Dr. Howard C. Shane
Howard C. Shane is Director of the Center for Communication Disorders and the Autism Language Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, where he also conducts a clinical practice that concentrates on persons with autism spectrum disorders. He is an associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School and professor of communication sciences and disorders at the MGH Institute of Health Professions.
Dr. Shane is renowned internationally for creating inventive communication procedures and technology applications for persons with autism as well as innovative ways to operate and control computers for persons with difficulty with motor control. With Boston Children’s Hospital’s endorsement and using Dr. Shane’s visual-based curriculum, we are branding his cutting edge methodology and proven treatment program. Our future growth strategies are to expand throughout the US and internationally.
Elaine is a Social Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. She is the Founder of Puddingstone Place™ who had the vision for building a national brand to support the growing number of families in need of communication, behavioral and occupational therapies. She is dedicated to promoting solutions to families impacted by autism and other developmental disabilities. She is a Committee Member of the “Night to Shine” for the Flutie Foundation. Elaine was a Member of the Board of Autism Speaks (NE Chapter). Earlier, she owned/operated multi-sites for Boston Chicken franchises where she oversaw operations and a staff of over 200 employees. Prior to that, Elaine was a Human Resources executive at Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
Claire Flynn is the Director of Operations and has over 30 years of experience in the educational, rehabilitative, behavioral, and health services. With her experience, she consistently uses the highest level of efficiency possible within the organization. Claire is an exceptionally thoughtful and detailed oriented individual who has a sharp eye for what is feasible and acceptable within the confines of our industry. She fosters a team environment; always supporting her colleagues and supervisees as a highly valued leader.
Kevin is the Director of Business Development at Puddingstone Place. He oversees and manages fundraising campaigns, donor cultivation strategies, foundation relations and market research. He also coordinates developmental activities including company strategy, implementation, results measurement and evaluation.
Kevin has extensive experience raising equity capital from institutional investors for both public and private companies, for Wall Street firms including Hambrecht & Quist and JP Morgan. He earned an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the Isenberg School of Management, at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he also did his undergraduate degree in Business Management.
Dr. Anna Allen, Ph.D, CCC-SLP
Dr. Allen is a speech-language pathologist clinician-researcher who is passionate about helping young people communicate with their families and communities. She has nearly 20 years of experience providing speech-language intervention to children with developmental disabilities. Dr. Allen studied biology at Smith College and worked as a neuroscience researcher before earning her Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2003.
She practiced in a public school setting for several years before returning to the MGH Institute for her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Sciences, which she earned in 2019. Her dissertation research focused on the use of mobile technology platforms for improving communication skills in children with moderate to severe ASD. Since 2013, she has been mentored by Dr. Shane at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she has participated in several clinical research studies on the Visual Immersion System – VIS™. Her current research interests include the effect of systematic visually-based instruction on communication outcomes; caregiver stress and resilience in families of children with disabilities; and the application of mindfulness strategies to clinical training and practice. Dr. Allen oversees ongoing training of the clinical team, as well as training for new staff. She is excited to build and direct the clinical research program at Puddingstone Place.
Kara Morrison-Smith, MS, CCC-SLP
Kara Morrison-Smith, a speech language pathologist, earned her masters degree from Ithaca College. After graduating, she spent time volunteering in Quito, Ecuador at Instituto Mariána de Jesus and La Fundación Hermano Miguel before moving to Cleveland, OH where she began work at Monarch Center for Autism. It was there that she began collaborating with Dr. Howard Shane. As the assistive technology specialist at Monarch, Kara embedded the work of the Visual Immersion System directly into evaluations for communication devices during the school year. During the summers, she co-directed the Monarch Summer Social Language Program, leading activities that targeted social and future job skills. After moving back to New England, Kara gained experience working with children with complex communication needs at the Kevin O’Grady School before joining the team at Puddingstone Place™. She is excited to share the foundations of the VIS with families and educators as a practicing clinician and as the Director of the School Outreach Program.
