Meet Our Teams

Main Office: Princess Anne

Meet Lauren-Nicole “Nicole” Jinier, our dynamic CEO and Owner at Paragon Autism Services, is a true innovator in the field. With over 10 years of experience leading our company, she has demonstrated unwavering dedication to improving the lives of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA), Nicole’s expertise and passion have been the driving force behind Paragon’s success. Her extensive background includes serving as the President and Board Member of the Autism Society of Northern Virginia, where she actively advocated for individuals and families, and teaching undergraduate classes in Early Child Development.

With a focus on intensive ABA services, Nicole has spearheaded groundbreaking programs that have revolutionized the lives of numerous individuals. Her unwavering commitment to evidence-based practices and her dedication to the community have been exemplified in her establishment and advancement of Paragon Autism Services.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Nicole finds joy in the simple pleasures of life. She cherishes spending quality time with her daughter and husband, enjoys taking trips to the beach and Disney World, and finding inspiration in their company.

Nicole’s visionary leadership, expertise in behavior analysis, and genuine care for those we serve make her an exceptional CEO and Owner. Under her guidance, Paragon Autism Services continues to thrive as a trusted provider of high-quality services for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Dorothy Descano, the Owner and President of Paragon Autism Services, brings with her a wealth of experience spanning over 25 years in the insurance and human resources fields. With her extensive knowledge and expertise, Dorothy has established herself as a trusted leader in her industry.

As the co-founder of Paragon Autism Services, Dorothy has played a crucial role in shaping the company’s vision and success. Her dedication and passion for helping individuals with autism have been instrumental in creating a supportive and inclusive environment for both employees and clients.

Dorothy’s professional accomplishments include earning the prestigious certification of Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

Under Dorothy’s leadership, Paragon Autism Services continues to thrive as a trusted provider of high-quality services for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Her strategic decision-making and strong business acumen have contributed to the company’s growth and reputation as a trusted provider in the field.

Meet Matthew “Matt” Jinier, the dynamic Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Paragon Autism Services. With a distinguished background as a Sergeant in the Marine Corps, a Master Deputy in the Prince William County Sheriff’s Office, and a Masters degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University, Matt brings a uniquely versatile perspective to his leadership role.

Ingrained with values of discipline, teamwork, and integrity from his military and law enforcement careers, Matt expertly orchestrates our day-to-day operations and departmental coordination. His role is instrumental in driving our organizational success.

Matt’s talent extends beyond administration to adept problem-solving. His keen attention to detail and resourcefulness ensure seamless operations, empowering our teams to concentrate on their foremost mission: delivering exceptional services to individuals diagnosed with autism and related disorders as well as the special needs community.

Meet Alisa Huynh, our Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who brings compassion and a wealth of expertise to Paragon. With a 20-year career dedicated to serving neurodiverse individuals, Alisa has worked in multiple settings, including homes, schools, businesses, communities, and clinical environments. In these experiences she has applied the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with passion and dedication. Her focus has been on supporting individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities, and related behavioral health disorders. As a Subject Matter Expert in ABA, she has also collaborated with professionals from different fields, contributing her expertise to interdisciplinary teams to address complex challenges and promote holistic approaches to support individuals and innovative AI product development.

As our Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), Alisa is responsible for strategic planning and ensuring the long-term sustainability of our organization. Previously, she served as the Director of Intensive ABA Services at Paragon, overseeing the delivery of high-quality services to individuals with autism and related disorders.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Alisa finds joy in cooking, expressing her creativity through painting, and figure skating. Residing in Northern Virginia with her family, she takes pride in being a native of the DC Metropolitan area. Alisa’s diverse talents, unwavering commitment, and compassionate approach make her an invaluable asset to Paragon and the individuals we serve.

Meet Emily Jett, our Director of Professional Development and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. With a strong academic background, Emily holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology (BSc) from Bangor University, UK, and a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Bangor University, UK/California State University- Stanislaus (MSc).

Emily’s professional journey includes research, clinical, and direct experience with children aged 15 months to 12 years at an Early Intervention Clinic. Additionally, she worked at Paragon Autism Services, where she served as a Behavior Specialist, Training and Services Coordinator, and contributed as the Director of Professional Development.

