Annette Estes, Ph.D.
Director, UW Autism Center
Annette Estes, PhD, is the director of the University of Washington Autism Center (UWAC), an organization committed to clinical services, research, and training to improve the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families across the lifespan. 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 intervention studies for very young children with early signs of autism. These collaborative, multisite, studies have investigated innovations in naturalistic, developmental, behavioral intervention and ask the question, “how can we improve outcomes for very young children with ASD.” 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 efficacious interventions and how to best support parents of very young children with autism.
Dr. Estes is also the co-principal investigator of the Infant Brain Imaging Study Network (IBIS) with Dr. Stephen Dager 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 risk for autism and identify brain mechanisms that may lead to new strategies to prevent or ameliorate autism symptoms.
Dr. Estes is especially interested in the role of the family in supporting positive outcomes for children with disabilities and improving the lives of people with ASD.
Patricia A. Matestic, Ph.D.
Director, Tacoma Clinic
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Patricia Matestic, Ph.D., serves as a licensed clinical psychologist and clinic director at the UW Autism Center in Tacoma. Dr. Matestic received her Ph.D. in Clinical and Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and completed her internship at Seattle Children’s Hospital. She received additional postdoctoral training at the Child Study and Treatment Center in Lakewood through the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and completed a two year APA accredited pediatric psychology fellowship at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma.
Currently at the UW Autism Center Tacoma, Dr. Matestic provides diagnostic evaluations, family and school consultations, and training and community engagement through autism specific presentations and involvement in local support networks such as the South Sound Autism Partnership. Dr. Matestic has a broad range of clinical expertise working with both children and adults including individuals with comorbid medical diagnoses, developmental disabilities and genetic disorders, chronic sleep difficulties, toileting problems, and mood and behavior problems.
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 children with autism and their families.
Robin Talley, M.Ed., BCBA
Director of Training & School Services
Behavior and Education Consultant
Robin Talley, M.Ed, BCBA, is the Director of Training and School Services and a behavior and education consultant at the UW Autism Center.
Robin has provided services to children with autism spectrum disorders 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 a certified Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and Reciprocal Imitation Training (RIT) therapist, naturalistic strategies based on the principles of applied behavior analysis.
During graduate school Robin, completed her practicum training and student teaching at the Experimental Education Unit and worked as an ABA therapist at the UW Autism Center. Upon completion of graduate school, she became Early Childhood Autism Consultant position at the UW Autism Center and managed home programs for a variety of children with ASD. In 2006, Robin moved to Denver and began working at The Joshua School, a private school for children with ASD, where she was the early childhood and educational director for 4 years. In 2010, she returned to the UW Autism Center to provide services to both children and community professionals through training and workshops.
She is passionate about providing evidenced-based trainings and consultation to the greater community, specifically school professionals and parents of individuals with ASD. She has experience in applied behavior analysis, challenging behaviors, early intervention, functional behavior assessment, school consultation, and teaching workshops.
Jessica Greenson, Ph.D.
Director of Clinical Services
Associate Director of TADPOLE Study, PATH Study, and Early Steps Follow-Up Study
Jessica Greenson, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and the director of clinical services at the UW Autism Center. She completed her doctoral work in at Utah State University, a predoctoral internship at Children’s Memorial in Chicago, and a joint post-doc at the University of Washington and Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma. She has been a staff psychologist at the University of Washington since 2001. Dr. Greenson has devoted her career to understanding autism across childhood via the longitudinal study of children with ASD. She has expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of ASD, with a particular emphasis and interest in the toddler years.
In addition, to her role in the clinic, Dr. Greenson has served as the associate director of the UW Autism Center of Excellence (ACE-II) NIH grant-funded study: TADPOLE (Toddlers with Autism: Developing Opportunities for Learning), as well as the NIH funded Early Steps Follow-up Study and the PATH Project (Parents and Toddlers at Home) funded by Autism Speaks. In her role as associate director of these three studies, Dr. Greenson supervised the recruitment, screening, diagnosis, and follow-up assessments of children with autism ranging in age from 12 months to 8 years. In addition, Dr. Greenson is certified an the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) of therapy and has worked with parents as a coach on the PATH study and in the clinic.
Dr. Greenson supervises the clinical issues that arise for families, children, and staff in the clinic and research. She is passionate about providing empirically validated treatments to the families being seen at the UWAC and the interface between the research and clinical programs.
Director, APEX Program
Ben Aaronson, Ph.D. 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.
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.
