BS Special Education, University of Iowa
Lynette LaScala grew up in Iowa and moved to California to fulfill her lifelong dream of living a life by the beach with lots of sunshine and outdoor fun. While preparing to celebrate her son's first birthday, her life changed forever. Cody and his nanny were playing in his bedroom when she thought he crawled back to her. However, he crawled out the sliding door into the newly added family pool. Doctors gave Cody a very poor diagnosis and told Lynette and her husband they should leave the hospital and go on with their lives. Lynette was pregnant with their second child Bryan. Cody was still alive and leaving him was never an option.
After hearing time and time agin that there was no hope for Cody, Lynette researched to find an intensive home therapy program. As a parent of child with special needs and challenges, you will try anything to give your child or loved one the best life possible. It became her passion to teach children with disabilities while traveling around the world to find the best therapies to help her son with Cerebral Palsy.
Lynette became the US Parent Representative for the Euromed Rehabilitation Center in Mielno, Poland. She traveled from city to city spreading the word to doctors, parents, caregivers, etc on what intensive therapy entailed and how it changed her son's life.
As the founder and CEO of NAPA Center, Lynette shares her knowledge and experience with other families, while giving back to community. NAPA Center's therapists travel around the world to be trained in the best therapies one can find. Lynette's dream of sharing all the therapies she found for Cody has become a reality. When you walk inside the doors you know….you have arrived to the place you were looking for. Welcome to our NAPA Family…..
BBA Marketing, University of Iowa
Growing up as the brother of Cody LaScala, now 28 with cerebral palsy, Bryan has developed a strong passion for serving children with disabilities. Tagging along to Cody’s therapy sessions (PT, OT, ST, HBOT, Hippo, Aqua, Vision, etc.), doctors appointments, surgeries, emergency room visits, and many of the out of state/country programs Cody attended, Bryan was exposed to the healthcare industry and special needs community at a very young age.
During his high school years, Bryan began working in respite care, and had intentions of going to college to pursue his degree in physical therapy. After entering college at The University of Iowa, Bryan switched his major to business and graduated with his Bachelor's of Business Administration degree in Marketing. Promptly after graduation, Bryan joined the NAPA team, and also devotes his time to the NAPA Center Kids Foundation.
OTD, OTR/L, SWC
Lisa is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy and the Director of Rehabilitation at the NAPA Center. She received her Occupational Therapy Doctorate and Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy degrees from the University of Southern California in 2007 and 2008 and has been practicing in pediatrics in a variety of settings since then.
Lisa's dedicated work in occupational therapy has enabled her to travel worldwide from Ghana to Singapore to Australia aiding children with disabilities. Lisa has a strong passion for working with children and enjoys the help and support the NAPA Center Kids Foundation offers.
Cecilia, also known as Cece, is the friendly face you first see when you walk into NAPA Center. When she is not answering phones, scheduling appointments, or working with insurance, you can find her completing one of her many home improvement projects. CeCe amazes us daily with her incredible ability to multitask.
Note to Parents: Cece is now accepting donuts, chips, or candy for anyone who wishes to reschedule for a same day appointment.
BS Marketing & BA Media Arts, The University of Montana
Ellen always knew she would work in marketing, but never imagined getting to help families along the way. With a true passion for all things creative, she enjoys designing visuals that pull people in. Although most of her day is spent behind a desk, she will never turn down an opportunity to interact the cute kids that come into NAPA.
When Ellen is not creating, she most likely can be found hiking, putting IKEA furniture together, or watching really bad reality T.V. shows. Still new to California, she loves tourist attractions of any kind and exploring all LA has to offer.
BA Business Administration/Finance, Loyola Marymount, Culver City, CA
Before Cindy, behind the scenes at NAPA was a little chaotic to say the least. We are thankful that Cindy has dedicated her career to helping support the entire NAPA family as a whole. She has become a true go to as the human resources manager by implementing an open door policy. “Literally, her door is always open,” our physical therapist Jen told us. Cindy’s biggest reward is seeing first hand how many lives are improved by a combination of therapy and a staff who is commitment to their well being. Ask her about the best movies to see this weekend or where some good boutique shopping can be found in Los Angeles.
