UW Autism Center Clinic Team
Annette Estes, PhD
Director, UW Autism Center
Annette Estes, PhD, directs the University of Washington Autism Center (UWAC), an organization devoted to supporting autistic people and their families, caregivers and community through clinical services, research, and training. She holds the Susan and Richard Fade Endowed Chair, is a Research Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, and an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington. She is also a licensed psychologist in the state of Washington. Her research is carried out at the UW Autism Center and Center on Human Development and Disability.
Over the last decade, Dr. Estes has served as principal investigator on a series of clinical trials to determine the best ways to support young autistic children. These collaborative, multisite, studies have investigated innovations in naturalistic, developmental, behavioral intervention and ask the question, “how can we improve outcomes for very young autistic children.” In collaborations with scientists and clinicians at University of California, Davis, University of Michigan, Vanderbilt University, Harvard, and University of California, Los Angeles, she has worked to expand the evidence regarding how to best support autistic children and their parents.
Dr. Estes has also been part of the Infant Brain Imaging Study Network (IBIS) for over 15 years. She is the co-principal investigator of with Dr. Stephen Dager at the University of Washington. She directs the behavioral assessment core of the multi-site IBIS Network with clinical sites at University of North Carolina, Washington University, Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, and UW. The aim of the IBIS is to improve early recognition of infants at high likelihood of autism and identify brain mechanisms that may lead to new strategies to help children reach their full potential and live their best lives.
Dr. Estes was recently awarded a grant to study sleep in school-aged children at high likelihood of autism. She is especially interested in the role of the family in supporting positive outcomes for children with disabilities and improving the lives of autistic people.
Director of Operations
Kathryn Larson joined the UW Autism Center as the Director of Operations in the Fall of 2016.
A Seattle native, Kathryn lived and raised her children in Michigan for 18 years before returning to the Northwest where she is surrounded by much of her family.
She enjoys the outdoors, reading, puzzles and spending time with family and friends.
Kathryn is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a team who loves what they do and are dedicated to caring for autistic children and their families.
Robin Talley, BCBA, LBA
Director of Training & Consultation Services
Director of ABA LAUNCH Program
Robin Talley, BCBA, LBA is the Director of Training and Consultation Services and the Director of ABA LAUNCH Program at the UW Autism Center. She has provided services to autistic children since 1999. She received her M.Ed. and teaching license from the University of Washington in 2004 and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2005. Robin is certified in the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and Reciprocal Imitation Training (RIT), which are naturalistic strategies based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Robin provides clinical oversight of the ABA LAUNCH Program and engages in professional outreach with the community. She is passionate about providing care to young children and disseminating information on evidenced-based trainings and consultation to the greater community.
Jessica Greenson, PhD
Director of Clinical Services
Dr. Greenson supervises our team of talented clinicians including Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs), Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), and Psychologists and the clinical issues that arise for families and children receiving or awaiting services. She works clinically in our Infant/Toddler clinic conducting diagnostic evaluations and parent coaching for children under 3. As a member of the On Time Autism Intervention (OTAI) Team, she partners with parents and community providers for children under three to help young children gain early access to diagnosis and intervention. She is passionate about providing empirically validated interventions, increasing access in underserved communities, training students and helping parents of children with autism find support and community. Prior to her role in the clinic, Dr. Greenson served as the associate director of a series of NIH funded clinical trails of ABA treatment for toddlers with ASD at UWAC. Dr. Greenson is certified in the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) of therapy and works with parents of toddlers as an ESDM coach in the clinic. When not working, Dr. Greenson can be found watching her teenagers playing sports, walking her dog, or enjoying good food and movie nights.
Tanya St. John, PhD
Director of Research
Dr. Tanya St. John is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Research Scientist at the University of Washington Autism Center.
She completed her doctoral work at Seattle Pacific University, predoctoral internship at City of Hope National Medical Center, and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Washington Autism Center.