Ann Essig, MS, LABA, BCBA
Ann became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst almost 10 years ago and has served a diverse population that includes individuals from 18 months old to young adulthood. Ann has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Adelphi University and a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from the State University of NY at Geneseo. Ann started her career as a special education teacher 30 years ago which is when she developed a passion for working with children with autism and behavior analysis. Ann continued her education and training at Simmons University where she studied Applied Behavior Analysis. Ann has had additional study and training in Applied Verbal Behavior, for which she is quite passionate. Ann also loves to provide training to family members, behavior technicians, and provide supervision to BCBAs and those studying to become BCBAs. She has worked in a variety of settings including homes, schools, and center-based programs. In the course of her career, teaching children with Autism to communicate has been a priority and a passion. She is excited to collaborate with Speech Therapists and Occupational Therapists at Puddingstone towards this goal. Ann will be overseeing ABA Services for Puddingstone Place™ across locations.
Meg Chicoine, MS, CCC-SLP
Meg received her Masters of Science degree from the College of Saint Rose in New York, where she is originally from. She has worked with all populations ranging from infants to adults but her passion lies in working with children specifically in the areas of Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) and early intervention. Additionally, she has experience and a special interest in hearing loss and aural rehabilitation. Meg’s therapeutic philosophy focuses on building strong relationships with clients and their families, while accentuating their strengths in order to provide the most motivating and effective treatment strategies. She will be treating out of the Wellesley, MA location.
Courtney Winsor, MS OTR/L
Courtney received her Master’s of Occupational Therapy degree from New England Institute of Technology. She has worked with individuals ages birth to 21 in a variety of settings including private and public school settings, home settings, and outpatient clinics. Her experience includes working with children with autism spectrum disorder, social emotional and behavioral challenges, pediatric feeding disorder, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, and medically complex disorders. She is passionate about assisting others to gain skills through play exploration and gain independence in daily activities.
Meet our Speech Language Pathology team
Alexa Carley, MA, CCC-SLP
Alexa is originally from Brooklyn, New York where she earned her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Iona College. She is passionate about building connections and meaningful relationships with patients and families to promote therapeutic success. Alexa has provided services in settings that include home/community-based, private clinic facilities, public and charter schools, in addition to a specialized school for children and young adults with cerebral palsy. Working with a variety of populations, ranging from infants to geriatric patients, Alexa has ultimately developed a passion for working with children who benefit from Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). She will be treating out of the Danvers location.
Kathleen E. Cunningham, MS, CCC-SLP
Kate received her Masters of Science degree from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. Kate’s passion is and has always been Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology. She has over 30 years working as a speech-language pathologist. She has worked in outpatient, early intervention and pre-k and as a school based clinician for over 20 years working with children with multiple disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Kate’s therapeutic philosophy centers on a building a strong partnership with her clients along with their families, staff and school teams in an effort to create a motivating, meaningful and effective treatment plan. She will be treating out of the Middleboro location.
Megan Donahue, MS, CCC-SLP
Megan is originally from the Boston area, and received her Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Charlestown, MA. She is passionate about working with individuals with autism, and has background experience in the Visual Immersion System through work at Boston Children’s Hospital, along with Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) experience. She has also spent the last year working with children with complex needs via teletherapy, and has built a strong repertoire of skills for delivering intervention virtually. She enjoys building lasting and trusting relationships with children and their families, and working closely as a team to push individuals to the best of their abilities. She loves being active outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and traveling. She will be working out of the Wellesley location.
Rebecca Glover, M.S., CCC-SLP
Rebecca is originally from Chicago, IL and moved out east to earn her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Boston University. She is most passionate about helping everyone find their “voice” and become self-advocates. Her background is focused in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Assistive Technology (AT), and communication therapy for children with severe and complex profiles. Rebecca especially values collaborating with families to help them best develop their relationship with their child. When she is not providing therapy at the Wellesley location, she loves boxing, cooking, and going on adventures with her dog, Barkley.
