Executive Director & Founder
Susan acts as the Executive Director and is the founder of Alternatives ABA, Inc. Her mission is largely based on her experiences as the mother of a child with non-verbal autism and as a behavior analyst with over 25 years of experience in human services. Her passion is fueled by her desire to create THE ABA-based comprehensive autism support center that she always thought should exist. Susan believes strongly that “a well supported family is better able to support the child with autism.” Alternatives ABA is built on the belief that raising a family affected by autism is vastly different than raising a “typical” family and that success requires proper support.
Susan also believes that ABA needs to be fun in order to be effective. Play is necessary. Inclusion is necessary. Acceptance is necessary. Play + Inclusion + Acceptance = FUN!
Much of what Susan believes coincides with traditional Hawaiian values. One of those values is that of Kakou, or inclusiveness. Essentially, “we are in this together and together we are stronger.” The other can be summed up in the Hawaiian saying: “Pupukahi i holumua”, which means: “Unite in order to progress.”
Susan is a fierce proponent for positive social change, particularly when it comes to children. She enjoys educating and advocating for state and federal policies that make the lives of children and families better.
Throughout her 25+ years career in human services, Susan has worked as Director of Behavioral Health Services for two of the largest providers in their industries, one a for profit and the other a non-profit. She has received many grants and written and taught original behavior management curriculum at the college level for those pursuing degrees in the health care field. Susan has traveled throughout the country as a behavior consultant and teaching behavior management strategies to both large and small groups.
Susan holds a Master’s Degree in Education and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Populations from The University of Massachusetts at Boston. (Her BA is in Psychology and Women’s Studies and was earned at The University of Massachusetts at Amherst.) She has just completed an intense fellowship at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver/UMASS Medical School entitled “Leadership Excellence in Neurodevelopmental Disorders.” Some former fellows of this program are the very ones that you can thank for critical policy changes, like The Autism Commission Report, ARICA, the Autism Omnibus Law, and countless other systems and policy changes at the state and national level. Through this fellowship Susan was able to attend Suffolk University on a scholarship where she was awarded her Master’s Degree in Public Administration in January, 2017.
Susan is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst licensed to practice in Massachusetts and Hawaii. She acts as Executive Director at Alternatives ABA, Inc. and takes great pride in selecting only “the best of the best” to join the team at Alternatives ABA!
Senior Director of Programming and Operations
Rachel acts as the Senior Director of Programming and Operations at Alternatives ABA. She is a “Jack of all trades” and wears many hats here! Not sure how we would run without her! Rachel wears the “Executive Director” hat in the absence of Susan. Rachel’s bio is in the works!
Director of Speech & Language Services
After graduating from Macalester College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Lauren started her career at the New England Center for Children in Southborough, MA. She began working as a level 1 teacher with autistic children and was trained in ABA. She continued to work with the autistic population through jobs in early intervention, preschool and elementary school. She worked as an inclusion aide, 1:1 aide and ABA therapist. As she worked with these children, learning to support communication via symbols, signs and pictures, something amazing happened. Many of the children with whom she worked not only began to communicate more successfully, they learned to speak. It was this experience that inspired her to pursue a degree in speech/language.
Lauren graduated from Emerson College with a master’s degree in speech/language in 2003. She worked with multiply handicapped, autistic and cognitively impaired children at the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton for 3 years before taking a position at Spaulding Center for Children on Cape Cod. For 11 years she provided speech and language evaluation and treatment for a diverse group of children, young adults and developmentally disabled adults at Spaulding. She began an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) clinic, providing evaluation for low tech (e.g., symbol systems) and high tech communication equipment (speech generating devices).
Children’s work is play, and fun and functional play is the focus of Lauren’s evidence based intervention. She provides naturalistic intervention focused on children’s interests and strengths in order to motivate and engage her patients. Behavior is communication. When kids are unhappy, even if they can’t tell us about it, they are communicating. The trick is to try to discern their message and then teach them how to communicate it successfully. Lauren hopes that parents, therapists and teachers join her sessions. It is through this close collaboration that children and adults can learn and grow. Home education is vital and is an integral part of treatment. It is only through collaboration and carryover of skills that children will have success outside the 4 walls of the clinic.
Lauren is thrilled to be a part of the Alternatives ABA team; she wholeheartedly believes in endless possibilities. She has learned through experience that when individuals are provided with the right amount of support, and access to the right tools, there is no limit to what they can accomplish!