CPC American Academy of Professional Coders
Sean grew up in Ohio, and moved to sunny California to pursue his passion in business administration. Always wanting to give back, Sean found working in finance makes a huge impact in the growth of a business. His dedication to helping families with the mysteries of insurance has also allowed him to do what he loves. Being a father and sports enthusiast, Sean enjoys spending time with his children and watching his beloved Buckeyes, Lakers, and Cowboys. He claims he only works here for the free coffee and donuts, but we know Sean’s favorite thing about NAPA is seeing the reward of helping other families and their children.
Hyperbaric Medicine Certified, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center
Barbara came to NAPA in 2010 and is a true jack-of-all-trades. From martial arts to brewing the best cup of coffee, Barbara truly does it all. She is well known making hyperbaric oxygen experience a comfortable one for both patients and parents. Coined as the Mother Bear of NAPA, you can most likely find her running around, making sure everything is in order and that everyone is happy and content. Barbara explains, “It’s all about the children getting better.”
Her current projects include remodeling her home and helping with her autistic great grandson. They are working on saying simple words because It’s her dream for him to speak.
Cenny is one of the first faces you see coming into NAPA Center. Cenny handles billing and acts as CeCe’s right hand woman. Between this dynamic duo, there isn’t a question that can’t be answered. Cennys favorite thing about working for NAPA is seeing the kids improve. “I love seeing each child grow from their first day of the intensive to the last. It makes me so happy seeing their hard work pay off.”
Cenny has always wanted to work with kids. In her family she is the go to babysitter. On her days off, Cenny enjoys cooking her famous spaghetti for her nephews, having spa days, and going to watch her favorite team play the Los Angeles Dodgers.
MBIC, UEI College
Belle chose the administrative side of healthcare because she wanted to help families get the care that they needed. Working with different insurance parties can be quite the daunting task but Belle loves when the kids stop by the billing department just to say hello. When Belle is not crunching numbers, you can find her cozy at home watching Disney movies with her daughter. She also enjoys going to classic car shows on the weekends. If it screams retro, smells vintage, and sounds rock and roll, Belle is your gal!
MBIC, American Career College
Behind the scenes at NAPA, Jessie is working hard to help insurance cover as much therapy as possible! Like all parents, Jessie has been trying to teach her daughter the value of a dollar. Despite her efforts, she let us know “Toddlers don’t care about your budget.” Jessie gets the best of both worlds working in billing. She can say hi to all of the cute kids but retreat to her desk if they happen to have a meltdown. Ultimately, her favorite part about coming to work each day is getting to help families navigate the tricky world of insurance.
Xochilth started out as a parent at NAPA Center and now helps with all aspects of day to day business. Knowing what it’s like for a child to need therapy makes her truly compassionate and an excellent source of knowledge for NAPA parents. Nothing makes Xochilth happier than seeing a child reach their milestones. “I know how difficult it is for the child to reach the goals we set for them, even something as simple as reaching out to grab a toy.”
Xochilth is a true family gal who will take any opportunity to spend quality time with her loved ones. Going to the beach and relaxing at the lake are on the top of her list for favorite family activities. She also enjoys watching her kids play sports and coaching softball.
Current Student at Los Angeles Valley College
Ms. Sarah adores children so much that decided to make it her lifelong career path. She is currently wrapping up some prerequisites before transferring to CSU to earn her degree in child and adolescent development. Right now, we are keeping her mind sharp by putting her to work in both the billing department and preschool. Her favorite part of the day is reading to her preschoolers. It takes no time to notice everything Sarah does is with great enthusiasm and spirit. In fact, Sarah is so passionate about a good read she once traveled all the way to Oregon to check out one of the top 10 bookstores in the country. Talk about commitment!
