Watch Me Learn® was founded by Mary Beth Palo, the mother of a child with autism. In 2003, she created a teaching video for her son, Brett, after months of one-on-one therapy failed to produce the progress she’d hoped for. It proved to be a turning point in his road to recovery and requests for her homemade videos prompted her to form an organization, Watch Me Learn, focused on creating effective video-based instruction.
Mary Beth was the driving force behind the 2004 campaign resulting in New York State designating Autism Awareness license plates.
In addition to the plates, on August 3, 2004, legislation was signed into law amending the vehicle and traffic law to provide for an Autism Awareness and Research Fund. She was honored for pioneering this effort by New York Assemblyman Harry Weisenberg.
Ms. Palo has been a featured speaker at the Autism One® conference, GASAK and the Hicksville SEPTA, the National Autism Association Long Island Fair, The Maine Autism Resource Fair, The National Autism Association Conference, and The Cody Center for Autism. Mary Beth does volunteer, fundraising and advocacy work with the following organizations: The Nassau/Suffolk Autism Society of America (Board member), National Alliance for Autism Research (NAAR), The Center for Autism®, The Long Island NAA, The National Autism Society of America®, The Fulton Family Foundation (co-president), the Harborfield’s SEPTA (legislative chair), the Annual Long Island ‘Walk for Autism’, and 2006 Autism Speaks® Walk.
Currently Ms. Palo works with many national and local organizations in various functions serves on the fundraising committee for the National Autism Association® and continues to be an active member of the special needs community advocating for children and participating in legislative efforts in New York State. In June 2007, Mary Beth was named one of New York State’s Distinguished Women.
Mary Beth graduated from Saint Bonaventure University, with a BBA degree. She resides on Long Island with her husband, David and their two children.