ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing - THE ABA Group
Welcome to ABA Group. We are a teaching agency centered on the principals of:
- Bringing the most up to date, evidenced-based treatment to each client and family
- Training the current and next generations of outstanding clinicians
We combine the best of traditional psychological practices with natural, environment-focused and routines-based ABA therapy to help our clients and their families grow and succeed. We believe communication is key to the success of any treatment program and are willing to actively coordinate care with your child's educators and other allied health care providers including supporting parents at IEPs.
Matthew A. T. Lehman, ILSC, BCEA, LBA, BCBA
Matthew is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (1-10-7411) operating in California; a Licensed Behavior Analyst in New York State (NYS LBA# 000027) as well as a Certified Independent Living Specialist (ILSC #18846) and a Board Certified Education Advocate (NSEAI: 5-24-16-77-16-CA-F). As the Director of ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing - A Member of the ABA Group, Matthew oversees advanced forms of Clinical and Applied Behavior Analysis, including Pivotal Response Therapy (PRT); the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM); Joint Attention Symbolic Play and Emotion Regulation (JASPER); Activity/Routine Based Intervention (RBI); Verbal Behavior (VB); Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT); The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS), AIR-B Remaking Recess, The Meal Time Partners Program, and QBS Family-Care. He is also a University of San Diego Certified Special Education Advocate, National Conflict Resolution Center trained Mediator and a respected researcher and clinician.
Matthew specializes in working with children, adolescents, and young adults with behavior problems and/or social skills deficits that interfere with daily life and functioning, which are commonly exhibited by individuals diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's, ODD, or ADHD, Foster Children, and those with a Domestic Violence history or other behavior needs. Having worked with these populations for many years, his experience and intuitive insight into how children perceive the world around them gives him a foundation to share experience, knowledge, strategies & solutions to help any family facing behavior problems.
He is on the board of directors for the Team of Advocates for Special Kids (TASK), as well as a member of ABAI, APBA, CalABA, COPAA, and he evaluates psychological interventions / texts for their evidence base as part of the ABCT Self-Help Seal of Merit Committee. Additionally, he has helped setup numerous private ABA therapy agencies throughout San Diego County and in various states across the United States, including Wisconsin's first ever Anthem BCBS funded ABA program. Matthew has also helped providers network with major funding sources, and developed initial insurance company internal policies and regulations for SHARP HealthCare's ABA therapy through Psychiatric Centers at San Diego.
He continues to push forward in bringing cutting edge ABA treatments to San Diego County including JASPER, Baby JASPER, ESDM and infant ESDM, as well as working to raise the standard of care for individuals receiving ABA therapy and improving staff training.
Co-Director – Clinical Psychologist (BOP: 26523)
Lauren Elder, APBB, QASP-S(8030)
Doctor Elder specializes in autism, developmental delays, anxiety, trauma, and behavior. Depending on your concerns, she uses behavioral, developmental, or cognitive-behavioral treatments. Her flexible, collaborative, and supportive approach will help give you the tools to meet your goals and help your children reach their fullest potential.
Lauren is located in San Diego, and is able to provide services through travel or telemedicine throughout California and New York.
Doctor Lauren is an experienced clinician and researcher, with over fifteen years of experience providing training to families and clinics in the U.S. and internationally. She attended graduate school at the University of Washington and completed her internship and postdoctoral work at UCLA. She worked for two years at Autism Speaks as a dissemination scientist in the international public health department. She is a Certified ESDM Trainer and Implementer as well as a provider of JASPER and PRT.
Project Impact Lead
Sabrina Danielson, BCBA(1-17-27121), QASP-S(8271)
Sabrina is a BCBA. She is born and bred in San Diego and has a degree in Psychology. She has been working with children and adults on the autism spectrum since she was 18 years old and came upon the field because she loves to teach children how to live their best lives. Sabrina loves to read, play with her pug, video games, read comics, and eat copious amounts of Mexican food.
Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)
Jessi Corral, ASW(63782), QASP-S(8148), ESDM Certified Therapist
Jessi's experience with developmentally delayed individuals began at a young age when she volunteered for the Special Olympics. She has been working with children for over 10 years, and has been working with adults as well since she received her education in Social Work. She has practiced in mental health, behavioral health, victims support, and mentoring programs, and has always been interested in new and innovative therapeutic approaches. Since she began at ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing, her passion for treating younger children and early intervention has led to her earning a spot as a program lead for the Early Start Denver Model. Once she becomes a licensed social worker, Jessi will continue with the ESDM model and aspires to combine the two and help families from more than one angle. She spends her free time with family and friends, playing with her cat, reading, enjoying the outdoors, and exploring local eateries.
