Kidz Choice Services, Inc. (KCS), a private organization founded by a New York State (NYS) certified special education teacher, published researcher and Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D)/NYS Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA), aims to provide intensive behavioral treatments to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and/or other developmental disabilities.
KCS specializes in the implementation of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and offers home-based ABA services as well as school- and clinic-based special education services.
KCS serves children of various ages including infants, toddlers and school-aged students as well as adolescents and young adults with ASD and/or other developmental disabilities who may be exhibiting severe delays in their cognitive functioning, speech/language and communication skills, social-emotional functioning, motor abilities and self-help skills/adaptive functioning.
KCS utilizes instructional methods in ABA such as discrete-trial teaching, generalized imitation training, echoic/vocal mand training, discrimination training/multiple exemplar training, incidental teaching, and natural environment teaching. In addition, we implement individualized motivational systems (e.g., visual choice board, token economy, photographic/written activity schedule) across multiple learning environments such as the home, school and community.
KCS aims to teach parents/family members through Behavioral Skills Training (BST), an empirically-supported procedure that consists of instructions, modeling, rehearsal and feedback. The overall goal is for parents to implement ABA instructional methods and behavior modification techniques during naturalistic learning opportunities in the course of daily familial routines to help promote socially significant behavior change across important developmental domains.
KCS is credentialed/contracted with major private health insurance carriers as an autism treatment provider and is approved/contracted as an independent provider/vendor of Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) by the New York City Department of Education.
KCS provides ABA and SETSS throughout the five boroughs of NYC and Long Island (e.g., Nassau/Suffolk counties). We also provide ABA in New Jersey.
Meet The Team
KIDZ CHOICE/SPARTA INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB) COMMITTEE
The Kidz Choice/SPARTA IRB was formed in March 2020 and is accredited by The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). The IRB team consists of 6 Certified IRB Professionals (CIP’s) with decades of expertise and insight within their individual fields. Our panel has a specialty and focus on Human Subjects Research on Behavioral, Educational and Social research topics. We provide professional guidance to researchers in submitting to our IRB and deliver expert reviews of academic and industry research around the globe.
Our IRB team of experts can deliver quick, quality full board reviews while maintaining compliance as required by regulations. We are proudly independently owned and operated which lets our reviewers work directly with research presented meaning there is no middle man or extra steps to go through. We are fully committed to providing high quality reviews, in an efficient and ethical manner to enhance protection of human research subjects.
Our panel members consist of a team of doctoral psychologists, Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA’s), Masters level ABA therapists, NYS Licensed Special Education teachers, and business professionals. Our members are committed to providing a proactive approach while ensuring ethical and regulatory compliance matters to ensure best practices.
Assistant ABA Supervisor
George Meskouris, BA
Executive Director of Operations
Mr. Meskouris joined Kidz Choice in 2013 as an administrative assistant, and is now managing all daily business operations, which include: compliance, staff/human resources, payroll, health insurance, and information technology. Mr. Meskouris is a vital part of our team of autism treatment providers and contributes greatly to our advocacy and family support services. Mr. Meskouris received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Queens College, and has a strong and well-rounded background in management of information technology and financial services. In his free time, Mr. Meskouris enjoys going to the gym, and playing the drums
Timar Singh, BA
Executive/Administrative Office Manager
Mr. Singh serves as the Administration and Legal compliance manager as part of the Admin team. His primary roles and responsibilities include ensuring compliance and staff/human resources. He also aids in creating volunteering and work experience opportunities for our students. Mr. Singh has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Brooklyn College with a background in Construction Management and Information Technology. In his free time, Mr. Singh enjoys hiking, and motorcycle riding.
Mr. Bernard is a dedicated professional and veteran in his field with a diverse and solid background in bookkeeping and accounting. Mr. Bernard's accounting knowledge, experience, and ability to develop solutions to help achieve financial objectives has been a huge help to our team. Mr. Bernard manages all of our bookkeeping and financial needs. When he is not busy crunching numbers, he likes to spend time with family and friends
Clarissa Wilkonson, MS
Assistant ABA Supervisor
Clarissa Wilkinson has received her Bachelors in Arts and Science at Alvernia University and obtained her Masters of Science in Psychology with a concentration in ABA shortly after, with Kaplan University. She has 10 years’ experience working with children with developmental disabilities, and 5 of those years specifically in ABA. Clarissa has experience working with many different disabilities including Down Syndrome, Autism, Social Emotional as well as Oppositional Defiant to name a few. She is continuing to pursue her license as a Behavioral Analyst for the state of New York and enjoys working in the field of ABA with children.
