Beach Kids Therapy Center will now be offering ABA therapy in both the clinic and home environments! Our ABA department will be just as much a part of our interdisciplinary process as all of our other phenomenal services of OT, PT, and Speech! Clinic-based ABA sessions will take place right alongside therapists of all disciplines in our family-centered environment. Our ABA treatment will be individualized based on client and family-specific needs. Some of the modalities that we will use are PRT, DTT, naturalistic interventions, and floor time/DIR model. All of the BCBA's and RBT's at Beach Kids will receive specialized training in sensory integration, behavior, and multi-disciplinary interventions.
Michelle Liddell, BCBA
Qualities: Excelling, Driven
Michelle is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst who has been practicing applied behavioral analysis for 10 years. She began her career in ABA, working for a school district as a behavioral interventionist aide. She saw how special needs programs could benefit from evidence-based practice, like ABA, and how this would help students be more successful and enhance their quality of life. Michelle collaborated with all school professionals, including BCBA’s, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, school psychologists, and teachers to assist in developing a strong ABA program. She believes teamwork is the best approach in effective treatment. Prior to clinic treatment, she worked for a variety of ABA agencies in Los Angeles and Orange County, providing in-home therapy, parent education, and classroom support. She has experience with a variety of diagnoses and behaviors with individuals from ages 1 to 30. She loves helping children develop school readiness skills, functional communication, and social skills in addition to teaching and assisting parents and teachers in ABA strategy. Outside of work, she enjoys piano, running, and spending time with her two Bengal cats.
Brittany Stipes, BCBA
Brittany is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who has been in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2014. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a master’s degree in Behavior Analysis from the Florida Institute of Technology. Her experience in ABA includes working with a population aged 2-22 in the home, school and clinic settings. Her approach to clinical programming is inspired by Dr. Ole Ivar Lovaas quote “If they can’t learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn”. Outside of work Brittany enjoys reading fiction, watching live music, & spending time with her husband and twins exploring California.
Christina Mendez, MA, BCBA
Christina has been a BCBA for 8 years and received her Master of Arts from California State University North Ridge. She loves working in a supportive work environment and finds joy in helping her clients achieve their goals. On weekends, Christina enjoys exploring local spots in Orange County with her husband.
Emily Salas, MA, BCBA
Emily has been in the ABA field since 2020; she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University and a Master of Arts in ABA from Ball State University. Her favorite thing about ABA is getting to be a kid every day with her clients and helping them gain life skills and language to enjoy their lives to the fullest and accomplish great things! In her spare time, Emily likes to read, exercise, and hike with her dog.
Ali Sharon, RBT
Enneagram Type: Helper
Qualities: Altruistic, Friendly
Ali is a Registered Behavior Technician with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Elon University. She has 3 years of experience working in the field with children with special needs and has 10 years of lived experience with a family member diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Ali is able to use her years of experience to give clients exceptional care and treatment. As a family member of someone with ASD, Ali understands the importance of ABA and strives to help families in need. Outside of work, Ali enjoys exercising, reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family.
Ariana Mishreki BA, RBT
Qualities: Enthusiastic and energetic
Ariana is a Registered Behavior Technician who holds a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Concordia University Irvine. She has over a year of experience working with special needs children, specifically those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Ariana is passionate about providing treatment specifically tailored to each client, adapting to each client's unique behaviors and triggers. When she's not working, Ariana's hobbies include baking, thrift shopping, drinking coffee/pastries, and hanging out with church friends. She's a member of her local church Mission Bible Church and greatly enjoys serving as the 1:1 Special Learning Lead in her Children's Ministry. Ariana also has a great affection for dogs, all things Julia Child and an affinity for outer space.
Gianna Bandoni, BA, RBT
Gianna is a Registered Behavioral Therapist with a Bachelor's in Psychology from UC Irvine. She holds 10 years of experience with special needs children, in settings including teaching adaptive karate, volunteering with Special Olympics, schools, and behavioral therapy. Gianna brings creativity and fun to sessions while promoting skills for children to reach their highest potential. Her favorite part of ABA is the time spent around children and their families. "Seeing the whole family model is essential in helping children in ABA, it's fulfilling to provide real life skills to help the family manage behaviors. We can target as much as we can in clinic but it truly takes everyone working as a team to create real change," she says. In her free time, you can find her practicing yoga, skiing or attempting to leash train her cat.
Makenna Kjellberg, RBT
Makenna is one of our RBTs and earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Oregon with an emphasis in child development. Her favorite part of working in the clinic is making therapy fun; she loves incorporating skills and personalizing goals into play-based learning with clients in a creative environment. Mackenna spends her free time volunteering at a hippotherapy center, traveling to the Pacific Northwest, going to Disneyland, and spending quality time with family and friends while exploring new areas.
Celia McCrary, BS, RBT
Celia has been a Registered Behavior Technician for the past year and half and has over five years of experience working with children and adults with autism and related disorders. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications Disorders and Sciences with a minor in Special Education from the University of Oregon. Celia loves working in a collaborative environment tailored to supporting the child’s individual needs. The setting at Beach Kids provides the space to focus on building functional communication skills, fosters client independence, and increases self-advocacy skills. In her spare time, Celia enjoys reading, exploring, and spending time with friends and family.