Jessica Angel, Teacher
Jessica graduated from California State University Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in child adolescent development. Jessica has been working with children since 2008 and has previously worked doing in-home applied behavioral analysis therapy. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys going to the beach, exploring new restaurants and spending time with family and friends.
Lisa Aylor, Autism Education Associate
Lisa is passionate about child development and is a firm believer that early childhood education lays the foundation for all future development. She earned her bachelor’s degree in child development with a concentration in preschool education. Lisa has been working with preschool children since 2000, with the goal of recognizing and nurturing each child’s pace and path. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time outdoors with her friends and family, and doing crafts.
Fara Bowles, Teacher
Fara has worked in the field of early childhood development since 1986. She has taken many courses in child development and liberal studies and has worked with children at risk for autism since 2009. In her spare time, Fara enjoys long walks with her husband, watching hockey with her son, cooking with her daughter, watching baseball and going to concerts.
Noel Devine, Autism Education Associate
Noel earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Vanguard University of Southern California. Before joining the Alexa’s PLAYC team, she worked as a behavioral interventionist for three years. She has worked in the home setting as well as private and public schools. In her spare time, Noel enjoys playing tennis, enjoying life with family and friends, and baking.
Christie Eseller, Early Childhood Teacher
Christi graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in child family development from San Diego State University. In the past three years, she’s had a broad range of experience, from working in school-age programs, to preschool, to volunteering with San Diego Parks & Recreation’s Therapeutic Services’ Kid’s Zone, which specializes in field trips for children with disabilities. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her dog, family and friends; listen to music; travel; shop; and meet new people!
Sarah Fahlstrom, Autism Education Associate Sarah graduated from Cal State San Marcos. She received her Bachelors of Arts in sociology with an emphasis in youth and family services and holds an early childhood development certificate. Sarah provided in-home applied behavior analysis therapy for seven years prior to joining our team. In her spare time, she enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, cooking and eating.
Kayla Ferrugia, Teacher
Kayla earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood studies from CSU Channel Islands. Kayla has been working in preschools for more than seven years. She is passionate about teaching and using sign language with children. In her spare time, Kayla enjoys yoga, spending time with her family and enjoying the beautiful San Diego area.
Brian Fritz, Autism Education Associate
Brian earned his bachelor’s degree in history from UC San Diego. He worked providing in-home applied behavior analysis therapy services for three years prior to joining our team. Brian has a brother with autism. In his spare time, he enjoys music and soccer.
Lory Gallardo, Floater Teacher
Lory earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition. Lory worked at the Rady Children’s Child Care Center, now Alexa’s PLAYC, when the center opened in September of 1995. Lory has experience teaching in elementary and secondary schools and has been a preschool teacher since 1989. Lory’s philosophy is that children can learn the skills necessary to succeed in life and should be empowered to maximize their capabilities. In her spare time, Lory enjoys playing the piano, organ, harp and reading books.
Sarah Lambert, Floater Teacher
Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill., and her associate’s degree in child development from Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif. Sarah has worked with young children since 1993, mostly in the pre-school setting. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading, sewing, gardening, crafts, watching TV and walking with her dogs.
Naisargi Mehta, Autism Education Associate
Naisargi received her Master of Arts in clinical psychology. She has completed a certificate course in applied behavior analysis from National University in San Diego. She has also completed her ABA/BCBA supervision hours. Before joining our team, she worked as a behavior specialist, with focus on children with autism spectrum disorders. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, travelling and listening to music.
Jiye “Amy” Oh, Autism Education Associate
Amy earned her bachelor’s degree in human development with an emphasis in child psychology from UC San Diego and is currently working on her master’s degree in school psychology with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis for her PPSP credential and BCBA. She has worked with children of all ages with developmental and physical disabilities since 2011. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her friends and family.
Daniela Orozco, Autism Education Associate
Daniela earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in Spanish from San Diego State University in 2012. She has worked with children with developmental disabilities in various cultures for six years. She was an ABA (applied behavior analysis) interventionist for 2 ½ years, working at an in-home setting with children from 2 to 15 years of age. In her free time, she enjoys walking her three dogs in Ocean Beach and enjoying long hikes on the weekends.
