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With a strong desire help families and children through a linked team of professionals, KidsLink NeuroBehavioral Center was born in 2007! At KidsLink, we recognize how multiple settings impact the development and behavior of children with special needs. We strive to promote collaboration among the home, school, and community-based settings as we provide comprehensive services to children with autism and other developmental disabilities. In addition, we embrace an interdisciplinary approach to intervention, including collaboration among medical professionals, mental health professionals, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, educators, and related services personnel, as deemed appropriate to meet the comprehensive needs of our child patients and their families.
A few months ago, even before COVID-19, we felt the need for connection. A place where our families could connect with each other while caring for their special needs children. We partnered with Vitalxchange to test their community app on a small group of interested families in April 2020. It was a great success! Today, our community on Vitalxchange is almost 100 strong and we have seen enough value to expand it to include all our families and include our staff as well to serve you better! We have a strong feeling that you will be delighted with what we have in store for you in our new Community! Now more than ever, we need each other. We are very excited to bring you this great connectivity platform so you are never alone.
Michelle DePolo, Psy.D., BCBA-D is a clinical psychologist and board-certified behavior analyst who has specific expertise in the areas of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and the management of anxiety and depressive disorders. She routinely completes Independent Education Evaluations for parents and school districts. As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Dr. DePolo has expertise in the assessment and treatment of severe behaviors. Dr. DePolo directs a variety of programs to promote social skills. She also directs the Behavior Stabilization & Reintegration Program in the KidsLink School, which is dedicated to helping students stabilize disruptive behaviors and return back to their home school districts
Jocelyn Geib, Ph.D., CCC/SLP is a licensed speech and language pathologist who provides assessment and treatment at KidsLink. She also serves as the executive director at The KidsLink School Program. Dr. Geib completed her Ph.D. in Education- Learning and Development from Cleveland State University. She completed her Master’s degree in Speech Pathology at Kent State University as well as course work leading to licensure in School Administration at Cleveland State University. Her undergraduate degree is from Bowling Green State University.
Dr. Geib has worked in the area of behavioral management for children with autism for the past 20 years, including positions as an independent behavioral therapist and consultant, paraprofessional, intervention specialist, and school administrator. Previous professional roles include Coordinator of Speech Pathology at the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism and Director of the STARS program for the Geauga County Educational Service Center.
Dr. Geib enjoys providing speech assessment and treatment as well as behavioral intervention for children with a variety of developmental disabilities. Dr. Geib is now serving in an appointed position on the Advisory Board for the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence disabilities (OCALI). Dr. Geib is active in the local community and speaks frequently on communication and autism at the local and national levels. She is married with two children.
Nevada Reed, M.D., is an ABPN board certified pediatric neurologist. She completed medical school at Washington University School of Medicine. She finished her Pediatrics residency and Pediatric Neurology Fellowship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Dr. Reed has over twenty years of expertise in treating children and young adults with a variety of neurological diagnoses. She is an advocate for children with autism spectrum disorders on the state and local level. She has additional expertise in the areas of movement disorders, language regression, and ADD/ADHD. She also treats many children with seizures, headaches, anxiety and OCD. \n \nDr. Reed came to Akron Children’s Hospital in 2003 as a staff child neurologist and was named medical director of the Autism Program. During her years at Akron Children’s she developed an inter-disciplinary autism assessment team and was active in creating several programs for family support and education. \n \nDr. Reed has served on the Ohio Autism Taskforce (appointed by Governor Taft) and on the Advisory Board for the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence disabilities (OCALI). She has been the primary investigator for several autism research projects. She is active in the American Academy of Neurology and has completed the Practice Leadership Program. She participated in AAN’s Neurology on the Hill to consult with House members and Senators about the unique needs of children with developmental disabilities. She serves on a AAN Mentorship Committee to develop mentorship opportunities in neurology for students of all ages. \n \nDr. Reed enjoys treating children with a variety of neurologic needs and believes that family involvement is essential for the best medical care. She is married and has four children. \n \nServices provided by Dr. Reed include: \n* Diagnostic evaluations \n* Medical testing \n* Treatment planning \n* Second opinions \n* Medication treatment and clinical monitoring \n* Family education \n \nDr. Reed values the ability to spend time with her patients during their initial assessment, as well as in follow-up. New diagnostic assessments last for approximately 2 hours. New visits for treatment planning or medication intervention are scheduled for 1-1/2 hours, and follow-up appointments are 45 minutes.
