In 2001, Autism Behavior Consultants (ABC) was founded by Laura (Roberts) Haneline and has been providing intensive behavior intervention to families in the L.A., San Gabriel Valley, and Inland counties. Laura has taken advocacy to the next step, by becoming one of the founding board members of LA FEAT. Having previously held the position of co-founding member of the South Bay GFCF group, which is now the South Bay chapter of TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), as well as a past member of the Autism Society of Los Angeles.
In 1998, Laura's son "Nicky", at the age of 3, was diagnosed with autism. Due to the limited number of agencies and long waiting lists in the area, Laura was unable to find a clinic based program for her son. With limited options, Laura and several other parents developed a workshop model program that ultimately formed Autism Behavior Consultants.
Due to her son's lifetime disability, Laura is currently exploring transitional services for both adolescents and adults. The journey of her son's development has given her the opportunity to meet amazing parents and build lifetime relationships. Laura's greatest gifts are sharing her personal experiences, knowledge, and resources.
Heidi Montague, LMFT, BCBA, joined ABC in 2004. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Biology and Psychology at Loyola Marymount University, located in Los Angeles, California. She later completed her master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California.
Heidi began her work in the field of behavior analysis in 1999 as a behavior therapist in the Los Angeles area. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she worked for the Minnesota Autism Center (formally known as F.E.A.T. of MN) as a senior behavior therapist. Upon returning to California in 2004 to attend graduate school, Heidi join the ABC as a case supervisor. She then moved to Clinical Director and now serves as the Executive Clinical Director at ABC.
In her role as Executive Clinical Director, Heidi works closely with the administration and clinical teams as they navigate the complexities of providing behavior analytic services across a variety of settings, delivery models and funding sources. She is passionate and committed in leading ABC to provide high quality and ethical treatment to their consumers.
Rebecca (Bec) Smith, M.A., joined ABC in 2017 as the Human Resource Manager. She graduated from University of California, Irvine in 2013 with a B.A. in Psychology. During undergrad, Bec worked for a Fortune 500 company where she became interested in the intersection between Psychology and Business. She earned her M.A. in Industrial Organizational Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2016. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Business Psychology.
Bec has over four years of experience in the Human Resources. Bec’s interests are employee engagement and retention, rewards and recognition and workforce planning.
Sandra Cazares M.S., BCBA has been working at ABC since its inception in the fall of 2001. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Developmental Psychology. She received her Master’s of Science in Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles with an option in Applied Behavior Analysis.
During her undergraduate studies at UCLA, Sandra discovered the world of autism while working for a workshop family under the supervision from staff working at LIFE (Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention). She enrolled and completed the behavior modification courses taught by Dr. Ivar Lovaas and his teacher’s assistants and interned at LIFE before graduating from UCLA. There, she gained skills as a behavioral therapist as well as the role of supervisor. Sandra became an independent consultant after graduating in 2001 and worked with families in the South Bay.
Sandra currently serves as the Director of Staff Development as well as holding duties of a Clinical Director. She oversees ABC’s employee training and performance evaluation processes. As a Clinical Director, she provides services predominantly in the San Gabriel and Long Beach areas. Some of her responsibilities include providing individualized programming based on each of her client’s needs, teaching employee training workshops, providing on-going training to staff and parents, writing initial assessments, quarterly and monthly reports, conducting employee reviews and directing monthly team meetings.
Nickie Lau M.S., BCBA joined ABC in 2002 after graduating from University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in Sociology. Her interest in the field of ABA begin in 2001 when she attended a behavior modification course taught by Dr. Ivar Lovaas. She was later accepted into the Applied Behavior Analysis program at California State University, Los Angeles, where she received her Master of Science in Counseling under the mentorship of Dr. Michele D. Wallace, Dr. Randy V. Campbell, and Dr. Henry Schlinger.
Currently, Nickie is the Regional Director of Los Angeles, predominantly covering the San Gabriel, South Bay, and Long Beach areas. As the Regional Director, she works closely with the Executive Clinical Director on programs to increase organization health through business and clinical operations management. Some of her other responsibilities include providing mentorship and training to BCBA candidates, as well as those who are seeking to enter a Master’s program, and conducting Functional Behavior Assessments.
Nickie continues to avidly attend ABA conferences and webinars to remain updated with research and trends in the field. She has presented at the California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA) conferences on topics of training and supervision dilemmas. She maintains active memberships at different professional associations including CalABA, ABAI, APBA, CCBA, and CASP. She has held the volunteer position of Public Policy Chair on the Board of Directors at the California Consortium of Behavior Analysts (CCBA) since 2015. Additionally, she volunteers her time with the Latino Association for Behavior Analysis (LABA) to support their mission of disseminating evidence-based practices to both students and practitioners.
Carshena Tronnes M.A., BCBA joined ABC in 2004 and is currently the Regional Clinical Director of Inland and Orange County. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English Literature from University of Oregon, located in Eugene, Oregon. She later completed her Master’s degree in Teaching from National University in La Jolla, California.