Lara Padrion, Teacher
Lara earned her degree in child development and is currently pursuing a degree in psychology. Lara has worked in the field of child development since 2003 with both neuro-typical children and children with special needs. In her spare time, Lara enjoys reading, watching movies, catching up on some sports, painting/drawing, spending quality time with her family and trying out different types of cuisines.
Elaina Pumpelly, Autism Education Associate
Elaina received her master’s in special education from National University. She comes to us from a local in-home program, where she worked as an advanced behavior specialist with a focus on children with autism spectrum disorders. She was a social skills group leader, providing one-on-one behavior management and implemented applied behavior analysis interventions. Prior to these experiences, Elaina worked as a preschool teacher. In her free time, she loves riding her beach cruiser, going to the beach and hanging out with family.
Melissa Ramirez, Autism Education Associate
Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree in child and family development from San Diego State University. She has worked in the field of child development since 1997 and has worked at Rady Children’s since 1999. When Melissa is not at work, she enjoys spending time with my family and friends, going to the movies, shopping, scrapbooking and going for walks on the beach.
Jeanna Sardena, Autism Education Associate
Jeanna earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State University. Before joining our team, she worked providing in-home applied behavior analysis therapy services to children with autism and other developmental disorders for three years. Her goal is to provide children with the tools they need to succeed, both in interacting with their peers and in their life experiences. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, watching movies and going to concerts. Her favorite time of the year is winter because she gets to watch her favorite football team, the Greenbay Packers. During the holidays, she treasures quality time with her husband and family.
Sarah Smith, Early Childhood Teacher
Sarah recently moved to San Diego with her husband and is so excited to be at Alexa’s PLAYC. She has her bachelor’s degree in child life from the University of Iowa and her master’s degree in early childhood education from Concordia University in Chicago. She has worked with young children between the ages of 6 weeks and 5 years old and loves getting to see them learn and develop on a daily basis. She loves to cook and spend time with her husband, and is loving getting to explore all the sites of San Diego.
Sally Sutil, Teacher
Sally received her associate’s degree in early childhood development from Grossmont Community College. She has worked for over twenty-five years in the field of childhood development. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking and gardening.
Jessica Tajalle, Teacher
Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree in child and family development from San Diego State University. She also completed a credential program at San Diego State University in early childhood special education. She has worked with young children since 2005 in the home and school settings. In her free time, Jessica enjoys reading, listening to reggae music and being outside in beautiful San Diego.
Brittni Tuttle, Teacher
Brittni earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from National University as well as an associate’s degree in child development from MiraCosta College. She has worked with young children in the education setting since 2007. In her spare time, Brittni enjoys spending time with family and friends, taking her dog to the beach and reading.
Phyleeza Zambrano, Early Childhood Teacher
Phyleeza is originally from the Bay Area. She attended California State University, Sacramento and earned her Bachelor of Arts in child development with a concentration in individualized programs and a minor in counseling in 2010. She has been working in the early child development field for seven years and enjoys working with children.
Sarah Denno, M.A., Alexa’s PLAYC Program Director
Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State in 2000. She then came to work in the Children’s Toddler School program as an autism education associate in 2001, and from 2003-2004, served as the early childhood coordinator (director) for the program. In 2004, Sarah left California for the opportunity to develop and open a community school/inclusion program for children with autism spectrum disorders at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) in Phoenix. While there, Sarah earned her master’s degree in special education. Sarah directed the SARRC inclusion program until early 2009, when she was recruited back to Rady Children’s to serve as a behavior specialist. Sarah provided Parent-Child Developmental Behavior Therapy and supported the inclusion programs at both the Child Care Center and Toddler School. As those programs joined to form Alexa’s PLAYC, Sarah accepted the position as program director.