BS Degree Health Administration and AS Degree Medical Assisting
Ebony is eclectically skilled and trained in medical office management and medical reimbursement. She has a depth of experience in Health Administration, having worked as a medical administrative and billing manager in a variety of medical office settings such as: cardiac, Ob/Gyn, wellness centers, family practices, and chiro/physical therapy clinics. Collectively, Ebony has worked 15+ years at various clinics, hospitals, and medical groups handling front/back office, and medical billing.
Being a mother of a special needs child herself, the most rewarding thing about working at Napa is the constant visual support she receives. Getting to physically see the children gain new physical and mental heights that many parents of special need kids are told “will never happen” gives her hope, faith, and belief that improvements CAN be attained in average daily living activities. “I can tell my child with special needs that with assistance, he too can improve and have growth. It is both an overwhelming and encouraging environment because one of the many practices is that of just simply engaging with the child in addition to repetitive therapies that support this bonding.” When this busy mom gets a moment for fun, she is always down for camping with family, dancing, singing, sewing, routing for Miami Dolphins with her hubby, cooking, and ALL things Beyonce’.
Rebecca Weiss has worked at NAPA Center as a physical therapist since interning here in 2008. She graduated with a Bachelors degree in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and a Masters of Physical Therapy from Cal State University Northridge. Rebecca has had an interest in pediatrics since volunteering at the Children's Hospital of Oakland while in undergrad.
Rebecca has dedicated her practice to Cuevas Medek Exercises (CME) since studying under Ramon Cuevas in Santiago, Chile three times since November 2011. She believes that CME has enabled her to facilitate countless improvements in the lives of children and families at NAPA Center, and is so grateful she discovered CME.
When not working, Rebecca and her husband are busy running around with three small children - Aviv, Benjamin, and Talia. Never a dull moment in the Weiss household!
BS Sports Rehab Therapy, Fremont College
Geoff feels that being a therapist for kids with special needs gives him a sense of accomplishment. "Hard work pays off!" It is also a very rewarding job that keeps him grounded. He enjoys weight lifting and watching Greenbay football games with friends and family.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Idaho State University
Liz relocated to Los Angeles from Idaho specifically to work at NAPA Center. Liz has always loved being around children, especially when she began coaching youth soccer as a teenager. She still enjoys coaching, and even spent a winter as a youth ski instructor. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her family and friends, ski, and snowboard. Liz was introduced to physical therapy when she was injured playing soccer in her senior year of high school. Soon after learning more about the profession, she shadowed a pediatric physical therapist, and knew immediately that she wanted to pursue it as a career. After graduating with her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Idaho State University in 2010, she spent her first two years working at the Infant-Toddler Program in Idaho in early intervention. She then spent two years in Utah working for The Learning Center for Families, as well as teaching Sports Medicine and Anatomy, before moving to Los Angeles with her husband, Adam.
Liz is a member of the Pediatric section of the American Physical Therapy Association, has completed her CME Level 1 training, has attended numerous continuing education conferences and courses, and has had formal training with children's orthotics. One of Liz's ambitions is to organize and run a soccer camp for children with special needs.
Doctorate of Physical Therapy, Samuel Merritt University
Jennifer chose the field of physical therapy because she wanted to work directly with patients to help them gain or regain movement and independence. Jennifer has passion for pediatrics and has worked with children for the past 11 years. In addition to treating patients with traditional physical therapy, Jennifer has a post professional certificate in Cuevas Medek Exercises, and has been trained in NeuroSuit therapy.
BS Human Development and Family Sciences, The University of Texas
AAS Physical Therapy, Houston Community College
From coaching little league cheerleaders to volunteering at pediatric therapy clinics throughout her undergrad, Lauren knew she wanted to pursue a career focused on helping children become strong and independent. Lauren moved from Houston, Texas to become part of the NAPA family after seeing the substantial gains a fellow patient of hers received after attending our intensive program. And yes, “ya'll” is a permanent part of her vocabulary. It only takes one conversation to learn that Lauren is dedicated to three things: The Texas Longhorns, helping kids, and brunch.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, University of St. Augustine
After interning in a pediatric setting during graduate school, Katie found working with children to be the most rewarding! We admire her go for it attitude, adventurous sprit, and superhuman ability to turn down anything with sugar in the therapist lounge. Katie is a diligent worker and notoriously the first one into the clinic to prepare for the day ahead. Along with completing CME training, she continues to enroll in education courses to stay current in the world of PT.