Magdalena Kolec, M.A., RBT
Assistant ABA Supervisor
Magdalena Kolec is a Registered Behavior Technician. She received her Bachelor's degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Master's degree in Psychology from The City College of New York. Magdalena holds a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis Advanced Series from Florida Institute of Technology and is pursuing her Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential. She has been in the field of ABA since 2015 and has worked with children diagnosed with ASD and other disabilities in the school setting as well as, provided 1:1 therapy in the home setting to children ages 3-17. Currently, Magdalena is an ABA Assistant Clinical Supervisor at Kidz Choice Services Inc. where she continues to implement individualized ABA therapy focusing on increasing language and communication skills, decreasing problem behavior, improving attention, social skills, memory, academics, play and leisure, self-care skills as well as, independent work habits and community integration. Magdalena has found a passion in using ABA principals to help students work towards their goals and to achieve their full potential. She is committed to significantly improving each student's overall quality of life.
Begum Davila, BA, RBT (BCBA Candidate)
Assistant ABA Supervisor
Begum Davila has received her Bachelors in Arts in Psychology at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is currently a second-year master’s student in Clinical Psychology program at Teachers College, Columbia University. Begum is part of a research team at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She has been working with children with autism for the past 3 years and she is currently working towards obtaining her license as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
President & Chief Executive/Clinical Director of ABA Services
Michael Lafasakis, Ph.D., MS Ed., LBA/ BCBA-D
Dr. Lafasakis has been treating children with autism and/or other developmental disabilities for 16 years as a head teacher and therapist for several early intervention, preschool and school-age special educations programs in New York City (NYC).He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®), New York State (NYS) Certified Teacher in Early Childhood General & Special Education, Birth to Grade 2, and NYS Licensed Behavior Analyst.
Nicolle A. Tursenovic; MS
Associate Executive Director
Ms. Tursenovic is a NYS Certified School Psychologist, with post-graduate training in Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis, and twelve years of experience practicing ABA across various settings with diverse populations. Ms. Tursenovic also has nine years experience working as a School Psychologist, providing counseling and crisis intervention to students of varying disabilities, district-wide parent training, and psycho-educational evaluations.
Most recently, Ms. Tursenovic is working as part of a dynamic team within Kidz Choice Services Inc. As an Assistant Clinical Director, Ms. Tursenovic helps to recruit new staff, and develop staff training protocols, as well as company policies and procedures. Ms. Tursenovic looks forward to continuing to help Kidz Choice Servies Inc., grow and provide top quality ABA services to children with Autism and their families
Benjamin Thomas, Ph.D., BCBA
Chief Research Director of ABA Services
Benjamin Thomas is Associate Clinical Director of the Claremont Autism Center at Claremont McKenna College, and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analystâ (BCBAâ) since 2007. He holds a master’s degree in psychology from Queen’s College of the City University of New York, and is completing his doctorate in developmental psychology at Claremont Graduate University. Ben has over 16 years of experience providing service and training to individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as their families and educators in a variety of settings. Ben has also published research in peer-reviewed journals and presented at local, state, national, and international conferences on topics related to behavioral assessment, intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder.
Stamatios Gianoumis, M.Phil/ABD, MS Ed., BCBA
Head Clinical Director of ABA Services
Stamatios, aka Tommy, has dedicated his professional career to the treatment of individuals with ASD and the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. He attained a Masters in the Clinical Application of Behavior Analysis through Queens College/CUNY and attended the Learning Processes and Behavior Analysis PhD program through The Graduate Center/CUNY. Stamatios furthered his education at Hunter College/CUNY studying Special Education. Driven by the ever-growing ASD epidemic and the limitation of having only two hands, he focused his research and clinical practice in the training and supervision of interventionists for individuals with ASD, so they may deliver the highest quality of services possible, using peer-reviewed research-validated treatments. Stamatios also enjoys applying this training/supervision model to the families of the children he works with, giving them the tools they need to be active proponents of positive change in their child’s life.
Thomas Spartinos, RBT
Executive/Administrative Office Assistant
Thomas Spartinos has been working at Kidz Choice since 2018. His primary roles consist of curriculum development, providing transportation for clients, keeping track of inventory, and assisting with compliance duties. Prior to this experience, Thomas worked at a busy retail chain. His management experience has led him to become a valuable asset to Kidz Choice. Thomas is planning on resuming his studies to obtain a degree in Psychology in the next year. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, and working out.