Dr. St. John has devoted her career to understanding autism across the lifespan, with a particular emphasis on toddlers and young children.
Dr. St. John has served as project manager and diagnostic clinician on various NIH-funded studies including the Infant Brain Imaging Study and is an independent ADOS trainer.
Lucas Harrington, PsyD
Lucas Harrington, PsyD is a psychologist at the UW Autism Center.
Dr. Harrington received his PsyD from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at UW’s LEND program as well as the UW Autism Center.
Dr. Harrington is autistic himself and brings the personal and community perspective to his work. He provides neurodiversity-oriented meetings and presentations for autistic people, families, UWAC staff, and the community, as well as conducting diagnostic evaluations and parent coaching.
Kelly A. Johnson, PhD
Kelly A. Johnson, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist at the UW Autism Center.
Dr. Johnson received her PhD in clinical psychology with child clinical subspecialty from Loyola University Chicago, and received further postdoctoral training at the University of Washington’s Center on Human Development & Disability.
At the UW Autism Center, Dr. Johnson provides diagnostic evaluations and consultation. She brings a broad range of experience working with individuals with disabilities and their families, including very young children through adults.
In addition to working with gifted/highly capable populations, her clinical and supervisory experience has also involved involved individuals with co-occurring developmental disabilities, psychiatric, medical, and/or genetic conditions.
Ella Vanderbilt-Adriance, PhD
Ella Vanderbilt-Adriance, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist at the UW Autism Center and the Director of Student Training.
Dr. Vanderbilt-Adriance received her PhD in clinical and developmental psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Seattle Children’s Hospital Autism Center.
At the UW Autism Center, she provides diagnostic evaluations across the lifespan and individual therapy to parents of autistic children to address issues related to stress management and improving quality of life. In addition, Dr. Vanderbilt-Adriance provides individual therapy to autistic adults focusing on anxiety and depression.
Sara Woods, PhD
Sara Woods, PhD (née O’Neil) is a clinical psychologist at the UW Autism Center in Tacoma. She received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the APA-accredited University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She also completed an APA-accredited predoctoral internship at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. She completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington Center for Human Development and Disability Child Development Clinic in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program.
At the UW Autism Center, Sara provides neurodiversity-affirming comprehensive assessments to people of all ages (toddlerhood through adulthood), as well as providing therapy, consultation, and education. Sara has published research on autism, reading, and emotion socialization. Sara’s research interests include autistic strengths, intersectionality, the meaning of autism from multiple perspectives, effective communication of diagnoses, and social development.
Sara brings a strong lifespan approach having worked with infants through elderly in a variety of settings, including schools, clinics, and inpatient settings. Sara has experience with multiple presenting issues including ADHD, anxiety, mood disorders, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, and trauma-related struggles. Sara is interested in exploring ways to make psychology more accessible. She is passionate about collaborating with autistic people and their families to gain a greater understanding of themselves and helping them discover the strengths that they already have.
Applied Behavioral Analysis – Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA)
Madelyn Bascom, BCBA, LBA
Behavior and Education Cosultant
Madelyn Bascom is thrilled to be returning to the University of Washington Autism Center as a BCBA.
She originally joined UWAC in 2015 as an RBT in the clinic and on the TADPOLE study.
After attending graduate school at the University of Washington, she moved abroad to Vietnam where she worked as a BCBA at an ABA agency, providing behavior analytic services and training to families and professionals in Ho Chi Minh City.
Madelyn is excited to be a part of the UWAC team again as a Behavior and Education Consultant on the clinic and training teams!
Jenna Berger, MEd, BCBA, LBA
Behavior & Education Consultant
Jenna Berger, BCBA, LBA, is a behavior and education consultant at the UW Autism Center.
She received her MEd in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Washington and her BA in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Western Washington University.
Jenna’s areas of interest include functional communication and early intervention for young children. She is grateful to be a part of a team that values interdisciplinary collaboration and neurodiversity.