MS Physiotherapy, Physical Education Academy, PolandIf you know one thing about Arthur, it’s that he absolutely loves being around kids. Arthur is full of jokes and is always seems to be in an excellent mood. He has a way of making difficult tasks and exercises seem like less of a chore for his patients. Although his true passion is helping kids get stronger, Arthur enjoys a good long hike, listening to music, or simply relaxing. He also is a huge current affairs buff.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Loma Linda University
After growing up primarily in Idaho, Larissa attended college in Washington, and then Graduate school here in Southern California at Loma Linda University. Larissa loves to utilize her knowledge of the human body to help children grow. She gets her inspiration for both original and creative PT activities from her favorite pastimes such as camping, hiking, hanging out with friends and family, and traveling. Her most recent travels have led her to The Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Ireland. In fact, she lived almost a year in Micronesia teaching 4th grade before going into graduate school. Larissa is excited to be working at NAPA as she knows that she will be able to help children from all over the world progress in their gross motor goals.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Western University of Health Sciences
Emily graduated with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2015 from Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA. She is originally from Minnesota (brr!) and became interested in pediatric physical therapy at a young age thanks to her mom, who is also a pediatric physical therapist. Emily started working with kids as a teenager doing everything from nannying, working as a special education teacher’s assistant, and volunteering as a special needs soccer coach. During her physical therapy school internships, Emily spent three months at NAPA Center and fell in love with all the cute kids and fun, supportive, atmosphere.
When she is not at NAPA, Emily enjoys running or biking at the beach, watching re-runs of Friends, spending time with her husband and friends, and traveling home to “Minne-snow-ta” visit her family.
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Mount Saint Mary’s University
Laura grew up in a small active community in Tahoe City, CA where she spent her childhood waterskiing, mountain biking, hiking, snowshoeing, and downhill skiing. Growing up in such an active community gave Laura a love for movement, which fueled her dream of becoming a physical therapist. At a young age, she also knew she wanted to work with kids because she has always loved being creative and using her imagination.
Laura completed her final clinical rotation in physical therapy school at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where she gained experience treating children with a wide range of orthopedic and neurological diagnoses. She is continually motivated by how rewarding it is to help kids learn and grow through enhancing their movement. Laura is excited to be working at NAPA where she can continue to work with kids near and far to achieve their mobility goals! Laura also shares a love for music and the great outdoors. She plays guitar, takes piano lessons, and frequents the Hollywood Bowl for concerts. She doesn’t miss a beat after work by paddle boarding, training for half marathons and taking trips to Disneyland.
Raquel graduated with a degree in Physical Therapy in Madrid, Spain in 2001 and specialized in pediatrics in 2003. She worked in early intervention using traditional European techniques (as Bobath, Vojta and Le Metayer) until 2010, when she joined her husband in an adventure to the US.
Since her move to America, Raquel has made two trips to Chile to get her certification as a CME practitioner under the tutoring of Ramon Cuevas. She is passionate about helping families unleash their CME superpowers and discover all the benefits of this unique approach to physical therapy. Raquel is a firm believer that the therapy needs to adapt to each kids needs on an individual level. Along with an individualized approach, she also finds it’s equally important to sing as much as possible during each session. This busy mom rarely gets a moment to herself but when she does, she loves to empower women by exercising her make up artist skills or cook paella!
Erin graduated from Whittier College with her bachelor’s degree in child development. She then attended the University of Southern California, where she received her Master’s degree in occupational therapy. She has worked with children in a variety of settings, and knew she wanted to become an occupational therapist while in high school after volunteering in the NICU of a hospital. She enjoys working with both neuromotor and sensory populations and is trained in the Astronaut program, and Cuevas Medek Exercise.
Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy, Boston University
Lauren chose the field of occupational therapy because of interests in helping others while being creative. Lauren completed internships in the area of physical dysfunction in a hospital setting such as, Cedars- Sinai Medical Center inpatient rehabilitation unit and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center acute care. Lauren developed a passion for working with children while volunteering on a service trip in Ecuador in 2012. While in Ecuador, she observed and assisted occupational therapists to provide intervention for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities. She has diverse experience working with the pediatric population. Prior to working at NAPA, Lauren was a member of the interdisciplinary team in a sensory integration clinic. She enjoyed working closely with many different professionals to provide services in developmental playgroups, clinics, and in schools.
BA Psychology, Cal State University Channel Islands
Associates of Occupational Science in Occupational Therapy, Stanbridge College
Kristen has always known that she wanted to work with kids. From her first job as a special needs babysitter to working at NAPA, children have always been a focuses point for her. She wants to make a difference in their lives while helping families along the way. Kristen has TONS of energy! When she is not in the therapy gym, she can be found going on adventures, hiking, or reading. New to the LA area from the OC, Kristen enjoys exploring the city and is excited to take advantage of all the musicals LA has to offer.
Jenny graduated with a Masters in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California where she was born and raised. She has always wanted to work with kids, but wasn’t sure what field to go into until she found occupational therapy. Jenny started at NAPA as a student and decided to never leave! Jenny is a total foodie and makes all the other therapists jealous of the gourmet feasts she brings in for lunch. When she is not cooking, she spends her free time practicing martial arts, going dancing, and eating good food.
MOT, OTR/L, University of St. Augustine
Tiffany has been passionate about working with children from a young age. While teaching special education, Tiffany discovered the effectiveness of occupational therapy for students with sensory processing difficulties. This inspired her to move across the country to receive her degree in OT and work in both school and clinic-based settings.In her spare time, Tiffany enjoys spending time with friends, traveling, and cheering on The Ohio State University Buckeyes!
MA Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California
Sharon graduated from USC with a bachelor's and master's in occupational therapy. She spent the first two years of her career working in a Dallas children's hospital, with neuro and trauma patients. She also worked in Boston, Chicago, and southern Oregon with a wide range of adult and pediatric patients during her year as a traveling therapist. She ultimately decided to settle in beautiful and sunny southern California! She would like parents to know that she spends her free time wisely, doing things like rollerblading around Santa Monica, traveling to see her friends, or eating carne asada burritos.
Ali graduated with a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from CSU Dominguez Hills in 2013. Her passion for working in the pediatric setting started when she was an assistant in an early intervention program where she embraced the unpredictable, yet rewarding nature of working with children. Prior to joining the NAPA team, Ali gained experience as a school based therapist, working closely with children, families, and interdisciplinary teams. Born and raised in the South Bay, Ali loves going to the beach, running, watching sports, and spending time with family and friends. During college football season you can catch her cheering for her Arizona State Sun Devils!
Allyson has had the opportunity to work with the pediatric population in a variety of settings including public and non-public schools, the children’s hospital hand clinic, and child development centers. Allyson graduated from Wake Forest University with a bachelor’s degree in education, and taught in Washington D.C. for three years before becoming an occupational therapist. After moving across the country and graduating from the University of Southern California with a masters in occupational therapy, she is currently working towards completing her doctorate. You can find her in two places, at the beach playing sports, or studying for her next test. She let us know her passion and devotion to learning is fueled by getting to help children participate in everyday meaningful activities.
Masters in Science in Occupational Therapy - University of Southern California
Jennell earned her bachelors degree in Child Development from the University of Wyoming but knew she wanted to do more to help kids physically and mentally. She then moved to sunny California where she earned her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California in 2010. Jennell worked at various pediatric clinics around Los Angeles but fell in love with NAPA Center because of the intensity and the variety of children she got to work with.
After two years at NAPA, she moved to Nashville Tennessee, where she continued work as a pediatric occupational therapist while also pursing a music career. We were thrilled to invite back NAPA’s most talented singer to our Sydney team! Jennell continues serenade her kiddos.