Joint Attention, Symbolic Play, Engagement, and Regulation (JASPER)
Caitlin McCully, QASP-S(8256), RBT-16-22759
Caitlin is one of the JASPER Training Leads and a Registered Behavior Technician with ABA Behavior Therapies and Testing. Caitlin has been working with children with Autism for more than five years and has been doing ABA therapy for about three years. Caitlin found a deep passion working with children with special needs when working part-time in a Special Education classroom. She initially started as a health aide working for a child who was blind with Spina Bifida, and eventually transitioned into the ABA therapy field. When she is not at work, she really enjoys going on hikes, to the beach, to her kickboxing gym, yoga, cooking, and spending time with her family in Orange County.
Meghan Cavallaro, QASP-S(8267), RBT-16-20123
Meghan's educational and professional experience brings a unique perspective to her practice. Meghan worked as a behavior therapist for 5 years and was employed at an educational mental health facility in Honolulu, Hawaii. There she worked with students who exhibited severe learning, emotional, behavioral, and social disorders. In an effort to provide the best results possible, Meghan continues to work very closely with families in developing home intervention strategies. She is highly committed to the causes of all children and their families and takes great pride and joy in providing high quality developmentally appropriate programming for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with autism and related disorders.
Meghan is an avid runner and completes a few half-marathons a year. She enjoys snowboarding, hiking, and paddle boarding.
Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT)
Kat Chapman, BCBA(1-16-24504)
Kat Chapman is the Director of Program Leads and Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) Program Lead. She helps ensure quality intervention and training throughout all services provided by ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing, and conducts and scores ongoing regular PRT fidelities (clinical performance evaluations) across the company. She sits on the internal fidelity board and is also a BCBA Supervisor and Case Manager. Kat began her career in ABA therapy for children at-risk or diagnosed with autism in 2010. She holds a Master's of Science in Psychology degree with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis. Kat loves collaborating with families to create individualized treatment plans that significantly impact lives through the principles of teamwork, quality care, and well designed ABA interventions. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and their dog.
Independent Living Skills (ILSC)
Karina M. Laissaoui, ILSC(18924), QASP-S(8552), RBT-16-20898
Karina Ramirez is one of the many bilingual therapists at ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing. She has over 2 years of experience providing high quality therapy to individuals with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum, utilizing the latest in naturalistic models of autism therapy such as ILSC, PRT, ESDM, & JASPER. Karina works with all ages of children, including young adults who are developing life skills for transitioning from childhood to adulthood and from supported living arrangements to increasing levels of full independence. She is determined to grow in the field and eagerly works to continually advance her knowledge and skills as she works towards becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Karina considers herself highly privileged to play a pivotal role in any person's life and development to full adulthood, independence and happiness.
Tania Carpenter, BCaBA(0-15-6556)
Leslie "Tania" Carpenter joined ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst with over two years of experience working directly to serve children with an autism diagnosis or other related disabilities. She received her degree in Psychology from the University of Miami with a minor in Human and Social Development. Tania is a bilingual Spanish speaker who excels at working with a diverse range of families in both English and Spanish. Working at the ABA Group allows Tania to continue enhancing her clinical skills and supervision hours delivering PRT, JASPER and ESDM to a range of young children as she furthers her education in Mental Health Counseling and Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis. Tania has a true passion for improving the lives of all children and families.
Social Skills Groups
Elizabeth (Libby) Allman, BCBA(1-08-4849)
Libby Allman is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other disabilities since 2002. She received her Masters degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. Libby has an extensive background in ABA including in home programs, school based programs, social skills and recreation programs. She continues to be inspired everyday by the individuals she is honored to serve in the ABA field. Libby is passionate about supporting all individuals with special needs, here in the US and abroad.
Elemy Yeme, QASP-S(8914), RBT-17-31015
Elemy is a Registered Behavior Technician and Social Skills Group lead at ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing. Working with children has always been Elemy's passion, and making an impact on their lives and healthier development is what inspired her to enter the world of applied behavior analysis. Ever since she received her education in psychology, she has been working in behavior intervention, specifically in ABA for the last three years. Elemy plans to continue her education as well as her clinical experience, and perhaps one day, become a BCBA. In her spare time, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with friends.
Stephanie Montanarelli, QASP-S(8601), RBT-17-34520
Stephanie is a Social Skills Group Specialist and Case Manager from Baltimore, MD. She has 11 years experience working in high risk, low income school districts, two years being full inclusion, focusing on behavior skills. Stephanie loves to travel, workout, create art, and relax on the beautiful San Diego beaches!
Supervising Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA)
Arye Hartal, BCBA(1-16-24044)
Arye is a BCBA at ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing from Montreal, Canada where he also studied at McGill University. He has worked with children for 5 years and joined the field to help people with special needs to live full lives. He loves to play soccer, tennis, go hiking, and even fly airplanes!
