Our Staff Ani Nikolova, Ph.D., BCBA-D Clinical Director

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1 Our Staff Ani Nikolova, Ph.D., BCBA-D Clinical Director Dr. Nikolova is Focus Director of school programs funded by Glendale Unified School District and home programs funded by North Los Angeles Regional Center. In these capacities, she oversees the work of Supervisors, keeps up-to-date with current research, directs the ABA intervention program in her service areas, and conducts training workshops on a range of intervention topics, including Functional Behavioral Assessment, Teaching Self-Management, and Verbal Behavior. Dr. Nikolova holds a Ph.D. degree in Applied Cognitive Psychology from Claremont Graduate University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Inspired by her passion for helping children and families deal with Autism diagnosis, she began working with developmentally disabled children as an undergraduate student. She has been providing behavior intervention, programming, supervision, parent education, and consultation to schools since Her expertise includes behavioral assessment, developing intensive behavioral treatment programs for children and adolescents diagnosed with autism or related disorder, treatment program development for challenging behaviors, consultation, and parent/staff education. Dr. Nikolova has conducted research in the areas of executive

2 processing and memory, is fluent in Bulgarian and has a unique appreciation for cultural diversity. Quang Tran Clinical Director Quang is the Clinical Director for the home-based Behavior Management Parent Consultation (BMPC) and Early Intensive Behavior Intervention (EIBI) program. He has 8 years of experience working with children diagnosed with Autism in both home and school settings. Quang holds a Masters Degree in Teaching with Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from National University and is currently a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in good standing to provide Supervision hours for those seeking to become a BCBA or BCaBA. He also teaches and certifies staff in the use of Nonviolent Crisis Intervention techniques to deal with problem behaviours at home or in the school setting. He provides program development for home based services using The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS) and Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP). Quang s expertise and interests include working with non-verbal and speech delayed children and developing their language using Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) or Augmentative Communication Devices. He is also involved and actively participates in Regional Center meetings to ensure positive communication and relationships are maintained in order to better serve families and their

3 needs. Leila Rambod, M.A. Leila completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology in 1999 and a Masters Degree in Special Education in She has extensive training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) methods, including Pivotal Response Training (PRT) and Discreet Trial Training (DTT) and has been working with children with Autism and other related disabilities since Leila specializes in working with both in-home and in-school cases, conducting behavioral assessments, designing individualized intervention plans, writing reports, and providing ongoing parental and staff training. Leila is dedicated to improving the life and maximizing the potential of each and every child served. She enjoys her work and feels that she benefits even while providing service, saying, The children that I have worked with have taught me about life and how precious it is, and that s a gift that I will always treasure. Joy Jirakuntacha, M.A., BCBA Joy is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who supervises Focus school programs in the Glendale area and home-based programs consisting of early intensive behavior intervention (EIBI) and behavior management/parent consultation (BMPC) in the Los Angeles/East Los Angeles areas. She also conducts

4 functional behavioral assessments, provides supervised experience hours for staff seeing BACB certification and maintains close contact with behavior interventionists, teachers and parents. Joy received her undergraduate degree in Psychology with an Applied Developmental Psychology minor at UCLA. During this time she was introduced to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) through a course taught by Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas which allowed her to receive hands on training at the Lovaas Institute and gain experience in a clinic based program. She volunteered at the UCLA Intervention Program for infants and toddlers with developmental risks and disabilities and worked with professors on research projects. Joy has a Masters degree in Teaching with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from National University and is a member of the California Association for Behavior Analysis. She strives to continue learning and staying up to date as the field of ABA develops in order to provide the best quality of care. Kevin Lovelace Kevin is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who supervises Focus school programs and home-based programs consisting of early intensive behavior intervention (EIBI) and behavior management/parent consultation (BMPC). He has more than 20 years of experience working with at-risk youth and children with various developmental disabilities. As a supervisor for Focus NPA and Parent Training programs, Kevin provides supervision to behavior interventionists in the school and home setting. In addition, he develops behavioral

5 programs that utilize Natural Environment Training (NET) methods and provides support and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) training to parents and families. Kyrah Dickens, MFTI Contact Business Manager As the Business Manager, Kyrah serves Focus Inc. in many management roles. Kyrah is committed to the quality and improvement of Focus Inc., and the staff to all aspects of her work, overseeing the company s operations, administrative and business functions including human resources, benefits, payroll, billing, accounting, and the administrative staff. She obtained several years of experience in Human Resources prior to coming on board with Focus in the non-profit, entertainment, and service industries. She joined Focus Inc. in 2006 and quickly established herself in an integral role, helping to implement key policies, procedures and projects. Kyrah received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and earned her M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pacific Oaks College. She is also certified in Human Resources Management from the University of Phoenix.

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