Chelsea Deaconson, MEd, BCBA, LBA
Behavior & Education Consultant
Chelsea Deaconson, BCBA, LBA is a Lead BCBA in the ABA LAUNCH program and a member of the Training and Consultation Services team. Chelsea began as a behavior technician in 2009. In 2015, she became a BCaBA. In 2017, she received her MEd from Washington State University and earned her BCBA credential in 2018.
Chelsea has worked with autistic children, teens, and adults in center, home, and community settings. She also has experience in staff training, parent training and center management. Chelsea is passionate about partnering with autistic individuals and their families to find practical strategies to teach important skills. She loves to train others and disseminate compassionate, evidence-based solutions.
Outside of the office, Chelsea loves baking, hiking, snowshoeing, and exploring the PNW.
Charu Gupta, MEd, BCBA, LBA
Behavior & Education Consultant
Charu Gupta, MEd, BCBA is a behavior and education consultant at the UW Autism Center.
Charu received her MEd in Special Education from the University of Washington in 2006 where she specialized in Early Childhood Education. As a student teacher, she taught preschool at the Experimental Education Unit, and during her graduate program she obtained additional practicum experience working with students with autism. Charu began working with individuals with autism in New Delhi, India, in 1999 and has since held several volunteer, student and work positions.
In addition to her role in the clinic, Charu served as the team lead for the structured intervention group of the UW Autism Center of Excellence (ACE-II) NIH grant-funded study: TADPOLE (Toddlers with Autism: Developing Opportunities for Learning)
Charu is passionate about providing high quality services to individuals with autism and their families. Charu’s areas of interest include early intervention for young children with autism and parent coaching.
John Ketchum, MEd, BCBA, LBA
Behavior & Education Consultant
John Ketchum, BCBA, LBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst for the UW Autism Center ABA LAUNCH program in Seattle.
John originally joined the UW Autism Center in 2014 as a research assistant and behavior technician. In 2020, he earned a master’s in special education with a focus on applied behavior analysis.
John highly values addressing individual client needs with a flexible approach. He also strives to incorporate principles of neurodiversity into his practice.
Wayne Lynch, MEd, BCBA, LBA
Behavior & Education Consultant
Wayne received his MEd in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Washington.
After entering the field in 2011, he gained an interest in evidence-based practices for effective treatment design, with a focus on communication and community access. His experience ranges across school, community, and clinic-based settings, serving a diverse population.
Yegennalyn Millanes, MHA, MEd, BCBA, LBA
Yegennalyn Millanes, BCBA, LBA is a Licensed Behavior Analyst at the University of Washington Autism Center ABA LAUNCH program in Tacoma.
Yegennalyn started her journey in ABA in 2015 as an RBT. Initially, she earned a Master’s in Health Administration which has supported her skills to plan, direct, and coordinate services to provide quality care. To continue her work in ABA and provide clinical services as a supervisor, in 2019, she earned a Master’s in Education and became credentialed as a BCBA in 2020.
Yegennalyn’s primary experience includes working with early learners and their families in-home, clinic, and in the community. She was born in the Philippines, immigrated to the US at 4-years old, and speaks Tagalog and Sambal. Her multicultural background has helped shape how she practices. Yegennalyn prides herself in providing quality care that is inclusive, evidence-based, strength-based, and collaborative.
Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family, shih-tzu, friends, eating, and taking care of her house plants.
Ashley Penney, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA
Behavior & Education Consultant, Research Scientist
Ashley Penney, BCBA-D, LBA is a Licensed Behavior Analyst and Research Scientist at the UW Autism Center.
Ashley earned her PhD at the University of Washington in Special Education in 2016. Her dissertation was on the effects of a naturalistic, behavioral parent-implemented group intervention for very young children with or likely to have autism. As a research scientist for the On-Time Autism Intervention Project, Ashley’s work focuses primarily on increasing access to developmentally appropriate behavioral intervention for infants and toddlers with autism. Ashley is passionate about supporting access to high quality services and believes that parents and families are an integral part of success. Her current research focuses on developmentally appropriate, effective intervention that fits within existing service delivery systems and increasing collaboration among professionals from different service delivery systems. More information about the On-Time Autism Intervention Project can be found here.
