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Autism Program

Autism Program (4)

Our Multidiciplinary Team

Our team collaborates on a daily basis to develop and implement assessment-driven programming for students with diverse needs. We work together with districts and families to identify priorities for instruction and systematically implement programs across providers and settings to improve student outcomes. We have a variety of specialists and educators:

  • Special education teachers
  • Trained instructors and instructional assistants
  • Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)
  • Licensed psychologists
  • Consulting psychiatrist
  • Assistive technology Specialists (AT)
  • Speech-language pathologists (SLPs)
  • Physical therapists (PTs)
  • Occupational therapists (OTs)

 

Our Staff 

We also collaborate with Related Services and Assistive Technology. To learn more about their services and staff, click here.

 Autism Program

Nicole Daigle, M.Ed.
Nicole Daigle, M.Ed.
Special Education Teacher
Nicole is entering her second year as an Early Childhood/ Special Education Teacher of the EASTCONN Autism Program. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood and Special Education with a concentration in Autism Instruction from the University of Saint Joseph’s and two Bachelors of Science degrees from Eastern Connecticut State University in education and child and youth psychology. Nicole has worked with children of all ages with Autism Spectrum Disorders, emotional disabilities and other developmental disorders.
Rebecca Gianforte
Rebecca Gianforte
Special Education Teacher
Becky Gianforte is entering her first year working at EASTCONN as a special education teacher.  She recently moved from the seacoast area of New Hampshire where she was a special educator for the past nine years.  Becky has worked in several public schools with students from Pre-K through high school with a variety of needs.  In her nine years of teaching, she taught integrated Pre-K, ran an Autism program and had her own special education classroom.  She earned her undergraduate degree from Northeastern University and Masters of Education from Keene State University.  More recently, Becky completed her BCBA coursework through the University of Cincinnati. 
Ravit R. Stein, PhD, BCBA-D
Ravit R. Stein, PhD, BCBA-D
Director of Psychological and Behavioral Consultation Services
Dr. Ravit Stein earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from Lehigh University, where she received extensive training in applied behavior analysis and evidence-based practice across school and clinical settings. Dr. Stein has served as an educational and behavioral consultant in schools and hospitals throughout the Northeast, where she has conducted diagnostic assessments and developed evidence-based behavioral interventions for children with acquired brain injury, ADHD, pervasive developmental disorders, and a variety of other presenting problems including Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, aggression, sleep problems, phobias, and school problems. Dr. Stein is a licensed psychologist, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D), and Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) and oversees the Psychological and Behavioral Consultation Services division at EASTCONN. Dr. Stein supervises the provision of school-based consultation on an individual, whole classroom, or system-wide basis for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), learning, and/or behavior problems. She teaches graduate courses at the Neag School of Education at UCONN and conducts professional development workshops throughout the region. Dr. Stein is committed to collaboration with colleagues and strives to partner with psychologists, pediatricians, educators, administrators, and families to provide quality behavioral health services for children and adolescents with diverse needs. Dr. Stein can be contacted via email at rstein@eastconn.org.
Sarah Turner, M.S., CCC-SLP
Sarah Turner, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech & Language Therapist
Sarah Turner is a Speech-Language Pathologist with EASTCONN’s Related Service Group.  She graduated from Northeastern University with a master’s degree in Speech and Language Pathology.  Prior to working with EASTCONN, Sarah was employed by a private school in Massachusetts where she provided speech and language treatment for children and young adults with Autism.  Currently, Sarah provides a wide range of services, including treatment, assessment and consultation for schools across the northeastern portion of Connecticut.  Sarah can be contacted at sturner@eastconn.org.
Ann Bedard, M.S., CCC-SLP
Ann Bedard, M.S., CCC-SLP
Assistive Technology Specialist
Ann Bedard is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Assistive Technology Specialist on the EASTCONN AT Team and has been working with students with disabilities since 2006. She provides a wide range of AT services to school districts including assessment, consultation, and professional development. Prior to working with the AT Team, Ann worked in the EASTCONN Related Services Group as a school-based SLP where she provided interventions for students with a variety of speech and language disorders including students using AAC. Ann has also concurrently worked in the home setting to deliver speech-language services through EASTCONN’s Birth-to-Three program. She received her Bachelor’s degree from UConn and Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders from Southern Connecticut State University. While pursuing her graduate degree, Ann worked in the Center for Adaptive Technology where university students utilized AT. Her experience working with individuals with disabilities from birth through post-secondary education has provided Ann with a uniquely beneficial perspective. She is a certified TouchChat trainer. Ann has given numerous presentations at the regional, state, and national level on topics such as Intro to AAC Implementation, Spectrum of AAC from Low to High-Tech, Apps for AAC: The Fantastic 4, Visual Strategies to Support Communication and Learning, and Myths of AAC.
Jessica Miglio, BCBA, M.S. Ed.
Jessica Miglio, BCBA, M.S. Ed.
Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Mrs. Miglio is the Board Certified Behavior Analyst for the EASTCONN Autism Program as the Lead Special Education Teacher at the EASTCONN Autism Program. Jessica has served as the Special Education Teacher for the EASTCONN Autism Program since early stages of the program in 2010.  She completed her graduate coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Massachusetts, holds a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Simmons College and a Bachelor of Science degree from Springfield College  in Rehabilitation and Disability Studies.  She has a background working with children of all ages with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Prior to working at EASTCONN, she worked at The New England Center for Children in Southborough, Massachusetts where she received extensive training in Applied Behavior Analysis.  Mrs. Miglio also serves as a Behavioral Consultant working in several local school districts to assist with building autism programs within public schools.
Melissa McKeon
Melissa McKeon
Occupational Therapist
Ms. McKeon is a Registered, Licensed Occupational Therapist in the states of Connecticut and Massachusetts.  Melissa has been employed as an Occupational Therapist with EASTCONN Regional Education Service Center since 2013.   Melissa came to EASTCONN with 14 years school system experience as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.  She received an Associate’s degree from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Becker College, a Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Services from Springfield College and a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from New England Institute of Technology. She has extensive experience working with students with varying abilities in grades pre-school through 12.   She has collaborated with educators, therapists, and parents in developing individualized programs to enable students to reach their fullest potential at school. 
Evangelynn Toolan
Evangelynn Toolan
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
Ms. Toolan began working for EASTCONN in 2012. In addition to working in specialized programs, she has 10 years of public school experience. She received an Associate’s Degree from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Manchester Community College in 2000 and maintains a national certification with NBCOT. Her comprehensive experience includes working with children ages 3-21 who have a wide range of needs including autism, emotional disabilities and developmental disorders in a school setting as well as post-secondary programs for young adults. As a result of continuing education and workshop attendance, she consistently enhances her skill to assist her students meet their educational goals in such areas as sensory strategies, assistive technology, fine motor and self-help skills.   
Ann Marie Ferron
Ann Marie Ferron
Physical Therapist
Annie Ferron is a licensed physical therapist as well as a certified athletic trainer. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training from Merrimack College in 2008 and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2011 from Franklin Pierce University. Annie worked at a healthcare center with the geriatric and pediatric population, including school systems, outpatient pediatrics, aquatic therapy, and short term inpatient therapy. She began working for EASTCONN in 2016, assisting children with various motor delays. This is her first year working in the Autism program.
Karen Schenck
Karen Schenck
PE Teacher
Karen Schenck has been an adapted PE teacher with EASTCONN for the past 33 years.  She has taught PE in the Autism program in Columbia for the past 5 years and loves to provide fun activities for the students that not only teach them PE and leisure skills but provides them with improved self-esteem and confidence in themselves.  Karen has her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut in Physical Education and her Master’s degree in early childhood from Eastern.  In her spare time she volunteers with the Windham Special Olympics Program.
Instructors
Instructors
 
