Merope Pavlides

Patient and Family Navigator

  • MS, Johns Hopkins University, 2005
  • Graduate Certificate in Teaching Children with Autism, Johns Hopkins, 2004
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin, 1986
  • MA, University of Maryland, 1981
  • BS, Ohio University, 1979


Merope Pavlides is a special educator and writer whose experience with ASD began in 1995 when her oldest son received an autism diagnosis. After implementing an in-home ABA program, she went on to study behavioral analysis and autism at Johns Hopkins University. Since then she has worked with children, teens and adults with ASD and their families in a variety of settings, including teaching therapeutic horseback riding and helping special needs families integrate dogs into their home lives.  She also served as the DC Site Director for a program supporting postsecondary students with developmental disabilities and mental illness which included residential oversight.

Merope has been actively involved with family support and disability advocacy for over 25 years. She has worked closely with Autism Speaks, Pathfinders for Autism and co-founded a support group for parents of children with Asperger’s Syndrome in Howard County, Maryland.

Merope’s publications include the book Animal-assisted Interventions for Individuals with Autism and the website Autism After 16. In 2009, she was awarded an NIH grant to participate in a symposium on Human-Animal Interaction at the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition. She has authored articles in the fields of Disability Studies, Animal Behavior, and Dramatic Literature and has taught university courses in Drama, Film, and Speech.

Merope lives in Charlottesville with her husband and two dogs. She is the mother of two adult sons who live and work in Northern Virginia.