Charges Pending in Weston for Fake Autism Therapist

Weston Police are expected to file charges against a New York woman on Tuesday accused posing as an autism expert and taking $300,000 from the Weston Board of Education.

Police plan to charge Stacy Lore with first-degree larceny. Investigators in Norwalk filed similar charges in March.

Between 2005 and 2008, investigators say Lore represented herself as a board-certified behavior analyst with a doctorate from NYU and a decade of experience working with special needs children.

The attorney general's office said that during that time period, Lore and her company, Spectrum Kids LLC, were contracted by the public schools in Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Bridgeport and Middlebury and she collected more than $635,000 in fees from those districts and the families of the children she worked with.

Most of those children are autistic.

There's no legal requirement for schools to check the credentials of behavior analysts.

Suzanne Letso, executive director of the Connecticut Center for Child Development in Milford, said that's why Lore's alleged fraud went undetected by so many school officials and families for so long.

"Either licensed or certified is a requirement for every professional working in our public schools with disabilities except applied behavior analysts," Letso said.

Last month, state lawmakers passed a bill to close that loophole. The measure establishes clear standards for behavior analysts to be put into effect by 2012. Gov. M. Jodi Rell has signe d the bill into law.

Lore is at the Niantic Correctional Institution for the charges out of Norwalk.

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