Carshena began her work in the field of autism in 2001 as a behavior interventionist. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree, she moved to California and began working in the field of ABA. She gained experience working in an interventionist and supervisory role. In her current role as Regional Director, Carshena’s caseload encompasses the Inland Empire. Her role includes overseeing the implementation of behavior intervention services for her clients in the home and school settings, designing and implementing trainings for ABC’s Case Supervisors, conducting training workshops for employees and parents, and overseeing client programs.
Melody Hopewell M.S., BCBA joined ABC in 2006. She graduated from University of California, Riverside in 1999 with a B.A in Psychology and Sociology. During her undergraduate work, she started working with children with Autism as a behavior therapist and participated in undergraduate research programs. She earned a Research Scholar award in 1999 for research related to increasing worker productivity.
After finishing her undergraduate program, she spent 2 years working in Japan with the Japan Exchange Teaching Program (JET) and worked in a small community on international exchange activities and teaching English to local residents, government employees, and students.
Upon her return from Japan, she continued to work in the field related to children with Autism by working with the regional centers as a counselor and then returned to providing direct service of ABA. She earned her Master’s degree in 2010 from the University of Phoenix.
Currently, Melody is a Clinical Director with ABC and provides services to families in the Inland Empire. Her responsibilities include writing initial assessments and reports, directing monthly team meetings, and providing individual programming based on each client’s needs.
Cheryl Stroll, M.S., BCBA joined ABC in 2007 and now has over 25 years of experience in Applied Behavior Analysis and working with children, adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she participated in an internship program at the Santa Barbara County Autism Project through UCSB, as well as trained as a research assistant for Dr. Robert Koegel. She earned her Master of Science degree in Special Education at the University of Oregon. She went on to be selected as the Autism Specialist for the Oregon Department of Education, traveling throughout the state providing consultation to school districts and families.
Cheryl’s extensive experience also includes providing clinical supervision and management of the day to day operations of one of the first supported living programs for adults with ASD in the state of California. Cheryl returned to working with children when she joined ABC in 2007 as a Clinical Director, where she provides clinical supervision of ABA programs in school and home settings for children and adolescents. This clinical role has included district wide consultation, development and assessment of programs and curriculum, parent training, and functional behavioral assessments. A particular area of interest for Cheryl is leading social skills groups for adolescents with ASD, with an emphasis on social fluency, perspective taking, and social discrimination.
Amy Lane, MA, BCBA joined ABC in 2008 where she is currently a Clinical Director. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She completed her BCBA certification through Florida Institute of Technology’s online program. Amy began her career in mental health on the East Coast where she worked with adolescents and young adults suffering from depression, bi-polar disorder, ADD and ADHD. She continued to explore this field by providing group and individual counseling to adults in a live-in rehabilitation facility in Anaheim, CA. After these years of providing mental health services, Amy has found her passion in providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children with Autism and related disorders.
She began her ABA work as a one-to-one behavior interventionist in home and school settings. She quickly became Case Supervisor, managing a variety of cases. Amy is now a Clinical Director in the Inland Empire where she creates and oversees programming, provides ongoing training to staff, conducts assessments, and works closely with her clients, their families and teachers.
Janice Resio M.A., BCBA joined ABC in 2017. She received her Master's in Counseling Psychology from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). In graduate school, Janice began working for an organization that collaborated with intermediate units and school districts in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Their focus was working with children with Autism Disorder. She quickly found that she greatly enjoyed working with children. From that experience, she decided to further her career in the field by continuing her education to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
Janice is passionate about the work she does and finds intrinsic reinforcement in the small steps of progress made by her clients because they may truly be leaps and bounds worth of progress for that child. Janice relocated from Utah to California in the Spring of 2017 and rejoined the team of consultants at ABC, after having first worked with them in 2012 when they had a treatment based center located in Utah.
Amanda Carrillo M.Ed., BCBA joined ABC in 2017 as a Clinical Director in the Inland Empire. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree with a major of Liberal Studies for Teaching from Chapman University in Orange, California. She later completed her Master’s degree in Special Education Consultation and Collaboration with an emphasis in Autism from Arizona State University.
Amanda began her work in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis in 2005 as a behavior interventionist working 1:1 with children with autism in schools and homes. Her love for ABA grew and she decided to pursue a career as a BCBA in 2010. After completing her Master’s program in 2011, Amanda worked as a Program Director for a behavior management Day Program for adults with Developmental Disabilities in Anaheim, CA. Here she worked with the adults on decreasing problem behaviors to allow greater success in community integration and employment. Amanda is also a proud wife and mother. She has three children, one of which is on the Autism Spectrum. She is passionate about working with individuals of all ages and celebrating each and every success!
