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  • Aisa Green, BA

    Research Analyst

  • Annamarie Stehli, MPH

    Statistician

  • Barbara Soria

    Medical Assistant

  • Brett Patterson, PhD

    Volunteer Faculty

  • Catherine Brock, MA

    Executive Director

  • Chelsea O’Haire, PhD

    Licensed Clincial Psychologist

  • Elyse Schoenwald, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, PMHS

    Clinical Assistant Professor, Certified Pediatric Mental Health Specialist Clinical Assistant Professor, Certified Pediatric Mental Health Specialist

  • Geeta Grover, MD

    Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician

  • Ho Pak

    Financial Analyst

  • Jean Gehricke, PhD

    Associate Research Director, Associate Professor of Pediatrics

  • Jeanne Anne Carriere, PhD

    Director, Educational Assessment Team

  • Jessica Vega

    Behavior Specialist

  • Joe Rubio, Ed.S.

    F.A.S.T. Coordinator

  • Karryn Naranjo, MA, BCBA

    ABA Division Lead

  • Kristen Joyner, PsyD

    Clinical Psychologist

  • Marc Lerner, MD

    Clinical Professor, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician

  • Marilyn Huynh

    Director of Development

  • Marilyn Nunez

    Medical Assistant

  • Marlene Cuevas, LCSW

    Clinical Social Worker

  • Maureen Dillon, LCSW

    Licensed Clinical Social Worker

  • Megan Dawson, BA

    Research Coordinator

  • Michelle Wahlquist, MS, CCC-SLP

    Speech-Language Division Lead

  • Nayeli Castillo

    Admitting Worker

  • Nellie Valentine

    Training Assistant

  • Patricia Soto

    Director of Operations

  • Peter Chung, MD

    Medical Director and Assistant Clinical Professor, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician

  • Robin Steinberg-Epstein, MD

    Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician

  • Roxanne Cornejo

    Administrative Assistant

  • Stephen Mott, MD

    Developmental Cognitive Neurologist

  • Thusa Sabapathy, MD

    Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician

Aisa Green, BA

Research Analyst

Annamarie Stehli, MPH

Statistician

Barbara Soria

Medical Assistant

Brett Patterson, PhD

Volunteer Faculty

Catherine Brock, MA

Executive Director

Cathy Brock is the Executive Director for The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders since September, 2014. She was previously the Associate Director of the University of Washington Autism Center in Seattle. She has worked in the field of autism and developmental disorders for over twenty five years bringing both clinical and management experience. As Executive Director her responsibilities include providing overall management, leadership and vision while coordinating collaborative systems to best meet the needs of the families in our community.

Chelsea O’Haire, PhD

Licensed Clincial Psychologist

Dr. Chelsea O’Haire is a licensed clinical psychologist who engages individuals and their families in outpatient weekly psychotherapy to address mental health concerns relating to anxiety, depression, and general difficulties adjusting daily life. Dr. O’Haire also conducts comprehensive psychological assessments in order to assist families in obtaining a greater understanding of their child’s strengths, areas of growth, and treatment needs. As the Division Lead of Psychology, Dr. O’Haire assists in identifying and creating didactics for the providers of the Center for Autism and the Orange County community as a whole in order to continue to foster education related to neurodevelopmental disorders.

Elyse Schoenwald, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, PMHS

Clinical Assistant Professor, Certified Pediatric Mental Health Specialist Clinical Assistant Professor, Certified Pediatric Mental Health Specialist