Shana McFeaters, B.S. Ed., W.D.P., is a certified structured literacy therapist specializing in using the Wilson Reading System (WRS). WRS is intensive structured literacy instruction for students in grades 2-12 and adults with word-level deficits who are not making sufficient progress through their current intervention; have been unable to learn with other teaching strategies and require multisensory language instruction; or who require more intensive structured literacy instruction due to a language-based learning disability, such as dyslexia. As a structured literacy program based on phonological-reading research and Orton-Gillingham principles, WRS directly and systematically teaches the structure of the English language.
The KidsLink School provides year-round therapeutic and learning day programs for students with behavioral and related needs with licensed and certified staff. Instruction is based on intake assessments and highly individualized to meet the behavioral, educational and therapeutic needs of the student. All interventions are methodology- and research-based, including the foundation of Applied Behavioral Analysis. Our program focuses on developing language, social, and self-help skills. The KidsLink School is committed to the continuous education and training of its staff by hosting regular seminars and training sessions from its clinical staff.
The KidsLink School provides the most efficacious intensive and individualized programming to students with educational and behavioral needs. We strive to improve the quality of life for every student by ensuring high quality and data-driven interventions. Treatment will be based on current research findings from the most experienced scholars in the field of behavior analysis in the areas of: teaching language, social, self-help, academics, and employability skills.
Kristin has been with KidsLink since 2012 when she worked as a behavioral therapist prior to obtaining her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She has been a licensed and registered, board certified occupational therapist since 2017 and working with students with autism since 2012. She received her bachelor’s in Biology from Kent State University and her master’s in occupational therapy from Temple University in Philadelphia. Kristin has been part of the North Coast Ohio Occupational Therapy Board since 2019.
Kristin has worked in private practice settings as well as within the hospital setting. She specializes in working with students who have significant needs and who have behavioral challenges in the areas of treatment and assessment. She continues her education within areas of her passion including: feeding, sensory inclusive spaces within the classroom, home, and community, sensory processing, and play-based therapy.
Kristin has a strong passion for incorporating and collaborating with every part of the students team to increase independence and quality of life with everyday activities.
Mikaela Uhlman is a school psychologist with independent licensure for practice in the state of Ohio. She has provided psychological services in both public school and center based settings for preschool through post secondary age individuals. Her experiences as a school psychologist has provided her with extensive understanding of special education policies and procedures. Mikaela specializes in psychoeducational evaluations which address factors related to learning problems. She works with families and schools to provide recommendations for evidenced based intervention and accommodations to address the individual needs of each child. More recently, Mikaela has expanded her practice to include treatment of children and adolescents with anxiety and depression through cognitive behavioral therapy.
Rachel Kallin, EdD, BCBA, COBA is a licensed Intervention Specialist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst who wears many hats in the KidsLink Family of Services. At the Kidslink School, she serves students and their families as Director of Curriculum and an educational and behavioral consultant. Additionally, her work in the Kidslink Neurobehavioral Center includes leading a variety of social skills groups and providing outpatient and in-home behavioral therapy and educational and behavioral consultation. Dr. Kallin received her EdD in Special Education from Slippery Rock University. She also holds a Masters of Education degree and an Educational Specialist degree both from Kent State University in the area of Special Education. She is a certified Administrative Specialist. Rachel completed her behavior analytic course work at Florida Tech University. She attended Youngstown State University where she earned her undergraduate degree in Special Education. She has worked in a variety of settings and roles. During her undergraduate career, Rachel worked as a respite care provider for several families of individuals with varying physical, behavioral and social emotional needs. She began her professional career at the Hudson City Schools, where she worked for 9 years as an Intervention Specialist with experience K-age 22. She served on many committees and leadership groups including their Autism Task Force and spearheaded two inclusive extra curricular activities for students at HHS. In 2012, she began working part time at Kidslink as a group facilitator and outpatient therapist and in June 2017, she joined the Kidslink School team and has been full time with Kidslink Family of services since.