Ingrid Lucas, BCBA(1-09-6632)
Ingrid is a BCBA from Alexandria, VA. She attended the College of William and Mary for her undergraduate degree and received her Master's degree from George Mason University. She was first introduced to children on the spectrum in 2004 and was inspired to join the ABA field after working with a non-verbal child who had an aversion to eating food after being tube fed for the first 8 years of his life. She used preference assessments and a dense reinforcement schedule based on her brief ABA training. After a month the child was eating independently and she was hooked on ABA! Ingrid grew up oversees in many different countries- Thailand, Pakistan, Bolivia, Panama, and Russia. In her spare time she loves to hang out with her 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son.
Jillian Robinson, BCBA(1-17-26208)
BCBA Jillian Robinson is from Salinas, California and she proudly graduated from San Diego State University where she received her BA in Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences. Jillian also attended Florida Institute of Technology where she received her MA in Professional Behavior Analysis. In 2007, she found her passion for working with children with ASD while she was a nanny in high school for a child with autism. After receiving her undergraduate degree, she received a job ofter that provided ABA services to young children and never looked back. She stated, "I knew this was the direction I wanted to take my life." She enjoys working with individuals and their families to make significant and meaningful changes in their lives; she also loves to travel and hopes to get her pilot license soon. Jillian also is secretly a plant hoarder!
Mary Kamenski, BCBA(1-16-24215)
Mary is a Case Supervisor and BCBA from San Diego. She received her Bachelor's in Human Biology at UCSD and her Master's in Professional Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. Mary has been working with children and adults on the autism spectrum for 4 years and has a younger cousin on the spectrum who inspired her to join the field. She loves to provide information to clients and their families through coaching them in learning about different behaviors. In her spare time, Mary loves to go the beach and go camping with her family.
Patrick Betters, BCBA(1-16-24220)
Patrick has been working in the ABA field for a few years now, providing services to all age groups on the autism spectrum. He is also a High School Assistant Varsity Wrestling coach at Rancho Bernardo High School. He is a Childhood Cancer Survivor, and outside of work, he volunteers for various Childhood Cancer non-profit organizations.
Rachel Lacy, BCBA(1-17-25611)
Rachel is a BCBA from Venice Beach, CA. She came down to San Diego to study Psychology at San Diego State University and now has her Master's Degree in Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. After she graduated from school, she worked in providing care to children with special needs. Over 6 years later, she is hooked with seeing the positive impact on children and families. Rachel loves going to the beach, gardening, hanging with her cats, crafting, and listening to music- specifically Elvis!
Tessa Marlia, BCBA(1-14-9880)
Tessa has been providing quality services in the field of ABA, and has worked with families and children of various ages, backgrounds, and needs. Tessa is committed to taking a team approach to supervision by working closely with the family and staff members so that everyone can work together for the betterment of the child. She is dedicated to utilizing the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis to improve the lives of the children she works with and their families.
Timica Radden, BCBA(1-17-27933), QASP-S(8150)
Timica is a Qualified Autism Services Practitioner at ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing, who manages cases and also works directly with children. She found her inspiration to practice applied behavior analysis from working with family members diagnosed with ASD. In her spare time, Timica enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.
Brandy Macy, PSY(20536)
Dr. Macy is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in working with children and families. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco. She has over fifteen years of experience working with children and families affected by autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, depression, anxiety, learning disorders, behavioral challenges, and other presenting problems. Dr. Macy has worked in a variety of settings including community mental health centers, hospitals, non-public agencies, child and adolescent units, and both private and public schools.
Flora Tang, PsyD (PSB94023947)
Flora is a Post-Doctoral Fellow with ABA group who focuses on conducting psychological evaluations and providing mental health-related treatment. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Flora received her undergrad degree with majors of Psychology and Criminology from the University of Toronto, her Master’s in Forensic Psychology from the University of York, U.K, and her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Diego. Her main interests are psychological assessments and the bio-psycho-social bases of behavior. She has been providing psychological assessment and treatment services in a variety of settings since 2010. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, going to the beach, and traveling.
Jamie Young, PsyD, QASP-S(8648), RBT-1-17-35409
Jamie is a Post-Doctoral Fellow from San Diego, CA who studied Psychology at UC Davis and received her Doctorate in Psychology from Alliant International University. She has worked in the field for 7 years after she found her love of working with children on the autism spectrum and their parents. Jamie loves hanging out with her 6 year old son and going to aerial skill classes.
