Director of Developmental Behavior Services: Kirstina Ordetx, Ed. D, CNS, LMHC-RI
Dr. Kirstina Ordetx holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Pediatric Neurology. Dr. Ordetx is an educational specialist with over 25 years of clinical experience, research, and consultation. She is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Executive Functions Coach, and a registered Licensed Mental Health Intern. She is a certified Orton-Gillingham Trainer and has published two books that compile her research and practice in Theory of Mind. She has served on accreditation committees for the Florida Council of Independent Schools, is a University adjunct professor in Developmental and Child Psychology, and presents at various National and International conferences. Dr. Ordetx owns a private academy in Lakewood Ranch, Florida specializing in multi-sensory education of students who have language and learning-based differences. She holds a position on the Board of Directors for the Florida Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (FLIDA).
Clinic Director: Rhonda Pafford-Thacker
Rhonda Pafford-Thacker is the Clinical Director and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She holds a Masters Degree in Elementary Education and a dual Specialists Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida. She has over 15 years of experience in providing individual and group therapy, parent education, consultative services, and program development. She has extensive experience in the implementation of social skills training, Theory of Mind instruction, and Executive Functions coaching. Rhonda believes that partnering with each child’s family to develop and implement an individualized plan is the key to success.
Director of Occupational Therapy Services: Kelli Halcomb
Kelli has worked as a registered Occupational Therapist with kids in both the school and outpatient clinic settings since 2014. She received her bachelor’s degree in Family and Child Sciences with a specialization in Child Development from Florida State University and her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida International University. She has worked with children with a variety of different diagnoses to ensure optimal participation in school, play, and self-care related activities. She has experience using Handwriting Without Tears, Keyboarding Without Tears, and Zones of Regulation programs. She loves collaborating with parents, teachers, and other therapists to ensure each child’s unique needs are being met across environments.
Supervisor of Speech and Language Services: Jessica Cummings
Jessica is a graduate of Tennessee State University where she earned her Master of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences in 2012. She has experience in a variety of settings including both private practice and school setting. Jessica has worked with various communication delays and disorders including: Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Articulation/Phonological Disorder, Auditory Processing, and Expressive/Receptive Language delays. Jessica enjoys working with children of all ages and helping them reach the best version of themselves.
Caitlin earned her degrees in Speech-Language Pathology and Elementary Education from the University of South Florida. She holds certifications in Teaching English as a Second Language and in the Orton Gillingham Method for Multi-Sensory Education. Caitlin spent three years teaching prior to entering the field of speech-language pathology. Caitlin incorporates literacy and hands on activities in therapy sessions to target multiple goals and to increase student participation.
Kathryn graduated with high honors from the State College of Florida OTA Program in 2014. She is a member of the OT South Bay Forum, the Pediatric Interest Group and serves on the SCF OTA Program Advisory Board. She is experienced in utilizing the Handwriting Without Tears Program, Zones of Regulation and holds certifications in Therapeutic Listening and Astronaut Training. Kathryn enjoys collaboration between the therapist, caregiver and other members of the team to improve success for the child. She excels at making each therapy session motivating and creative.
Marcy is a graduate of the University of Central Florida where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Disorders. She is a licensed Speech Language Pathology Assistant and has practiced in the field for over 8 years in a variety of settings. She has worked with children diagnosed with a multitude of communication delays and disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Auditory Processing, and Expressive/Receptive Language delays. Her passion is working with children of all ages and abilities and helping them meet their greatest potential. She has a wonderful way of building rapport and making therapy both productive and fun.
Courtney has been working with children with Autism and related disabilities since April 2004. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and emphasis in Child Development. She has extensive training in augmentative communication specifically PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and Proloquo2go for the iPad. She enjoys attending trainings that focus on conducting Functional Behavior Assessments, developing behavior support plans and implementation. She has experience with implementing toilet training programs, social skills training, and successful feeding programs. Courtney has her teaching certification for Pre-K through 3rd grade and has a RBT certification.
Jolene is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 20 years of experience providing Applied Behavioral Analysis in school, clinic, vocational, and residential settings. She earned a Master’s degree from Long Island University CW Post and a Bachelor’s degree from State University of New York Stony Brook. She completed advanced post-graduate ABA coursework at Florida Institute of Technology.
Through detailed assessment, Jolene identifies expectations and behavioral challenges in varied settings including at home, in the classroom, with peers, or at a vocational placement and works with clients and their families on implementing plans for behavior reduction. She uses ABA strategies in the treatment of avoidant or withdrawal behaviors related to diagnoses of depression and anxiety. She teaches self-management techniques to encourage individuals to become more independent in managing their own behavior to increase independence and self-esteem. Other approaches used to assist in teaching self-regulation skills include training in social skills, executive functioning, theory of mind, Zones of Regulation, and augmentative and alternative communication
Lisa is an Occupational Therapy Assistant. She graduated from Florida State College in 2006. Lisa has been fortunate to have worked with children of varying ages and abilities. She has received training in Handwriting Without Tears, Diana Henry Sensory Integration, Every Move Counts (assistive technology), and PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System). Lisa enjoys the opportunity for the important collaboration between therapist and parents.