Key Staff

Dr. Anderson has been working in the fields of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) since 1993. She earned a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in the area of Applied Behavior Analysis with an emphasis on Autism Spectrum Disorders from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Anderson studied in the Autism Research Laboratory under the direction of Dr. Laura Schreibman for 7 years. Her research focused on using Pivotal Response Training (PRT) and peers as models for social skills training, and individualizing augmentative communication for non-vocal children with autism (using sign language and the Picture Exchange Communication System). Dr. Anderson subsequently served as a Research Scientist in Dr. Geraldine Dawson’s Autism Laboratory at the University of Washington, and held a clinical post-doctoral position under the supervision of Dr. Aubyn Stahmer in the Children’s Autism Intervention Center (CAIC) at Rady’s Children’s Hospital, San Diego.. Dr. Anderson is a licensed psychologist as well as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral Level (BCBA-D). She founded ACT in 2002 and is the acting Director. Dr. Anderson is published and has presented research at national conferences.

Dr. Barbi has been working with children with autism spectrum and other behavioral disorders since 2000. She began using ABA-based techniques to treat children with autism when she was working on her Bachelor’s degree at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Barbi worked in Dr. Laura Schreibman’s Autism Research Laboratory on research investigating the use of differential reinforcement with the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). At that time Dr. Barbi worked as an in-home behavior therapist for children with autism. Soon after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Dr. Barbi began working with Dr. Anderson and ACT in Ventura County as a therapist, and subsequently as a supervisor. She completed her Master’s degree in 2004 and her doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2006. Dr. Barbi’s doctoral project focused on issues facing the siblings of children with autism. She currently treats siblings of children with autism who need additional support with social skills, self-esteem and emotional management. Dr. Barbi also has a special interest in social skills groups, and has experience treating adults with dual diagnoses including autism. Dr. Barbi regularly attends national conferences on autism and ABA, and completed her BCBA in March 2009. She has taught graduate-level behavior analysis courses at a local university and continues to supervise BCBA and BCaBA applicants who are working toward certification.

Dr. Hay has been working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as well as other behavior and developmental disorders since 2009. She earned her Bachelor of Art degree in Psychology from California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) in 2008. Dr. Hay completed her Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology in 2012. While working towards this degree, she began working for Dr. Anderson as a behavior interventionist at Autism Center for Treatment (ACT). In 2016, Dr. Hay received a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. Also in 2016, she earned a graduate certificate from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in Behavioral Intervention in Autism and is a candidate to sit for the exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Dr. Hay’s doctoral project focused on factors influencing father involvement with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is currently a Registered Psychological Assistant, working towards post-doctoral hours for licensure and is particularly interested in providing psychological services to high functioning children on the autism spectrum.

Frank Melia has been providing behavioral services for many years to youth and young adults with a wide range of diagnoses and behavioral issues. These include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a variety of maladaptive behaviors, and emotional disturbances. He has had the opportunity to work in multiple settings including schools, homes, and the community. Frank earned his Master’s degree from National University with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Frank enjoys teaching social and life skills to individuals and bridging the gap between an individual and his/her community. He has a passion for helping others and brings that to each family he has the privilege of working with. Outside of work, Frank loves spending time with his beautiful wife and making the most of each day together.

Sakina received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine in 2008. Soon after graduating, she began working at ACT, which was her first introduction to working with children with autism spectrum disorder. In the summer of 2008, Sakina moved to Michigan and then New York where she gained valuable experience working in hospital and school settings with children with autism. In 2010 Sakina was accepted into The Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she obtained her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. Her thesis involved studying different patterns of responding between children with autism and typically developing children. In 2013 Sakina moved back to her hometown of Simi Valley, California, completed her BCBA certification, and was welcomed back as a Supervisor at ACT.

What They Say

“ACT provides service through professional care. They use a human and humane model for the provision of objective care to children with autism.”

Syed Naqvi, MD