Emily’s professional interests lie in training others in the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). She finds great fulfillment in supporting individuals to achieve their career goals while empowering them to make positive changes in the lives of those they serve.

Outside of work, Emily enjoys immersing herself in nature and embarking on adventures with her family, embracing the joys of the great outdoors.

As the Director of Professional Development, Emily Jett brings her expertise, dedication, and passion to our organization. With her Master’s degree (MSc) and credentials as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA), she plays a vital role in driving professional growth and ensuring excellence in our team.

Meet Anh-Tram “Chum” Newcomb, our Training and Development Specialist, a dedicated and experienced Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with a passion for training and continuing education. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Chum firmly believes in the power of effective education, training, and collaboration to achieve success.

Having worked with individuals from the age of 2-60 years old, Chum’s expertise lies in behavior analysis, and she specializes in areas such as behavior skills training, ACT, educational and learning development, performance management, addiction, early intervention, and more. She is committed to improving the field of behavior analysis through compassionate, inclusive, and ethical training of clinicians and service providers. She has developed and conducted trainings on integrating ABA strategies to groups across the country, as well as presented on a variety of topics at multiple conferences. The core of her drive and work will always be to provide quality and comprehensive ABA services to families.

Chum’s educational background includes a Master of Education in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from George Mason University. With a wealth of experience, a passion for behavior analysis, and a commitment to ongoing growth, Chum is dedicated to making a positive impact in the field and improving the lives of individuals with special needs.

Outside of work, Chum has a variety of interests. She enjoys playing video games, caring for animals, and has multiple pets, including dogs, a hamster, and 5 aquariums. Chum also finds joy in spontaneous dance parties with her family and appreciates a diverse range of cuisines, but particularly enjoys tater tots and sushi.

Meet Lori Goudzwaard, our friendly and approachable Intake and HR Manager. With over 20 years of experience in the administrative world, Lori is a seasoned professional specializing in Payroll, Accounts Payable, and HR, providing excellent support to Senior Management and Executives. In her current role, she is excited to further develop her HR leadership skills and pursue advanced accreditation.

Lori is known for her exceptional interpersonal skills and her ability to build strong relationships with both our dedicated staff and valued clients. She believes in the power of open communication, mutual respect, and creating a collaborative work environment where everyone can thrive.

Outside of work, Lori enjoys a variety of hobbies that bring her joy. From crocheting to listening to her favorite tunes, singing, cooking up delicious meals, and tending to her garden, she finds solace and inspiration in these activities. Like many of us, she also loves diving into intriguing true crime podcasts.

Lori’s dedication, expertise, and commitment to personal and professional growth make her an incredible asset to our team. Her friendly nature and warm personality foster a positive and supportive work culture that we all appreciate. We consider ourselves fortunate to have Lori on board as our Intake and HR Manager, ensuring a friendly and welcoming experience for all.

Meet Whitney Sandlin, a dedicated and experienced Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), serves as the Director of Therapeutic Consultation. Driven by a strong desire to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, Whitney brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her role.

Whitney’s professional journey began with years of valuable experience supporting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in group homes and supervised apartments. This hands-on experience gave her a deep understanding of the challenges faced by individuals of all ages. Upon joining Paragon, Whitney shifted her focus to working with children with autism and related disorders, while still maintaining a keen interest in supporting older individuals. She looks forward to further expanding her expertise in working with adults in the future.

Whitney’s professional interests center around teaching functional communication and essential daily living skills, empowering her clients to achieve greater independence and a higher quality of life. She is wholeheartedly dedicated to helping individuals reach their full potential and attain meaningful outcomes.

Outside of work, Whitney finds joy in spending time with friends and traveling to visit her family. She also nurtures her passion for gardening and enjoys the art of winemaking at home. Whitney holds a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University.

With her unwavering passion, wealth of experience, and commitment to enhancing the lives of individuals with autism and developmental disabilities, Whitney is an invaluable asset to our company. As the Director of Therapeutic Consultation, she leads with compassion and determination, ensuring that each client receives the highest level of support and care.