Executive/Administrative Office Assistant
Mr.Bernard has dedicated his time and efforts to helping all the administrative staff here at Kidz Choice. He assists with book keeping, Hr/compliance duties, as well as aiding in curriculum development for clients. Mr.Bernard is a full time student currently pursuing a degree in business marketing and sales. He hopes to use his experiences here at Kidz Choice to grow and expand his knowledge of what it’s like to be working in a forever changing and growing business environment. Through this he hopes to further his understanding of what its like to be in a professional business setting and gain the knowledge he needs while attaining his business degree. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his loved ones, drawing and lending a helping hand when needed.
Stephen Spartinos, BBA
Executive/Administrative Office Assistant
Stephen is the executive office administrator and assists the executive team in accomplishing their tasks and duties. Graduating from Baruch College in 2019 with a BBA in Entrepreneurship, Stephen has valuable knowledge of all different aspects of a business and has become a valuable asset to Kidz Choice.
Taylor Bou, AS
Product & Graphic Designer
Taylor Bou was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Freeport, Long Island. He is a Graphic and Product Designer. He received his Associate Degree in Arts & Science from Nassau Community College in 2016. He focused on his skills in typography, branding, marketing and illustration. For the past ten years and continued to grow. Taylor also joined an internship for the branding and marketing department of ZDI, has also developed logos, email blasts and posters for production companies. He is also resourceful and passionate and driven to learn. He has illustrated a children’s book for authors as well. In April 2019, Taylor joined the team at Kidz Choice Services where he assists in creating clinical documents and learning materials for our autistic students. In his free time, Mr. Bou loves to watch films, listen to music and working out at the gym and spend time with his family and friends.
Nadia Vlacich, Psy.D
Clinical Director Of ABA Services
Nicole Wright, MA, LBA/BCBA
Clinical Director of ABA Services
Nicole Wright is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst here at KidzChoice. She earned her Masters in ABA at Queens College CUNY, and her thesis research on Stimulus Equivalence has been approved for publication in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Her experience in ABA includes a wide array of populations, ranging from preschool age children with ASD to senior citizens with comorbid psychological disorders. Nicole values learning opportunities, and regularly attends conferences and workshops on proven research strategies for treatment in order to increase her competency and better serve clients.
Joanna Spartinos, MS Ed., LBA
Joanna Spartinos graduated from Adelphi University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a double minor in history and education. She also received her Master’s degree in Childhood Education from Adelphi University in addition to an Advanced Certificate in Special Education in 2012. In May 2018, Joanna received an Advanced Certificate in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Queens College. Joanna currently has her NYS Professional Certification, Students with Disabilities, Grades 1-6 as well as a NYS Professional Certification, Childhood Education, Grades 1-6. For the past six years Joanna has also been providing ABA services to students diagnosed with ASD or other disabilities under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). This experience has led for her to develop skills in discrete trial training, incidental teaching, and implementing activity schedules. Joanna is currently on track to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
Paulina Borja, Ms Ed., BCBA
Paulina was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador. She came to the United States in 2001 to be part of an experimental education program at The Early Childhood Center of Bennington College in Vermont. She graduated in 2014 with a Master Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from CUNY Hunter College. Paulina started learning and training on ABA while working at New York Center for Infants and Toddlers, and Early Intervention ABA Center where she provided 1:1 therapy to young children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Later, when she join the McCarton Center as ABA therapist, she had the opportunity to work with children with ASD and their families in Cyprus, Bahamas and Turkey. In 2017 she became a board-certified behavior analyst. She relocated back to New York City in 2018 when she joined the team of Dr. Michael Lafasakis in their mission to serve children with Autism and their families providing comprehensive ABA services and support research on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Khadija Prowell, MS Ed. (BCBA Candidate
Khadija Prowell is a Master’s level certified Teacher of early childhood general and special education. Additionally, she has completed all required coursework of the post-master’s BCBA program and is looking forward to earning her title as a BCBA. She obtained all of her degrees at CUNY Hunter College. Currently, Khadija is an assistant supervisor and lead ABA Teacher with Kidzchoice. She has worked with Kidzchoice for 4 years and has worked with young children with disabilities and special needs for 9 years. Khadija mentors and coaches early childhood classroom teachers in addition to assisting in training some of our Kidz Choice providers. Khadija is passionate about her progress in her career. She strongly believes in continuously learning through her professional experiences and is looking forward to expand her knowledge in the field. Aside from supporting her clients she enjoys spending her time with her own family, which includes her husband and daughters.
Naoko Nishio, MA, BCBA
Naoko is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst born and raised in Japan. She has a Masters in Clinical Psychology and holds a Clinical Psychologist license in Japan. She came to the US in 2003 and has been working with individuals with ASD and their families for more than 15 years. Her professional experiences include counseling centers, providing ABA therapy at home and school settings, head teacher at Keswell school, school counselor at a private school, etc.
