Aimee Anderson, Ph.D., BCBA-D
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.
Karen A. Barbi, Psy.D., BCBA-D
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.
Kayleigh Hay, Psy.D.
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, M.A., BCBA
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.
Cherish Foster, M.Ed., BCBA
Cherish has been working with children with disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) since 2013. She received her Associates of Arts Degree in Psychology from Oxnard Community College in 2012. In 2015, she completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from California State University of Channel Islands and graduated in 2015. During her undergrad, she began her career in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with the Autism Center for Treatment (ACT). She began working in multiple settings and with individuals who vary in age. In 2017, she became a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) to continue her professional growth. In 2018, Cherish received a Master of Education Degree with an emphasis in ABA from Arizona State University and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She is very passionate about the field of ABA and providing evidence-based treatment. Cherish’s areas of interest are teaching life and social skills to teenagers and adults diagnosed with ASD, collaborating with teachers in the school setting, and extensive staff training. During her free time, Cherish enjoys being creative with music and spending time with her family.
Denielle Billing, M.A.
Denielle has been working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other related behavior and developmental disorders for several years. In 2015, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California Lutheran University. Soon after, she became employed as a behavior interventionist at Autism Center for Treatment (ACT). In 2017, she became a Registered Behavior Technician. Denielle completed her master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and Art Therapy in 2019. In her master’s program, Denielle’s thesis focused on the needs of siblings of people diagnosed with ASD. As a Clinical Intern at ACT, Denielle will work towards accruing clinical hours towards licensure. Denielle works with children, adolescents, and adults struggling with anxiety, depression, difficulty with behavior, and those struggling to adjust to new life situations. Denielle is passionate about using art materials as a way to express thoughts and feelings beyond words. Art making can be used as a tool to guide conversation and enrich matters of interest as well as provide an opportunity for mindfulness when using the materials.
Samantha Iafelice has been working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the school and home setting for several years. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California Lutheran University in 2012. Samantha has been working as a behavior interventionist for ACT since 2014, became a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) in 2016, and has recently moved into the position of Office Manager. She is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from California Lutheran University. Samantha is passionate about the children and families she works with and enjoys seeing the progress learners make on a daily basis. In her free time she loves spending time with her adorable son and loving husband.
Sabrina Schiller earned her bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles in June 2017. Immediately following this achievement she secured her first role in social media coordination, enthusiastic to create and curate content that is methodically individualized to reflect the integrity of both the company and its community of followers. Sabrina transitioned into the ACT family in 2018 as a Behavior Interventionist with boundless motivation to uphold her commitment to the learners of ACT, excellent clinical skills, and strong rapport building. She has currently obtained a successive role as ACT’s Social Media Manager researching and posting on advancements in the field, local community opportunities, fundraisers, sensory friendly family activities, etc.
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