Our Staff at Helping Hands Children Services
Executive Director: Vanetta LaRosa, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Vanetta R. LaRosa, Ph. D, BCBA-D has had a 22 year career helping individuals with Autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, profound multiple disabilities, ADHD, and more. Her calling to the field began when she was eight years old. She met her first friend with Autism, the son of her father's best friend. She quickly found ways to connect with him even though he was non-verbal, and when his mother told her to avoid him because he would pull her long hair, she insisted that he would not. She became his first and only friend. Her interest in people with Autism grew over the years. She began working in a residence for adults with disabilities when she was 19, and loved it so much that she never left the field.
About ten years ago she started Helping Hands Behavioral Outreach, Inc. a not for profit recreational program for children and teens with Autism and developmental disabilities. In the same year, she also started Helping Hands Children Services, Inc. an agency that provides Behavioral Consultation and Special Education Services to school districts. Helping Hands now serves students over 70 Long Island and New York City districts!
Dr. LaRosa completed a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a sub-specialty in human learning and development from Southern Illinois University, the first ABA oriented doctoral program in the Nation. She became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2003 and later earned doctoral distinction. She was trained directly by some of the industry's top scholars, researchers and professionals. The New York State Association in Applied Behavior Analysis (NYSABA) named her student of the year in 2006.
She has taught both undergraduate and graduate psychology courses for over 10 years. She was given two social science research and mentoring awards from Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, NY in 2005 and 2006. The students at CUNY KingsBorough named her a favorite professor in 2003! She currently teaches in the Graduate Psychology Dept. and in the BCBA program at LIU Post, Long Island University and serves as the Executive Director in both of her Helping Hands' agencies.
Dr. LaRosa has editorial experience, publications, social science research awards, has presented at professional conferences, has been awarded various grants, and has been nominated to several honor societies.
Over her 22-year career, she has held positions that varied from direct care to Executive leadership. She has written and effectively implemented hundreds of Behavior Intervention Plans. Her passion and life-long service to people with Autism and Intellectual disabilities makes her a true advocate for all people with differing abilities.
Regarding Applied Behavior Analysis, Dr. LaRosa the founder and Executive Director, was directly trained by some of the industry’s top scholars and some of the most well published professors in the field. Her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a sub-specialty in human learning and development is from the very first ABA oriented doctoral program in the United States. One of her most cherished mentors the late Dr. Barbara Cordoni founded the clinical ACHIEVE center in 1978 at Southern Illinois University which was the first college program for students with Learning disabilities. While there she worked under Dr. Cordoni in a doctoral fellowship learning to administer psycho-educational batteries.
Her combination of skills gives the agency’s staff a well-rounded perspective that incorporates education, leadership, psychology, and applied behavior analysis. She has enjoyed 23 years of work in this field at all levels of service from direct care to executive leadership. She has written and successfully executed hundreds of Behavior Intervention Plan in school settings. She is now in a Neuropsychology Post-Doctoral program and is being trained by Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, one of the world’s most prominent Neuropsychologists.
- 16 years of post-graduate related experience, 13 years post BCBA Certification, 25 total years of field experience.
- Completed a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a sub-specialty in human learning and development from Southern Illinois University.
- Currently in Post-Doctoral Re-specialization program in Neuropsychology
- BCBA-D (Board Certification in Behavior Analysis – Doctoral), NYS Licensed Behavior Analyst
- Published ABA oriented research
- Conducted hundreds of functional behavioral assessments and implemented related behavior intervention plans to students at the pre-school, elementary, middle and high school levels
- Worked in schools and private agencies for 22 years, and in leadership positions for over 10 years.
- Has over 10 years of college level teaching experience (including BCBA and graduate Psychology courses).
- In the past three years Dr. LaRosa has provided ABA/Behavior consultation to various school teams.
Associate Director: Kimberly Aloisi Guillem, M.S. Ed.
Kimberly Guillem has provided early intervention, preschool and school age services over the past 20 years. Kimberly began working in the field of special education as a 1:1 aide while attending SUNY Stony Brook for her Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences. After her first summer working with multi-disabled students she was inspired to pursue a career in special education. While attending Dowling College for her Master's degree she completed her student teaching within a self-contained classroom that utilized the science and methodologies of ABA. She found these methods and strategies effective and utilized them within her first classroom co-teaching at an inclusion preschool.