As a practitioner, Jennell has experience working with children with neurological disorders, sensory processing disorders, sensory-based feeding disorder, developmental delay, autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and fine motor delays. She really enjoys working with both neuro and sensory populations. Jennell has trained in various programs related to sensory issues such as the iLS (integrative listening systems), sensory integration, SOS feeding therapy, HWT, Wilbarger brushing techniques, as well as behavior programs such as the Zones of Regulation and Alert Program.
AA, Cerritos College
Julie comes from an elementary school based environment. She works predominately with children who have Autism. Her background includes Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy and Picture Exchange Communications Systems. She is passionate about working in Early Intervention and celebrating success big or small with parents.
Everyone at NAPA loves being around Julie. She brings a fun and vibrant energy with her wherever she goes. Sometimes we catch her on the the trampoline or in the ball pit after all of the kids leave.
Master of Science in Communication Science and Disorders, Florida State University
Katrina is a bilingual speech language pathologist who was born and raised in Miami, Florida. She was interested in speech language pathology from a young age growing up with a friend with cerebral palsy. While she has worked with a variety of patients ranging from pediatric to geriatric populations, her greatest passion lies in collaborating with children and their families. Katrina works to facilitate functional communication through speech and language intervention, as well as healthy and safe relationships with food through feeding and swallowing intervention.
Areas of interest and training include early intervention, multiculturalism and severe disabilities, feeding and swallowing, voice and fluency, and augmentative and alternative communication. She loves to stay active with activities such as hiking and exploring all Los Angeles has to offer.
BS Communication Disorders, California State University Long Beach
Jamie is a board game playing, amusement park going, cooking, and exercising queen, who also happens to be a mom of two! While researching different ways to help her children, both of whom needed speech services, Jamie discovered a love for the world of speech and language. Like many moms, she relies on and appreciates how her kid’s therapists have transformed her family’s life and overall wellbeing. It’s absolutely apparent to us that Jamie loves getting to give back. She continues to research and find different ways to reach each child. “There is no better feeling than working with a child and seeing them grow with their speech, language and communication.”
B.S. Biology, University of California, Irvine
B.A. Communicative Disorders, Utah State
Lisa is our hiking, biking, baking, beach loving, California native with a huge appetite for great food and helping others. Growing up with an aunt who has Down syndrome introduced Lisa to the world of speech and language pathology. Lisa explained to us this career path is “ a great way to make a positive impact on an individual’s life and the lives of their families.” Lisa has worked in pretty much every pediatric setting, from early intervention to special education preschool, all the way up through high school. She enjoys collaborating with parents to help their child grow in their speech and language skills and has a whole lot of fun doing it!
MA Speech-Language Pathology, California State University, Long Beach
The extensive impact that communication and feeding have on a child's everyday quality of life are deep passions that drew Miki to the field of speech-language pathology. Miki loves working together with parents to support a child’s gains in therapy. Her prior clinical experience includes ABA therapy, feeding therapy in a pediatric hospital setting, early intervention, and in school-based settings. Miki’s areas of special interest involve feeding/swallowing disorders, language disorders, early language acquisition, and intervention with severe/medically complex diagnoses. This outdoors enthusiast loves to travel and explore new places, read, and eat delicious food!
B.S. Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, CSU Sacramento
Amanda is one of our bilingual SLPA’s, fluent in both English and Tagalog. Born and raised in the Philippines until the age of 9, she learned both languages simultaneously. Amanda knows first hand the impact speech and language contributes to different cultures. She was introduced to the field of speech language pathology while researching career paths that would combine her interest in multicultural communication differences with her passion for working with children. Amanda has experience with pre-school and school aged children in small groups, as well as a structured ABA socialization program for school aged children with Autism. When not striking up a conversation with her patients at NAPA, Amanda enjoys spending as much time as she can with her friends and family, playing tennis, or museum hopping up and down the coast.
MS Communicative Sciences and Disorders, New York University
Niloo found her way into the world of speech language pathology through a love of languages and cultures. Niloo grew up in Dubai and moved to America where she experienced life in both New York and Los Angeles. She completed her undergraduate career at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she received her bachelor’s in linguistics and psychology. From there, she attended New York University for her master’s degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Niloo finds motivation and passion in the multiple opportunities within this field to give someone a voice and the chance to be heard. Niloo loves to spend her evenings with her family at home, cuddling with her dog Watson. On weekends, you can find her hiking, at the beach, snowboarding, or discovering the endless amount of cuisine LA has to offer.
