Our Team

Leadership Staff

Executive Director
Allison Lowy Apple PhD, BCBA-D, LMHC, LBA

DrApple@apple-asd.com

Dr. Allison Lowy Apple has worked with children with autism and their families since 1994. Dr. Apple began her work in New York State in the early 90's under the supervision of Dr. Bridget Taylor PsyD, of the Alpine Learning Group, a renowned private school for children on the spectrum.

In 1996, Dr. Apple returned to her home town of Seattle and teamed with Dr. Stacey Shook to provide support to numerous children,families and school districts in the Seattle area.

In 1999, Dr. Apple entered the master's program in early childhood special education at the University of Washington (UW) where Dr. Ilene Schwartz served as her advisor. That same year, Dr. Apple and four colleagues developed and opened Northwest Behavioral Associates (NBA), a not-for-profit organization, serving children with autism using the principles of applied behavior analysis. At NBA, Dr. Apple served as Program Manager, Outreach Coordinator and Assistant Director.

As part of completion of her master's degree, Dr. Apple taught in "Project DATA (Developmentally Appropriate Treatment for Autism)" classroom at the UW's EEU (Experimental Education Unit) and received her special education teaching certificate.

In 2001, Dr. Apple entered the PhD program in special education with a primary emphasis in autism and applied behavior analysis and a secondary emphasis in psychology. Dr. Felix Billingsley served as her advisor. Dr. Apple also worked with Drs. Ilene Schwartz and Felice Orlich among many other prominent educators in the field.

During her PhD program, Dr. Apple participated in the development of the current UW special education master's program "with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis." Dr. Apple served as the official liaison at the University of Washington between the UW and the BACB© (Behavior Analyst Certification Board) regarding approved course sequences and practicum. In this role, Dr. Apple developed teaching courses in topics relating to behavior analysis for teachers and ethical issues in special education and served as a practicum supervisor for graduate students (through June 2012).

Upon completion of her PhD in 2005, Dr. Apple independently developed A.P.P.L.E. Consulting to address a specifically optimistic, inclusive and collaborative approach to services to include children and their families in the service model across home, school, and other community settings.

Currently, A.P.P.L.E. Consulting provides Applied Behavior Analysis services and Psychological Services to support to children with autism and related disorders and their families. Dr. Apple continues to focus on the "wrap-around" approach to services to provide the best outcome for children and their families.

Dr. Apple also sustains a strong interest in applied research; her study on video modeling and self-management can be seen in the Winter 2005 edition of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions.

Director of Operations
Christopher Jones PhD, BCBA-D, LBA

CJones@apple-asd.com

In addition to being the Consulting Director of Operations at APPLE, CJ, “Dr. Jones” is a consulting staff member at the UW Haring Center and the current president of the Washington Association for Behavior Analysis. His past research as a visiting professor at University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington concentrated on social and communication skills for children and young adults with autism and other mental health issues. He has published in peer reviewed journals and presented at conferences locally and nationally. His clinical work has emphasized teaching social and communication skills as well as adaptive/self-help skills. In addition to his training as both a developmental psychologist and behavior analyst, Dr. Jones also has more than 22 years of clinical experience working with children, adolescents, and young adults with developmental disabilities and almost 15 years working with populations specifically affected by autism. He has facilitated autism and ADHD social skills groups to promote social and communication skills and conducted many autism and Asperger’s syndrome trainings to teachers, therapists, social workers, parents, and university professors.

Bothell Clinic Director
Steve Michalski

SMichalski@apple-asd.com

Steve received an M.S. degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In 1990, he started working with individuals with ASD and their families at the UCLA Clinic for the Behavioral Treatment of Children (renamed the Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention), and was mentored by O. Ivar Lovaas, Ph.D. and Tristram Smith, Ph.D. After leaving UCLA in 1994, Steve continued to gain clinical experience in both in-home and center-based programs; and he has worked with children, adolescents, and young adults across all levels of functioning.

Accounts Manager
Stephanie Case

206-250-9014 (Billing, Insurance & Client Accounts Line)
Billing@apple-asd.com

Stephanie has over 10 years of Health Insurance policy knowledge and Medical Billing experience. Stephanie’s has a range of experience from large corporate physician’s groups to billing for Home Health. Additionally she spent many years at a local private practice specializing in Pulmonology and Endocrinology. In Stephanie’s free time, she creates a hand cut stone, designs and makes beautiful custom jewelry in sterling silver, engraves metal and glass, then dabbles in stunning leather tooling projects, plus she loves sparkling apple juice. Stephanie’s skills, understanding and dedication has been an asset to APPLE Consulting since Dec 2014.