Molly Rauschl, MS, BCBA, LBA
Behavior & Education Consultant
Molly Rauschl, BCBA, LBA is a behavior and education consultant at the UW Autism Center.
Molly received her M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis at Central Washington University and her BA in Psychology with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education at San Diego State University. She began working with individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders in 2014 and became a BCBA in 2020.
Molly is passionate about teaching children life skills and functional language through a play based and naturalistic approach. She believes that learning new skills in a fun, nurturing environment creates therapeutic relationships that foster positive growth.
Applied Behavioral Analysis – Behavior Technicians
Arianna Hillman, CBT
Certified Behavior Technician
Arianna is a behavior technician at the UW Autism Center Tacoma campus.
Arianna received her BA in psychology from Pacific Lutheran University in 2021.
Arianna started working in the field of ABA in 2021 and joined the Tacoma LAUNCH team in 2022. Outside of the Autism Center, Arianna enjoys spending time with her nephews and playing board games.
Makenzie Knowles, CBT
Makenzie Knowles is a behavior technician for the Seattle LAUNCH program at the UW Autism Center.
She graduated in 2020 from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
She joined the field of ABA in 2020 and is excited to resume her role as a CBT again after working in a high school as a paraeducator.
Outside of work she enjoys spending time with friends, playing soccer, and paddleboarding.
Sophia Arianne Javar, RBT, CBT
LAUNCH Program Behavior Technician
Sophia Javar is a Behavior Technician at UW Autism Center Tacoma campus. She is originally from the Philippines and moved to Washington when she was 8 years old.
In 2020, she got her undergraduate degree in Psychology at University of Washington, Tacoma.
She got in the field of ABA in the beginning of 2021 and has been enjoying it ever since.
She is looking forward to expanding her knowledge in the field at the Autism Center from her colleagues and clinicians.
Ai Roach, CBT
Ai Roach, CBT is a Behavior Analysis Intern at UW Autism Center Tacoma. She is working towards her BCBA credential and master’s degree in Special Education in the ABA program at the University of Washington.
She taught English to children in her home country, Japan for many years before moving to America. She received her BFA, major in fiber arts from the University of Washington in 2008.
She has worked both in an ABA clinic as a behavior technician and in Special Education classrooms as a paraeducator at public schools.
She is excited about meeting new clients and helping them thrive through the LAUNCH program at UW Autism Center.
Nicole Bergstrom MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
Nicole Bergstrom M.S., CCC-SLP is a licensed and ASHA certified speech-language pathologist at the University of Washington Autism Center. She received her M.S. degree in Speech Language Pathology with a concentration in Autism at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA. Nicole completed her Clinical Fellowship at UWAC.
Nicole began her career as a teacher in a specialized school for Autistic children, working with high school aged students transitioning out of the educational setting. In graduate school, Nicole had a variety of experiences helping those with communication impairments across the lifespan in outpatient clinics, hospitals, and specialized school settings. Nicole most enjoys working collaboratively with families and other professionals to provide support for complex communicators, including alternative and augmentative communication (AAC). She conducts feeding evaluations and intervention in the Seattle clinic. Nicole prioritizes using a child-lead, family centered, responsive intervention in feeding and is trained in the SOS approach to feeding. Nicole is passionate about providing neurodiversity-affirming, child-lead therapy in her practices. Nicole currently serves as SLP for the ABA LAUNCH program in Seattle.
Outside the clinic, Nicole can be found exploring the Pacific Northwest by trail running, hiking, and visiting different coffee shops and bakeries with her partner and dog.