Dr. Kallin is passionate about peer mediated intervention or fostering meaningful relationships between those who are neurotypical and those with developmental disabilities. Her dissertation research centered around the effect that inclusive extracurriculars have on the key stakeholders- namely the parents of those with neurotypical children. She strives to apply the PMI literature to create opportunities for all individuals to be integrated into their communities.
As a clinician, Rachel has experience working with transition aged youth struggling with executive functioning and motivation as well as helping families navigate problem behaviors in the home.
Social skills groups include Teen and Young Adult groups, an inclusive group titled Peers with a Purpose, an appropriate behavior and social skills training group for younger students titled SUCCESS Club and an ADHD Bootcamp helping parents and students gain proactive skills and habits for success in school.
At Kidslink I am a behavioral consultant and a director of program development. I assist in coordinating the needs of the program in supporting/training and coaching among staff. I am also a certified instructor for Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI). I develop programming for children within the school, writing behavior plans and monitoring students behavioral progress. I have a strong passion for staff development and retention.
Jackie Crissinger, BCBA, Intervention Specialist, leads our Behavioral consulting team. KidsLink behavioral consultants will provide direct assessment of your child to determine his/her needs and develop an individualized ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) program specifically for your child. ABA to date, is the most promising, evidenced-based treatment available to children and their families.
Behavioral Consultation can be provided in the home, school, or community settings based on the goals of the programming.
Programming includes teaching new skills while reducing behaviors that have interfered with your child’s ability to participate meaningfully in his/her environment. ABA programming may include but is not limited to: Functional Behavior Assessment/Functional Analysis, Skill Based Assessment, development of Behavior Intervention Plans, development of teaching procedures/interventions, and training of others (parents, caregivers, classroom teachers) to implement these plans.
Allison Kaas is a certified teacher with over 15 years experience working with children with attention and learning differences in public and private school settings. She believes all children possess unique talents and gifts and works in partnership with them to discover their individual pathways to success. Allison received her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education with a Kindergarten endorsement from Purdue University. She earned additional certification in grades 1-8 from Kent State University and pursued a Masters ofEducation at Cleveland State University. She currently holds an Ohio teaching license. Previously Allison was an educator at Lawrence School, where she taught Reading and Language Arts at the Lower and Upper Schools. She also served as Coordinator of Student Services where she worked with families and educators to develop and
implement accommodations plans for students needing additional services beyond the classroom environment in study skills, executive functioning, time management, and organization. Throughout her career, she has worked as a private tutor for students promoting growth in executive functioning, study and organizational skills,
time management, and curricular assistance in reading and writing.
Rachel holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Psychology, which she received from Kent State University and the University of the Rockies in Colorado Springs, respectively. Rachel also completed her Behavior Intervention Specialist Certificate through Kent State University, allowing her to sit for her BCBA exam in 2014.
Rachel has been with Kidslink Neurobehavioral Center since 2008, working on and off site as a part time therapist, until joining the Kidslink School staff full time in 2011. Rachel has presented on a national and international level, working collaboratively with professionals of various disciplines to provide training and education in the areas of Applied Behavioral Analysis.
Shannon Lepri is board-certified assistant behavior analyst and has been a member of the KidsLink organization since 2013. She earned her Masters of Education degree and Secondary Transition Certification both from Bowling Green State University. Shannon completed her behavior analytic course work at Florida Institute of Technology. She attended the University of Akron where she earned her undergraduate degree in Speech Language Pathology. She is currently the Director of Vocational & Transition Programming at the KidsLink School providing services to the school team, families, students and related services. Shannon coordinates individualized vocational activities/goals, experiences and community exploration for students at KidsLink. She provides transition services and tools to begin their journey into adulthood. Shannon strives to create successful vocational and transition plans using creative ideas and implementing backward planning models. She interacts with students and their teams by assisting in assessing their preferences, interests, strengths and needs, while developing and maintaining core skills for adulthood. Practicing and implementing pre-vocational tasks, soft-skill curriculum, job shadowing and a variety of job experiences both in school and within our community to not only add to students resumes and career portfolios, but to generalize much needed everyday skills of adulthood. Shannon initiates and coordinates multidisciplinary team support for transition age students and provides appropriate linkages to additional agencies as needed. Shannon is passionate about building the steps to create successful, realistic, and obtainable road maps to guide our students down a successful path. Person centered planning paves the way for her students to cross the bridge into the adult world with their skills and desires. Her work provides our young adults with options and experiences to focus on what the road ahead looks like- job, college, technical school, day habilitation program, where to live, etc.
