Dr. Paul Abend
Founder and Medical Director
The father of a 14 year old boy with Autism, Dr. Paul Abend recognized early on, the lack of advanced medical care available for children with autism. To address the lack of advanced medical care for medically complex patients with autism, Dr. Abend launched the Comprehensive Autism Medical Assessment and Treatment Center of NJ, a unique medical center that brings together “world renowned” medical experts via tele-medicine.
Dr. Abend maintains a medical practice in musculoskeletal and pain medicine with his associate and teaching fellows from Kessler Institute. Dr. Abend is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Dept. of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Kessler Institute, Dept. of Medicine and Family Medicine at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is the Medical Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Services at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital. Dr. Abend is the past President of the New Jersey Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as the New Jersey Society of Medical Specialties. He has received some of the highest honors including the 2011 Jefferson Award for NJ and the Region. Dr. Abend and his daughter were awarded the Governors highest award in 2008 at the NJ Disability Association Meeting for his work with sports clinics for children with special needs. In 2008 he was named Citizen of the Year in Warren Township, NJ.
Dr. Abend developed a preceptor ship program at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, New Brunswick, NJ, for second year family medicine residents to help sensitize them to the needs of children and adults with autism.
Dr. Abend co-founded Autism Escapes, a non-profit network of private jet owners who fly patients with autism to specialized clinics around the country at no cost to the patient’s family. He also co- founded Mt. Bethel Village, the first supportive living, apartment residence for adults with autism and developmental disabilities, located in Warren, NJ.
Sheri Marino Haiken, MA, CCC-SLP
Sheri is a NJ licensed pediatric speech-language pathologist. Sheri received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Rutgers University. She attained her Master of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and graduated Cum Laude from Montclair University. Sheri's clinical experiences include the University Hospital at UMDNJ in Newark, NJ, where she provided evaluation and treatment services in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Sheri was trained in Applied Behavior Analysis at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, New Brunswick, NJ, where she treated children on the autism spectrum. For more than 10 years Sheri coordinated home programs and developed behavioral interventions using Applied Behavior Analysis for children with ASD in New York, New Jersey, and London, England. As a member of a trans-disciplinary team, she conducted evaluations and treatment services, for the birth-three year old population at the Milestones Child Development Center, Jersey City, NJ. While at Milestones, Sheri was part of the Expansion Team, providing homebound services to medically fragile infants as well as infants affected by pre-natal drug exposure. She has received training in Links to Language, MORE, PROMPT, and manual therapies including myofascial release and craniosacral therapy.
Sheri is the Founder of Rocking Horse Rehab, a pediatric rehabilitation and family wellness center specializing in equine assisted therapies. She co-authored a case-study which was published in the NARHA Strides Magazine and presented at the NARHA national conference in Washington, and internationally in Barcelona and Hungary. Sheri co-created a wellness program for mothers of children with special needs which was presented at the PATH International Region 2 Conference. Sheri has lectured for the NARHA Region 2 conference, Morris County Speech and Hearing Association, the New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association, Centenary College, Touro College/NYC, Seton Hall, and Princeton University.
Kathy Lutz, LCSW
Kathy received her Bachelor of Social Work degree from St. Francis College in Pennsylvania and her Master of Social Work from the Catholic University of America. Kathy is a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor and a certified psychodramatist with more than 30 years of clinical experience in a variety of treatment settings. In her clinical practice at Rocking Horse Rehab, Kathy has specialized in social skills training for high fnctioning children with Aspergers and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Kathy is the author of the internationally known book "Horsemanship-Humanship Skills: How Horses Make Us Better Humans." At the CAMATC, Kathy assists families in following through with the Think Tank Doctors medical and therapeutic recommendations and provides support and advocacy as needed.