CLINICAL STAFF

OUR CLINICAL STAFF: A STEPP ABOVE

People first. Caring, dedicated, and extremely skilled staff at IN S.T.E.P.P.S. set us apart. We work as a team and collaborate to provide the highest quality of services. Our supervision and training model ensures that our staff receive the highest level of clinical training as well as ongoing oversight and professional development. Our supervisors have master’s degrees or are currently in pursuit of a master’s degree and are BCBA’s/BCABA’s or completing coursework for certification. All IN S.T.E.P.P.S. therapists have experience with children and families and ours are chosen based on their creativity, dedication, passion, and ability to establish positive connections with others. We are always working to provide a work environment that promotes professional growth and ongoing learning and look forward to achieving these goals with your family.

Yvonne Bruinsma,Ph.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Yvonne Bruinsma, Executive Director, has almost two decades of experience working with children with ASD and developmental disabilities. She received a Master’s Degree in Developmental Psychology and subsequently studied Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT®) with Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel at the UCSB Autism Research and Training Center. She earned her Ph.D. in Special Education, Developmental Disabilities, and Risk Studies at UCSB. She has published and presented internationally on PRT® and was instrumental in bringing PRT® to the Center for Autism in the Netherlands. Yvonne’s unique background encompasses provision of services across the lifespan, from identification and intervention for at-risk infants, to working with adolescents and adults.

Erin McNerney, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Erin McNerney, Clinical Director, has over 15 years of experience working with children with autism and developmental disabilities. She received a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She developed expertise in Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT®) working with Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel at the Autism Research and Training Center. Erin brings a comprehensive approach to treatment and has extensive training and experience working with family systems. Erin has published research articles in the areas of Early Intervention, PRT®, and Positive Behavior Support, and presented at numerous local and international conferences.

Elise Landgraf, M.S., BCBA, Case Supervisor, Social Skills Coordinator, Certified Peers Instructor

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Elise completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Human Development, and her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Vanguard University of Southern California. She is a certified provider from the UCLA PEERS® Clinic under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Laugeson. Elise co-facilitates parent training groups, teen and young adult groups, and serves as an intake clinician. She has extensive experience in Pivotal Response Treatment, parent training, and other empirically supported treatments for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) through In STEPPS in Irvine CA. under the direction of Dr. Yvonne Bruinsma and Dr. Erin Mc. Nerney. Elise’s clinical research interests are to enhance the social competence of youth with ASD, social anxieties, and ADHD through the development and testing of evidence-based social interventions.

Nicole Horton, M.Ed., BCBA, Regional Director of San Diego

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Nicole is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has been working with children with special needs since 2005. She has extensive experience in working in the home, clinic, community and school settings and with children of all ages. Nicole received her Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton in Sociology and her Master’s degree in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University. Nicole’s interests include school support, intervention, and parent education, training, and support. Nicole has extensive experience working with individuals with challenging behaviors, as well as social skills facilitation, child advocacy, and functional assessment.

Nicole Floyd, M.S., BCBA, Regional Director of Los Angeles

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Nicole Floyd is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who joined In Stepps as a Clinical Supervisor in 2011, and has been working with children, teenagers, and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities since 2008. After completing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Dayton in 2007, Nicole moved from her hometown of Philadelphia, PA to southern California. She has experience in Pivotal Response Training, Discrete Trial Training, and social skills facilitation, and has worked in home, school, and community settings. She enjoys working with teenagers and young adults. As Regional Director, Nicole currently oversees all clinical programs in Los Angeles county, and leads a collaborative team of BCBA Supervisors and Assistant Supervisors.

David Koehler, Associate Coordinator of Clinical Staff Development

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David Koehler, Associate Coordinator of Clinical Staff Development, has been working with children and adults with ASD and developmental disabilities for over 17 years. His experience in the field of behavioral intervention began as an Instructional Aide at Edison H.S., Special Abilities Cluster, where he was first introduced to ABA in the form of DTT. Over the years he has gained experience providing 1:1 intervention, Parent Consultation, Case Supervision, and Staff Training. Since starting in the field he has witnessed an evolution in ABA from the more therapist driven approach of DTT to ABA in the Natural Environment with Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBI). When David was introduced to PRT he realized the rapid rate of progress he could foster for young learners. Now David is dedicated to teaching PRT to all that want to learn.