Meet Sydni Hanley, a dedicated and experienced Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and the Senior Director of Intensive ABA Services. Sydni’s journey in behavior analysis began at the esteemed University of Florida, where she gained valuable research experience under the guidance of renowned experts, Dr. Brian Iwata and Dr. Tim Vollmer. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she honed her skills in an ABA clinical setting for 2-3 years, specializing in reducing maladaptive behaviors and helping individuals acquire functional replacement skills.

In 2015, Sydni achieved her Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) certification, which marked a significant milestone in her professional growth. Seeking new opportunities, she relocated to Virginia to provide in-home ABA services. During this time, she completed a master’s degree in behavior analysis and became a fully-fledged Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2018.

Sydni’s expertise lies in tailoring research and procedures to meet the unique needs of her clients. She excels at thinking “outside the box” and constantly seeks innovative solutions for complex behavioral challenges. Moreover, she derives immense satisfaction from training staff and imparting knowledge about the practical application of behavior principles in everyday life, utilizing a fun, interactive, and relatable approach.

Outside of her work, Sydni finds joy in spending quality time with her loved ones, including her spouse, child, and furry companions. She also indulges in binge-watching criminal defense shows and documentaries, finding entertainment in these gripping narratives.

Sydni Hanley is committed to making a positive impact in the lives of the individuals and families she serves, using her expertise and passion for behavior analysis.

Paragon Counseling Services

Tia Hawkins, a dedicated and experienced Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), joined Paragon in 2021 as the Assessment and Outreach Facilitator for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Services. With extensive expertise, she excels in assessments, community education, and crisis intervention.

Tia’s diverse background spans pivotal roles, including Residential Services Director, Clinical Supervisor, and Team Leader. Tia’s rigorous training focuses on administering the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) and The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADIR) assessments, demonstrating her dedication to comprehensive care for individuals with autism and related disorders.

With nearly 2 years of exceptional service at Paragon, Tia now serves as the Director of Outpatient Counseling. Her expertise spans various mental health areas, including Intensive Community Treatment (ICT), Intensive In-home counseling (IIH), Mental Health Skill-building (MHSS), Therapeutic Day Treatment (TDT), and Outpatient therapy services.

Tia’s approach to working with individuals of all ages is rooted in meeting them where they are, providing compassionate guidance, and developing personalized treatment plans tailored to their unique needs. She strives to empower clients and help them navigate life’s challenges while fostering positive change. Tia’s therapeutic approach draws from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a foundation, while incorporating techniques from other perspectives such as Client-centered, Mindfulness, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).

Passionate about making a difference in the lives of those she serves, Tia Hawkins, as the Director of Outpatient Counseling, combines her extensive experience, compassionate nature, and diverse therapeutic techniques to support individuals and families on their journey towards well-being and personal growth.

Caregiver Consultation ABA Services

Meet Tressa Tomei, a caring and skilled Caregiver Consultation Specialist. Prior to joining Paragon as Board Certified Behavior Analyst seven years ago, she worked at a private not-for-profit school in Florida with individuals with special needs. She has a strong ability to understand and guide caregivers in managing challenging behaviors and specializes in helping nonverbal children develop communication using various methods, such as vocals and AAC. Tressa’s main focus is to use her expertise in ABA to assist caregivers, empowering them to actively participate in their child’s development.

Outside of her professional life, Tressa finds joy and creative expression in the kitchen and enjoys reading. With her exceptional skills, experience, and caring approach, Tressa Tomei is committed to supporting caregivers and their children on their ABA journey. Parents can rely on her to provide valuable guidance and education, working together towards positive outcomes for their loved ones.

Meet Megan Jobski, a devoted and compassionate professional committed to making a positive impact in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). With a heartfelt dedication to supporting individuals with special needs and their families, Megan brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role at Paragon.

Megan’s journey in the field began when she accompanied her younger brother, who has autism, to his therapy appointments. Inspired by her personal experiences, she pursued her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at ODU. While living in California, she found a position as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) and advanced to become a Clinical Supervisor overseeing Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). Megan’s dedication to her clients and passion for helping others led her to join Paragon, where she continues to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those she serves.

