Meet Our Team

 

Crystal Ciszek, Director of Operations

Crystal is currently the Director of Operations for the Autism Therapy Group. She has over ten years of experience working with children with disabilities. She started her career as an instructional assistant during a summer school program in 2005 and quickly learned that this was her passion. She has provided special education services in a wide variety of settings: public schools, private schools, therapeutic day schools, clinical facilities, and in-home. Crystal is a licensed Learning Behavior Specialist from Northern Illinois University, highly qualified in reading and language arts.

During her first years working as a special education teacher at a private not-for-profit organization, she learned the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The faculty trained her how to utilize these principals in an educational setting, embed them into various curriculum, and carry these skills over to generalized environments. The progress she saw within those children, was like none she had ever seen before. Data was recorded day by day, trends were reviewed weekly, necessary updates were implemented immediately, and ultimately the children were blossoming.

Since then, she has dedicated herself exclusively to the therapeutic aspect of ABA. She has served as a private practice clinician, supporting students in daycare, preschools, and homes. Crystal understands the necessities behind great communication and a strong team.

 

Brooke Belling, Clinical Director, M.S., BCBA

Brooke received her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education in 2011 from St. Ambrose University and her Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2017 from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. While earning her graduate degree, Brooke worked for an in-home ABA agency to obtain practicum hours.

Once board certified by the BACB in 2017, Brooke continued to advance her career working as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst for an in-home ABA agency. She has worked with a wide range of individuals, from Early Intervention clients as young as age 2, through transition clients aged into their 20’s. Brooke has been very fortunate to have graduated multiple early learners from ABA therapy and witness their integration into general education placements and perform like typically developing peers the same age.

Brooke enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dog, Ari! She also provides respite services in her free time to maintain relationships with adults on the spectrum. To find out more click here!

 

Matt Nordman, Regional Director of Illinois, M.A., BCBA

Matt received his Bachelor of Arts in 2012 from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), and his Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2015 from Ball State University. During completion of graduate school, he gained experience in a therapeutic day school while working as an ABA therapist for an in-home agency.

Once Matt finished school and became board certified by the BACB in 2015, he served as supervisor of a behavior department at a day program for adults for two years while continuing to work for an in-home ABA agency. For the last year Matt has solely worked with children. Matt enjoys working with individuals across multiple age ranges, having provided services to clients ranging from 18 months to 80 years old.

Matt enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and dog whenever possible. In his free time, he likes to play basketball, watch movies, explore new restaurants in Chicagoland, and go hiking with his Bloodhound, Watson. To find out more click here!

 

Lisa Guerrero, Regional Director of Texas, M.Ed, BCBA

Lisa is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, a Certified Special Education teacher, as well as a Licensed Behavior Analyst in Texas. Lisa Guerrero received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from The University of Texas at San Antonio and her master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Lamar University. She also completed her graduate coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis from The University of North Texas.

Lisa has a total of 15 years of experience working in the public-school system. She worked as a special education teacher for 8 years with elementary and middle school students diagnosed with Autism and other developmental disabilities. The next 7 years were spent as an Autism/Behavior Specialist working with Pre-Kindergarten through high school students.

Since becoming a BCBA in 2014, Lisa had the opportunity to utilize her ABA training with individuals in the private sector. Lisa has enjoyed working with individuals ranging from 18 months to 70 years with varying levels of severity. She continues to expand her knowledge in ABA, but currently enjoys training others to work with learners focusing on early intervention, reducing severe challenging behaviors and increasing verbal behaviors. To find out more click here!

 

Christine Koessl, Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, M.S., BCBA

Christine is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst who graduated from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology with a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Christine received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Carthage College. Christine has worked with children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism and other development disabilities since 2012. Christine has worked with adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities since 2016. Christine has worked in clinic, residential, and in-home settings. Christine’s graduate work focused on healthy eating habits in children and adolescents.

 

Cindy Reidinger, Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, M.S.Ed, BCBA
Cindy is a Board-Certified and Licensed Behavior Analyst in Texas. Cindy received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Texas at San Antonio and her Master of Science degree in Special Education from Walden University, and completed her post graduate course work in behavior analysis from Florida Institute of Technology.  
 
Cindy has a total of 19 years of experience working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Initially as behavior technician, before there were registered behavior technicians, then as a Board-Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA, and finally as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Throughout her long career Cindy has worked in a variety of settings including clinics, school districts, residential facilities, and community settings, and with diverse populations of individuals with a wide variety of diagnoses. In addition, Cindy has presented at various conferences including conferences in Merida, MX, and has provided outreach programs to include parent training for families newly diagnosed with autism. Most recently, she has been part of an inter-disciplinary diagnostic team at a non-profit servicing families affected by autism.
 
