Efi Pyladaki, M.S, BCBA, LMFT – Executive Director
Efi Pyladaki, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She earned her BA degree in Psychology from the University of California of Los Angeles (UCLA) and her Masters of Science degree in Clinical Psychology with a Marriage and Family emphasis from California State University of Los Angeles. Efi started to work with children and families diagnosed with ASD as an undergraduate student at UCLA. She attended behavioral modification classes taught by Dr. Ivar Lovaas and right after graduation, she worked as behavioral therapist at the Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention. Efi has over fifteen years of experience working with children with autism and developmental disabilities. She has extensive experience in parent education and parent training, developing behavior intervention and behavior management treatment programs, at clinic based settings, school and home settings as well as out in the community. Efi takes pride in her work and strives to design highly individualized treatment plans for all her clients. She is grateful to be able to work with families and children and be part of their developmental journey. Outside of her work, Efi volunteers at local animal rescue organizations and loves to go on adventures with her son and their 4 dogs.
Helen Fiteni, M.S, BCBA – Clinical Director
Helen is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst that found her way into the field of Applied Behavior Analysis in 2002 when she began working at a preschool for children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. Because of her love of the work she did at this school, Helen decided to continue her studies so she could excel in the field, thus earning a Master’s degree with a dual certification in Elementary and Special Education with an emphasis in child development from Long Island University, NY. Prior to earning that degree, Helen received her B.A. in Human Relations (Psychology/Sociology) from St. Joseph’s College, NY. Helen has extensive training in Applied Behavior Analysis including Discrete Trial Training (DTT), Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), social skills training, Functional Communication Training (FCT), Natural Environment Training (NET) and Positive Behavioral Support (PBS). Her expertise includes early intervention, school consultation, parent training, and developing behavior management support programs.
Tanner Loewenberg, M.S, BCBA – Case Supervisor
Tanner is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst that discovered the field of autism and children with special needs while working at a summer camp while in college. Summer camp opened Tanner to a world that he had never been exposed to before. Children with special needs were fully integrated into the camp with a paraprofessional to assist. With a major interest in the expanding field of special education, Tanner decided to get his Masters in Education with an emphasis on Autism and Aspergers studies. The Autism and Aspergers Masters Degree was received from the University of Kansas and is the only one in the world. Tanner’s years of experience in the school and home setting has given him great knowledge in expanding the universe of children with special needs and also how to teach neurotypical children how to create friendships with children with special needs. Tanner has extensive knowledge in Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT), Floortime Therapy, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), classroom integration, Positive Behavior Suppers (PBS) and Community Based Intervention (CBI). When Tanner has some downtime, he also enjoys watching movies, painting with oil paint and reading.
Jane Shkel, M.S., BCBA – Case Supervisor
Jane is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst that has been a part of the CAST team for over 5 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and her Masters of Science degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from California State University of Los Angeles (CSULA). Jane first discovered her passion for the autism field as an undergraduate student at UCLA when she worked as a research assistant at the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment at Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Though she loves conducting research in laboratory settings, she found that she most enjoyed interacting with the children with ASD who came to be participants in the studies she was involved in. This led her to seek a more clinical role that would allow her to interact more directly with children with ASD and their families. Jane has experience working in the home, school and clinic settings and has extensive knowledge in Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT), Functional Communication Training (FCT), Natural Environment Training (NET), and developing individualized behavior intervention plans.