Meet the Spark Team!

BCBAs

Reena Naami BCBA - Owner - Spark Center for Autism

Reena Naami, M.S., BCBA, LBA

Reena is the owner and director of the Spark Center for Autism. Reena was first introduced to the field of behavior analysis during her undergraduate program at Central Michigan University, where she was a teaching and research assistant for the behavior analysis rat and pigeon lab. The principles of behavior had a huge impact on Reena, but she wanted to work with people so she pursued graduate studies in applied behavior analysis from Florida State University. Reena worked as a graduate assistant where she conducted direct therapy with children with autism spectrum disorders and various other developmental disabilities, in home and school settings, along with additional opportunities to conduct research and organizational behavior management implementation. Prior to opening the Spark Center, Reena worked as a BCBA and a regional manager of an in-home ABA company based in Dallas, Texas. In 2014, Reena relocated back to the metro-Detroit area with the intention of making Michigan a better state for children with Autism. Her areas of professional interest include emotional/behavioral disorders, verbal behavior, and the dissemination of the field, and she enjoys providing graduate training to individuals pursuing certification. She also places an emphasis on clinical collaboration to ensure the highest care possible for all the clients at the Spark Center. Reena also serves on the Board of Directors for Oakland Community Health Network, where she helps to ensure members of the Oakland County community can access appropriate and quality services for their mental health needs. In this position, Reena also hopes to help reduce the stigma associated with mental and behavioral health.

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Dan Simpson, M.A., BCBA, LBA, Clinical Manager

Dan is a BCBA and clinical supervisor at the Spark Center for Autism. He has a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis from Western Michigan University, and earned his certification as a behavior analyst in February 2019. As an undergraduate, his interest in behavior started from coursework in applied behavior analysis, neurophysiology and psychopharmacology. Dan then held a position teaching intrapersonal communication and academic skills at Turning Point Youth Center as service worker and an assistant group leader for clients aged 11 – 19 in a residential behavioral program. There he was introduced to applied uses of rule-governed behavior using token systems and backup reinforcers, level-systems and group contingencies. Dan started at Spark in 2015 as a technician and has training in functional communication training and problem behavior reduction. Dan has an interest in neurodevelopment and improving interdisciplinary collaboration between treatment professionals.

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Dan Simpson

Beth Tosto, M.A., BCBA, LBA, Assistant Director

Profile and CV coming soon!

Megan Lipinski, M.A., BCBA, LBA, Senior Manager of Staff Development and Training

Megan is a BCBA and clinical supervisor at the Spark Center for Autism. She holds a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis from Arizona State University and earned her certification as a behavior analyst in December 2020. She holds a bachelor’s degree in science that focused on Speech Language-Pathology where her interest grew beyond increasing language abilities in children. Megan started at Spark in 2015 as a technician and has training in feeding protocols, functional communication training and problem behavior reduction.

Emma Yergin

Emma Yergin, M.S., BCBA, LBA

Emma Yergin is a BCBA at the Spark Center for Autism. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 2019, Emma followed her passion and quickly began her graduate studies at the University of Southern Maine, studying Educational Psychology and Behavior Analysis. She earned her Behavior Analyst certification in October of 2021. Emma has always had a fondness for working with kids and found a love for behavior analysis while doing undergraduate research on the Early Start Denver Model. She worked as a behavior technician and student analyst through her college and graduate school careers and is excited to join Spark’s team as a BCBA. Emma’s professional interests include trauma informed care, emotional regulation, and acceptance and commitment therapy. As a classically trained dancer and certified yoga teacher, Emma also enjoys incorporating movement and mindfulness into evidence based behavior therapy programming.

Pang Yang, M.S., BCBA, LBA

Profile coming soon!

Speech Language Pathologists

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Rachael Paslawski, M.A., CCC-SLP

Rachael is a speech-language pathologist at Spark Center for Autism. She holds a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Wayne State University. Rachael has experience working in both schools and outpatient treatment centers. She has experience evaluating and treating children with a variety of communication disorders including receptive-expressive language, social communication, fluency, articulation, childhood apraxia of speech, and more. She previously practiced in the field of applied behavior analysis as a behavior technician, which sparked her passion for autism. Rachael is certified in PECs, Hanen- More Than Words, and Natural Language Acquisition. She has completed a beginner level American Sign Language course. Her professional interests include early intervention, play skills, articulation, and receptive-expressive language disorders.

Khadijah Siddiqui, M.A., CF-SLP

Profile coming soon!

Occupational Therapists

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Katie Welsh, M.S., OTR/L

Katie graduated from Michigan Technological University with her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science and went on to Saginaw Valley State University for her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy. Katie’s passion for working with children started as a camp counselor and she knew she was meant to work with this population while working as a Registered Behavior Technician. Katie’s clinical interests include sensory integration, feeding therapy, and animal assisted occupational therapy services. Outside of the clinic, she enjoys going on adventures with her dog, Bear. Katie loves camping and has a goal to one day see all the national parks in the United States.

Heather Vallance, COTA/L

Heather is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant who graduated from Baker College with her Associates of Applied Sciences in Occupational Therapy. Heather has worked with the pediatric population since 2020, specifically having worked with diagnoses such as autism, intellectual disabilities, as well as neurological conditions. She has a background in ABA having been a Behavior Technician while in college. Her love for working with children began when volunteering for organizations and fundraisers in the community. Heather’s clinical interests include sensory integration, promoting learning, and personal development. She firmly believes in client centered treatment approaches. Outside of work, Heather enjoys spending time with friends, reading, and cooking.

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Administrative Team

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Trey Staley, Practice Manager

Trey is the Practice Manager at the Spark Center for Autism. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from East Carolina University in 2015. Right after graduating, Trey gained adolescent sports medicine clinical experience before moving into management. Part of his clinical experience includes providing medical coverage for the Special Olympics and other youth sports programs. As a manager, he has led successful teams in growth and expansion, while always focusing on employee satisfaction.  His goal is to combine his past experiences and help everyone reach their full potential while maintaining the high standards and reputation of the Spark Center.

Bridget Bagozzi, Office Manager

Bridget Bagozzi is the Office Manager here at the Spark Center for Autism. Bridget graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2010 where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She gained a wide range of experience working as a behavior technician in school based, in-home, and center-based locations for over 12 years total before transitioning into a management. While she loved her experience working directly with the children and seeing their progress firsthand, she is equally excited about being the person that connects our Spark Families with the services and resources we provide.

Janet Naami, Administrative Assistant

Profile coming soon!

Allison Rose, Billing Manager

Allison is the Billing Manager at the Spark Center. She comes in with over five years experience in billing and coding. After graduating from Oakland Community College with her Medical Billing and Coding certificate in 2018, she worked for a small practice for a year. She then moved into the hospital and urgent care settings before deciding to come join our team at the Spark Center.

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