Meet Our Experts

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh

Co-Founder Autism Care Today & Founder of the Center for Autism & Related Disorders

Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh has dedicated over forty years to helping individuals with autism lead healthy, productive lives. She is licensed as a psychologist in California, Texas, Virginia, Oregon, Colorado, Michigan and Arizona and holds a Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. She is a doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is licensed as a behavior analyst in Arizona, New York, Nevada, Louisiana and Virginia.

 Dr. Granpeesheh began her studies in autism as an undergraduate at UCLA earning a bachelor’s degree in 1984, and a Master’s degree in psychology in 1987, followed by a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA in 1990. While completing her degrees, Dr. Granpeesheh worked with Dr. Ivar Lovaas on the groundbreaking outcome study published in 1987 which showed a recovery rate of close to 50% among the study’s research participants. Dr. Granpeesheh built on Dr. Lovaas’s work, developing the CARD Model, which is a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to treating autism. 

In 1990, Dr. Granpeesheh founded the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, also known as CARD.  Under 

Dr. Granpeesheh’s 30 years of leadership, CARD became one of the world’s largest providers of ABA-based treatment for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. With over 260 locations throughout the United States and internationally, CARD employed over 6,000 highly skilled professionals, and was a leading employer of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) providing behavioral treatment to thousands of families worldwide. 

CARD’s highly regarded behavior management and skill acquisition programs were the culmination of decades of research in the field of autism treatment. As part of the nation’s third largest non-governmental organization contributing to autism research, CARD researchers published groundbreaking studies that contributed significantly to the field of autism treatment research. In 2011, Dr. Granpeesheh founded Autism Research Group, a nonprofit organization whose mission was to identify and conduct treatment research that improves the quality of life for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. 

To increase access to evidence-based treatment, Dr. Granpeesheh founded Skills™, an innovative web-based platform that optimizes treatment programs for individuals with autism spectrum disorder.  Skills™ provides comprehensive assessment and curriculum, positive support planning for challenging behavior, progress tracking, and treatment evaluation.  and enables healthcare professionals, teachers, parents, and/or caregivers to design and manage comprehensive, individualized treatment programs for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder as well as tracking progress in real time by collecting and uploading data electronically.

From 1990 to 2019, as CARD’s CEO and chief clinician, Dr. Granpeesheh developed extensive state-of-the-art training programs for CARD’s clinical employees, parents and caregivers, and school personnel.  As demand for CARD training programs increased, Dr. Granpeesheh established the Institute for Behavioral Training which provides web-based and in-person training programs targeting the specific training needs of school districts, parents and caregivers, physicians, and autism treatment providers.

Dr. Granpeesheh has been a member of numerous scientific and advisory boards including the US Autism and Asperger’s Association, The Autism File Journal, Autism 360-Medigenesis, the 4-A Healing Foundation and the Defeat Autism Now coalition.  In addition, Dr. Granpeesheh has served on the National Board of Directors of the Autism Society of America (ASA), the practice board of The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) as well as the Autism Human Rights and Discrimination Initiative Steering Committee, the Early Intervention Taskforce of the Senate Select Committee on Autism and Related Disorders and the Oversight Committee of the Department of Developmental Disabilities. 

In 2008, Dr. Granpeesheh produced and co-directed the documentary “Recovered: Journeys through the Autism Spectrum and Back”, a film about 4 children diagnosed with Autism who, after three years of intensive intervention, recovered and now lead productive and healthy lives. This documentary received significant recognition including “Best Documentary” in the Director’s Chair Film Festival, official selection in the Victoria Independent Film Festival and special recognition in the ReelHeART International Film Festival of Toronto.  

As one of the foremost experts in autism diagnosis and treatment, Dr. Granpeesheh has appeared on numerous TV shows including Dr. Phil, the Doctors, Fox and Friends and other notable news segments to shed light on and answer questions regarding autism.  

In August 2009, her research entitled “Retrospective Analysis of Clinical Records in 38 Cases of Recovery from Autism” was published in the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, showing that recovery from autism is possible with early, intensive intervention using ABA. This study echoed the results of Dr. Lovaas’s earlier study and garnered Dr. Granpeesheh the prestigious George Winokur Clinical Research Award.

In 2014, Dr. Granpeesheh co-authored the book Evidence-Based Treatment for Children with Autism, a comprehensive description of the model of treatment she developed over her 30 years of leadership at CARD. She has also authored over 50 peer reviewed publications on subjects concerning the diagnosis and treatment of Autism. In 2015, Dr. Granpeesheh co-authored a series of 4 articles that were published in the prestigious journal Pediatrics. These articles were the culmination of work from several think tanks concerning the early diagnosis and treatment of autism and continue to define the guiding principles of therapeutic process for medical and psychological professionals today.  