Elyse Schoenwald is nationally Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Certified Pediatric Mental Health Specialist who has specialized in pediatric behavioral and neurodevelopmental disorders since starting her career as a nurse practitioner. Elyse has a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where she worked as an Americorps member by coordinating the Eye Cycle program to assist individuals with visual impairments get physical activity through tandem cycling, adapted hiking, and adapted rock climbing. Upon graduation from her first bachelor’s degree, she worked as an in-home behavioral therapist as well as a para-educator in a preschool special day class for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Although she loved working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, she returned to school to pursue a second bachelors and masters in Nursing from California State University, Long Beach. While completing her clinical coursework for her Nurse Practitioner degree, she found a way to combine her passion for working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other behavioral disorders with her newly acquired medical skills, by pursuing opportunities in the field of behavioral and neurodevelopmental pediatrics. Since starting her nurse practitioner career in 2010, she has been working at the Stramski Children’s Developmental Center in the Behavioral and Neurodevelopmental Program and as the Clinic Coordinator of the Fragile X Program. As the Fragile X Clinic Coordinator, she has participated in clinical trials, community outreach, and a member of the Fragile X Clinical and Research Consortium. In addition to her clinical background, Elyse is also very passionate about teaching and has sought ought opportunities for teaching within the community and amongst paraprofessionals. She provides lectures and presentations on a variety of topics including; Fragile X Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Psychopharmacology of Behavioral & Neurodevelopmental Disorders.  She has presented at the International Fragile X Conference as well as to school districts, behavioral companies, families, medical residents, and nurse practitioner students. She enjoys having students and residents in clinic to provide more opportunities to expand clinical skills when working with children of all abilities.

Geeta Grover, MD

Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician

Dr. Geeta Grover is a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician at The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Dr. Grover went to Stanford University and received her Doctor of Medicine from University of California, Irvine. She completed an Internship and Residency in Pediatrics and completed her Fellowship in Ambulatory Pediatrics from Harbor- UCLA Medical Center. She has over 25 years of professional experience working with the pediatric population in Orange County. Dr. Grover is currently a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, Irvine. She is also an attending physician at in the teaching clinics at CHOC Children’s Hospital and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She is the Literacy Champion for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Chapter 4. Dr. Grover is active in her community. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, and Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She serves the AAP on a national level as a committee member of the Council on School Health and the Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. On a local level she is an active member of the AAP Orange County Chapter where she serves as the Literacy Champion and Chairs the Reach Out and Read Advisory committee; she is also a member of the School Health Committee, No Child Hungry Advisory Committee, and the Mental Health Committee. She has recently been awarded a $10,000 AAP CATCH Grant for her project Multidisciplinary Neurodevelopmental Care for Homeless Children. Dr. Grover is passionate about pediatric health care, especially serving the underserved and addressing the issues surrounding pediatric literacy and its impact on children’s health and well-being. She is committed to reducing homelessness and is involved with the Illumination Foundation in Orange County. When she is not providing health care, Dr. Grover enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

Ho Pak

Financial Analyst

Jean Gehricke, PhD

Associate Research Director, Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Gehricke is a licensed clinical psychologist and an Assistant Professor at the UCI Department of Pediatrics. His clinical expertise is in the assessment and treatment of ASD, ADHD and co-occurring problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, and drug abuse. For over 10 years, he worked at the UCI Child Development Center providing comprehensive clinical assessments and cognitive-behavioral interventions, including cognitive-behavioral family therapy, stress management, and relaxation training. In his role as a clinical psychologist, he served school age children, adolescents, and young adults and their families. At the research level, Dr. Gehricke is well known for his scientific work on the underlying mechanisms of ADHD and drug abuse. He has been the Principal Investigator on numerous research grants funded by the National Institutes of Health, the California Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Currently, he is expanding this research program by using brain-imaging techniques (i.e., fMRI, Near-Infrared Spectroscopy, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging) to better understand the unique auditory and tactile information processing associated with ASD. Dr. Gehricke supervises over 15 undergraduate and graduate students in his brain imaging and research laboratory.

Jeanne Anne Carriere, PhD

Director, Educational Assessment Team

Jeanne Anne Carriere, PhD, is a Licensed Educational Psychologist with over 25 years of experience working within the public school system.  She is the Director of the Families and Schools Together (F.A.S.T.) The program, a collaboration between The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Chapman University’s Attallah College of Educational Studies. As part of FAST, Dr. Carriere works closely with our Education and Training initiatives. She provides our Special Education Basics, a series of parent education classes focused on helping parents understand and learn to successfully navigate the Special Education system. Jeanne Anne also provides professional development for school-based and clinical/medical professionals on the differences between school-based and clinic-based services, comprehensive Autism Spectrum Disorder evaluations, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2,  and working collaboratively with families. Dr. Carriere conducts Psychoeducational Evaluations and consults with school districts regarding Special Education services. Jeanne Anne is an Assistant Clinical Professor for the Chapman University School Psychology program. She teaches graduate classes and supervises school psychology fieldwork students. Her professional interests include effective report writing, comprehensive autism assessment, and support for parents’ understanding and involvement in their child’s special education program. She has presented her research at the state, national and international level and published the book Writing Useful, Accessible, and Legally Defensible Psychoeducational Reports (Wiley, 2014).

