Unpacking by Mari Cerda and Terra Vance

Event Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Identify harmful biases and approaches common in intervention therapies
  • Analyze common behavioral and learning goals through an intersectional and holistic lens
  • Apply principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion to goal-writing
  • Examine goals in culturally- and neurologically-responsive contexts
  • Predict the long-term impact of compliance-based goals on learners


Terra Vance, MS in psychology, BS in secondary education in English and language arts, is a Melungeon of Romani and Native American heritage who grew up in a coal mining camp in West Virginia. She is autistic, dyslexic, ADHD, and has traumatic brain injury. Vance was a secondary English teacher for 14 years and a DBT counselor for two before founding NeuroClastic, an autistic-led nonprofit. Now, she spends her days working various roles as NeuroClastic’s CEO. Her passions include decolonizing systemic structures, literature (especially Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man), building healthier communities, unpacking and reconnecting to ancestral culture, all things plants, and parenting her wonderfully autistic child. Any pronouns.

Mari Cerda is a Mesoamerican Indigenous woman, wife, mom of 3, and board-certified, trauma-responsive behavior analyst who consults with teachers and schools to provide professional development coaching on various Neurodivergent-affirming topics. A former special education teacher, Mari has been working with public education for nearly 13 years. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation on Examining the Effects of a BST Training Package for Public Educators Administering the VB-MAPP Assessment at Texas Tech University and is set to defend this spring. Mari is also the co-founder of The LEAP (Lighthouse of Equitable Access and Practices) Institute, a non-profit whose mission is to increase equitable access for marginalized and intersectioned groups entering the field of applied behavior analysis through quality supervision support and testing scholarships. LEAP is also working to shift the culture around the supervision relationship in the field of ABA. Mari currently sits on the advisory board for the Standard Celeration Society, Next4Autism Committee, TX-ABA Promoting ABA Committee, and BHCOE Person and Family Workgroup.

Not Enrolled

Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 1 Quiz
  • Course Certificate