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INSTRUCTIONAL ASSISTANT

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Miranda Castillo
Instructional Therapist

Miranda’s aim is to utilize her education and professional background to gear students toward achieving their goals. She has been working with children for over 5 years. In 2012, Miranda began working with children on a 1:1 basis, implementing ABA in the clinic, home, school and community setting.

Miranda earned her Bachelors of Science in Family Studies and Human Services from Kansas State University. While in college, she volunteered and worked in an in-home daycare where she worked with children 0-13 years old. Miranda is bilingual, and holds a 30 day substitute teaching permit.


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Megan Chipinka
Instructional Therapist

Megan implements behavior strategies while maintaining a positive and supportive environment for student development. Megan enjoys helping each child reach their full potential and she cannot wait to apply her knowledge in the field of speech pathology.  Since 2008, she has been implementing ABA (applied behavior analysis) and PRT (pivotal response therapy) strategies in both the classroom and home settings as a Behavior Interventionist.

Megan earned her Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Psychology.  Megan completed her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Chapman University and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Communicative Disorders at California State University, Long Beach.

 

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Jennifer Espinoza
Instructional Therapist

Jennifer has a passion for kids and helps students maximize their abilities through 1:1 assistance in the classroom. Jennifer has been working in a classroom setting as a 1:1 aide and ABA therapist since 2010. She is working toward becoming a Special Education teacher.

Jennifer started volunteering at an Early Start program in Los Angeles while in high school. She is trained in ABA, PRT, and Rapid Prompting Method (RPM). Jennifer’s is currently attending Western Governor’s University to receive her credential in Special Education.

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Kyle Hoertz
Instructional Therapist

Kyle has a great attitude and specializes in teaching regulating replacement behaviors, promoting independence and implementing structure to ensure the success of each student. Kyle’s ultimate goal is to get a board certified behavior analyst masters degree to continue impacting students in a positive way.

Kyle studied child and adolescent studies at California State University, Fullerton. Kyle has worked with kids of all ages and abilities. He started working in group homes, volunteered as a high school football and basketball coach, and worked in both public and non-public school settings.

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Adrienne Nichols
Instructional Therapist

Adrienne helps children reach their full potential by supporting them in the classroom and natural environments.  She has been pursuing her passion as a Behavioral Therapist since 2010, in both home and community settings.

Adrienne studied Psychology at Sonoma State University, where she began volunteering her time to an organization which helped children with autism and related developmental disorders. It was at that time when she developed a deep passion to work with children of special needs.


 

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Morgan Slater
Instructional Therapist

Morgan has a passion for helping children with ASD and aims to create an energetic and uplifting environment to assist each student in reaching their full potential. Her role at KiDA is to assist the lead teacher in managing behavior, developing instructional materials, helping students with daily tasks, and being an effective communicator.

Morgan earned her Bachelor’s degree from Chapman University in Integrated Educational Studies and a minor in Psychology with an emphasis in Health. She is currently working on completing her Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Chapman University in order to eventually receive her Master’s degree and become a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). She has experience working alongside an SLP who worked with children that have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) within the school setting.

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Florence Clark, PhD

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Florence Clark, PhD
Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Professor and Associate Dean, University of Southern California
Florence Clark, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA (Professor and Associate Dean of the USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy) currently serves as President of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She earned her M.S. degree in Occupational Therapy from The State University of New York at Buffalo and her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Southern California.

A widely published and noted scholar, Dr. Clark’s research over the last two decades has largely centered on the relationship of everyday activity engagement to health and wellness. Appointed as a charter member of the Academy of Research of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Dr. Clark has served as special consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General, been on the board of the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research and been the recipient of an Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship.

Additionally, she is a member of the Autism Advisory Task Force for the California Department of Managed Care, which is charged with developing recommendations regarding medically necessary health treatments for individuals with autism.

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Matthew Goodwin, PhD

Matthew Goodwin, PhD
Assistant Professor, Dept. of Health Sciences Northeastern University
Professor Goodwin, Ph.D. is an interdisciplinary faculty member affiliated with the College of Computer and Information Science and the Department of Health Sciences at Northeastern. He co-directs the joint-college doctoral program in Personal Health Informatics and has nearly two decades of research and clinical experience working with the full spectrum of children and adults with ASD.

He is well acquainted with a variety of experimental methods and statistical approaches used in the behavior sciences and has extensive experience developing and evaluating innovative technologies for behavioral assessment, including telemetric physiological monitors, accelerometry sensors, and digital video/facial recognition systems.

Before joining Northeastern, Professor Goodwin served as director of clinical research at the MIT Media Lab, where he continues to co-direct their Autism and Communication Technology Initiative. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Wheaton College in 1998 and his M.A. in 2005 and Ph.D. in 2008, both in Experimental Psychology, from the University of Rhode Island.

 

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Christy Hom, PhD

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Christy Hom, PhD
Pediatric Neuropsychology UCI School of Medicine
Dr. Hom received a BA in Psychology with a concentration in Developmental Disabilities from UCLA and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Health Psychology at Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

She is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor at UC Irvine in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. She has been working with children with developmental disabilities and their families in both research and clinical settings since 1992.

She was an ABA therapist at Johns Hopkins University’s Kennedy Krieger Institute, coordinated several research studies at UCLA regarding the impact of a developmentally disabled child on the family and cultural differences in beliefs about developmental disabilities, and has been the coordinator of UC Irvine’s Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Clinic since 2007.