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA)
Alexandra Kopack, BCaBA(1-17-8075), QASP-S(8689)
Alex is originally from Detroit and made her way to San Diego by way of Australia where she received a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology. Alex is a lecturer for the Educación Continua: Psicologí Positiva, a masters level certification program in Peru where she specializes in teaching self-management strategies to increase well-being as well as methods of positive parenting. She learned about ABA through university studies and was interested in how shaping behavior can help people lead fuller, more successful lives. She decided to study Applied Behavior Analysis through Florida Institute of Technology and is currently a BCaBA. She is trained in DTT, ESDM, PRT and JASPER models and loves having the opportunity to make work into play. In her free time she likes to explore the California trails with her dog and travel whenever possible.
Jacki Berlo, BCaBA(0-14-5841)
Jacki is a BCaBA, JASPER Specialist and Case Manager. She is from Norwell, MA and studied at Florida Institute of Technology for her BCBA, and received her Bachelor's in Communications from Northeastern University. She has worked with children on the autism spectrum for 8 years and was inspired to join the field by her cousin who has Down Syndrome and a family friend who is on the autism spectrum. Jacki loves helping children and families thrive by utilizing naturalistic teaching strategies that maintain and generalize skills. She loves to spend time outside at the beach and travel; she even spent a year traveling to 11 different countries before joining the ABA Group.
Joshua Mello, BCaBA(0-15-6448)
Josh's experience working with special needs children started in middle school as a camp counselor for children with speech and hearing impairments. After graduating with a degree in human development from UC San Diego in 2007, Josh began his work in the field of ABA. During his tenure as an ABA therapist, he has spent a plethora of hours with individuals on the autism spectrum, ranging from infants to adults. He has extensive experience working with adolescents on the spectrum and their transition through puberty. Josh is competent implementing ABA and handling difficult and aggressive behaviors at homes, schools, and out in the community. When Josh is not playing board games or pretending to be a superhero with one of his clients, he is spending time with his wife and two young kids or on the water searching for a trophy fish.
Kate Wilson, BCaBA(0-17-8392), QASP-S(8277)
Kate grew up in Virginia and Utah, but likes to call San Diego home. She has an MEd in School Psych & ABA from University of Cincinnati. She has worked with adults and kids on the autism spectrum as a Pysch Social & Sex educator since 2008 and has been practicing ABA since 2014. She was inspired to work in ABA after two internships with OTs revealed she found the challenges of behavior more interesting than the fine and gross motor rehabilitation. Her passion is being a geek; she is a costume builder, audiobook addict, member of a lightsaber team and a part time blogger and advocate.
Nicole Palmer, BCaBA(0-17-8368), QASP-S(8640)
Nicole Palmer is a Registered Behavior Technician who received her education in Instruction and Learning with an emphasis in Autism through the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. She has worked with children ages 2 through 16, in home, school and community settings. Her passion for her work with children is fueled by the joy she gets from seeing each of her clients making progress. She feels fortunate to call her passion a career and loves working alongside parents and families. She is currently attending Florida Institute of Technology and completing her BCBA coursework. Outside of her work with clients, Nicole enjoys going to the beach, traveling, baking, and doing DIY projects.
Sharla Kliebenstein, BCaBA(1-17-8075)
Sharla is a RBT from Oceanside, CA. She studied Sociology at University of Hawaii at Moana and is currently enrolled at Florida Institute of Technology and studying ABA. Sharla has 3 years experience working with children and was inspired to join the ABA field while hanging out with her cousin who is on the autism spectrum. She is a hair braiding expert and loves to go to Disneyland with her daughter once a month. Sharla does not care about what month it is, she will be listening to Christmas music.
Tara LaFrance, BCaBA(0-17-8380), QASP-S(8587)
Qualified Occupational Therapist
Lisa Meyer, Occupational Therapist, OT(17436)
Lisa Meyer recently joined ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing as an Occupational Therapist (17436). She is a second-generation San Diegan and completed her Master's Degree at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in San Marcos. She has been working with children with various needs ages 2-12 years old for 20+ years and has her BA in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. During her time working at RBCPC Preschool and the Poway Unified School District she had the opportunity to work with an Occupational Therapist where she learned how much an OT can help individuals reach their full potential in all aspects of life. Lisa worked for 3 months as an ABA therapist for a local company before starting the journey to becoming on OT. She is also on a board member of a local Nonprofit musical theater company, Sapphire Theatre Company and helps in various capacities during auditions and the run of shows. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her fiancé, family, friends, being outdoors, building 1000+ piece puzzles, and board games.
Qualified Autism Services Practitioners
Joshua Hudson, IMF(92498), QASP-S(8229), RBT-15-24519
Josh Hudson received his education in Marriage and Family Therapy from Chico State. He has worked in the field for 3 years. In his free time he enjoys working on his own personal website and exercising.