Under the guidance of our certified special education teachers. EASTCONN Autism Program Instructors provide 1:1 support with children with autism and related disabilities. Our instructors have extensive experience with children with autism spectrum disorders or significant behavioral needs and are skilled in the application of applied behavior analysis.  All instructors hold a bachelors degree with a concentration in child development or related field. Our instructors are integral members of our multidisciplinary team and work with several students to support generalization and maintenance of a variety of skills.

 

 

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Our Approach

Instruction based in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Use of Discrete Trial Instruction (DTI) to develop individualized programs aimed at improving communication, early learning/academic, self-help and other functional skills.

Emphasis on proactive strategies to shape positive behaviors and build functional skills.

Commitment to a strong family-school partnership including daily communication with families and collaboration to support generalization of skills in the home and surrounding community.

Data-driven decision making through intensive, on-going progress monitoring of techniques and strategies implemented across providers and settings.

 

To learn more about our program, please contact:

Eric Protulis
Eric Protulis
Program Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
860-228-3240
 

Ravit R. Stein, PhD, BCBA-D
Ravit R. Stein, PhD, BCBA-D
Director of Psychological and Behavioral Consultation Services
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
860-228-3240 ext213
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EASTCONN Autism Program

The EASTCONN Autism Program (EAP), located in Columbia, CT, provides a regionally based, comprehensive, integrated service program for students with autism and other low-incidence disabilities in grades PreK-12. The program is characterized by a structured, intensive, individualized approach to instruction based on the principles of applied behavioral analysis (ABA). We emphasize systematic teaching to promote learning and generalization and utilize on-going evidence-based assessment, intervention, and progress monitoring to guide instruction in all areas of development.

Click below to learn more about our approach and the multidisciplinary team supporting our students

Our Approach

Our Approach

Instruction based in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Use of Discrete Trial Instruction (DTI) to develop individualized programs aimed...

Read more
Our Multidiciplinary Team

Our Multidiciplinary Team

Our team collaborates on a daily basis to develop and implement assessment-driven programming for students with diverse needs. We work...

Read more
School Information and Parent Resources

School Information and Parent Resources

Directions to school and calendar.

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Members of our multidisciplinary team including psychologists and BCBAs are also available to consult with districts to assess program or district-wide needs, with the goal of building in-district capacity to develop and support student programs in their home schools/communities.

To learn more about our program, please contact:

Eric Protulis
Eric Protulis
Program Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
860-228-3240
Ravit R. Stein, PhD, BCBA-D
Ravit R. Stein, PhD, BCBA-D
Director of Psychological and Behavioral Consultation Services
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
860-228-3240 ext213

Read more...
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