About Us

Manuela Woodruff
Founder
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Manuela holds a Master of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from Jacksonville State University, Alabama and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She received extensive training in Verbal Behavior programs and the treatment of severe behaviors at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, GA.

In 2009, she founded Applied Behavioral Consulting, LLC to provide quality services to individuals with developmental disorders of all ages. Using various models including staff and parent training, consultation, and direct therapy, she has offered services in the family’s home, schools, clinics, daycare centers, residential programs, and day habilitation centers.

Manuela is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA), and the Georgia Association of Behavior Analysis (GABA).

She has two daughters.

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Shaun Geist
Business Manager/Parent Consultant

Shaun holds an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. Shaun began his career with the public school system in 2003. In 2011 he began working for TOTAL Programs, specializing with children on the Autism Spectrum, providing direct ABA services. In 2013 he became a Supervisor for TOTAL Programs where he thrived on parent training and program development.

In addition to his ABA experience, he has multiple years of experience working with various businesses providing strategic and tactical support. Shaun joined Applied Behavioral Consulting in 2015 as the Business Manager/Parent Consultant.

Shaun-Geist

Barbara Nakan
Accounts Receivable and Payroll Manager

Barbara Nakan has been a part of the ABC team since 2013.  As the Accounts Receivable and Payroll Manager, her most frequent tasks include billing and insurance claims.  She grew up and was educated in South Africa, and has called Atlanta home for 16 years.  Barbara loves animals and enjoys spending time with her family.

Barbara Nakan

Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts

Candace Cashbaugh
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Candace Cashbaugh is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and received her Master’s Degree in Special Education with a focus in Autism. Candace has been working with kids with special needs since 2004 and it is her passion to see these kids thrive. Before joining Applied Behavioral Consulting in 2015, Candace worked as an in-home behavioral therapist in Atlanta for two years and worked as a behavioral therapist for summer camps through Marcus Autism Center. Within these positions, Candace provided 1:1 and group behavior therapy to increase social, academic, and communication skills, as well as to decrease inappropriate behaviors in children ages 2 to 14. She is currently a member of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA).

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Crystal Phillips
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Crystal holds a Master’s of Science degree in Special Education with an emphasis in ABA and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Crystal has been practicing behavioral management techniques, discrete trials teaching (DTT), and verbal behavior programs since 2006. She has helped people overcome both severe and mild developmental, emotional and behavioral challenges. She has worked with both children and adults with autism as well as typically developing children struggling with behavioral difficulties. Crystal customizes her programs to the individual needs of each child, and excels in managing crises and performing successful behavioral interventions. She is also a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

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Melanie Sugar
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Melanie holds a Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Auburn University and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has always had a passion for working with individuals with developmental disabilities. She became interested in behavior analysis after babysitting for several children with Autism in high school. She pursued her passion as a special needs camp counselor and ABA tutor while in undergraduate school at the University of Georgia. In graduate school, she had the opportunity to participate in many different practicums including working at an early intervention preschool, teaching a parenting class thorugh DHR, working at a residential school for teens, and consulting in a public school.

In 2010, Melanie accepted a fellowship position with the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities as a Regional Behavior Analyst. This position involves overseeing behavior supports within her region. Melanie continues to work part time with the state and part time as a Behavior Analyst Consultant. She is an active member in the Georgia Association for Behavior Analysis and has held many leadership positions within the organization.

Melanie enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and children on her time off.

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Mark Hirsch
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Mark Hirsch is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University.  He came to Atlanta after receiving his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama in Psychology (Roll Tide!). Mark has been working with children who have been diagnosed with intellectual or developmental disabilities since 2001 with a strong emphasis with children in the autistic spectrum.  He has worked with children with many different levels and needs but specializes in severe behavior problems and parent consultation.  Mark is also the father of three boys who take up most of his free time with sports and many other activities.

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Kathryn Short
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Kathryn Short is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Georgia. She received her Master’s as part of the Collaborative Personnel Preparation in Autism (COPPA) Project with a specific focus in low-incidence, elementary-aged students on the autism spectrum. Kathryn began working with children with autism in 2007 as a therapist in home-based ABA programs in Athens, Georgia.

