501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization


About Us

Using Applied Behavior Analysis, we seek to teach children to communicate, play, engage and reduce challenging behaviors. Our approach is different because it combines 30+ hours per week of personalized, one-on-one therapy with robust training, support and guidance for parents and ongoing training, supervision, and development of our staff to consistently improve to provide the highest quality treatment.

Staff

Board of directors

Professional Advisory Board


Staff

Ray Cepeda, BCaBA, CBAA, Executive Director

Ray Cepeda, BCaBA, CBAA is the Founder, and Director of ABAskills, LLC in Asbury Park, NJ, the Founder and Co-Director of 121 Learning Works in Pine Brook, NJ, both are groups that provide behavioral consultation to families, schools and school districts in NY, NJ, PA, and Long Island. He is also a Co-Founder of ABA Test Prep, a company that created THE App for individuals to study for the BACB (Behavior Analyst Certification Board) exams and that also provides intensive live training for individuals who will be sitting for the BACB exams.

He is a former clinic supervisor for the Lovaas Institute and has twenty-five years of experience supervising home-based programs as well as intensive treatment cases (i.e., 30-40 hours per week of 1:1) for learners on the autism spectrum that have yielded a “best outcome” (some of the children that were intensively treated achieved normal intellectual functioning and no longer met the criteria for an autism diagnosis). He has worked in applied behavior analysis schools that specialize in the education and treatment of children with autism in both clinical and administrative roles, consulting with school-based programs, integrating and mainstreaming learners with autism into typical learning environments, training parents, and speaking on topics regarding the use of behavior analytic teaching methodologies and program individualization for children with autism. Mr. Cepeda is a former recipient of the Award of Distinction from Long Island Advocates for his dedication and service to the autism community.

Marcia Questel, M.S., Ed., BCBA, Clinical Director

Marcia Questel, M.S. Ed., BCBA has been working with people with Autism for 17 years. She began when a family member was diagnosed and has pursued finding and using the best practices in the behavior analytic field ever since. She utilizes high-quality, evidence-based strategies while promoting motivation and engagement from clients through fun and creative programming.

Her research interests include language development, executive functioning, and theory of mind (perspective taking). She has designed a wide variety of programs within academic and life skill acquisition, as well as vocational skill development, natural environment teaching, play skills, self-regulation, and even, developed a unique piano curriculum. She has successfully taught many learners about emotional regulation and social skills, such as conversation, play, expressing empathy, and conflict resolution. Further, Marcia pursues engagement in inclusive and natural community settings, where clients learn to engage with peers and members of the community.

Marcia has worked as a quality assurance manager at an Autism center, where she developed staff through modeling, live training, writing protocols, and analyzing IOA data. While she has worked in schools and homes for nearly two decades, Marcia focuses on encouraging each person to gain their greatest level of independence, promoting quality of life, and supporting self-advocacy.


Board of Directors

Sharon Cohen

Sharon Cohen has over 15 years of hands-on experience dealing with all aspects of special education, including working with parents, teachers, school administrators, and healthcare professionals. As the mother of a child with Autism, this was less of a choice and more of a necessity.

Twelve years ago she volunteered in her son’s classroom for a program about learning challenges, and immediately knew she had found her calling. Since that time, she has created and presented a wide variety of character education programs in various New Jersey schools, including anti-bullying and disability understanding and acceptance programs for children in each grade, K–5. She also helped establish a peer socialization program for children on the Autism Spectrum in which they interact with neurotypical peers.

For the past eight, years Sharon has run an annual holiday gift drive that provides gifts, gift cards, and coats to an entire school of special needs children in Newark. Over 1,000 items are collected and distributed for the 140 students and their families. She also co-chaired charity walks for several years, raising over $100,000 for the "Autism Speaks" organization.

Sharon graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York with a BA in English literature. She worked in human resources for a large management consulting firm before she decided to stay home with her children, which she found more difficult but much more rewarding.

Diana Kelly, Esq, BCBA

Diana Kelly is the parent of two sons with autism. Thus, she is in this fight by default, not by choice. She left the practice of law to devote her time to her children. Her respect for those individuals who choose to work in Applied Behavior Analysis and for those who worked with her sons led her to earn a BCBA. For several years she worked as a BCBA both in schools and privately. Ms. Kelly earned her JD from Brooklyn Law, her Bachelor’s from New York University, and her BCBA from Penn State University. Ms. Kelly sits on the Board of Directors for Heidi Latsky Dance, a NYC based physically integrated professional dance company, and also on the board of directors of The Dorothy B. Hersh Foundation, which awards grants to qualifying organizations to support "brick and mortar" capital expenditure projects that meaningfully impact the lives of underprivileged, handicapped, or special needs children in the New Jersey area.