In addition, Shannon provides outpatient and in-home behavioral therapy and behavioral consultation for KidsLink Neurobehavioral Center. She is also the KidsLink Global Development and Culture Coordinator. KidsLink Global is our non-profit organization which sends teams of professionals abroad to complete hands-on training about medical and behavioral treatments for children with autism.
KidsLink Connect is an intensive, center based ABA program that treats children with Autism Spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders. We create individualized programming that may include goals involving behavior modification, social language skills, daily living skills, self-care skills, and gross and fine motor skills.
Samantha Chesney, M.Ed, BCBA, COBA has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis since 2010. She has worked with clients ranging in age from 20 months through 22 years of age on varying instructional levels in the home, school, and work environments. Samantha began working at KidsLink in 2014 and has developed her expertise in treatment of severe behaviors.
Jordon has been with KidsLink since 2015. She has been a licensed SLP since 2012 and working with student with autism since 2009. She received her bachelor’s in hearing speech and language sciences from Ohio University and her master’s in speech language pathology from the University of AKron. She is currently pursuing her BCaBA and has completed coursework through the Florida Institute of Technology.
Jordon has worked in public school, home based, and private practice settings. She believes that interdisciplinary care and collaboration is the key to meaningful progress. She helped design a preschool classroom using an interdisciplinary model. This classroom was identified by the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) as a model classroom and is featured on their training series ASD Strategies in Action.
Jordon specializes in working with students who have significant communication impairments and who have behavioral challenges in the areas of treatment and assessment. This includes augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) methodologies. She is PECS trained. She also specializes in working with students who have motor speech impairments, or apraxia, and is PROMPT level 1 trained.
Jordon believes that communication is a basic human right and loves to watch each client make meaningful gains towards being as independent as possible.
Dr. Amy Ciardi is a Harvard-trained licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in neurodevelopment and the evaluation and treatment of infants, toddlers, and school-aged children.
She provides comprehensive neuropsychological, psychological, and educational testing for a variety of neurodevelopmental challenges including:
❖ Down syndrome and other genetic disorders
❖ Autism Spectrum Disorders
❖ Developmental Delays
❖ Intellectual Disability
❖ Learning Disabilities
❖ Disruptive Behaviors
❖ Attention Disorder and ADHD
❖ Executive Function Deficits
❖ Social-emotional difficulties including anxiety and depression
In her assessments, Dr. Ciardi strives to help parents better understand their child’s development, answer diagnostic questions, and provide personalized recommendations to address their child’s individual needs and help them reach their full potential.
In her clinical work, Dr. Ciardi works closely with parents to help them best support their child’s development and utilizes an evidence-based approach to intervention including cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Prior to joining KidsLink, Dr. Ciardi was a psychologist in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. She conducted research related to autism spectrum disorders and provided a range of clinical services to children presenting with complex medical, genetic, and developmental needs. She also served as the staff psychologist for Boston Children’s Hospital’s Down Syndrome Program.
Dr. Ciardi is thrilled to be back home in Northeast Ohio and working with children and families at KidsLink Neurobehavioral Center! Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, traveling, cheering on the Cleveland Browns, and spending time with her family.
Mandie has been with KidsLink since August 2019. She graduated with her Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing degrees both from Kent State University.
She comes to KidsLink after 10 years at Akron Children’s Hospital. At Children’s, Mandie specialized in pediatric neurology. She was a Clinical Coordinator for several years on a unit containing pediatric neurosurgery, epilepsy monitoring, and inpatient rehab.
Mandie strongly believes in the concept of family centered care. She is excited and eager to get to know and care for the patients and families at KidsLink.
To learn more about all of the KidsLink services, please visit us at https://www.kidslinkohio.com/.