Jessica Vega

Behavior Specialist

With over seven years of experience, including two years of volunteer work in both the Anaheim and Santa Ana School Districts. Jessica is well versed and skilled in applied behavior analysis and experienced in administering ABA therapy in both home and community settings. Jessica is continuously learning and increasing these skills, she is currently in the process of receiving her RBT certification.

Our ABA Department is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Joe Rubio, Ed.S.

F.A.S.T. Coordinator

Joe Rubio, a Licensed Educational Psychologist, graduated from Chapman School of Psychology.  Joe served as a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff for 8 years before taking a position at Downey Unified where he completed his program and became a School Psychologist and Mental Health Program Specialist for the past 9 years. Joe’s role at The Center for Autism is to help support the Family And Schools Together (F.A.S.T.) program.

Karryn Naranjo, MA, BCBA

ABA Division Lead

As ABA Division Lead for The Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Karryn brings with her close to ten years of experience working in the field of Human Behavior. Highly skilled in creating and implementing behavior programs for kids with special needs in a home, school, and clinical setting; Karryn has an international background with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior, both obtained in Madrid, Spain. Karryn attended Chapman University in 2015 to prepare for her Behavior Analyst Certification, and in 2017 she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Our ABA Department is bilingual in English and Spanish.

Kristen Joyner, PsyD

Clinical Psychologist

Kristen Joyner, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist who has a strong passion for providing family-centered developmental assessment and intervention services to children and families birth to six. She is endorsed as an Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist and Reflective Practice Facilitator II by the California Center for Infant-Family and Early Childhood Mental Health. She has extensive experience and training in providing dyadic models of intervention to children with presenting problems including exposure to trauma, foster care placement, behavioral challenges, autism spectrum disorder, and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Additionally, she is certified in the implementation of Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) and is research certified in the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, Second Edition (ADOS-2).

 

Marc Lerner, MD

Clinical Professor, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician

Dr. Marc Lerner is a pediatrician specializing in developmental / behavioral medicine.  He is past president of the Orange County, California Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is currently serving as a member of the executive committee of national AAP’s Council on School Health. Dr. Lerner has taught and cared for patients at the University of California, Irvine for three decades.  At UCI he served as the consulting pediatrician at UCI’s Child Development Center and the UCI Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. For this work, Dr. Lerner has been recognized as the AAP Chapter 4 Pediatrician of the Year in 2016 and an Orange County Medical Association ‘Physician of Excellence’. Dr. Lerner has served as a clinical investigator and treating physician for two large National Institute of Mental Health-sponsored studies of ADHD.  From 2011 until 2016 Dr. Lerner served as the Medical Officer for the Orange County, California Department of Education.  He continues to support local schools as a medical consultant.

Marilyn Huynh

Director of Development

Marilyn Huynh graduated from UC Irvine with a B.S. in Sociology and a minor in Psychology and Social Behaviors.  Since then, she has worked over 10 years  fundraising for University of California, Irvine’s many units, which includes: University Advancement, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, The Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Marilyn Nunez