Sarah Miner, IMF(95884), QASP-S(8643)
Sarah studied Marriage and Family therapy at CSU Chico and is currently working as an MFT Intern. Her interest in working for ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing stems from her passion to work not only with children but also the entire family system. She believes it is important to work with a multi-disciplinary team in order to be able to implement the most appropriate services and therapeutic approaches to those facing cognitive and behavioral challenges. Sarah finds fulfillment in being able to foster independence and life-long learning skills whether they be behavioral, social, emotional, etc. within individuals. In her free time she enjoys surfing and learning the art of hoop dance.
Alizabeth Snead, QASP-S(8613), RBT-1-17-34386
Alizabeth is a QASP-S from Orange County, CA and studied Liberal Arts and Social Science at San Diego State University. She is currently attending Ball State University studying ABA. She has worked with children on the autism spectrum for 3 years and has a passion for kids and those who have adversities. Alizabeth loves traveling, reading novels, and spending time with family.
Claire Rann, QASP-S(8709), RBT-1-16-25087
Claire Rann is a program specialist for ABA Group's Early Start Denver Model program. Claire taught high school special education in New York City for three years before shifting her focus to applied behavior analysis. Since then, she has worked with kids and young adults with ASD and developmental delays in clinical, school, and home settings. In addition to working directly with kids, Claire trains and coaches family members and staff in communication and teaching best practices. Claire is committed to supporting people with autism navigate the world more fluently and joyfully, and also to helping make that world a little friendlier and easier for everyone. Outside of work, she loves writing short stories, reading, running, and cooking.
Corinne Murphy, QASP-S(8213), RBT-15-05239
Corinne Murphy is a program lead for Pivotal Response Treatment and a Case Manager at ABA Behavior Therapies and Testing. She is currently working on her BCaBA certification at Cal State San Marcos. Corinne has worked directly with children with autism and other disabilities for over 4 years now in multiple settings. She has been trained in JASPER, ESDM, and PRT models. Her passion is to provide quality therapy services to families and their children.
Jessie Rosas, QASP-S(8694), RBT-1-16-23337
Meet Jessie Rosas, a RBT from Escondido, San Diego. She graduated from UCSD where she received her B.S in Psychology. Jessie also attended Chapman University where she received her MA in Marriage & Family Therapy. Jessie loves working with children and has done so for the last 3 years. During her spare time, she enjoys long distance running and rock climbing! Jessie loves to drink coffee and hang out with her twin brother.
Madeline Flores, QASP-S(8277), RBT-1-16-13347
Maddie is a Case Manager from the Valley Center area. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services and is working on her Master's in Marriage and Family Services. She has been working with children and adults with ASD for 3 years and loves working with and helping families in need and supporting them on their journey. She does not have much spare time, but when she is not working or doing homework she is hanging out with her husband and dog, Lily.
Melinda Naranjo, QASP-S(8693), RBT-1-17-36161
Mel is from right here in San Diego, CA. She studied Communicative Disorders and Psychology at University of Redlands. Mel began working with children with ASD earlier this year at a speech pathology clinic. She is very excited to continue her work in the ABA field and help improve the lives of children and adults. In her spare time, she loves taking dance fitness classes!
Michelle Louden, QASP-S(8157), RBT-1-15-00447
Michelle is a Behavior Interventionist from Canoga Park. She received her Bachelor's Degree from UCSD in Psychology, and her Master's Degree from SDSU in Cognitive Psychology. When she was sixteen years old, she volunteered at a horseback riding ranch for children with disabilities and saw the effects of riding on improved motor skills, eye contact, and social interaction. This combined with undergraduate research with Gail Heyman inspired her to join the ABA field. Michelle loves music, arts and crafts, and integrating those teachings into her work. She also plays the guitar and flute and has taught her cat to roll over, high-five, and sit pretty.
Natalie Dixon, QASP-S(8636), RBT-1-15-04273
Natalie is from San Diego, CA and comes with a background in Psychology from University of California Santa Barbara and a Master's Degree in Professional Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. She began in the field 2 years ago when she was inspired from a specific child whose parent found hope through the ABA community. Natalie loves to dance and use her moves to travel. She loves to relax by hanging out with friends and family and binge watching Netflix. She also in fact, was born in England and live there until she was 11 years old.
Nettie Jansing, QASP-S(8530), RBT-16-17394
Nettie Jansing is a Registered Behavior Technician who has worked in the field with children and adolescents of various ages and in different settings. She received her education in Human Services from Cal State University, Fullerton. She is a bilingual Spanish speaker. Nettie is committed and passionate when it comes to working with children. Working at the ABA Group allows Nettie to gain more experience and provide caring and professional services to help children and their families to make their lives less stressful.
