Coach Mike

Helping Kids with Autism

Mike Frandsen's Experience and Education

Intensive Individual Support Services Therapist, 2005 to Present.

  • Provided one-on-one support to children with autism, using elements of both ABA and the DIR model. Supported social, emotional, creative, and intellectual development of children with autism. This includes helping children improve academically, communicate appropriately, gain social skills, and understand emotions.
  • Prompted children to give desired response or actions; faded out inappropriate behavior. Coached a child in first activities with non-autistic children: soccer practices and games in a typical league, providing one-on-one coaching. Also supervised and organized play dates with autistic child and both typically developing and autistic children.

Job Coach and Assistant Teacher for Post-High school students, Ivymount School, Rockville, MD, 2007. Monitored and supervised students age 18-21 at job sites in community based program. Substitute Teacher for all age levels at Ivymount, 2006-2007. Students at Ivymount have serious developmental delays, learning disabilities, communication disorders, autism, and/or multiple disabilities.

Volunteer and Substitute Paraeducator, Stephen Knolls School, Wheaton, MD, 2005-2007. The students at Stephen Knolls have severe and profound disabilities, and sometimes, medically fragile conditions.

Volunteer, Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN), a recreational activity for children and young adults with mild to severe and profound mental and physical disabilities, 1999-2006. Served on KEEN Coaches Committee, named KEEN 2003 Volunteer of the Year.

Volunteer Coach, TOP Soccer Adaptive Program run by Montgomery Soccer and Special Olympics, 2006-2007. See Coach Mike mentioned in the 2007-2008 Special Olympics Montgomery County Newsletter. Named Top Soccer Volunteer of the Year for 2007.

  • See Helping Autistic People to Speak (Time Magazine, May 10, 2006) for a profile of a friend of mine who has autism whom I visited weekly for two years.
  • Supervised non-custodial parent of four children at her residence during weekend visits (2006). Worked for children's best interests, provided activities and ensured children were free from unnecessary stress.
  • Experience volunteering for children and adults with disabilities and conditions including but not limited to:


  • Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum

  • Anxiety Disorder

  • Asperger Syndrome

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Echolalia

  • Epilepsy

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

  • Rett Syndrome

  • Sensory Integration Disorder

  • Schizophrenia

  • Spinabifida

  • Trisomy-21 (Down Syndrome)

  • Tuberous Sclerosis

  • I have passed multiple background checks and references are available on request.

Earlier Career

National Institutes of Health (NIH) - After getting my MBA at American University, I worked three years as a contractor and five more as a federal employee as an IT Specialist - essentially a Policy Analyst/Writer. During the last few months of my time at NIH, I had the opportunity to volunteer one day a week for the National Institute of Mental Health.

Radio - I worked in radio for the first five years of my career. Often behind the scenes and other times on the air, I worked as a deejay, sports reporter, and traffic reporter. The highlight of my five years was interviewing Michael Jordan. I worked in radio because I have always loved sports and music, and because I wanted to improve my oral communication and social skills.


• MS, Education, Johns Hopkins University, 2011, 3.8 GPA

• Graduate Certificate, Autism and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Johns Hopkins University,  2008, 3.5 GPA

• MBA, American University, 1999, 3.4 GPA

• BA, Journalism, Ohio Wesleyan University

Praxis I scores – Reading:  184 out of 190, Writing:  184 out of 190, Math:  188 out of 190.  The Praxis I Test, administered by the Educational Testing Service, is one of the requirements for teacher certification.  

In 2006, I completed a course at George Washington University: Family Support and Guidance in Special Education.