Carly Brukhman M.S., CCC-SLP
Carly Brukhman M.S., CCC-SLP is a WA state licensed and ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) at the University of Washington Autism Center. 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 care and outpatient services. She has served individuals with Autism across these diverse settings. Carly especially enjoys working with toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary-aged students, providing individualized, play-based services. She conducts Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) evaluations and supports clients using speech-generating devices. Carly emphasizes collaboration with individuals, families, and other professionals to support learning and communication.
Kelleen Dunley, M.S. CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
Kelleen Dunley 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. in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Washington in 2015.
Kelleen has focused her career on supporting individuals with autism 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.
Emily Dunning, B.A.
Emily Dunning, B.A. Psychology, is a Behavior Technician at the UW Autism Center – Seattle.
Emily is passionate about providing high quality services to individuals with autism, and is excited to work with families in the Seattle community.
Robin Finlayson, M.Ed., BCBA
Behavior & Education Consultant
Robin Finlayson, M.Ed., BCBA, is a behavior and education consultant at the UW Autism Center.
Robin received her M.Ed. in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Washington. She has provided services for individuals with autism and related conditions since 2009.
Prior to joining the UW team, Robin was selected through the Australian Aid Development Program to travel to Vanuatu and develop an early intervention program for the Vanuatu Society for People with Disability and serve as a consultant to the Vanuatu Ministry of Education. She has also provided services to children with autism in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Seattle.
Alongside her work with families and schools through the UW Autism Center, Robin is pursuing her Ph.D. in Special Education at the University of Washington. Robin’s research and clinical interests include parent and teacher coaching, the use of telehealth to support remote and underserved populations, and helping families find effective ways to improve their children’s sleep.
Charu Gupta, M.Ed., BCBA
Behavior & Education Consultant
Charu Gupta, M.Ed., BCBA is a behavior and education consultant at the UW Autism Center.
Charu received her M.Ed 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.
Lucas Harrington, Psy.D.
Lucas Lewis Harrington, Psy.D. is a psychologist at the UW Autism Center.
Dr. Harrington received his Psy.D. 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. During his undergraduate years he received training at the Claremont 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 individual therapy for adolescents and adults.
Jessica Hoy, B.A./B.S., C.B.T.
Jess is a Certified Behavior Technician at the UW Autism Center.
She received her BA/BS in Psychology and Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience from the University of Denver in 2016 and joined the UWAC team in 2019. Prior to joining UWAC Jess worked in medical research at the University of Virginia focusing on cellular developmental plasticity. She is passionate about working with children and providing excellent services and support to individuals with autism and their families.
Kelly A. Johnson, Ph.D.
Kelly A. Johnson, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist at the UW Autism Center.
Dr. Johnson received her Ph.D. 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 special needs 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.
Wayne Lynch, M.Ed., BCBA
Behavior & Education Consultant
Wayne received his M.Ed 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.
Will McCloud, Ed.S.
APEX Program Manager
Will McCloud, Ed.S received his Ed.S 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.
Mackenzie Morrison, B.A.
Mackenzie Morrison is a Certified Behavior Technician at the University of Washington Autism Center. She received her B.A. in Sociology and Russian from Willamette University. Mackenzie was accepted into the M.Ed. Applied Behavior Analysis program at the University of Washington to begin Fall 2020.
Mackenzie began working at the UWAC in 2019. Prior to joining the UWAC, Mackenzie worked with youth in school settings from Alaska, to Laos, to Vermont. She is excited to spend these next years in Washington, furthering her passion of working with youth with intellectual disabilities, while also working toward her BCBA certification.
Scott Partington, M.A., BCBA
Behavior & Education Consultant
Scott received his master’s degree in Psychological Science at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2012 and became a board certified behavior analyst in 2014.
Scott began serving individuals with autism and their families in 2007. Prior to joining the UWAC team, Scott trained and received valuable teaching and consulting experience while working at the clinics of Drs. James Partington and Ivar Lovaas. In 2018, Scott moved to the Pacific Northwest and served as the Clinical Director of an ABA company based out of Redmond, WA.
In addition to rendering clinical services, Scott enjoys conducting research and teaching others to apply behavior analytic principles with emphasis on teaching skills to individuals with autism. He has provided trainings and consultation, both domestic and abroad, to parents, educators, and teachers. Scott also co-authored two books with Dr. Partington and has publications in various scientific journals.