 

Before joining Applied Behavioral Consulting in 2015, Kathryn lived in Nashville, Tennessee where she worked as a behavior consultant for 3 years at a private ABA company. Within this position, she provided comprehensive ABA consultation in the home and school setting to children and adolescents, aged 2-12, with a focus on verbal behavior, academic, pre-vocational, and self-care skills. Kathryn also provided ongoing training and supervision to Nashville-area school district staff, parents, caregivers, and therapists. Before moving to Nashville in 2012, Kathryn taught special education in Gwinnett County in a K-2 classroom, serving students with mild ASD. She is currently a member of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) and the Georgia Association of Behavior Analysis (GABA).

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Shannon Schebell
Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Shannon Schebell is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Georgia. She received her Master’s degree as part of the Collaborative Personnel Preparation in Autism (COPPA) Project with a specific focus in low-incidence, elementary-aged students with autism spectrum disorder. Shannon began working with children with autism in 2013 when she started teaching inclusive extracurricular art classes for young children in Savannah, Georgia.

Before joining ABC, Shannon interned at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta, where she focused on providing intervention to children with severe and aggressive behaviors in clinic and home-based settings. Prior to and during that time, Shannon also worked with students aged 2-8 in school settings in Clarke and Oconee counties, focusing on verbal behavior, academics, adaptive, and self-help skills.

Shannon is currently a member of the Association of Behavior Analysis International, is a certified Special Educator (P-12) in Georgia.

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Jonas Jenkins
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst

Jonas began working with children on the Autism Spectrum in 2003 as a research manager and classroom coordinator for the Pre-K classroom at the Walden School of the Emory Autism Center. Over the years, he has served as a resident counselor at the United Methodist Children’s Home, a personal caregiver for adults with developmental disabilities, and a 1:1 ABA therapist. He has worked with individuals ranging from age 2 through age 67. He specializes in social skills training, treatment of severe behavior, and parent consultation. Jonas received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Emory University and is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. He is a member of the Association of Behavior Analysis International.

Jonas provides verbal behavior programs, school consultations, and parent training in Athens, GA and the surrounding area.

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Sunita Joshi
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst

Sunita volunteered with children with special needs in 2002 in India. After moving to the USA in 2005, she continued to work with children with autism at the Emory Autism Center on a volunteer basis. In 2008, she joined the May Institute and worked as a home-based therapist. Sunita joined the Marcus Autism Center in 2010 as behavior technician and was promoted to the position of Clinical Specialist in 2013. She left Marcus in June 2015 to join Applied Behavioral Consulting. Sunita is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst.

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Therapists

Alex Wylie

Alex is a graduate of the University of California Riverside and holds a Bachelor degree in Theater and Performing Arts. While at UCR, Alex received a grant through the Gluck Fellowship to create and teach classes about different elements of theater to local, inner-city schools. After graduating, Alex worked for one of Southern California’s largest ABA companies, Autism Behavioral Consultants, based in Los Angeles. During her tenure, she completed a comprehensive 90-day training program, provided in-home and at-school services, and began developing programs for clients before moving to Georgia to be closer to family. Alex finished her coursework requirements through Florida Institute of Technology and plans to become certified as a BCaBA.

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Caitlyn Zarate

Caitlyn Zarate graduated with a Bachelors in Communication Disorders in 2014. Since graduating, she fell in love with the autism community. She worked as an ABA Therapist and Lead Therapist in Greenville, SC and moved to Atlanta in the summer of 2016. She has worked with Applied Behavioral Consulting, LLC ever since. She enjoys working to help her “kids” (as she lovingly refers to them) reach their maximum potential as she helps build on their strengths and the strengths of their family.

As a therapist for kids with Autism, Caitlyn spends her days chasing kiddos, making silly faces, and getting more than enough paint, glue, and sticky substances to be her own work of art. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. She absolutely loves working with children. They bring life, creativity, and pure perspectives into her day.