She also began SEIT and parent training services within various agencies to provide families of children with autism the support they needed. She also worked in a private special education school as a classroom teacher for children with autism that engage in aggressive behavior. After a few years, Kimberly became the Assistant Director of the school. As the Assistant Director, she was responsible for assisting in the day-to-day functioning of the school as well as trained the staff on the methodologies of ABA. She was also responsible for communicating with parents and school districts regarding the students that attended the program. She trained the staff specifically on data collection which led to her creating the functional behavior assessments and writing behavior intervention plans for the students. Kimberly continued to utilize ABA methodologies while providing services as a behavior consultant for Helping Hands Children Services.
Kimberly Aloisi Guillem oversees all Applied Behavior Analytic and Special Education related services for the agency. She develops new programs to provide support within our clinical facility. She oversees the cases in school districts, works closely with the providers to supervise and provide support. She communicates with school district administrations, parents and providers, to ensure that all team members are working comprehensively together to meet the needs of the students and following the mandates of the IEP.
- Certified Special Education teacher (Permanent Certification in Special Education Birth-21)
- Kimberly completed her BCBA coursework and supervision hours.
- She has been trained in Verbal Behavior, Discrete Trial Teaching/ program development/supervision, and numerous other methodologies of ABA.
- Kimberly has been an administrator in a private school and has been an independent contractor providing home and school services for over 10 years.
- Recent school districts worked in include but are not limited to: Syosset, Lindenhurst, Port Washington, Wyandanch, Westhampton Beach and Great Neck.
- Kimberly has begun our Crisis Response Program to assist students who are in crisis within schools, homes or, in our facility.
Clinical Director: Jordan Freeman, MS Ed, BCBA
As the Clinical Director, Jordan provides behavior consultation and parent training services as well as supervision and training through insurance cases. He also provides BCBA supervision to the BCBA supervisees as the guidelines of the BACB. He also works directly with the Associate Director to provide various trainings and workshops. He is active in research that is necessary for the development of new programs and trainings within our agency. He also assists the Executive Director and Associate Director in various projects, one of which is coursework offered through the agency.
- Jordan graduated from SUNY Binghamton with a degree in Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis.
- He has been in the field of autism and Applied Behavior Analysis since 2001.
- He received his Masters in General and Special Education with a Concentration in Autism from C.W. Post in 2007 and received a Certificate in ABA from the University of North Texas in 2009.
- He became a BCBA in 2010.
- He worked as a teacher at a private school for children with autism in Queens for 10 years. During this time, he working with students of varying levels and with varying behaviors.
- In addition, he served as a supervisor on insurance cases for the past three years.
- Recent school districts worked in include but are not limited to: Herricks, Lindenhurst, Roslyn, and Levittown.
Clinical Coordinator: Brittaney Lanza, M.Ed.
Since 2012, Brittaney has been providing behavior consultation, intervention, direct ABA and parent training services with Helping Hands Children Services. In 2015, Brittaney joined the Helping Hands team as Lead Behaviorist and Program Coordinator of our non-profit social skills program, Helping Hands Behavioral Outreach. As Lead Behaviorist, Brittaney continues to provide behavior consultation and services through several school districts. Now as Clinical Coordinator, Brittaney continues to provide services in homes and schools as well as provide clinical support to both the Clinical and Executive Directors. Additionally, she provides training workshops and seminars across Long Island. Brittaney also works closely with the Associate Director to ensure each school district and direct provider receives all necessary documentation to support thorough clinical and behavioral oversight.
- In 2010, Brittaney graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in Communication Disorders with a concentration in Special Education.
- Immediately after, she began working with individuals diagnosed with autism using methods of Applied Behavior Analysis. Since this time, she has worked with individuals of varying ages and needs.
- In 2012, she received an Advanced Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from LIU Post.
- In 2017, Brittaney completed the Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction of Applied Behavior Analysis program through Arizona State University. Brittaney is currently working towards obtaining certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Senior Behaviorist: Lauren Lambert, M.A., BCBA
As Senior Behaviorist, Lauren works with families to promote ABA principles within their homes, to maximize the potential of their loved ones. She oversees the insurance services of several students, for whom she manages the programs and trains the providers to teach skills specific to the learner. She also works within school districts to provide behavior consultation and to train staff regarding positive behavior strategies. She works with students from kindergarten through their high school career.
- Lauren graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a degree in Psychology.