Shannon Hernandez, QASP-S(8592), RBT-1-17-32190
Shannon is a RBT who received her Bachelor's Degree from Humboldt State University in Psychology and is currently working towards her Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) credential with a Master's Degree in School Psychology. She enjoys music, camping, playing softball and going to the beach with her husband and daughters. Whether it be as a supported living specialist, crisis responder, advocate, or therapist she is dedicated to those she serves. She was intrigued by the techniques her husband used while in a special education classroom to help shape behavior in ways that translated into a better quality of life.
Summer Wintersteen, QASP-S(8710), RBT-1-16-24946
Summer is a RBT from Sacramento, CA and received her Bachelor's degree is Psychology from Stanislaus State University and is currently attending Capella University pursing her Master's degree in Psychology concentrating in ABA. Summer has been in the field for 3 years and loves making a tangible difference and impacting young children. When Summer is not traveling, she is at the gym or doing fun outdoor activities. She is the first person in her family to graduate high school and go to college, Summer is making history!
Registered Behavior Technicians
Adam Dewater, RBT-16-19744
Adam comes to ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing with a deep and committed passion for working with and helping children and adolescents with extra needs. He is dedicated to those he works with and is resolute in his drive toward obtaining his QASP, as part of his path towards eventually becoming a BCBA so that he can reach even more families and individuals in need. Adam uses his high energy and experiences to relate to his patients and motivate them, using his knowledge of JASPER, ESDM, and PRT to provide effective ABA treatment. One of the ABA Group's hardest workers, on the rare occasion when not at work, he can be found at home in his hammock reading or taking a nap with his dog by his side.
Al Yu, RBT
Al grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to San Diego in 2016 to pursue his graduate degree in school psychology from San Diego State University and is also working to obtain his BCBA. Al has been in the field of ABA for over 3 years and has worked in various settings such as special needs centers and college programs for students with ASD. Al enjoys traveling, trying new foods, and any physical activities.
Alejandra Chavez, RBT-17-30925
Alejandra is a bilingual Registered Behavior Technician at ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing. She has eight years of experience working directly with children who are on the Autism spectrum and those with other special needs. Alejandra is currently working toward becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant. She is passionate about helping others learn and have fun. In her spare time, she can be found spending quality time with her family.
Alex Kalinowski, RBT-1-17-36682
Alex is a RBT from Santa Cruz, CA and came to San Diego to attend University of San Diego. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and is working towards going to graduate school. She has been working with children for about 10 years and cannot imagine a different career. She enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her 4 younger siblings.
Allison Zamora, RBT-1-17-36587
Allison is a RBT from Escondido. She studied Global Studies and Education at University of California Santa Barbara and has been in the ABA for about 2 years. She is passionate about spreading opportunity and success for all students in the education system. In her free time, Allison loves to write on her blog, practice makeup, and research fashion styles. She also speaks three other languages besides English!
Angie Craven, ASW(73625), RBT-1-17-35327
Angie is a RBT and Associate Clinical Social Worker from Medicine Lodge, KS. She received her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from San Diego State University in Social Work with a credential in School Social Work and Child Youth and Families. She has worked with adults and children on the autism spectrum for 17 years in both private and public education. Angie really enjoys helping children meet their highest potential with their personal level of education and independence. Angie loves to surf, sail, and go camping; she also once had 19 guinea pigs.
Alyssa Greene, RBT-17-31921
Alyssa has been working in ABA therapy for 3 years and working with children for 13. She has always had a passion for teaching kids and grew an even bigger passion for teaching children with autism once she began working at a school that specialized in ABA therapy for children with autism and behavioral issues. After entering the field of ABA therapy, she decided to go back to school and work towards getting her degree and eventually working towards becoming a BCBA. She really enjoys seeing kids progress and grow to where they can lead successful lives. She has grown so much as a technician and is constantly learning so she can continue to teach and help children effectively.
Cynthia Rubio, RBT
Cynthia is a RBT from San Francisco, CA. She studied Cognitive Neuroscience at UCSD. For about a year she has been involved in the ABA community and was first recommended from a friend because of her love for working and learning with children. Cynthia loves write, read, hike, and explore the outdoors with her five dogs!
Courtney Wigner, RBT-17-30052
Courtney is an RBT from Topeka, IN. She studied Psychology at Indiana University and has worked with children and adults on the autism spectrum for over two years. She was inspired to work in the ABA field after working with kids with special needs in foster homes. In her spare time, Courtney likes to play softball, practice yoga, go hiking, and travel. In fact, Courtney has lived in a variety of Spanish speaking countries throughout Central and South American for two years.
