and so many more! 

pre-show VIP Cocktail Party will be held at Pierre Garden just a few doors down from the Alex Theatre. These special tickets include cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, a VIP Meet and Greet with the artists, and preferred seating. You won't want to miss this!

We are immensely grateful to the Wild Honey Foundation and the dozens of artists who participate in these musical masterpieces to benefit The Autism Think Tank, NJ. Their continued support allows us to carry out our mission helping individuals with medically complex autism through medical videoconferencing.

Please consider sponsoring the Beach Boys 1967-1977 event or purchasing ad space in our show program to promote your business. The Alex Theatre is a 1200 seat theatre which is sure to sell out! Promote your business with this amazing opportunity to be recognized in press releases, websites, signage, social media and more. All proceeds will benefit The Autism Think Tank and The Children's Music Fund. For information email

Autism Think Tank Receives $7,000 Grant

Thanks to a generous $7,000 donation from B'Nai Brith Food Services, The Autism Think Tank is sponsoring a 12 week winter session of "Gentle Jump" at the Bounce Factory in Warren, NJ. These weekly sessions are FREE to families with children with special needs. It was the vision of our founder, Dr. Paul Abend, to make sure kids with sensory needs had a safe place to play and have fun during these cold winter months when most kids stay inside. We are so grateful to Steve and Wendy Pillar who helped make this possible. 

To join a session, register by calling  The Bounce Factory at 908-647-5867.



T he Autism Think Tank doctors help families and physicians stabilize medically complex individuals with autism by identifying unrecognized or unresolved medical issues that exacerbate the symptoms of autism and difficult to manage behaviors. Our Think Tank videoconferences are available to families across the US and abroad. For more information on available grants, please click on the link below.

Please take a moment to share our newsletter with friends to help us spread the word about our services and events!

We hope to see you soon!


Sheri A. Marino, MA, CCC-SLP
Executive Director  
Sponsorship Opportunities

Corporate sponsors are needed for all local and national events. Promote your business with these amazing opportunities to be recognized in press releases, websites, signage, social media and more. 

Please email Sheri Marino at 
for more information  

Press Box

Autism Medical Center
In The News........




Children's Specialized Hospital

Aquinas Special Needs Services

Mt. Bethel Village

Rocking Horse Rehab

Ashrams for Autism

The Children's Music Fund




DID YOU KNOW....... 




....that abdominal pain from reflux, constipation or even headaches may be reasons for self injurious or other new repetitive behaviors?




....that food allergies in children with autism can masquerade as a number of symptoms and conditions that can present as abnormal social behavior?




....that medically complex children and adults with autism commonly have adverse reactions to medications easily tolerated by the general population?



The Autism Think Tank is 501(c)(3) (non-profit) organization that relies on contributions from individuals, organizations, and corporations to fulfill its mission of providing medical videoconferencing for medically complex individuals with ASD, community outreach, and education. Your help will make a difference in the lives of families who struggle with autism daily. It is our goal to offer the Autism Think Tank videoconference to any family regardless of their ability to pay. We hope you will consider making a tax deductible donation today. 
    Make a Donation 

The Autism Think Tank, NJ
16 Mt. Bethel Rd. Box 321
Warren, NJ 07059
ph 732-805-9242
fax 732-667-7780


Mission Statement

The Autism Think Tank, NJ is an internationally recognized 501(c)(3) (Non-profit) organization whose mission is to facilitate the medical and psychosocial stabilization of the child and family. Bringing together a team of world renowned medical experts via telemedicine, the Autism Think Tank, NJ is designed to provide a multidisciplinary team approach to the identification and treatment of the complicated medical comorbidities of autism. The Autism Think Tank is committed to improving the lives of children and families in the home, school and community through comprehensive case management, community outreach, research and education.