Melissa is originally from Orange County, California. After spending 2 years in Oklahoma working at a center-based pediatric clinic, she decided to move back west to Arizona to be closer to family. Melissa found herself in this field by chance while going through school as a pre-law major. Needing to find work, she got a job as a nanny for a child with autism. She received training in ABA and found that she loved the work and decided to change her major at that point. She loves to “teach kids how to be kids”, teaching them to socialize, play, and just how to learn properly. Outside of work, Melissa loves spending time with her family and you may be able to find her out singing karaoke on the weekends!
Daniel Wechsler is a clinical psychologist at Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services. He earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2018 from the Arizona School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Phoenix. Dr. Wechsler also completed his Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Argosy University.
Dr. Wechsler completed his postdoctoral training at Beljan Psychological Services in Phoenix, Arizona and his predoctoral internship at the American Psychological Association (APA) accredited Jewish Family and Children’s Services within the Centerstone Consortium in Sarasota, Florida. Most recently, he performed autism assessments and conducted assessments for research studies at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) for two years before joining the SPBS team.
Dr. Wechsler’s clinical experience includes pediatric neuropsychological assessment, autism assessment, pediatric and adult psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, play therapy, and social skills development. Dr. Wechsler’s professional interests include assessment and consultation of early childhood development, autism, neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., learning disorders, ADHD, and executive functioning impairments), gifted intellect, as well as other emotional, mood, and behavioral disorders.
Dr. Wechsler is passionate about psychological and neuropsychological testing, helping parents better understand their children, and helping children reach their potential. Dr. Wechsler is a member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Arizona Psychological Association (AzPA), the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology (AAPdN), and the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN).
Dr. Frank Frias, is a Clinical Supervisor and Director of Training here at Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services and has been practicing behavior therapy for over 9 years. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Queens College, and a Master’s and Doctoral degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York.
Dr. Frank has worked with children from the age of 2 to 16 years old with moderate to severe learning and behavioral difficulties and has provided ABA services in both the home and school setting as a direct service provider and supervisor. He has also worked as a teacher’s assistant and teacher at the preschool and kindergarten grade levels. Dr. Frank is most experienced in administering evidenced-based assessments and verbal behavior development assessments to identify behavioral cusps that need to be established for academic and social success to continue expanding.
Katie Keenan holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Toledo in Ohio and a certificate in interprofessional teaming. Katie found a passion for childhood development when a family friend was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Though often discussed in the education of a speech therapist; Katie discovered ABA when she had the opportunity to work at a clinic during her graduate studies. This experience allowed her to understand the importance of open-mindedness and collaboration while also giving her the chance to share her scope of practice as an SLP. Katie uses a child-led approach when working with children and specializes in following their interests and embedding therapeutic techniques into their play.
While looking for a position that allowed her to help children develop their language and play skills in an outpatient setting, Katie stumbled upon SPBS. Intrigued by our unique environment and holistic approach to meeting children at their current level, she decided to join our team and make Scottsdale Pediatric Behavioral Services her new home. Still a kid at heart, Katie finds the most rewarding part of her day to be playing and engaging with her clients and seeing them independently use targeted skills. In her free time, Katie enjoys traveling, making hand-crafted espressos, and experimenting with herbs and spices in her kitchen.
Alex has three years of ABA experience and has worked with children from two to seventeen. Armed with a bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s in special education with an emphasis in Applied Behavioral Analysis from ASU, Alex’s area of expertise is in the management and recovery from challenging and difficult behaviors while also focusing on the care and connection with the individuals he works with.
Alex was drawn to SPBS’ multifaceted team and the growth opportunities we provide to our staff beyond the master’s level of education. With several family members on the spectrum, Alex shares a close relationship with ASD and enjoys the heavy focus placed on our clients and their needs. Alex enjoys the ability to know all his coworkers and build relationships in a collaborative environment.
When he isn’t at work, you can find Alex mentoring youth in the community, spending time with his cat Momo, or engaging in physical activities such as Rock climbing or snowboarding.
Paul Ettinger grew up in a suburban town in New Jersey 30 minutes outside of New York City. He discovered ABA shortly after high school when a friend referred him for a job with a non-profit organization that provided community-based services for individuals with Autism. From there, Paul attended Kean University in Union, New Jersey, where he completed his undergrad in Psychology and went on to Arizona State University where he attained a Master’s in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavioral Analysis.
Most of Paul’s experience is in early intervention in the clinical setting with children ages three to six and has worked with both adolescents and adults in the residential setting. Paul has a strong background in using discrete trial teaching methods as well as utilizing functional analysis procedures to better identify function-based interventions for maladaptive behaviors. Paul finds the most rewarding part of his day to be connecting with clients and their families daily as well as watching his clients make progress towards living more independent and fulfilling lives.
Paul made the choice to join our team due to our emphasis on quality vs quantity in the care of our patients as well as our focus on early intervention. He enjoys the readiness to help from our clinical team and the diversification of skills amongst our supervisors.
Outside of work you can find Paul participating in recreational sports such as volleyball or hockey or camping and hiking outdoors while working towards his goal of visiting all 63 national parks.
Aunie is originally from the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She studied Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and discovered ABA during an internship she received at an inpatient facility for individuals who engage in severe and complex challenging behaviors. She fell in love with the field of ABA during this time, as it allowed her to combine technical skills and compassionate care to change the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree, she moved to Houston, Texas, where she completed her Master’s degree in Behavior Analysis at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Although her passion and expertise are in assessing and treating severe and complex challenging behaviors, she also enjoys teaching early learner skills and complex verbal behavior.
Scottsdale PBS stood out to Aunie because of their emphasis on individualized treatments and programming, and their stress on the importance of providing services in all settings the individual lives and learns in. In addition, she loved the commitment to compassionate care the director, BCBAs, and RBTs at SPBS demonstrated and is continuously motivated to embody that herself.
Outside of her time at work, Aunie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, bingeing reality TV shows, and cheering on all Wisconsin sports teams (Go Badgers!).
Kaitlin Woodard was born and raised in a small town in upstate New York. After choosing to double up her junior year of high school, Kaitlin graduated at 16 years old and moved on to pursue her bachelor’s degree in business administration at Kaplan University. While still in New York, Kaitlin started working at a local hospital in the billing department, where she discovered her joy for the research in the insurance billing field and the constant challenge that it provided. This interest helped inspire her to transfer to a private practice where she learned how to code.
Upon moving to Arizona, Kaitlin came across SPBS and became interested in the position and company. Having no prior experience with ABA she was interested in learning a new skill, and she was impressed by the services we provide. After Starting with us, Kaitlin gave herself a goal of becoming certified and now holds certifications as a Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialists, Certified Professional Biller, and Certified Professional Coder. Kaitlin prides herself on the ability to effectively navigate the health insurance world while paying attention to small details and staying up to date on policy changes. Kaitlin can quickly aid our families in understanding their insurance benefits and ensure that our clients are covered. One of the things Kaitlin loves about SPBS is that from the front to the backend we strive to ensure that our families have the best services, success, and experience that we can provide. When not working, Kaitlin enjoys hiking and exploring new places with her husband and two children.