Carly Wisniewski, MS, CCC-SLP
Carly is originally from New Jersey and received her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Long Island University: C.W. Post Campus. As a clinician, Carly focuses on building strong relationships with clients and their families by engaging them in areas of interest to promote effective, functional therapy. Carly has provided services in public schools, private schools, and outpatient settings. Additionally, she has extensive experience working with children with autism spectrum disorder using the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis. Through working in various settings with clients across the lifespan, Carly has developed a passion for working with children, specifically in the areas of play-based therapy, autism spectrum disorder, and alternative and augmentative communication (AAC). In her free time, Carly enjoys skiing, reading, and exercising.
Meet our Applied Behavior Analysis team
Board Certified Behavior Analysts/LABAs
Ciara Newcomb, MS, LABA, BCBA
Ciara has her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Bay Path University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has worked with a diverse population, including children, adolescents, and young adults with Autism and other developmental disabilities. Ciara has provided ABA services in settings that include residential group homes, clinic-based facilities, schools, and local community settings. She has experience in developing and implementing behavior plans and provides research-based strategies. Ciara is passionate about verbal behavior, community integration, and training caregivers, staff, and families on the implementation of ABA procedures. She has seen the immense impact ABA can have on an individual and strongly believes in a collaborate approach to treatment. She looks forward to putting her knowledge and experience to work to improve the quality of life for individuals and their families. Ciara will be treating primarily out of our Wellesley, MA location.
Nikki M. Snizek, MS, LABA, BCBA
Nikki has her Master’s degree in Autism Spectrum Disorders from Elms College. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has worked with a diverse population of individuals including children, adolescents, and young adults with autism, developmental disabilities, neurological disabilities, and individuals that are deaf and hard of hearing. Nikki has provided ABA services in a number of school and day program settings and has an extensive background creating and implementing behavior intervention plans and programming for individuals using research based methods and strategies. Nikki has a passion for ABA research, functional communication as a means to reduce challenging behaviors, and teaching functional and socially meaningful skills. She is always up for a challenge and loves to help individuals reach their greatest potential.
Erin Masoero, M.Ed, LABA, BCBA
Erin received her Master’s degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell and a graduate certificate in Autism Studies in 2016. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has worked with a diverse population of individuals ages 3 to young adulthood with autism, developmental disabilities, neurological disabilities, and individuals with a trauma background. Erin has provided ABA services in settings that include schools, homes, residential programs, and day programs. She has an extensive background in conducting functional behavior assessments, as well as developing and implementing research-based behavior plans and skill acquisition programs. Her main areas of interest include Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and teaching functional communication as a means to reduce challenging behavior. Erin is excited to collaborate with Speech Therapists and Occupational Therapists to achieve this goal. She will be treating out of the Wellesley, MA location.
Christina Morse, MS, BCBA, LABA
Christie received her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University in 2015. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has worked primarily with individuals with autism spectrum disorder ranging from age 2 to 8. Christie has provided ABA services across a variety of settings including clinic-based facilities, residential settings, and homes. Her main areas of interest include working with early learners to build foundational play, social, and communication skills, as well as staff training. Christie will be treating out of the Danvers, MA location.
Alexa Ina, M.A., BCBA, LABA
Alexa has her master’s degree in Psychological Sciences: Applied behavior Analysis (ABA) from James Madison University. She is a licensed Board-Certified Behavior Analysis who has worked across a variety of settings including school, center, and home-based programs. Alexa has experience working with a wide variety of clients including adults, adolescents, and children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders as well as other developmental disabilities. She specializes in writing behavior support plans, training caregivers, teaching functional communication, and promoting positive behavior change using scientific and evidenced based strategies. Alexa is passionate about helping her clients and their families to improve their quality of life and experience socially significant behavior change across their behavioral, social-communicative, and play repertoires. Alexa is currently treating clients out of our Wellesley and Danvers locations.
