Barry began his career in 1969, as a teenager, when he served as a residential camp counselor for children and adults with disabilities, and then continued to do so for the next 5 summers. Those early summer camp experiences of living with and being responsible for the care of people with disabilities were seminal in setting the path for his subsequent career. Concurrently, his college studies at SUNY at Binghamton in Psycholinguistics and SUNY at Buffalo in Communication Disorders became focused on communication disabilities in children and autism. In the 1970â€™s, Barry continued his lifeâ€™s journey maintaining a focus on supporting people with disabilities and their families throughout his Masterâ€™s and Doctoral studies in Communication Disorders and Child and Human Development.
Since 1998, Barry has been Director of Childhood Communication Services (CCS), a private practice, and at Brown University, he has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Center for the Study of Human Development, and currently in the Artists and Scientists as Partners Group. He has published more than 120 articles and chapters on autism, childhood communication disorders and child development, has given more than 700 seminars and workshops in 49 states and 20 countries. Barry has served on the Editorial Board of six scholarly journals and wrote a regular column for Autism Spectrum Quarterly for five years.
Barry is the co-author of the book Autism spectrum disorders: A developmental, transactional perspective (2000), the assessment instruments, The Communication and Symbolic Behavior (CSBS) Scales (1993) and The CSBS-Developmental Profile (2002) (with Dr. Amy Wetherby). Other research and clinical interests include early identification of young children with disabilities, impact of childhood disability on the family, family-centered support and treatment, understanding language and communicative characteristics of children with social-communicative disabilities including ASD, and the relationships between communication disorders and emotional/behavioral disorders in children. His latest book (with Tom Fields-Meyer), written for a mainstream audience is Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, published in 2015 by Simon & Schuster.
Over the past decade, Barry and his colleaguesâ€™ work has aso focused on developing the SCERTSÂ® Model for individuals who have or are at-risk for social-communicative difficulties including autism, and their families. The SCERTS Model is an evidenced based framework now being implemented in a dozen countries with the manuals having been translated into Japanese, and Korean with other translations in process, providing many unique opportunities for international collaboration and travel.
Barry has partnered with Community Autism Resources, a parent-run and parent-established family support center for the past 20 years in developing and providing a weekend parent retreat for parents of family members with autism. He has coordinated the ASD Symposium for the past 20 years that has raised funds to support the parent retreat.
Barry has received widespread recognition and many honors in his career. He was an invited speaker at the United Nations for World Autism Awareness Day (April, 2013) and received the â€œDivine Neurotypical Awardâ€ of the Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership (www.grasp.org), for contributions to improving quality of life for persons with autism spectrum disorders. Barry was the recipient of the 2005 Princeton University Eden Foundation Award for career contributions in autism, Fellowship in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Massachusetts Speech-Language Hearing Association Clinical Achievement Award on two occasions. In 2014, he received Honors of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the highest recognition given to a member of ASHA (175,000 members).
Barry is the proud father of teenage son Noah, a student at Washington University in St. Louis, and is married to Dr. Elaine Meyer, an Associate Professor and Director, Center for Professionalism and Ethical Practice in the Harvard Medical School. In his spare time, Barry plays drums in a band, enjoys hiking, fishing and outdoor activities, and is an avid collector of Inuit, Native American and other indigenous art, and antiques.