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Maria Nicolaou, MSc, BCBA

maria nicolaou Subject Matter Experts - Presenters
Name: Maria Nicolaou
Role / Credential: MSc, BCBA
Areas of Expertise: Parent Training, Challenging Behaviour, Functional Communication Training, EIBI
Company Name: Senior Behaviour Analyst at Special Learning

Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D.

peter gerhardt Subject Matter Experts - Presenters
Name: Peter Gerhardt
Role / Credential: Ed.D.
Special Learning’s Designation: Subject Matter of Expert Transition in Practice Series: Q&A and Case Scenario Reviews with Dr. Peter Gerhardt
Company Name: Organization for Autism Research
Company URL: researchautism.org
Ability to Contribute: Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., is the Executive Director of the EPIC School in Paramus, NJ.

Sarah Winningham, MA, BCBA

0d360948 696d 41ab a055 b49fd0f0afa0 Subject Matter Experts - Presenters
Name: Sarah Winningham
Role / Credential: MA, BCBA
Special Learning’s Designation: Subject Matter Expert of What is Autism?
Company Name: Capella University
Company URL: www.capella.edu
Ability to Contribute: Sarah Winningham, MA, BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst from Indiana.

Shawn Kenyon, BCBA-D

thumbnail Subject Matter Experts - Presenters
Name: Shawn Kenyon
Role / Credential: BCBA-D
Special Learning’s Designation: Subject Matter Expert of Addressing Challenging Behaviors Ethically in Schools Module 2: Must-have Skills (and Understanding) for School-based BCBAs and Other Service Providers
Company Name: 
Company URL: 
Ability to Contribute: Dr. Shawn Kenyon, BCBA-D has been in the fields of Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education since 1995.

Thomas Cunningham, PhD

thumbnail 1 4 Subject Matter Experts - Presenters
Name: Thomas Cunningham
Role / Credential: PhD, Behavioral Scientist
Special Learning’s Designation: Subject Matter Expert of Organizational Ethics & OBM Webinar Series-Module 2: Best Practices in Performance Management with Jon Bailey and Aubrey Daniels
Company Name: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Company URL: https://www.cdc.gov/
Ability to Contribute: Dr. Thomas Cunningham is a behavioral scientist and the Chief of the

Taylor Heinsohn, MEd, BCBA, LBA

Taylor Heinsohn
Name: Taylor Heinsohn
Role / Credential: MEd, BCBA, LBA
Special Learning’s Designation: Panelist
Company Name: 360 Behavioral Health
Company URL: 360behavioralhealth.com
Ability to Contribute: Taylor Heinsohn, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for over 12 years and is passionate about supporting and teaching families so they can become experts themselves in the principles of ABA.

Tamar Varnai, MA, BCBA

Tamar Varnai
Name: Tamar Varnai
Role / Credential: MA, BCBA
Special Learning’s Designation: Panelist
Company Name: Applied Behavioral Mental Health Counseling, P.C.
Company URL: www.appliedabc.com
Ability to Contribute: Tamar Varnai, MA, BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst originally from New York.

Tabitha Kirby, MA, BCBA, COBA

Tabitha Kirby
Name: Tabitha Kirby
Role / Credential: MA, BCBA, COBA
Special Learning’s Designation: Panelist
Company Name: The Autism Peace, LLC
Company URL: www.autismspeaks.org
Ability to Contribute: Tabitha Kirby received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in special education with specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Ohio State University.

Mike Marroquin, PhD, BCBA-D, NYSLBA

Mike Marroquin
Name: Mike Marroquin
Role / Credential: PhD, BCBA-D, NYSLBA
Special Learning’s Designation: Subject Matter Expert of ADHD Strategies: Family Training and Involvement (RECORDED)
Company Name: Mike Marroquin PhD, BCBA-D, NYSLBA
Company URL: mikemarroquin.weebly.com
Ability to Contribute: Mike E. Marroquin, PhD, BCBA-D, New York State Licensed Behavior Analyst Franklin Square School District, New York Dr. Michael “Mike” Marroquin, is an Autism graduate & undergraduate professor at Queens College (CUNY).

Melanie Olson Giles, MA, MEd, CCC-SLP, BCBA, LABA

Melanie Olson Giles
Name: Melanie Olson Giles
Role / Credential: MA, MEd, CCC-SLP, BCBA, LABA
Special Learning’s Designation: Subject Matter Expert of SLP & ABA Collaboration Series: Using Collaboration to Generate Best Outcomes… Quicker
Company Name: The Verbal ABA Clinic@STG
Company URL: speechtherapygroup.net
Ability to Contribute: Melanie is a dually certified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She is the Clinic Director of the Speech Therapy Group and The Verbal ABA Clinic at STG.

Marla Root, Advocate Expert

Marla Root
Name: Marla Root
Role / Credential: Advocate Expert
Special Learning’s Designation: Subject Matter Expert of Training on the BACB Autism Task List Sections A & E
Company Name: Step by Step Academy
Company URL: stepbystepacademy.org
Ability to Contribute: Marla Root is the Director of Community Affairs and Advocacy with Step By Step Academy in Worthington, Ohio.

Marc Zimmerman, PhD

Marc Zimmerman

Name: Marc Zimmerman
Role / Credential: PhD
Special Learning’s Designation: Panelist
Company Name: School of Public Health University of Michigan
Company URL: sph.umich.edu
Ability to Contribute: Dr. Zimmerman’s research focuses on adolescent health and resiliency, and empowerment theory. His work on adolescent health examines how positive factors in adolescents’ lives help them overcome risks they face.


Parent Waitlist Program


November 02, 2023 | 12pm-1pm PDT

Journey to Independence

Community-based program designed to support families on waitlist

Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
Special Learning’s Free Hotline

This is an independent SL Hotline that is part of our VCAT service. This hotline has no connection with any other association or membership group.

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