Intake & Scheduling Coordinator
Angie Wells

206-437-5412
Admin@apple-asd.com

Angie began her career in special education over 20 years ago. After getting her Bachelors at The University of Michigan in 1988 she came back to Seattle to raise her family of 3 girls. She began working in the Lake Washington School District as a Special Education Para-Educator in 1994 and was there until 2010. In 2011 she moved on to working as a behavior therapist for children on the autism spectrum and soon became an office manager and administrator for an ABA agency. Angie is pleased to be working with APPLE Consulting and continuing her service to families touched by ASD.

Clinical Supervisors

Andrea Duroy Ed.D., BCBA, LBA
aduroy@apple-asd.com

Andrea completed her M.S. in Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis from California State University, Stanislaus and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2005. Her master’s thesis research focused on second-order conditional discriminations. While working on her master’s degree, she was a program manager in a grant-funded program that used ABA strategies to provide social skills programming to preschool students who were at-risk for school failure and attended public and private preschool programs in Central California. She also completed Marriage and Family Therapist trainee hours in a community-based clinic where she provided individual, couples, and group therapy. Upon receiving her master’s degree, she began working in the public school system as an Autism Specialist/Behavior Analyst for students in preschool through high school. In this capacity, she has been a member of early childhood assessment teams, completed school-based Functional Analysis Assessments, and designed and supervised school-based programs that provided ABA interventions for students on the autism spectrum. She has also provided numerous trainings for school district administrators, teachers, and staff on the principles of behavior analysis and behavior analytic interventions. As a BCBA working in both the public and private sector, Andrea has worked with clients aged 18 months through late adulthood. Her clinical interests include verbal behavior, complex conditional discriminations, and functional analysis. In 2016, Andrea completed her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in P-12 education. Her dissertation focused on the work of BCBAs in special education in the public school system in California.

In addition to her clinical work, Andrea has been a part-time lecturer since 2005 in the Psychology Department at California State University, Stanislaus where she has taught both undergraduate and graduate coursework in experimental and applied behavior analysis. She has presented her research as well as other practitioner issues numerous times at the conference of the California Association for Behavior Analysis and the Association for Behavior Analysis International. She has also participated in a panel discussion on utilizing critical conversation to develop compassionate educational practices at the annual convention of the University Council for Educational Administration, which aligned with her research interest in equity issues in special education.

Izabela Gaweda M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
IGaweda@apple-asd.com

Izabela’s interest in working with children with autism and their families began when a family member was diagnosed with autism. Originally from Poland, Izabela moved to London in 2006 to learn more about the services and education that is provided for individuals with autism. While working for 4 years at a school for children with autism spectrum disorder, she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 2013. Eager to expand her knowledge about Applied Behavior Analysis, she moved to Seattle and completed her Master’s Degree in Special Education with the focus on Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Washington in 2015. She gained her further ABA experience by working at the Experimental Education Unit in a project DATA classroom. During her educational training and practical experience, Izabela learned a range of ABA approaches, including discreet trial training, functional communication training, and naturalistic teaching. After completing her Master’s degree, she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in December 2015. Izabela is passionate about supporting and collaborating with families, especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Tess Gelderloos MA, BCBA
tgelderloos@apple-asd.com

Ever since she was 5 years old, Tess had a desire to help the special needs population. Tess did not know how exactly she was going to fulfill her desire until she took a behavior psychology class at Montana State University. From there, Tess was hooked.

During Tess's undergraduate years she worked with various families and continued to fall in love with the students. Tess's professor from the behavioral class convinced her to further her education so she moved to Chicago where she got her Masters of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis. From all that Tess has learned rom the students to professors is that no matter how good the lesson is we must take our cues from the student and teach so the student can demonstrate that he or she is learning. If that means changing a program then that is what needs to be done to create the most success from the student. Tess has been with APPLE since October of 2014.