Registered Behavior Technicians & Behavior Technicians
Kelsy graduated from East Stroudsburg University with a Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitative Sciences and is currently working towards a Master’s degree and Board Certification in Applied Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University. Since moving to Boston, Kelsy has worked to implement the principles of ABA for individuals with Autism in home-based and community-based settings and enjoys working with the early intervention and early childhood populations. Kelsy is passionate about providing 1:1 support for individuals with Autism and aiding in the growth and development of the individuals she works with.
Jamey is a Registered Behavior Technician in our Wellesley office. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northeastern University, and is currently continuing her studies there to obtain her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Jamey has provided behavior analytic services to individuals with ASD and developmental disabilities of all ages in school, center, and home settings. She loves working with our clients and helping them learn, grow, and succeed.
Bridget is a Behavior Technician that has her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is currently working towards her Registered Behavior Technician Certification from the BACB. She has worked with children with ASD and enjoys witnessing the pride and joy between clients and families as each learner progresses within their programs and outside the center.
Amanda is currently working towards earning her masters degree from Regis College in Applied Behavior Analysis. She had worked primarily with elementary age children diagnosed with Autism, Down Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities. Amanda has a great interest in increasing functional communication to decrease challenging behaviors that may occur. As an aspiring BCBA, she hopes to make a difference in the day-to-day lives of the families here at Puddingstone Place™.
Marisa graduated from Salem State University with a bachelors in science and is currently working towards a masters degree in Board Certification in Applied Behavior Analysis from Endicott College. Marisa has worked in home base and clinical settings with ages 18months – 9 years old. Marisa is passionate in her work and continues to provide 1:1 support for individuals with Autism and with disabilities.
Jess is a Behavior Technician at Puddingstone Place at the Danvers location. She Graduated from Keene State College in 2016 with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology. Since graduating she has worked in residential care with children and teens ages ranging from 5 to 16, with trauma related backgrounds. She has found working in the ABA field very rewarding. She loves watching clients grow and learn so much in such a short amount of time.
Thomas Graduated from Worcester State University in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in behavior analysis with hopes of becoming a BCBA and serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has been working with children with autism since July of 2019 and fell in love with the field of ABA. Thomas has always had a passion for children, and seeing their growth is what drives him to deliver the best services possible each day. He has been a part of Puddingstone Place since December of 2020 and loves working with all of the children he sees each day.
Kaleigh graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from Worcester State University in 2018. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Special Education from Fitchburg State University. Kaleigh has been working in the field of ABA since 2019 and has experience in both home and center based services. She is passionate about the work that she does and hopes to make a positive difference in the lives of her clients. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs, family, and friends
I have been working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities for three years. I specifically worked with youth and young adults in both residential and classroom settings. I am glad that I get the opportunity to diversify my experience by working with a younger population here at Puddingstone. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. I am pursuing my Master of Science: Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Studies at UMass Lowell, with the goal of becoming a BCBA. I strive to provide the best care that I can for my clients all while creating a safe space for them to express themselves freely.
Bethany is a Behavior Technician in the Danvers location. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Westfield State College, and is currently applying for graduate schools for Applied Behavior Analysis. Bethany has 10 plus years in the field and has experience working with ages 3 years- 22 years old, in residential, school, community, center, and home settings. Bethany enjoys watching individuals with Autism learn new skills and generalizing them across all settings. She is passionate about teaching and making a difference in the Autism population.
Alyssa is a Behavior technician who received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Salem State University and is currently working towards her master’s degree from Endicott College in Applied Behavior Analysis with a concentration in Mental Health. She has five years of experience in the field working with children on the autism spectrum across a variety of age ranges from three to twenty. She most recently worked with children ages four to six in an ABA based center that assisted with the transition into a typical school setting. Alyssa has an interest in the collaborations between BCBA’s and others in the mental health field. She hopes that she can make a difference in lives of the children here at puddingstone and beyond!
Cassie Lefebvre went to Southern New Hampshire University to study Early Childhood Development. She began as a preschool teacher for 4 years where her passion for working alongside children with disabilities began. Cassie has worked along side child 3-12 years of age with ASD. She worked primarily with Home-Based services for about a year before joining the Pudding Stone Team. She is currently working towards getting her RBT certification. Cassie enjoys watching and helping the children achieve their fullest potential.
