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 inter-disciplinary 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.
Laura Smith, BCBA
Qualities: Unique, Fun
Laura is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 17 years experience working with individuals and families with Autism. Laura earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cortland College in upstate NY and a Master’s degree in ABA from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She has worked in a variety of settings including home, school, and clinic based programs. She has experience in designing and implementing social skills programs, toilet training, severe behavior management, parent consultation, and day programs/group homes. Her current interest includes teaching functional communication and the assessment and treatment of severe problems. Additionally, she is interested in research in the area of analyzing the utility of functional assessments and behaviors maintained by multiple functions.
Michelle Liddell, BCBA
Qualities: Excelling, Driven
Michelle is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst who has been in the field for 10 years. She began her career in ABA, working for a school district at an elementary school in a low-income area as a behavioral interventionist aide. She saw how special needs programs could benefit from an evidence-based practice, like ABA, and how this would help these students to be more successful. Michelle collaborated with all school professional, including BCBA’s, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and school psychologists and teachers to assist in developing a strong ABA program. She believes team work 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 with individuals from age 1 to 30 and with a variety of behaviors, including aggression and self-injury . She loves helping children develop school readiness skills, functional communication and social skills, and enjoys teaching and assisting parents in ABA strategy. Outside of work, she enjoys piano, surfing, running and spending time with her two Bengal cats.
Brittany Gifford, RBT
Qualities: Optimistic, Goal Oriented
Brittany has over 10 years working experience with special needs children and 4 years working specifically with Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology in Applied Behavioral Analysis with a goal to obtain the BCaBA certification. Outside of Brittany’s current educational pursuits, she has previous college education in Special Education and Psychology. She feels blessed to play a role in empowering children though ABA. As the mother of a toddler boy, Brittany understands the importance of encouraging each child to reach their fullest potential. When she is not working, she is horseback riding, running, trail hiking, and spending time with family.
Ali Sharon, RBT
Enneagram Type: Helper
Qualities: Altruistic, Friendly
Ali is a Registered Behavior Technician with her 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.
Emma Furdui, RBT
Qualities: Easygoing, Adaptable
Emma has a passion for working in pediatrics, specifically with special needs children. Recognizing the potential in each child and giving them the tools and skills needed to be successful in day to day activities. Emma wants each child to be successful in any environment, build meaningful friendships and become independent and confident in themselves. Emma has worked with special needs children for 4 years and has been an RBT for 2.5 years. Emma has her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from University of California, Riverside, and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. Emma brings fun and high-energy to sessions and is not afraid to think outside of the box. Outside of the clinic, Emma is an avid outdoors person and loves adventure. Emma will try any type of food at least once, and loves to travel, as Emma would say “I travel to eat.”
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 infinity 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 true 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.