Dr. Granpeesheh is co-founder of The Autism Media Network which hosts “Autism Live”, the number one video podcast in the field of autism education. Since 2012, Dr. Granpeesheh has broadcast the “Dr. Doreen Show” on Autism Live, a weekly interactive web show providing support, resources, information, facts, entertainment, and inspiration to parents, teachers, and practitioners who work with individuals on the autism spectrum. Through the Ask Dr. Doreen Show, hundreds of families have been able to call in or write in and gain immediate guidance on various issues pertaining to their children. In 2022, Autism Media Network launched “Stories from the Spectrum” the first show to be entirely produced, directed by and featuring individuals on the spectrum of autism. 

In 2020, Dr. Granpeesheh retired as CEO of CARD and continues to contribute to the autism community as founding member and president of Autism Care Today (ACT), a nonprofit organization that she co-founded in 2005. ACT builds awareness and provides grant funding to families struggling with autism.  In addition, Dr. Granpeesheh remains a member of the Finance Committee of The Association for Behavior Analysis International, sits on the board of advisors of the Board of Psychology of UCLA, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence.  

In 2020, the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis honored her by establishing the “Doreen Granpeesheh Fund for the Interdisciplinary Approach to the Treatment of Autism”, whose objective is to support educational pursuits that complement the behavioral treatment of autism with knowledge and expertise from related fields and with consideration of the individual as a whole. 

Dr. Granpeesheh remains committed to improving treatment efficacy by expanding the knowledge of behavior analysts to include a broad understanding of the diagnostic criteria, dietary protocols, and biomedical interventions currently in use for the treatment of autism.  

Awards and Accolades:

2007: The Autism Society of America’s Wendy F. Miller Professional of the Year Award

2009: American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists: George Winokur Clinical Research Award

2009: Autism Around the World: Appreciation Award 

2010: Recognition by Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa for 20 years of commitment and dedication to the treatment of autism.

2010: Recognition and gratitude by Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger for provision of support and treatment for those affected by autism in California. 

2010: Autism Around the World: Appreciation Award 

2011: Universal Love Foundation’s Parent of Distinction Award

2012: Recognition from The Senate of the State of California Taskforce on Equity and Diversity, for exemplary leadership and inspiring contributions in promoting equality for all individuals who are overcoming the challenges of autism spectrum disorders. 

2013: National Association of Professional Women for Outstanding Excellence and Dedication to Her Profession and the Achievement of Women

2014: Parenting Arizona: Raising the Bar Award

2015: The San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award

2015: The NW Autism Foundation Champion of Autism Award 

2015: Innovations in Healthcare Abby Award Finalist

2017: CODiE Best Solutions for Special Needs Students Award

2019: Autism Care Today’s Denim Diamond and Stars Visionary Award

2021: Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis: Award for Enduring Programmatic Contributions to the Field. 

Shannon Penrod

Co-Founder Autism Network

Shannon Penrod identifies as a proud PONI (Parent of a Neurodiverse Individual).  Her son Jem was diagnosed  with Autism at the age of two and a half after having lost virtually all of his language and social skills.

Helping her son on his journey with Autism became Shannon’s top priority.

Whether it was researching new diets, learning the legal ins and outs of special education law or finding funding for quality, individualized ABA therapy, Shannon became her son’s best advocate and an advocate for many other families. In 2009, Shannon began the host and producer of Everyday Autism Miracles, a weekly radio show that focuses solely on Autism and hope.

In 2011, with Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, she began developing an interactive show about Autism that would eventually become Autism Live.  For 13 years Shannon has hosted Autism Live, interviewing experts, parents and individuals on the spectrum. 


Before her son was born Shannon was  an award-winning stand-up comedienne, director, and author.  She holds a BA in Theatre from Oswego State University and an MFA in Acting from The National Theatre Conservatory.  She has worked in all phases of theatre as an actor, director, producer. playwright, and in production management for the Broadway shows CATS, Song & Dance and Smile as well as the original London productions of Les Miserables, Chess, and Phantom of the Opera.  Shannon went on to teach theatre and acting at Oswego State University and Brigham Young University. She has performed improvisational comedy with the LA Connection, The United Monkey Congress and Improvo. 

In 2021 Shannon Penrod co-founded The Autism Network with Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh.  Her goal is to provide families, and individuals with Autism,  resources and hope while on their  unique journey.  Her book Autism: Parent to Parent is available at all major book sellers.

Meet Our Contributors & Staff

Chris Desmond – Lead Content Producer

Chris Desmond has over 10 years of operations experience in the field of ABA therapy. He has managed and opened clinics big and small for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders and thrives on team building and helping families in need. In 2018, he transitioned into a creative role as the Lead Content Producer for C.A.R.D. There he wrote, produced and edited content that was both entertaining and informative with a focus on brand awareness, recruitment and retention. 


He has a BA in Theater from Fordham University and is an award-winning screenwriter. In his spare time, he writes and produces screenplays, web series and short films. He is thrilled to join the Autism Network team where he can apply his creativity and experience in the field of ABA.