M.A. of Education specialization in Early Childhood Education from National University
Glenda has been working in the field of Early Intervention and special education for over 10 years. As a child, Glenda worked alongside her great aunt who owned a family daycare. She would call Glenda her “little teacher,” which inspired Glenda to eventually become an educator.
Glenda enjoys helping everyone in the Kidz Academy reach their developmental goals in an environment that is both creative and structural. She continues to be a great resource for both parents and staff as she has taught preschool for five years and has 13 years experience working as a behavioral therapist implementing ABA practices.
Glenda is active participant in her sons travel basketball team and is well known as ‘the loudest mom on the court.’ Along with perfecting her game day cheers, she has also mastered play therapy, with over three years of experience using a floor-time therapy approach.
Assistant TeacherAlly first came to us because helping kids is always on her mind. She loves to give big bear hugs and help her kiddos complete beautiful arts and crafts. The kids love getting to play with Ally because she has a way of making each little individual feel special. Ally tells us “Nothing makes me happier than getting to play and sing with the kids at NAPA.” When she isn’t busy helping her little guys in the classroom she loves to bake and play sports.
Current Student at Santa Monica Community College
Meet Daisy, a woman who truly doesn’t hesitate when it comes to helping others. This super sweet mom stood by her nephew’s side everyday of his intensive therapy program, as well as during traditional therapy before she took on a job at NAPA. She quickly developed a way of drawing out just what kids need and are trying to express. With over three years of special needs experience, Daisy is never short on great advice. She inspires her tiny tots to try something new everyday and lives by the mantra: “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein.
BS Human Development, California State University, Long Beach
Our kids use him as a human jungle gym, but Jesus continues to show the NAPA team how to bring a little more patience into our day. Jesus began his work with special needs children while volunteering during college. Through this experience working with children diagnosed with autism, Jesus formed a special connection and understanding with the struggles that special needs children and their families undergo. This inspired him to work in a research lab where he assisted with the implementation of an experimental educational program for Latino families of children with autism. Jesus now plans on attending graduate school and focusing his research on mental health issues within the Latino community.
University of California Irvine, B.A. Psychology
Denise always knew she had a passion for helping kids grow and learn, so she chose a field she would be able to do so in everyday! Before NAPA, she worked as a behavioral specialist providing support to children with autism. It is because of this work that she plans on becoming a speech therapist.
When Denise isn’t trying to make the kiddos laugh, she’s at home being the best dog mom possible. She loves to take them on hikes and play in streams in nearby Los Angeles mountains. If they are really good, she let’s them binge watch Netflix with her.
Masters in Communication Management, Asian Institute of Journalism & Communication
Michelle has 21 years of combined experience in the multimedia, academe, non-profit, and public relations. But her seven years of experience in special education have taught her the value of patience and encouragement. Her skills in differentiated instruction, assistive technology, and multi-sensory lesson planning allow her to meet the needs of every student. She works closely with each child to provide the individualized support and praise they require. It’s apparent to us that Michelle truly appreciates and learns from every family she works with. If you can’t find her in the classroom, Michelle told us “I can most likely be found at a Blue October or Dalton Rapattoni concert!”
B.A. Major in Psychology, University of California, San Diego
Karina dedicated most of her time in college to volunteering at her local community center where she helped kids of all ages in expanding their learning through art and science projects. She confirmed her passion of working with kids through a recent position she had as a Kindergarten teacher in an after school program. She hopes to one day become a speech pathologist, because “there’s nothing greater than helping a little one develop a strong voice to be heard.”
Karina’s favorite part of her workday is story time at NAPA. When story time is “all done” she is constantly looking for new dessert places to try, scrolling through Netflix to add more shows to her already long list, or taking spontaneous trips to Disneyland.
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