Since becoming a BCBA in 2014, Cindy has merged her passion for social justice and policy advocacy by joining several public policy groups. These public policy groups helped lobby for licensure of behavior analysis in her home state with the end of helping provide equitable access to ABA services to all families that need ABA. This past legislative session, they successfully lobbied for early intensive behavior interventions by Medicare. 

 

Karyn Olszak, Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, Ed.S., BCBA

Karyn received her Bachelor of Science degree in 2006 from Bradley University and an Educational Specialist degree in 2011 from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She earned her ABA certification through Florida Institute of Technology and became a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst in May 2018. Karyn has worked as a school

psychologist, autism coach, and BCBA in school districts where she assesses students, engages in problem solving with teams, and coaches around ABA instructional methodologies. She is passionate about cultivating professional, prepared teams to better serve children with a variety of ability levels.

Karyn has over a decade of experience working in a multitude of ABA settings: home, clinic, schools, and summer camps/recreational community outings. Karyn has working experiences with individuals from ages two up through young adults; she takes great pride in parent training and celebrating successes with families!

Karyn enjoys spending time with family and friends in her free time. She loves taking her dog, Paul, to the beach and park. As well as trying new restaurants, going to neighborhood festivals, and working out. To find out more click here!

 

Adriana Sanchez, Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, M.A., BCBA
Adriana is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) as well as a Licensed Behavior Analyst in Texas. She received her master’s degree from the University of Texas Pan-American in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis and her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas Pan-American in Psychology. Mrs. Sanchez has specialized working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder as a behavior therapist and Behavior Analyst for 10 years in a clinical and in-home setting.

Once board certified by the BACB in 2011, she has trained and supervised professionals servicing children with autism. In addition, she has provided hands-on parent training. Mrs. Sánchez has been part of an interdisciplinary diagnostic team where she administers the ADOS-2 and collaborates with other disciplines to provide a comprehensive autism evaluation.

 

Megan Michell, Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, M.S., BCBA
Megan entered the field of Applied Behavior Analysis in 2012 after earning her bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Eastern Illinois University. She spent the first few years of her professional career as a special educator, teaching children with moderate to severe Autism in a therapeutic day school setting.

She earned her master’s degree in Advanced Special Education Practices from Northern Illinois University and became a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst shortly after. Megan has experience working with children and adults with Autism and other developmental delays in a variety of settings including residential, classroom and home environments. As a BCBA, Megan teaches her clients essential life skills in order to improve the lives of those with Autism and their families. 

 

Leila Najarian, Program Manager, M.A., RBT

Leila has been a Registered Behavior Technician for over two years with the Autism Therapy Group. She is a recent graduate with a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University, along with a Certificate in Autism and a Certificate in ABA as well. Leila also earned her bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Special Education from Grand Canyon University in 2016 and completed her student teaching overseas in Misawa AB, Japan. She currently holds an Arizona Teaching Certification in both Provisional Elementary Education, 1-8 and Provisional Mild-Moderate Disabilities Special Ed., K-12.

Leila has worked with children for ten years in various settings such as a church, child developmental centers and in substitute teaching. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband of 8 years and her two energetic dogs, as well spending time with friends and family. She also enjoys helping out base families with tutoring, child care and pet care.

Leila is currently completing her supervision hours and plans to sit for the BCBA exam the end of this year. She is looking forward to continuing to serve clients and their families with the ATG in her home state of Texas!

 

Violet Rak, Program Manager, M.A., RBT

My name is Violet Rak. I grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I work at the Illinois ATG location. I have been there for a little over 3 years and love it! I graduated with my bachelor’s sociology degree in 2014 from University of Illinois in Chicago. I first discovered ATG in 2015 and have had a passion for the field ever since. I started my masters in 2017 and officially graduated with my Master of Arts with an emphasis in ABA in December 2018 from Ball State University. I am currently pursuing my BCBA and will test in November. I really love working with these kiddos, not only begin I see progress each day but also because I love that I can advocate for them. After being in the field for about a year, I felt that I belonged in this atmosphere and decided to do grad school. I feel like I serve a purpose each day while working in the ABA field!

 

Annemarie Barter, Program Manager, M.A.
My name is Annemarie Barter,  I am a Program Manager at the Autism Therapy Group. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Services with a minor in Family & Child Studies at Northern Illinois University.  Through my undergraduate degree is where I got introduced in working with individuals with various disabilities. I volunteered abroad in Moldova where I got to work with young adults with Down Syndrome and with kiddos in the local orphanage.  Through that trip, and various summer jobs is where I got to experience helping individuals with their daily living and communication skills. 

I soon there after learned about Applied Behavior Analysis where I found my passion in helping kids and adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I graduated at Ball State University with a Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis and am on the path of becoming a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst.  I truly love what I do, and I think what opened up my eyes about this field is that every kiddo is different with unique abilities and it is our job to let those abilities reach their fullest limits!  Helping parents see their child’s potential is truly what motivates me as well!  