Hoda Firouzian, RBT-1-17-40858
Hoda is originally from Iran and currently lives here in San Diego. She studied Psychology at California State University Northridge and is currently pursuing her Master's at University of Phoenix. Hoda has worked with children with autism for over 5 years and was inspired to work in this field for so many reasons! SH loves making a difference and hopefully will one day open her own practice focused on helping immigrant families. Hoda loves to sing and dance and is actually a professional Iranian Singer and traditional Dancer.
Jennifer Creeden, RBT-1-17-41841
Jennifer is a RBT from San Diego,CA. Her Bachelor's Degree in Deaf Studies is from Cal State Northridge. She is new to the ABA field, but has been many years experience working with kids as a nanny. She is inspired to work with kids and help make a difference for children on the autism spectrum. Jennifer loves to watch football, read, and hang out with her friends. If you see Jennifer around the office, give her a scare because it is likely she'll have the hiccups- she gets them at least once a day!
Karen Villegas, RBT-1-17-46138
Karen is a Registered Behavior Technician. She was born in San Diego but raised in Mexico. Karen has been working in the ABA field for about 3 years. Her interest in working with children came when she worked as an exam proctor a few years ago. She obtained her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from San Diego State University. She recently completed her Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis abroad in Wales, UK at Bangor University. When she is not at work she likes to spend time with her friends and family, go to the beach, and baking. Whenever she has the opportunity she enjoys traveling and getting to know different cultures.
Katherine Paszek, RBT-17-41736
Katherine is an RBT and has worked with individuals on the autism spectrum for over two years. She has lived in too many places to call home and is first generation Polish. Katherine studied Psychology at Syracuse University and was inspired to work in the ABA field when she worked in the Severe Behavior unit at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta. Her passion is using her hobbies and interests as a way of connecting with others and learning about life from those who surround her.
Katie Scroggins, RBT-16-20685
Katie has a background in speech pathology and implements ESDM, PRT, and JASPER models of ABA therapy. She was originally inspired by tutoring students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder while in high school, and to help support her nephew with Autism. Katie currently leads one of our North County Preschool Social Skills Groups. She works with individuals of all ages, and loves to incorporate art projects and crafts into sessions and groups. Katie is also an avid reader and painter.
Kristina Alvarez, RBT-1-17-46756
Kristina is an RBT who earned her BA in psychology from California State University San Marcos. She Is currently in her second year of her masters program for Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of San Diego. Kristina has ten years experience working with children in the Poway Unified School District. Besides providing therapy for children Kristina enjoys hiking, running, and kickboxing.
Leigh Jarrett, RBT-1-17-42170
Leigh is a RBT from Burnsville, MN. She is currently enrolled in a Master's Degree program in ABA therapy. Leigh joined the ABA field 2 years ago when her sister recommended her after watching Leigh interact with her own children and her experience in health care; after her first shadowing session, she was hooked! Leigh is involved in her church, children's schools, and hanging out with her family including her 2 year old son and 10 year old daughter.
Rebecca Kiehl, RBT
Rebecca is from Columbia, South Carolina and has a Bachelors degree in Child Development and Family Studies. She is working on her RBT certification. Rebecca has been working with kids for 6 years in a variety of environments. She enjoys hiking, going to the beach and spending time with her husband.
Sarah Stafford, RBT-17-45710
Sarah is a RBT from right here in San Diego! She also studied Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Psychology in town at UCSD. She has worked with children for six years by nannying and tutoring and loves seeing children grow. An education and outreach program for children with low socioeconomic status inspired her to help children of all backgrounds. When Sarah is not working you can find her hiking, working out, or spending time with her friends and family. She also loves pigs so much and because they are her favorite animal, she has not eaten pork in 13 years!
Shauna Lekaunas, RBT-1-16-13706
Shauna is a Registered Behavior Technician and has a Masters in Special Education. She has been working with both children and adults with Autism and other special needs for over 11 years. She is passionate about teaching and helping her students reach their goals. In her free time, Shauna enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, going to the beach, camping, and watching movies.
Successa Li, RBT-1-17-42610
Successa is a RBT from Hong Kong who studied at University of California San Diego, specific in Clinical Psychology. She started in the field 8 years ago when she volunteered with children and adults on the autism spectrum. They are very lovely, yet they know so less about the world outside and the general public tended to isolate them. She would like to make an impact on them by helping them to connect with others, thus allow them to explore the beauty of nature. She loves helping others and discovering new things. Successa loves playing piano, choir, Chinese painting and also swimming during her leisure time. She is a strong ocean swimmer and can swim for 2400 meters in the chilly sea!
