Melissa K. Burkhardt, M.S. Ed., BCBA, is Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and founder of Early Start Autism. As of January 2016, Melissa is one of 265 certified Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) providers worldwide, trained in a therapy specifically designed for 12-48 month old children diagnosed with autism. She is the author of the award-winning book,”Exceptionally Good Friends: Building Relationships with Autism” recipient of the Autism Society’s,”2015 Dr. Temple Grandin Outstanding Literary Work of the Year” and the Mom’s Choice Award. As a certified Special Education Early Intervention Teacher, she taught in the public school system for 20 years where she helped to pioneer a fully inclusive pre-k program in her school district. Melissa specializes in private therapy providing very early intervention for children with autism and parental coaching to achieve best outcomes in a child’s life. She shares her extensive knowledge about autism through public speaking, coaching, program development, and preparing specialized presentations for individuals, groups, and corporations. Melissa is committed to promoting inclusion for those with neurodiversity in our community.