 

Liliana Moncado, Behavioral Therapist

Liliana Moncada is 29 years of age reside in Eagle Pass Texas, has an associate’s degree in General Studies from Southwest Texas Junior College. She has experience working in school settings alongside children for 3 years. She will be graduating from Sul Ross State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and will pursue a master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavioral Analysis. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, enjoys travelling and meeting new people, she also has a candid love for animals.

 

Patricia Cortez, Behavioral Therapist

Patricia Cortez has been a behavioral therapist since 2017. She received her bachelor’s in Natural Science in Chemistry and Biology from Concordia University Chicago and is currently pursuing her Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis. She has been accepted into Ball State University and is excited to begin her journey into grad school and becoming a BCBA.

Her experience includes providing quality applied behavior analysis intervention to children, teens, and adults on the spectrum in a school, clinic, and in-home setting. Her interest in the field includes learning about new strategies to prevent challenging behavior and enjoys promoting the development of necessary life skills.

She is looking forward to continuing working with the ATG team and serving more clients in the future. During her free time, she likes spending time with family and friends, watching movies, and taking vacations.

 

Rachel Goldmeier, Office Assistant
Originally from Israel, Rachel is a resourceful, dynamic and proactive professional with diverse experience in office management. Before relocating to Chicago and joining the team at The Autism Therapy Group, Rachel was office manager for 3 companies at the same time and prior to that was an administrative assistant at Intel. An excellent communicator, Rachel is fluent in Hebrew, English, and Spanish and excels at maintaining positive, professional interpersonal relationships with staff, co-workers and clients.

Rachel enjoys spending time with family, her two little boys, Liam and Dylan, friends, and exploring her new adopted country. She likes to travel, watch old movies, and is working towards finishing her degree.

 

Maria Koehler, Registered Behavior Technician, RBT

My name is Maria Koehler and I am a Registered Behavior Technician for the Autism Therapy Group. I have been married for almost 19 years and have two children. My son is 17 and my daughter is 15. We have lived in Del Rio, Texas for a little over ten years now and we love it here. I have been with ATG for three and a half years. Before starting with ATG I taught second grade for 5 years. I enjoy working with children and it is very rewarding helping them meet their goals. In my free time, I enjoy shopping and spending time with my friends and family.

 

Maria Guzman, Client Service Manager, M.S.

Maria Guzman is currently working as the Office Manager at the Autism Therapy Group. She started at ATG as a part-time Behavioral Therapist and soon became a part-time Office Assistant. Maria has been with the company for a little over three years and has a Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from Kaplan University. Since then, she has dedicated herself to the office and has enjoyed watching ATG grow from behind the scenes. She takes pride in the teams that she helps build; Ensuring that every one of our clients has the team and quality services they deserve.

 

Lorraine Smith, Medical Biller

I have been with the Autism Therapy Group since 2015 and I am passionate about my career in medical billing and collections. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management and an associate degree in Accounting.

I bring over 20 years of experience from the hospital, home health, and physicians offices. Medical billings and collections are both area that require an eye for fine details, which I enjoy!

In my spare time with my family, I love blowing, dancing and going to the spa. I am glad to be a part of a team that strives to help children be the best they can be!

 

Yasmin Conroy, Registered Behavior Technician, M.S., RBT

I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Augustana College. I also have a master’s degree in Human Services and Counseling from National Louis University. While working on my master’s degree, I worked in preschool and daycare centers with children of all ages and some with special needs like Autism, ADHD, learning, and behavior problems. I have 15+ years’ experience in day care centers. Once I finished earning my degree, I began working in the mental health field. I worked as a counselor on an inpatient Psychiatric unit with adolescents, adults, and older adults. I also did intake assessments for the Psychiatric Hospital.

I have one son named Hunter who is 13 years old. At seven years old he was diagnosed with Dyslexia; With lots of tutoring and IEP, he now has no IEP and no Dyslexia. He loves to play hockey as a goalie and video games. I recently became an RBT and been working with ATG for nearly 2 years. I love being an RBT, having one-on-one individual time with the kiddos. You really get to know them and even the smallest gain is so very rewarding!

 

Chris Melecio, Registered Behavior Technician, RBT

My name is Christopher Melecio and I am a Registered Behavior Technician for the Autism Therapy Group. I have lived most of my life in Hanover Park, Illinois and only stay there in the summer now. I spend most of the year in Normal, Illinois. I currently am a senior at Illinois State University pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. My goal is to get accepted into a graduate program and pursue a specialist degree in School Psychology. I enjoy working with children to achieve their goals and further their education and abilities. In my free time, I like to work out and play sports.