Susan Hunter, BA, RBT
Susan Hunter was born in Jamaica West Indies; she migrated to New York. She joined Kidz Choice Services team in 2016 and became a Registered Behavioral Therapist. Susan is a dedicated professional that has acquired the position as an Assistant Supervisor providing MATT Application/ activity schedule training. Susan has provided (ABA) 1:1 therapy to children from preschool age to adult diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder from a diverse background. She has worked with clientele in home and school setting.
Susan has assisted Dr. Michael in providing services to families and has been a part of their research team. She has regularly volunteered, assists with orientations, workshops, and training. Susan hopes to continue gaining learning opportunities and help Kidz Choice Services Inc., grow and deliver exceptional ABA Services to children with Autism and their families. Susan enjoys spending time with her family, attending church, traveling, and jewelry making.
Nicole Tursenovic, MS
School Psychologist, IRB Certified Chairperson
Ms. Tursenovic is a NYS Certified School Psychologist, who serves as our IRB Chairperson, with post-graduate training in Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis, and twelve years of experience practicing ABA across various settings with diverse populations. Ms. Tursenovic also has nine years’ experience working as a School Psychologist, providing counseling and crisis intervention to students of varying disabilities, district-wide parent training, and psycho-educational evaluations. Most recently, Ms. Tursenovic is working as part of a dynamic team within Kidz Choice Services Inc. As an Assistant Clinical Director, Ms. Tursenovic helps to recruit new staff, and develop staff training protocols, as well as company policies and procedures. Ms. Tursenovic looks forward to continuing to help Kidz Choice Servies Inc., grow and provide top quality ABA services to children with Autism and their families.
Sara Bauer, Ph.D., LBA/BCBA-D
Director of the ABA Masters and Advanced Certificate Programs at
Queens College City University of New York, Certified IRB Member
Dr. Sara Bauer is a certified member of our IRB Team the Director of the Master’s program and Advanced Certificate program in Applied Behavior Analysis at Queens College, The City University of New York. She received her B.A. and M.A. in Psychology from Queens College, and her Ph.D. in Learning Processes and Behavior Analysis from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. During her graduate studies, Dr. Bauer’s research concentrated on examining behavior analytic interventions to address characteristic weaknesses associated with the Down syndrome behavioral phenotype. Dr. Bauer’s research has been published in several peer reviewed journals (i.e., Research in Developmental Disabilities; Behavioral Interventions)
Nicole Wright, MA, LBA/BCBA
Licensed NYS LBA, Board Certified Behavior Analyst - Certified IRB Member
Nicole Wright is a certified IRB member and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst at Kidz Choice. She earned her Master’s in ABA at Queens College CUNY, and her thesis research on Stimulus Equivalence has been approved for publication in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Her experience in ABA includes a wide array of populations, ranging from preschool age children with ASD to senior citizens with comorbid psychological disorders. Nicole values learning opportunities, and regularly attends conferences and workshops on proven research strategies for treatment in order to increase her competency and better serve clients.
Magdalena Kolec, MA, RBT
Masters Level ABA Clinician and Supervisor – Certified IRB Member
Magdalena Kolec is a certified IRB member and Registered Behavior Technician. She received her Bachelor's degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Master's degree in Psychology from The City College of New York. Magdalena holds a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis Advanced Series from Florida Institute of Technology and is pursuing her Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential. She has been in the field of ABA since 2015 and has worked with children diagnosed with ASD and other disabilities in the school setting as well as, provided 1:1 therapy in the home setting to children ages 3-17. Currently, Magdalena is an ABA Assistant Clinical Supervisor at Kidz Choice Services Inc. where she continues to implement individualized ABA therapy focusing on increasing language and communication skills, decreasing problem behavior, improving attention, social skills, memory, academics, play and leisure, self-care skills as well as, independent work habits and community integration. Magdalena has found a passion in using ABA principals to help students work towards their goals and to achieve their full potential. She is committed to significantly improving each student's overall quality of life.
Allison Spartions, MS
Fiscal Director at NYC Criminal Justice Agency- Certified IRB Member
Allison Spartinos is a certified IRB member and CJA’s Fiscal Director. In her role she oversees the organization’s fiscal department and is responsible for the financial health of CJA. Allison has dedicated her professional career to the growth of the organization. Allison started her career at CJA as a Fiscal Associate in 1981 and became the fiscal director in 2005. Allison holds a BBA and a Masters of Public Administration from Bernard M. Baruch College. When not in the office Allison enjoys traveling with her family.