Shelley Turner, LCSW, Director of Developmental Services Behavioral Health Programs
Shelley, a licensed clinical social worker, has been a member of the Rady Children’s family since 1997 and a member of the Developmental Services leadership team since 2008. She provides administrative oversight of the Autism Discovery Institute, Developmental Evaluation Clinic and Alexa’s PLAYC. For over 25 years, her career has been dedicated to serving children. Specifically, she has focused on prevention, early intervention and treatment in the areas of family violence, child abuse and neglect, and infant/early childhood development.
Themba Carr, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist and Clinic Improvement Coordinator
Themba is a clinical psychologist at the Autism Discovery Institute and Developmental Evaluation Clinic. She earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Autism Research and Treatment and Center for Health Services and Society. She joined the teams at Rady Children’s in 2016. Themba’s clinical expertise includes the assessment and diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorders and the implementation of autism-focused caregiver-mediated early intervention models. In addition to working directly with families, she serves as a certified trainer for the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and the Autism Diagnostic Interview. She is also a UC San Diego assistant clinical professor (non-salaried) and provides teaching and training opportunities in the assessment and diagnosis of autism spectrum and related disorders. Themba’s research interests include implementing community-partnered participatory research methods to decrease healthcare disparities and increase quality of services for families in underserved communities.
Lauren Brookman-Frazee, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Research Director, Autism Discovery Institute
Lauren is an associate professor in the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry, associate director of the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center and the research director of the Autism Discovery Institute. Her federally funded research involves partnering with mental health and education system leaders, providers and families to develop, test and implement evidence-based interventions in community and school-based settings and reduce disparities in access to quality care. She conducts this research with the specific population of children with (or at risk for) autism spectrum disorders as well as the broader population of children with mental health problems receiving publicly funded mental health services. Additional areas of research include research-community partnerships, clinician training/supervision, early developmental and social-emotional screening and intervention, and parent training and psychotherapy intervention process and outcomes.
Tana Holt, B.A., Program Coordinator
Tana is the program coordinator at the Autism Discovery Institute and the Down Syndrome Center at Rady Children’s Hospital. She graduated from UC San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts in human development and minored in cognitive science and global health. Tana was previously a research assistant at the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center, where she worked on studies that aimed to integrate evidence-based practices in special education classrooms and behavioral health agencies. She is fluent in Spanish and hopes to use this skill to bridge the gap for families in need of resources and services in the Spanish-speaking community. Tana enjoys being part of our multidisciplinary team and plans on pursuing her graduate studies in developmental services.
Bonnie Corbin, Administrative Associate
Bonnie 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 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 a variety of tasks.
Brian Fritz, M.A., BCBA
Brian Fritz has worked with children with autism spectrum disorders since 2009 and has been at Rady Children’s Hospital since 2012. He earned his master’s degree in education, with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis, from Arizona State University. He is also a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA). Brian provides individual and group services at the Torrey Hills and Kearny Mesa locations and is passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and families affected by autism.
Abbey Hye, M.A., BCBA
Abbey received her Master of Arts in human development and psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles and is a board-certified behavior analyst. She has broad training in the implementation of behavioral and developmental treatments (e.g., PRT, JASPER, ESDM) for children with autism and other developmental delays (e.g. Dup15q, tuberous sclerosis complex). Prior to joining Rady Children’s, she worked as a research assistant on a variety of early intervention studies at UC San Diego and UCLA, provided in home therapy through local agencies and conducted developmental/diagnostic assessments at the UCLA CAN Clinic. She has a passion for parent coaching and is committed to teaching social communication skills to children with autism and helping their families. Abbey has been working in the field of applied behavior analysis since 2008.
Colleen McNish, M.S.
Colleen earned her master’s degree in educational counseling from National University. She has been implementing home- and school-based behavioral interventions for children with autism and other developmental disorders since 1999. Her clinical experience includes the implementation and development of early intervention programs for children with autism spectrum disorders in addition to training therapists in a variety of research-based approaches.
Liz Bacon, Ph.D., BCBA
Liz is a clinical psychologist at the Autism Discovery Institute. She received her doctoral degree in psychology from UC San Diego, where she studied early intervention techniques for toddlers with autism. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence, where she investigated methods to support community pediatricians to conduct developmental screenings for infants and toddlers and refer for evaluations and treatment to promote early and prompt access to care. Liz is a licensed clinical psychologist and a board-certified behavior analyst and is well-versed conducting diagnostic evaluations and providing naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions for toddlers and children. Her research and clinical interests include improving access to developmental evaluations and treatment, understanding the stability of diagnoses over time and individualizing treatment for children with autism.
Whitney Brown, Ph.D.
Whitney received her doctorate in clinical psychology, with an emphasis in child and adolescent psychology, from Loma Linda University in 2016. She has been a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of California since 2017. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the UC Davis MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders), where she received specialty training in neurodevelopmental evaluation and interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders, genetic disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, prematurity and a range of other developmental delays and neurodevelopmental disorders. She has extensive experience in pediatric neuropsychological assessment and developmental evaluations. She also has experience providing therapeutic services to school-aged children, including social skills groups and cognitive behavioral therapy. Whitney is passionate about providing excellent care to children and families impacted by autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.
Allison Jobin, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Allison is a licensed clinical psychologist and board certified behavior analyst at the Autism Discovery Institute and study manager in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of California, San Diego and Child and Adolescent Services Research Center. Dr. Jobin has over 15 years of experience in the delivery, supervision and evaluation of evidence-based interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Her research and clinical work has focused on parent-mediated treatment models, naturalistic developmental behavioral interventions and the assessment and diagnosis of children with ASD and related neurodevelopmental disorders. She has expertise in the training and supervision of providers, educators and caregivers in evidence-based treatment models. Her current research includes the evaluation of community-based treatments for children with ASD, as well as the investigation of effective methods for training providers in evidence-based practices and the sustainment of these practices in community-based school and mental health settings.
Joanna Kennedy, Ph.D, Post-Doctoral Psychological Assistant
Joanna is a post-doctoral psychological assistant at the Autism Discovery Institute. She completed her doctorate in clinical psychology, with an emphasis on child and family psychology, in 2017. While completing her undergraduate degree at UC San Diego, Joanna conducted research on naturalistic behavioral intervention and provided treatment to toddlers at-risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Her doctoral dissertation focused on the experience of mothers of children with ASD in a Mindful Parenting course. Joanna has experience providing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to children with a wide range of issues, as well as using parent-mediated interventions to address behavioral concerns. She has also provided developmental and psychological assessments in a variety of community mental health settings. At the Autism Discovery Institute, Joanna conducts comprehensive developmental and psychological evaluations and provides CBT to school-aged children.