Lindsey Lewis, M.A., BCBA, Case Supervisor

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Lindsey earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Childhood and Adolescent Development from California State University, Fullerton, a Master of Arts in Education from National University, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Lindsey has more than six years of experience providing ABA services to children with special needs in schools, home, and in the community. She has served as a consultant for parents for more than three years. Lindsey maintains In Stepps’ social networking pages including our Facebook page and our blog, providing families with important resources and community information. She also organizes special events at In Stepps including Parents’ Night Out. She has a special interest in providing trainings and consultation for professionals in school settings. Lindsey enjoys working with children with challenging behaviors and providing caretakers with tools that are individualized to their daily environment.

Rachel Zetino, M. A., BCBA, Director of Training and Staff Development

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Rachel Zetino, Coordinator of Clinical Staff Development, has worked with individuals with ASD and developmental disabilities for over ten years. She received her Master’s Degree in Psychology, with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, at California State University, Los Angeles, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Rachel has experience developing programs in the home and school setting, and has worked with adults in day habilitation and employment training programs. Rachel has coordinated behavior programs for a school for the deaf, where she worked with children diagnosed as Deaf/ Hard-of-Hearing who engaged in challenging behaviors. In working with this population, Rachel learned American Sign Language (ASL) to optimally engage with her students and their staff. Rachel has presented her research on training staff to implement PRT® using a variety of training methods at multiple state and national conferences. Rachel enjoys developing competency-based training programs to ensure that all staff have the skills necessary to provide the best programming possible.

Brianna Schlange, M.S., BCBA, Case Supervisor

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Brianna is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been working with children with special needs since 2009. She received her Master’s degree in Education from Arizona State University in 2015. In the last 5 years, Brianna has served as a therapist, parent consultant, and case supervisor. She has worked with children 18 months to 19 years of age with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome, and other developmental disorders. She enjoys empowering parents to use individualized ABA strategies in their child’s natural environment, adapting PRT and ABA strategies for children with profound physical limitations, and working in early intervention. She also hopes to add to research on using ABA and PRT for children with profound physical limitations such as cerebral palsy.

Nubia Tellis, M.A., BCBA, Case Supervisor

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Nubia is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with 8 years experience in Applied Behavior Analysis, primarily working with children and adolescents with autism and other developmental delays. Nubia received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. Shortly after receiving her Bachelor’s degree, Nubia began working In the field of ABA as a direct intervention therapist. She earned her Master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy from Brandman University. Nubia is currently a registered Marriage and Family Intern and plans to obtain her Marriage and Family license. She has extensive experience in Pivotal Response Treatment, parent education, and social skills. Nubia’s clinical research interests include the application of Applied Behavior Analysis to mental health issues, primarily focusing on the impact of stress and anxiety in families of children with special needs.

Diane Gonzales, M. A., BCBA Case Supervisor

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Diane received her Bachelors of Art in Sociology with a concentration in Families from California State University, Fullerton and began working in the field of ABA in 2011 as a Behavior Therapist. Throughout the years, Diane advanced in the field working as a Parent Consult and Case Manager with In STEPPS. She received her Masters of Arts in Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2014, completed her BCBA course work from Florida Institute of Technology in 2015 and is currently preparing to sit for her BCBA exam. Diane is very interested in augmented communication and has experience with PECS and Proloquo2Go.

Mayra Salgado, B.A., Case Manager

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Mayra joined In STEPPS in 2011 as a behavior therapist and since then has gained valuable experience providing 1:1, parent consultation, and case supervising. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Ecology with a minor in Criminology, Law, and Society from the University of California, Irvine. She is currently earning her masters degree in human behavior and completing her coursework for her BCBA certification. She enjoys being able to empower kids and families while equipping them with the components of ABA. On her free time, Mayra enjoys traveling and helping the less fortunate in other countries.

Krystle Germer, B.A. Case Manager

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Krystle joined In Stepps in 2015. She is currently completing her Master’s degree in Professional Behavior Analysis through Florida Institute of Technology. She has been conducting ABA services with children and adolescents for three years in both school and home settings. Krystle has experience in Discrete Trial Training and Pivotal Response Treatment. Furthermore, Krystle enjoys finding approaches that support child learning and highly values implementing program approaches that work best for individuals and their family.