Autism Support

  • The Autism Team in Spartanburg County works with students with autism and their school staff to integrate interventions that help to address their needs related to autism. The team advocates for student growth to help them achieve their greatest potential.


    Contact our specialists at

    Meet our Specialists:

    Ruth Aspy, PhD.

    Ruth Aspy, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who specializes in transdisciplinary assessment and intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. She is co-author of a comprehensive model of intervention, The Ziggurat Model, which earned the Literary Achievement Award from the Autism Society of America. She has provided training and consultation throughout the United States and in countries including Greece, Australia, Canada, Trinidad, Spain, Turkey, and Japan. Her focus is on understanding underlying strengths and characteristics of those with ASD and designing supports and strategies with their neurological/brain differences in mind. She believes that kindness is at the heart of all good strategies.


    Mandy Connolly, MSP, CCC-SLP

    Mandy Connolly, MSP CCC/SLP is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist who specializes in communication skills specifically in the areas of receptive and expressive language, pragmatic/social skills and executive functions for students with autism spectrum disorder. She currently works with preschool children through high school teens across the autism spectrum. Mandy earned her undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Elementary Education. She received her Master of Speech Pathology degree from the University of South Carolina: Columbia. She is currently a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology. Mandy holds a SC license in Speech-Language Pathology with Labor Licensing Regulation. Mandy believes that communication skills result from teamwork and perseverance.



    Lauren (Bates) Welchel, MA. Ed.

    Lauren has supported many families in her time as an applied behavior therapist. She has worked at McCarthy Teszler School and in other educational settings for six years prior to becoming the behavior specialist for the Autism Support Team. Lauren is a highly-certified teacher in the areas of special education and elementary education. She is one of thirty-two educators in the state of South Carolina with the autism credential. Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree in special education with an emphasis on moderate severe disabilities and an elementary education degree from Winthrop University. She also holds a masters of arts in special education with an autism and developmental delay concentration from the University of Texas. She has also completed her coursework to become a board certified behavior analyst from Brandman University and is a registered behavior technician. Lauren believes building meaningful relationships is the key to fostering positive behaviors.