Carly Brukhman MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
Carly Brukhman MS, CCC-SLP is a WA state licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) at the University of Washington Autism Center (UWAC). She received her M.S. degree in Speech Language Pathology from Columbia University in 2013.
Carly began her professional career on the east coast working as an SLP in many different contexts including a sensory-focused private practice, a specialized school for children with traumatic brain injury, and at a hospital providing both acute and outpatient care, serving Autistic individuals across these diverse settings. She conducts Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) evaluations and supports clients using speech-generating devices. Carly developed the UWAC Feeding program and serves as Lead clinician. She is committed to helping clients and families overcome mealtime challenges using a child-led, responsive feeding approach based on the Sequential-Oral-Sensory (SOS) model. She is SOS-trained. Carly especially enjoys working with toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-aged students, providing individualized, play-based services. She emphasizes collaboration with individuals, families, and other professionals to support learning and communication. Neurodiversity and LGBTQIA+ affirming practices are central to her care.
Kelleen Dunley, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
Kelleen Dunley MS, CCC-SLP, is a licensed and ASHA certified speech-language pathologist at the University of Washington Autism Center. She received her M.S. in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Washington in 2015.
Kelleen has focused her career on supporting autistic individuals from toddlers through adulthood. Prior to joining UWAC, Kelleen completed her internship at Seattle Children’s Autism Center before serving as the Speech Language Pathologist at an Autism Center in Snohomish, WA. Kelleen is passionate about supporting communication through collaborative services with individuals, families, and other professionals. Kelleen is Hanen certified and enjoys conducting play-based and individually focused therapy from toddlers to adulthood.
Sarah Lemke, MOT, OTR/L
Sarah Lemke, MOT, OTR/L is a licensed and board-certified occupational therapist at the University of Washington Autism Center.
Sarah originally became an occupational therapist, aspiring to meet the developmental needs of autistic youth and empower children and families. Sarah graduated with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy from Eastern Michigan University and has been privileged to serve youth birth-21 in numerous settings including early intervention, school-based, inpatient psychiatric, and outpatient care.
Sarah’s family-centered approach prioritizes culturally sensitive, trauma-informed, neurodiversity, and LGBTQIA+-affirming care. In addition to providing individual and group services, Sarah values opportunities for caregiver collaboration and community education. Sarah is a member of the Training and Consultative Service team and provides consultation for our ABA LAUNCH program and feeding team; she is trained in AEIOU, an integrated approach to pediatric feeding.
Sarah enjoys traveling, reading, and caring for her plants and rambunctious cats in her spare time.
Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician
Samuel Zinner, MD, provides developmental-behavioral pediatrics (DBP) consultation to address a range of medical issues for children, youth, and their families at the UW Autism Center. The DBP subspecialty focuses on psychosocial and neurologic influences on behavior and development.
Dr. Zinner is a professor of pediatrics and a board-certified developmental-behavioral pediatrician, and serves as the fellowship program director of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. He completed medical school at the University of California San Diego, residency training in general pediatrics at Kaiser Permanente in Los Angeles in 1997, and fellowship subspecialty training in general academic pediatrics and in developmental-behavioral pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital in 1999. He joined the faculty at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in 1999 followed by the University of Washington School of Medicine in 2003.
Dr. Zinner’s clinical, research, and advocacy interests focus on tic disorders and their associated conditions including autism spectrum disorders, as well as on medical training in his subspecialty of DBP. His clinical activities include outpatient consultation at the UW Autism Center and the Seattle Children’s Hospital Neurodevelopmental Clinic.
Dr. Zinner is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.
APEX Summer Camp
Director of APEX Program
Ben Aaronson, PhD directs the Advanced Peer Experience (APEX) Program at the UW Autism Center. His primary focus is the development and execution of programs that provide advanced social skills opportunities for individuals with autism spectrum and related disorders.
He received training at the NYU Child Study Center, the Yale Child Study Center, and has been at the UW Autism Center since 2007.
