Jodi Tucker, Clinical Director and CEO of Kids Matter Inc. Her role includes clinical supervision of Kids Matter Inc. Social Skills Programs, Integrated Listening Programs and RDI® Program services. Jodi is a RDI® Program Certified Consultant. She has 14 years experience working with children and adults in residential, institutional and community settings. Jodi has provided services and individualized/specialized programs for individuals ages 3-23 with developmental disorders including but not limited to: ASD, anxiety disorders, OCD, ADD, ADHD, FASD. Her education includes a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a diploma as a Speech–Language Assistant. Jodi also has 5 years experience as a Mental Health Worker for FHAN. In addition to Kids Matter Inc. clinical services, Jodi is an accomplished advocate mentored under Dr. Hatt. Jodi’s advocacy has contributed to significant changes within the provinces of BC, Alberta, Washington and California in access to services and basic human rights for individuals with disabilities. Jodi currently lives in Abbotsford. She has three children ages 8, 15 and 17. Click to contact Jodi Tucker
Deirdre Hickey Sturm is a licensed Speech Language Pathologist, and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 25 year of experience in intervention and program development.Deirdre has extensive experience working with children, teens, and adults who have challenges in communication, emotional regulation, and social engagement. She specializes in collaborating with families, schools, and community organizations to create opportunities for true quality of life changes like developing relationships, making friends, joining groups, and obtaining and keeping employment. In addition to working directly with individuals impacted with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Deirdre is a co-developer of the Including Special Kids curriculum, and has overseen the implementation of Including Special Kids in numerous youth development organizations, opening the door for children and teens with autism to join in the same activities as their siblings, classmates, and peers. Deirdre advocates for all children to develop the communication, social, and emotional skills to successfully and happily join in groups, including family, peer, and educational groups. She has a proven track record of successfully guiding children to learn joining skills and in guiding groups to included children with developmental delays as full members of the groups.Deirdre began working with children with Autism after earning her master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of New York at Albany. She earned a second Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Life from the University of Kansas.
Will Brandon has been working with children with autism and other developmental disabilities for the past 20 years and is the co-founder of Learning ARTS. Dr Brandon has a Doctorate in Early Education, a Master’s degree in Special Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Dr. Brandon is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctorate, a Nationally Board Certified Teacher in Special Education, and he holds several California Teaching Credentials. He has been recognized for teaching excellence from the U.S. Congress and from the State of California. Dr. Brandon has sat on several state and local committees including the Superintendent’s Autism Advisory Committee that helped develop protocols and implement Assembly Bill 2513 http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/se/as/saac.asp.In addition to his work with Learning Arts, Dr. Brandon has been an adjunct professor at National University where he has taught graduate level coursework in Behavior Analysis and Assessment; and at the University of Phoenix where he has taught Gifted Education and Teaching Mathematics. Dr. Brandon’s research interests include skills acquisition, cultural and familial issues in working with the developmental disabled, curriculum and assessment, and distance education for children with disabilities.“Behavior Analysis is a powerful science; there is universality to the science that permeates all other social and educational sciences. Incorporation of behavior analytic principles with an understanding and appreciation of how other social and educational sciences work creates an unparalleled learning environment for all students.”
Dr. Kierstin Hatt is an Associate Professor, of Social Science, at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta. Nominated by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Advisory Committee, Kierstin co-authored, with Dr. Ken Hatt, University of Victoria “Evidence Based Medicine as Dominant Epidemiological Paradigm: Points of Contestation and Problematic Strain”. Kierstin obtained a Ph.D. in Sociology, McGill University, 2001, M.A. in Community and International Development Studies, Saint Mary’s University, 1993. B.A. with Highest Honours in Psychology, Carleton University, 1991. Kierstin has been involved in Participatory Action Research in an Embodied Health Movement: entitled “Autism Activism in Alberta”. Kierstin’s findings were presented at Social Science & Humanities Conference (2010). Click to contact Dr. Kierstin Hatt
Elizabeth McWilliams Hewitt, Elizabeth McWilliams Hewitt, MA Ed., is a Behaviour Consultant and Educator in private practice, providing assessment, education and consultative service to families, care teams and organizations, who support children, youth and adults with a variety of developmental disabilities. With over 15 years of experience, utilizing a developmental approach, grounded in best practices and current research Elizabeth’s experience includes supporting those who live with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, ADHD, anxiety, Down’s Syndrome and other developmental disabilities. As a sessional instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), and through community workshops and training for organizations, Elizabeth is excited to share her passion and knowledge with others.Click to contact Elizabeth McWilliams Hewitt
Monica Unger, Program Director, SLP-A, Integrated Listening Systems Practitioner and RDI® Extender. Monica has over 20 years of experience in the field of Early Childhood Education and Behaviour Intervention. For the last 10 years Monica has been in private practice as a Speech and Language Assistant providing therapy in the Fraser Valley, working with preschoolers and school-aged children and their families in residential, institutional and community settings. She is currently the Program Director for Kids Matter and enjoys meeting with families to discuss the potential possibilities for their family. Monica can also be found supervising our Social Skills Programs and Summer Camps. Educated and extensively experienced in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Monica understands the challenges and the rewards of parenting a child with special needs. She lives in Abbotsford with her husband and three daughters. Click to contact Monica Unger