Ashley Penney, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Ashley Penney, Ph.D., BCBA-D, 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, 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. Ashley is also a member of the Training and School Services team at UWAC, focusing on supporting autism in a variety of settings across Washington State.
Tanya St. John, Ph.D.
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.
Ella Vanderbilt-Adriance, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist at the UW Autism Center and the Director of Student Training.
Dr. Vanderbilt-Adriance received her Ph.D. 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 children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to address issues related to stress management and improving quality of life. In addition, Dr. Vanderbilt-Adriance provides individual therapy to adolescents and adults with ASD focusing on anxiety and depression.
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.
Tacoma Satellite Clinic
Sara Gratz, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
Sara Gratz, 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. in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Washington in 2016.
Prior to joining the UWAC, Sara provided speech and language services in outpatient clinics in the Seattle area, during which she developed a particular interest in serving children with autism. She has completed additional training in the SOS Approach to Feeding as well as PROMPT. Sara especially enjoys conducting play-based therapy with toddler, preschool, and school-age children. She is passionate about working with children, families, and other therapists to provide functional and collaborative evaluation and treatment services.
Behavior & Education Consultant
Kathryn Holley M. Ed., BCBA is a Licensed Behavior Analyst at the University of Washington Autism Center. Kathryn earned her M. Ed. from Northcentral University with a specialization in Special Education in 2014. Simultaneously, Kathryn completed BCBA coursework and supervision through Florida Institute of Technology. Kathryn earned her BCaBA in 2012 and her BCBA in 2015.
At the Autism Center, Kathryn is the Lead Training and School Consultant and ABA Team Lead, and provides behavioral consultation to school district and social service agencies across the state of Washington. Her clinical areas of interest include working with adolescents and young adults, working with young adults and their caregivers to support independence, and providing comprehensive sex education to individuals and their families. The primary focus of her consultative services are working with secondary schools and transition programs to serve autistic students and students with complex behavioral needs. Kathryn believes all students are able to be successful if provided with the appropriate supports.
Kathryn is a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and the Do Better Collective. She is passionate about disseminating high quality, evidence-based ABA interventions that center Autistic voices, value Neurodiversity, and ensure interventions are provided with compassion.
When Kathryn is not at the Autism Center she enjoys spending time with her two cats, Parker and Zoe, and pursuing her MSW at UW Tacoma.
Yegennalyn Millanes, MHA, M. Ed, BCBA, LBA
Behavior and Education Consultant
Yegennalyn Millanes, MHA, M. Ed, BCBA is a Licensed Behavior Analyst at the University of Washington Autism Center Tacoma. She received a master’s degree in healthcare administration with a concentration in informatics from the University of Phoenix in 2017 and a master’s degree in education with a focus in applied behavior analysis from Arizona State University in 2019.
She is originally from Long Beach, CA and moved to Washington in 2017 and has been a part of the UWAC team since then. Yegennalyn started working with individuals diagnosed with autism in 2015 – ranging from toddlers to adolescents.
Yegennalyn is passionate about working one-on-one with clients, training and disseminating knowledge of ABA practices to families and providers, collaborating with professionals, and ensuring that administrative supports are in place to better serve the population.
Sara Woods, Ph.D. (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 comprehensive diagnostic evaluations to people of all ages, as well as providing individual therapy, consultation, and education. Sara has published articles on autism, parenting, reading, and emotion regulation, and has presented at national and international conferences. Her research interests include ways in which parents teach their children about emotions, 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, outpatient clinics, inpatient hospitals, emergency departments, and university clinics. In addition to autism spectrum disorders, Sara has experience with a range of other presenting issues including trauma-related problems, anxiety, mood disorders, personality disorders, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, and learning disorders. She is passionate about helping children and families to improve their lives by equipping them with knowledge and skills while helping them to discover the strengths that they already have.
Kate has worked in a number of fields including healthcare, IT, leadership development, and education. As a child, at 9, she spent a year in the Dominican Republic with her family working to provide healthcare for people living in extreme poverty. Today, she’s an avid traveler who values curiosity, joy, adventure, complexity, intersectionality, and socioeconomic justice. She graduated from Seattle University in 2014 with two degrees in biology and interdisciplinary studies, and spent two summers as an outdoor educator in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys skiing, writing, painting, bright colors, and petting any and all dogs.
Joyce Bolz started working in billing when she joined the University of Washington Autism Center in 2007.
Her current responsibilities as billing assistant are specializing in posting insurance and patient payments and performing other billing functions as assigned.
During her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, as well as hiking and traveling.
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.
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.
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.