Dr. Aaronson has been involved in research focusing on intervention, mirror neurons, and genetics, and served as a clinician across a variety of projects. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington and is an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Developmental Medicine.
He has served as director of the APEX program since 2013. For more information about Apex Summer Camp, visit apexsummercamp.org.
Will McCloud, EdS
APEX Program Manager
Will McCloud, EdS received his EdS in School Psychology from the University of Florida in 2014. Prior to joining the UW Autism Center, Will received training in the public schools, early childhood centers, and developmental research schools providing psychoeducational evaluation, counseling, and social skills instruction to children.
Will has served in various roles with UWAC research since 2016, including the TADPOLE, TAM, and IBIS studies.
Will currently serves as the Program Manager of the APEX Summer Camp Program, and supports the program’s clinical, training, and research initiatives. Will’s areas of interest include social skill development in school-aged children, parent training, and preparing future clinicians for work in the field.
Katryna Ahloo is the Patient Navigator for the ABA LAUNCH Program. She attended Seattle University where she received her undergraduate degree in Biology. In 2021, she joined the field of ABA as a CBT and later when on to become an RBT. In her pursuit to expand her horizons, she made her way to UWAC where she is able to utilize her skills as a CBT/RBT to support and connect families with resources needed.
Flo has worked at the clinic since December 2021 after transitioning from scheduling for UW Medicine’s primary and specialty care clinics. Born in Zimbabwe and raised between there and sunny California; Flo, her partner, young child, and pup relocated to Washington two years ago. She studied Public Policy & Social Development at the University of Cape Town and has worked in a variety of fields (from aerospace to healthcare, with stints at King Canyon & Bryce Canyon National Parks in between).
Flo found her way to UWAC when her own child was diagnosed as autistic last fall and is passionate about connecting families to resources, socio-economic justice, and improving healthcare iniquities. In her free time, Flo enjoys baking, camping, photography, and road trips.
Amany Eskandar was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, and moved to the United States in 1991.
She earned her bachelors degree in accounting.
She joined the UW Autism Center in April 2007 as a fiscal coordinator.
Her responsibilities include electronic claims, patient statements, and credentialing providers with payers.
Amany enjoys cooking world cuisines and traveling.
Administrative Assistant, Intake Coordinator
Cathy has held several positions at the University of Washington Center on Human Development and Disabilities including the UW Autism Center since 2003.
She is honored to support this team of researchers and clinical experts to improve the lives of people affected by autism.
Cathy enjoys time with family, gardening, vegetarian cooking and hiking.
Operations: Technical Services
Director of Technical Services
Dr. Munson studies variability in the development of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). His research contributes to the identification of the genetic basis of ASDs and to the development of more accurate prognoses and interventions. Currently, he is developing methods to analyze social skills and language comprehension in children with limited abilities to communicate. In these studies, he uses eye-tracking and other technologies to measure the responses of children to real-time 3-D graphics. Munson also uses various statistical methods to analyze patterns of development in children with ASDs.
Technical Services Manager
Dr. Frederick “Fritz” Reitz is a Research Engineer/Scientist serving as Technical Services Manager for the UW Autism Center (UWAC).
With a background in electrical engineering, protein biochemistry, and research instrumentation development and prototyping, Fritz provides systems, software, and instrumentation as needed in support of UWAC research as well as seeing to the day-to-day technical needs of the center.
Fritz is glad to contribute to UWAC’s noble mission of providing and furthering autism care.
In his spare time, he tests his wife’s patience by filling the house with half-finished projects, including trebuchets, unusual bicycles, and unnecessarily complicated electronics.
Operations: Program Support
Program Support Supervisor
Lena is the Training Coordinator and Program Support Supervisor at the UW Autism Center.
She joined the Center in 2009 and has worked on various projects at the Center, including coordinating research studies and human subjects applications, assisting with developing Center-wide policies and procedures and clinic operations, and coordinating staff and community trainings and events.