 

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Ira Lott, MD

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Ira Lott, MD
Board Certified: Pediatrics, Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology
An expert in child neurology, Dr. Lott’s primary research focus is in the neurology of developmental disabilities. He is the director of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Down Syndrome Society in New York and has received the national research award from the Down Syndrome Society and the Christian Pueschel Memorial Research Award from the National Down Syndrome Congress. In addition, he received the Spotlight Award from the California State Senate for his work with the developmentally disabled.

Recognized nationally as an expert in developmental disabilities, Dr. Lott has been invited to be a member of the Developmental Biology Study Section for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, NIH/NICHD to serve a term between 2011-2015.

Dedicated to clinical excellence, Dr. Lott is board certified in pediatrics, psychiatry and neurology with special competence in child neurology. He attended medical school at Ohio State University College of Medicine graduating with honors. Dr. Lotts completed his internship and residency in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Dr. Lott served his residency in child neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Lott is consistently voted as one of Orange County’s Top Doctors by the Orange County Medical Association.

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David Monkarsh, PhD

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David Monkarsh, PhD
Clinical Psychology Autism Specialist
Dr. David J. Monkarsh is a Clinical Developmental Psychologist who has specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with autism since 1982. His clinical practice focuses upon training children and their families in ways to facilitate social adaptive behavior and self-regulation across diverse settings.

By promoting increased self-understanding and the understanding of others, Dr. Monkarsh works to help children with autism develop strategies for acquiring skills that enhance personal competence and community integration. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Monkarsh has been an Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the UCI Medical Center since 1982.

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Gail Fernandez, MD

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Gail Fernandez, MD
Child Psychiatry UCI School of Medicine
Dr. Fernandez received undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Biology at the University of California, Irvine. She continued on to medical school at Creighton School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, completing her medical training in 1991. She completed both general psychiatry residency and child psychiatry fellowships at Creighton/UNMC Department of Psychiatry, graduating in 1996.

She joined the faculty at University of California, Irvine in 1996 and now serves as Program Director for the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship and Vice Chair for the Department of Psychiatry. She also works as Medical Director of the Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Unit, an acute care program for psychiatrically ill children and adolescents ages 12-18.

She works with the Center for Neuropsychiatric Studies, a multidisciplinary research and evaluation project in collaboration with the Regional Center of Orange County. Several studies have been published as a result of this collaboration. She is Board Certified in General Psychiatry (recertified in 2006) and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (recertified in 2007).

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Linda Smith, RN, BSN, PHN

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Linda Smith, RN, BSN, PHN
CEO Providence Speech and Hearing Center
Linda began her career as a registered nurse with a public health nursing credential from Mount St. Mary’s College. Since then, she has continued to work in healthcare, including holding various senior level positions with TrinityCare LLC and Little Company of Mary Health Services.

Linda was also a founder of LifeCare Solutions/Nations Healthcare, a home infusion company, and ran her own healthcare consulting firm for five years before moving to Providence. Since joining Providence in 2007, the organization has grown to 7 locations and $19 million dollars in revenue.

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Maria Minon, MD

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Maria Minon, MD
General Pediatrics Chief Medical Officer, CHOC Childrens
Dr. Maria E. Minon, a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina, currently serves as the Vice President, Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for CHOC Children’s, a position she has held since 1998.

As Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Minon works to facilitate and oversee the activities of the Medical Staff, Medical Quality and Patient Safety, Psychology Training Program, Graduate and Continuing Medical Education, CHOC’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Cancer Institutes and Clinical and Basic Science Research Departments.

Dr. Minon achieved her Medical Degree at University of California, Irvine and completed her post-graduate training at UCI Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Orange County, where she was appointed Chief Resident. She holds a faculty position at UCI as Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics. Dr. Minon worked in private practice for general pediatrics and adolescent medicine from 1979 to 1998.

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Matthew Peterson, PhD

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Matthew Peterson, PhD
Cofounder, CTO and Senior Scientist MIND Research Institute
Matthew Peterson, Ph.D., is Cofounder, CTO and Senior Scientist at the MIND Research Institute, a non-profit education and research organization. His focus is on developing interactive visual learning environments that enable students to gain a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics regardless of language proficiency.

Matthew, who as a child struggled with traditional language-based instruction due to dyslexia, created MIND’s ST Math software to teach math to students utilizing his unique non-language based visual approach. He did undergraduate work at UC Irvine and his doctoral work in visual neuroscience at UC Berkeley.

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Rosalind Picard, ScD

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Rosalind Picard, ScD
Co-Director, Autism Communication Technology Institute MIT Media Lab
Professor Rosalind W. Picard, Sc.D. is founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory, co-director of the Things That Think Consortium, the largest industrial sponsorship organization at the lab, and leader of the new and growing Autism & Communication Technology Initiative at MIT.

She is co-founder, chief scientist and chairman of Affectiva, Inc., making technology to help measure and communicate emotion. Picard holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and master’s and doctorate degrees, both in electrical engineering and computer science, from MIT. Picard is an international leader in envisioning and inventing innovative technology.

She holds multiple patents, having designed and developed a variety of new sensors, algorithms, and systems for sensing, recognizing, and responding respectfully to human affective information, with applications in autism communication, human and machine learning, health behavior change, marketing, advertising, customer service, and human-computer interaction.

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