Megan’s professional interests focus on trauma-informed care and parent/caregiver support. She is committed to bridging the gap in outreach and providing essential resources to families in need. Outside of work, Megan enjoys spending time outdoors with her two young boys, hiking, and cooking Italian meals.

With her unwavering dedication, extensive experience, and genuine compassion, Megan is an invaluable asset to our team at Paragon. As she continues her journey in the field of ABA, we are confident that Megan will continue to positively impact the lives of individuals with special needs and their families.

Spotsylvania In-Home ABA Leadership

Meet Caprice Roberts, a skilled Director of Intensive ABA Services, holding a Master’s in Education alongside her Board Certification in Behavior Analysis (BCBA) and License in Behavior Analysis (LBA). Caprice’s journey in ABA began in special education, where her passion for supporting individuals with diverse needs flourished.

Joining ABA, Caprice embraced the role of a Behavior Technician in 2012 before advancing to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2017. With her expertise and commitment, she assumed positions of increasing responsibility, eventually stepping into her current role as Director of Intensive ABA Services.

Committed to continuous learning and professional development, Caprice thrives on the challenges of her role, finding fulfillment in supporting families and mentoring new BCBAs. Her dedication extends beyond her professional life as she enjoys quality time with her loved ones, cherishing family outings and eagerly anticipating future travel adventures.

Clients and caregivers can trust in Caprice’s unwavering dedication to creating a supportive and enriching environment for individuals in need of ABA services.

Meet Rubina “Ruby” Bilal, a Clinical Supervisor whose journey at Paragon began as a Student Analyst in Prince William County. Holding a Bachelor’s degree from Penn State and a Master’s degree in Education in Applied Behavior Analysis from Temple University, Ruby brings a robust educational foundation to her role.

Ruby started her career working as a camp counselor for adults with developmental delays, where she taught vocational skills to groups. Inspired by the effectiveness of 1:1 instruction she observed, she transitioned into Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. As she  advances through the field, she is fueled by a desire to combat the social stigma surrounding autism within South Asian culture.

Fluent in Punjabi, Hindi, Arabic, English, and Urdu, Ruby’s multilingual abilities enhance her effectiveness in working with diverse individuals and communities. Beyond her professional pursuits, she finds joy in exploring the world with her family, setting a goal to visit at least one new country each year.

Ruby proudly holds the title of a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) and eagerly anticipates sitting for her BCBA exam in 2024, underscoring her dedication to ongoing professional development.  As a Clinical Supervisor, Ruby remains committed to inspiring positive change within Paragon and the communities it serves, embodying our values of inclusivity and excellence. 

Meet Jennifer Toufexis, a dedicated and experienced Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a Director of Intensive ABA Services. Since 2017, Jennifer has been actively involved in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), specializing in communication and teaching children effective ways to express their wants and needs.

Jennifer’s journey in ABA began when she was working as a teacher and encountered a student diagnosed with autism, which ignited a newfound passion within her. She places great emphasis on facilitating communication skills, whether through verbal communication or utilizing communication devices. Jennifer takes pride in working closely with bilingual families, bridging English terms with their native language to enhance children’s understanding of the world around them.

While Jennifer’s primary experience lies in working with young children between the ages of 3 and 7, she has also worked with adolescents and adults, and exhibits a versatility and adaptability in providing effective ABA services.

Outside of her professional life, Jennifer finds solace in the beauty of the outdoors, particularly the beach and the calming sound of the ocean. Additionally, she embraces her artistic side through practicing aerial arts, including the hammock, Lyra, and trapeze.

Jennifer Toufexis holds a Master’s degree and is a BCBA and Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA). Her unwavering dedication, expertise, and love for working with children make her an invaluable asset in providing exceptional ABA support.

Introducing Gina Pezzuto, a dedicated professional and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) who is passionate about applied behavior analysis (ABA) and helping individuals thrive. With five years of experience at Paragon, Gina has progressed from being a Behavior Specialist (BS) to a Training and Services Coordinator (TSC), and now holds the role of Clinical Supervisor.

Gina’s educational background includes a Master’s degree in Human Services from Regent University and completion of the Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate from FIT (Florida Institute of Technology). These qualifications demonstrate her commitment to ongoing learning and staying up-to-date with the latest advancements in the field.

Gina’s professional interests center around conducting functional assessments (PFA/SBT), providing supervision to staff members, and implementing evidence-based strategies to support clients. She finds immense satisfaction in engaging with clients and discovering their personal interests, incorporating them into therapy to promote their happiness and well-being.

Outside of work, Gina possesses a vibrant spirit and enjoys activities such as karaoke and high adventure pursuits like skydiving. These endeavors reflect her adventurous nature and willingness to embrace new challenges. With her expertise, enthusiasm, and unwavering dedication to the well-being of her clients, Gina Pezzuto is an invaluable asset to her team and the individuals they serve.

Meet Ruthanne Baxter, Early Intervention Specialist. Ruthanne is a highly experienced and dedicated Board Certified Behavior Analyst, who focuses on providing exceptional support to young learners.

Ruthanne’s educational background demonstrates her commitment to ensuring the best possible care for children. She has completed undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood Education and Private Education, equipping her with a solid foundation in effective teaching methods and personalized instruction. Additionally, she has pursued a Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis, which has deepened her expertise in making a meaningful impact on children with autism and related disorders.

Since 2008, Ruthanne has been wholeheartedly dedicated to serving preschool-to-elementary aged children. Her professional interests encompass a wide range of areas, including speech development, feeding therapy, social skills training, and staff development. This diverse range of expertise allows her to provide comprehensive and holistic support that addresses various aspects of a child’s development.

On a personal level, Ruthanne has a genuine passion for books, dogs, and coffee. She understands the importance of creating a comfortable and welcoming environment for both children and their families. With her caring nature and unwavering dedication, parents can trust that their child is receiving exceptional care and support. Ruthanne’s ability to establish strong connections with families fosters a sense of trust and collaboration, making her an invaluable partner in their journey toward positive growth and development.

Spotsylvania Preschool-Based ABA Leadership

Meet Ruthanne Baxter, Early Intervention Specialist. Ruthanne is a highly experienced and dedicated Board Certified Behavior Analyst, who focuses on providing exceptional support to young learners.

Ruthanne’s educational background demonstrates her commitment to ensuring the best possible care for children. She has completed undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood Education and Private Education, equipping her with a solid foundation in effective teaching methods and personalized instruction. Additionally, she has pursued a Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis, which has deepened her expertise in making a meaningful impact on children with autism and related disorders.

Since 2008, Ruthanne has been wholeheartedly dedicated to serving preschool-to-elementary aged children. Her professional interests encompass a wide range of areas, including speech development, feeding therapy, social skills training, and staff development. This diverse range of expertise allows her to provide comprehensive and holistic support that addresses various aspects of a child’s development.

On a personal level, Ruthanne has a genuine passion for books, dogs, and coffee. She understands the importance of creating a comfortable and welcoming environment for both children and their families. With her caring nature and unwavering dedication, parents can trust that their child is receiving exceptional care and support. Ruthanne’s ability to establish strong connections with families fosters a sense of trust and collaboration, making her an invaluable partner in their journey toward positive growth and development.

Meet Megan Chapman, a seasoned Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) serving as our Behavioral Group and Family Support Specialist for the Preschool-Based ABA Program. With over a decade of experience in the field, Megan brings a wealth of knowledge, achievements, and contributions to our team.

Megan’s educational background is rooted in completing the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) course sequence from the Florida Institute of Technology. She holds a Master of Arts in Applied Developmental Psychology from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Driven by a passion to make a meaningful impact, Megan excels in working with dual- or multi-diagnoses kids, leveraging her background in Developmental Psychology. Her unwavering commitment to preparing children for school underscores the importance she places on this aspect within the realm of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Outside of her professional commitments, Megan is an enthusiast of various crafts (cross-stitching, needle point, embroidery, knitting) and boasting an extensive collection of over 1500 titles as an avid reader. Additionally, she actively participates in a wine-themed endeavor. Notably, Megan shares a quirky aversion to the color orange, excluding bell peppers from this unique preference.

Chatham In-Home ABA Leadership

Meet Kylie Buongiorne, a committed Director of Intensive ABA Services. With a Master’s in Behavior Analysis and extensive experience, Kylie is a great asset to her team.

Kylie’s journey in ABA began after completing her Bachelor’s in Psychology. Kylie joined Paragon as a Behavior Specialist in 2017 and from there she returned to school to learn more about ABA and quickly progressed within the company. With her experience and progression, Kylie became a Clinical Supervisor and gained additional experience in the field. After almost three years in the position, Kylie became the company’s second Professional Development Facilitator, where she helped train new and existing staff and share her knowledge about ABA.

Committed to continuous learning, She finds great fulfillment in working with both young children and teenagers, appreciating the diverse range of behaviors and skills they bring. Kylie’s dedication to her field extends beyond her professional life as she cherishes quality time with her husband, young daughter, and dog. Family outings and activities bring her great joy, and she eagerly looks forward to future travel adventures.

Caregivers can rely on Kylie’s unwavering dedication to creating a supportive and enriching environment for individuals in need of ABA services.

Meet Esther Perez-Quesada, Clinical Supervisor in Chatham. Esther’s journey in the field of Behavior Analysis is rooted in her passion for making a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals. Her career began while working with children with mental and physical disabilities in a hospital setting, where she discovered her calling for supporting the special needs population in a more functional and purposeful way. Esther’s  interest in behavior analysis deepened as she observed various therapies, and it was during this time that she found inspiration in the role of a behavior analyst.

Driven by a sincere desire to contribute to the well-being of individuals and make the world a better place, Esther joined Paragon in 2019 as a Behavior Specialist. Over the years, she has excelled in her roles, progressing from a Behavior Specialist to a Student Analyst, and currently serving as a Clinical Supervisor.

Esther holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism from the City College of New York and has completed her Applied Behavior Analysis coursework through the University of West Florida. Fluent in both English and Spanish, Esther brings a diverse set of skills to her role.

Originally from Queens, New York, Esther brings warmth and a love for adventure to the team. She enjoys baking and embraces thrilling sports such as skydiving and zip-lining. With her sights set on continued professional growth, Esther is dedicated to completing her BCBA in the near future. Esther embodies Paragon’s commitment to excellence and compassionate care in the field of Behavior Analysis.

Meet Lisa Chown, a devoted Director of Intensive ABA Services, who is passionate about creating positive learning environments for children. With a strong background in elementary education and anthropology, Lisa brings a unique perspective to her role as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Lisa’s educational journey started at Mary Washington College, where she earned her BA in Elementary Education and Anthropology. She began her career as a physical education teacher, inspiring students to embrace movement and stay active.

Driven by her desire to make a difference, Lisa pursued a Master’s degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon University. She is committed to providing all students, regardless of their abilities, with the necessary support for academic and emotional growth.

Lisa further expanded her expertise by studying Applied Behavior Analysis at Florida Tech, acquiring effective strategies to support students with behavioral and developmental challenges. She prioritizes language development and actively collaborates with families and stakeholders to create a warm and nurturing learning environment.

With experience spanning across various educational settings, from preschool to high school, Lisa understands the unique needs of each student. She is dedicated to their academic and personal growth, ensuring a supportive and enriching experience.

Caregivers can trust Lisa’s expertise, genuine care, and unwavering dedication to student well-being. Her commitment to collaboration and understanding the challenges parents face makes her an invaluable asset to any educational community. Lisa is here to provide a nurturing and empowering environment for your child’s success.

Introducing Jordann Doolittle, a Director of Intensive ABA Services, who, since starting with Paragon in 2015, has advanced greatly within the company. She started with Paragon as a Behavior Specialist, and then returned to school in order to learn more about ABA, leading her into the Training and Services Coordinator position where she provided guidance to parents and collaborated with other service providers. She then became certified as a BCaBA and licensed in Virginia as an LaBA, and progressed into the Clinical Supervisor role for a period prior to starting her position as Paragon’s Professional Development Facilitator in 2020. In 2023, she transitioned into the roll of Director of Intensive ABA Services at the Chatham ABA Clinical Location.

While her educational background includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from ECPI University, Jordann found her true passion in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis as she recognizes the critical development a child goes through during the early stages of life. Jordann has shared that making a positive impact on a child during this time period is rewarding as it affects their overall development in the long run. Jordann’s professional and personal experiences and skills have prepared her for providing comprehensive support to not only our client’s and their families, but to our staff as well. Her continued dedication to the field as well as advocating for our clients make her a valuable asset to our team.

Jordann’s commitment to the field and continuous learning is evident, as she returned to school again and gained her Masters in Behavior Analysis Practice from FIT. She finds time to be most enjoyable when spent outdoors, so whenever possible, she, her husband, and their two children, often go on camping trips together.

Colleen Hope is a dedicated Clinical Supervisor and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with a passion for early intervention and skill-based training. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington in 2018 with a B.S. in Psychology and went on to complete her Masters in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2022.

Colleen’s expertise lies in early intervention, where she focuses on providing support and guidance to individuals at this crucial stage of development. She is committed to helping individuals acquire essential skills and reach their full potential.

Outside of her professional life, Colleen has a creative side. She enjoys acrylic painting and has a knack for DIY home improvements. Engaging in these hobbies allows her to unwind and express her artistic flair.

With her strong educational background and dedication to early intervention, Colleen brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as a Clinical Supervisor and BCBA. Her commitment to helping individuals thrive and her passion for creativity make her an invaluable asset to the team.

Meet Sperling Dunivan, a Clinical Supervisor. Sperling holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from George Mason University. During their studies, she gained valuable experience as an instructional assistant for Fairfax County Public Schools in the PAC (Preschool Autism Classroom) program for 2 years. Subsequently, she joined Paragon Autism Services as a Behavior Specialist, where she dedicated 2 years before transitioning into the role of Student Analyst. Sperling successfully completed a graduate certificate program in behavior analysis through FIT and became a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) in February 2023.

With expertise in early intervention and a keen interest in severe problem behavior intervention, Sperling is well-versed in providing effective support to individuals in need. Outside of her professional pursuits, she has a deep affection for true crime documentaries, delving into captivating mysteries and criminal cases. On a sweeter note, Sperling also enjoys baking and decorating cakes, becoming the go-to cake person among their family and friends.

As a dedicated Clinical Supervisor, Sperling Dunivan brings a wealth of knowledge, hands-on experience, and a passion for making a positive impact in the field of behavior analysis.

Daniel Bowman is an educational professional with over 25 years experience in educational roles including teaching, training, and leadership. Daniel is passionate about helping families understand ABA strategies and practice skills that will help their children succeed at home, school, and in life. Daniel has worked for Paragon as a Behavior Specialist, Training and Services Coordinator, and licensed Clinical Supervisor. Daniel is currently focused on the newly created position of Caregiver Support Liaison and the exciting opportunities for Paragon to aid family building and independence like never before.

Daniel takes to heart the importance of fostering consistent communication between families, the agency, and other providers to allow for clear paths for each student to learn independent communication skills. Daniel finds flexibility and stepping back to see skills from new angles helpful for the family and treatment team to move past challenges and see further growth.

In his down time Daniel enjoys spending time with his children, playing music, and creating written and visual arts.

Prince William County In-Home ABA Leadership

Meet Katie Topham, a clinician who has a passion for graceful implementation of scientific principles and a Director of Intensive ABA Services in Prince William County.  Katie received her BS in Psychology from Smith College in 2004, her Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis at Northeastern University under Dr. Jason Bourret in 2008, and her PhD in Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis under Dr. Brian Iwata in 2014.  Immediately following her undergraduate degree, she began working at The New England Center for Children in Southborough, Massachusetts.  Between 2004 and 2010 she held numerous positions each within the residential program.  During her PhD at the University of Florida, 2010-2014, Katie was a graduate instructor for numerous courses as well as the lab site coordinator at a local school for students with moderate to severe disabilities.  

Since moving to Virginia in 2016, Katie was the co-founder of Next Steps Behavioral Centers then, following it’s acquisition, assumed the role of Chief Clinical and Operations officer of Nest Life ABA.  In all of these roles, she has enjoyed shaping young clinicians and supporting families and their loved ones.  

Outside of ABA, Katie is the wife of a nurse, Mom to three girls and at least two fur babies, and enjoys volunteering for dog rescue.  

Given her experiences and training, Katie has benefited from the mentorship of top researchers and clinicians in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.  With that excellent teaching, paired with mentorship and experience, Katie values shaping lives with the science of behavior analysis and the grace of the uniqueness of our histories.  

Avery Kopp is an exceptional Clinical Supervisor and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) known for her deep involvement with children and her commitment to providing compassionate care. Avery’s journey began as a personal care attendant, her first job right after high school where Avery quickly realized her passion for helping others, especially kids.

Avery has a special ability to be on the same page as the children she works with, understanding their needs and providing the support they require. She deeply values building strong connections with the kids and is dedicated to making a positive impact in their lives.

In addition to her work, Avery is interested in community outreach. She believes in the importance of reaching out to different communities and making a difference beyond her professional role. Avery’s passion for learning extends to following creators who are on the autism spectrum and engage in discussions about what is considered “normal” and embracing different ways of thinking

Outside of her professional and community work, Avery enjoys historical sewing. She finds joy in exploring the art of sewing and creating garments inspired by different time periods.

Avery’s dedication, empathy, and genuine care for the well-being of children make her an invaluable asset in the field of behavior analysis. With her unwavering commitment to making a positive impact, Avery continues to inspire and support those around her.

Meet Alena Abalikhina, a Director of Intensive ABA services and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Alena has a wealth of knowledge and a passion for advancing the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). As a dedicated professional, Alena has extensive experience in parent consultation and adult services. She strives to gain more experience in facilitating social skills groups for individuals of all ages, from kids to adults. Alena’s goal is to enhance the lives of our clients by providing them with essential social skills and fostering their overall well-being. Her professional interests include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Relational Frame Theory (RFT).

Outside of work, Alena is a multilingual individual who speaks Russian and has a working knowledge of Spanish. She enjoys spending time outdoors, whether it’s at the beach, engaging in rock climbing adventures, or indulging in creative pursuits like drawing and doodling.

Starting her academic journey with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from George Mason University, Alena has built a fulfilling career in ABA. She finds immense satisfaction in working directly with clients, developing programming ideas, and conducting data analysis. Alena particularly values the opportunity to engage in parent consultation, building strong relationships with families, and mentoring others in the field.

Alena’s journey in ABA began at Paragon, where she initially joined as a Clinical Supervisor. She was drawn to the organization’s commitment to providing high-quality supervision and services, which aligns with her own dedication to professional excellence.

With her expertise, passion for growth, and commitment to enhancing the lives of our clients, Alena Abalikhina helps continue pushing our organization forward.

Meet Richia Ingenito, an accomplished professional who serves as a Clinical Supervisor and is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) and Licensed Assistant Behavior Analyst (LaBA). With a Master’s degree in a related field, Richia brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role.

Richia’s professional interests revolve around adaptive behavior services, where she has gained extensive experience working with individuals across a broad age range, from 2 years old to young adults. Her expertise lies in implementing effective interventions and strategies to support individuals in their behavioral and developmental goals.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Richia finds joy and relaxation in nature’s wonders. She loves embarking on adventures in the great outdoors, whether it’s hiking through scenic trails, exploring beautiful waterfalls, tending to plants, kayaking on serene waters, or simply basking in the warmth of the sun.

With her exceptional qualifications, passion for helping others, and love for outdoor activities, Richia Ingenito is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of the individuals she serves.

What We Do

Quick Links

Let’s Talk.

Let us know how our team can help support you! Contact us with any questions or to request services in Virginia.

Contact Us