Clinical Director of Field & Center Based Training
Elise holds a masters degree from Cambridge College. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and also has her License in the states of Massachusetts as an Applied Behavior Analysis (LABA). She has been working in the field of Behavior Analysis for more than five years with students 18 months – 20 years of age in a home based setting. Elise took an interest in the field of Behavior Analysis after working as a care taker and living with a 9 year old boy diagnosed with Down Syndrome. She has a passion for working in this field and is excited to be a part of the progress her kiddos are making.
Elise also acts as “Clinical Director of Field & Center Based Training”. In that role, Elise works to ensure that our team is trained well to implement the principles and practices of Applied Behavior Analysis. She also heads up therapist and BCBA orientation and oversees and ensures the training of BCBAs and therapists. She performs this training both at our center and in the field. Elise is also a certified Safety Care Trainer. She is certified to train both staff and parents in Safety Care strategies and techniques.
Elise provides stellar supervision to staff on her cases to ensure consistency. She loves working in the field of home based services because it allows her and her staff the ability to work 1:1 with children in their most natural environments. She is a huge fan of team collaboration and works with her staff to provide the best practices to their kiddos. Elise is also a certified Safety Care Trainer and is responsible for training many of our staff!
Director of Clinical Education
Diana holds a masters degree from Simmons College and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has 5+ years of experience working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. She has worked with students aged 2-18 years of age in both a home and school setting. She became interested in the science of behavior analysis after her sister was diagnosed with autism at the age of 10. She is very passionate about learning more about the science and the practical application of it. She spends a crazy amount of time reading studies in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis! She is particularly interested in verbal behavior and conducting behavior assessments.
Diana Also acts as “Director of Clinical Education” at Alternatives ABA. In that role, she keeps our ABA clinicians and therapists informed and up to date on the most up to date research. Diana attends different events and webinars and keeps informed of evidence based research. She brings this information back to our team and educates all of us.
Diana’s smile lights up the room and her laugh is instantly contagious! We are so grateful to have her on our team!
Clinical Director of Center Based Programs
Behavior Analyst/Clinical Research Liaison
Michelle is a licensed Board-Certified Behavior Analyst who earned her Master’s degree at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Michelle discovered Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) during her college course work, and although her first encounter with ABA was by coincidence, she was instantly drawn to the field by her passion for science. Thinking scientifically comes very natural to Michelle, and when she learned she could use this great interest/talent to improve the lives of those affected by Autism, she knew that becoming a BCBA would be a very fulfilling career for her. She has now worked in the field of ABA for over 3 years, primarily with young children between the ages of 2-10 in home-based settings. It has been such a rewarding experience for her. The BCBA career role truely encompasses her personal interests, goals and values in life.
Beyond working with families in home settings, Michelle has invested much time conducting research related to ABA and Autism, and has co-authored a few publications. The knowledge and skills that she’s gained through research has made her a strong clinician, and distinguishes the quality of services she provides. Throughout her experiences, Michelle has learned that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach for behavioral interventions. She feels strongly that if a student does not make expected progress on skill goals, the problem lies in the intervention methodology, not the student. Therefore, Michelle has been exceptionally successful with solving problems that arise in ABA programming; she is always determined to find the most effective solutions to help students reach their fullest potential. Additionally, Michelle is especially interested in research to stimulus control. She plans to conduct future research to examine the ways in which stimulus control impacts the effectiveness of treatment. Through stimulus control research, Michelle hopes to discover innovative strategies to improve ABA methodology.
Michelle also acts as “Research Liaison” at Alternatives ABA. In that role, she presents at forums and seminars, coordinates research opportunities, and keeps in contact with academic and research leaders.
Beyond Michelle’s passion for ABA, Michelle is a vegetarian cat-lover, who loves yoga, music and dance, and she also cares deeply about respect for diversity and social equality!
Senior Behavior Analyst
Cindy is a licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in ABA through Nova Southeastern University. Cindy has 20+years of experience in the field of Applied Behavioral Analysis. She has worked with a wide population to include emotional and behavioral disorders in youth, Autism in children, and brain injury. Her area of expertise is in home-based services and early intervention. Cindy is a true observational scientist. She has a keen ability to calmly and quietly observe and reflect. That talent is well-balanced with her understanding of the reality of parenting a child with autism and the practical application of applied behavior analysis in the home.