Medical Assistant

Marlene Cuevas, LCSW

Clinical Social Worker

Marlene Cuevas, LCSW joined The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental disorders in 2016. She is a bilingual (Spanish and English), social worker who earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Southern California with an emphasis in mental health and social work in business. Marlene completed her undergraduate work at California State University, Fullerton where she focused on mental health and substance abuse. Throughout her career Marlene has worked with children, teens, adults, and families. She also created and facilitated social and life skills groups for teens with autism. Marlene has focused on many areas including: emotional distress, eating disorders, autism, infertility, anxiety, depression, grief/loss, stress, crisis intervention, substance misuse, and health and wellness.  She performed extensive research at USC in sleep hygiene and in creating the necessary and desirable behavioral changes to improve the sleep quality of her clients. Marlene works with the multidisciplinary team at the Center to assess the needs of families and provide support, care coordination and resources. Marlene is registered as an LCSW with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Maureen Dillon, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Maureen has been a clinical social worker at the Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders (formerly For OC Kids) since 2006. Maureen earned her Master in Social Welfare (MSW) degree with an emphasis in medical social work at the University of California, Los Angeles. While working on her degree, she completed internships at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Children’s Institute. Prior to attending graduate school, Maureen worked in a group home for adolescents in New York, and later worked as a case manager for families in Los Angeles. She also spent two years in the area of program evaluation for non-profit organizations dedicated to healthcare issues throughout California. Maureen earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Spanish at Santa Clara University. As part of our multidisciplinary team, Maureen provides support to families and medical providers during initial patient evaluations and also provides ongoing support to families in coping with their child’s diagnosis, accessing educational and other community-based services, and dealing with crisis situations.  She provides parent workshops and facilitates a parent support group.  She serves as a liaison between the center and other agencies in the county which serve vulnerable families, such as the foster care and child protective services system, and public health nursing.  Maureen makes presentations to community-based agencies, schools, child care providers and other organizations that request training for their staff regarding developmental issues and autism.  She works on several projects and committees with the Autism Treatment Network (ATN).  Maureen speaks Spanish and has been a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences since 2010.

Megan Dawson, BA

Research Coordinator

Michelle Wahlquist, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Division Lead

Michelle Wahlquist, M.S., CCC-SLP is a licensed speech-language pathologist who joined The Center for Autism team in November 2013. She is the speech and language department division lead, coordinating speech pathology services here at The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders. She provides direct speech therapy services including comprehensive speech and language evaluations, individualized treatment, co-treatment, and collaboration with our multi-disciplinary team. In addition, she oversees program development and parent education. She has a particular interest in the use of play and literature to facilitate the development of language and communication skills. She is committed to helping families and caregivers better understand the speech and language development of their children. Michelle received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Dramatic Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1999. She graduated with her Master of Science degree in Communicative Disorders from Arizona State University in 2001. She holds the Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech and Hearing Association.

Nayeli Castillo

Admitting Worker

Nellie Valentine

Training Assistant

Patricia Soto

Director of Operations

Peter Chung, MD

Medical Director and Assistant Clinical Professor, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician

Dr. Peter Jinwu Chung is a board-certified UC Irvine Health pediatrician who specializes in developmental and behavioral pediatric medicine at The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders. His clinical interests include medical education, quality improvement, deaf culture, assistive technology, narrative medicine and video games for therapeutic application. Dr. Chung earned his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City. He completed his internship, residency, chief residency and fellowship at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in Los Angeles. He also trained at UCLA’s Tarjan Center and at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles as part of the California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (CA-LEND) program.

Robin Steinberg-Epstein, MD

Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician

Robin Steinberg-Epstein M.D., Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Developmental Behavioral Medicine at UCI, is a behavioral developmental pediatrician at The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Dr. Epstein received her B.A. in psychological neuroendocrinology from the University of California, Berkeley. She went on to receive her M.D. from the University of California, Irvine (UCI). She completed a residency in Pediatrics and a fellowship in child psychiatry at Harbor UCLA. She has a double board certification in both general pediatrics and developmental behavioral pediatrics. Dr. Epstein is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the UCI. She is frequently asked to speak to local medical groups and parent groups on diagnosis and management of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and/or autism. She participates as a lead investigator and co-investigator in numerous research projects, including multicenter site studies through Autism Speaks. Dr. Epstein leads the developmental behavioral pediatrics teaching programs at both UCI and CHOC. Her passions include early diagnosis and treatment of children with Autism and learning disorders, management of ADHD, stress reduction among parents of children with special needs, and improving outcomes for children with special needs.

Roxanne Cornejo

Administrative Assistant

Stephen Mott, MD

Developmental Cognitive Neurologist

Stephen Mott, MD is a Developmental Cognitive Neurologist with board certification in both Neurology with special qualification in Child Neurology and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities.  He is presently a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at UCI with previous positions at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Georgetown University MedStar Health, the National Institutes of Health Clinical Brain Disorders Research Branch, and Children’s National Medical Center.  He has over 25 years of clinical experience with special interest in autism, and, in particular, its association with executive function.

Thusa Sabapathy, MD

Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician