Certification Number: 1-19-34764
Maria is a trained academic for almost two decades. She initially cultivated her love for Philosophy and then took further studies in Philosophy of Education and Theory and Policy Studies in Education (Master of Arts) and Social Justice Education (Doctor of Philosophy) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
She has, as an academic and educator, encountered diverse students and learners in the classroom. These encounters have drawn her to go back to the etymological meaning of Education, which is "drawing from within". A way of educating is by cultivating strengths from within and attending to the individual's needs. Thus, her philosophy as an Educator and as Board Certified Behaviour Analyst follows the reflection of Og Lindsley, founder of Precision Teaching and student of BF Skinner, "the child knows best” (Lindsley, 1972) and the learner is always right.
Her own lived experiences as a parent and a professional made her choose the fields of Behaviourism and Applied Behaviour Analysis as routes to claim social justice and ethics in Education. She finished her verified course sequence from Florida Institute of Technology). She holds on to the commitment to success through the evidence-based practice that ABA embraces, as she serves clients and their families as well as trains professionals and paraprofessionals in this field. Her areas of practice are ABA and ABA Service Delivery (Assessment, Planning, supervision of Implementation and Evaluation) for children diagnosed with autism and other related diagnoses and Behavioural Education (Behavioural Approaches to Education, Behaviour Analytic Consultation to Schools and ABA in schools/classrooms). She is trained in the Verbal Behaviour Approach, the use of Stimulus Equivalence and Relational Frame Theory. Her other areas of special interest are Organisational Behaviour Management (OBM) and Ethics and the practice of ABA to the vulnerable population and its links to Social Justice.
With a passion to help people Michelle's journey began nine years ago in Alberta. Working in a group home with many people with all types of abilities. Michelle found a love for people that think outside of the box. She was able to gain a certificate as a Disabilities Support Worker during an apprenticeship program.
Michelle move back to Ontario and was lucky enough to continue her career in many different group homes in the Durham Region. Her scope of practice changed when her daughter was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at 20 months old. Continuing as a respite worker for children newly diagnosed with autism. Michelle has completed the Registered Behavioral Technician Certification with the Geneva Centre. Her personal goals involve going back to school to continue her education. Her goals for Tots with Thoughts is to build a small successful program for children with intellectual difficulties.
Kaily has a passion for working with children. She was first inspired to work alongside children and families when she began volunteering at Grandview Kids in 2009. Since then, Kaily has explored the dominant ideologies surrounding disability. She earned her Bachelors Degree in Child Development where she researched and wrote her Thesis on the representation of disabilities in children's picture books though the lens of Critical Disability Theory. Kaily was first introduced to ABA therapy when she worked as an Instructor Therapist. It was clear to her early on that there are many benefits to this type of therapy. Currently, Kaily dedicates her time to Grandview working part-time as a Therapeutic Recreation Assistant. Kaily is excited to work alongside families at Tots with Thoughts while focusing heavily on a strength-based, family centred approach to practice.
Samantha Grabko is a recent graduate starting to explore the professional world of ABA and has found great joy in supporting people with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In November 2018 Samantha attained a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Toronto studying Neuroscience and Molecular Biology. She then went on to complete a fast-track Advanced Diploma program in Behavioural Science from St. Lawrence College where she had placement experience with primary age children ranging in abilities. Samantha has experience working with an agency supporting adults with ASD and is very excited to start working at Tots with Thoughts. She believes early intervention should be fun and can make incredible changes in a child’s early life and into their future. Michelle has really dedicated themselves to creating a perfect learning environment for young children with ASD and I am thrilled to be a part of it.
Meghan Armsworthy took some time to figure out exactly which career path she wanted to go down before discovering the world of speech and language therapy. With a passion for helping people and a love for working with children she set out to become a Communicative Disorders Assistant (CDA). Meghan Graduated from Brock University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in applied linguistics in 2018. In 2019, she graduated from Durham College with a CDA certificate. Meghan has been working with children who have varying degrees of needs for 13 years. She is excited and eager to apply her knowledge from both school and experience at Tots with Thoughts.
Chewy has a love for children with Autism. Her very calm personality helps the children learn how to appropriately act and touch an animal. Chewy provides companionship and support to the children at the Centre.
Chewy is a Saint Bernard/ Great Pyrenees mix, She has been fully trained, vaccinated and has regular grooming.
We are currently accepting applications for student placements.