Cindy is pretty amazing and humble! We are so proud to have her on our team!
Taylor has more than five years of experience working with children of all abilities. She is a graduate of Endicott College and holds a M.Ed. in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis. Taylor has significant experience carrying out goals of a behavior intervention plans and has conducted Discrete Trial Training, Natural Environment Training and academic learning with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Taylor grew up in expat communities in the Middle East, South America and Asia where she learned the importance of cultural sensitivity. She now strives to apply that knowledge in each home she visits. She has a strong interest in expanding access to ABA services. She has the intention of consulting on ABA services for international schools and families with children on the autism spectrum living abroad.
Siena is a licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has over six year of experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum. Prior to joining the Alternatives team, Siena worked as an Education Coordinator at The New England Center for Children. She received her Masters in Severe Special Education from Simmons College. Additionally, she completed a 2-year ABA specialization program at Western New England University.
Siena believes strongly in the power of teamwork and in the mission of providing exceptional strength-based child and family-centered therapies based on the principles of ABA. Siena brings compassion, empathy, respect to every individual and family she works with.
Speech Language Pathologist
Front Office Manager/Parent Liaison
Before coming to Alternatives ABA, Wendy spent 10 years working in administration for a pediatric occupational and speech therapy clinic. She loves seeing and interacting with the children everyday and assisting and getting to know parents and families. Wendy LOVES to laugh and will always have a smile for you when you walk through the door. If you call, you’ll also hear her smile right over the phone! Wendy has two grown children and enjoys the summer and spending time on the beach. We are so happy to have her on our team! She has turned our center into a home.
Catherina is the Senior Therapist and Trainer for Alternatives ABA, Inc. Cathy works to help new families and therapists adjust to one another and she does a magnificent job! She is originally from Houston, Texas and has lived in Massachusetts for 2 years. She has 10+ years of professional experience working with children and has loved every minute of it! The last 5 years of experience have been with young children and adolescents diagnosed with developmental, psychological, and/or neurological disorders. She has worked for national and statewide organizations in both Texas and Massachusetts providing direct ABA services as well as creative movement exploration and dance/movement therapy fundamentals for clients and their family members. In addition to her behavioral background, Catherina holds an M.A. in Expressive Therapies; Dance/Movement Therapy with a concentration in Mental Health Counseling. Catherina is interested in how ABA and expressive therapies can work together to improve outcomes in children with developmental disorders, specifically autism.
Catherina holds a B.A. in Dance in Education, Texas Woman’s University, Post-Baccalaureate in Psychology, Central Texas College.
Catherina is preparing to take the exam that will enable her to add “Registered Behavior Technician” to her roster of qualifications! Catherina is a brilliant and vibrant therapist who inherently knows how to make ABA fun and individual to the child and family. We are so fortunate to have her on our team!
Kelly is the proud mom of 4 beautiful daughters. She graduated from Blue Hills Regional Vocational School in 1996. While she was at Blue Hills, she studied early education. She married and began raising her family shortly after. Her passion has always been to work with children. Kelly credits her grandmother with sparking that passion. Her grandmother was an early education visionary who started Step-One in Squantum, Quincy 60 years ago! Kelly has finished all of the requirements for the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) credential and is waiting to take her exam. Kelly is one of the first team members to be hired at Alternatives ABA and has become one of the best therapists we have!
Fundraising & Development Coordinator
Amy acts primarily as our chief fundraiser at ALTABA!
Amy leads most of the fundraising and development at Alternatives ABA. She spends most of her time thinking of innovative ways to garner support for our ever growing ancillary programs and services at ALTABA.
In addition, she has nearly 10 years of experience working with children, teens, and young adults on the Autism Spectrum. Her experience ranges from teaching at extended school year programs, to working in the City of Boston as an autism support specialist. Amy is deeply and passionately dedicated to helping those with Autism live a better more vibrant life and reach their full potential.
Amy holds a Bachelor of Science in Education Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Developmental Psychology. She earned these degrees at Wheelock College where she was an active participant in the Autism Awareness Club and Best Buddies. She sat as Public Relations chair for the Autism Awareness Club her first year at Wheelock and would later become Vice President.