Caitlyn Zarate

Emily Epperson

Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Educational Studies from Wesleyan College in 2011. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Family Therapy from Mercer University School of Medicine in 2014. She is currently working towards becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Emily began working with children with ASD and EBD while completing student teaching during her time at Wesleyan College. Emily developed a desire to work with ASD during her ndergraduate studies. She hopes to apply her MFT background to ABA while focusing on becoming a Registered Behavior Technician and later becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

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Francine White

Francine White has a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Before joining Applied Behavioral Consulting, she worked at Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta for 4 years, where she started as a direct therapist in their severe behavior day treatment center and the language and learning center before moving on to become a Clinical Specialist for both clinics.  Most recently, she held the position of Developmental & Behavior Coordinator working with both adults and children with developmental delays. She conducted assessments, trained staff, oversaw Verbal Behavior programs, and assisted parents in implementing ABA strategies to reduce challenging behaviors and to increase appropriate behaviors. Francine has worked with children and adults with autism and other developmental delays for over 8 years and has a passion to help change the lives of families through communication and language acquisitions.

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Jeralyn Bowden

Jeralyn completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the College of Charleston in May 2015. She recently earned a graduate certificate in child and adolescent psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She worked as an in home ABA therapist during her undergraduate studies. From this job experience she developed a passion for ABA and shifted her coursework to concentrate on ABA and child behavior. After relocating to Georgia and pursuing other job opportunities she returned to ABA therapy because nothing compared to the enjoyment and reward she felt doing ABA work. She plans to begin work toward her BCaBA in the next 6 months and from there her BCBA.

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 Jesse Arias

Jesse is a graduate of Marymount California University and holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology. He has worked with kids for 9 years and children with special needs/autism for the past 4. In 2008, he started out at the Montecito Heights Recreation Center of Los Angeles, CA as a youth coach. Then in 2010 while pursuing his BA at MCU he volunteered at the Boys & Girls Club of America of San Pedro, CA as an activities instructor. In 2012 he found himself at Ride to Fly an Equine assisted therapy program for children with special needs. This is where he found his calling of for lack of better words something he could do for the rest of his life.

From then on until the moment he graduated he volunteered at this center. After that he started working at Behavior Frontiers of Orange County, California a company providing ABA services for children diagnosed on the spectrum. This is where he excelled along with many of his coworkers. Soon after starting with Behavior Frontiers he was promoted to a Sr. Behavior Therapist. Being recognized for his specific adaption to environments and teaching ability to children with specific needs. Jesse is pursing a Masters in Applied Behavioral Analysis with an emphasis in Autism and hopes to start in the spring of ’17, then soon after sit for the BCBA exam.

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Lauren Ryckman

Lauren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Emory University and a Master’s degree in Counseling with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. She began working with children on the Autism Spectrum in 2007 as an assistant teacher at the Walden School of the Emory Autism Center. Lauren has continued to work in a variety of clinical and educational environments providing ABA services to individuals and families. She is dedicated to the success of her clients and supporting each individual’s specific needs. Lauren completed her Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis coursework in 2015 and plans to become certified as a BCBA.

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Lucy DeWitt

 Lucy is currently studying Behavioral and Learning Disabilities at Georgia State this year after transferring from Gordon State College for the past two on a soccer scholarship. Lucy is a RBT (Registered Behavioral Technician) and is pursuing to become a BCaBA when she completes her bachelors and then get my masters to become a BCBA. Lucy has been working with children with autism for the past 5 years in various ways such as volunteering in and outside school, shadowing at Jacobs Ladder for 2 years, and sit ins on many ABA sessions.

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Shelby Rudd

Shelby Rudd has a Master’s degree in Family, Youth, and Community Science from the University of Florida. She began working with children with autism during her undergraduate studies, while working as an after school and summer camp counselor at a YMCA in Gainesville. This passion grew, and after graduating with her M.S. degree, she began working at a clinic as a behavior therapist. Shelby recently moved to the Atlanta area and her goal is to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

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Yasmin Wali

Yasmin Wali began working with children on the autism spectrum in 2008. While receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University Northridge, she began working at FirstSteps for Kids in Hermosa Beach, California. While at FirstSteps she provided clients with both school and in-home therapy, focusing on the acquisition of new skills and the reduction of challenging behavior for children ages 2-10 years. Before relocating to Georgia, she earned her Master’s degree from Loyola Marymount University in Educational Studies. She is currently beginning her coursework at the Florida Institute of Technology with plans to become a BCBA by the end of 2017.

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