Lisa Valdez M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
lvaldez@apple-asd.com

Lisa discovered her passion for teaching children with autism in 2006 when she took a position as a para-educator in the extended day and social skill preschool programs in the Lake Washington School District. In 2010, Lisa decided she wanted to further her education about Applied Behavior Analysis to better service the families she was working with. She was accepted to the University of Washington Early Childhood Special Education Master’s Program and also took the additional coursework that would prepare for her eventual BCBA certification in 2013. Throughout graduate school Lisa furthered her experience working with toddlers and preschoolers in special education programs at the UW Experimental Education Unit, Kindering Center, and the Bellevue School District. After graduation in 2012, Lisa worked as a Preschool Autism Specialist and SNAPS Coordinator in the Lake Washington School District. In 2015, she is very excited to be part of the dedicated team at APPLE Consulting and to be of service to our families.

Lisa loves her work. She especially enjoys collaborating with families and the creativity that comes with individualizing programs to fit a child’s personal learning style. She believes children learn best through success, and when instruction is fun and incorporates the individualized strengths and interests of the child.

Nicole Vitkauskas MS, BCBA, LBA
nvitkauskas@apple-asd.com

Nicole has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) since 2005. She first started her career as a grad scholar at the May Institute, where she worked with individuals with brain injury in both a school and residential setting. During her time at the May Institute, she was involved in several research projects and completed a Master's degree in ABA at Northeastern University. As a graduate student, Nicole also worked for a private consulting firm in Boston that provided 1:1 therapy in the home and public school setting. While in Boston, Nicole worked primarily with children on the autism spectrum. In addition, she directed an after school program and camps that focused on improving social skills. Nicole also presented her research at the BABAT and ABAI conferences.

In 2010, Nicole moved to the Northwest where she continued her work in the field and worked with many families located on military, naval, and air force bases. During that time, she served as Regional Director and helped oversee ABA programming for both the Midwest and Northwest regions. As she has she has progressed in the field, she has found that collaboration between family, school, and various therapy providers can make a true difference in the progress that her students make.

Nicole looks forward to using her diverse background to continue making positive changes in the lives of her students and their families. Nicole has been with APPLE since January of 2014.

Zeinab Warsame, MA, BCBA, LBA
zwarsame@apple-asd.com

Zeinab earned my bachelor degree in Audiology/Speech language Pathology from Applied Science University in Amman, Jordan. She worked as a speech language pathologist in Toronto, Canada, with elementary age students with various speech and language disorders. Zeinab was fascinated with the field of applied behavior analysis especially after she needed it for her son’s feeding issues. That experience prompted Zeinab to pursue a degree in ABA and earn her Masters in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Kaplan University. Zeinab has worked as a behavioral therapist applying the principles of ABA with children of various ages in various settings such as home, and schools. Zeinab is eager to support her clients and help them reach their full potential in a welcoming environment. In her spare time, Zeinab enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with her three children and husband. Zeinab joined A.P.P.L.E in September of 2013.

Senior Behavior Technicians

Dana McCarty, M.Ed., Certified Counselor
Senior Behavior Technician
DMcCarty@apple-asd.com

Dana McCarty's interest in working with people with special needs began at the age of 8, when she first read the story of Helen Keller and decided that she wanted to be Annie Sullivan when she grew up. She enrolled in her first sign language course during her 10th grade year and in college designed her own major and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sensory Impairment at Central Washington University. Since then, she has worked as a Rehabilitation Teacher for Washington State Services for the Blind, as a team leader for a group home in Wenatchee, WA, as a para-educator and sign language interpreter for four area school districts and as a private tutor for children with special needs. Her experience as a para-educator in a Wenatchee elementary school self-contained classroom sparked her interest in teaching children with autism.

In 2006 she earned her Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education along with her Teacher's Certification with endorsement in Special Ed.ucation. During her graduate work, she completed 6 quarters of field experiences and student teaching with children ages 3-21 in 3 different classroom settings/schools, including the University of Washington Project D.A.TA. (Developmental Appropriate Treatment for Autism) (preschool), Structured Learning Classrooms (elementary), and a Life Skills classroom for high school students. Ms. McCarty's training spans applied behavior analysis (including focus on functional behavior assessment) and also work in Relationship Development Interventions (RDI; Gutstein, 2005).

Dana particularly enjoys working with individual students and their families because of the opportunities to build relationships to work together as a team and to tailor each child's programming to meet the individual interests, strengths and learning styles of each student. Ms. McCarty plans to complete the remaining required courses and training to sit for the BACB© Board Certified Behavior Analyst in the near future. Ms. McCarty began her work with A.P.P.L.E. Consulting in June of 2008.