As an individual living with Cerebral Palsy, Amy knows what it’s like to struggle with things others wouldn’t deem difficult. However, persevering has given Amy the strength she needs to not only help kids with Autism, but understand parts of their struggles as well. Amy holds a clear perspective on both sides of the coin and is a fierce advocate for children. A large part of what Amy does involves the oversight of allegiance to our mission.
Amy is also certified to run our “SibShops”, which are sibling support groups and activities. She is currently pursuing her RBT certification and aspires to become an advocate for children in public schools. We are so grateful that Amy has chosen to share her many talents, including her superb sense of humor, with Alternatives ABA!
Ally is a behavioral therapist who works one-on-one with kiddos both in home and at our center to help them work to achieve their full potential.
Ally recently graduated from Salve Regina University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Global Studies. In addition to completing her Undergraduate degree from Salve Regina, Ally is also a member of the universities’ accelerated masters program in Applied Behavior Analysis. In order to become a BCBA as soon as possible, Ally began her graduate studies during the senior year of her undergraduate degree. She is anticipated to graduate with her master’s degree in 2018. Following the completion of her education she plans to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Ally is passionate about helping and loves to spend time with her clients. She is willing to do just about anything for a kiddo; even if that means dressing up as a giant squid for Halloween or wearing a fanny pack to work everyday to have her ABA supplies at the ready! She is always willing to go the extra mile if it is for her clients’ benefit and is happy to do so.
In addition to her passion for working with kids Ally also loves to travel and learn about the world. In pursuit of her global studies minor, Ally lived and studied in Spain and is fluent in Spanish. Because of her background in Global studies, Ally has learned the importance of cultural sensitivity, and strives to bring the values that come along with it into each unique home.
Ally is also a certified Safety Care Trainer.
Senior Therapist/BCBA Mentor Program Participant
Laurie earned her bachelors degree in applied psychology at UMASS Amherst. She is currently completing an intensive practicum at Simmons College and where she is working to earn a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. She is working on becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Laurie is an incredible therapist, although very humble. She has a deep understanding of ABA and how it fits in with family and child-centered care.
Registered Behavior Technician
Huyen Nguyen earned a B.A. in Business Administration in Japan. She spesks English, Japanese, and Vietnamese proficiently. Before joining Alternatives ABA, Inc., Huyen had met great success in the world of business and had accumulated more than 10 years of progressive leadership experience at a very well known Japanese company. However, her childhood dream was to be like her mom (an elementary school teacher) and work with children. Huyen earned her Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) credential at Alternatives ABA, after returning to the US. Huyen is extremely passionate about working with children and families. She enjoys helping clients acquire social, functional, and communication skills that improve quality of life. She has a deep understanding of therapy techniques and social milestones and appreciates the role a quality ABA program plays in enhancing these skills. Huyen’s calm, compassionate, and gentle nature combined with her respect and understanding of the principles and practices of ABA make her an extremely effective therapist and an extremely valuable member of our team.
Colleen is currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in special needs. She anticipates being finished this year. Colleen is also working towards the Registered Behavior Technician Credential (RBT). Colleen comes to us with extensive experience with children. Before coming to Alternatives ABA, she worked at preschool and Montessori schools on the South Shore as an early child educator. She also gained five years of experience working for Bay Cove Human Services working directly with adults with special needs and the elderly population. Colleen has also been a certified yoga instructor since the age of fifteen, is certified in reiki, and practices holistic alternatives such as kinesiology. “Miss Colleen”, as we refer to her, is a magnificent asset to our team at Alternatives ABA. Her kind, gentle demeanor produces great results in the children that we serve.
Kate graduated from Plymouth South High School where she studied as a technical studies student acquiring an EEC in Early Education and Development. During her high school years, Kate worked at Tiny Town, Inc. as a daycare/ preschool teacher working with children from 3 months of age to 9 years of age. In addition to her High School studies, Kate has recently graduated from Cape Cod Community College and holds an Associate of Arts in General Education Studies. She is currently enrolled at Bridgewater State University as a Communication Sciences and Disorders major. After she earns her Bachelor’s degree, Kate intends to continue in the graduate program at Bridgewater State University to obtain her Master’s degree. Her end goal is to become a licensed Speech pathologist. Kate has a warm and accepting demeanor and a great sense of humor. She gets magnificent results from the kiddos that she works with.
