About Us - Our Leadership
HALO was chartered as a non-profit organization in Austin, Texas. In January 2004, Soma Mukhopadhyay, HALO founder Linda Lange, and a dozen RPM advocates nationwide joined to develop the mission of HALO, which serves as a SomaŽ RPM instructional clinic available to students with autism of all ages, from all over the globe. In January 2005, HALO moved Soma's clinic from Burbank, CA to a larger facility in Austin, TX, and began collecting video progressions as descriptive research of the hundreds of students who attend the clinic for Soma's RPM instruction. HALO continues towards growing its efforts in RPM instruction, research and training.
Executive Director of Education - Soma Mukhopadhyay
BS Chemistry with Honors
A native of India, Soma is a teacher and mother who developed her trademark Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) to instruct her son Tito who is now a published writer and poet, in spite of his severe autism. Soma and Tito have been featured on 60 Minutes II, Good Morning America, Scientific American, the New York Times, National Geographic and numerous other media.
Soma has instructed hundreds of students (youth to adult) with autism and similar disorders at schools and organizations across the U.S. as well as at her clinic in Austin, Texas. She uses RPM to teach academics and communication by eliciting responses through intensive verbal, auditory, visual and/or tactile prompts. Her prompting is designed to keep students focused and successful. Soma's approach presumes competence and comprehension at age level, and it is a very low-tech method requiring only paper and pencil. Student responses evolve from picking up answers, to pointing, to typing and writing which reveals students' comprehension, academic skills and eventually, conversation.
SomaŽ RPM Apprentice - Erika Anderson
Erika holds a B.Ed in Elementary Education and a minor in Human Development from the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay. The first 3 years of Erika's career in the field of autism began while attending college where she worked as an ABA therapist.
Erika started teaching students with RPM in 2005, and in 2006 attended and completed SomaŽ RPM Level I training. HALO offered Erika a 3 year apprenticeship with Soma which she accepted and she and her husband Mark relocated to Austin, TX in 2007 . To further her training with Soma ,Erika assisted Soma with training courses, conferences,RPM workshops and worked with a wide range of students with autism and similar conditions from ages 5-40. In the fall of 2010, she completed her apprenticeship at HALO and returned to WI with a Certification in SomaŽ RPM and opened the doors of her own clinic located in Green Bay, Wisconsin A.C.E. Teaching & Consulting.
Erika enjoys working with students of all ages by providing 1:1 RPM sessions, "camp" for out of state clients ,workshops, and providing educational consulting to school districts who are seeking ways to implement SomaŽ RPM. Erika ,who is endorsed by HALO, continues to work closely with HALO to increase awareness and accessibility for students and their families to SomaŽ RPM.