Moné Shaw, M.S., BCBA joined ABC in 2017. She was earliest exposed to individuals with developmental disabilities in the year of 2009, when she served as a research assistant in her abnormal psychology professor’s laboratory. While attending a seminar, Moné was first introduced to the treatment of autism by the renowned Ivar Lovaas, at which time a passion for assisting individuals in need was cultivated.
Moné volunteered for diverse helping causes in Southern California and began working as a behavior interventionist for a pediatrics clinic for several fruitful years. She possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the California State University of Fullerton and continued in her ambitions to earn a Master of Science in Psychology.
Relocating to Florida proved to be a pivotal juncture for Moné, as she began to work for The Lovaas Center for Behavior Intervention, supervised by renowned analysts, including Dr. Lovaas’ son. Upon returning to California to pursue her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, she discovered Autism Behavior Consultants and immediately felt connected to the prodigious organization. Moné promptly knew ABC would be the organization in which she could share her clinical knowledge and experiences, while in turn, learning and growing as a clinician.
Diana Moya, M.A., graduated from the University of La Verne in 2001 with a B.S. in Psychology. She has over fifteen years of experience working with children with autism and other developmental disorders with behavioral challenges. She began working with children with Autism in 2001 at Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention.
She joined Autism Behavior Consultants in 2001 in the Inland Empire as a supervisor. She later completed her master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from National University. There she took an internship as a counselor for adolescents. She currently works in San Gabriel area as an Assistant Director.
Hope Vargas, M.A., joined ABC in 2005 as a behavioral interventionist/case supervisor and eventually she became a trainer for the Inland area. She graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 2005 with a B.A. in Family and Consumer Science: Child Development and Family Studies. During her undergraduate work, she began working with children with Autism as a behavioral interventionist. She earned her Master’s degree in 2014 from National University, San Diego. Currently, Hope is an Assistant Clinical Director with ABC and provides services to families in the Inland Empire. She loves working with children and their families to improve their overall quality of life.
Dave Schwatal M.A. joined ABC in 2008, where he is currently an Assistant Clinical Director. He possesses a Bachelor’s degree from DePaul University located in Chicago, Illinois and a Master’s degree in Teaching with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from National University, Los Angeles.
David began his career at ABC working one-to-one with children with special needs, as a behavioral therapist in home and school settings. Within this field, he discovered a sense of fulfillment and passion. He became Case Supervisor, effectively managing a variety of cases and teams of staff. David is now an Assistant Clinical Director in the Los Angeles and Long Beach areas, where he creates and oversees programming based on each of his client’s needs, provides ongoing training to staff, conducts assessments, and works tirelessly with his clients, their families, teachers, and staff to give each child the best chance to succeed.
Tracy Souder, MSW, joined ABC in 2004. She began her professional career working for Los Angeles Unified School District in 1999 as a special education assistant working with students with a variety of disabilities in special education classes. It was in this setting that she discovered her passion for helping others. In 2004, Tracy joined ABC as a behavior interventionist. Tracy graduated from University of Phoenix with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2010. In 2013 she graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a Masters of Social Work. While in school she completed an internship with LA County Department of Children and Family Services where she spearheaded a project that connected Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Long Beach, and IKEA to remodel the children’s waiting room to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for children who are detained and waiting for placement during regular office hours. Tracy also completed a second supervisory internship with Behavioral Health Services Inc. where she worked on community outreach programs, staff development, and grant writing. During her time at ABC Tracy has been an interventionist, a lead interventionist, a supervisor and is now an assistant clinic director.
Rebecca White, M.S. joined ABC in 2011. She earned her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Western New Mexico University in Silver City, New Mexico in 2010 and went on to earn her Master’s of Arts in Counseling/ Psychology from National University- Los Angeles in 2015. She is currently taking the BCBA course work from Florida Institute of Technology’s online program and will sit for the board certification exam upon completion.
Rebecca began her work in the field of Autism in 2011 as a behavior interventionist. After gaining experience in the field and classroom she became a case supervisor. While completing her master’s degree requirements, Rebecca also participated in an internship providing one-to-one and group psychotherapy to children and adults. Rebecca continued to expand her role at ABC becoming the trainer and reviewer for the Southbay behavior interventionists. Her role includes overseeing the implementation of behavior intervention services for her clients in the home and school settings, training and reviews for employees, conducting training workshops for employees and parents, and overseeing client programs.
Marissa Rogate M.A., joined ABC in 2015 and works in our Long Beach and Orange County regions. She graduated with her Master’s in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy National University, Costa Mesa. She possesses a Bachelor’s degree from Saint Michael’s College, Vermont, where she majored in Psychology and Elementary Education, as well as possessed a Vermont Teaching License.
Before entering into the field of ABA, Marissa worked as a Family Support Advocate at the Howard Center for Human Services in Vermont. She was a Program Manager, and helped support individuals in the community, school and in their home environment. In 2007, Marissa moved to Orange County where she began working in the field of ABA. Marissa has enjoyed working in this field and strives to provide the highest quality treatment for her clients.