- She received her Masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Queens College in 2014.
- She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and NYS Licensed Behavior Analyst.
Behaviorist/Coordinator: Kristy Steiger
Kristy began working for our social skills program, Helping Hands Behavioral Outreach, in April, 2015 as an intern. In September 2015 Kristy joined our team as a full time employee. Currently, she is the Coordinator for Helping Hands Behavioral Outreach. With Helping Hands Behavioral Outreach Kristy manages weekly activities, weekly staffing, screens new clients, communicates with families, and is in charge of fundraising for the program. In addition, Kristy provides Behavior Consultation within our school districts, and provides in home ABA services for both insurance cases and district cases through Helping Hands Children Services.
- Kristy graduated from SUNY Oswego in 2011 with her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development.
- She obtained her Master’s Degree in Human Services with a concentration in Clinical Psychology in December, 2016.
- Currently, Kristy is working towards becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst/ Licensed Behavior Analyst from St. Joseph's College.
- Kristy began working in the field in 2009 as a paraprofessional through Western Suffolk BOCES. She spent several years working with children diagnosed with autism in a classroom setting, where she utilized many ABA techniques.
- From there, Kristy became a Medicaid Service Coordinator where she assisted individuals with various developmental disabilities obtain services in home and community based services.
- In 2015, Kristy was awarded as Long Island’s Medicaid Service Coordinator of the year from the Long Island Office of People with Development Disabilities.
Coordinator: Laurieann Kitz
Coordinator Laurieann Kitz began working with students with disabilities in 2009 through Eastern Suffolk BOCES Early Childhood Education Program. Completing her Bachelor's degree in Childhood Education through St. Joseph's College, Laurieann has also met all necessary requirements to become a New York State Certified Special Education and General Education Teacher. Currently, Laurieann is completing her supervision hours to become a BCBA, while working toward her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction of Applied Behavior Analysis at Arizona State University. At HHCS, Laurieann provides Early Intervention, SEIT, and direct ABA services while also providing support to both Executive Administrators to select the most qualified providers to work with each client, and their unique needs. Laurieann facilitates coordination of all cases within the agency, while working closely with the Associate Director, and Clinical Coordinator to ensure case placement and clinical needs are met. Additionally, Laurieann reviews all required documentation submitted to Helping Hands, including annual reviews, quarterly reports, and log notes. Laurieann also communicates with new families, to discuss their needs prior to the onset of services.
Behaviorist: Frantzi Honore
As Behaviorist, Frantzi Honore, has over ten years experience working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis with both adults and children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, behavioral impairments, and developmental disabilities. Frantzi has provided behavioral services in a variety of settings, including residential facilities, day programs, and client homes. Most recently, Frantzi has received his Master’s degree in ABA and is working towards becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and LBA.
Behaviorist: Shawn McCabe
Behaviorist Shawn McCabe joined HHCS in 2017 as a direct provider supporting clients in a variety of settings, including social skills programs. Within the same year, Shawn received Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology and Philosophy from LIU Post. Shawn’s clinical experiences include specific research in Applied Behavior Analysis while working with BCBA-D, Dr. John Neill of LIU Post. During this research experience, Shawn provided direct ABA services for a client diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Currently, Shawn is working towards becoming a Registered Behavior Technician and Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
Administrative Assistant: Donna Ali
As administrative assistant, Donna provides correspondence amongst HHCS, providers, and families, while also directly supporting internal organization and coordination of HHCS. With a Bachelor’s of Business Administration from Hofstra University and CPA credentials, Donna has (number here) years experience working in financial services, auditing, and bookkeeping.
Billing Administrative Assistant: Lisa Holsborg
As Billing Administrative Assistant, Lisa carries out insurance and CSE coordination and billing. Lisa brings over 18 years of experiences working with Quickbooks, and over 20 years experience specific to customer service and coordination. Supportively, Lisa also has many years experience in working with parent organizations and school systems.
Human Resources Coordinator: Kelly Mancini
In February 2017, Kelly joined Helping Hands Children Services as Human Resources Coordinator. With her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and a specific concentration in Human Resources, Kelly brings over seven years of professional experience to the HHCS administrative team. This experience includes a variety of employee-related matters, with specific knowledge and expertise of the human services field. Currently, Kelly works closely with both Executive Administrators and Clinical Directors to ensure the effective on-boarding of quality employees, while also supporting all existing employees.