Rubens is Haitian-American and speaks English, Haitian-Creole, and French! He is the father of two beautiful girls, aged 10 and 3. He began his career in human services in 2004 and has worked with a wide age range of individuals with developmental disabilities throughout his career. Rubens is very proud of the work he does and takes great pride in helping others to learn functional daily living skills that improve their lives. He is extremely passionate about helping others and believes strongly that his gifts of patience and compassion enable him to be a great therapist. We agree. Rubens is a rare individual. He is always willing to lend a helping hand and has a laugh that fills the room! Rubens is wonderful to be around has achieved great success with the kids he has worked with at our organization.
Yolanda specializes in communication with our Spanish speaking client’s. As a Certified Medical Interpreter, she has 10 years of experience in the geriatric and mental health field. Yolanda is a hard worker who aims to please. She always goes above and beyond and fights to accomplish the goals of our clients. She is a joy to be around and she lights up the room as soon as she walks in with her heart warm smile and calm approach to work. She has an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts. Yolanda is a wonderful asset to this company.
Ani is the founder of a non-profit that focuses on environmental issues! Her core values are patience, perseverance and creativity. In the field, she applies these values to engage others, and learn about what they find valuable too. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology, with specializations in social psychology, and ethics, from Northeastern University. In the future she will begin working towards her masters and becoming a BCBA.
Registered Behavior Technician
Lexy has over 10 years of experience working with children of all abilities. She has spent the past 3 years working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in both home and school settings. She graduated from Wheelock College with her degree in Psychology and holds her MA license for teaching students with moderate disabilities. Soon, she will begin working towards an M.Ed. in severe special needs. She is also currently working on getting her certification as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). Lexy loves and thoroughly enjoys her jobs as an ABA therapist for Alternatives ABA and as a special education paraprofessional in the public school system. She believes in inclusion and helping children meet their full potential. Lexy is a huge asset to Alternatives ABA and has roots in Hawaii! Aloha nui loa, Lexy!
Michelle has been working with children of all ages for over 15 years. She spent 12 years in a preschool setting and has always had a soft spot for the kiddos that needed a little extra love and attention. Her passion for helping kids brought her to ABA and says that it has been an amazing experience! She took a few years off to stay home and raise her son, but is now thrilled to be a part of Alternatives ABA. She holds an associates degree in behavioral science and am is working towards a bachelors in psychology. She is excited for the future of ABA and can’t wait to see where it takes me and your kiddos!!!
Abby has spent the last 5 years working with students with various disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. She graduated from Bridgewater State University in 2014 with her Masters in Special Education. After graduating, Abby start working at South Shore Charter Public School as a special education teacher. Shortly after starting this position, Abby realized her passion of working with children with ASD. She applied to the Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies program at UMass Lowell, which is a program designed for those interested in becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Abby obtained this certification in August 2017, and is continuing her education in the graduate program to become a BCBA.
Tierra has had 6+ wonderful years working with children from the ages of 1.9 months to 15 years of age. She received her certification as a Preschool Teacher through the Department of Early Education and Care by attending classes through Rasmussen College and is currently working towards completing her requirements to qualify as a Registered Behavior Technician.
In her early years as a teenager she was introduced to the word Autism when a family friends child was diagnosed at a time when Autism was not fully understood & quality services for treatment was not readily available to all. Her professional experience of managing academic programs affiliated with public schools, Teaching a classroom with Preschoolers or Toddlers in a private setting or doing what she loves most, working with children 1:1 has led her to Alternatives ABA doorstep where she continues her journey and love of working with & assisting already phenomenal young ones become their very best.
Registered Behavior Technician
Julie is a registered behavior technician from Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated with a bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Mount Union in 2016, then immediately began her career in the field of ABA at The Knapp Center for Childhood Development. Julie joined Alternatives ABA in October of 2017, while also starting her masters degree at Northeastern University for Applied Behavior Analysis.
Julie’s interest for the field of ABA began at The Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism, where she assisted children on the autism spectrum with social skills development at a summer camp setting. Working with the children and families changed Julie’s perspective on life, and she quickly recognized that helping people affected by ASD would become her biggest passion.
Julie’s future goals are to become a board certified behavior analyst, involvement in autism research, and eventually becoming a clinical psychologist. She plans to meet these goals by continuing to advocate for the autism community, continue her education, and deliver excellent ABA services to all clients that she supports.
Registered Behavior Technician
Registered Behavior Technician