Meet our Occupational Therapy team
Morgan Henry, OTD, OTR/L, CAS
Morgan graduated with her Occupational Therapy Doctorate from the MGH Institute of Health professions and has been credentialed as a Certified Autism Specialist. She has an undergraduate degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Kansas and worked as a behavior technician for 4 years before becoming an occupational therapist. Her special interests and previous research have been focused on delivering sensory strategies within a behavioral framework. She has worked in many settings, such as homes and specialized camps, and completed internships at an outpatient autism center and a pediatric hospital.
Danielle Arcement, MS, OTR/L
Danielle received her Master’s of Occupational Therapy degree from Quinnipiac University. She has clinical, volunteer and work experience with various populations ranging from young children to the geriatric population. Danielle has always been very passionate about working with children of all abilities and she enjoys promoting independence in their everyday tasks. Danielle always strives to put the fun in function!
Kara Baillargeon, MOT, OTR/L
Kara is from Western Massachusetts and earned her bachelor’s in occupational studies and master’s in Occupational Therapy at Worcester State University. She has a background in Early Intervention and has worked with children across a variety of ages, abilities, and needs. Kara is passionate about finding what makes kids tick, what motivates them, and how to get them engaged in their everyday lives! Play and the child’s interest are the foundation of all her treatment sessions. Kara works in the Wellesley location and joined the Puddingstone team in spring of 2021.
Meet our Administrative team
Andrea Jensen is an Insurance Specialist for Puddingstone Place™, LLC. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Bridgewater State University. Andrea’s ability to adapt and eagerness to learn has been extremely helpful during the growth of Puddingstone Place™. Andrea is reliable, compassionate, and most of all, patient communicating with insurance companies for the children and adults to receive the health and behavioral service needed.
At Andrea’s previous career, the Employee Recognition and Appreciation committee congratulated her for being selected for an Employee Spotlight Award in 2018. The award recognized the exceptional contribution of employees, and winners are nominated by their colleagues across the organization.
Jennifer is the Office Coordinator at our Middleboro Office location. She is self-motivated, proactive and a quick thinker in our busy office setting. As a mother of four, she has creative problem-solving abilities that are a must in our ever-expanding office. Jennifer has a background in Business Administration and Human Services which has proven to be invaluable in her role, and as a recent addition to the Administrative Team, she looks forward to the knowledge and experience she will develop from working with the amazing team, clients and families at Puddingstone Place™, LLC.
Beth is the Office Coordinator at our Wellesley Office Location. She comes to us from Riverside Community Care, Early Intervention, where she was Office Manager for 6 years and has over 20 years’ experience in the administrative field. She is motivated, proactive and strives to create lasting and meaningful relationships with the current and future families at Puddingstone Place. Watching the growth and development of these children gives me great pleasure in coming to work every day!
Victoria is the Office Coordinator at our Danvers Office Location. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from SNHU along with minors in early childhood education and human services. Victoria comes to us as a mom of three girls, one of which is on the Autism Spectrum. She is passionate about helping families and children receive the services they need and deserve. She is determined, creative, and a problem solver with over 20 years in administrative roles. Victoria looks forward to making connections with the current and future families of Puddingstone Place and helping in any way that she can.
Anne Marie Miscioscia
Anne Marie graduated from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business with Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, majoring in Business Management, with a concentration in Organizational Behavior. Having started volunteering within the autism community in 2016, Anne Marie has been with Puddingstone Place since its inception in 2018. Currently, as the Director of Social Media & Project Management, Anne Marie loves being able to work within the online community as well as being able to see the progress the children at Puddingstone make in the centers each day!
Nina has worked at Puddingstone Place™ for the last year as a marketing intern and event volunteer. In addition to volunteering for Puddingstone, she has also enjoyed volunteering for the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism and Autism Speaks. When Puddingstone was created, Nina designed the company’s logo, brightening the centers with her art!