What We Do

The Orange County Asperger’s Support Group is a nonprofit organization improving the quality of life for individuals with Asperger’s, High-Functioning Autism and PDD-NOS and their families.

Workshop Series with Dr. Alex Gantman

Join our workshops where Members seek solutions with renowned Autism psychologist, Dr. Gantman.

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Toastmaster Gavel Club

Find a supportive and friendly environment for improving public speaking and developing your communication skills.

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Check out our Activities page for more ways to get involved!

Meet Our Team

We’ve brought together a diversity of caring and involved community leaders.

Board Member

Judi Uttal


Judi Uttal is president of the Orange County Asperger’s Support Group and in 2012 founded the Spectrum Speakers Gavel Club, a Toastmaster Club designed to help young adults with ASD improve their social and communication skills through Toastmasters. Active in the Orange County Transition Initiative, Judi recently retired from a career as a high technology marketing executive having worked as a Director for Symantec, Emulex, QLogic, and Veritas. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Math/Computer Science from UCLA (where she graduated Cum Laude) and an MBA from the Tepper School of Management, Carnegie Mellon University (where she graduated in the top ten of her class). Judi is married and is the mother of a 26 year-old son with High-Functioning Autism who is currently a Cinema and Television major at CSUF.
board member

Steven Henry


Steven Henry has been treasurer of the Orange County Asperger’s Support Group since 2011. Steven works for UnitedHealth Group on the investment management team helping to oversee 11 different investment manager relationships. He is also the program director for the California Health Care Investment Program which helps provide low cost capital to smaller health care providers in California. Steven graduated from Warner Pacific College in Portland, OR with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 2006 he attained a Charter Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute. Steven has two nephews diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis and High-Functioning Autism.
board member

Deborah Whittaker


Deborah Whittaker presently serves as the Board Secretary for the Orange County Asperger’s Support Group. Her formal introduction into the world of Asperger’s began when her third child, Jameson, was diagnosed at age 8, leading to the recognition of other family members including her mother and two sisters. Deborah has served local communities as a volunteer coach and Board Member for AYSO leading to recognition from the National governing bodies as Region of the Year.
For several years she and her husband were foster parents whose care included medically fragile and technology dependent minors leading to the formation of a non-profit designed to raise awareness and provide services for special needs children under the jurisdiction of the dependency courts. Deborah worked within various County Departments of Children and Family Services developing systems, policies and processes to improve outcomes for children in the foster care system, mentoring new personnel as well as youth under her direct supervision. She has been actively involved in the facilitation of transition programs through local school districts, integrating services across agencies including Employment Development Department (EDD), Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), Regional Center (RCOC & IRC) as well as multiple Social Services Agencies.
Serving in a variety of positions at University of California, Irvine Deborah has provided executive and administrative support to faculty and staff in the School of Medicine coordinating business and academic functions. Deborah earned her Associate of Arts in Science and Math at Victor Valley College, Bachelor of Arts degree in Life Span Developmental Psychology from California State University of San Bernardino and Health Care Executive MBA from Paul Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine. Deborah considers herself blessed to be the mother of four children as well as the grandmother of four (for now).
Board Member

Scott Brown


Scott Brown has been a Director of the Orange County Asperger’s Support Group since 2014. He has a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. from Princeton. He works for Aveva, where he develops software for the mathematical modeling and optimization of chemical processes.

Scott believes many people with Asperger’s are naturally suited for careers in the information sciences, and his initial volunteering with OCASG was teaching computer game programming classes to its members, in hopes of sparking a passion in some of them.

Scott is married and has two young adult children. He has a family member with High-Functioning Autism, who recently graduated from college with a BS degree in Computer Science.

Board Member

Francesca Chicas


Francesca currently works as an Employment and Internship Specialist for the CSUF WorkAbility IV program, providing career development counseling to students with disabilities. Francesca earned her Master’s in Counseling at CSU Long Beach, and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior from UC Irvine. Francesca’s background includes providing mental health counseling, career services for adult students, disability services, and managing student services programs in the areas of college and career readiness. Francesca has worked in higher education, in school district settings, and community mental health agencies. Her work is reflective of her strong passion to serve individuals with disabilities and to create visible impact in the area of career readiness programs and transitional services towards independence. She is a current advocate for disability rights in education and also served as a committee member for Disability Awareness Day 2017 at CSUF.
Board Member

Paul Croulet


Paul is a Senior Client Services Associate for American Funds; a mutual funds company in Irvine. He is an active member of Toastmasters and has held multiple offices including Vice President of education and Treasurer. Paul graduated from California State University Fullerton in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in criminal Justice. He is a recent graduate of Riordan Leadership Institute which helped him get involved with The Orange County Asperger's Support Group.
Board Member

Michail Tstatanis


Michail Tsatsanis has been a board member of the Orange County Asperger’s Support Group since 2017. His interest in volunteering in the area of autism spectrum originated with his son (now an adult) who is on the spectrum. Michail has also worked with at risk youth and foster kids as a Court Appointed Child Advocate. Michail holds Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia, and has worked for 25 years in the area of wireless communications. He has held positions in academia and industry as professor, founder of a high tech startup, director of Engineering, chief scientist and CTO in a variety of companies, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He is married and is the father of two adult children.

Tanner Browning


Tanner Browning is a new intern for the Orange County Asperger’s Support Group. His role is Health Communication Associate where he will be assisting with events, social activities, and social media. Tanner is expecting to graduate from California State University of Fullerton in May 2019 with a B.S. in Public Health. He was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism UCI when he was young. His goals and aspirations for the organization are to to bring a deeper understanding of the issues of Autism and to assist in outreach with the goal of assisting others challenged by Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Board Member

Marilynn Linnell

Director & Social Coordinator

Marilynn Linnell is the mother of a 16 year old girl with Asperger’s and ADHD and a son who is 21 and also struggles with ADD. For the last 15 years, she has been involved with many different ways to help her children succeed. A former teacher, she has always felt strongly about education. She also knows it is important to let her kids grow through experiences. Now, as part of OCASG, she hopes to bring new and different experiences to children through social gathering and activities. She is always open to any ideas or activities anyone might want to share.
The Orange County Asperger’s Support Group (OCASG) is a nonprofit, tax exempt, charitable organization under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501(c)(3).