Jennifer Reinehr, Psy.D., Alexa’s PLAYC Program Psychologist
Jennifer Reinehr, Psy.D., has been a licensed psychologist since 2008 and attended Nova Southeastern University’s doctoral program that provided a specialization in both clinical and school psychology. Prior to her work at Rady Children’s, Dr. Reinehr worked in the Broward County public schools as the lead psychologist on a transdisciplinary evaluation team assessing young children transitioning into special education services. She has an expertise in developmental assessment and development of intervention plans that address the developmental and behavioral needs of children and their families. Dr. Reinehr’s primary work at Rady Children’s includes the role of program psychologist at Alexa’s PLAYC, an inclusion program for children ages 18 months to 6 years who are at risk for autism.
Christina Corsello, Ph.D., Manager, Clinical Director
Christina Corsello, PhD, is the Manager and Clinical Director of the Autism Discovery Institute. A licensed clinical psychologist since 2002, Dr. Corsello has worked at Rady Children’s since 2005. Prior to that, she was the associate director of the Autism and Communication Disorders Center at the University of Michigan. Dr. Corsello specializes in the diagnosis and assessment of autism spectrum disorders. She has published training guides on a widely used standardized diagnostic measure, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and has trained professionals worldwide on the use of this measure. Dr. Corsello has also authored several peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, focused on diagnostic measures and assessment. She serves as a consultant on several grants requiring expertise on the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Corsello received her doctorate in psychology from St. John’s University in New York and completed an internship and fellowship at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Bonnie Corbin, Administrative Associate
Bonnie Corbin has been a part of the Autism Discovery Institute since its inception. Then known as the Children’s Autism Intervention Center, Bonnie held roles ranging from scheduling, assisting in the Toddler School with snack and nap times and taking care of the daily business transactions. With the expansion to the Autism Discovery Institute, Bonnie now focuses more on the business operations but may still be found interacting with families at the front desk or handling the variety of needs that arise.
Anne Marie Holsapple, Administrative Assistant
Originally from Michigan, Anne Marie has an associates degree in business administration. Her family relocated to San Diego, where she became involved in early childhood education while raising her four sons. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and enjoying everything San Diego has to offer.
Nora Camacho, BCBA, Behavioral Specialist
Nora graduated from Providence College, where she earned a bachelor’s in education. She went on to obtain a master’s degree from San Diego State University in special education with an emphasis in autism, as well as a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from Alliant University. Nora became a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) in 2010. She worked as a supervisor for in-home applied behavior analysis therapy programs for nine years prior to joining our team. Nora is passionate about improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities while also supporting their families.
Allison Jobin, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Behavioral Specialist
Allison Jobin, Ph.D., received her doctorate in psychology from the University of California, San Diego and is also a board-certified behavior analyst. She has had the pleasure of working with children with autism spectrum disorders and their families since 2002. Her clinical experience includes the development, implementation and supervision of evidence-based interventions in a variety of settings. Her research has focused on how to best match or adapt intervention approaches to individual child and family needs. At the Autism Discovery Institute, Allison is committed to making a difference in the lives of individuals affected by autism through clinical research and practice.
Chelsea McCawley, M.Sc., BCBA, BCBA Supervisor
Chelsea received a Master’s of Science in applied positive psychology from the University of East London in 2010. She is a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) with over 10 years of experience working with youth and adolescents with behavioral challenges. Chelsea has worked with young children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental conditions since 2002 and has experience with evidence-based modalities, including individual and group-based intervention, intensive parent training and direct intervention for high-risk children and families. Chelsea specializes in a strengths-based approach to behavior change and worked in Ireland, London and Australia before joining our team in 2011.
Kim Arndt, M.S., OTR/L, Occupational Therapist
Kimberly Arndt, M.S., OTR/L, has been an occupational therapist since 2001, when she began working at Rady Children’s. Kimberly has skills in a variety of areas, including working with children with feeding difficulties, autism, developmental delays, sensory processing difficulties and problems with fine motor and visual motor skills. She spends her time working at the outpatient clinic, with the Feeding Team, Alexa’s PLAYC, the Autism Discovery Institute and at KidSTART. Kimberly received her master’s degree in occupational therapy from Ithaca College. She is certified in therapeutic listening and advanced therapeutic listening. Kimberly is a nationally certified, California-licensed occupational therapist and a current member of AOTA. Kimberly’s goal is to help children reach their full potential.