Teresa Hiipakka, RBT-1-17-46678
This is Teresa, she is from Spain and has a degree in Pedagogy and a Master's Degree in Early Intervention. She has experience with autistic children between 2 and 10 years old working with them through water therapy. She is passionate about this career because she loves children, is very social, and loves helping and improving people's lives. In her spare time, Teresa likes sports, movies and scuba diving.
Yvette Medina, RBT
Yvette was born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana, Mexico. She is a Montessori teacher who is still working on a child development major, while also working on her RBT credential. Yvette has been working with kids for 6 years and was inspired to work at ABA so she can still learn and grow in this field that help so many families in the community. Her passion is working with kids, teaching them and guiding them to a successful independence for their tomorrow. In her free time she is preparing herself, so that she can have more strategies to be able to give her kiddos a better future. She also loves to dance and listen to music.
IEP Support Team
Marymichelle (Shelli) Lotano, JD
Shelli is from Schenectady, NY and is an Independent Education Plan Coordinator. She received her Bachelor's in Rehabilitation Services for the Disabled from Springfield College and continued her education at Albany Law School for her JD. Shelli also has a Special Education Law Advocacy Certificate from the University of San Diego. She has worked in the field of advocacy for over 7 years. She loves spending time with her family and creative writing. In her spare time, she loves to trail run, distance swim, and go to the gym. When she was younger, she was a competitive figure skater and coached for over 20 years before moving to California and even wrote a book titled, Circles of the Soul.
Christina Chavarria, Director of Operations
Meet Christina Chavarria, ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing Director of Operations. Christina grew up in San Diego, CA and received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Christina has been in the field for 6 years now and continues to provide managerial support. She is inspired by the dedication of staff involved in ABA and by witnessing the many milestones children reach. Though Christina doesn't have much "spare time", she does know how to groove. Fun fact, she used to be a hip-hop dancer and choreographer!
Cristeal Conklin, Assistant Operations Manager
Cristeal is an Assistant Operations Manager from right here in San Diego. She is looking forward to one day finishing her degree in Nursing and is inspired everyday to help others in need. Cristeal's younger brother, who is on the autism spectrum, inspired her to join the ABA community. In her spare time she works for her church, hikes, and watches movies. She also loves to relax with a refreshing glass of Coca-Cola and cuddle with puppies all day long.
Allyson Wilson, Executive Assistant & Social Skills Group Administrative Coordinator
Allyson is a Insurance Specialist & Social Skills Group Administrator who studied Criminal Justice and Sociology at Gonzaga University. Growing up in San Diego has brought her back home after going to school in Washington state. Her history of babysitting and nannying led her to the ABA field; Ally's love of children and helping others around her inspires her to make a difference in the lives of children on the autism spectrum. After work, Ally loves to go on adventures with her favorite 2 year old she babysits and bike ride to the beach to watch the sunsets. When Ally was in college she carried a huge campus secret with her, she was her University mascot, "Spike the Bulldog!"
Amanda Miller, Executive Assistant & Onboarding Specialist
Amanda is from Jacksonville, FL and studied Allied Health at the College of Central Florida. She has worked with children on the autism spectrum for about a year and was inspired to join the ABA field after working at a therapeutic horseback riding facility in Florida. She worked with children and adults with different disabilities and found a passion for helping people and trying to better their lives. In fact, Amanda moved to California to help a friend start a non profit therapeutic riding and equine assisted learning program and hopes to one day go back to school to become a certified occupational therapist assistant.
Joshua Barton, Executive Assistant
Josh is an Executive Assistant from Virgina Beach, VA and studied at Tidewater Community College. He is new to working with children on the autism spectrum but is excited to gain experience and complete his degree in ABA. In his spare time he loves to find ways that music and art can help people and stimulate their emotions in a positive way. He also loves watching movies, playing video games, and exploring the outdoors. Josh has played the violin since the 4th grade and when he was younger, he was in the Virginia Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Gregory Fink, Human Resources Generalist
Greg is our Human Resource Generalist from Chula Vista, CA. He studied Religious Studies at San Diego State University and is currently attending Western Governors University for Human Resource Management. He entered the ABA field after seeing his mother in her element as a special education teacher and while he tutored her students. His long history in medical and behavioral health fields have from him to the ABA community and his passion for helping staff through human services. In his spare time, he loves to go hiking, go to the beach, and relax on the couch with his fiancé and rescue dog.
Oluwatosin (Tosin) Kupoluyi, Document Specialist
Oluwatosin "Tosin" Kupoluyi joined the ABA Group as Employee Coordinator and recently transitioned into the Document Specialist position. She is born and raised in Nigeria, where she received her Philosophy degree and an MBA with specialization in Human Resources Management. She also has a Human Resources certification in the United States. Tosin is passionate about helping people, inspiring and motivating them to be the best version of themselves. At her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family and listening to motivational speakers.