Kim Rogoff - Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis

Kim Rogoff is Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis at Tapestry, Inc (f/k/a Coach, Inc.). She joined the company in 2003. During her tenure, she has held four distinct roles inclusive of her current position. Her first was as CFO of coach.com, catalog and licensing businesses along with responsibility for all spending in the creative world. Subsequently, she held the roles of CFO, Global Supply Chain and CFO, Reed Krakoff, a separate brand within Coach, where she had full P&L responsibility. Ultimately, she managed the sale of the Reed Krakoff brand and facilitated its transition out of Coach. Before joining Coach, from 1999 through 2003, Ms. Rogoff was a VP, Finance at Vivre. She started her career at Arthur Andersen LLP in the Audit Division of the Enterprise Group. Ms. Rogoff attended Lehigh University. She has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1996 and is a member of the NYSSCPA and AICPA. She resides in Long Island with her husband, daughter and twin sons. Ms. Rogoff is active in the Autism community as she advocates and raises awareness for her son who was diagnosed at 26 months.

Gaetano Sacco

Gaetano Sacco is a Senior Financial Advisor with Fountainhead Capital Management, a full service independent Registered Investment Advisor in New Jersey. With over a decade of experience as a financial planner, Mr. Sacco practices the comprehensive philosophy of building a custom plan to fit each client's personal story. He operates as a fiduciary and designs creative planning strategies while maintaining focus on long-term relationships with clients, many of whom are great friends.

Mr. Sacco’s primary role is to help his clients determine personal goals and identify financial risks, ultimately creating a custom allocation strategy for their wealth. Collaborating with clients (and many times their tax and legal advisors), Mr. Sacco and his team are able to address the complete range of financial concerns, including retirement, protection, small business planning and estate legacy planning.

As a proud graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, Mr. Sacco continues his charitable support for Penn State’s “THON”, fundraising for pediatric cancer, through the University’s Alumni Association and NYC Hope Gala, benefitting Four Diamonds; a non-profit founded in 1972 to assist children and their families in the fight against childhood cancer. Mr. Sacco believes in giving back to the community and is involved as a supporter and volunteer with various non-profit organizations in the tri-state area including The Waterfront Project, SBHD PheoPara Coalition, Save-A-Suit and the JBJ Soul Kitchen.

Fountainhead Capital Management is an SEC Registered Investment Advisory Firm


Professional Advisory Board

Eric Larsson, Ph.D., LP, BCBA-D

Dr. Eric V. Larsson is currently the Executive Director of Clinical Services at the Lovaas Institute Midwest, where he implements a program of intensive early intervention services for families of children who suffer from severe behavior disorders. This intensive early intervention program is widely regarded as one of the most thorough and highly supervised behavior therapy programs in the field. Dr. Larsson is also conducting a systematic research evaluation of the effects of this high intensity program. Dr. Larsson is a Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral.

Family is very important to Dr. Larsson. He lives in Minneapolis with his soul-mate Kara Riedesel. His wonderful daughter, Sarah Larsson, is a senior at Yale University. There she is a member of the Women’s Slavic Chorus and the Glee Club. She travels regularly to Kenya to support the development of women’s independence and to Bosnia and Herzegovina to support The Center for Peace Building. His incredible son, Meers Larsson, is an avid skier, ultimate Frisbee player, and is ranked as a Brigadier in Halo, all while being on the honor roll as a sophomore at Minnetonka High School. Read More...

Scott Wright - Owner, CEO and President, The Lovaas Institute

Scott Wright is a co-owner of the Lovaas Institute and LIFE Midwest, Inc. (www.Lovaas.com) with Linda Wright. The Lovaas Institute is a research-based program that specializes in teaching young children with autism utilizing the Lovaas Model of Applied Behavior Analysis. Scott joined the Institute in 2000 as Director of East Coast Operations and in 2001 was named Executive Director of Operations. In 2008, he and Linda purchased the Lovaas Institute and LIFE Midwest, Inc. from Ivar and Nina Lovaas. Scott has served as the Institute’s Chief Executive Officer since that time. In his role, Scott coordinates all of the Institute’s services offered by both the Lovaas Institute and LIFE MW, Inc., including overseeing all clinical operations, staff training, financial operations, outreach programs and intensive home-based therapy programs. He has also provided consultation to ABA programs in the U.S. and abroad. Read More...

