MA, Behavior Specialist
Melissa works hard to provide positive behavior supports for students at KIDA. In her role at the School, she is responsible for the Community Based Instruction program, developing and implementing Behavior Support Plans, ensuring that data is collected efficiently, and supporting all students, families and staff. She has been in the field of special education for over 6 years, and has knowledge of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Nonviolent Crisis Prevention (CPI), Discrete Trial Training (DTT), Treatment and Education of Autistic Children with Communication Handicaps (TEACCH), and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
Melissa developed an interest in working with children with special needs and particularly Autism when she volunteered at the Koegel Autism Center at University of California Santa Barbara. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UCSB, she began working as a Behavior Interventionist. During her three years in that role, she worked in homes, schools and therapy centers with a wide variety of children and families providing 1:1 intervention, parent training and engaging social groups. She received her Master of Arts in Educational Psychology from Pepperdine University in May 2014 and continues to work toward becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).