Carol Fiorile, Ph.D., BCBA-D, SAS

Carol Fiorile holds a Ph.D. from Teachers College Columbia University and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral level since May 2001, and is an NYS LBA. She is a New York State Certified Special Education Teacher, General Education Teacher, and holds her SAS Credential as a School Administrator.

Carol has worked with students with developmental deficits and disabilities for more than 20 years, primarily with student with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Presently she works as an Adjunct Professor at City University of New York at Queens College. Carol provides Educational Consultation and Programming services to school districts in the Metropolitan New York City area in several capacities, including training staff in the implementation of the principles and strategies of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to educational programming, as well as conducting independent Educational Evaluations, ABA Assessments, Functional Behavioral Assessments/Analyses, and developing Behavior Treatment Plans. Carol works directly with parents of children with disabilities, providing staff training to home programmers and Parent Counseling.

Carol has presented at behavior analysis conferences in the United States and Europe, and has several publications. She speaks fluent Italian, and has traveled exten-sively in Europe. Contact information: 914-760-3583 or email carol@carolfiorile.com.

Jillian Doran, M.S., BCBA, LBA

Jillian Doran is a Licensed Behavior Analyst and Clinical Coordinator at the Genesis/Eden II Outreach Behavior Clinic in East Meadow, New York where she currently works with crisis cases from districts throughout Long Island. She has over 5 years of experience in overseeing severe behavior cases and has had success in significantly decreasing behaviors in which learners were integrated back into their school districts and or community settings. She is the former Clinical Director at the Diagnostic and Outreach Clinic at Eden II Staten Island where she oversaw the clinical team and their behavior plans for up to 30 children. Before joining Eden II Programs in June 2015, Jillian worked at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a severe behavior outpatient clinic, focusing on empirically based ABA treatment designs to control for extreme repetitive and restrictive behaviors. In addition to her work in the field, Jillian serves as an active member of the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis (NYSABA), and the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). Jillian’s research interests include decreasing severe behaviors in adults, the use of multiple schedules, and behavioral economics.

Elaine Williams M.A., CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Elaine Williams M.A. CCC-SLP TSSLD, owner of Williams Speech and Language Pathology PLLC., has focused her practice on alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) for the last 7 years. She has provided consultation and mentoring services in the area of AAC internationally. Presenting on AAC at Columbia University, Hunter College, The Rett Syndrome 3rd Annual Isabelle Rapin Conference on Communication Disorders, The Brazilian Rett syndrome Association’s Advances for Communication in Rett Syndrome and The New Jersey Rett Syndrome Association’s Symposium. Elaine was a contributing author for a poster abstract presented at the American Medical Women’s Association “Efficacy of the PODD communication tool in patients with Rett Syndrome.” Elaine is currently providing AAC and AT services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Rett Syndrome in school districts across the Tri-State area. In addition to her private practice, she also works as a communication specialist at Montefiore Children’s Hospital in collaboration with Dr. Aleksandra Djukic M.D., Ph.D providing specialized treatment to individuals with Rett Syndrome and as a Rett University Coach under the guidance of Susan Norwell M.A. Special Education, a world-renowned educator whose focus is to teach and spread the importance of literacy for children without verbal language while integrating augmentative communication and technology supports.

Lori Sernio, BCaBA

Lori Sernio is the founder and co-director of 121 Learning Works. She has more than 15 years of experience working with children who have special needs as a private behavior consultant for families, agencies, and schools.

During her initial years in the field, she was recruited by the Lovaas Institute to join a team of professionals in charge of launching the North Jersey satellite office in South Orange, New Jersey. While there, she was responsible for overseeing staff and parent training to ensure fidelity in the implementation of the Lovaas model of applied behavior analysis.

She continued on to provide private consultations across New Jersey and New York, where she led schools to develop, implement, and execute applied behavior analysis programs within their districts. Throughout her years doing this work, she has had the honor to work with, and receive mentorship by, some of the most well-respected experts in the field.

She completed her BACB coursework with Vincent Carbone, Ed.D., BCBA-D, and gained her BACB mentorship with Eric Larsson, Ph.D., LP, BCBA-D, and Bobby Newman, Ph.D.. BCBA-D. Ms. Sernio specializes in working with individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and related learning challenges. Her particular areas of interest are in language development and early intensive behavioral intervention.

Due to her wide range of experience, she has achieved many positive outcomes when mainstreaming learners into typical setting, and coordinating home and school teams to implement effective ABA programs. Ms. Sernio is dedicated to providing the highest quality services for each family, and is passionate about helping children live to their greatest potential.